Finally…. at long last. This list is finished. I know it took a lot longer to assemble this than what I had initial planned and I think next year I’ll be a little more prepared. But again this list is so fluid. It’s crazy.
Disclaimer: I have said it with all previous incarnations and of course I’ll repeat it now. This is an arbitrary list and there is room for argument just about everywhere and anywhere. But, we’ve done it enough internally and this is what we came up with.
This list is not done professionally. I freely admit that we are amateurs and that this has been done entirely in recreation and the majority of it was compiled by using information that has been posted elsewhere and is freely available for others to find themselves while incorporating their on field production. I, nor anyone else, is claiming this is a better product than what anyone else has done and it’s most importantly in an effort to give some of these players the credit and recognition they are due in this organization that we love.
Alright, if you need it here is review:
81. Efrain Nunez, OF – Pulaski Mariners
Thoughts: Signed in 2007, Nunez has kind of been an up and down case. He recently was discussed by Matt Eddy of Baseball America during their Appalachian League prospect chat, in which he was called the league’s most improved player. I think there was a few of us that were surprised the Mariners brought him stateside this summer. But he’s starting to get back on track.
82. Richard White, RHSP – Arizona Mariners
Thoughts: White, drafted in the 23rd round, shows some interesting potential. His arsenal is lead by his fastball – which has been said to touch 93, 94 –but his overall mechanics are very raw and while he showed the ability to miss bats he also walked a few batters (7 in 11 IP). I’m interested to see how he performs in Pulaski or Everett next year.
83. Bobby LaFromboise, LHRP – Jackson Generals
Thoughts: I almost looked over LaFromboise, who quietly had a very good year. I say quietly, because I certainly didn’t realize he was named to the Southern All-Star game. Most people look to Brian Moran for a future “LOOGY” but I think at this point LaFromboise should have equal mention. He gets almost double the amount of GO/AO versus lefties and he shows a favorable split. He could be someone that in May or June could help the major league team out of the bullpen.
84. Ramon Morla, 3B – Clinton Lumberkings
Thoughts: There were few disappointments in the Mariners minor league farm system that were as big as Morla. I don’t think that anyone expected him to completely fall apart, like he did in Clinton (.450 OPS in 113 PAs). That said, he still has potential with the bat. There are some reports that he’s also at least average with the glove which just improves his chance at providing some value.
85. Jharmidy De Jesus, 1B – Everett Aquasox
Thoughts: There are some that are really sour on De Jesus. His attitude surely doesn’t inspire hope. He at one point was thought to be a third basemen but his declining agility and lack of work ethic have eliminated that as a potential future. A huge IFA signing four years ago he now looks like one of the biggest IFA busts ranking right up near but not higher than Michael Ynoa. All that said his ability to keep hitting in low-A also keeps him on my radar.
86. Jonathan Arias, RHRP – Clinton Lumberkings
Thoughts: It’s easy to look over Arias simply because of the amount of walks (5+ per 9 innings) and his age (23). But the fact that he only converted to being a pitcher in 2009 makes him slightly interesting. A former shortstop, with a cannon for an arm, was moved to the mound after failing to hit DSL. Since then he’s quietly moved up the ranks. This year against 278 hitters he struck out 101 of them. I know a few guys that think he should be higher on this list and that’s debatable but his age and the fact that he’s still extremely wild and raw makes him a risk.
87. Jonathan Hesketh, LHRP – High Desert Mavericks
Thoughts: There are good/bad things to take away from his High Desert season. The good: +9 k’s per 9 innings, the 3.78 K per BB and well… I guess that’s about it. At least on the surface, the 11% HR/FB ratio killed him and his FIP (4.59 in HD). Looking at what he did as starter is a bit more encouraging (3.27 FIP) As he moves to Jackson I think he has the potential to be an interesting back-of-the-rotation option or possibly a helpful piece in the bullpen.
88. Jean Acevedo, 3B – Pulaski Mariners
Thoughts: Acevedo, 20, put up some intriguing numbers in Pulaski. But I’m suspect. His BABIP was high for someone who only drove the ball 12% of the time. Between that and his lack of infield hits/stolen bases make me suspect that this wasn’t luck. I love guys whose stats show more potential than what scouts talk about. But, Acevedo just seems like he’s getting by on luck at this point. I guess we’ll see when he hits Clinton. Oh and his .105 ISO doesn’t exactly scream corner infielder either.
89. Matthew Bischoff, RHRP – Clinton Lumberkings
Thoughts: Bischoff is one of my FAVORITES in all of the minor leagues. Take what I said about Acevedo and reverse. The guy is just impressive and the fact he gets hardly any love saddens me. A 1.92 FIP between Everett and Clinton (52.3 innings) and 32% of hitters faced K’d. The knocks against him are A) his age (24) and B) his BABIP and LD% are both high because he tends to leave hitable pitches in the zone. That said his control is hardly an isn’t a real issue at this point. I’d like to see the Mariners challenge him and place him in Jackson next year to see if he’s real.
