Top 11: Down on the Farm

Another Top 11 coming right up! This time a look at the young guns in the Mariners farm system. The major league team might not be very impressive, but Jackie Z and co. have been hard at work stocking the shelves of the minor league affiliates with top talent through the draft and trades. Here’s the best of what the Mariners farm system has to offer.

11. Phillips Castillo (OF, Rookie)

This 18 year old prospect, who was signed by the Mariners out of the Dominican in 2010, shows great promise a few years down the road. He began by hitting a solid .300 and a .848 OPS in the Arizona League last season at the Rookie level. Castillo possesses the potential to develop some power in his bat, but will also hit for average. Again, keep in mind that he is still at least three years away, but ESPN Insider Keith Law did coin him as the Mariners’ minor league “sleeper,” which is promising. He probably has one of the highest ceilings offensively in the Mariners system, but we all know that anything can happen in the minors.

10. Brandon Maurer (SP, AA)

Selected by the Mariners in the 23rd round of the ’08 draft, Maurer is your prototypical starting pitcher coming in at 6’5″ and 200 lbs. This is now year five for the 21 year old righty and he seems to be making steady progress. He has been injury prone in the past, having dealt with elbow troubles, but he seems to be doing quite well so far this season with the Double-A Jackson Generals of the Southern League. He currently boasts a 5-1 record and 3.82 ERA, but has been extra impressive in June, compiling a record of 3-0 and a 2.73 ERA. Look for him to continue to improve if he can stay healthy.

9. Brad Miller (SS, High-A)

Selected in the second round of the 2011 draft, Miller has torn up the minors since then. He batted .415 for the Clinton Lumberjacks in the Single-A California League, and has set another hot pace this season by batting .322 with a .934 OPS for the Advanced-A High Desert Mavericks. This should come as no surprise though, as Miller was the ACC player of the year in 2011 for Clemson and is a two-time USA national team member. He has been described as a “hard-nosed” player who can either stick at shortstop, or develop into a utility man down the road.

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Top 11: UW Basketball Players of Romar Era

To lighten the mood of Husky fans who, the more I think of it, got jobbed today I decided to reflect upon the great players that have come through UW under head coach Lorenzo Romar. Here is the second edition of The Top 11, which I can again best describe as “ambiguous sports rankings with considerable bias.” This list was harder than I thought it was going to be, as after the obvious choices it gets hard to choose from. I also made the distinction that the players have to have already cemented their legacy as Huskies. So no Tony Wroten, Terrence Ross, Aziz N’Diaye, Darnell Gant, or Brendan Sherrer on this list because they got some business to attend to. Also, my apologies to the family and friends of Zane Potter, but he also missed the cut. Here we go.

11. Ryan Appleby

Eating good in the neighborhood! Easily one of my favorite calls of Bob Rondeau, which he did after every made Appleby three. And there were a lot of them. Appleby sunk 231 treys

No one possessed the swag that Appleby did.

in his three year career at Washington, which makes him the all-time leader in the category. He has three of the top 5 most prolific three point shooting seasons in UW history. That’s pretty nuts for a guy who had the athletic ability of most of the fans who watched him. He was deadly from three throughout his career and although he rarely made a shot inside the arc, his work outside of it puts him in the Top 11. Appleby also had one of the biggest middle finger performances of all time. After getting punched in the face by Aaron Brooks of Oregon in the ’06 Pac Ten Tourney, Appleby met up with Brooks at Oregon in February of 2007. Brooks was suspended for the first game in Seattle that season, but was allowed to play in the game in Eugene. And this transpired.

I absolutely support this gesture, for a few reasons. First, Oregon sucks. And second, you don’t owe anybody anything after they disrespect you. UW lost that game, but Appleby hit five threes in the first half. Forget that Brooks had 30 that game, but remember that Appleby was an all-time great at UW.

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The Debut of the Top 11: All-Time NBA Jerseys

This is the beginning of a beautiful thing. Not beautiful in the classic, Jennifer Anniston sense, but more beautiful in the “Ambiguous sports rankings with considerable bias” sense. My goal for Top 11 is for it to be a reoccurring feature on Seattle Sports & Otherwise, in where I pick a particular category and then rank my personal Top 11 of that category. I chose 11 because I couldn’t pick ten. And it stuck. This particular edition will focus on something very near and dear to my heart, the aesthetics of the NBA. I am a strong proponent of the “Look good, play good” mantra. And I can prove its merit. You will never see the Bobcats win a championship (or ten games this season) when they roll out in these. And yes I do mean players that look like Adam Morrison, who has fully embraced his role of looking like a 1970’s bar owner on the Lakers bench. But no more extraneous introduction is necessary, as the launch of the Top 11 is underway.

11. Early 90’s New Jersey Nets

sellcheapjersey.com folks

This choice is one that may be what some would call, ridiculous. However, the fact is that the early 1990’s New Jersey Nets had a very classic jersey, and also happened to have my all-time favorite player, Drazen Petrovic on that same team. I will admit my obsession with Petrovic is recent, stemming from watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on him and Vlade Divac called “Once Brothers”, but also for the fact that Petrovic had an absolutely absurd season in 1991. He averaged 20.6 points a game, while averaging .508 from the field, .444 from the three point line, and .808 from the free throw line, with a positive assist/turnover ratio. You will never see those stats again from anyone not named Kevin Durant or Lebron James and probably not even them. Petrovic was one of the best pure scorers the league has seen, and I happen to “own” his jersey. The reason for the quotations is the fact that I have not received the shipment of the jersey from the borderline illegal Chinese jersey site I got it from. But as for the actual aesthetics of the jersey, they belong on this list trust me. The red, white, and blue card is played perfectly (which I appreciate), and the sleeve striping is classic and represents the simplicity I miss in most NBA uniforms. Solid jersey, legendary player. RIP Drazen.

10. Mid-to-late 1990’s Toronto Raptors

The Classic Jurassics

The definition of a novelty jersey, but one that captures the swag of the early years of Vince Carter perfectly. Carter only wore these for one season, his ’98-’99 NBA Rookie of the Year campaign, but my god he made them look cool. Granted, this was my favorite team as a young tyke for the reason that there was a dinosaur on the logo and I watched Jurassic Park 8 times a day and walked around like a T-Rex in my underwear.But that doesn’t have anything to do with the niceness of these jerseys. Both the purple and the white versions exude greatness, with the lightning pinstripes and bizarre logo and number placement supplementing the idea that there is a velociraptor dribbling a basketball on the jersey. That is ballsy, and gives a big middle finger to unoriginal jerseys of the previous era. The 90’s were some crazy times folks and these jerseys capture that idea better than any.

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