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.
Alex Liddi is a 21 year old, right handed infielder out of Italy. He was originally signed by the Mariners back in 2006 in a 17 year old, and his prospect stock has risen dramatically over the last year.
How high Liddi gets placed in these lists is generally going to depend on whether or not you’re convinced by the numbers he put up last season down in High Desert. Some people are even going so far as to put him in the top 5 – and while I’m not ready to completely discount numbers that good, that kind of a ranking seems extremely premature. Take a look at Liddi’s 2008 & 2009 numbers, respectively:
496 PA, .244/.313/.360, 6 HR, .314 wOBA
565 PA, .345/.411/.594, 23 HR, .431 wOBA
You don’t see that kind of improvement over the course of one season very often, and I’m not willing to believe that it’s completely real, as offensive numbers have certainly been known to inflate down in High Desert. However, I’m not going to say it’s a complete illusion, either – he did show some improvement in other areas as well, such as drawing walks a bit more often and striking out a bit less. I do believe he got better in 2009, I’m just going to need to see how he does next year in a less hitter-friendly environment before I jump to any conclusions. It’s also worth noting that Liddi’s 2009 road line was quite impressive as well, but the whole California League is pretty hitter-friendly, so that might not mean much either.
I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here, ranking him at #12, so hopefully he comes through for me in 2010.
As for his defense, well, it isn’t very good. All there really is to go on right now are various scouting reports, and they don’t see him as a good defensive third baseman. With his size, he probably ends up either there or at first base long term – but he doesn’t profile well as a middle infielder.