Baseball America picks top ten M’s prospects

DMZ · December 8, 2006 at 12:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Jim Callis did the team’s list:

1. Adam Jones, of
2. Jeff Clement, c
3. Brandon Morrow, rhp
4. Tony Butler, lhp
5. Ryan Feierabend, lhp
6. Wladimir Balentien, of
7. Mark Lowe, rhp
8. Chris Tillman, rhp
9. Yung-Chi Chen, 2b
10. Eric O’Flaherty, lhp

And he’s chatting now about the list if you’re a subscriber (like me).

I like Jim Callis’ stuff a lot, and I’m glad we drew him of the BA guys. It’s a good read. His writeup of Jones manages to capture both why I’m such a huge fan and why there’s still reason to wonder.


46 Responses to “Baseball America picks top ten M’s prospects”

  1. David* on December 8th, 2006 12:36 pm

    So he’s given Lowe something of a shot at coming back. Interesting.

  2. Chiro1623 on December 8th, 2006 12:44 pm

    Where’s Moss

  3. MarinerDan on December 8th, 2006 12:45 pm

    No Greg Halman?

  4. JeffS on December 8th, 2006 12:47 pm

    1. Last I heard Lowe should be fine once he recovers. Did I miss something?

  5. wsm on December 8th, 2006 12:47 pm

    No LaHair? mildly interesting.

  6. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 12:49 pm

    Boy, I don’t know where you heard that. There’s a good chance Lowe doesn’t pitch again, ever, much less effectively. No one knows yet.

  7. squidbilly on December 8th, 2006 12:53 pm

    Yes, he’s still young, still a prospect, and his heart is with baseball… But, the Huskies sure could’ve used Tuiasosopo this year.

  8. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 12:55 pm

    The only thing I really disagree with Callis so far is that he’d have taken Lincecum over Morrow. Lincecum’s high reward but he’s also high-risk in that a lot of those guys don’t pan out and he’s high-risk on account of being worked like a sled dog through college.

  9. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:06 pm

    To the contrary, I think Morrow is the more high risk of the two. Say what you want about him, but Lincecum has never missed any time to injury. Not in little-league, high-school or college. Morrow has significant injury history, and couldn’t even finish his first professional season without hitting the DL. Obviously, Morrow has the better body type to withstand pitching, but you have to look at the facts as well.
    In the end, Andrew Miller is the guy we should’ve picked, anyways.

  10. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:08 pm

    LaHair is not a great prospect. His entire prospect status is premenent on 202 ABs he had in Tacoma last year. If you look at the remaining of his career, its nothing too impressive.

  11. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:12 pm

    I feel I was a little too harsh in that last post. Just to be clear, I feel LaHair is an interesting prospect, and could become a servicable MLBer. However, to say hes a top ten prospect is a bit premature. If he can replicate his numbers from last year this year, which I think is entirely possible, he will become top-ten materiel.

  12. terrybenish on December 8th, 2006 1:16 pm

    Morrow has the sore arm. Not Lincecum.

    If Morrow is going to be a setup guy, then closer, then Lincecum is an even more compelling choice in terms of his ability to recover and his stint in the Cape Cod League as a closer the summer before.

  13. batura on December 8th, 2006 1:19 pm

    The prospect rankings are pretty neat, but I am much more excited about the 2010 roster projection (well, maybe minus Sexson). It looks pretty solid, if everyone develops well. I am really hoping that some of those pitcher draft picks turn into reliable arms. This offseason has left me with nothing but hope.

    Projected Roster:

    Catcher Kenji Johjima
    First Base Richie Sexson
    Second Base Jose Lopez
    Third Base Adrian Beltre
    Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt
    Left Field Chris Snelling
    Center Field Ichiro Suzuki
    Right Field Adam Jones
    Designated Hitter Jeff Clement
    No. 1 Starter Felix Hernandez
    No. 2 Starter Brandon Morrow
    No. 3 Starter Tony Butler
    No. 4 Starter Ryan Feierabend
    No. 5 Starter Chris Tillman
    Closer J.J. Putz

  14. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 1:19 pm

    That’s an interesting comparison to make. I would say I look at it like this: Lincecum’s been driven across the country repeatedly by a bunch of meth-addicted teenagers who never checked the oil or did any speed below 85 except when skidding to or tearing away from a stop. He hasn’t broken down yet, though.

