Tag Archives: Rich Poythress

The Mariners of the Future: First Base

After looking at the interesting and fairly loaded catcher position yesterday, we move to the grassless pastures of first base.  Once past the big league roster, which is bare enough, most of the future first basemen in the organization are likely to be moved from other positions.  Most of the current first basemen in the minors are not really prospects for one reason or another.

The Breakdown

It’s too much to say the position begins and ends with Justin Smoak, but he is still the primary hope for 1B production.  We could write posts for days about Smoak.  I’m a big supporter, or have been in the past, but time is clearly running out.  There are plenty of big time prospects that take a long time to find themselves in the majors, so there’s still hope.  The question is how long the Mariners can wait for him to become that player.  Given the current state of the team and the lack of better options, they can keep waiting for a while, but Smoak needs to show some consistency before this season ends. Continue reading

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Checking in on the Young ‘uns – Jackson

Last week, I took a look at Tacoma’s top performers and prospects.  I mostly came away disappointed.  Since then, Carlos Triunfel has continued hitting and Andrew Carraway had a good start but otherwise not a lot changed.  In this post, I won’t be very disappointed.  Jackson was heralded as the Mariners’ most talented farm team and the most talented minor league team in all of baseball by many.  They haven’t disappointed much.  They haven’t just blown people away (mostly because of their offense) but they do sport a 23-17 record (as of Wednesday, May 16th).

Since the beginning of the season, Andrew Carraway (SP) and Stephen Pryor (RP) have moved up to Tacoma.  I covered them in my post about the Rainiers but they’ve been pretty awesome.  Chih-Hsien Chiang has also moved up to Tacoma since the beginning of the season, mostly due to injuries and not awesomeness.  Steven Proscia (3B) started out in High Desert as a guy to keep an eye on and he’s made his way up to Jackson.  He obviously excelled at High Desert but has struggled through his first few at-bats in AA.  He’s someone to keep an eye on though.  Otherwise, the other guys I highlighted in my seasoning opening post are still in Jackson.  Again, if there’s any questions about players (or anything else, leave them in the comments).  All stats are updated through Wednesday, lets start with position players (and go by position).

Rich Poythress (1B) – .259/.352/.375, 1 HR, 10 2B’s, 18 RBI’s, 14/16 K/BB, .727 OPS

Rich is currently on the 7-day DL but he should be back soon (it is only the seven-day DL).  Poythress hasn’t hit many home runs but he’s tied for the team lead in doubles.  Maybe he misses High Desert?  He’s a right-handed hitter and his OPS is over .500 points higher against left-handed pitching (although, small sample sizes).  His lone home run and 4 of his 10 doubles have come against left-handed pitching even though he’s only faced them 28 times compared to 84 at-bats against right-handers.  Obviously, his K/BB ratio is very good right now.  Keep that up, Rich!  Poythress had a great year in High Desert in 2010 but hasn’t done much in Jackson last year or this year.  The lefty-righty splits are interesting and could make him an interesting option as a platoon bat going forward.

Nick Franklin (SS) – .318/.373/.467, 2 HR, 10 2B’s, 14 RBI’s, 16/10 K/BB, .840 OPS.

Through the top three levels of the Mariners system there’s one position that is having a great amount of success hitting – shortstop.  That’s weird, now if only they could play defense.  Franklin is probably the best position player prospect in the Mariners system and he hasn’t disappointed thus far.  He’s hitting for a good average, a few more walks and homers would be nice but I won’t complain with these results.  He’s still only 21 and could see Tacoma by seasons end.  The one stat that is a bit scary… 7 errors.  This is a common theme among the systems shortstops.  Franklin has been dealing with a small, nagging foot injury.  That’s annoying but it’s not serious.

Francisco Martinez (3B, CF?) – .245/.317/.311, 0 HR, 8 2B’s, 1 3B, 9 RBI’s, 34/16 K/BB, .629 OPS, 14 SB.

Francisco hasn’t really hit.  Well, that’s not fair.  He’s done okay, just not very well.  He’s got 9 extra base hits which is 5th on the team.  Plus, he’s 14 of 16 in stolen bases.  The organization loves his speed and has been messing around with the idea of him playing center field.  Go for it!  We have terrible outfield prospects, do it!  Anyway, Martinez strikes out a ton, which is bad.  He’s always had a gaudy amount of strikeouts and this year has been no different.  If he could raise his contact rate, I’d be very interested in what Martinez could be.  For now, he just seems like a really fast guy.

Steven Proscia (3B) – .317/.348/.545, 8 HR, 9 2B’s, 25 RBI’s, 30/8 K/BB, .893 OPS.

