’09 40-man Preview Extravaganza
Weâ€™re heavy into the award season now, but in the midst of that we also have a Nov. 20th deadline by which players must be added to the roster or risk being picked in the Rule 5 draft. The rules relate to the age a player was when they signed and what season their first contract was for. This year, weâ€™re looking at HS draftees and the younger (eighteen or below) international players that were signed to 2005 contracts or college-aged or older players that were signed to 2006 contracts. The Mariners already brought on the big names like Moore and Saunders over the course of the season, so there really arenâ€™t that many players left. Even so, they might hold off on bringing too many on board as next year looks to be a big one, with prospects like Triunfel, Liddi, Pineda, J.C. Ramirez (these last three signing contracts in â€™05, but for the â€™06 season) Gillies, Hill, Robles, and others needing to come aboard. Here is an inexhaustive list of who we might be looking at in the way of additions:
CF Ezequiel Carrera, L/L, 6/11/1987
2009 (AA) : 91 G, 329 AB, 68 R, 111 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 38 RBI, 27 SB, 13 CS, 62/59 K/BB, .337/.441/.416
Pros: High batting average, competent defense, great batting eye, speed
Cons: Not elite defender, offers nothing in the way of power, likely fourth OF
Summary: Carrera was a nice piece that came over in the Putz trade, but in the overall scheme of things, Gillies is faster, stronger, and a better defender, and so Carrera is probably just a chip now.
RHP Dan Cortes, 3/4/1987
2009 (AA): 10 GS, 1-5, 4.94 ERA in 54.2 IP, 51 H (4 HR), 33 R (30 ER), 55/35 K/BB
Pros: Solid velocity on fastball (91-93, touching higher) complemented by plus curve, improved after trade
Cons: Change-up is not good, command is awful
Summary: Cortes has the best ceiling of the high minors pitching prospects, but his not-good walk rate has gotten a lot worse as heâ€™s moved up. Heâ€™s still in boom or bust territory, and the prospect of him becoming a reliever is real.
RHP Ricky Orta, 11/6/1984
2009 (AA): 24 G (3 GS), 3-2, 1.94 ERA in 41.2 IP, 29 H (HR), 14 R (9 ER), 41/18 K/BB
Pros: Live fastball (93-94), workable secondary offerings, dominant for the past year
Cons: Attempts to get him to start have resulted in disaster, struggles with left-handers
Summary: Orta was the also ran in a pitching-loaded â€™06 draft for years, but trades and progress on his own part push him to near the top of the list now. He could develop into something similar to what Mark Lowe is now.
LHP Edward Paredes, 9/30/1986
2009 Stats (A+): 42 G (3 GS), 8-4, 4.69 ERA in 71.0 IP, 74 H (6 HR), 45 R (37 ER), 64/22 K/BB
Pros: Kills LHB (.231 avg, 2.31 BB/9, 12.73 K/9), has stuff that would allow him to keep doing that (avg. to plus FB, killer slider)
Cons: Canâ€™t start either, about half as good versus right-handers due to lack of change-up
Summary: Paredes is as pure a left-on-left reliever as the organization really has at this point. Player development likes him too. Even lacking experience, he might get on because no one else can do what he does.
OF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
2009 (A+): 126 G, 491 AB, 92 R, 133 H, 21 2B, 14 3B, 31 HR, 3 SB, 4 CS, 172/42 K/BB, .271/.335/.560
Pros: Future RF with power LH bat, walks more than Halman
Cons: Has only played more than 100 games, and hit more than 12 HR, once, strikes out as much as Halman, California League
Summary: Juan Silverstre, mk. II? Silvestre had a better eye at the plate, which is laughable, but Peggy is potentially more competent on the field, and actually had better power numbers. Whether he is remotely valuable after three option years is another matter.
C Travis Scott, L/R, 4/24/1985
2009 (A+): 102 G, 351 AB, 48 R, 100 H, 28 2B, 5 3B, 15 HR, 71 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 78/41 K/BB, .285/.356/.521
Pros: Best LHH backstop in the org (de-fault!), no real platoon issues
Cons: Actually hits LHPs better which some would use to question bat speed, offensive backstop who spent three years in the Cal League because of his offense, not great at catching runners stealing
Summary: The organization has a number of youngish catchers available. Scott is around in case anything happens, but thereâ€™s not much reason to expect a great deal from him as he moves up.
RHP Anthony Varvaro, 10/31/1984
2009 (AA): 36 G, 4-3, 2.82 ERA in 54.1 IP, 30 H (HR), 23 R (17 ER), 63/44 K/BB
Pros: Decent velocity, hammer curve, probable first-round pick coming out of college
Cons: Tommy John in past (why he slipped to the 12th), has only recently stopped walking the entire world, and by recently I mean just in the Arizona Fall League
Summary: Itâ€™s a test to see whether one believes AFL stats to be legitimate or not. If his current rate of about one every six innings holds, he has a future. If not, Iâ€™ve just wasted 103 words.
There are other assorted names of that are of interest only to me in there, examples being less experienced international players like Avila, Juan Fuentes, Richard Ortiz, and Halmanâ€™s more flawed countryman Kalian Sams, as wells as organization mainstays like Jeff Dominguez, Johan Limonta, and Andy Baldwin, but none of them are all that worth talking about. The seven above seem to be the most likely to go on. The Mâ€™s currently have thirty-four spots or so available, taking off Batista, Bedard, Beltre, Branyan, Chavez, Sweeney. They could make additional moves to pull guys off around the deadline, but I donâ€™t know that they will. Off-hand, Iâ€™d say the top five probably go on with additional moves accommodating free agents, but some maneuvering could get Scott on too. I remain skeptical about Varvaro.