The polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet — with assistance from celebrity guest Jason Churchill — has published today his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Seattle Mariners.
It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Mariners or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.
What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.
Steamer Projections: Seattle Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Seattle batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
Steamer Projections: Seattle Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Seattle pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
• With the graduations this past season of Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin, and Brad Miller (ranked first, fourth, and eighth, respectively, last year on Hulet’s Seattle list) to the parent club, Seattle enters 2014 with less in the way of major-league-ready field prospects. Given their collegiate experience and draft pedigree, corner-type D.J. Peterson and outfielder Austin Wilson — both selected in June — might ultimately surpass any of the offensive prospects listed here. No projections have been produced for either as of yet, however.
• In the meantime, the Mariners’ most compelling field prospect — in terms of present-day value, at least — is likely middle-infielder Chris Taylor. Playing in his age-22 season, he recorded walk and strikeout rates of 13.6% and 18.9%, respectively, in 619 plate appearances split almost exactly between High- and Double-A. That suggests a promising offensive profile for a player whose shortstop defense also receives some praise.
• The triumvirate of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker have been regarded for several years now as an important part of Seattle’s future. The latter two might very well be prepared to contribute meaningful innings with the Mariners this season — preventing runs at something approximating a league-average rate, it would seem. The former, Hultzen, won’t contribute until 2015, at least, due to October shoulder surgery.