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  1. Despite his struggles last year, I think Greg Halman should probably remain on a list like this. His potential, should his immense power and speed to flourish at the MLB level, is simply too great regardless of how low his floor is.

    Perhaps the regression of Chris Young has scared people off, but the differences between these two aren’t that much.

    Comment by BTC — February 26, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  2. What about Josh Fields? I haven’t heard much about him, but he was supposed to be MLB ready? I’m wondering if he is still highly thought of and will be be contributing soon?

    Comment by Pat — February 26, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  3. I don’t know much about the Mariners farm system but since there’s some M’s fans on here I figure I ask. Does anybody know anything about Maurico Robles and what he looks like? He’s the guy they got in the Washburn trade along with Lucas French from the Tigers. I know some people on the Tigers’ boards I visit said he was one of the top prospects in their organization.(the only reason it was brought up was because people were breaking down how horrible the Washburn trade was for us)

    Comment by Tobias F. — February 26, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  4. Josh Fields ? Considering that the Mariners could have got the 21st pick in the latest draft instead of Fields, I would much rather them have taken the chance on using the pick to draft someone like Kyle Gibson, Eric Arnett, or Rex Brothers. For this reason I am really gonna hold Fields to a higher standard until he shows why he was a first rounder.

    Comment by Dave — February 26, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  5. To any Mariners fans, does anyone understand why Jack Z signed Fields instead of taking the compensation pick? It seemed like a short sighted low upside poor decision pick by the former front office and considering how quickly Jack Z has jettisoned some similar players, Amounte and that guy who’s name I can’t remember with diabetes who struggled to stay healthy, I would have figured it would have been a near no brainer to just not sign Fields. But considering nearly everything else Z has done has turned to gold I’d assume there must have been some sound reasoning behind it that I just don’t see.

    Comment by Gina — February 26, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  6. Liddi was not “drafted out of Italy.”

    Comment by Realist — February 26, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  7. From things I’ve heard, he basically said he was respecting the research that the previous leadership in the organization had used to decide on Fields as the selection.

    Comment by coreyjro — February 26, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  8. You can’t turn in draft picks 2 years in a row. Meaning if they had put Fields back in the draft, and recieved the 21st pick as compensation, Ackley (Boras) would have held a huge negociation chip. Boras could have basically named their price. If the Mariners turned in Fields, then failed to sign Ackley they would have recieved no compensation for the #2 pick in 2009.

    Comment by Peen — February 26, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  9. This is incorrect. They would not have been compensated with pick 21/22 if the 21 pick received for not signing Fields failed to sign as well; Your regularly scheduled pick is not affected by this.

    * – I’m only 90% on this because I can’t find a more reputable source than http://wiki.soxprospects.com/MLB+Compensatory+Draft+Pick+System to verify, but it matches what I understood so I’m going with it.

    Comment by seattlecougar — February 26, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  10. Ah, here we go: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090817&content_id=6470746&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb

    Even though the Nationals did not sign Crow in 2008, they still would have been compensated with pick 1A in 2010 had they not signed Strasburg. Had they not signed Storen at 9A (the Crow compensatory pick) they would not have received further compensation.

    Comment by seattlecougar — February 26, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

  11. Interesting

    Comment by Peen — February 26, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

  12. Robles had a rough start upon coming over to Seattle, but the last month (5-6 starts) he was pretty nasty. Lots of K’s, limited the walks somewhat, and limited good contact.

    He’s been very impressive in camp so far. A lot of folks in the front office have pointed him out as a guy who has looked good and the vets were raving about his changeup when he threw live BP yesterday.

    If he wasn’t a small statured guy he’d be a lot higher on this prospect lists in my opinion.

    Comment by Jud — February 26, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  13. One of the only mistakes Jack has made so far.

    When you look back at the this year’s draft it’s a little upsetting that we didn’t have that 1st round comp pick. We certainly could have added an arm like Arnett or Brothers.

    Comment by Jud — February 26, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  14. I don’t see how one could worry about leverage considering that with the exception of Ackley, the next four picks Jack Z made had deals in place before the draft and all signed for what was expected. To be fair, since all the guys were targeted, Jack could have selected Franklin 21st (or Mier), Baron 27th, and then could have used #33 to go after a guy like Brothers who had fallen or even Tanner Sheppers. Or, if Porythress was really the guy he wanted, taken him 33rd and used #51 to sign someone like Andrew Oliver who in on the Tigers top ten prospects. Franklin, Baron and Porythress were not going to sign for abover slot no matter where Jack took them.

