I had every intention to post this yesterday but with everything going on it just wasn’t ready to be published and I had other things on my plate.
As always there are always some things that can be argued and reasons to root for player A vs. player B. But, this is my list. If I’m around next year it’s something I’ll try to do then too. It’s purely of my own thoughts and if you disagree with it then you disagree with it.
So there you are and here are the outfielders + the designated hitter for the “Ryan Anderson Relief Squad”.
LF – Nate Tenbrink
Tenbrink over a short series of months got promoted, struck in the head with a 90-mph fastball and then took hitting +.270/.380/.420 in a pitchers league! I have a lot of love for Tenbrink and believe he is an every day player. I am amazed he fell so far on my on rankings (18) this winter.
The biggest problem it seems people have is that he plays such a wide variety of positions. I’ve heard people say that his defense is much better than that of Alex Liddi at third (not that it’s too big of an accomplishment). But, Liddi profiles is higher in the organization and he’s going to get the reps to prove he can’t play there. So then you have him playing left field, shortstop, second base, right field and first base just so he can get in at bats.
He is one of the most overlooked legit prospects in the system and I really think he’s going to open up a lot of eyes this year.
CF – Brandon Haveman
HAHV- MAN. Is one of the more interesting bats out there. He’s a little scrapper, standing only5’9, he’s gone on to post an OPS north of .800 in his short 438 plate appearances between rookie ball and AA. That’s impressive.
He struggled early on with some injuries and didn’t report to the team until sometime in June but in the opportunity given he clearly showed that he has some tools to work with. His speed is slightly above average, his defense in center is very good, his understanding of the strike zone is strong and his ability to make contact is solid.
The only thing that works against him is, like many others, his power. I think Haveman could be a 4th outfielder should his defense prove to be as good as advertised and he continues making solid contact. He should start the year off again in Jackson and hopefully I’ll get a chance to see him then with my own eyes.
RF – Kevin Rivers
Rivers is an interesting character. Signed as an undrafted free-agent in 2009 and really destroyed the pitching in Everett this past year. I really would not be surprised to see the Mariners attempt to bump him up a couple of levels where he could start the season in High Desert.
The biggest thing I like to high light with Rivers isn’t just the slugging percentage but really the walk-to-strikeout ratio he produced. Nearly 1-1. While he struck out quiet a bit he also took a lot of walks. This is really interesting and though he sits at #51 overall right now I wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump into the upper 30 by years end.
DH – Rich Poythress
Poythress sits at DH on this list but that’s simply because I wanted to profile Savastano as the first basemen. I really believe the Poythress could very well be a first basemen. Looking at some of the video from when he was at Georgia Poythress isn’t as lumbering as he appears. He had some quick movements and while there is no scenerio that has him even sniffing third base, I believe he could be an average fielding first basemen.
I also believe he is one of the best pure hitters in the organization. Sure, he is going to be carried by his bat simply because he doesn’t have much of a position but I believe in that bat. I don’t believe he’s a pure 30+ home run threat. But I certainly believe you can count on him hitting over 20 this year between Jackson and Tacoma. Doing it with a combined slash line of .275/.350/.520.write that down.
The one thing that I’ve been disappointed about with Poythress is simply the lack of walks. After being drafted he showed a great ability to recognize pitches and understand the strike zone. While it’s still slightly above average, it’s not where I had expected it to be. I really hope with moving out of High Desert it will encourage him to take more pitches