The Kids are All “Right” Continued — General Jackson & Captain Morgan

2182162819_0965878c1a_z== Right-handed Power Theme Continues ==

Our theme (of sorts) all year has been right-handed power as the new “Holy Grail” in baseball.

In the post-steroid era, right-handed power has been drying up — as the  Sports Illustrated article we featured earlier in the year points out.

And the Mariners have gotten on board aggressively, it seems.

First, it’s clear that right-handed free agents are always going to be reluctant to sign long-term deals in Seattle.  We don’t need to go through the Adrian Beltre story again, but I don’t doubt that there’s some validity to the whispers that Beltre told Nelson Cruz to avoid Safeco Field at all costs.

As a result, a pipeline of home-grown righty sluggers would seem like a good move.

And, behold:

  • Jabari Blash (24, AAA): .479 SLG, 13 HR
  • Jesus Montero (24, AAA): .469 SLG, 8 HR
  • Patrick Kivlehan (24, AA — but time off for football): .498 SLG, 11 HR
  • D.J. Peterson (22, High-A): .564 SLG, 12 HR
  • Jabari Henry (23, High-A): .579 SLG, 11 HR
  • Gabriel Gurrero (20, High-A): .473 SLG, 7 HR
  • Austin Wilson (22, Low-A): .495 SLG, 8 HR
  • Tyler O’Neill (19, Low-A): .462 SLG, 6 HR

And, of course, there’s also Mike Zunino (23, MLB): .420 SLG, 7 HR.

To which, Thursday night were added Alex Jackson of San Diego and Gareth Morgan of Toronto, both 18.

Jackson is big, but considered polished, possibly able to play catcher but probably not worth the trouble when he can focus on the bat.

Morgan is the proverbial “raw, toolsy” player, but has been on the radar and traveling south with national and touring teams since age-15, so he’s not as raw as someone who just played in Canada.  Like Michael Saunders, he played hockey and soccer before concentrating on the diamond.

More on each follows.

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6 thoughts on “The Kids are All “Right” Continued — General Jackson & Captain Morgan

  1. Spec… I know it is way early, and not much is really known about these draft choices, but… where do you think these two guys fall in the Mariners top 20 prospects?
    I am assuming Jackson is somewhere around 4, and Morgan is around 11, with no others likely in the top 20 unless Summerville signs… am I missing anything?

    • At first blush, I wouldn’t put Jackson that high, but I’m kind of wait-and-see with teenagers. I’d put him behind D.J., Blash and Wilson at this point.

      Morgan has more upside than Tank, but also more chance to fail. I wouldn’t put him ahead of healthy Morban, but injured Morban, Tank O’Neill, that range to start — ahead of Gaby Guerrero since there’s a chance of CF.

      If Morgan can play CF, show power and not strike out a ton, then he’d move up real fast, of course.

  2. Well then, I think we are in agreement that while this year’s draft may yield a couple steady MLBer’s and a few relief pitchers, it also has a HUGE chance of being a complete bust… which I find disheartening.
    Mac and Jack have made me expect more from a draft.
    Hopefully the international crop will yield more potential.

    • That might be true, but the nature of the cap is that if you go over slot in a couple of places, you have to go under slot to compensate. Obviously, they made the call that if those two guys were there at 6 and 74, they would go for it and stage-manage the rest of the draft accordingly. It’s like when NFL teams give up multiple later-round picks in order to move up in the 1st round — except with money instead of picks.

      I think any team would have taken Jackson, so it’s really Morgan who is the gamble. They flew him to Seattle and worked him out, so obviously they think they know what they’re getting.

      I haven’t had time to really look at the 2nd and 3rd-day guys yet, but I know that no one was too excited about Chris Taylor or Dominic Leone on draft day.

  3. Well, as my son reminds me… a couple of steady MLB contributors and 3 MLB relief pitchers from any draft is pretty darn good – as many of the Gillick drafts were no where near those results. So maybe we have been just spoiled by the Mac and Jack results.
    I really had high hopes for an all star though.

    • By no means was I saying that Jackson and Morgan don’t have all-star potential. I just don’t personally rank teens super-high until I’ve seen some results. Probably because I was burned putting Phillips Castillo at No. 8 the first year I was doing rankings.

      If Jackson is as good as advertised, he’ll be right there with D.J. If Morgan lives up to potential, then he’s right up there too. Certainly ahead of Blash, due to speed and CF, and I love Blash right now.

      But I wouldn’t put them up that high until they’ve shown something. That’s all.

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