Tag Archives: Carlos Peguero

Danny Hultzen and Other Tacoma Notes

It was a fairly busy sports weekend in the Seattle area, and I spent the weekend going to a few baseball games.  Sandwiched in between the Rainiers on Thursday and Mariners on Saturday was one of the biggest recruiting days in Husky football history.  I’ll hopefully get to that tomorrow.  The Mariners don’t have much to talk about aside from Munenori Kawasaki being extremely awesome, so I’ll start off recapping the weekend by writing about how my weekend started.

On Thursday, Matthew, our cousin (and loyal blog reader) Tyler, and I made the trek down to Tacoma to see the Danny Hultzen-Jamie Moyer match-up.  A trek it was.  It took us two and a half hours to get from Bellevue to Tacoma but that’s beside the point, this isn’t a traffic blog, it’s a sports blog!  Although, a traffic blog may be more entertaining than talking about the Mariners sometimes.  Anyway, we missed one of Hultzen’s innings because of traffic but caught his other 3 innings.

The future Mariner has a hunched over windup, kind of like his shoulders are slouching.  Other than that, the rest of his windup was pretty standard.  His right foot starts a little bit in front of the rubber and steps to the side, more than it steps backwards.  There’s a fairly normal leg kick and his arm comes a little higher than the 3/4’s slot.  His follow-through is fairly normal (more on that later) as well.  Here’s some video of the start.  His fastball sat at about 93 and he flashed 96 twice up on the radar gun (I don’t think the radar gun was hot or anything because Moyer was about where he has been all season and even below that at times).  We didn’t see much of his change-up because he didn’t seem to have a lot of control of it.  Maybe it was just an off night for that pitch, as it’s usually a plus pitch for him.  His slider had tons of movement, although he didn’t have plus control on that either.  It was a great strikeout pitch though.

Hultzen walked 4 guys in 4 innings during the game.  All of the walks came when Hultzen was pitching out of the stretch.  Hultzen often switched his between a slide-step and a high leg kick when runners were on first base.  Based on the video, I think he’s a little better when he’s not using the slide-step.  Maybe he doesn’t have a good pick-off move (he didn’t use one, that I recall) but a good amount of lefties get away with not using a slide-step.  His control was definitely a problem out of the stretch.

Another problem Hultzen seemed to have was finishing his pitches.  Matthew picked up on it right away, and after watching the video I have to agree with him.  In the second inning, when Danny got into some trouble, he seemed to really struggle with this.  By not finishing his pitch, I mean to say that his leg and arm didn’t follow through as much as they usually do.  To use the famous phrase, he was trying to “aim it and not throw it.”  It was especially apparent on off-speed pitches (this gave the pitch away to some hitters) but there were a few fastballs where it seemed to be a problem as well.

All in all, Danny was good.  There weren’t many hard hit balls, the issue was strictly control.  He has great stuff and will succeed.  He does have to work through this control issue.  I don’t know if the mechanical things I mentioned are a constant problem or just an abnormality.  If anyone goes to see him in Tacoma again (he’ll pitch again on Tuesday) look for what I mentioned and let us know.

I’ve got a few more thoughts on Nick Franklin, Triunfel, and Peguero after the jump.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Mariners, Working On the Farm

Checking on the Young ‘uns – Tacoma

Over the next couple of days I’m going to run through the Mariners minor league teams and give an update on some prospects to look at.  At the start of the baseball year, I wrote a post about some prospects to keep an eye on, I’ll go through those guys and maybe add in a few.  Leave any questions you have about some guys in the comments and I’ll get to them.

Young ‘uns sounds like onions.  I guess a good share of the time young ‘uns smell bad.  That’s like onions.  Young ‘uns have layers, so do onions.  The people I’m talking about in this post play a game with a ball and an onion has roughly the same shape as a baseball.  How’s that for an intro!

