Archive for the 'Mariners' Category

Myworld’s Top Prospects - 30-21

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

30. Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) 6.62 - Myworld was a little surprised to see him rated so highly in many of the Top 100s since we did not know that much about him. The Pirates 2014 second round pick had a breakout year last year with a 2.46 ERA in 23 starts. Increased velocity in his fastball, which now hits the mid-90s plus an improved change was the reason for the turn around. His curveball was already a swing and miss pitch. Mitch hopes to repeat his 2016 performance in High A in 2017.

29. Kyle Lewis OF (Mariners) 6.62 - Kyle was the Mariners first round pick in 2016. A gruesome knee injury cut his season short but not before he impressed with a .915 OPS. Kyle has all five tools to be an impact player. His speed, especially after the injury may be a little short to play center but his arm is good enough for right. Kyle makes good contact, is patient enough to take walks and should hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. The knee injury will delay the start of his 2017 season. Myworld expects him to begin the season in Low A.

28. Josh Bell 1B/OF (Pirates) 6.7 - Josh Bell began as an outfielder but the Pirates moved him to first base because his speed was not extraordinary and the Pirates outfield situation was already crowded. He was a second round pick in 2011 draft but the Pirates had to pay him a $5 million bonus to convince him to give up his football career. The power has yet to arrive but it showed flashes last season with 14 minor league homeruns and three major league shots. Defensively, his play at first is below average and needs to improve if he hopes to make the major league team in 2017. Expect him to start the season in AAA with Bell playing both the outfield and first base.

27 Brent Honeywell RHP (Rays) 6.87 - One of the better pitchers in the minor leagues with a different pitch in the screwball. He complements that pitch with a fastball in the low 90s with a plus change and a cutter that is above average. That is four pitches hitters have to look out for. He finished his season in AA with a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts, limiting the opposition to a .231 average. His command is good and with his mix of pitches he has a chance to be a number two starter. He should begin the 2017 season in AAA and should make his major league debut this year.

26 Clint Frazier OF (Yankees) 7.22 - A first round draft pick of the Indians, they traded him to the Yankees last year to acquire Aroldis Chapman to push themselves into the playoffs. Clint is a five tool player who will hit for both average and power. His above average speed could allow him to play centerfield but a plus arm makes right field a good fit. The Yankees would like to see Clint cut down on his strikeouts, an issue that may drive his average below .300. He will see next season in AAA and is just an injury to Jacoby Ellsbury away from getting promoted to the Yankees.

25 Jose Deleon RHP (Rays) 7.28 - Deleon was acquired recently from the Dodgers for Logan Forsythe. The Puerto Rican throws in the low to mid 90s, but his change is what gets hitters out. In AAA he struck out more than a hitter an inning, threw strikes and limited the opposition to a .194 average. When promoted to the majors his command disappeared, the opposition hit him at a .288 clip and he gave up five homeruns in 17 innings pitched. The Rays hope this was a learning experience for him. He will probably start the season in AAA but the Rays have the potential to have one of the best young rotations in baseball with Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell and Jose Deleon.

24. Mickey Moniak OF (Phillies) 7.48 - The Phillies 2016 number one pick, making him the top pick in the draft. Above average speed and a rocket arm makes him flexible for center or right field. The power is absent for now but it is expected to show as he fills out. He makes solid contact now, hitting balls into the gaps. Last year in rookie ball he slugged .409. Expect him to start the 2017 season in Low A. Don’t expect the power to become evident until 2018.

23. Manuel Margot OF (Padres) 7.52 - The Padres acquired Manuel from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal. He has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. Last year that speed contributed to 32 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Power is lacking but he should get close to double digits and with his speed doubles should be frequent. Last year he made his major league debut hitting just .243. In AAA he was able to get the average up to .304. The Padres expect him to compete with Travis Jankowski for the centerfield job.

22. Francis Martes RHP (Astros) 7.77 - The Astros stole Martes from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade. At that time he was still in rookie ball struggling to throw strikes. His control has gotten better and his fastball has climbed to the mid-90s, hitting triple digits when he really lets loose. Martes also has a plus curveball that sharply breaks down towards the plate. The one down side with Martes is his short height (6′1″) which does not give him any downward plane. After his success at AA last year it is expected the Astros will start him at AAA, with a promotion to the major leagues if an injury or ineffectiveness plagues the starting staff.

21. Lewis Brinson OF (Brewers) 7.77 - Brinson is a nice little centerfielder who the Brewers got from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Brinson shows all five tools, with the ability to hit for power with 30 plus homeruns and the speed to play centerfield. That speed has not translated well to stolen bases. The Brewers would like to see him walk more to increase the OBA, making him better suited for the leadoff role. He reached AAA last year and hit .382 in less than 100 at bats. The 2017 season will see him back at AAA with the chance to see the outfield for the rebuilding Brewers.

30 Teams in 30 Days - Mariners

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Overview - It has been 15 years since the Mariners last made the playoffs. 2001 was the year they tied the record for most wins in a season with 116. It was also the debut of Ichiro Suzuki. They lost in the playoffs that year to the Yankees so they never made it to the World Series, just one of two teams never to appear in a World Series. The Washington Nationals are the other team. Myworld predicts they will make it to the playoffs as one of the two wild card teams. Whether they appear in the World Series is another story. Last year they almost made it into the playoffs, contending until the last week of the season. Better years from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma would help them in their quest.

Weaknesses - Their outfield has got to be one of the weakest in baseball. Jarrod Dyson will try to show he is not a fourth outfielder type as he bats in the leadoff position. He has speed and a top rate glove but his bat can be called into question, especially for its lace of pop. Mitch Haniger had a nice AAA season for the Diamondbacks. Myworld will be surprised if he can replicate those numbers against major league pitching. Leonys Martin is a decent centerfielder with some pop and good speed. Expect Tyler O’Niel to be called up by mid-season. Nelson Cruz should see most of his time at designated hitter. He has hit 40 plus homeruns for three seasons in a row now, but his outfield defense is dicey. First base will be a platoon between well travelled Danny Valencia, who spent the bulk of his early career as a backup and Dan Vogelbach, a Prince Fielder type who spent most of his 2016 season in the minors. Defense is not either one of these players strengths. D.J. Peterson is on call in the minors should one of these players struggle. The Mariners have also waited a long time for Mike Zunino to reach his number one potential. He may be what he has shown the last couple years, a low .200 hitting catcher who plays decent defense behind the plate. The veteran Carlos Ruiz will act as his backup, but he doesn’t have much left in the tank.

