Future Forty Update – End of Season

Dave · September 7, 2007 at 11:54 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With the minor league seasons coming to a close, it’s time for our last monthly Future Forty update and a look back at the year that was in the farm system.

Big Steps Forward

Adam Jones – Really, I don’t think we need to say much more about AJ.

Carlos Triunfel – the best prospect in the system and one of the best alive proved he could hold his own at 17 years of age.

Wladimir Balentien – Refined the rough edges of his game, made better contact, and probably made himself prime trade bait.

Matt Tuiasasopo – Showed that he could actually drive the ball into the gaps, drastically improved approach at the plate, and re-established himself as a potential everyday major league player.

Solid Improvement

Michael Saunders – Turned athleticism into performance, though playing in High Desert certainly didn’t hurt.

Chris Tillman – Recovered from disastrous performances after promotion to California League, showed flashes of brilliance despite a general lack of command.

Kameron Mickolio – Added cut fastball, improved command, and went from interesting late-round steal to putting himself in contention for a bullpen spot in 2008.

Up and Down

Jeff Clement – had a few great months and a few terrible months, providing evidence to both his supporters and his critics. Still something of an enigma but continues to work hard.

Tony Butler – Arm and back problems led to reduced velocity and a couple stints on the DL, but when healthy, showed why he’s got as much upside as any arm in the system besides Felix.

Brandon Morrow – Showed a legit 98 MPH fastball that can overpower hitters at times, but also had very little idea where the ball was going or anything to complement the fastball. Move to rotation is likely going to include significant growing pains.

Greg Halman – Horrible in Wisconsin, but when shipped back to Everett, made big strides. It’s scary how much he looks like Alfonso Soriano when hitting, and while he won’t be that good, he’s got a similar skillset.

More Down Than Up

Alex Liddi – One of my favorite bats in the system, Liddi failed to make enough contact to do any damage to MWL pitchers and has a lot of adjustments to make. Still very talented and worth keeping an eye on.

Rob Johnson – Mariners still love his leadership and catching skills behind the plate – I remain convinced that he’ll never hit high level pitching.

Doug Salinas – Age is the main thing on his side, as he rarely topped 90 MPH and showed a couple of 62-68 MPH breaking balls that have no chance of getting real hitters out. Stuff did not match the hype.

Overall

You can’t categorize 2007 as anything other than a big win for the farm system. The top talents had successful seasons almost across the board, the best arms avoided surgery, and a few guys took steps up from interesting to legitimately intriguing. There’s no doubt that the organization has more young talent in it now than it has in any year during the Bavasi era, which has only seen significant improvement in minor league development since he took over as GM. Bob Engle, Bob Fontaine, and their staffs deserve every plaudit that can be thrown at them – the Mariners have a lot of talent on the way to Seattle.

However, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. As an organization, they still fail in installing any kind of real approach to hitting, and the club continues to churn out a plethora of the exact same types of hitters they already have on hand. When you look at the major league line-up and see Adrian Beltre, Jose Guillen, Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Kenji Johjima, you see five shades of the same thing – right handed, highly aggressive line drive pull hitters. When you look at Adam Jones, Wladimir Balentien, Carlos Triunfel, and Greg Halman you have (to differing degrees) four more right-handed, highly aggressive line drive pull hitters.

With a couple of exceptions, this is the kind of player the M’s are both developing and pursuing at the major league level, and while they’re valuable players and good prospects in their own right, it’s time for the organization to diversify. They have a park that harms right-handed pull hitters moreso than any other player type, but significantly rewards left-handed flyball power hitters. Jeff Clement is the only guy in the organization who fits that mold, and it’s not even a given that he’ll still be a Mariner past this coming offseason.

The M’s scouts are doing a great job of finding talent – now they just need to find different kinds of talent. But, make no mistake, the farm system is in good shape, and the Mariners have a significant quantity of high ceiling guys that could add real pieces to the major league roster in the next several years.

As always, feel free to use this thread for any questions you may have, and I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can.

Comments

69 Responses to “Future Forty Update – End of Season”

  1. Mike Honcho on September 7th, 2007 1:12 pm

    [see comment guidelines]

  2. cgmonk on September 7th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Will Safeco’s dimensions be adjusted because of their current and upcoming players?