    Comment by Dave — February 26, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  15. The differences between the two are huge. Halman struck out 6 times as much as he walked last year. At his worst in the minors Young struck out less than 2.5 times as much as he walked and he showed steady progression in that category at each subsequent stop.

    Comment by Alex — February 26, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  16. There is also the chance they were hoping that Washington would be scared off by Strasburg’s demands and take Ackley #1 and let Stras fall to the Mariners at #2. So spending the money on Fields ensured that they didn’t have two high draft picks and one of them being an expensive player like Stras. Not sure if this played any part at all in their reasons to sign Fields or not, but it is something I thought about.

    I am still pissed that the Mariners managed to lose out on the #1 pick by winning their last three games of the 2008 season. If they could have lost them, we would have had a worse record than Washington. We had lost 14 out of 15 going into that final series against Oakland… UGH!

    Comment by Boxkutter — February 26, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

  17. Your point remains a good one, though. If Fields was turned away and Zduriencik drafted someone else with 21A, that player would have the leverage to demand more because 21A won’t be there in 2011. The Mariners would be forced to either overpay, overdraft, or potentially both. (Damn you, Steve Baron!)

    It’s entirely possible that Fields at $1.75 million was Zduriencik’s best option.

    Comment by Double06 — February 27, 2010 @ 1:36 am

  18. I’ve never heard it said by anyone connected to the team, or by anyone else, either, but I wonder if it wasn’t a budget issue. Nobody knows how the M’s handle their budget, but there have been a couple of examples (Sasaki comes to mind) where the M’s got a windfall out of a player they were expecting to pay, but the money didn’t get rolled over into the following years budget. It may have been that Jack would’ve lost the bonus money slated to go to Fields’ pick that year, and not had enough bonus money to hand out to picks the following year (with the extra compensation pick added on to what they already had).

    Pure speculation.

    Comment by Nathaniel Dawson — February 27, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  19. I’m a big GMZ admirer but he’s human, his picking up Ronny Cedeno (which I liked at the time) turned out not so great and the judgement on the Morrow/League deal is still to be made. As for the emphasis on international signings, everyone has a shot at them under the current rules so why not take what you can get? I also like his reform of the Ms conditioning program and locking up its originator on a three year exclusive agreement. He’s more than just a pretty face.

    Comment by maqman — February 27, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

  20. I saw Fields pitch in the Arizona Fall League. I am not an expert but from what I can tell, he had good movement on his pitches and when he missed he missed low. The Mariner’s bullpen is pretty locked up right now, but it wouldn’t suprise me at all to see Fields as a September call this year.

    Here is a photo I took from the AFL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksobba/4074373186/

    And here is some video and the M’s coaches talking about Fields: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblog/2011188603_mariners_do_some_live_pitching.html?syndication=rss

    Comment by Mark S — February 28, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  21. Cedeno is a perfect example of how to handle a mistake. The front office was concerned about Betancourt and so they pick up Cedeno. Betancourt wasn’t working so they moved him. Cedeno wasn’t working so they moved him as well.

    It wasn’t just that a mistake had been made, but it was recognized and the front office moved to do something about it. This front office isn’t going to try to pretend they made a good choice and not do anything about it. They will mistakes and move forward. As Jack Z says “We are always trying to make the team better”.

    Comment by Mark S — February 28, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  22. I love vintage artifacts like those, thanks for posting these. Looking forward to more!

    Comment by Military Surplus Shop — April 1, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  23. Halman may have more potential than many of the guys on this list, but until he shows some sustained progress towards realizing it he doesn’t belong ahead of any of them.

    Comment by joser — April 1, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  24. You could make a case for Fields vs Cleto on this list just on the basis of closeness to the majors, but ultimately how excited can you get about any relief pitcher?

    Comment by joser — April 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  25. Here’s an article by one of the Seattle Times beat writers on Robles from a month ago:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2011220063_mari01.html
    Keeping in mind it’s an early-ST, follow-the-party-line sort of “getting to know the prospects” piece, it does sum up how the organization feels about him. And as Jud notes, he went on to shine in limited work after that.

    Comment by joser — April 1, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

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    Comment by Gratis Gewinnspiele — February 18, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

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