MB100 | 34 More (The Watch List) | Outfielders

Cheney_Stadium_outfield

==Mariner Brainstorm Top 100 Prospects==

Here commences our third annual prospect ranking of the Mariner system.  Since we’re at a new location now, we’re renaming it the “MB100” and officially including “34 More” (the Watch List) in addition to the “Top 40” and “26 in the Mix” (Spec66) from prior years.  Nice round numbers, and it rhymes.

Last year’s Watch List ended up being pretty interesting.  Of course, there were a lot of guys who were non-factors, but Yoervis Medina and Jesus Sucre ended up on the MLB roster, and Jabari Blash ended up making a “splash” with his power display in the minors.

Now, as it happens, this year’s outfield Watch List is mostly guys whose stock is falling.  It wasn’t planned that way, but that’s how the chips fell.

Then again, as it happens, Blash’s stock was falling last year when he ended up on the Watch List, and he managed to get it turned around.  And there might very well be a similar story this year.

So here are six outfielders who didn’t crack the Spec66, but are worth a (continued) look:

Phillips Castillo | 2014 age: 20 | RH

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 17 Mariners ARIZ Rk SEA 48 194 170 36 51 18 5 1 27 8 5 15 61 .300 .366 .482 .848
2012 18 Pulaski APPY Rk SEA 56 225 201 23 42 10 0 6 23 0 1 13 60 .209 .286 .348 .634
2013 19 Everett NORW A- SEA 61 242 219 22 40 12 0 6 26 1 3 16 70 .183 .256 .320 .576
3 Seasons 165 661 590 81 133 40 5 13 76 9 9 44 191 .225 .298 .376 .675
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2014.

***

Once upon a time, Castillo was a glamour prospect.  His age-17 season, with its eye-catching .848 OPS, launched him to the upper reaches of many lists.  Our own Spec66 had him at No. 10 going into the 2012 season.

But we have a better sense of what to look for now, and, in retrospect, that glossy season was mostly built on the foundation of a .446 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) (in other words, his non-luck offensive production didn’t come close to making up for his staggeringly high strikeout rate).

In the following years, his K% remained ghastly (never lower than 26% — good hitters who aren’t sluggers should get it under 20%), and his BABIP good fortune has evaporated, leaving him exposed as a middling hitter who can’t play center field.

Not a recipe for success.

Since he’s still only 20, might he figure out how to strike out dramatically less, or to add a bunch more power or patience?  Yes, he might.  But he won’t get back in our rankings until we see it.

===

Leon Landry | 2014 age: 24 | LH

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 20 Ogden PION Rk LAD 57 274 249 46 87 20 4 4 38 13 9 20 36 .349 .399 .510 .909
2011 21 Great Lakes MIDW A LAD 125 552 500 59 125 21 11 4 41 28 12 37 67 .250 .307 .360 .667
2012 22 2 Teams 1 Lg A+ LAD,SEA 104 487 449 88 153 34 18 13 76 27 11 19 66 .341 .371 .584 .954
2013 23 Jackson SOUL AA SEA 114 460 422 43 91 15 2 6 37 22 7 26 71 .216 .262 .303 .565
4 Seasons 400 1773 1620 236 456 90 35 27 192 90 39 102 240 .281 .327 .430 .757
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2014.

***

Boy, did Landry take California by storm in 2012.  A .954 OPS with 18 triples!

But Landry left his bat in San Bernadino County.  And pretty much everything else that made him exciting.  It wasn’t just that his BABIP plunged, either (though it did).  The doubles and triples that fueled his California game dried up as well.  His ISO (SLG from extra-base hits, or SLG – BA) cratered from .213 to .087.

It’s possible that losing the extra lift from playing in the California desert cost Landry a mental edge that he could regain in 2014.  A speed-power combination is always worth keeping an eye on.

