== Bundling up on prospect stuff ==
You may have noticed that we are letting the daily coverage slip in order to provide more in-depth articles. When I first started this site as a separate blog I wanted to make sure there was something up daily, but now that things have stabilized a bit (thanks!) I think I can focus more on the in-depth things that folks like better. Plus, there was some good stuff that was getting “lost” in “daily rewind” articles. Anyway, we’re doing it this way for awhile and see what happens.
And you didn’t click here for navel-gazing!
Patrick Kivlehan (AA Jackson 3b/1b): I’ve been a Kivle-skeptic more than a Kivle-fan, as long-time followers know. The jump to AA Jackson would be the test. Well, he’s passed it.
At Jackson: .318/.401/.521
33 extra-base hits and 38 walks in 78 games
Spectometer “Three Numbers” for his AA stats:
- Plate Skills: 112
- Offensive Production: 107
- Composite: 119
He’s actually pulled his Plate Skills number (avoiding non-random outs) higher than his Offensive Production number (producing non-random offense). Considering that he started 2012 with 18 strikeouts before he got his first walk, that’s quite an accomplishment. His “Three Numbers” for 2012 were 45-74-19.
Marcus Littlewood (Low-A Clinton C): We’ve been big Littlewood fans for a long time even though within the organization he fell behind Tyler Marlette.
Well now he’s on a monster tear, and, even with Marlette at High-A High Desert, I’m not sure if they can keep him in Clinton all year.
Littlewood has a 12-game hitting streak in which he has 16 hits, including two homers and two triples, plus nine walks, and only five strikeouts.
During that stretch: .356/.463/.600. He’s also gunning down 39% of baserunners, which is nine points higher than Marlette’s been doing at High Desert.
I like Marlette as trade bait. I like Littlewood as a potential big league backup.
Jordy Lara (AA Jackson 1b/OF): I still have many reasons to be skeptical of Lara. Such as: He’s never had an OPS higher than .785 except at High Desert. He was pretty much limited to first base. He’s relatively old to be busting out for the first time.
But you can’t argue with his final 11 games at High Desert before he finally forced his way to AA: 21-for-46 with eight home runs and six walks, with just five strikeouts for .457/.509/1.087.
As with most Mariner prospects, the jump to Jackson is the key. In his first eight games there, he has yet to homer, but he has four doubles and four walks (vs. four strikeouts) in his initial 33 PAs. He’s also being given a shot to play right field.
So some of my reservations are diminishing. Some.
Austin Cousino and Aaron Barbosa (Short Season Everett CF/Low-A Clinton CF): These guys are — to my mind anyway — sort of competing for the same ticket in the same way that James Jones and Abe Almonte and Xavier Avery were all aiming at the same opportunity.
In that regard, Cousino will probably always have an edge because his bat has some pop and Barbosa’s doesn’t.
But both have been on fire since July 1:
Cousino: .307/.406/.500 with 17 BB/20 K and 12 steals vs. 2 caught-stealing
Barbosa: .303/.408/.353 with 22 BB/16 K and 22 steals vs. 4 caught-stealing
Obviously the big difference being the ISO coming from the 4 homers for the Cuz. Barbosa is pretty much going to give you singles.
But Barbosa’s stolen-base tear has jetted him far to the top of the organizational pack (he has 40 on the year now). You may recall that one scout called Barbosa the fastest guy he’d ever seen on a baseball field.
[We liked him more for being a kinda-nerdy not-exactly-stud-athlete-looking (5-10, 160) undrafted engineering student who suddenly got a chance to play pro baseball and has run with it.]
- D.J. Peterson (AA Jackson 3b/1b): First 17 games at AA: .324/.360/.549; Last 16 games: .172/.269/.328.
- Our man Ji-Man Choi (AAA Tacoma 1b/DH/OF): Since returning to Tacoma after suspension: 0 HR, .252/.333/.299.
- Gareth Morgan (Rookie AZL OF): Guess this is why he dropped to the 2nd round: .168/.267/.277 with 51 strikeouts in 29 games.
- Julio Morban (AA Jackson OF): The Morbanwagon is at risk of being towed from the repair shop to the junkyard. Bummer. .253/.309./340 with 1 HR.