Today, we head down the I-5 South to our friends in Tacoma.  Unless you live in Maple Valley or Yakima like a good share of the writers and readers of this blog do.  If that’s the case don’t take I-5 South because it won’t get you to where you want to be.  You’ll get lost. I’ve really gotten a long ways in this posts two paragraphs.

The mascot doesn’t even want to cheer for the Rainiers. In their defense, eagles are really cool.

Anyway, the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners’ AAA affiliate) have gotten off to a rough start this season.  This is because, to be honest, they aren’t very good.  They probably aren’t the best team in the Mariners minor league system even though they are at the highest level.  The Rainiers are 11-22 (this doesn’t include tonight’s game or stats).  Their pitching has been atrocious, which isn’t that strange for the PCL (the league they play in, and the hitting hasn’t been at the level I thought it’d be.

Since the beginning of the season a few things have happened that have been significant to the team.  Carlos Peguero, who started the season on fire, injured himself (not from being on fire) and was out most of the last month.  To take his spot, the Mariners promoted AA Jackson outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang to Tacoma.  So, Chiang has been playing there for about a month.  Andrew Carraway, who’s a starting pitcher, was just promoted to Tacoma today after tearing up the AA Southern League (more on him in a minute).  Erasmo Ramirez was sent down from Seattle to become a starter and relievers Shawn Kelley and Charlie Furbush have gone up to Seattle.  Maurico Robles was sent down to AA.  Stephen Pryor, reliever extraordinaire, has been sent up to Tacoma because he’s awesome.  Also, catcher Adam Moore was injured and will be hurt for the rest of his life (I hope not, but it seems this way).  Those are probably the most important transactions that have gone on with the Rainiers this year.  If I’m missing anything, hopefully someone will add it.

Here are the players I told you to keep an eye on and what they’ve been doing (I’ll just go position-by-position):

Luis Jiminez (DH, 1B, LF?) – .310/.409/.575 (these 3 numbers are batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage in that order), 7 HR, 9 2B’s, 23 RBI’s, 20/19 K/BB, .984 OPS.

Jiminez is 30.  I hesitated in including him because this guy isn’t a prospect and probably won’t ever play a role in Seattle.  I did include him because he’s been the Rainiers best hitter, excluding the guy who’s only played 6 games.  Jiminez has been thrown in to left field once or twice which is interesting.  If he is adequate there (which I doubt he is), he might play a few games in Seattle’s revolving left field door.  Otherwise don’t expect to ever hear about this guy in Seattle.  He seems like a good guy though.

Carlos Triunfel (SS) – .280/.338/.488, 5 HR, 7 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 16 RBI’s, 25/8 K/BB, .826 OPS.

Triunfel has quietly put together a solid showing in the last year of minor league ball.  The former top prospect still doesn’t hold the appeal he once had but is hitting for power right now.  There are still plenty of questions about his defense and his high K rate but he’s hitting the ball hard, especially in the last couple of weeks.  If he keeps it up, it’s hard not to wonder if his bat is more valuable than Ryan’s glove.  Admittedly, we’re still a few months away from having to seriously ponder those questions but it’s fun to think about while Triunfel is doing well.

Vinnie Catricala (3B) – .219/.273/.281, 1 HR, 5 2B’s, 19 RBI’s, 18/8 K/BB, .555 OPS.

From a mild, pleasant surprise to an extreme disappointment.  After hitting everything he saw in spring training, Vinnie the Cat hasn’t done much of anything in Tacoma.  He had a good week 2 weeks ago but otherwise has been very quiet.  Catricala has been the best hitter in the system for the last couple of years and there’s not a lot of reason to believe that he won’t start hitting but until he does, remain nervous.  The Mariners could really use him to be good.

Chih-Hsien Chiang (RF) – .272/.300/.333, 1 HR, 4 2B’s, 7 RBI’s, 15/5 K/BB, .633 OPS.