===

Alfredo Morales | 2014 age: 21 | LH

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 Mariners ARIZ Rk SEA 48 192 174 25 39 17 2 1 14 6 3 14 59 .224 .283 .362 .645
2011 18 3 Teams 3 Lgs Rk-A+ SEA 60 263 225 34 69 14 1 4 33 8 2 28 66 .307 .385 .431 .817
2012 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs A–A SEA 83 339 305 37 70 15 3 5 38 5 4 30 101 .230 .295 .348 .643
2013 20 3 Teams 3 Lgs A-A+-A- SEA 55 230 195 26 46 11 0 2 17 1 1 34 57 .236 .348 .323 .671
4 Seasons 246 1024 899 122 224 57 6 12 102 20 10 106 283 .249 .328 .366 .694
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2014.

***

Morales has always intrigued me, and I stuck him all the way up at No. 29 in 2012.  But he didn’t live up to the billing and I dropped him all the way off even the Watch List in 2013.  That was too harsh, and he returns to the Watch List this year.  Why?  Because he’s always had a higher walk rate than your typical Latin American teen, and he’s had flashes where he looked like he could develop into a “doubles-and-walks” guy (ISO under .150 but high BB%).  But you’ve got to be a very good hitter to make it as a corner OF with that kind of profile, and so far Morales is not.

===

Kevin Rivers | 2014 age: 25 | LH

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 20 Mariners ARIZ Rk SEA 16 62 52 10 12 5 0 2 4 2 1 8 18 .231 .355 .442 .797
2010 21 Everett NORW A- SEA 71 309 241 48 80 13 4 11 48 5 3 60 62 .332 .466 .556 1.022
2011 22 Clinton MIDW A SEA 87 324 281 40 70 12 1 10 40 7 2 34 82 .249 .332 .406 .738
2012 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ SEA 96 385 325 44 84 23 4 10 57 5 4 45 87 .258 .359 .446 .806
2013 24 High Desert CALL A+ SEA 128 557 485 92 144 36 5 20 97 8 3 66 127 .297 .381 .515 .896
5 Seasons 398 1637 1384 234 390 89 14 53 246 27 13 213 376 .282 .381 .481 .862
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2014.

***

Of course, we’ve never been able to resist that Rivers, the ultimate “dark horse” prospect (undrafted, unheralded), came out of a school (Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire) named for the ultimate “dark horse” president.

But you don’t get to the majors on cute background stories, and Rivers’ strong 2013 rebound is tainted by the fact that it occurred in the California League.  If you’re 25 and never played above High-A, you have very long odds indeed.  But he keeps plugging away, and that’s how he got on this list.

===

Isaiah Yates | 2014 age: 19 | RH

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2012 17 Mariners ARIZ Rk SEA 48 207 171 37 41 10 6 2 23 6 2 30 49 .240 .364 .404 .768
2013 18 Pulaski APPY Rk SEA 50 219 193 28 52 12 3 4 30 10 4 22 62 .269 .353 .425 .778
2 Seasons 98 426 364 65 93 22 9 6 53 16 6 52 111 .255 .358 .415 .773
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2014.

***

Yates caught my eye when he walked 30 times in his first 48 games as a 17-year-old rookie.

He didn’t keep up that pace, but he’s still very young, and he’s shown a sound foundation that he can build on.  If he sticks in center field, he has interesting upside.  If he has to go to a corner, not so much.

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4 thoughts on “MB100 | 34 More (The Watch List) | Outfielders

  1. Wow! A near 800 OPS guy at age 18 with still very nice BB rate doesn’t crack the top 66? And look at that strong finish in August for Yates once he got his feet under him at that level. 13 BB, 10 XBH, 5 SB! Figured he might crack the Top 40. My Shane Victorino comp stands 🙂 Thanks for your articles Spec!

    • I’m a Yates fan, but if he’s not going to play CF I have a hard time seeing him making it to the finish line without a plateau leap of some kind. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, of course. Thanks for the input and support, JD!

  2. Pingback: MB100 | 34 More (The Watch List) | Corner IF & Catchers | Mariner Brainstorm

  3. Pingback: MB100 | 34 More (The Watch List) | Middle Infielders | Mariner Brainstorm

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