  3. Jim Thomsen on September 7th, 2007 12:05 pm

    I guess a lot of us wonder what the point is of being able to identify and develop young talent if the organization largely doesn’t know how to find the best way to use their value when they grow close to being major-league-ready.

  4. jlc on September 7th, 2007 12:09 pm

    Do you see Johnson as a potential back up catcher for next year, or do you think Burke will come back, or will there be someone else?

  5. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on September 7th, 2007 12:12 pm

    Thanks Dave. What’s your call on what the team does with Morrow? You mention a move to the rotation, but is that likely? If so, where will they have him try to do it (AAA or in the show)?

  6. shirts on September 7th, 2007 12:15 pm

    Sweet. It looks like we have just enough talent for Bavasi to trade away this off-season for veterans with crumbling skill sets and bad contracts like Vidro!

  7. msb on September 7th, 2007 12:17 pm

    #4– aren’t Morrow & RR-S going to split starting a winter ball season?

  8. Sammy on September 7th, 2007 12:18 pm

    Nick Green. I know you think he’s a non-prospect, but could you elaborate? His AAA numbers are right up there with Wlad’s.

  9. built2crash on September 7th, 2007 12:20 pm

    #1 — I read the other day they are going to move the fence in. I don’t know if it’s because of the up and coming talent or to try to lure more power hitters to safeco.

  10. Dave on September 7th, 2007 12:22 pm

    Will Safeco’s dimensions be adjusted because of their current and upcoming players?

    Possible but doubtful. It’s been discussed, but I think they’ll settle on no.

    I guess a lot of us wonder what the point is of being able to identify and develop young talent if the organization largely doesn’t know how to find the best way to use their value when they grow close to being major-league-ready.

    If you can’t find any reason for hope in Carlos Triunfel, then you may be too jaded to follow this baseball team any more.

    Do you see Johnson as a potential back up catcher for next year, or do you think Burke will come back, or will there be someone else?

    My guess is that Burke returns for year two.

    What’s your call on what the team does with Morrow? You mention a move to the rotation, but is that likely? If so, where will they have him try to do it (AAA or in the show)?

    I think they’ll try to get him right into the major league rotation. If he’s as not-ready for that as I think he is, that could be an obviously bad idea in spring training, and at that point, I think they’d have to have him head to the minors.

    Nick Green.

    He’s terrible, and the fawning over him is one of the main reasons people ignore fans on the internet who talk up guys based on their minor league numbers. Just because a 28-year-old has a nice OPS for a couple hundred at-bats in Triple-A does not mean he can hit. Nick Green has no real business on a major league roster.

  11. Sammy on September 7th, 2007 12:27 pm

    He’s terrible

    Thanks, but could you be a bit more specific since I’ve never actually seen him play? All I’ve seen are his numbers.

    Also, Jimmerson; does he have trade value as a fourth outfielder for some team? What would project as his potential ceiling?

  12. VaughnStreet on September 7th, 2007 12:30 pm

    You have Juan Ramirez and Phillipe Aumont rated as 8 in reward and 10 in risk. You gave Tillman only a 7/8. Why? How would you compare these pitchers to other pitchers in baseball?

  13. Gomez on September 7th, 2007 12:31 pm

    Moving in Safeco’s fences won’t really help matters, as part of what makes Safeco death to RHBs is the jet stream of cool seaside air that’s usually either breezing in from left or blowing from left to right. The M’s can move in the walls but they can’t move in warmer, hitter friendlier climate.

  14. Dave on September 7th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Thanks, but could you be a bit more specific since I’ve never actually seen him play? All I’ve seen are his numbers.

    Take a hyper aggressive attack, a complete lack of pitch recognition, poor plate coverage, stuff it into an undersized body, give him gap power at best, and stick it all in a blender, and voila, you have Nick Green.

    The guy is a career .255/.312/.425 hitter in the minors (2,600 at-bats) for a reason. He just can’t hit, and a few nice months in the PCL doesn’t change that.

    Also, Jimmerson; does he have trade value as a fourth outfielder for some team? What would project as his potential ceiling?

    Jimerson was released by the Astros at the beginning of the year and signed with the M’s as a minor league free agent. No trade value, no ceiling – he’s a pinch runner/defensive replacement if anyone wants to give him a job.