Strengths - Kyle Seager is a solid player who hit 30 homeruns last year with a .858 OPS. He struggled a bit against lefthanders but the Mariners have few options behind him. Robinson Cano will be 34 next year but he was one shy of joining Nelson Cruz in the 40 homerun club. It was his best season since signing his big contract with the Mariners. Jean Segura had a career year with the Diamondbacks last season hitting .319 with 20 homeruns and 33 stolen bases. That was while playing as a second baseman. He will be playing shortstop for the Mariners, a position he played for the Brewers a couple years ago. Nelson Cruz is a big bat at the DH spot. It will be hard for him to make it four in a row as far as 40 homerun seasons since he will be hitting 37 in 2017. The Mariners need a better year from King Felix Hernandez, who had a couple awful outings which hiked his season ending ERA to 3.82. If this is the start of a slide the playoff picture could get cloudy. Hisashi Iwakuma no longer has the velocity to overpower hitters but the Mariners do not have a lot behind him. The duo of Edwin Diaz and Steve Cishek should make the Mariner bullpen formidable after the eighth inning.

Impact Prospects - There is not a lot in the outfield to prevent Tyler O’Neil from getting a callup by mid season if he can repeat his 2016 numbers. Tyler has a nice power bat the Mariners could use in the outfield. Dan Vogelbach was acquired from the Cubs to take over at first base. He has the physique of Prince Fielder but despite his size is agile at first base. He can hit for average and power but his speed will clog up the bases. D.J. Peterson is another option here should Vogelbach struggle. Peterson is not as consistent a hitter but he equals in power. Dillon Overton was acquired from the Athletics recently and could fill a lefthanded role in the bullpen, though he was a starter in the minors. Mitch Haniger will be given the right field job based on his minor league numbers last year. If Tony Zych is healthy his high 90s heat should contribute in the bullpen. He missed a lot of time last year because of shoulder issues. James Pazos is another lefty for the bullpen. The Mariners acquired him from the Yankees.

Prospects to Watch - Their best prospect is probably outfielder Kyle Lewis. His season was cut short by injury last year after he showed off impressive five tool potential. Another outfielder with five tool potential is Brayan Hernandez who the Mariners signed for a $1.85 million bonus in 2014. He will turn 20 this year and may see his first season in a full season league. Thyago Vieira is a Brazilian who throws triple digit heat. A lack of secondary pitches and poor control will keep him in the bullpen, but an explosive fastball could make him a closer.

Expected Finish - It will be a battle to the end but if their starting pitching holds out the Mariners should finish in second and make it as one of the two wild card teams. Jerry Dipoto keeps filling the roster with role type players that can offer at least one top rated skill that will contribute to victories.

Breakout Prospects or Prospects to Watch - AL West

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

It’s a bit slow in the baseball world. The Cuban and Caribbean Leagues have taken some days off and the Australian League only plays on weekends so myworld thought we would look at some of the top prospects of each division. Myworld will select a prospect to have a major league impact in 2017 and another prospect to watch to see if he will find himself on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States. Today myworld takes a look at the AL West.

Los Angeles Angels

Breakout Prospect (Alex Meyer RHP) - The cupboard is bare but the Angels need starting pitching. A pitcher who has had trouble staying healthy, Alex Meyer was recently acquired from the Twins. He stands 6′9″ and heaves an upper 90s fastball. The problem has been injuries limiting the number of innings he has thrown. A lack of command has also destroyed his major league opportunities. Last year he pitched only 54 innings, with 25 of them being in the major leagues. He will be 27 in 2017 so his time is now. Because of a fragile arm expect him to start the season in the bullpen, but as shallow as the Angels are in the rotation with some success he could be moved to the starting rotation by the end of the year. The Angels will probably limit his inning count to less than 120.

Prospect to Watch (Manny Banuelos LHP) - At one point he was a top prospect with the New York Yankees and was on tap for making the major league roster out of spring training when his elbow failed him and he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Since that surgery he has not been the same. Prior to the surgery he had a fastball that could hit the mid-90s. After the surgery it has wallowed in the low 90s. This will require him to rely more on some of his other pitches, especially his change to give the fastball the appearance of greater velocity. Elbow soreness stalled his 2016 season so expect the Angels to be cautious with him next year and move him along slowly. If he has success in the minor leagues he could be a September callup or a bullpen option if a lefty is needed.

Houston Astros

Breakout Prospect (David Paulino RHP) - Myworld is a sucker for tall pitchers and at 6′7″ David meets the height requirement. Many feel his best role will be in the bullpen but the Astros have too many holes in their starting rotation not to give Paulino a shot. Last year he got two relief appearances and one start but lacked the strikeout pitch he showed in the minor leagues to have success with the big boys. His fastball can blaze across the plate in the mid-90s and his curveball is a legitimate second pitch. Injuries have limited his innings so the Astros would not want to have him pitch more than 120 innings. Expect him to start in the bullpen if he makes the Astros at the beginning of the year, or work under a more controlled environment as a starter in AAA. If his arm is healthy he has the potential to be a number one or two starter. If his arm continues to be fragile and his change maintains inconsistency he could work as the Astros closer.

Prospect to Watch (Cionel Perez LHP) - Not a lot is known about the Cuban lefty. He initially signed for a bonus of greater than $5 million but after a physical it was reduced significantly. At 5′11″ he does not have imposing height, but that is not as important when you throw from the left side. He throws in the low 90s and has the typical array of pitches, curveball, slider and change that probably come from many different arm slots. He made his Cuban debut as a 17 year old and led the league in ERA at 2.06. Myworld had identified him as one of the top pitchers in Cuba in December 2014 when he pitched for Matanzas. At 20 years old he will probably begin the season in Low A, but if he shows the success he did as a 17 year old against Cuban veterans he will be promoted to the higher levels quickly.

