BA has posted their version of the Mariners top 10 prospects, and you can read Jim Callis’ overview and report on #1 prospect Felix Hernandez for free by following the link. While I appreciate their optimism surrounding King Felix, I had to chuckle at Jim’s line that Hernandez “just needs to learn how to pitch.” Well, that would be the most important thing to learn. It’s kind of like saying Lance Armstrong’s kid is the best cycling prospect in the world, and all he needs to do is learn to ride a bike.
Overall, Jim did a nice job with the top ten, and I only have a few quibbles. Calling Shin-Soo Choo the organization’s best defensive outfielder is either a tremdendous overvaluation of arm strength or simply incorrect information. Choo’s range in right field is average at best, he takes poor routes to the ball, and teammates have an impossible time communicating with him. They also say good things about Jose Lopez’s glovework, which is probably the product of organizational spin. He hasn’t been an above average defender in two years.
Also in the current issue of Baseball America is an article by the Tribune’s Corey Brock on the Mariners strategy for signing international players and eschewing the draft. If you are a BA subscriber, make sure you don’t miss it. If you’re not, you should be. Brock’s piece is a good read, which is the norm for Corey, who is a good writer and, (in the interest of full disclosure), a friend of the U.S.S. Mariner crew.
As an aside, anyone who is planning on being in Florida for spring training from March 13th-15th should email me. I’m going to be hanging out in the Grapefruit League for a long weekend, and always enjoy meeting up with readers. Suggestions on interesting places to eat in Vero Beach/St. Lucie are also welcome.
And, while I’m here, thanks to everyone who emailed me about email accounts. My old account came back to life, but I ended up opening a free account with fastmail.fm as a backup. I appreciate all the help. You guys rock.