  15. DMZ on September 7th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Where did you read that they’re considering moving the fences?

  16. Gomez on September 7th, 2007 12:36 pm

    9. Nick Green’s track record certainly indicates his run is more of a Brady Anderson-like freak run than a sudden turning on of the lights.

    Churchill has said that, watching him at Cheney, Green was scorching solid line drives off outside pitches… though at the same time, that’s observation evidence of a handful of plate appearances.

    Dave, where would you say Nick Green’s key MLB-career killing liabilities lie? Does he play lead-footed, ham-fisted defense? Does he struggle with pitch recognition? Does he possess my batspeed? Is he narcoleptic? I haven’t seen nor heard much about Green’s weaknesses, and I’m sure they exist.

  17. Gomez on September 7th, 2007 12:36 pm

    nm, you beat me to the punch in 13.

  18. bermanator on September 7th, 2007 12:38 pm

    How big of a factor will the minor-league talent level be in any offseason talks on the GM position in Seattle?

    Which is more likely for 2008 … Clement to finish the season in Seattle, or with another organization?

  19. kenshin on September 7th, 2007 12:38 pm

    This may be slightly beyond your purview but how do you think Triunfel compares to the hotshot 16 year old prospect Angel Villalona

  20. Teej on September 7th, 2007 12:40 pm

    Apologies if this has been covered, but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer:

    Is Jeremy Reed officially a failed prospect? I keep seeing commenters mentioning him, but I thought he proved that he couldn’t hit big-league pitching. And he’s getting up there in age. And I know Dave says his defense is quite overrated. Do you see him ever becoming a major-league starter? Fourth outfielder?

  21. Sammy on September 7th, 2007 12:40 pm

    Thanks.

  22. SoulofaCitizen on September 7th, 2007 12:44 pm

    Besides Aumont and Mangini, didn’t notice anyone else from the last draft. Does that mean the Mariners did poorly after those first two rounds?

    Or are there still some decent possibilities who simply haven’t yet proved themselves enough?

  23. Dave on September 7th, 2007 12:46 pm

    You have Juan Ramirez and Phillipe Aumont rated as 8 in reward and 10 in risk. You gave Tillman only a 7/8. Why? How would you compare these pitchers to other pitchers in baseball?

    Chris Tillman and Michael Saunders are the two guys in the organization that I’m just not as high on as others. While they both had solid performances, they also both exhibit significant flaws that have me concerned.

    Tillman’s a flyball guy who needs a significant amount of work on his command. The fastball is good, the curve is solid, and the change is coming along, but because he pitches up in the zone, he’s got to make significant strides with his command. He’s got plenty of time to do so – he’s just 19, after all – but the hype he’s going to get has more to do with his performance than his skillset. And if you know me, you know I value skills far higher than performance.

    Tillman’s still got work a good amount of work to do. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him – a 7 rating is nothing to sneeze at – but I’m not going to be driving the Chris Tillman Is An Ace In The Making bandwagon.

    I like Aumont’s sinking fastball a lot more than I do Tillman’s four seamer, and Ramirez’s stuff is a tick above Tillman’s across the board. Being behind those two isn’t an insult – all three are quality pitching prospects. I just prefer the others to Tillman, and, honestly, I still think Butler’s got more upside if he can stay healthy.

    The M’s can move in the walls but they can’t move in warmer, hitter friendlier climate.

    If you reduce the ridiculous gap in LF/CF, you reduce the effects of the air. There’s no reason to believe that it won’t have any impact.

  24. Grizz on September 7th, 2007 12:46 pm

    Dave, thanks for doing this again. A few LHP questions for you:

    Is sending Tony Butler to High Desert next spring a bad idea, or just the lesser of three bad ideas (putting him in over his head in AA ball, or stalling his development by repeating the Midwest League)?

    If Justin Thomas can stay healthy, does he jump past Feierabend as the best of the lefthanded, medium-tossing, back-of-the-rotation candidates?

    Does RRS’s modestly improved control suggest that he moved up from replacement level reliever to useful cheap reliever (through at least his early arbitration years)?

  25. Jim Thomsen on September 7th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I am too jaded, I admit. I’ve actually followed the Mariners less this year than in any of the previous 30. I hope I get it back someday, and I hope Carlos Truinfel is a catalyst for that.