    Morrow’s had some issues, but far, far less milage in far better conditions, and he’s from a more reliable model line (or something).

  15. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 1:20 pm

    Projecting rosters that far out is pointless in the first place, but there’s no way it works out like that in any event. Come on.

  16. Deanna on December 8th, 2006 1:20 pm

    Aw, there’s no Doug Fister on that list. How sad. He’d probably make the top twenty, though, right?

  17. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 1:23 pm

    And not to Corco the thread, but I should also be clear that I think drafting nearly any pitcher (or prospect for that matter) is a crapshoot, and the difference in probability that Morrow or Lincecum ends up contributing to their drafting team is not all that great, my preference for one or the other aside. Miller was clearly the pick of the litter, and then there were a couple of guys you could have gone with, each with a good set of pros and some reasons you shouldn’t pick them.

    My disagreement with Callis here is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of baseball arguments, even.

  18. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:24 pm

    If Fister makes the top 20, then we have the worst farm system in baseball..

  19. Cynical Optimist on December 8th, 2006 1:26 pm

    Johan stepping up with the bold yet unsubstantiated declaration of the day. You’re ready for talk radio, kid.

  20. Tom on December 8th, 2006 1:29 pm

    #4, Rick Rizzs said Mark Lowe would fine and ready to pitch in spring training. But how effective he’d be is another story and another discussion for another day.

    This is one of the reasons why I’m ticked off at the Soriano trade.

    If Mark Lowe’s arm problems are worse than the Mariners initially thought, then wouldn’t it have been smart to hold off on trading Soriano for another year and give Lowe most of 2007 to recover?

    I would sure think so. . .

  21. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:30 pm

    Fister has solid average control of mediocre stuff. His entire prospect status is based on the fact that…hes really tall.

  22. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:31 pm

    If you are going to put Fister in the top 20, you might as well put Johan Petro in the top 20 as well.

  23. Tom on December 8th, 2006 1:32 pm

    And what I mean by giving him most of 2007 to recover, I mean they wouldn’t have to have rushed him back into the bullpen and in pressure situations like they probably will now. And this could cause
    potentially MORE arm problems for the young kid.

    How fitting is it that Hargrove and Bavasi are about to kill the most promising bullpen arm that has come up in our system since, well, Soriano?

  24. DMZ on December 8th, 2006 1:32 pm

    Anyone who looks to Rick Rizzs for any kind of reasonable medical opinion gets what they deserve. He doesn’t know. We don’t know. Nobody, not even his doctors, really knows what this is going to be like.

    But anyone who tells you even that he’s definitely going to be able to pitch, even, much less pitch effectively, is shining you on.

  25. Johan on December 8th, 2006 1:37 pm

    If Lowe would’ve been healthy, how high would he have ranked? (Alhough if he would’ve been healthy, I think he would’ve exhausted his rookie status, so this might not matter). High as #4?

  26. deltwelve on December 8th, 2006 1:42 pm

    Here is a great write-up of the procedure used on Lowe’s precious elbow, which explains why no one will know anything for a while.

  27. Coach Owens on December 8th, 2006 1:43 pm

    What about Huber? He hopefully is #11.

  28. Cynical Optimist on December 8th, 2006 1:44 pm

    From Callis’ chat re: Lowe…

    Q: Mark Lowe from Seattle asks: Jim, where would I have ranked on this list if I didn’t have elbow problems?

    A: Jim Callis: Either at No. 4 or No. 5. Definitely behind the clear top three (Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow) and either right ahead of or behind Tony Butler.

  29. Coach Owens on December 8th, 2006 1:49 pm

    Well I think the “clear top three” should be Clement, Lowe, Jones. Morrow should be #4 or 5.

  30. wsm on December 8th, 2006 1:53 pm

    “LaHair is not a great prospect. His entire prospect status is premenent on 202 ABs he had in Tacoma last year. If you look at the remaining of his career, its nothing too impressive.”

