Mariners Top 20 Prospects – #13 – Julio Morban
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.
Julio Morban is a 17-soon-to-be-18 year old outfielder out of the Dominican Republic. He’s left handed, extremely raw, and his first full season in the minors was 2009, which he spent in rookie ball. Also, Jay Yencich likes him, which is good enough for me.
While Morban’s talent is no doubt present, I wouldn’t feel right putting him in the top ten because of the fact that he’s so young, and so raw. The potential is certainly there, though. In terms of offensive skill-set, Morban fits the Greg Halman mold (as do many prospects in the Mariners system, evidently) – excellent raw power, a ton of speed, and some God-awful contact rates. He’s a very talented pure hitter, who excels at driving the ball, resulting in a lot of extra base hits and a good amount of home runs.
His biggest weakness offensively is his tendency to strike out, a lot. He has trouble making consistent contact, and he has a few holes in his swing. However, at age 17, that’s to be expected, and he has sufficient time to correct them. He could also stand to walk a bit more, as his 2009 BB% was just over 4, which is pedestrian at best.
On the other end of the field, Morban’s game holds up. He’s quite an athletic player, providing him with above average range in the outfield. Scouts also see both his hands and arm strength as above average – so he appears to be pretty much the full package defensively.
Overall, he’s got his issues, but that isn’t a big surprise considering that we’re talking about a 17 year old player. He players good defense both in center and right, and he clearly has the potential to be a well-above average offensive player, who could conceivably hit for a good amount of power. His biggest obstacle to tackle will be working out the kinks in his swing that cause him to have trouble making consistent contact.