  26. Dave on September 7th, 2007 12:51 pm

    How big of a factor will the minor-league talent level be in any offseason talks on the GM position in Seattle?

    Not much of one.

    Which is more likely for 2008 … Clement to finish the season in Seattle, or with another organization?

    Another organization.

    Is Jeremy Reed officially a failed prospect?

    Yep – his power never developed, he changed his swing to try to compensate, and he’s adjusted himself right out of the major leagues.

    Besides Aumont and Mangini, didn’t notice anyone else from the last draft. Does that mean the Mariners did poorly after those first two rounds?

    Nolan Gallagher is also on the list, but no, that doesn’t mean the M’s did poorly – it means that I’m just conservative with guys I don’t have a ton of information on, and I have less information on a lot of the draft picks than guys who have been in the system longer. That said, I’m not a fan of Denny Almonte, the 3rd round HS center fielder – I didn’t think he could hit in HS, and the early reports on him from Peoria weren’t any better.

  27. 88fingerslukee on September 7th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Dave,

    forgive me if you’ve answered this before but where does Carlos Triunfels’ 9 risk come from? Does he get injured a lot?

  28. Manzanillos Cup on September 7th, 2007 12:58 pm

    If you can’t find any reason for hope in Carlos Triunfel, then you may be too jaded to follow this baseball team any more.

    With Aumont and Triunfel’s ETAs at 2010 or 2011, We should be allowed to be jaded and hopeless for a couple more years. :P

  29. Dave on September 7th, 2007 1:03 pm

    Is sending Tony Butler to High Desert next spring a bad idea, or just the lesser of three bad ideas (putting him in over his head in AA ball, or stalling his development by repeating the Midwest League)?

    There are no good answers here. I’d probably stick him in High Desert and get him out of there as soon as I think that Double-A won’t totally overwhelm him. And the M’s need to get the hell out of that stadium as soon as possible.

    If Justin Thomas can stay healthy, does he jump past Feierabend as the best of the lefthanded, medium-tossing, back-of-the-rotation candidates?

    Thomas really struggled down the stretch, and his endurance is becoming a legitimate question. He might be headed for the bullpen.

    Does RRS’s modestly improved control suggest that he moved up from replacement level reliever to useful cheap reliever (through at least his early arbitration years)?

    I was talking with a scout friend last week about Rowland-Smith, and he hit me with the following question – “What’s the difference between RRS and Chuck James?” Besides how he was being used, I couldn’t give him an answer. They’re the same pitcher. James, of course, gets to start in the National League where even Bobby Livingston can get people out and look decent, so I’m not saying that RRS in the rotation is a mortal lock to work, but if the M’s are looking for a league minimum, extreme flyball lefty who can run a 5.25 xFIP next year and give them 5-6 innings every few days as their fifth starter, RRS could probably pull it off.

    forgive me if you’ve answered this before but where does Carlos Triunfels’ 9 risk come from? Does he get injured a lot?

    Risk essentially captures how many hurdles a player has to clear before he reaches his potential reward level. In Triunfel’s case, the talent is blindingly obvious, but he’s got a long way to go before he’s a major league hitter, and they still have to figure out if he can play third base or if he ends up as an outfielder. As he gains strength, he’s going to have to revamp his approach to hitting, and some guys do that better than others.

  30. terry on September 7th, 2007 1:06 pm

    I think they’ll try to get him right into the major league rotation. If he’s as not-ready for that as I think he is, that could be an obviously bad idea in spring training, and at that point, I think they’d have to have him head to the minors.

    Conventional wisdom seems to be that it’s risky to increase a young pitcher’s workload more than 30 innings compared to his previsou year’s workload. Wouldn’t sticking Morrow in the rotation next year be reckless from the standpoint of his health?

  31. cougs129 on September 7th, 2007 1:08 pm

    Just think about how much better this year would of been for the farm system if Tim Lincecum was our #1 draft pick last year. We would be writing about how we found a #2 pitcher to compliment Felix for many many years to come

  32. Dave on September 7th, 2007 1:11 pm

    Lincecum, the most overhyped prospect in the history of time? Very possible.

    If everyone who loves Tim Lincecum and is convinecd that he’s the next great HOF pitcher could all just go move into a community without internet acccess together, that’d be awesome. Thanks.