    LaHair’s track record was certainly better than Lowe’s and at least as good as O’Flaherty’s or Chen’s. I like Chen and O’Flaherty fine, but LaHair stands a much better chance of being a regular major leaguer than those guys.

  31. leetinsleyfanclub on December 8th, 2006 1:54 pm

    Hey! He forgot all about the recently acquired major Sean “Huge Stride” White.

  32. Coach Owens on December 8th, 2006 1:57 pm

    30. You like O’Flaherty? I hate him. He was terrible last year. You could not depend on him unless we were in a blowout. He reminded me of Pineiro.

  33. Churchill on December 8th, 2006 1:58 pm

    Re: 30

    Except after those short, unimpressive minor league track records, Lowe was lights out in the majors, and track record isn’t everything.

    O’Flaherty nor Chen belong in the top 10. But neither does LaHair.

  34. Deanna on December 8th, 2006 1:58 pm

    I probably think a little too highly of Fister because I went to his first pro start and he pitched five innings of no-hit ball, striking out 9. It was pretty awesome, even if it was just in Everett. That sort of thing impresses people like me, since I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen a non-Felix pitcher in the M’s system strike out so many guys…

  35. marc w on December 8th, 2006 2:30 pm

    Wow… I really, really like this list. Good to see Wlad getting some love from BA, and I like the inclusion of Tillman/Chen.
    Wonder how high Mario Martinez will be on next year’s list…

  36. PositivePaul on December 8th, 2006 3:11 pm

    Heh. This means that once Dave digs out from all of the rubble from the fallout of the horrible trade (nevermind the piles of stuff that’s going on in his real, non-baseball, life) that he’ll update the Future Forty at some point in the semi-near future. Like, probably, mid-January.

    But he has to finish his overdue e-mail to me first 🙂

  37. Dave on December 8th, 2006 3:23 pm

    Callis did a good job with the list. He’s the best guy BA has, and Derek’s right, we’re lucky we got him to do the writeup. Also, buy the Prospect Handbook – those guys work really, really hard on it, and it’s worth the money.

    Jim likes Balentien and Chen more than I do. I don’t think either one is a starter in the majors, and I wouldn’t put them in my top ten. But the rest of it is basically right on, I think. I’m glad to see him give Butler the love that Tillman was getting, because he’s the better prospect.

    And yes, a Future Forty update is coming eventually.

  38. John on December 8th, 2006 3:30 pm

    Callis says that Betancourt was signed by the previous regime, but I remember him signing before the 2005 season.

  39. Dave on December 8th, 2006 3:33 pm

    Yea, Callis is wrong on that.

  40. bat guano on December 8th, 2006 4:12 pm

    Does anybody understand why they’re high on Chen? I thought he was a marginal prospect at best.

  41. Wishhiker on December 8th, 2006 4:49 pm

    It’s good to see the first three picks from last year, all pitchers, in the top 10. That gives me some hope.

  42. Wishhiker on December 8th, 2006 4:54 pm

    #38/39 he actually says all of them except for Betancourt:

    The highlight of Bavasi’s tenure has been the major league ascendancy of homegrown prospects Yuniesky Betancourt, Felix Hernandez, Jose Lopez and J.J. Putz. But all of them except for Betancourt were signed by the previous front-office regime, as was their latest phenom, outfielder Adam Jones.

  43. John on December 8th, 2006 5:32 pm

    Ah. That’s why you don’t skim, kids.

  44. Adam S on December 8th, 2006 8:28 pm

    Three of the Mariners last four #1 picks are in their top three. That’s the start of a pretty good track record and one of the few things to go well in the Bavasi regime.

  45. Dave on December 8th, 2006 9:15 pm

    I sent Jim a note, and they changed the text. John was right – originally, it included Betancourt.

  46. Wishhiker on December 9th, 2006 12:16 am

    That makes sense. You’re usually pretty acurate on quotes, so I wondered. You hadn’t brought it up so I thought maybe you had just agreed without re-checking.

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