The ’09 Pulaski Mariners, In Brief

Jay Yencich · June 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The last of the Mariners affiliates, the Pulaski Mariners, will start up in a few minutes. The latest roster for them can be found here. Dave will likely chime in with some details as the season goes on, as they play some games in his neck of the woods, but here are a few brief bullet points on what to expect from them.

• Just as it was last year, the pitching staff is likely to be a strong point of the team, but as the old joke used to go with the Aquasox, it resembles a U.N. summit in its breakdown. Among those contending for a spot, all right-handers, you have Colin Buckborough (16th-round ’07, Ontario), Yao Wen Chang (late 2007, Taiwan), Jeroen de Haas (early 2008, Netherlands), Nolan Diaz (’07 Venezuela), Leonardo Rodriguez (early ’06, Venezuela), Jean Tome (early ’07, Brazil). Alfredo Venegas, an Ecuadoran, is also on the roster, though it would be a serious demotion for him to play there. In the lineup, you have Dominican-born players like C Emmanuel Familia, IF Fred Bello (moved from Everett), 3B Jharmidy deJesus, and CF Julio Morban, two Venezuelans in IFs Cesar Fuentes and Gabriel Noriega, and Nicaraguan OF Dwight Britton making a repeat.

• The top international acquisition made by the M’s in the last period, Julio Morban, is also easily the top prospect on the squad. A left-handed hitter who signed for $1.1 million, Morban was regarded as the most polished hitter available on the market, far superior to the athletic-but-raw signings of Rafael Rodriguez (Giants, $2.55 million) and Yorman Rodriguez (Reds, $2.5 million). While he handles the bat exceptionally well, he’s a bit difficult to project as his defensive abilities might move him to left and he’s expected to be a lead-off or number two hitter. His offense could be in the discussion with players like Gillies and Carrera, but he’s the worst defender of the bunch.

• After Morban, the Pulaski M’s have two returning players in Gabriel Noriega and Jharmidy deJesus that could make some noise after spending all spring in instructs. DeJesus was a big signing in ’07 for $1 million, and has above-average power, though he can be a bit aggressive at times. He’s playing third now, but some expect him to move to first or the outfield eventually. They know he can hit, they just aren’t sure where he’ll play. The opposite is true for Noriega, the top defender in the system and second-highest dollar signing in ’07 at $800k. The eighteen-year-old is a natural at short and has a great arm, but he’s repeating the league in large part because he has trouble hitting. Time will tell whether he’s an actual prospect or the heir apparent to Oswaldo Navarro’s role in the system.

• The highest-drafted prospect on the roster currently is OF Jarrett Burgess, a sixth-round pick last year who was a teammate of farmhand Denny Almonte and is similarly raw. For the ’09 draft, you have 10th and 11th rounders 3B Vinnie Catricala and 1B Tim Morris as possibilities at the corners. Catricala had a power surge this spring but struggles with the offspeed stuff, while Morris is somewhat in the vein of current farmhands such as Marshall Hubbard and Bryan LaHair, a solid hitter, but with some questions about his power potential.

As with the Aquasox, the roster will change a bit as signings continue to be made, but I’d expect more turnover in Everett, which is where a number of the early draftees may be sent to start out.


7 Responses to “The ’09 Pulaski Mariners, In Brief”

  1. lailaihei on June 23rd, 2009 4:40 pm

    Do you think Kenta Suda will make it to Everett again this year?

  2. Jay Yencich on June 23rd, 2009 5:11 pm

    You might know better than I do. You were the one translating his blog entries weren’t you? The new FO has proven a great deal more conservative with their promotions, so I wouldn’t bet on it.

    The Pulaski M’s are facing the Danville Braves right now. After the M’s released Austin Bibens-Dirkx, it looks like the Braves snuck up on us in the hyphenation race. They’re sending out Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg (from South Africa, no less) and Daniel Elorriaga-Matra.

  3. daveblev on June 23rd, 2009 10:20 pm

    Living in Virginia, I’m glad to have a Mariners affiliate in the atate again, even though it’s 6 hours southwest of my city. Anyone remember the Peninsula Pilots? (early 1990’s)

  4. bat guano on June 24th, 2009 8:25 am

    Sorry to display a bit of ignorance Jay, but is the Northwest League considered superior to the Appalachian League or vice versa? And is one considered more of a pitcher friendly league and the other more hitter friendly? In other words, I’m trying to gert a handle on what player assignments might mean as between Everett and Pulaski.

  5. marc w on June 24th, 2009 9:04 am


    Everett is considered a higher level than Pulaski.

    Rookie league then short season then A then advanced-A, then AA, then AAA.

    Rookie leagues seem to have developed two tiers, so you’ve got the AZL/GCL that’s really really rookie league, and then the Appy league or Pioneer league that’s a small step up from that – many of the players mentioned in Jay’s piece played in the AZL last year.

  6. Jay Yencich on June 24th, 2009 9:31 am

    Thanks for stepping in Marc.

    As said, the NWL gets higher draft picks and more experienced players in general. I don’t have any data handy on how each league plays against one another, as studies on short-season leagues aren’t common, but I believe that the NWL is a slight hitter’s league.

  7. hititagainandagainandagain on June 24th, 2009 7:11 pm

    I am a mere 4 1/2 hours from Pulaski, the ballpark looks great, and tickets are $4. I wonder how much the hot dogs cost…

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