Oakland Athletics

Breakout Prospect (Renato Nunez 3B) - The Venezuelan native is powering his way through the winter league, hitting 11 homeruns in Venezuela. The Athletics have a number of corner infielders stacked at AAA but none with the power of Nunez. He did struggle in a brief call up last year with a .133 average and some feel his fielding for third base is a bit spotty, making a move to first base a possibility. He lacks the foot speed to fit in a corner outfield. Expect him to club 30 plus homeruns for the Athletics once he finds a position.

Prospect to Watch (Norge Ruiz RHP) - Another Cuban pitcher recently signed. He is a smallish righthander at 5′11″ in the vein of Yunesky Maya. The Athletics hope he has more success than Yunesky. He is not really a hard thrower, sitting in the low 90s with the ability to mix in a slider, splitter and change. The hope is that he avoids the barrels of bats and when he puts men on base his ability to force the hitters to pound the ball on the ground will result in inning ending double plays. He could end up in the bullpen, but the Athletics will start him off in the starting rotation at High A. At 22 years of age he could move up quickly. A younger Cuban who the Athletics signed for a higher bonus is Lazaro Armenteros. At 17 years of age he is packed with a bundle of tools that could make him a Yasiel Puig sensation, hopefully without the attitude and lack of discipline. As he develops he could be an offensive oriented centerfielder or a complete basket case with more confidence than ability.

Seattle Mariners

Breakout Prospect (D.J. Peterson 1B/3B) - In 2014, a year after being drafted in the first round by Seattle D.J. slugged 31 homeruns in High A and AA. Things have not been so easy since as pitchers have adjusted to his pull only approach and he was slow to recognize it. 2015 was a disaster with a disappearance of his power, but last year he saw a resurgence. It still did not equal his 2014 season but his slugging average went over .400. His defense may force a shift from third base to first, and with Kyle Seager at third base that job was not open. So all he has to do is beat out Dan Voglebach for the first base job. Dan is more suited at DH. First D.J. has to improve on his power swing.

Prospect to Watch (Kyle Lewis OF) - This is a player with lots of tools but an early season injury to his knee prevented many from seeing his tool box. He was drafted in the first round by the Mariners out of a small college. Many were curious to see how he would handle the major league setting. He did quite well with a .915 OPS. Speed may have been one of his lesser tools so it will be interesting to see how the knee injury will impact that in 2017. He could be one of those hitters who bats over .300 with 30 plus homeruns if he develops. His best bet would be to play right field since his average speed may limit his range in center.

Texas Rangers

Breakout Prospect (Connor Sadzeck RHP) - The Rangers have traded away many of their top prospects to continue their playoff runs. As to be expected Connor is tall at 6′7″ and throws hard with a fastball in the high 90s. At AA last year myworld was not overwhelmed with his whiff to innings pitched ratio (140.2 to 133) and the opposition hit him at a .244 clip, but that heat will give him some attention. He still needs to develop his change as an effective third pitch, otherwise he will utilize his craft in the bullpen. His command also needs to improve as he walks three per nine innings. Major league development guys are attracted to the heat and few pitchers have a fastball that can match Connor.

Prospect to Watch (Yeyson Yrizarri SS) - The Rangers pay out huge bonuses to young prospects and nobody pays attention to them when they are 16 in the rookie league. It is when they begin raking at the higher leagues that the attention becomes focused. The Rangers paid $1.35 million for the Dominican back in 2013 and he has percolated up through their system. Last year he played in Low A where he showed he could be an offensive shortstop with power who also carries good defensive skills. He needs to improve on his 9/91 walk to whiff ratio as more advanced pitchers will exploit his tendency to swing at anything. Expect the Rangers to promote the 19 year old to High A with a move to AA possible if he achieves success.

Mariners and Padres Rosters Based on Draft Picks

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Below would be the rosters for the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres based on their domestic draft looking at major league players drafted from 2005 until present. The Padres seem to do well drafting players who can play second base but that is not how you build championship teams. The Mariners have some impressive starting pitchers but lack any offensive players.

San Diego Padres

2005 - Cesar Ramos (1) LHP, Chase Headley (2) 3B, Ryan Hundley (2) C, Will Venable (2) OF, Josh Tomlin (11 - DNS) RHP

2006 - Wade LeBlanc (2) LHP, David Freese (9) 3B, Matt Latos (11) RHP

2007 - Eric Sogard (2) UTL, Corey Kluber (4) RHP, Christian Colon (10 - DNS) 3B/SS, Brandon Gomes (17) RHP

2008 - Logan Forsythe (1) 2B, Jason Kipnis (4 - DNS) 2B, Anthony Bass (5) RHP, Andrew Albers (10) LHP, Nick Vincent (18) RHP, Sean Gilmartin (31 - DNS) LHP, Brad Brach (42) RHP

2009 - Keyvius Sampson (4) RHP

2010 - Jedd Gyorko (2) 2B

2011 - Corey Spangenberg (1) 2B, Joe Ross (1) RHP, Jace Peterson (1) 2B, Austin Hedges (2) C, Matt Andriese (3) RHP, Matt Wisler (7) RHP, Kevin Quackenbush (8) RHP, Colin Rea (12) RHP

2012 - Travis Jankowski (1) OF, Mallex Smith (5) OF

2013 - Hunter Renfroe (1) OF, Trevor Gott (6) RHP

2014 - Trea Turner (1) OF

C - Austin Hedges, Nick Hundley

1B - David Freese

2B - Logan Forsythe, Jason Kipnis, Jedd Gyorko, Corey Spangenberg

3B - Chase Headley

SS - Jace Peterson, Christian Colon, Eric Sogard

OF - Trea Turner, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, Mallex Smith, Will Venable

SP - Josh Tomlin, Corey Kluber, Matt Latos, Wade LeBlanc, Joe Ross, Colin Rea, Matt Wisler, Matt Andriese

RP - Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes, Anthony Bass, Andrew Albers, Nick Vincent, Sean Gilmartin, Brad Brach, Keyvius Sampson, Kevin Quackenbush, Matt Stites, Trvor Gott

