2010 Everett Aquasox Preview
I’m not hot on writing Aquasox previews, because as much as love games at Everett Memorial, I realize that this early in the season, the roster is only going to feature guys who signed quickly, lesser short-season entries from last year, and various players promoted from Venezuela or the Dominican Republic. That’s this roster in a nutshell, but on top of that it also lacks a bit of star power that you’d ordinarily expect from the Latin American entries, fewer early round signings, and the most interesting player on the whole team is probably the closer. Nonetheless, this is what we have to work with for the moment, and I’ll note changes as the wraps get rolling with them. Who knows, the team might end up being good later on. Let’s get to it then…
RHP Yoervis Medina, LHP Anthony Fernandez, RHP Eric Thomas, RHP Chris Sorce, LHP Edlando Seco
It’s a blend of summer league talent and college right-handers here. Medina is expected to take the hill on opening day. He spent four years in the VSL, which is the limit for any player, and so the M’s are being understandably aggressive in his first stateside assignment. Though he had sixty-two Ks in 68.0 innings last year, you shouldn’t expect him to be a high power guy so much as one that mixes things up fairly well. He took a few beatings in the Venezuelan Winter League over the offseason, but given that the league grades out to somewhere between advanced and double-A, that was to be expected.
A post-season all-star in the Arizona League last year, Fernandez will get the second spot in the rotation despite only eight starts of fifty-seven career appearances, two of which came last year. He’s a DSL veteran of two years and can pitch for the strikeout, though I don’t recall his stuff being extraordinary.
Thomas, the third man, was drafted as a senior out of Bethune-Cookman last year in the nineteenth round. His stuff is all right, but he only got four innings in with the Pulaski M’s last year before being shut down.
Sorce pitched for Troy and was drafted in the 26th round last year. He was up with the D-Jaxx earlier in the year, where he had seven walks allowed and no Ks in 2.1 innings. That’s kind of to be anticipated from the kind of move it was, merely to get a live arm in the ‘pen. He’s got a fastball and little else to offer, reportedly.
Probably the one thing Seco is known for in his career is that his first year as a pro, he nearly got through the whole season without allowing an earned run before giving one up in the final few games. He only got 4.1 innings the subsequent season, 2006, and then was benched all of ’08 with elbow inflammation. He’s a four-year VSL player whose command is awful, and he hasn’t really started much in his career either.
RHP Ogui Diaz, RHP Austin Hudson, RHP Willy Kesler, RHP Chris Kessinger, RHP Fray Martinez, RHP Stephen Pryor, RHP Forrest Snow, LHP Tyler Whitney
Those you who were with us on draft day probably know that I’m a fan of the Pryor pick, being a high octane reliever who could set up or close if things break right for him. His command is not especially strong and he needs to lay out a plan for his breaking ball and what it’s to become, but he could move fast if it goes right for him and is a low risk overall.
The next two favorites for me are probably going to be more on curiosity than anything else, because Diaz and Martinez were both infielders at one point, Diaz even playing for the ‘Sox in ’06 and ’07. His command is about what you’d expect, but he showed enough to warrant being kept around after converting midseason last year. Martinez has been pitching a little longer, since ’08, and has shown better command with experience. He can strike out a few here and there.
Moving down the rest in alphabetical order, we get Hudson, who was drafted after Sorce and has a similar overall profile except he only struck out five in twelve innings in Peoria last year. Kesler is the third New Mexico Lobo drafted in as many years, following southpaws Bobby LaFromboise and Jonathan Hesketh. He had TJ his junior year, as well as an emergency appendectomy, and has mostly recovered from that, featuring a better than average fastball. He could slip into the rotation if it comes to that, but was likely held back because he’s already thrown over a hundred innings over the college season. Kessinger is the second oldest pitcher on the roster after Diaz and wasn’t even drafted until last year. He showed decent command working as a swingman for Peoria last season, but you wouldn’t really expect less.
Known mostly as the local guy with the scenic name, Snow was drafted out of the UW in the 36th round this year and was also picked in the 44th round out of Lakeside in ’07, which was the first time a Lakeside player had ever been drafted. He’s a big guy who was lacking on both stuff and command. He was also a biological oceanography major. I would have guessed biology something, but not oceanography. Whitney was picked two rounds ahead of him out of Mississippi State and takes the role of being the only southpaw in the ‘pen for the time being. He had a devil of a time this year as a swingman and took a few steps back from where he was as a junior.
