Friday Lunch Prospect Links

Jay Yencich · February 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Did you know that there is baseball going on right now? It isn’t important baseball, but it’s setting the stage for more important baseball in the future. One of the things that I enjoy about this kind of baseball is that, where the end of the Cactus League season is mostly about players who will definitely contribute to the team’s success or lack thereof, the beginning is usually spent on fringe contributors and prospects. PROSPECTS! Here are some articles I’ve read over the past few days. It’s not as exhaustive as it could be because my time with news media is somewhat diminished these days.

* The Times had a joint article on Michael Saunders and Steve Delabar. The gist of it is that Delabar is continuing to do the weird thing from before that gave him all that velocity (or Velocity, technically) and that Saunders is trying to tighten up his swing with the aid of rubber bands. No really. At this point, I’m willing to entertain whatever might work.

* There was also a piece on Vinnie Catricala, and his attempts to find balance between his offensive and defensive games. He says he was known for his glove in high school and then got lazy about it in college as he focused more on his hitting. Recent and distant sports history tells me that if he reconciles the two and ends up being good, there will be much talk of Vin-sanity. We are so clever. So clever.

* Baker is wondering if James Paxton is this year’s Pineda, which is rooted in the notion that both were basically two-pitch guys with the ghost of a third entering spring training. I like Paxton plenty, and it’s neat that we were able to snag him, but I suppose I wonder more about his endurance, since he suffered from an assortment of injuries well into his college career and he had very few opportunities to pitch two years ago. Caution might push him back a bit.

* Trayvon Robinson is wearing glasses now. Because he has astigmatism. This isn’t quite Jose Lopez getting braces, but at least it has the chance of being relevant to his performance in games.

* Danny Hultzen talked to the TNT about how to throw a curveball, then talked to them at length about his stuff and his process. His process is pretty neat, you guys.

* Also at the TNT, a Taijuan Walker piece that discussed learning the curveball, taking advice from Rich Dorman, and assorted personal details. Walker seems to be one of those special types with talent, drive, and a knack for figuring things out.

* This just in: Erasmo Ramirez throws strikes. An abnormal number of them. To such a degree that his pitching coach forced him to throw balls in the bullpen late last year so that he could try to convince hitters to chase pitches out of the zone. He’s not in the same tier as the other three, but heck, I just really like Erasmo.


10 Responses to “Friday Lunch Prospect Links”

  1. Westside guy on February 17th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Trayvon Robinson is wearing glasses now.

    Jeff Sullivan will be pleased.

  2. Jay Yencich on February 17th, 2012 2:10 pm

    He’s no Eric Sogard, that’s for sure.

  3. Badbadger on February 17th, 2012 2:46 pm

    The Trayvon article talks about it helping his fielding, but I hope it helps him not strike out so much. That would be a fine thing.

  4. Joof on February 17th, 2012 3:51 pm

    “Recent and distant sports history tells me that if he reconciles the two and ends up being good, there will be much talk of Vin-sanity. We are so clever. So clever.”

    Vince Carter already took that one a couple years ago.

  5. Jay Yencich on February 17th, 2012 3:57 pm

    Eager fans will petition for his vin-clusion under the same umbrella term.

  6. kramerica60887 on February 17th, 2012 4:37 pm

    This question is way out of the blue, but I was reflecting on some of the Mariners’ missed prospects of late and wondered why Mike Morse has largely been overlooked. While lots of coverage has been lent to how Bavasi severely crippled this franchise by undervaluing minor league assets (which he certainly did), there has been no mention of how Jack Z let Morse go for nothing (a few months of Langerhans).

    Granted, Morse probably doesn’t fit with this current team anyway, but considering how freely management disbursed playing time to any remotely qualified prospect the last two years (e.g., Peguero), doesn’t anyone think that said time would’ve been better spent on developing Morse, at least as a potential trade chip?

    I’m a big fan of USSM, but it’s frustrating sometimes how the authors quickly write off prospects with a glaring weakness before they’ve been given a significant chance to prove themselves or work through their inadequacies. I fear the same trend is starting to overtake Trayvon Robinson, Alex Liddi and Chance Ruffin, among others, who could one day be successful, or at least productive, given the opportunity (a la Carp).

    Sorry if my question devolved into a rant, but I guess I’m just afraid of “Morse Syndrome” afflicting other potentially potent players and preventing them from lifting this franchise out of its current malaise. What do you guys think?

  7. Jordan on February 17th, 2012 5:03 pm

    At the time of the trade Morse had shown no signs of what he’s been in Washington. At the time of most of Bavasi’s trades the question wasn’t whether the prospects would pan out, but how soon.

    Cabrera, Choo, Jones, Thornton, Soriano etc. don’t even compare.

    Of course hindsight with Morse hurts, but we didn’t need hindsight before these other trades.

    Robinson and Liddi strikeout too much to contribute yet and Ruffin may still get his shot. Even if none get a shot this year, bullpens are volatile and they all have options left.

  8. Johnny Slick on February 17th, 2012 10:01 pm

    I always preferred calling Vin Baker “Vinsanity” because even though he wasn’t nearly as good as Carter there was some evidence that he had some actual mental issues (see: the alcoholism, the blowing up at guys like Chris Webber for making fun of stuff he did off the court).

    So, to Trayvon Robinson: I’m sorry to say this, but guys who strike out as much as Robinson does, they just don’t turn into major league players very often. Maybe if Robinson walked a *ton* more and had a lot more power he’d be able to carve out a Mickey Tettleton-type career, but at this point that’s about as likely as the idea that he’ll cut down on the whiffs. Avoiding K’s is really a combination of several skills: pitch recognition, wrist strength, a small strike zone, etc. Sure, Robinson could put it all together but you just can’t count on that.

    And yeah, lest we forget… Mike Morse came up as a fairly light-hitting shortstop who was moved off his position by Yuni Betancort. I don’t see how it’s this huge strike against the Mariners that he developed into a power-hitting left fielder.

  9. dafixisin on February 18th, 2012 12:34 pm

    Let me get this straight… Trayvon JUST began wearing glasses because they’ve only NOW figured out that he has astigmatism? Did he, along with Casey Kotchman have the eye charts memorized? Major league ball clubs need to start administering comprehensive eye tests on their entire rosters to catch this kinda stuff. Heck, send these guys to the local Costco to get their eyes checked out.

    Considering how well he hit for the Dodger AAA affiliate, seemingly unaware of his condition, who can say how much his contact rates may improve?

  10. Liam on February 18th, 2012 4:12 pm

    No, he was wearing glasses in AAA last year too. The problem was that they weren’t the kind meant for athletic use.

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