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Thread: Mariners Fading Prospects

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    Mariners Fading Prospects

    With once highly touted prospects Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley being recently demoted to the minors and replaced by prospects du jour Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin/Carlos Trunfiel (who seems like he's been around FOREVER), I wonder what it would take to pry Montero or Ackley from Seattle?

    Has the brass grown tired of them? Are they fading into obscurity like their other superstar of the future Justin Smoak? Clearly they are no longer the catcher or 2B of the future with the arrivals of the new prospects du jour. While they both may have position switches in their fiture should they stay in Seattle, surely they will carry significantly less value at their new non-premium positions.

    So my question is this: Could they be had on the cheap in the hope of swinging the next Brandon Phillips trade? I'm sure jojo will chime in here...
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Problem with Montero is that he has no experience at first in a game nor is thought that he will be good there and is awful behind the plate. He is not hitting enough to DH. The Reds would have nowhere to play him.

    Here is an excellent article about his recent demotion.
    http://therotation.sportsonearthblog...ro-experiment/

    Montero’s only value, of course, is his bat. It’s not that he’s a bad catcher, or that he’s a bad first baseman, or that he’s slow — he has negative value in all these things. Behind the plate he was a plague upon the Mariners’ already-thin and top-heavy pitching staff; out at first base he’s got slow feet, terrible instincts, and, well, if you’ve watched him “catch,” you’ve seen how well he handles balls thrown in the dirt.* As a baserunner he’s practically useless, the very definition of station-to-station. So if the bat isn’t there, and right now it’s not, there’s absolutely no reason to keep putting him in your starting lineup — in fact, there’s every reason in the world to sit him on the bench or on a bus out of town.

    What happened to the bat? That’s simple enough: Though he was hailed very loudly as one of the best hitting prospects in baseball when his rights were held by the New York Yankees, no one — the Mariners included when they traded Michael Pineda and Jorge Campos to New York, in what would have been an amazing fleecing if both those pitchers hadn’t immediately suffered injury-related implosions — anticipated that Montero would be unable to hit right-handed pitching at the major league level.
    Last edited by klw; 05-28-2013 at 09:57 AM.

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    I didn't know Zunino had been called, thanks for the heads up. I loved watching him play at UF.

    As for the OP, sorry, I'm a terrible GM so I won't make you any dumber for having read my analysis. You'll have to continue to wait for Jojo to opine.
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    At some point you have to wonder about the development personnel in Seattle's organization.

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Peter King's MMQB column always has a few baseball related items. This is what he said about Montero this morning:

    Man, if you can figure out the story behind Jesus Montero's failure, please illuminate me. It's the mystery of sport why he isn't the starting American League All-Star catcher, but rather the starter for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl...#ixzz2UapwFfFN
    This just goes to show how overrated Yankees prospects are. It is really no mystery at all. Montero's offense always looked good because he was playing catcher. If he was a minor league first baseman his offensive potential wouldn't have garnered as much attention. But if everyone knew he wasnt good enough behind the plate to stick at catcher, why not evaluate his offense as a first baseman? I never understood why he was considered such a valuable prospect.

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    You have to wonder how much Safco is getting into Mariner's hitter's heads. Ludwick has already said that Petco got into his, and it took awhile for him to adjust back after leaving it. And Safco is even harder to hit in than Petco.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    I know this has nothing to do with either of these two prospects or the Mariners but Jonah Keri and Rany Jazayyerli had an interesting discussion about why the Royals have failed to turn the "can't miss" prospects they have had over the years into busts.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...als-ineptitude
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    I guess my thought is that IF they could be had cheaply, both Montero and Ackley could be given proper time in the minors to develop. The Reds have zero middle infield depth in the organization, and other than Tucker Barnhart currently in AA, no catching depth either in the minors. The jury is still out on Mesoraco, and Hanigan is only signed through next season. If he can figure things out, maybe a Montero-Mesoraco platoon would be something that could make sense after next season. Certainly could be an offensive monster behind the dish.

    Maybe a change-of-scenery "prospect" swap would make some sense: the M's need a future 1B and LF, and instead of trying to make Montero and Ackley learn new positions, how about swapping Soto and Lutz for Montero and Ackley? No idea if this would work, but it's a somewhat out-of-the-box idea. Maybe Yorman if not Lutz?

    One thing the Mariners don't seem to need is pitching prospects - they have those growing out of their ears.
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    You have to wonder how much Safco is getting into Mariner's hitter's heads. Ludwick has already said that Petco got into his, and it took awhile for him to adjust back after leaving it. And Safco is even harder to hit in than Petco.
    The only thing I can figure is that Safeco Field is where hitters go to "bust". I know they moved the fences in this year and got a fancy new scoreboard but something about that place seems to do in young hitters. I guess the only way we can prove this theory is if they go somewhere else and succeed.

    As for our Reds acquiring these guys, no. They're basically DHs. They don't have a place on a NL team.

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    I know this has nothing to do with either of these two prospects or the Mariners but Jonah Keri and Rany Jazayyerli had an interesting discussion about why the Royals have failed to turn the "can't miss" prospects they have had over the years into busts.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...als-ineptitude
    I actually put the Royals and Mariners in the same boat. I don't trust the hype on any supposed prospect coming out of either organization. For whatever reason, the kids in those systems get overrated ... then they flop.

