Dave · August 4, 2008 at 8:32 am · Filed Under Mariners 

One of that I just haven’t had the time to maintain this year (thanks to my impending marriage and all) is the Future Forty, so I know the minor league coverage around here has been a bit sparse. Sorry about that.

But I still wanted to highlight Carlos Triunfel’s resurgence for those who hadn’t noticed. The much hyped 18 year old struggled badly early on in the season with performance, injuries, and a suspension for behavioral issues. Not being able to hit in High Desert was a black mark against him, and while everyone agreed that he was still talented, the frustration was beginning to build. His total lack of power didn’t help when people would question his long term value, either, as he didn’t hit his first professional home run until June.

But July and now August have brought new life to Triunfel, who is redefining the phrase on fire. After a .154/.208/.246 month of June (ugh), he hit .371/.405/.586 in July, including launching six home runs. He’d hit one in his entire career heading into July before launching six in a month.

He hasn’t slowed down in August either, going 5 for 13 with a double and a triple since the calendar flipped. And, just to put a cherry on top, he’s 15 for 17 in stolen bases since July 1st and running like crazy. Since the Cal League returned from their all-star break, Triunfel is hitting .361/.405/.563 with 16 extra base hits, 9 walks, 11 strikeouts, and 17 stolen bases in 144 at-bats.

Even after his massive problems early on, his season line is now up to .286/.334/.414. Yes, High Desert is a hitters paradise in a hitters league, and one month of sustained greatness doesn’t mean that he’s solved his consistency problems, but in case you were wondering when he was going to show the talent we’ve been talking about for a while here, well, he is now. Still just 18, he’s adding strength to his body and learning how to do more than just make contact. The addition of power to his already terrific contact rates show just why we think he can be an offensive force in the big leagues.

In a season where few things have gone right, Carlos Triunfel is blossoming as a bright spot.


59 Responses to “Triunfel”

  1. cdowley on August 4th, 2008 4:17 pm

    First, I didn’t say “the”, I said “one of”.

    Second, I’m not sure I would necessarily say that the Tex trade is up there on that list. Yeah, the Braves look like they gave up a lot. Yeah, they wound up missing the playoffs. However, the Braves missing the playoffs was hardly Tex’s fault. He filled a huge hole in their lineup that had been made worse by Andruw Jones’ abrupt decline, and proceeded to lead the team in virtually every offensive category after he was acquired. What killed them was the pitching staff falling apart in August.

    They certainly didn’t get what they gave for him when they traded him to the Angels, and from that perspective you *could* call the trade a failure, but from a production and results standpoint, I wouldn’t.

  2. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 4:30 pm

    Yeah I agree with cdowley. In terms of a fair comparison of trades, let’s say that the M’s trade Bedard this offseason. The Braves got one year of Teixera for 4 prospects, none of whom have really made an impact at the major league level.
    However, both Salty and Andrus are supposed to be good players at some point. Teixera performed up to expectations for the year he was in Atlanta. Their failings were not his fault.

    The Mariners, after one year of Bedard (fast forward to October), have so far given up a very solid closer, a solid MLB level player who will only continue to improve, and then the unknown quantities of Tillman/Mickololio/Butler. Tillman at least looks like he could be a good starter in the bigs.

    Bedard has not performed up to expectations. The price paid by the organization was for a Cy Young caliber performance, say top 5 in voting or something. Bedard has pitched decently when he has pitched, but he couldn’t go deep into games and has mostly been injured as well as frosty in the clubhouse/media. Who knows what the M’s could get in return for Bedard, but the shine is likely off his nickel, so to speak. If only the Rays would part with some of their absurd talent, but they wont.

  3. scottiedawg on August 4th, 2008 4:36 pm

    Don’t forget Neftali Feliz who came over in the Tex trade and is lights out at AA right now. It’s looking like he’ll add more value to Texas than Salty, Harrison, Andrus, or Beau Jones.

  4. TumwaterMike on August 4th, 2008 4:45 pm

    I probably speak for a lot of fans and say we could tolerate losing for the next 2 or 3 years if we see that the Mariners are headed in the right direction. What I don’t want to see is the Pittsburg Pirates who never seem to get the right pieces together at the same time.

  5. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 4:51 pm

    we could tolerate losing for the next 2 or 3 years if we see that the Mariners are headed in the right direction

    Absolutely. In fact, I’d RATHER see the team struggle for two years if we have definitive proof that the farm system is being built up in depth and quality thanks to a competent front office. If this team goes out in the offseason and overpays for a bunch of bandaids on the downside of their careers, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate an 80 win season.

  6. scottiedawg on August 4th, 2008 4:55 pm

    Some teams know when to cut their losses and play for the future. And some teams are able to properly value the team that they currently have. Our Mariners aren’t terribly good at either.

  7. Evan R. on August 4th, 2008 5:14 pm

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned yet, but Gomez over at Lookout Landing posts a daily “Minor League Wrap-Up” that details the progress of notable players in the M’s system, all the way down.

    I don’t mean to re-direct visitors away from USSM, but it’s one of the most appealing regular features of LL, in my opinion.

    Here’s the most recent:

    8/3 Minor League Wrap-Up

  8. John D. on August 5th, 2008 12:23 am

    Re: # 45

    I think its unfair to judge his [Triunfel’s]
    defensive]performance by his error count.

    So do I. Carlos Guillen had an extremely high error count in the minors; but smart scouts discounted this, knowing that the condition of minor league fields may have had an influence on the error totals.

  9. philosofool on August 5th, 2008 4:33 pm

    My understanding of the difference between 3B and the middle infield was that a 3B usually just has to shift left or just a little right to make a play, whereas both 2B and SS have to be ready to move either way laterally to make plays. So, agility wise, 3B takes less than the middle infield. 3B also needs to be able to field the bunt, but while this requires a little speed, it’s not as demanding as the ability to make plays on hard grounders and line drives.

    The frequency with which the position has to make a play matters too. I’m pretty sure fewer plays go to 3B than the middle infield. In general, the more plays a position player has to make, the more important making plays at the position becomes.

    What a 3B does need is an arm; he has to be able to make the long throw to first accurately. Of course, so does a SS (if not quite as much.)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.