Seattle Mariners

2005 - James Russell (17 - DNS) RHP, Xavier Scruggs (50 - DNS) 1B/OF

2006 - Brandon Morrow (1) RHP, Chris Tillman (2)RHP, Doug Fister (7) RHP

2007 - Shawn Kelley (13) RHP, Brett Oberhaltzer (4 - DNS) LHP, David Carpenter (49 - DNS) RHP

2008 - Josh Fields (1) RHP, Brandon Maurer (23) RHP

2009 - Dustin Ackley (1) OF 1B , Steve Baron (1) C, Nick Franklin (1) UTL, Kyle Seager (3) 3B

2010 - Taijuan Walker (1) RHP, James Paxton (4) LHP, Jabari Blash (8) OF

2011 - Brad Miller (2) SS, Carter Capps (3) RHP, John Hicks (4) C, Carson Smith (8) RHP, Keone Kela (29 - DNS) RHP

2012 - Mike Zunino (1) C, Edwin Diaz (3) RHP, Chris Taylor (5) SS, Dominic Leone (16) RHP

C - Mike Zunino, Steve Baron, John Hicks

1B - Xavier Scruggs, Dustin Ackley

2B - Nick Franklin

SS - Brad Miller, Chris Taylor

3B - Kyle Seager

OF - Jabari Blash

SP - Lance Lynn, Chris Tillman, Doug Fister, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Brett Oberholtzer

RP - James Russell, Brandon Morrow, Shawn Kelley, David Carpenter, Josh Fields, Brandon Maurer, Carter Capps, Carson Smith, Keone Kela, Edwin Diaz, Dominic Leone

Al West Predictions and Looking Forward

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Myworld has so far picked this division in order.

Texas Rangers - Ian Desmond has been a good one year free agent signing. After a slow start and beginning with a position switch in left field the Rangers made him their centerfielder one month into the season. That became necessary after the Rangers called up Nomar Mazara and Delino Deshields struggled with the bat. Cole Hamels has replaced the injured Yu Darvish as the ace. When Yu Darvish gets fully healthy this duo will be tough to stop in a playoff scenario. Roughned Odor has elevated his game to All Star status with the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. Jurickson Profar has gotten healthy and the Rangers need to find a position for his .300 average. The Rangers still need to find a closer but other than that the team is playoff ready.

Lewis Brinson would have made the top of the prospect list but he was traded to the Brewers as one of the players in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. That makes the top prospect 1) Joey Gallo. No minor league player has more power but there is a lot of swing and miss to his swing and no position in Texas for him to play. 2) Andy Ibanaz is a Cuban professional who will not need a lot of time to make the professional ranks. His defense is solid and his bat will neighbor .300 with gap power. 3) Ronald Guzman generates a lot of power with his line drive swing. His lack of speed limits him to first base. 4) Ryan Cordell could be the centerfielder of the future after the trade of Lewis Brinson. His bat has shown some power this year with 19 homeruns and he has the speed to steal 20 or more bases. 5) Jairo Beras is a big guy at 6′6″. His strike zone is large which creates a lot of strikeouts but his arm is a gun and his bat generates power.

Houston Astros (2) - Jose Altuve is having an MVP type of season. George Springer is having a breakout year. It is surprising how well Houston has done considering how poorly their starting pitching has performed and being forced to use Marwin Gonzalez at first base because their other three candidates failed to win the position. Will Harris will eventually cede the closer position to Ken Giles. Harris ERA is going north while Giles is heading south.

Alex Bregman has been promoted and may get too many at bats to qualify for this list. He has to improve on an average that has dropped to below .050. 1) A.J. Reed fits the top spot. The Astros were hoping he would take over the first base job after hitting 34 homeruns in his first full season last season. A .156 average in a brief promotion shows he still needs some time. 2) Kyle Tucker is the younger brother of Preston. He stands about four inches taller than Preston and shows more power in his bat. Of the two he should make the most impact. 3) J.D. Davis has a nice power bat for third base. He strikes out too much which will restrict his average. 4) Francis Martes is a hard thrower that needs to find a third pitch. 5) Yulieski Gurriel may find too many at bats to qualify for this list, but he is still waiting for his work visa and will need a couple weeks in the minor leagues to refresh his swing. His last season in Cuba he hit an unbelievable .500 in over .200 at bats before defecting. It will be interesting to see if he continues his high contact rate with major league pitching.

Seattle Mariners (3) - They started strong but their pitching did not pan out. Felix Hernandez was good but he had to go on the disabled list. Hisahsi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton have disappointed. Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano have put some fear in pitchers when hitting back to back in the middle of the order. Dae-Ho Lee has been the best of the Korean signings, his experience in the Japanese League giving him an edge.

1) Kyle Lewis was the Mariners first pick in 2016. An injury has cut his first season short but a .530 slugging has shown his power potential early. 2) Tyler O’Neil bashed 32 homeruns last year. That mashing has continued this year with 19 homeruns to date. His defense could limit him to left field. 3)Luiz Gohara is a Brazilian with a 95 mile per hour fastball thrown from the left side. He has risen two levels with a 1.94 ERA. 4) D.J. Peterson had an off year last. It would be better if his power played third, but his big frame leaves him ticketed for first base. 5) Brayan Hernandez is a Cuban defector with the defensive tools to play center. Some question whether his bat will have success against major league pitching.

Los Angeles Angels (4) - Another disappointing season for the Angels despite having the best player in baseball in Mike Trout. Injuries have hurt the rotation and Albert Pujols is just a shell of himself that the Angels are paying $20 million plus. They are also paying Josh Hamilton a lot of money to not play for them.

With such a poor major league roster you would hope the farm system would be strong. It isn’t. Myworld is so unimpressed with their minor league system that we are only naming three prospects. With the system so weak you have to go with 1) Matt Thaiss, their first round pick as the top prospect. He plays first base, a position with plenty of depth on the Angels. His power is a question mark but his lack of speed leaves first base as his only viable position. 2) Taylor Ward was their first round pick last year. A solid defensive catcher who may carry a soft bat. 3) Victor Alcantara can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. Without a third pitch he may be destined for the pen. Poor control is also a problem.