  33. scraps on September 7th, 2007 1:16 pm

    If the team gives up on Lopez, is there anyone remotely ready to step in? Or would we be expecting to acquire a veteran from somebody else?

  34. msb on September 7th, 2007 1:22 pm

    well, they already tried to get Mark Loretta in here…

  35. Matthew Carruth on September 7th, 2007 1:25 pm

    not sure on the IP increase risk factor when going from RP to SP. RP throw at max effort so if Morrow reigns it back to 90% or whatever in order to stretch out over more innings, it’s probably the same taxation on the arm, but he logs more IP.

    Not to mention that RP probably throw more wasted pitches (read: warmups) than SP do.

  36. msb on September 7th, 2007 1:26 pm

    FRIDAY’S SHOW!
    2:20-David Cameron, USS Mariner.com

  37. natebracy on September 7th, 2007 1:27 pm

    How does our farm system compare to others in our division? I think I recall you saying previously that we were at/towards the bottom. Has that changed at all with the recent drafts or promotions?

  38. Mike Snow on September 7th, 2007 1:35 pm

    Tuiasosopo looked better than last year in San Antonio, obviously, but was his performance really that impressive? He seemed to decline as the year moved along, although he did begin turning a few of those doubles into home runs toward the end. But aside from the early doubles binge, I find little to get excited about.

    Even considering that he’s quite young for the level, is there really so much potential for growth? Where is it and why doesn’t it show in the stats? In the end, his extra-base hit numbers don’t thrill me, and the one aspect of his hitting that actually looks promising is his ability to draw walks.

  39. Dave on September 7th, 2007 1:38 pm

    Wouldn’t sticking Morrow in the rotation next year be reckless from the standpoint of his health?

    Every situation is different. You don’t want him throwing 220 innings next year, but if you get him on a starters throwing regiment this winter, bring him to ST as a starter, and keep a pretty good eye on him during the year, you could probably get 150-180 innings out of him without being reckless.

    That is, of course, assuming he’s capable of throwing 150-180 major league innings next year. I’m not convinced of that.

    He’s going to be a 215-pounder with mid-90s velocity and that plus curve ball. If his change becomes average or better, he’s a fringe No. 1.

    If we wanted to break out the list of 19-year-old guys with velocity, a curveball, and poor command who were supposed to be frontline pitchers in the making, you’d have a really, really long list with only a few major league all-stars on it.

    How does our farm system compare to others in our division?

    The Angels have graduated a lot of their top talent, so I’d put the M’s ahead of them at this point. Texas reloaded with the Teixeira trade and some high draft picks the last few years, so they’re close. Oakland’s farm system is one of the worst in the league.

  40. morisseau on September 7th, 2007 1:40 pm

    Dave –

    Andrew Baldwin? Seems to put up good lines, lots of Ks, frequently, but I don’t see him noted anywhere.

  41. Oly Rainiers Fan on September 7th, 2007 1:41 pm

    Two things, both from Prospect Insider (Churchill).

    He’s saying (and I think based on more than watching a handful of plate appearances, and certainly watching more plate appearances than Dave has) that Nick Green has made some dramatic changes and is essentially a different player than he was before.

    Secondly, the best news I saw in a long time and an acquisition that I’m still grateful to Pat Gillick for – Bob Engle signed through 2010.

  42. Dave on September 7th, 2007 1:42 pm

    Tuiasosopo looked better than last year in San Antonio, obviously, but was his performance really that impressive?

    It wasn’t a breakthrough season, but he made some big strides. You have to keep in context just how lost he was twelve months ago.

    Even considering that he’s quite young for the level, is there really so much potential for growth?

    You’ve got a 6’2 kid who is starting to learn how to get the ball in the air. This is the key to his power development. He cut his GB% from 59% last year to 51% this year and started driving the ball with more authority. As he continues to add strength, he’ll need to keep lifting those balls he has been hitting on the ground and getting them into the outfield.

    If he does (and that’s still a question), then he’s got a chance to be a decent major league player, a .280/.350/.450 hitter. There’s very little star potential, but he’s shown enough potential to still be a decent prospect.

    Andrew Baldwin? Seems to put up good lines, lots of Ks, frequently, but I don’t see him noted anywhere.