Chiang’s batting average is decent but 26 of his 31 hits have gone for singles.  That’s not fun.  He isn’t walking very much.  Before coming in the Erik Bedard trade last year he was killing the ball and hitting for a good amount of power.  Where did that go, Chih-Hsien?  It’d be cool if it came back.

Trayvon Robinson (OF) – .263/.320/.414, 3 HR, 9 2B’s, 1 3B, 14 RBI’s, 34/12 K/BB, .733 OPS.

This is much more interesting than Chiang.  Some of it is interesting in a good way, some not.  The extra base power is great.  Unlike Chiang, Trayvon has 13 extra base hits in his 35 hits.  Not to mention, he’s a better athlete and fielder.  But, look at those strikeouts.  34 strikouts in 133 at-bats isn’t good and his contact rate is something he’s always struggled with.  He may be the best outfield prospect in the system (not saying much) but until he cuts down on the K’s he probably won’t cut it in the majors.

Carlos Peguero has a 1.847 OPS which is awesome but he’s only had 15 at-bats so I don’t think I’ll include him.  He does have 4 extra base hits in those at-bats so that’s almost as many as Chiang has had in 114 at-bats.  Yikes.

Breaking down the pitchers after the jump.  Proceed with caution.  Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Mariners, Working On the Farm

Down On The Farm

Have you ever thought about the confusion that most come with farmers who follow minor league baseball closely.  They might ask, “What’s going on down on the farm today?”  How does the farmers confused son answer?  It could be, “The cows are milked, the chickens are laying eggs, and the sheep dog is having a good time.”  He could also say, “James Paxton looked awfully good in his debut and Nick Franklin has started the season on fire.”  Both answers are correct, assuming the farmer has kept his farm in good health, but the father’s probably only looking for one answer.  Man, that would get confusing.  Of course you haven’t thought about that.  No one has because that’s stupid.  Well, maybe the select farmers who follow baseball make a good wise crack about it sometimes.

Hultzen, Paxton and Walker - The Big Three

There's our boys!

The Mariners farm has been making a good amount of noise in the last year.  How’s that for a transition?  Say what you want to about Jack Z, but he has truly brought the farm system to one of the highest levels it’s ever been at in organizational history.  Yes, that doesn’t mean definite success but that’s one of the reasons why Matthew, me and many others are big fans of his.

The minor league teams opened the season Thursday and I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of players you might be interested and where they’re at.  I’ll just go team-by-team through the system with the players I find the most interesting.  I will skip over some players because, either, I don’t find them interesting or I just simply miss them on accident.  Leave any player questions in the comments and I’ll get to them.  Also, Jay Yencich from USS Mariner has written a preview for each team that will be much  more detailed than my rundown so I’ll link it by the team name for all those hardcore fans  like the farmer in the first paragraph (ha! You thought I couldn’t tie that back in).

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) USSM Preview

Triple-A teams often don’t have top prospects in them, at least for long.  It’s thought that AAA teams store all the depth for the big-league club and that includes many AAAA players (what I mean by that is players who have mastered triple-A but can’t quite cut it in the majors for the long haul).  No offense, Mike Wilson.  That holds mostly true this year.  The Mariners double-A team may have more talent on it, but Tacoma still has some very interesting names.  Here are the names that intrigue me the most in Tacoma.

Players to watch:

Maurico Robles and Forrest Snow (SP) – Tacoma’s starting rotation leaves a bit to be desired but these are the two most interesting prospects here.  Robles is a lefty who has a low-90’s fastball.  If he’s going to make the majors, it’ll be as a reliever.  I’m not sure why he isn’t in the bullpen already.  He struggles with control.  Forrest Snow is a UW alum and stands a bit more of a chance to get into the M’s rotation at some point.  He’s basically skipping the double-A level.  He doesn’t have the best stuff (good change-up but everything else is about average) but could be a decent back of the rotation starter.  Anthony Vasquez is in Tacoma too but he should never start a game for the M’s again.  Please.

