Seager K.O.'s Vinnie the Cat


Q.  Vinnie done?

A.  'fraid so.  It says here that he had to hit .400 to make the club, had to be the very best hitter in camp, and he wasn't.  Sigh.

Had the privilege of stalking him from the Reds' stadium today ... he's kinda in-between now, looks befuddled up there.  Lots of check swings, lots of half- positions, jumping out of the way of strikes, stuff like that.

My daughter went to phlebotomist school and had a great first day interning - drew 9 of 11 patients first time, on her first day.  Came home giddy.  I smiled... don't get too high or too low, we thought but did not say.  Old baseball rule.

Tuesday was 6 of 11 or something... hey, I told this story once.  So you remember the point.  You go in as a rookie, thinking of yourself as a rookie, SEE BALL HIT BALL and everything goes great.  But you do have to go through a stage at which you machete through a thicket of knowledge and experience, and come out the other side.  It's a necessary stage, but it is a stage that makes you look like an idiot.

Vinnie's not even really pulling the hands rearward the way he is supposed to.  Hitting is a chore for him right now.


Don't get me wrong.  Vinnie smoked an upper-deck home run today just 5-10 yards foul.  It looked like it literally hit a funnel-cake stand up on the concourse.   I rushed out and investigated, for no other reason whatsoever than to make sure that the funnel cake people were okay.  They were not thrown off their games whatsoever.

Vinnie had the foul-ball tape measure shot, he had a walk on which the ump rung him up, he had a fist shot for a base hit, and he had an SF.  He just don't have his groove on at the moment.

It's me, I put his groove back on by promoting him to Safeco, but we'll operate under the assumption that Jay-Z isn't THAT creative.  No harm done.  It won't kill Vinnie to lay waste to PCL pitching for a little while.


Q.  How does Seager look, King wants ta know?

A.  Like he thinks he's David Ortiz.  These UNC grads got no respect for big leaguers' games.

He's getting the bat out in front, where the money is, where the production is.  He wishes the pitchers great harm, and he's totally convinced that he can allocate it. 

Of course, he's got 0 BB and 9 K, so it's a Mike Carp phase -- he's like a golfer who just "got it" and is having a giggle-fest driving 300 every time off the tee.  Who cares if every fourth shot is out of bounds?

He'll have to dial it back in, obviously, as Carp will.  But don't miss the fact that Seager's blitzing the QB and getting two sacks a game.  He's leaving the Chris Snelling comp on the curb at the last truck stop, and moving on to the Carlos Guillen career path.

He looks like a fish in water at third, looks like a fish in water at the plate, looks like a fish.... hold it.  Did Mike Carp crosswire my keyboard?


More seriously, when a young player is this aggressive, fix #1 for ML pitchers is to take him outside the zone.  That doesn't work with Seager, who has a 60 HIT tool.  Fix #2 is to go with soft stuff, pull the string, get him out in front.  But guess what?  Seager has a Keep the Bat In the Zone a Long Time (KBIZLT) swing and stays back well on offspeed.  Remember Edgar with the Clap-On Clap-Off stadium lights?  Thass A Proa-Bleym.


Q.  Dr's Prognosis Being?

A.  Nobody ever figured Carlos Guillen for a series of .300/.400/.525 type seasons, but at this point the Mariners owe it to themselves to find out.

For LrKrBoi29, we'll have to clarify that we see about a 50% chance that Seager will soon post 100 OPS+ seasons in the bigs, and about a 20% chance, 1-in-5, that he'll slug .460+ and become a terrific young club-controls player.

These UNC twins got no respect for their elders, I'll tell ya that much.




more than can be sold at appropriate value in the market at any given time?
I don't know if that's a stupid question, but if the answer is even a qualified yes we may soon be faced with that problem.
Honestly, I've never seen such a situation in all my life with a team that is my rooting interest. I know that in the end a percentage of exciting prospects will fail, so you need quantity to increase your chance of success. But there are so many guys who appear to be blossoming now, with a number of guys right behind them already. And we have the #3 pick in this year's draft.
You could try to package prospects for veterans, but with the upside of some of these younguns the veteran would have to be so good it was worth it, and how many of those opportunities will there be?
You could tell teams "I'll swap this shiny MLB-ready prospect for your even shinier prospect who won't be ready for two or three years." Again, how many suitors will be found willing to go that route?
All Jack has to do is let these guys continue to demonstrate their abilities in AAA (or even MLB) the way it is now in spring training, and he can put up the "Have Excess Talent-- Open For Business" sign.
I wonder if Jim Bowden really understood the full reality of his recent praise of the M's young talent. He seemed to be focusing on The Big Three. In reality, it's getting more like The Big Thirteen.


