Future Forty Update
Since we’re now in 2007, I have released the offseason update of the Future Forty, giving us a look at where the organization stands in terms of young talent that they can build around. The picture isn’t as bright as it was six months ago, as the subtractions of Chris Snelling, Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Francisco Cruceta, and Emiliano Fruto have thinned out a significant portion of the talent pool that could have helped the Mariners in the near future.
As you can see from even a quick scan of the updated version, the strength of the system is now predominantly long term projects who are years from reaching Safeco Field. Seven players are categorized as “Projects – Projected Regulars, Several Years Away”, and of that group, only Ryan Feierabend is legally able to drink. It’s a talented group with quite a bit of potential, but they are so far from the majors, it’s nearly impossible to project when they’ll reach the big show. While the organization now has more guys who I rate as 7+ in the potential category than any time in recent memory, they also have an overwhelming amount of players who rank as a 3 or less in the present value category. Of the 40 guys listed, 28 of them – 70 percent – have a present value below 4, meaning they’re incapable of serving any useful role in the major leagues right now.
There is talent in the organization, but the ticket buyers at Safeco won’t see any of it for years. The thought of a rotation with guys like Felix, Ryan Feierabend, Brandon Morrow, Tony Butler, and Chris Tillman may be exciting to dream about, but these same unfilfilled fantasies have been lived out by Mariner fans for years. Remember when the Anderson-Meche-Pineiro-Heaverlo rotation was supposed to carry the M’s to a dynasty? Unfortunately, we’re returning to the days of putting the future of the franchise on the shoulders of 19-year-old pitchers.
When we look at the positives of the Bill Bavasi regime, we have to point to the amount of talent that has been brought into the system in the past year. In the past 12 months, the Future Forty has added new acquisitions such as Brandon Morrow, Carlos Triunfel, Tony Butler, Chris Tillman, Alex Liddi, Greg Halman, and Mario Martinez. The M’s spent 2006 stocking up on high ceiling youngsters. Whoever is running the team in 2010 should be appreciative of their efforts on that front, at least.
As always, you can use this thread for any minor league questions or prospect conversation.