Charlie Furbush – You know about him.  He’s a lefty and was with the Mariners most of the 2nd half last year.  He is in the bullpen but he could make a spot start here and there.  He has decent stuff and sometimes it’s even pretty good.  If he keeps the home runs down he’ll find his way up soon.

Chance Ruffin – Tacoma’s strength is their bullpen.  Ruffin is a righty with a mid-90’s fastball and good slider.  He was with the M’s at the end of last year and will be again, I imagine.

Shawn Kelley – Another good righty in the bullpen.  He lost a little velocity from Tommy John surgery and maybe they sent him down to try to get it back?  I don’t know, but he’s probably better than some of the guys in the Seattle bullpen.

Cesar Jimenez -Cesar is a lefty specialist and there’s usually a place on big-league clubs for players like this eventually.  He has gotten a little worse with his control and overall numbers the last couple of years.  Still, he’s worth keeping an eye on.  All four of these guys aren’t far from making the Mariners and I bet some of them will be up before the end of the month even.

Vinnie Catricala (3B) – Position players!  Vinnie is probably the best, actual prospect on Tacoma.  He can hit really well.  Vinnie made a push for the 3rd base job in the spring but lost out.  That’s probably good since he’s hardly played in AA, and has not played at all in AAA.  He has improved his strikeout numbers last year and hopefully will do so again this year.  He needs to improve his defense too.  The guy can hit and will find a place on the M’s soon if he can find a true position.

Carlos Triunfel (2B, SS) – Triunfel will probably play shortstop for Tacoma most of the time.  He used to be the prized prospect in the system but a broken leg kind of unhinged him and he hasn’t really regained his top status since.  His hitting numbers went down and his defense at shortstop is questionable.  He’s still pretty young and had a large improvement last year so maybe there’s still hope for him.

Carlos Peguero (LF) – Maybe I shouldn’t put him in here because if you follow what I write you know that I’m not a fan of his at all.  He swings and misses way too much, sucks at defense, and has no plate discipline.  That being said, he hits the ball a country mile and has started off the year on fire.

Trayvon Robinson (CF) – Trayvon strikes out too much but he hits for some power and has a good amount of speed (although his stolen bases have gone down a lot for some reason).  If he could up his contact rate, he’d be a really interesting player that would be fighting to the top of the centerfield pile.  Lets hope for some development.

That’s it for Tacoma, and I’m already over 1000 words.  Check out the most talented team in the minors after the jump!  I’m not kidding, extremely talented!

Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Mariners, Working On the Farm

Tooting the horn and a few other things

As Matthew said earlier today, there’s a ton going on in Seattle sports right now.  So, I’ll start with the news of the hour and hit on a few other things.

