Lost in the Shuffle: Michael Saunders

By Editorial Staff

Hey, remember Michael Saunders?

He had been one of the Mariners top prospects. Which wasn’t really saying much in a system so bare and boring, but he was there. A guy with good athleticism. A left handed bat with some power potential that could play nice at Safeco.

Then, he played bad. Then, he got forced into a situation and played bad some more. Then, the team went out and got three new young outfielders through trade. Then, Michael Saunders got lost in the shuffle

It may have been a little unfair that Saunders had to come to Seattle to start this season. He was supposed to go down and work on things in Tacoma. He had a new approach, they say. When Franklin Gutierrez’s stomach issues got so bad he had to go to the Mayo Clinic, the Mariners needed someone who could play center.

Until Greg Halman was healthy enough to take over, Saunders was forced to struggle under the big league microscope. No longer a top prospect. Now being looked at by many as a lost cause.

How has he done back on the farm?

He’s ran a .290/.421/.443 triple slash, which isn’t a break out but may offer some hope. This being Saunders’ fourth season at the AAA level, you’d probably like to see the power numbers be better. 11 doubles and five homers are low, and are significantly less than what he did the last time he saw this much time at this level.

The on-base skills are much better, though. In 2009, he walked 25 times in 282 trips to the plate. This season, it’s 47 free bags in 210 trips.

A guy who was ranked by Baseball America as the number 30 prospect in baseball at the start of last season is now on the brink of getting the AAAA label put on his forehead.

This piece isn’t meant to show you any analysis that Saunders done. Nor is it here to show you he’s on his way back. Quite honestly, I’m not sure what it is. It’s just me thinking out loud, I suppose.

Baseball is just so very weird to me. It’s astonishing that a guy who was a shining star in a barren system, so much so that outsiders ranked him amongst the best in the game, is now lost in the shuffle at the young age of 24.