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.

Continue reading


Still-Semi-Credible Italian Guy Breaks Down M’s Top Draft Pick

Editor’s Note- Credible Italian Guy is my good friend Philip Smeraldo and my go to source for Mariner’s analysis and was more than eager to break down the M’s pick of Mike Zunino after I was initially skeptical. Ever the optimist, Phil does a great job of analyzing the pick on the marginal value and also how it fits with the organization as a whole.

Alright, Credible Italian guy coming back with some more Mariners related news. Last time I was here I wrote about the Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero trade that shook the baseball world. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m going to anyway, I talked a bit about Michael Pineda’s injury history and why that could be a problem for the Yankees. Boom. I balanced out this wonderful prediction however, with calling Brandon League the best closer in major league baseball, so as always, take my words with a grain of salt.

The Seattle Mariners were given the right to draft 3rd in the MLB First Years Player draft  due to an exceptionally poor all around performance by last years team. With this pick the Seattle Mariners selected Mike Zunino out of the University of Florida. Zunino is a Florida native hailing from Mariner High School, anybody believe in destiny?

A quick run down on Zunino’s Vitals:

  • Zunino stands at 6’2 and weighs 220 Pounds according to University of Florida’s Player Stats: Above average stature for a catcher, which I will touch on later.
  • 21 years old and just finished his Junior year in college.
  • Bats Right Handed
  • And if you have not learned by now Zunino plays the most important defensive position on the field Catcher.

Alright lets get to the good stuff. The Scouting Report

The Defense:

Mike Zunino made the all-defensive team for the SEC, being the unanimous pick by the committee to be the best fielding catcher in that Conference. Right away this should inspire confidence. If you’re more of a skeptic or just feel like being disagreeable I will give you more.

Continue reading