    He’s on the list as a Role Player, Close to Majors. He is what he is; a strike-throwing machine who lets hitters hopes the hitters get themselves out and has fringey stuff. I’d actually be curious to see what he could do in the bullpen. Put a few more MPH on his fastball and he might have a nice career as a middle reliever.

    He’s saying (and I think based on more than watching a handful of plate appearances, and certainly watching more plate appearances than Dave has) that Nick Green has made some dramatic changes and is essentially a different player than he was before.

    Meh – I like Jason, but I just don’t buy it. It’s easy to watch a guy hit well every day and think “surely, this must be because he’s doing something better”, but it almost never is. We didn’t see any real change in his skillset – he just posted a .400 BABIP, which drove all his other numbers up and made him a useful hitter. But, just like Jose Vidro, there’s no reason to think that he’s able to sustain anything close to a .400 BABIP. It was a fluke.

  43. eponymous coward on September 7th, 2007 1:44 pm

    So if we have all these talented players, how come the win-loss records sucked all up and down the minor league system? One would think talented players = wins and losses, just like on the major league level. Is this a consequence of Bavasi pushing guys through levels hard?

  44. Jeff Nye on September 7th, 2007 1:46 pm

    Plus Tuiasasopo is just plain fun to say.

    I’m really hopeful that the team has realized that Morrow as a reliever is a waste of his potential, and are preparing to get him stretched back out as a potential starter.

  45. gwangung on September 7th, 2007 1:49 pm

    He’s saying (and I think based on more than watching a handful of plate appearances, and certainly watching more plate appearances than Dave has) that Nick Green has made some dramatic changes and is essentially a different player than he was before.

    Could be, but we’ve heard that before, I think. I think it’d be smarter to keep an eye on him and be skeptical. He may be one of the very few who develop plate discipline and a workable approach late in the career, but the odds are long, long against it.

    I’m a bit peeved, however, that this team is developing all this talent for a home field that is not suited for it. Kinda misses the point, don’t it?

  46. Mike Snow on September 7th, 2007 1:53 pm

    I like the name too, and it would be nice to have the designated local boy be a better hitter than Bloomquist. Anyway, hitting the ball in the air more makes sense in terms of seeing potential, and I would put it in the same ballpark as Dave. I do worry that some people may still imagine potential beyond that, based on the hype about his drafting and initial performance, when some of it is pretty clearly gone now.

  47. Dave on September 7th, 2007 1:53 pm

    So if we have all these talented players, how come the win-loss records sucked all up and down the minor league system?

    Because the Mariners don’t care about wins and losses at the minor league level – they consistently run the youngest team in the league out there and promote players as soon as they show any kind of ability to handle the level. They also don’t stock their minor league teams with the kind of lumbering sluggers that hang around every league, putting up ridiculous numbers and helping their teams win games.

    He may be one of the very few who develop plate discipline and a workable approach late in the career, but the odds are long, long against it.

    He hasn’t developed any plate discipline – it’s as wretched as ever. 6.7% walk rate, 21.5% K rate. He swings at absolutely everything and unlike guys like AJ, he doesn’t have the power or speed to make up for it.

  48. JH on September 7th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Last year’s final FF, you included Carlos Triunfel and Mario Martinez, 2 guys we knew almost nothing about outside of their signing prices. While the Ms didn’t pop off another signing for quite Triunfel’s dollar figure, they spent heavily again this year on Jhrmivy DeJesus and Gabriel Noriega. Any particular reason for leaving these two high upside guys off this year?

  49. Bearman on September 7th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Agreed Dave the minor league system attached to the M’s is and will produce MLB ready replacements.
    Not just bench and bullpen but frontline everyday starter at all positions(OF/INF)and even rotation.
    This is fast becoming evident with the likes of Jones,Hernandez,Morrow and others.