These are Proscia’s combined numbers between High Desert and Jackson.  He’s had 24 at-bats since being called up to Jackson and only 4 hits.  3 of those hits have been home runs though.  That’s pretty neat.  You know what’s not neat?  Strikeouts.  Maybe our minor league team has been watching our major league team too much.  Proscia definitely has power and can get some extra base hits but he swings and misses too much.  If he could cut that down just a bit he could become a really interesting prospect like a few other third base prospects in the system.  Who would have thought the M’s most interesting position player prospects would be at SS and 3B.  Have the Mariners had a good shortstop since Carlos Guillen?  Have they ever had a good third baseman not named Beltre? Sorry Steve, this paragraph was supposed to be about you.  I forgot.  Strike out less and hit more!

Johermyn Chavez (RF) – .287/.357/.436, 3 HR’s, 6 2B’s, 10 RBI’s, 21/10 K/BB, .793 OPS.

Chavez has been hurt for the past few weeks but otherwise he’s been about what we expected.  He strikes out a lot but otherwise has put average numbers.  He’s another guy who had a great year at High Desert in 2010 but still hasn’t put it together in Jackson.

Joseph Dunigan (OF) – .303/.357/.568, 7 HR’s, 10 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 21 RBI’s, 38/9 K/BB, .925 OPS, 6 SB.

Power! Strikeouts…. Power!  I wouldn’t have guessed before the season that Dunigan would be the M’s outfield prospect who’s having the best season.  He’s 26, in AA, and was pretty crappy last year.  But, he has 19 extra base hits.  Double that and you have his strikeouts.  The strikeouts are the only thing that keep me from taking Dunigan very seriously.  He’s always had decent power, a bad average and a lot of strikeouts.  The average has improved but will it stay that way.  With 38 of his 133 at-bats ending in K’s I would guess no, but hopefully I’m wrong.  Thus far, he may be the biggest surprise of the season.  You go, Joe!  By the way, Dunigan has 19 extra base hits and only 21 RBI’s.  Is this normal?  It seems like that’s a lack of RBI’s or maybe I’m way off.

We get to the pitchers after the jump.  It’s all good news after the jump (well, mostly). Continue reading

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Your 2011 Mariners- First Base

The Mariners have 4 games left in one of the most dismal seasons in history, and no one is sad to see it go.  I haven’t watched more than an a couple innings of a game in weeks.  The outlook for 2011 isn’t much better, to be honest.  Barring an unexpected and significant payroll increase, there’s not much room in the budget for big-ticket additions.  Even if there were, it’s not a great free agent class. 

Still, the Mariners need to, and will, make serious changes to the roster.  Some of this will just be with playing their younger players more, but there will certainly be some moves and fresh faces as well.  In an effort to get ready for the offseason, I’m going to walk through each position and see what the Mariners have, for both 2011 and the future, and what they’ll be losing.  I’m not going to touch on who they might add yet.  That will come later in the offseason, if at all.  Frankly, there are very few people sufficiently smart and well-connected to project those kind of moves more than a few days out.  Consider this series of posts something of a triage: which positions are in the worst shape going into next year, and which might be okay.  It’d be too depressing to start with catcher, so we’ll look at the first basemen after the jump! Continue reading

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Working On the Farm- High-A High Desert

High Desert Mavericks (California League)

We’ve arrived in Adelanto, CA, home to absurd amounts of home runs, terrified pitchers, and the High Desert Mavericks.  HD is in the High-A California League, which essentially means it’s the third highest level in the Mariners system, ranking ahead of full season Clinton and short-season Everett and Pulaski.  It’s a common landing spot for advanced college draftees and the first spot where you start to see prospects really get a lot of attention, unless they were big name signings or draftees.  As I mentioned in the West Tennessee post, it’s also a hard place to guage prospects.  Due to some small parks and thin air, the Cal league and High Desert in particular is maybe the best place to hit in all of professional baseball.  Every year brings some gaudy numbers, which means that hitters are examined very closely and don’t really get the benefit of the doubt until they’ve shown more at a higher level.  Pitchers are kind of given a break if they put up bad results.  Just looking at stats, a casual fan often overrates a hitter’s year.  Conversely, I think some hitters get underrated by prospect watchers, but that’s easily remedied by playing well once they reach West Tennessee.

After a fairly loaded roster in 2009, 2010’s is a little weaker.  Due to that factor and just that these are younger guys or players who haven’t been in the system long, my knowledge is much more limited (and that will only increase further down the system).  There are some definite prospects though, so let’s see what we’ve got.

So Long…

Anthony Vasquez- LHP  Vasquez was called up to West Tennessee shortly after I wrote their post.  He’s a smallish starter having a very solid year.  Sounds like he has decent stuff, but his upside is probably Jason Vargas-ish, solid contributor but not a consistent high-level guy.  Here’s a good ProballNW write-up with a lot more info.

The Big Boppers

Rich Poythress- 1B  A 2009 second rounder, Poythress was regarded as maybe the best college power bat in the draft.  A big right handed hitter, he’s having a solid year with an OPS currently at .918, but again it’s High Desert and his strikeouts are a little high.  There’s good hope here, but he hasn’t quite set the world on fire. Continue reading

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