90. Fray Martinez, RHRP – Clinton Lumberkings
Thoughts: One of the bigger stories coming out at the end of camp was how hard Martinez was throwing. By accounts of Jason Churchill, Martinez was touching the high 90’s with good movement. Unfortunately a month after the season open Martinez headed to the injury list, never to be heard from again. But there are a few people that think that he could be a full healthy season away from contributing in the bullpen.
91. Jose Leal, OF – DSL
Thoughts: The Mariners first and only IFA sign in July dotted the line for 2 million dollars. We know little about him other than he wasn’t on anyone’s top-20 list of available guys coming in the July signing day. But regardless, the most important thing in my mind is that Bob Engle is very high on him and Engle is an amazing talent evaluator. He’ll be headed stateside and Peoria this coming year and in the meantime will be playing down in Venezuela. Should be a very interesting guy to watch going forward, he has the most obvious potential to sail up this list.
92. Nathan Melendres, CF – Everett Aquasox
Thoughts: A two way player in college that showed good speed and above average defense in center field. He proved to put up above average offensive stats in low-A Everett (wRC+ 110). His line drive percentage is a bit low and coupled that with his absence of power. I still am reserving my enthusiasm for whether or not he could be anything more than a 5th outfielder/AAA fodder.
93. Reynaldo Sabala, RHRP –Pulaski Mariners
Thoughts: I admittedly know hardly anything about Sabala outside the numbers. But he earned some small accolades (pitcher of the week for Appalachian league) and that coupled with the numbers are enough to put him on my radar and hopefully yours too.
94. Brian Moran, LHRP – Jackson Generals
Thoughts: There are a lot of people that put a lot of stock with Moran being the future LOOGY coming out of the bullpen. The problem with that is that his splits absolutely fell apart this season and have actually inverted. He pitched better against right handed hitters than against lefties. I’m not sure if this is because he had specific problems with his change-up. It’ll be something that I watch really closely next year.
95. Roenis Elias, LHSP – Pulaski Mariners
Thoughts: Elias is the IFA that was signed out of Cuba back in May and previous pitched for the Guantanamo team prior to defecting. He may not be known to many fans yet, but I’m very aware of him and I’m a fan. He worked a bit out of the bullpen this year but I expect that the team could give him some chances to start this year. His velocity with the fastball from what I hear is low 90’s (91-93) but with a good change and an above average curveball. There are reports that his command is spotty but since coming out of Arizona hasn’t shown up too much in his stat line. He is one to definitely watch going into next year.
96. Jose Valdivia, RHSP – Pulaski Mariners
Thoughts: The big IFA name in 2008, Valdivia was someone I was rather excited about in Pulaski this year. The 19-year-old was now almost 2 years removed from Tommy John surgery and I had hoped for him to take off. The numbers weren’t bad but the reports however weren’t inspiring. Jason Churchill mentioned a few times that his velocity had huge dips.
97. Hassiel Jimenez, C – Arizona Mariners
Thoughts: Jimenez is someone that I’ve never been very high on but there are enough guys around that are smarter than me that have mentioned him a couple of times in regards to pure tools. Power and defensive ability appear are said to be there. The question is whether or not it’ll manifest itself in a way at which it becomes helpful to him during games.
98. Denny Almonte, OF – High Desert Mavericks
Thoughts: I’ve never really given much thought to Almonte. I’ve always just thrown him into the “unable to hit a curveball” category and moved on. But, it has to be said that Almonte can hit a ball hard (when he makes contact) and has above average speed, speed that gives him the potential to be at the very least an average defender in center field. He has tools and he’s only 22, it makes sense to put him on this list if nothing else he doesn’t turn into anything and that won’t be surprised. But every once in awhile adjustments are made and a player’s talent is realized. I’m not a betting man and if I was I sure wouldn’t bet on Almonte. But his tools are undeniable.
99. Rafael Fernandez, SS – VSL
Thoughts: Much like many of the other VSL guys I know little to nothing about him. But his plate discipline stands out as does the fact he’s one of the youngest in all of the VSL playing a premium position. At this point there are over a dozen different guys that could be “99” but I wanted to highlight someone that intrigued me and Rafael Fernandez is a really intrigues me greatly.
100. Nolan Diaz, RHRP – Everett Aquasox
Thoughts: Much like what I wrote about Fernandez, there are quite a few different individual players that could be #100 on such a list. You could high light any number of them and I’m sure I left one or two off here but Diaz has been on some prospect lists prior to this and he’s someone to keep an eye on now that he’s shifted to the bullpen. If things click he could take off and be a effective bullpen option in the future.
Topics: Bobby LaFromboise, Brian Moran, Denny Almonte, Efrain Nunez, Fray Martinez, Hassiel Jimenez, Jean Acevedo, Jharmidy De Jesus, Jonathan Arias, Jonathan Hesketh, Jose Leal, Jose Valdivia, Matthew Bischoff, Nathan Melendres, Nolan Diaz, Rafael Fernandez, Reynaldo Sabala, Richard White, Roenis Elias, Roman Morla