  • Max Browne of Skyline High School, who most recruiting experts thought to be the number 1 quarterback prospect in the nation, verbally committed to USC tonight.  It’s not a huge surprise as many thought he’d be leaning that way.  Let me start off by saying, that it’s never good to lose the best players from your own backyard.  Browne is a huge talent and it would have been great to have him as a Husky.  With that being said, once the Huskies took two quarterbacks in the last class, this always seemed like a bit of long shot.  It’s not a huge position of need for the Dawgs and Browne has a much better chance of being Matt Barkley’s successor than he has of being Keith Price’s.  It’s hard to fault Browne for not staying home or the coaches for not keeping him home on this note.  Of course, Browne hasn’t signed yet, but he seems like he wanted to get the process over.  Good for him.
  • Matthew recapped Terrance Ross’ and Tony Wroten’s decision to enter the NBA earlier today.  He also took a look at what the team might do next year.  Don’t forget to take a look at that.
  • Husky football has started their spring practice with all of their new coaches on hand.  Bob Condotta will have all of the coverage and we won’t be able to cover it to the normal extent because this year’s practices aren’t open to the public.  We’ll try to give a few recaps at some point but hopefully there’s no huge news coming out of practice because that usually means there was an injury.
  • Earlier today the Mariners decided to keep Alex Liddi over Carlos Peguero, meaning Chone Figgins will get the majority of the time in left field over the next week or two.  This is where I toot my horn a bit.  I advocated for this move to happen on Monday and Jack Z just happened to agree with me.  I think it’s the right move, although who knows if it will make much of a difference over the next few weeks.
  • My last little bit is on a piece put out by Seattle Sports Insider today.  About a week ago, I wrote a post about sabermetrics and how I don’t think we can solely rely on them.  The subject of what the Good Guys had been working on recently came up in a mini-discussion I had in the comments of this SSI post with author Jemanji.  I told him that I’d been trying to find the right line in measuring sabermetrics against the other elements in the game and he responded, not only with a comment but, with a whole post on the matter.  In short, he used a Bill James article on the subject of sabermetrics to help us understand the concept better.  Sabermetrics should maybe be seen as questions that we’re trying to solve instead of statistics we can look up on fangraphs.  The likes of Dave Cameron and other Fangraph writers may disagree, but it’s an interesting concept.  You should all just go and read it by clicking here.  The quote he uses at the top is mine, so that’s kind of cool.  They have a great blog and they’re all good guys (no pun intended) over there.

There’s a lot more happening around but we’ll save it for another day.  I’m going to try to get a few things up on the M’s before Friday, hopefully that happens.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Andrew

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Surprises Coming?

So, the Mariners have played a few games.  Weird, huh?  Jeff Sullivan likened last week’s 2 regular season games in Japan to a dream and that sounds about right.  Now, we’ve been back to Cactus League games for the past few days and I find myself longing for Opening Day.  Then, I stop and think, “That already happened.”  I hope someone else has felt this way or else I spent far too much time writing this meaningless introduction.

Chone Figgins

Starting left fielder? Maybe he's too short.

One of the dumb things that happened in Japan was Mike Carp hurting his shoulder and getting put on the disabled list.  The other dumb thing was getting 3-hit by Bartolo Colon but I’ve tried to conveniently not remember that part of the dream.  Mike Carp got put on the disabled list before the 2nd game of the season and Carlos Peguero was activated for the 2nd game in Japan.  Now, Carp’s DL clock has been ticking even though we aren’t technically in the regular season at the moment so we can expect him back in about a week and a half.

People seem to think they have the Mariners roster figured out for the opening game (aside from a few spots in the bullpen, but I was referring to the position players).  They’ll option Alex Liddi and have Casper Wells and Carlos Peguero split time in left field.  I admit, this is the most likely but I’m not sure it’s the right decision.

If you’ve followed Spring Training, you know that Chone Figgins will be getting regular playing time for the first few weeks at least.  Little Figgy has been playing all over the diamond this spring and has spent a good amount of time in the outfield.  I’d even say he’s been there the majority of the time.  Knowing that and knowing that Carlos Peguero is bad (really bad).  Why not have Figgins be your starting left fielder for the next 2 weeks?  Keep Alex Liddi on the team and have him be the best right-handed bat off the bench.  Let him start a few games against left-handed pitchers while Seager gets a rest.  Kyle Seager should be this teams starting 3rd baseman anyway, so why not let him.

This works out for the Mariners front office, as well.  If Seager hits and Figgy doesn’t then you have a perfect excuse to cut him by the time Carp comes back.  Not a long enough trial, you say?  He’s had 2 years.  2 awful years.  Figgins is still on this team.

You can’t convince me that Figgins and Peguero on the field at the same time is a better combination than Figgins and Seager.  Figgins will be better defensively in left field.  Seager is a better hitter than Peguero.

Again, I don’t think this will actually happen because it’s unorthodox and usually baseball stays away from unorthodox but I think it should happen.  Plus, Alex Liddi is Italian.