    However Dave the fact is most of these top prospects are going to be preforming in uniforms other than a Mariner one.
    Mainly because of a uninterested ownership who either WON’T or DOESN’T CARE as indicated by their failure to act and do a total housecleaning of the FO from Bavasi up to Lincoln.
    Futher reorganize the FO as it should be which is as follows:
    Team President and/or CEO:strictly PR and ceremony related posts with little or no authority.
    General Manager:Responible for all baseball operations and aquiring of Players via trade,FA etc……
    Has full finanial control in all contract dealings with those under him,team manager, and players with their agents if they have one.
    Futhermore the GM must keep competent and knowledgable scouts and others on his staf to make sure the best possible decisions on trades,FA signings,draft choices etc… are made to make the farm strong and supply talent from within and to allow trades of worth to be made at reasonable values.
    Team manger:He’s responible for the performance of the players on the fild and must have somewhat of a free uninterfered with hand to make team and game decisions.

  50. scraps on September 7th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Because the Mariners don’t care about wins and losses at the minor league level – they consistently run the youngest team in the league out there and promote players as soon as they show any kind of ability to handle the level.

    So they not only want their young players to learn how to fail individually, but how to fail as a team as well?

    Seriously, I know that wins and losses at the minor league level aren’t a big deal, but it’s hard for me to believe there isn’t a negative effect on a prospect if they consistently play for losing teams in the minors.

  51. The Ancient Mariner on September 7th, 2007 2:12 pm

    Oakland’s farm system is one of the worst in the league.

    So at this point, how much of Beane’s Boy Genius GM aura was based on a handful of high picks that anyone could have made (Chavez, Mulder, Zito) and hitting on Tim Hudson in the sixth round?

  52. CSG on September 7th, 2007 2:18 pm

    Do the Mariners have any opportunity to move the high A affiliate away from High Desert for next season?

  53. Matthew Carruth on September 7th, 2007 2:19 pm

    Billy Beane is a good GM. I don’t think he’s heads and shoulders above everyone else, like some of the aura around him puts him at, but he makes many shrewd moves. Durham, Cust, Gaudin, etc.

    Though that is balanced with some terrible FA signings.

  54. scraps on September 7th, 2007 2:25 pm

    Do the Mariners want to move away from High Desert? I know they should, but are they aware that they should?

  55. Tom on September 7th, 2007 2:34 pm

    The Mariners are finding talent, but Bavasi inexplecibly just hasn’t been stupid enough yet to trade it all away for the likes of Paul Spoljaric, Mike Timlin, Terry Mulholland, and Heathcliff Slocumb like Woody Woodward did.

    *Knocking on wood*

  56. Grizz on September 7th, 2007 2:37 pm

    High Desert: The M’s signed a two-year contract with High Desert last offseason, so they are stuck there at least through next season.

    Dave, Kuo-Hui Lo (288/368/419) had a decent year by Wisconsin standards. Is the problem that he cannot handle center and lacks the power for a corner? Does he project to add any power?

  57. Dave on September 7th, 2007 2:39 pm

    While the Ms didn’t pop off another signing for quite Triunfel’s dollar figure, they spent heavily again this year on Jhrmivy DeJesus and Gabriel Noriega. Any particular reason for leaving these two high upside guys off this year?

    I grudgingly put Martinez and Triunfel on last years last at the prodding of a friend in the organization who assured me I wouldn’t regret it. In general, I try not to form opinions when I don’t have any information, and in this case, I don’t feel like I know enough about DeJesus or Noriega to justify a ranking. In almost every case, I’m going to omit people from the FF until they’ve made their U.S. debut.

    So at this point, how much of Beane’s Boy Genius GM aura was based on a handful of high picks that anyone could have made (Chavez, Mulder, Zito) and hitting on Tim Hudson in the sixth round?

    Really? We’re still beating that horse when he’s building quality rotations out of Dan Haren, Chad Gaudin, and Lenny DiNardo? Beane’s a terrific GM, and he’s succeeded many times since The Big Three left.

    Do the Mariners want to move away from High Desert? I know they should, but are they aware that they should?

    They don’t want to be there, but they have no problem telling their affiliates that they don’t care about wins and losses and their priority is development of these kids, so the minor league teams aren’t exactly lining up to have the M’s as their partner. It takes two to tango, and in the minors, the M’s are the ugly kid no one wants to dance with.

  58. currcoug on September 7th, 2007 2:56 pm

    Dave,

    Too bad Bavasi gave Cabrera away for Perez in 2006. If not, you could have pointed to Cabrera as the one hitter in the Mariners’ organization who wasn’t following the Mariner mold of agressive right hand hitters.