Oakland Athletics (5) - Not much was expected from them this year. Sonny Gray was their only talent and he has struggled this year. Khris Davis was a late trade acquisition and he has shown excellent power, challenging for the American League homerun crown. His defense in left field is weak. Marcus Semien has lessoned his errors but increased his homerun totals. Rich Hill has shown last year was not a fluke, but he’s been traded to give the Athletics a future.

1) Franklin Barreto is one of the best prospects in the game, acquired from Toronto. His bat is strong but his defense may force him to move from short. 2) A.J. Puk at 6′7″ is a lefthander with a fastball in the high 90s. He was the Athletics first round pick this year. 3) Richie Martin is a better fielding shortstop than Barreto but may not have the bat to support the position. 4) Lazaro Armentaros is a Cuban signing with lots of tools that remind many of Yasiel Puig. The Athletics hope his character is better. 5) Grant Holmes was a recent acquisition from the Dodgers. Despite hitting the mid-90s with his fastball he gives up lots of hits and has trouble finding the strike zone. A small frame (6′1″) could destine him for the bullpen.

Ichiro Ties Rose for Most Hits in Baseball

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Pete Rose does not believe hits from Japan should count. Ichiro Suzuki collected 1,278 hits in Japan with a team called the Orix Blue Waves. He came to the major leagues in 2001 and today legged out an infield single to give him 2,978 major league hits. That gives him 4,256 hits for his career, the same amount amassed by Pete Rose.

Rose played 24 years in the major leagues. Ichiro played 16 seasons in the major leagues and nine season in Japan with the Blue Waves. In Japan they play a 144 game season so Ichiro lost a full 162 games with the shortened seasons.

Because major league baseball does not recognize combined stats Pete Rose will always be recognized for being the hit king in the major leagues, even though he is banned from entering the Hall of Fame. Myworld and others who follow international baseball will recognize Ichiro as the hit king of baseball, similar to the way Sadaharu Oh (868) is recognized as the homerun king and not Barry Bonds (762), who also may be prevented from entering the Hall of Fame because of performance enhancing drugs.

AL West Review of Number One Picks

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Below are the number one picks of the AL West teams for the past five years. The Angels and Mariners have done the worst job while Houston and Oakland have drafted impact major leaguers with their picks. Unfortunately, the Athletics traded away one of those impact players.

Houston Astros

2015 - Alex Bregman SS - Despite drafting Carlos Correa with the first pick in 2012 this did not stop the Astros from selecting another shortstop. He may eventually move to third or be used as a trade chip in a playoff run. His bat will play at third and his glove should provide gold glove defense. This year he has slugged 12 homeruns with a .573 slugging percentage in AA. The Astros have a hole at third which Bregman can fill in 2017.

Kyle Tucker OF - The Astros already had his brother on the major league 40 man roster. His younger brother may end up the better player. At 6′4″ he stands a few inches taller, but I would imagine he lacks the huge forearms of Preston. The power has yet to show with only one homerun this year, but he is hitting .305 at Low A with 23 stolen bases in 28 attempts.

2014 - Brady Aiken LHP - The Astros selected him as their first pick, found a problem with his arm and offered him less than their initial offer. The fact he didn’t sign impacted their ability to sign a lower round pick who they eventually had to compensate because they lacked the cap room to sign the midround pick after promising him the bonus money. So they lost two draft choices as a result of the botched pick. Brady was drafted by the Indians in the first round of 2015 but has yet to pitch after having Tommy John surgery.

2013 - Mark Appel RHP - Another botched pick who they signed, but he had trouble getting minor league hitters out. They eventually packaged him in a deal for Ken Giles and now his inconsistency is the Phillies problem. He may eventually reach the majors but only because of his status as the first pick in the draft and the hope of salvaging some hidden talent.

2012 - Carlos Correa SS - They got this one right. Though his sophomore year isn’t as impressive as his rookie year he will still be an impact player at shortstop and can move to third with his bat if the Astros prefer Bregman as their shortstop. The first Puerto Rican selected at the top of the draft.

2011 - George Springer OF - Another solid pick. He swings and misses a lot, but there is five tool talent there. He currently hits lead off for the Astros with double digit homerun power that could reach 30/30. A solid defensive player in right field with center field tools.

2010 - Delino Deshields 2B - His father had a number of good years with the Montreal Expos. Delino did not show case his talent with the Astros and was lost in the Rule V draft to the Texas Rangers. Last year he had a solid season for the Rangers starting in centerfield. This year he struggled, lost his job to Ian Desmond and was sent back down to the minors. He will return but more as a fourth outfielder who offers a team speed off the bench.

Mike Foltynewicz RHP - He could hit triple digits with ease. The Astros traded him to the Braves for Evan Gattis fearing he would never control his fastball. Command has always been an issue, but this year he has a 3.24 ERA in six starts before being placed on the disabled list with arm soreness. Most think his best role will be in the bullpen as a closer.

Los Angeles Angels

2015 - Taylor Ward C - After raking for half a season last year (.349) reality has struck now that he is playing full season ball (.230). The Angels are hoping he will become a solid defensive catcher with a potent bat. Mike Trout could use some help in the lineup.

2014 - Sean Newcomb LHP - The Angels did not have a lot of pitching depth but they traded two of their better ones to the Braves for Andrelton Simmons. Now injuries to their rotation forced them to sign Tim Lincecum when they could have considered calling up either Chris Ellis or Newcomb.

2013 - No pick

2012 - no pick

2011 - C.J. Cron 1B - The Angels were hoping Cron would show more power. He has been blocked by Albert Pujols, but with Albert’s foot problems more playing opportunities have opened up for Cron. A .433 slugging percentage in the major leagues is not what teams are looking for in a first baseman.

2010 - Kaleb Cowart 3B - The Angels went out and traded for Yunel Escobar, not confident Kaleb was ready to fill the third base job. He is hitting .304 with doubles power but those numbers are padded by the hitter friendly Pacific Coast league parks. The concern is the power is not there for third base and there is some thought to move him to second.

Cam Bedrosian RHP - The son of Steve, the Angels tried him as a starter. When that didn’t work they put him in the bullpen. That has not worked either. At some point he needs to get major league hitters out or be released.