Speaking of the Italian, he’s had a great spring.  Not that spring means much (or anything at all) but he would become the best right-hander on the bench.  He could play first, when Montero catches and Smoak DH’s.  All in all, I just think he’s better than Peguero because well… If you really want me to explain that then you need to figure out how bad Peguero is.

Last year, Seattle Sports Insider argued that Luis Rodriguez should make the team as the 25th man because he was simply better than Josh Wilson.  You can argue how much a 25th man means to an organization (probably not much), but a team should still put their best players on the major league team (unless they’re holding them back to save an extra year of team control.  We see you Paxton, Hultzen and Catricala!).  You know who the best right-handed hitter on the bench is when Casper Wells plays center, if Peguero makes the team?  There is no right-handed hitter on the bench in that situation.

I’ll break this down mathematically after the jump. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Mariners

Mariners-2 Must Make Moves

To the surprise of everyone, here in early June, the AL west is wide open and the M’s could very well contend into the summer. Let that sink in for a moment. What this means is as long as the division is within reach, the team can’t afford to roll out all their youth at the cost of losing, and in case you had not noticed, the Mariners are not getting production out of left field. I suppose that statement has been true for the last 30 years, but now more so than ever, LF has been a joke. Ken Rosenthal sums it up well in a tweet I saw today- “Least productive OFs in majors by OPS. Mariners-30th, Tigers-29th, Angels-28th.”

Cutting ties with Milton was the right move, and initially I liked the platoon idea of Peguero and Mike Wilson. Well, despite a monster home run and a game winning hit (if Hunter’s sun drop counts as a game winner), Peguero really has been bad. He is batting .169, and striking out nearly 40% of the time. Also, his defense is sub-par, and that’s being generous. It isn’t fair to make too many conclusions on Mike Wilson, because he only has 25 at bats, but he has just 4 hits. I want to think these guys will get it going and they have only been major leaguers for 1 month, but here’s the bottom line: Carlos Peguero is not ready for the big leagues, and Mike Wilson has been a minor leaguer for 10 years, and there’s probably a reason for that.

The M’s want to know what they have in their young outfielders, particularly Saunders, Peguero, Wilson, Carp, and Halman, especially heading into an off season where Jack will have money to spend. I think the M’s now realize that 3 of those guys, Peguero, Saunders, Wilson are not going to be their starting LF in 2012. So, you keep shuffling the cards, bring up Carp, and maybe later give Halman a shot. If those guys are also hitting .160 in a month, and the team is still contending, then you make a trade when the market opens up. Is this too simple in my head?

There have been compelling arguments made around the Mariners blogosphere, regarding this LF dilemma. Should the M’s call up Ackley, and stick him in the outfield, where he played in college? What about Kennedy, can he play LF? How about trade options, like Chris Denorfia or Carlos Beltran? I suppose anything is possible, but my hope is that Mike Carp is roaming around in the outfield this weekend, or in the very near future. Carp is hitting .330 in Tacoma, with 15 HR and 45 RBI in just 50 games. And contrary to what Dave Cameron says, “Mike Carp is a 1B/DH, and if Wedge won’t use Cust or Wilson out there, he’s certainly not going to use Carp” Carp has actually played 35 of 50 games in the outfield this year, and been the DH in the other 15! So to say he is just a 1B/DH is not true, and actually, his defense has looked decent according to the people who know this stuff.

Oh, and Carp is just 4 months older than Smoak, so it’s not as though he can’t still turn into something. If he does, that JJ Putz trade looks better and better (Guti, Vargas, Carp). In this scenario, I still like Mike Wilson starting against southpaws, and for now the team needs Saunders to back up Guti, pinch run, and be a defensive sub. Ultimately, Saunders needs to play everyday in the minors to fix that swing, and I suspect this will happen if and when Halman is ready for a call-up.

