There is some debate over whether or not the prospect’s hit tool will end up as average or a little above for a catcher but there probably aren’t many, if any, that would argue his right-handed power is a plus tool. Along with his intriguing bat,
Do you mean “isn’t a plus tool”? Otherwise it sounds like you’re saying his hit tool is at best a little above average for a catcher and his power isn’t plus – that doesn’t sound like an intriguing bat to me.
Comment by Paul Clarke — December 18, 2012 @ 9:37 am
Forgot to mention: be careful with minor league wRC+ figures, as they’re league but not park-adjusted. Tacoma is a pitcher’s park by PCL standards, so Franklin’s 83 wRC+ isn’t as bad as it looks; meanwhile, Everett is a hitter’s park, so Kivlehan’s 152 isn’t as impressive as it looks.
Comment by Paul Clarke — December 18, 2012 @ 9:43 am
thanks for the Franklin catcher, I missed the “next” best
The M’s look to be in great shape. If Smoak’s progress in September carries over and you believe in Seager at third base, you could move Ackley to LF and really have the makings of a good young squad (kinda like the upstart Rays a few years ago).
Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — December 18, 2012 @ 10:10 am
Please don’t take this the wrong way, as your writing is excellent… but it seems like sometimes there’s a disproportionate amount of Mariners articles or Mariner examples on Fangraphs. Why is a last place team getting so much attention?
I realize there’s only so much to write about at this point in the offseason, but I’d think that a series about top-10 or top-15 prospects for all clubs, or for the bottom 5 clubs (to give them hope) or something else that samples more than Mariners would be good here.
If you guys want to write so much about the Mariners, leave more of it on Lookout Landing or USS Mariner. I thought this was an overall baseball analysis blog.
Any thoughts on Julio Morban? I wasn’t surprised BA left him off their top 10, but both you and Bullpen Banter have left him off top 15s. Health and High Desert are concerns of course but he’s one of the few HD prospects to hit better on the road than he did at home, and the Ms liked him enough to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Comment by Paul Clarke — December 18, 2012 @ 11:33 am
Thanks for the prospect columns!
For me, the font size is consistent when viewed in IE but varies viewed in Firefox (some writeups are different sizes than others and there is variation within Brad Miller’s). FYI
He could have picked from any number of prospects to round out the top 15: Jack Marder, Julio Morban, Joe DeCarlo, Stephen Proscia, Leon Landry, John Hicks, Tyler Marlette, Francisco Martinez, Anthony Fernandez, etc. Most of the High Desert guys are suspect until they produce in AA, demonstrated by none of their inclusion in the top-15.
Interesting that the Walker writeup ended with this: ‘has the ceiling of a No. 2 starter.’ Honestly, it’s the first time I’ve heard anything other than ace-potential for Walker. There have been several articles on Fangraphs and elsewhere that say he has the highest upside among all pitching prospects not named Dylan Bundy, and some even believe he has similar upside (with a lower floor). Marc, care to elaborate on why you see his ceiling as a #2 and not an ace/#1? Nothing in the writeup seemed to indicate long-term concerns with control or secondary pitches or with any development issues despite an up-and-down 2012, just wonder what the #2 ceiling is based off of.
Pike had shown more velocity in high school and may possibly just need to mature and get stronger to regain his high school velo.
Comment by Jacque Jones — December 18, 2012 @ 1:03 pm
Any reason you used “Michael Zunino” but then switched to nicknames for “Nick Franklin” (Nicholas) and “Brad Miller” (Bradley)? I’ve never seen anyone call him anything other than Mike before.
Comment by ThirteenOfTwo — December 18, 2012 @ 1:07 pm
This. Never heard anyone, anywhere say he has a ceiling as a number 2. Fangraphs or otherwise. All the buzz is about his extremely high, best starter in baseball ceiling. But due to playing and focusing more on basketball in high school he’s behind the developmental curve, as are many multiple sport stars. Would love to hear the authors thoughts.
