Mariners Top 20 Prospects - #14 - Mike Carp

This is a series in which I’ll be going over my personal top 20 Seattle Mariners 2010 Prospects. As you can see, I’ll be counting them down, starting at 20,  and I’ll try to do them, well, whenever I get the chance. Keep in mind that almost all of these are completely debatable, and reflect only my personal opinions.

Mike Carp is a 23 year old, left handed hitting first baseman and DH who came over in the JJ Putz trade late in 2008. He spent most of 2009 in Tacoma, though he did get a brief stint in the big leagues, in which he accumulated 64 plate appearances and hit quite well.

Carp isn’t the type of player that’s going to blow you away with any one aspect of his game. He can’t run, he strikes out a lot, and he’s well below average defensively. However, he does have his redeeming qualities:


While his home run power doesn’t quite match that of someone like Greg Halman, he certainly has the ability to provide some pop from the left side of the plate. He hit 15 home runs and ISO’d .174 in 413 Tacoma at bats this last season, while posting a .364 wOBA. Not too shabby. He also is the type of hitter that does well when transitioning into the major leagues, as most of his offense comes from his power, which should be just fine as a left-handed hitter at Safeco Field, and his ability to get on base. He posted a .372 OBP this last year in Tacoma and has drawn 137 walks over his last two minor league seasons.

ML Readiness

While Carp certainly isn’t an overwhelming prospect in terms of talent, there is something to be said for being major league ready, and he basically is. He’s 23 years old, he already has a good approach at the plate, and he’s now accumulated over 500 triple-A plate appearances. Granted, a little bit more time in the minors wouldn’t hurt, and he’s probably going to get plenty of it in 2010, but it’s still nice to know that he’s available if needed. And availability for emergency use isn’t the only benefit of a major league ready prospect – trade value also has to be considered. Right now, Mike Carp clearly doesn’t have a place on the M’s 25-man roster for 2010, so it’s certainly within the realm or possibility that he’s considered somewhat of a trading chip. If that is the case, his value is going to be boosted by the fact that he’s already an 0.5-1 WAR player in the major leagues, as teams love acquiring major league talent in deals – especially major league talent with upside, and Mike Carp does have some upside.

Because of his butcher status in the field, Carp probably ends up primarily as a DH in the long term. In fact, the best ML comparison I can think of for Carp would be Jack Cust – left-handed, bad defense, and a lot of walks, but with slightly fewer strikeouts and significantly less power (Cust ISO’d .248 in ’07).

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Tags: Greg Halman Jack Cust Mariners Mike Carp Prospects

  • Nathan

    As far as a comparison goes, I might say Lyle Overbay lite. A little less pop, a little less defense. I don’t think he’s a butcher in the field but I do think it’s just a matter of degree. He is definately below aveage out there.

    You don’t think that they’d try to platoon him with Everidge, do you? His splits were fairly equal if I remember correctly.

  • Nathan

    Whoopsadoodle. Splits not equal.

  • Griffin Cooper

    Everidge got DFA’d when we signed Byrnes.

  • Tacoma Rain

    Everidge cleared waivers today, and he has been assigned to Tacoma.

  • Nathan

    Per twitter “RainiersLand This just in @TheRealMariners have outrighted contract of 1st baseman Tommy Everidge 2 Tacoma. He has invite 2 Major League Spring Training ”

    Veracity is suspect, of course, but that’s what I was going off of.

  • Griffin Cooper

    Whoopsy Daisy.

  • Nathan

    Hmmm…I’d imagine that they’d rotate B. Nelson, M. Carp, and T. Everidge between 1B and DH. Nelson’s the least interesting of the three so I assume he’d be on the bench the most.

    Both Nelson and Carp hit righties better, Everidge just killed everything in 2009.

    I dunno. It seems like if they platoon Carp now they’d be seriously knocking down his value. He’s been getting better against righties, why not see if he makes additional progress?

  • Duncan

    Just found your blog via “Big League Stew” and wanted to give you my thanks for running this site. I grew up in Edmonds, WA and I’m a long time fan of both the Mariners AND advanced stats, so this site is perfect for me! Thanks again!

  • Griffin Cooper

    Really appreciate the comment Duncan. I actually live about 10 minutes away from Edmonds (Shoreline).

  • harrison

    Nelson most likely will be in the outfield. He played a lot of right field last year. Nelson is a very interesting character. At 28 he’s a quad-a-type player. But one with good pop.

    He may come off as a Bryan LaHair-esque player. But he is a good one to have sitting around at Tacoma. He has drawn compairsons to Russell Branyan on multiple ocassions.

  • Nathan

    OF positions are scarce this year. Either Saunders makes the 25-man or someone gets bumped, probably Corey Patterson.

    Back to Carp. He’s offensively directly comprable to Kotchman. The only difference is defense and MLB experience. Unless, of course, Kotchman goes out and lights the world on fire. That’d be neat.