Chavez Clarke OF - The Angels released him in 2014. The White Sox signed him but released him in 2015. Now he is playing in Independent ball.

Oakland Athletics

2015 - Richie Martin SS - A solid defensive player who many question his ability to hit. Injuries have limited him to just 11 games this year after he hit .237 in half a season last year. The Athletics don’t seem to keep the shortstops they draft so expected him to get traded before he makes the big club.

2014 - Matt Chapman 3B - A slugging corner who may eventually have to move to first. Last year he slugged 23 homers in just 80 games in the California League. The balls are still flying over the fence with 14 this year, but his average is down at .234.

2013 - Billy McKinney OF - The Athletics traded him to the Cubs in their ill fated pennant run two years ago. Billy needs to play centerfield to be effective. He lacks the power to be a corner, but his arm is not strong and his speed is not great. Myworld expects he will settle as a fourth outfielder type.

2012 - Addison Russell SS - Another player traded by the Athletics to the Cubs. Eventually he stole the shortstop job from Starlin Castro, playing a more consistent defense. If the Athletics had kept him he would be their starting shortstop now.

2011 - Sonny Gray RHP - Despite his lack of height (5′10″) he has given the Athletics a couple All Star seasons. This year has started out being a clunker with the Athletics putting him on the disabled list hoping the rest will rejuvenate him.

2010 - Michael Choice OF - Not one of the best choices by the Athletics. The Athletics traded him to the Rangers in 2013 and he appears to be minor league fodder.

Seattle Mariners

2015 - no pick

2014 - Alex Jackson OF - He was a catcher in high school when the Mariners drafted him. They converted him to the outfield to quicken his pace of getting his bat in the lineup. Unfortunately for the Mariners his bat has disappeared since he has been drafted. His bat has been so bad that he started the 2016 season in extended spring training to work on his swing, but that has not seemed to be effective as he has started the season hitting .129 with four homeruns.

2013 - D.J. Peterson 3B - His first full season started with promise with 31 homeruns. The followup was a dud with just seven homeruns and an average in the .220s. The Mariners have hopes that he will bounce back in 2016 but only a recent hot streak has got his average up to .242. At least he has surpassed his homerun totals from last year (8) but his slugging (.423) falls far short of what they want from him now that he has moved to first base.

2012 - Mike Zunino C - A slugging bat in the minor leagues but too many swings and misses in the major leagues sapped a lot of that power. A number of balls cleared the fence in the major leagues but his average kept dropping in his three years with the Mariners, from .214 to .176. Now he is back in AAA trying to discover a more consistent stroke. He is hitting .266 with 13 homeruns which could earn him another callup this year.

2011 - Danny Hultzen LHP - Arm injuries have limited him to 10 starts in four years.

2010 - No pick

Texas Rangers

2015 - Dillon Tate RHP - His alma mater UC Santa Barbara is still in the College World Series. A overpowering fastball and hard slider give him two good pitches that could make him a closer. The Rangers are working him in the rotation where he has struggled (6.44).

2014 - Luis Ortiz RHP - The MVP of the 18 and under United States team. He is also a fastball/slider pitcher with a developing change up. Luis dominated early in the hitter friendly California League (2.60 ERA) but a promotion to AA has proved a little more challenging (4.61 ERA). He has given up a few more hits per innings pitched and his strikeouts have decreased as he gets acclimated to the more advanced hitters.

2013 - Chi Chi Gonzalez RHP - The Rangers brought him up quickly (2015) where he pitched well (3.90 ERA). His walk to whiff numbers (32/30) were a concern. The Rangers started him in AAA this year and he has struggled (5.52 ERA) giving up a lot of hits (68 in 60 innings) with a vanilla walk to whiff ratio (20/39). He will need to improve on those numbers to get another callup.

Travis Demeritte SS - After missing much of last year because of injury Travis has made up for it early in the 2016 season with a torrid start. His 15 homeruns is only a couple behind the minor league homerun leaders. His batting average is down (.255) because his strikeouts are excessive (79 in 56 games) and need to be reduced. He has also moved to second base.

2012 - Lewis Brinson OF - Ian Desmond will be a free agent next year and Lewis Brinson is poised to take over the centerfield job. He covers a lot of ground in centerfield but still must find more consistency in the bat. His power is beginning to show with seven homeruns but a .221 average in AA will not get him to the major leagues. He has the potential to be a 20/20 player in the major leagues.

2011 - Kevin Matthews LHP - Injuries prevented him from pitching in 2015 and have limited him to 21 innings in three years. He has made six bullpen appearances in 2016 (6.48 ERA) with 11 walks in 8 innings in rehab appearances in Low A.

2010 - Jake Skole OF - Sold to the Yankees in 2015 where he is playing outfield in the Florida State League. Not where a 26 year old player wants to be at this point in his career.

Kellin Deglan C - His claim to fame is breaking the Australian baseball league homerun record. The Rangers would like to know where that power stroke is state side. He will hit in the double digits for homeruns, but the last couple years he has struggled to get his average above .220. He doesn’t walk enough (5/38) swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.

Hot Memorial Day Prospects

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Myworld was in Pittsburgh for the Memorial Day weekend. It was a bummer the Pirates were not in town. The Wi-Fi reception at the hotel was horrible so we got a little behind.

Taylor Sparks 3B (Reds) - Entering the Memorial Day weekend the Reds second round 2014 pick was hitting just .180. A 10 for 19 five game spread raised that average to .215. During a three game sweep Taylor drove in eight runs with three homeruns, one more dinger than he had hit before Memorial Day.

Miguel Andujar 3B (Yankees) - The 21 year old Dominican only hit eight homeruns in the Florida State league in 2015. He slammed two homeruns on Saturday, driving in five to put his homerun total at 9 and RBI total at 37. Last year Miguel only drove in 57 runs in 130 games.

Joey Wendle 2B (Athletics) - They traded Brandon Moss to acquire Joey. A slow start to the season put his average at .197 after May 25. A six game hitting streak (13 for 27) has elevated his average to .235. During that streak he had a five RBI day falling a double short of the cycle.

