Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Future's So Bright... 

Matthew Pouliot at Rotoworld gives his shot at a Top 100 Prospect List. Here's what he said about Mariner prospects:

27. Clint Nageotte - RHP Mariners - Age 23 - ETA: Aug. 2004
Previous rankings: 2003 #71, mid-2003 #19
11-7, 3.10 ERA, 127 H, 157/67 K/BB in 154 IP for Double-A San Antonio
Nageotte has a quality 91-95 mph fastball, but it’s his vicious slider that has made him a top prospect and allowed him to strike out 617 batters in 520 career innings. He’ll probably be a quality reliever as soon as the Mariners need him, but his future is in the rotation. If he can turn his changeup into an above average offering, he’ll be a No. 2 starter. As is, he looks more like a future No. 3. He likely won’t have a rotation spot until 2005 at the earliest.

29. Chris Snelling - OF Mariners - Age 22 - ETA: April 2005
Previous rankings: 2001 #31, mid-2001 #26, 2002 #19, mid-2002 #21, 2003 #22, mid-2003 #23
.333/.371/.468, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 30/8 K/BB, 1 SB in 186 AB for Double-A San Antonio
.269/.333/.433, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 12/5 K/BB, 1 SB in 67 AB for Triple-A Tacoma
Snelling had a difficult time coming back from a torn ACL last season and further knee problems limited him to 253 at-bats. Because the Aussie is a reckless player center field, the injury troubles probably aren’t going to go away. Still, he’ll be a quality regular when healthy. Even though he’s played in just 96 games over the last two years, he should be ready to help the Mariners as a reserve in August or September and then become a regular in 2005. Snelling will be a .300 hitter in the majors and his walk rates will look quite a bit better than they did last year.

45. Shin-Soo Choo - OF Mariners - Age 21 - ETA: 2006
Previous rankings: mid-2002 #64, 2003 #44, mid-2003 #35
.286/.365/.459, 9 HR, 55 RBI, 84/44 K/BB, 18 SB in 412 AB for Single-A Inland Empire
Choo, signed out Korea in 2000, resembles Snelling as a hitter. He’s not quite so gifted, but since he does figure to be more durable, he could have the better career. The left-hander also would have been a prospect as a pitcher, and his arm will make him an asset in right field once he’s moved out of center. Choo could emerge as a Rusty Greer-type hitter. He’s blocked pretty well in Seattle, but he’ll be ready for the majors in 2006.

57. Jose Lopez - SS Mariners - Age 20 - ETA: Aug. 2005
Previous rankings: mid-2002 #79, 2003 #50, mid-2003 #51
.258/.303/.403, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 56/27 K/BB, 18 SB in 538 AB for Double-A San Antonio
Lopez didn’t come close to matching his California League numbers (.324/.360/.464) in his first season in Double-A, but since he was just 19, that was to be expected. Although he saw time at second and third in 2003, Lopez still currently projects as a shortstop in the majors. He has the range and the arm for the position. Offensively, he projects as a .280-.290 hitter with 15-homer power. If he has a good season in Triple-A, the Mariners might hand him a starting job in 2005. More likely is that he’ll need two more years in the minors.

And three more Mariner pitchers round out his top 150
103. Travis Blackley - LHP Mariners - Age 21 - ETA: April 2005
116. Rett Johnson - RHP Mariners - Age 24 - ETA: May 2005
145. Felix Hernandez - RHP Mariners - Age 17 - ETA: 2007

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