The other must make move? Giminez down, Bard up. I wish I knew what the M’s see in Giminez, to justify him backing up Olivo instead of a proven veteran like Josh Bard. Giminez seems like a cool guy, but he is a career .165 hitter. Bard is 33, a career .260 hitter, with 40 HR. He has some pop, and normally I could care less who the backup catcher is, but when you have 2 options, and one clearly makes more sense, I can’t help but be annoyed that the team chooses the other.

Soon enough, Dustin Ackley will be here too, which presents another tough decision, and one that could spell the end for Jack Wilson or Luis Rodriguez. But for now, Peguero down, Carp up; Giminez down, Bard up.

-Dan

Leave a comment

Filed under Mariners

Your 2011 Mariners- Outfield

With the World Series over, free agency is right around the corner.  It’s coming even earlier than usual this year, so I’ll try to get through these overviews of the team before much happens.  Up next:

Outfield

On the Roster

Ichiro– Ichiro had a slightly down year for him in 2010, but he was still the best offensive player on the team.  He’s one of the only players on the roster worth coming to the park to see, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be just as good and probably better next year.  Sure, he’s paid a lot, but nothing’s changing that now, so sit back and enjoy him.

Franklin Gutierrez– After a fast start, Guti joined the rest of the team in having an extremely disappointing year.  2009 Franklin is a guy to build a team around; 2010 Franklin is a borderline starter.  Now probably isn’t the time to trade him, but I’d be open to the possibility if the team has confidence in Michael Saunders and thinks he can play center.  In reality, I think he’ll be starting again in center in 2011, barring some mega-deal where he’s one of several pieces going out.  He still has a lot of potential, and the defense didn’t really dip, but the jury’s now out on Gutierrez. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Mariners

Working On the Farm- AA West Tennessee

Edit-  Shortly after I posted this last night, Lueke and Beavan were promoted to Tacoma.  So that’s nice.  Expect to see Lueke in Seattle sometime this season.  Also, Cortes has been phenomenal in a handful of relief  appearances so far.  If he keeps it up, he could be on the fast track too.

AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Southern League)

When the season started, West Tennessee (WT from here on out) had maybe the best collection of talent in the system.  That’s been dampened slightly, as Tacoma’s gain of Ackley and Pineda was WT’s loss, but there’s still plenty to keep an eye on here.

The Tarnished Golden Child

Carlos Triunfel- SS (3B)  Triunfel has been in the system for four years now, and he’s still the youngest guy on the team at 20.  During his early years, he was seen as a potential Miguel Tejada type.  He had a good contact bat, was a bit of a free swinger, and seemed likely to add very good power for an infielder once he got some experience and filled out a little.  That description hasn’t really changed drastically, which is okay, I guess, but disappointing.  2008 seemed like a minor breakout, as he hit 8 homers with a .287/.336/.406 line.  Nothing incredible, but pretty good for an 18 year old in high-A ball, even if he was in an incredible hitter’s park at High Desert (more on that in the next post in this series).  2009 brought a gruesome broken leg and a lost season, however, and now at 20 he’s in AA and showing flashes but struggling regularly too.  His OPS is currently .645, which isn’t good, but he is a 20 year old in AA after missing nearly an entire year. 

It’s really hard to say where he goes from here.  Scouting reports are generally positive but lukewarm, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him either breakout or continue to struggle next year.  Further clouding the issue is whether he can stay at shortstop or not.  Most have assumed he’d have to move off short (probably to third to take advantage of a cannon arm), but the Mariners have kept him there, and now scouts seem to think he might be able to stick for at least his first few years in the bigs.  I’m betting on an A-Rod-esque track, shortstop for the first 5 years or so before moving to third.  Doubt he’ll ever be as good at short as A-Rod was initially though.  2011 is the year to really watch Triunfel.  He’ll likely start at AA again, and if he’s going to put it together, I’d bet that’s when he does it. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Mariners, Working On the Farm