David Dahl OF (Rockies) - David has smacked five doubles in three games, going 7 for 11 during that streak. Dahl has hit 10 doubles for the month of May, 16 for the year.

Wilson Contreras C (Cubs) - It is getting harder for the Cubs to ignore the offensive exploits of Wilson. A ten game hitting streak (15 for 44) has raised his average to .331. During that streak he has slugged five homeruns and driven in 14 runs. In his last four games he has driven in at least one run for a total of 11 runs driven in.

Austin Meadows OF (Pirates) - A fractured orbital bone delayed the start of the season for Meadows. He has come back swinging with a nine game hitting streak, his last five games multiple hit games. Meadows hit his first homerun of the year on Memorial day.

Steven Moya RF (Tigers) - Moya had a nine game opportunity with the Tigers where he hit .281 with two doubles and two triples. The Tigers have a crowded outfield and were forced to demote him back to AAA. He hit two homeruns in three games to give him a league leading 11 International League homeruns.

Tyler O’Neil RF (Mariners) - Tyler is on a streak of driving in at least one run in his last eight games. During those eight games he has driven in 13 runs for 25 during the month. That gives him 40 runs driven in for the young season. The Canadian is hitting .328 with nine homeruns with a five double streak in five games giving him 13 doubles for the month.

Manuel Margot CF (Padres) - Margot has scored 31 runs in the month of May. The amazing thing is he did not score a run in his first three games of the month but now has scored the 31 runs in just 26 games. In his last four games he has crossed the plate six times and is 6 for 8 in his last two games. Myworld smells a promotion, especially after the outburst of the owner embarrassed about his team’s play.

Hunter Renfroe RF (Padres) - Hunter has been the beneficiary of all those times Margot has been on base, driving in 27 runs for the month of May, slugging eight homeruns and 12 for the year. A 7/37 walk to whiff ratio makes myworld wonder if he can sustain his .320 batting average.

Pitching

Tyler jay LHP (Twins) - Tyler was electric with eight shutout innings and 11 strikeouts on Tuesday. For the month of May his ERA is 0.84 in five starts. He has also struck out 38 hitters in 32 innings with only 7 walks. A promotion to AA is soon.

Reynaldo Lopez RHP (Nationals) - Reynaldo has had a Jekyl and Hyde season, struggling in the cold months of April (4.91 ERA) but looking better in the month of May (3.51). The swings and misses were plentiful on Saturday with 12 whiffs in just five innings of work against Akron.

Adalberto Mejia LHP (Giants) - The Dominican was an out away from pitching a complete game shutout, striking out 10 in the 104 pitch performance. It was his second consecutive start in which he did not allow a run extending his shutout streak to 15.2 innings.

Hot Weekend Prospects

Monday, May 16th, 2016

A busy weekend of games prevented us from updating the prospect hot sheet on a daily basis, so this will summarize those prospects that made an impact over the weekend.

Peter O’Brien 1B/LF (Diamondbacks) - Rotating between the outfield and first base, the bat is what will get O’Brien to the majors. He hit two homeruns to up his AAA season total to 12. A 4 for 5 day elevated his average to .342, but it now sits at .331. A 3/37 walk to whiff ratio may make him a puppet with major league pitchers.

Matt Davidson 3B (White Sox) - The ex-Diamondback is starting to get the average up with a 6 for 9 two game streak in which he hit two homeruns and three doubles. He also drove in six runs during the two game extra base hit barrage, raising his slugging average to .504 and his batting average to .274. Matt has as much power as any player, but last year could not get the average above .200 in a down year. His strikeout numbers have been reduced drastically from 32 in April in 22 games to just 9 in May in 10 games.

Kevin Newman SS (Pirates) - The Pirates 2015 first round pick is making High A look easy and expect a promotion soon. A 7 for 11 two game assault on High A pitchers brought his average up to .371. The hitter is near impossible to strikeout with a 10/7 walk to whiff ratio. Extra base hits have been a little slow with four doubles and one homerun among his 39 singles.

Rob Refsnyder 3B (Yankees) - Another player looking for a promotion to the major leagues. After hitting .218 in April Refsnyder is raking in May with a .404 average. Yesterday he launched his first two homeruns of the year. The Yankees have been using him at second base, third base and right field, so perhaps the days of Dustin Ackley are done if he does not start producing.

Jarrett Parker (OF (Giants) - A brief promotion to the major leagues got him a couple pinch hit at bats and a start in left field where he went 1 for 4. A return to the minor leagues resulted in a continuous barrage of balls leaving the park. In his first two games back he went 4 for 7 with three homeruns. He has hit 10 homeruns in the 10 AAA minor league games he has played in the month of May.

Albert Almora Cf (Cubs) - The Cubs do not have a lot of room in their outfield but when a player with Almora’s defensive tools begins to hit it is time to take notice. Albert currently has an 11 game hitting streak, recently ending a five game hitting streak where he stroked two or more hits. His average is up to .338 but he has not taken a walk in his last 20 games covering 88 at bats. It is difficult to take a walk when the bat makes contact every time it swings.

Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - His brother Preston was recently demoted to the minor leagues. The way Kyle is hitting a promotion to High A could be a possibility. A few more levels and they could be teammates. Kyle is on an 8 game hitting streak where seven of those games have included multiple hits, the 16 for 30 streak raising his average to .328. Kyle is 16 for 19 in stolen base success, but his 6′4″ frame has only lifted one ball to travel over the fence. The Astros expect those power numbers and his .448 slugging percentage to rise with increased strength.

Pitching

Julio Urias LHP (Dodgers) - Everyone is waiting for the teenage sensation from Mexico to be called up to the Dodgers soon. The last teenage sensation from Mexico who threw lefthanded was named Fernando Valenzuela. Unlike Fernando, Julio may begin his Dodger career in the pen. His six shutout innings over the weekend give him four appearances where he has not given up a run, covering 21 innings. His ERA sits at a dazzling 1.25 and righthanders find it just as difficult to hit off him (.173) as lefthanders (.190).