Jimmy Jacquot, Carlton Tanabe
Jimmy Jack was signed out of the University of Cincinnati as an undrafted senior, having hit .292/.354/.555 for the Bearcats in 209 at-bats this year. He led the team with thirteen home runs, so he might break the mold of the typical pairing of the gloveman with the younger kid. He did catch 64.6% of runners stealing on him this year, but he also passed ten balls. On second thought, he might fit right in.
Tanabe is one of the products of a recent fascination of ours with Hawaiian players. He’s a good glove behind the plate, and a weak hitter at it, batting .220/.283/.268 last year with Peoria. Despite playing in twenty games, he only got 41 at-bats, which might be indicative of the belief in his defensive abilities. On the other hand, he only caught only 21% of runners trying to steal on him last year.
IF Fred Bello, IF Kevin Mauilloux, IF Terry Serrano, 1B Evan Sharpley
One of the reasons I think this roster is probably not going to stay in its existing state for long? There are only ten position players on the team. The only given here I would say is that Sharpley is their guy on the right side of the diamond. A quarterback at Notre Dame, football spurned him in the draft and he was Mr. Irrelevant last year for the M’s. Depite that, he hit .333/.429/.614 for the Peoria team last year as a left-handed batter, which is kind of awesome even though realistic expectations should be adjusted for his age. He’s the only player in Notre Dame history to throw multiple touchdown passes and hit multiple home runs in a single academic year.
Mailloux is a good bet for second, because that was there he played all but one game last season. He was a senior drafted in the 45th round and hit .311/.397/.570 in 175 at-bats for Peoria before moving up to Everett where he hit .286/.333/.429 in the last fifteen at-bats of the season. He looks like an org guy to me as a best case scenario, as his bat is pretty advanced and he’s a good athlete, but he has some difficulty adjusting from one at-bat to the next.
The rest of the infield is a little up in the air. Bello has only played eleven games at short for his career, which has short-season ball back to ’08. As promotions go, he’s been station-to-station, starting in Peoria and working his way up to Pulaski last year before landing in Everett to start this year. He was drafted in the 20th round and was regarded as a physically talented, but raw player.
Serrano got a bit of a demotion after playing seventy-five games for the Lumberkings last year. A switch-hitter, his biggest asset is probably his plate discipline, which you don’t generally see out of a summer league product. The 69/53 K/BB was nothing to sneeze at and if he could at all hit, he’d be a viable leadoff candidate. He only had three career games at third, compared to 106 at short, but still that’s three more than Bello.
CF Robbie Anston, LF Dwight Britton, RF Jose Rivero, OF Kevin Rivers
The outfield is more interesting than the infield, but still probably not as interesting as it could have been. Anston, whom I can only hope will soon be joined by fellow Boston College draftee Mickey Wiswall, is probably the best of the bunch, having hit .324/.409/.525 as a senior. He was picked up by the M’s in the 26th round this year. He’s a stolen base threat, strikeout out somewhat rarely, and walks often enough, so I could see him leading off for the Aquasox. He’s sort of a poor man’s Johnny Damon.
Britton was in the summer leagues for three years and has spent the past three years stateside in the short-season leagues. He did well down the stretch in his second season in Pulaski, hitting .288/.352/.466 for the Mariners, but his bat is quite a bit behind what people initially thought it was going to be.
The story is similar for Rivero, except he’s a right-handed hitter where Britton is a switch. Rivero burst on the scene in 2007 when he hit eleven home runs for the Aguirre M’s in the VSL, which is pretty much unheard of. He’s yet to get half that, and batted just .251/.335/.386 in 207 at-bats for Everett last season.
Rivers is a Franklin Pierce alum, attending with some overlap with Scott Savastano. Last year, he signed as a NDFA and hit from the left side .231/.355/.442, again in Peoria and in limited time. He’ll be twenty-one for most of the season.
So, all-in-all, the Aquasox are not a good team at the moment, but with Paxton, Wiswall, Blash, and Burgoon all likely to join the team when/if they sign, it could get better pretty quickly.