I understand that Hulet reports on what he sees, but really? Taijuan Walker’s enormous upside is a total consensus. There isn’t another serious prospect evaluator out there that that would say his ceiling is anything other than #1. Sickels, Law, the BA crew, name your evaluator of choice, they all get it that his upside is #1. Whether he reaches it remains to be seen, but it casts a bit of doubt on the rest of the writeup when the author marks Tai Walker as a #2 ceiling.
While he’s still young, he stopped progressing with the bat and no longer grades out well as a fielder (result of injuries?). It seems like he should be older (turns 23 in Feb) since he has been around for years and he still has time to put it together, each passing day moves him further onto the “failed prospect” list.
I didn’t find a reference to link on a quick search but I believe he is out of options so this spring may be his last with the Ms.
Stefen Romero at 6’3″ shouldn’t be playing in the middle. I would like to see more of him at 1st base. He’s going to be the perfect fall back if he can hit in Tacoma the first couple of months and Smoak struggles. The other thing, if Ackley struggles and Romero can handle 3rd then you can move Seager back over to 2nd. He’s the closest thing the M’s have to a 30 homer 100 rbi bat in their system and he could be ready to get a cup of coffee by June.
They said the same thing about Cal Ripken…just because someone fits a profile doesn’t immediately mean thats where they’re most valuable.
Comment by Larry Bernandez — December 19, 2012 @ 7:09 am
Walker had a bit of a rough spell in the last half of the season. That and a straight fastball and still young age are sufficient for a #2 ceiling. The author and responders are equally entitled to their opinions.
Even Dylan Bundy hit a rough patch pitching in AA, walking 8 batters in his 12 innings there. Fact is Walker was 19 years old pitching a full season in AA, there’s bound to be a rough patch or growing pains at that aggressive a level. Most 19 year olds, even the elite ones, don’t reach AA at 19 and even then they mostly just get a short post-ASB sniff of it. I agree, Marc is certainly entitled to his opinion and I value it, I would have just liked some clarification as to why he put his ceiling as a #2 when it seems universal that his upside is that of an ace.
I don’t think “ceiling” means what you think it does.
Comment by Jay Stevens — December 19, 2012 @ 11:09 pm
Care to enlighten me? I’ve only been following the minor leagues and reading scouting reports for the better part of two decades but maybe I’m wrong. Goldstein said ‘Walker’s ceiling ranks with any prospect in the game’. Mike Newman wrote on Fangraphs a few months back, when comparing Walker and Bundy, that Walker may have the highest ceiling in the minors. Scout.com called him a future ‘front line ace’. I could go on and on. Ceiling, to me, has always been used to define a players upside at his peak, nothing more…and regardless of the definition there have been many, many articles from scouts and prospect mavens that his ceiling is that of an ace. What do YOU think ceiling means?
Julio Morban, if healthy, is a legit OF prospect. The M’s probably don’t have any others. Good thing they’re stacked at the major league level..,
Comment by Bookbook — December 21, 2012 @ 12:55 pm
Marc Hulet, first of all, thanks for the great article!
Articles like these gives us baseball fans a broader perspective of the big leagues, it makes it real fun to watch the games, knowing what kind of prospects are in the respective farm systems!
As for Seattle, they seem to have one of the top 3-4 farm systems in baseball, is that about right Marc?
And what do you think Seattle should do with their ballpark, I’m thinking they should move in the fences even more, considering how a hitter friendly park seems to help the slightly above average players in Texas take a slight leap in hitting, while big parks like Citi Field seems to have a supressing impact on hitters.
While at the same time, pitchers really aren’t that much affected, since they only play every 10th game at home.
Comment by BubbaNoTrubba — December 22, 2012 @ 10:00 pm
I think Morban probably profiles more as an extra OF. He doesn’t seem to have that one defining tool to make him more than that. I think I have some video of him I can throw together. . .
No. With that logic, Lucas Harrell is a number 1 starter.
Comment by Gary LaPlante — January 20, 2013 @ 2:47 am
If you can’t find a prospect expert to agree that Romero is a 30 homer bat, it’s because they aren’t experts. I was watching a show on TV called Bigfoot Hunters. That show has a bunch of Bigfoot experts on it. Nuff said.