  59. Brian Rust on September 7th, 2007 3:23 pm

    They also don’t stock their minor league teams with the kind of lumbering sluggers that hang around every league, putting up ridiculous numbers and helping their teams win games.

    Does that include the American League? :)

    Seriously, why do you think Clement is destined elsewhere? Is some other organization more capable of developing his talent? If he’s the best left-handed power hitter we have to fit a park that rewards left-handed power hitters, why wouldn’t we keep him?

  60. eponymous coward on September 7th, 2007 3:39 pm

    The Mariners are finding talent, but Bavasi inexplecibly just hasn’t been stupid enough yet to trade it all away for the likes of Paul Spoljaric, Mike Timlin, Terry Mulholland, and Heathcliff Slocumb like Woody Woodward did.

    Raffy Soriano says “Hi”.

  61. The Ancient Mariner on September 7th, 2007 3:46 pm

    Really? We’re still beating that horse when he’s building quality rotations out of Dan Haren, Chad Gaudin, and Lenny DiNardo? Beane’s a terrific GM, and he’s succeeded many times since The Big Three left.

    Sorry, question not clear. I’m not disputing that he’s an excellent GM. However:

    –while Haren’s a great pitcher — and Harden would be if he could stay healthy — Gaudin and DiNardo aren’t up to the level of Mulder and Zito, and so they don’t have the steamroller rotation anymore;

    –their offense has collapsed;

    –they’re thin in the minors, lacking the elite prospects they would need to make major improvements; and thus

    –they aren’t “95 wins on a shoestring” anymore. Granted all of Beane’s ability, and granted that some of it’s bad fortune (Harden, especially), the fact remains that he wasn’t able to keep the A’s performing at the level they reached when guys like Hudson, Mulder, Zito and Tejada were at their peak in Oakland, and his organization hasn’t been able to identify and develop prospects who could replace their performance. So, excellent GM, sure; but as good as the press clippings he used to generate?

  62. DAMellen on September 7th, 2007 3:50 pm

    Sure our systems pretty good, but how much better would it be with Asdrubal? I’d give them back Eddie. Yeah, he’s a fine analyst, but I think infielders are more helpful to a team. Hell, I’d even give them back Ben.

  63. Slippery Elmer on September 7th, 2007 4:26 pm

    Ben? How about Sexson?

  64. DAMellen on September 7th, 2007 5:38 pm

    How bout Andrew Barb? He sure Ks a lot of guys, but he seems awful old to still be in Low A. What’s that all about?

  65. Oly Rainiers Fan on September 7th, 2007 5:48 pm

    62: thanks, that was a good belly laugh.

    I disagree with the idea that you can’t aggressively push players through your minor leagues AND have some semblance of winning (or at least competitive) minor league ballclubs. I don’t think it’s either-or. Again, As. Even Angels. Routinely successful minor league teams AND churning out major league talent.

  66. junglist215 on September 7th, 2007 6:19 pm

    Awww no love for Williamson or Wild? I thought their string of superior performances towards the end of the year would atleast raise an eyebrow or two.

  67. DAMellen on September 7th, 2007 6:51 pm

    Number 47 sounded kinda pissed, but I think some of that makes sense. Do you think there is much reason to try to win in the minors and add a bunch of thirty year olds that’ll never make it? It doesn’t sound super worth while to me.

  68. cougs129 on September 7th, 2007 7:06 pm

    “Lincecum, the most overhyped prospect in the history of time? Very possible.

    If everyone who loves Tim Lincecum and is convinecd that he’s the next great HOF pitcher could all just go move into a community without internet acccess together, that’d be awesome. Thanks.”

    Typical Lincecum hater. I remember watching him in the state semis his senior year in high school scouts were doubting him then cause of his unorthodox delivery. He mowed down hitters in college at an unreal rate. Then teams pass him in the draft. He keeps mowing down hitters. Now in the big leagues his 2nd year in professional ball. Averaging over 9/ ks a game. Almost a 3-1 K:BB. An ERA that has been below 4 for most of the year all in his first season.

    Now if all the Lincecum haters can go to an island where they all can vent there hatred and jealousy of a born freak that would be nice

  69. DAMellen on September 7th, 2007 7:12 pm

    60

    Asdrubal says “‘Sup?” too.

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