Ben Lively RHP (Phillies) - When the ball is delivered from his hands it dances just like his name. A seven inning 12 strikeout performance improved his record to 6-0 and his ERA to 1.53. His last two appearances covering 13 innings he has not given up a run. Expect a promotion from AA soon.

Chih-Wei Hu RHP (Rays) - The Taiwan native has a hard time giving up runs. He threw seven innings of four hit shutout ball over the weekend to lower his ERA to 0.54 in AA. In all six of his appearances in AA Hu has given up one or less runs. He did get a AA start where he gave up four runs in 4.2 innings. He would like a return engagement to show he can pitch at that level.

Dylan Unsworth RHP (Mariners) - The South African native tossed a seven inning complete game shutout over the weekend to lower his ERA to 1.08 and improve his record to 3-0. The AA Southern League does not look long for Dylan.

Hot Prospects for May 9 and 10

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Volleyball coaching and attending some baseball games have prevented me from doing the research necessary to identify the hot prospects. We’re catching up with a two day post today.

Dan Vogelbach 1B (Cubs) - It seemed only a couple days ago we talked about Vogelbach after a five RBI game. On Wednesday he drove in four runs with two homeruns, his fourth and fifth of the year. Ironic that his only RBIs for the month of May are on the two days when he drove in five and four runs. A .337 batting average in AAA could have the Cubs promote him in an American League park to use as a DH. That is how Kyle Schwarber got his first major league opportunity.

Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) - Verdugo had a big RBI night with seven, six of them a result of a two run and grand slam homerun in the first two innings of a game the Tulsa Drillers won 10-0 over the Springfield Cardinals. Verdugo finished the day 3 for 4.

Bradley Zimmer CF (Indians) - The 2014 first round pick went 3 for 4 with a homerun and four RBIs. The homerun was the culmination of three consecutive games in which he hit one homerun. His final RBI total for those three days was eight. The three homeruns give him seven for the year. Bradley has also been stealing his fair share of bases with 14 in 18 attempts to date.

J.D. Davis 3B (Astros) - After hitting .289 with 26 homeruns last year, the third round 2014 pick has gotten off to a slow start this year. A 3 for 4 day in which he hit his second homerun and drove in four runs raised his average to .205. He went his first 21 games without hitting a homerun and then hit two in his next three games.

Anfernee Seymour SS (Marlins) - A 4 for 5 day was the third game of a four game hitting streak that has raised his average to .230. So far only one of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases. He has yet to hit a homerun since he was drafted in the seventh round in 2014.

Kyle Wren LF (Brewers) - A 4 for 5 day has raised his average to .277. Most of his time at Biloxi has been in left field, but he lacks the power to play that position. He does have the speed to play centerfield but Brett Phillips has been seeing most of the time there. This makes Wren look more like a fourth outfielder type.

Phillip Ervin CF (Reds) - The Reds expect Phillip to carry a power bat. His two homeruns on Tuesday give him five for the year. He also walked and stole his 13th base without being caught. Currently, the 2013 first round pick is only hitting .229.

Harrison Bader CF (Cardinals) - The Cardinals 2015 third round pick has been a beast against AA pitching. A 4 for 5 day with two solo shots has extended his hitting streak to 13 games and increased his homer total to 7. There have been three four hit games during this 13 game hitting streak, increasing his average to .379. In 10 games for the month of May his batting average is .455. The only down side to his season is a 4 for 11 success rate in stolen bases.

Austin Dean LF (Marlins) - Austin had a two homerun day and added a triple to finish 3 for 5 with five RBIs. The two homeruns give Austin three for the season.

Austin Slater CF (Giants) - A big 5 for 5 day has increased his average 50 points. He was a triple short of the cycle. Austin currently has a five game hitting streak with doubles in three consecutive games.

Roeman Fields CF (Blue Jays) - Roeman has gotten hot with two four hit games within four games to raise his average to .262. Only one of the 8 hits went for extra bases (triple) his only extra base hit for the month of May. Fields will not hit for a lot of power, but will be relied on to be a leadoff hitter whose legs will carry him around the bases (11 for 14 success rate in stolen bases).

Pitchers

Jake Jewell RHP (Angels), Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates), Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) and Yaisel Sierra RHP (Dodgers) - All pitchers went six innings allowing just two hits. Jake (8.54 ERA) and Yaisel (5.40) hope the shutouts will turn around a slow start to their 2016 season. For Keller this is his fourth start of six in which he has not given up a run to lower his ERA to 0.79.

Ben Lively RHP (Phillies), Chris Ellis RHP (Braves) and Shawn Morimando LHP (Indians) - Lively and Ellis improved their records to 5-0, Lively throwing six innings of four hit shutout ball, Ellis pitching seven innings of three hit shutout ball. Ellis was drafted by the Angels but included with Sean Newcomb in the Andrelton Simmons trade. Simmons is now injured and the Angels are desperate to find pitching. Lively lowered his ERA to 1.80 and Ellis to 1.77. Morimando gave up two runs in his eight innings of work but has won all six of his starts to begin the season to 6-0. He has not given up more than two runs in any of his six starts.

Julio Urias LHP (Dodgers) and Dinelson Lamet RHP (Padres) - Both pitchers did not give up a run in six innings of work, allowing only four hits. For Lamet he picked up his fifth win, which equaled the amount he won last year. The shutout was his second in a row giving him at least 12 innings of shutout ball. He has also only given up one run in his last five outings covering 23 innings to lower his ERA to 1.18. The next start for Urias may be in the Dodger pen after his third straight appearance in which he did not give up a run, covering 15 innings.

Ryan Merritt LHP (Indians) - Ryan got a rare complete game shutout victory, giving up just four hits. He threw just 97 pitches. Merritt will not overpower anyone with a fastball in the upper 80s. He wins games by command and a excellent changeup that makes his fastball feel like the low 90s.

Andrew Moore RHP (Mariners) - Andrew was dominant for his second start. Earlier he had thrown seven innings of no hit ball. Monday he went six innings and just allowed one hit.

Stephan Gonsalves LHP (Twins) - This was Gonsalves fourth start in which he has given up only two hits. Three of the four starts he has not given up a run. In his last five starts he has given up only two runs with four two hitters in those starts. His ERA dropped to 1.21.