Stories From Camp That I’m Reading, pt. 3
Has it been a week? Yes, it has been a week. Here are some things to tide you over until Felix! and Pineda! around noon.
• Geoff Baker of the Times did a feature on the thing that a lot of people are talking about, which is power production and where it’s going to come from, focusing on a couple of Mariners prospects in Chavez and Peguero. Most of the articles on Peguero this year have been about his batting practice home run, but this one opts to talk a bit about his attempts to improve on defense, where he’s had scattered horrible reports in the past. I’m still a little slow to get excited about him based off a few good BPs because nine of his twenty-three home runs last year were in April and the strikeouts are showing no signs of going away. Halman is in a similar boat at the moment. It’s not a very seaworthy boat.
• Paxton finally signed and is getting a NRI to camp, though it’s hard to say when we might see him. MLB.com had a piece that indicated that he might be brought along slowly to start out, though he has been working out at the Boras complex for a while now. The Seattle Times piece talks about the negotiation process and makes it known that he’s a starter now. Let no further questions be raised about it. Ever.
• We should talk about the big two prospects, right? MLB.com talks about Ackley’s adjustments, to the middle infield, to wood bats, to pro ball. Ackley has five walks right now and leads the team. By the end of Ackley’s second full season, I predict he’ll have more walks than Yuniesky Betancourt has for his entire career to that point. The News Tribune talks about Pineda’s last start and how he threw a slider to Xavier Nady, and how people are just calling him “The Big Guy” now, and how after the game he was going to call his mom and Felix. Felix and Pineda are homeboys. In more realistic and slightly soul-crushing news, Larry Stone spent some time talking about Super 2 status and what that means for our super two.
• MLB.com has been writing up Top Ten Prospects lists and got to the Mariners a few days ago. This list looks a lot like every other list except that some of them have Littlewood and not Beavan in the top ten. The top six or seven have developed an unusual consensus about them.
• Baseball America has released a new organization report for subscribers. I’m not usually a big fan of these because for the most part, if you’re reading BA you already know a thing or two about prospects and the reports only tend to cover the big names, but this one is on Alex Liddi and shares some details that I wasn’t aware of like how he got into baseball in the first place and how he keeps in shape in the offseason.
• BA also has a listing of all the international signing budgets. We outspent everyone by $1.2 million! It would have been a lot more had Esteilon Peguero’s bonus not been reduced! Ben Badler has been going division by division, talking about each team and the M’s will be up sometime this week.
• Spring training can be nerve-wracking for a lot of guys as there are typically a wave of releases the come at the end along with the assignments. A local Pennsylvania newspaper did a feature on M’s farmhand LHP Robert Rohrbaugh and how he’s trying to get back on track after a number of injuries these past few years. Of particular note: Rohrbaugh is wearing a Seahawks hat in all the photos.