    Beni, I'd stay away from Montero. He's just about worthless. Ackley could be a six-position utility player, but I suspect it will take him a couple of years to transition to that after he escapes Safeco.
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    With once highly touted prospects Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley being recently demoted to the minors and replaced by prospects du jour Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin/Carlos Trunfiel (who seems like he's been around FOREVER), I wonder what it would take to pry Montero or Ackley from Seattle?

    Has the brass grown tired of them? Are they fading into obscurity like their other superstar of the future Justin Smoak? Clearly they are no longer the catcher or 2B of the future with the arrivals of the new prospects du jour. While they both may have position switches in their fiture should they stay in Seattle, surely they will carry significantly less value at their new non-premium positions.

    So my question is this: Could they be had on the cheap in the hope of swinging the next Brandon Phillips trade? I'm sure jojo will chime in here...
    Most viewed Montero's chances of sticking at catcher to be very slim and while the Ms were willing to give Montero every opportunity to stick at catcher mostly to buy time for Zunino's development (the guy they are obviously grooming) Montero played himself out of rope defensively and the feeling is that catching was hurting the development of his bat. His demotion is about investing completely in his bat.

    The Ms are still high on Ackley and his demotion is about clearing his head and letting Franklin take his lumps. It's very possible that Franklin sticks and Ackley ends up in the outfield but Ackley is a very good defensive second baseman so if Ackley can live up to his offensive pedigree, it's likely Franklin would be trade bait. Ackley just has more question marks now.

    Also, it's not time to call Smoak a wash either. He's graded out as a slightly above average defender and over his last half season (280 PA's or 70 games) he's done this at the plate:

    Code:
    AVG	OBP	SLG 	wOBA	K%	BB%	ISO
    0.239	0.380	0.432	0.362	19.2	13.5	0.192
    I think what we're seeing is the effect of taking young players and running them through extremes in hitting environments (PCL to offensive death @ Safeco). In other words, Safeco looks like it's gotten into the heads of these guys.

    I doubt the Ms are willing to give these guys away.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I actually put the Royals and Mariners in the same boat. I don't trust the hype on any supposed prospect coming out of either organization. For whatever reason, the kids in those systems get overrated ... then they flop.

    Beni, I'd stay away from Montero. He's just about worthless. Ackley could be a six-position utility player, but I suspect it will take him a couple of years to transition to that after he escapes Safeco.
    I agree and wasn't suggesting giving up anything of significant value. I'd just be curious if there was a way to pick these guys up on the cheap and have a needs-for-needs complimentary fit trade (Montero and Ackley now seem blocked) and we clearly don't have any room for a 1B-only like Neftali Soto.

    I guess the question is - can Montero be a major league catcher? He'll clearly always be below average defensively, but could he be passable if his bat is good enough? Keep in mind he is a year and a half younger than Mesoraco, and has a minor league OPS 70 points higher. The Reds could let him continue to find his stroke in AAA for the rest of this season. If he does, they could consider trading Hanigan, who has real trade value, in the offseason- perhaps for a SS (the Rays LOVE him - maybe we could swap him for Hak Ju-Lee and Tim Beckham in the offseason?)

    I definitely wouldn't trade *real* pieces for these guys, but maybe some fringe positional fits like some combination of Soto, Lutz, Yorman etc.

    If they want much more value, it's definitely a pass.

    Of course the other, perhaps more logical fit with the M's is for RH-hitting FA-to-be LF Michael Morse. Would something like Lutz, Soto, Duran and Yorman Rodriguez for Montero, Ackley and Morse make sense?

    The M's get a lot of toolsy 1B/LF types which they have a need for, especially after 2013. They give up one player who has no future with the organization and two who have questionable at best, and only if they switch positions to those they've never really played before. IT should be noted that they currently don't have a DH, 1B or LF signed beyond this year or currently on their Top 10 prospects list. They do however, have 3 middle infielders in their top 10, not including Ackley or Trunfiel.

    The Reds get a rental LF which fits them like a glove, as well as cheaper flyers on once highly-touted players at positions of no depth in the organization.
    Last edited by Benihana; 05-28-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    I guess the question is - can Montero be a major league catcher?
    Many of the questions youre asking are either open ones or are matters of opinion. This one I think has been definitively settled however (and the answer is, no-he is too poor behind the plate to play regularly there regardless of how his bat develops). He might have been the worst catcher that I've ever seen defensively.

    It's not likely that the Ms are going to let these guys go on the cheap. It makes little sense until their options are burned or there is little dounbt remaining. The Ms aren't going to jettison these guys for *fringe*.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Many of the questions youre asking are either open ones or are matters of opinion. This one I think has been definitively settled however (and the answer is, no-he is too poor behind the plate to play regularly there regardless of how his bat develops). He might have been the worst catcher that I've ever seen defensively.

    It's not likely that the Ms are going to let these guys go on the cheap. It makes little sense until their options are burned or there is little dounbt remaining. The Ms aren't going to jettison these guys for *fringe*.
    Do Ackley and Montero have options remaining after this year?

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    Re: Mariners Fading Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Many of the questions youre asking are either open ones or are matters of opinion. This one I think has been definitively settled however (and the answer is, no-he is too poor behind the plate to play regularly there regardless of how his bat develops). He might have been the worst catcher that I've ever seen defensively.

    It's not likely that the Ms are going to let these guys go on the cheap. It makes little sense until their options are burned or there is little dounbt remaining. The Ms aren't going to jettison these guys for *fringe*.
    What do you think it would take to get Morse at this point?
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