Should we be willing to trade Nick Franklin if Kawasaki + Seager can handle all the SS and backup-IF positions for us?
Brad Miller is gonna be working on defense to try to stay at short, but otherwise it's a pretty thin position for us if Franklin goes away.
But if Kawasaki can replace Ryan and Seager can do all the rest...then Franklin is odd-man-out, not Seager.  Coincidentally, Franklin has more trade value than Seager.
I think Franklin's gonna be a good major leaguer.  But what could he bring back for us that we would need more?  A year ago I would have made Franklin absolutely untouchable, and my opinion of him hasn't changed.  But my opinion of his irreplaceable nature for us may have shifted a bit.
And not because of Brad Miller, either.
I just hate the idea of trading Seager for nothing when he should be fairly valuable, or of ditching Catricala and his power if his value is lowered because of defensive concerns.  We're not in a major crunch YET, but this is the year to figure out who stays and who goes.
And Nick Franklin's future should be on the table as our most valuable (hitting) trade piece to other teams.  That said, I look forward to him being healthy and crushing the ball again.  A few less errors would be great too.
My dream infield is still Montero / Smoak / Ackley / Catricala / Franklin, with Seager as a 400 AB utility player.  But Seager in concert with Kawasaki could wind up getting either Vinnie or Nick traded.  The tension wires linking Tacoma and Safeco this year are gonna be fascinating, especially as they affect our future for the next half-decade.


Yep, I figured Vinnie was Tacoma-bound when Seager started going all Jeter on ST pitchers. 
We can live with that....and Seager is a player.  He can hit.
But when Vinnie blasts up the PCL like he will, where do we clear the spot in the line-up?
Hate to see a whacking, Jeter-ish Seager as a utility player.  The only spot that could open may be Olivo's.
And doc, what is your Liddi prognostication?  The Stallion is about to start blasting HR's, too.
Keep up the reports.  Nice to see you got more than 12 minutes on the computer timer.


Uh....Liddi has two more hits today.  His ST line is .429-.500-.514 with 7 doubles.
Tough to send that down.
Sure wish we had an over-the-hill 3B to dump.

paracorto's picture

"Uh....Liddi has two more hits today.  His ST line is .429-.500-.514 with 7 doubles."
Sorry, .429/.500/.714 - for what it counts ST stats of course


And I agree with Ackley, if he puts them all together he'll be a beast.  It's nice to have a couple of those in the system.  Liddi needs to put it together soon, though, because we're about to run out of option years on him and he'll move on to someone else's team.  (Also, his minor league free agency should be upon us soon)
I hate baking the cake and letting someone else devour it...but we can't really just eat the batter either.  This year is gonna be a lot of fun for prospect watchers.

paracorto's picture

...the first or the second ? You can find the first one on PI 2010 Prospect Handbook, that's easy since it's the first line from Liddi scouting report. The second one comes from an Ackley's interview during his first season in AA I guess - perhaps it was Shannon Drayer, I can't remember exactly and unfortunately I do not collect links for quotes - I'm a baseball fan but not at that level of madness !

paracorto's picture

During the last four or five years I've been following Liddi's career I still remember a couple of quotes among others. The first one was from one of  J.A.Churchill's Prospect Handbooks, "Alex Liddi possess exactly zero big-time tools". The second one is from Dustin Ackley when a reporter asked him just one name from his minor league teammates of that time, "Alex Liddi, just allow him time to put everything together and you'll see".
Weird, uh ?


Not questioning your memory whatsoever my man.  It's just quite a reference .... Liddi  is a legit prospect including his age arc as well as physical gifts IMHO.   The traffic jam has no Precedent in Seattle since 76.

zumbro's picture

Absolutely, G. Let's not eat the batter. Any of them.


Stone notes that Vinnie is not on the 40-man, and speculates that adding Cat to the MLB roster and then sending him back down when they need Millwood as the #5 starter (which is what I thought they'd do), would needlessly use up an option year.
No issue there with Liddi, who is already on the 40-man, so they'll use up an option year for him anyway (unless he sticks in the majors all year -- unlikely).
But Liddi had a great camp, too, so I can't fault them either way.  I like them both, but I think Vinnie has a much greater chance of long-term MLB success. 
This will be a key year to see if Liddi can cut down on the killer K%.

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