1. Dustin Ackley, 2B – Ackley is seen as the complete package. He made his pro debut in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit for average and got on base frequently; he didn’t hit for power. Scouts aren’t worried though because the power will come. He’s going to try at second this year, but his future will most likely be in centerfield.
2. Carlos Triunfel, SS – A year ago, Triunfel was the man in the Mariners system; he then lost the year to a leg injury and people are down on him. He’s a good hitter with pretty good speed and OK power. He doesn’t strike out much, but he doesn’t draw walks either. He’s raw, but should be able to return to his previous level if he stays healthy. His glove is solid enough that he can stick at short.
3. Michael Saunders, OF – Saunders struggle in his MLB call up, but don’t expect that over the course of his career. Saunders shows decent power, good contact, and good speed. If he’s works on his base running, he could steal 20-30 homers; a 30/30 season is a possibility (it’s more a question of power though). He’ll probably start the season in Triple A until someone gets hurt.
4. Alex Liddi, 3B – Liddi has shot up the Mariners rankings after a strong season that saw his average go up .100 and his homers go up by 17. Some are questioning the validity of the jump; was it a fluke? I’m venturing to guess that they are not a fluke; he drew more walks and cut down on his strikeouts. The ballpark may have had an effect, but not that much. His defense is horrible; he’ll probably end up in the outfield, which could hurt his ranking.
5. Gabriel Noriega, SS – Noriega is a raw prospect that made his debut in rookie ball in 2009. He can hit and has great speed, but it looks like he won’t have much power (at least nothing more than doubles power). He strikes out a lot, but that should improve with more playing time. He’s an excellent fielder and his glove can get him to the big league.
6. Michael Pineda, P – Pineda current has 3 decent pitches. His fast ball sits in the low-90s with good sinking action; he doesn’t have great control though. His slider looks more like a cutter, but he can throw it for strikes against righties and lefties. He’s got a good change-up due to a deceptive delivery. He’s got a lot of potential, but there is a great concern over his mechanics; he’s going to probably blow out his elbow in the future.
7. Adam Moore, C – Moore is a solid catcher, but doesn’t have tools that get the scouts raving. He will have a good batting average, shows average power, and makes good contact. He has an above average arm behind the plate; his other skills are catching up to his arm. He’ll be the starter for the Mariners and will hold his own; he’s a better option than overpaying for Jason Kendall.
8. Dan Cortes, P – Cortes was stolen from the Royals for Yuniesky Betancourt, and the Royals will regret this deal. Yes, Cortes had some off the field issues while having a down season, but he’s still a pretty good prospect. He’s got a mid-90s fastball, a solid curve, and a decent slider. His problem is control and maturity.
9. Nick Franklin, SS – Franklin’s bat isn’t what will get him to the big league – it’ll be his glove. He knows how to field the position and has a plus arm. His bat is weak, but not horrible. He’s a switch hitter who makes good contact. His power will be below average, but that’s not needed at shortstop.
10. Rich Pythress, 1B – Poythress is the prototypical first baseman; average defense, great power, good contract, bad speed. Poythress has great power and plate discipline. His problem, which will probably be exposed at the upper minors, is his slow bat speed; a good fastball could cause quite a few strikeouts. If he can fix this, he’ll be a fast mover.
Tags: 30 Teams in 30 Days, Baseball, Baseball Preview, Seattle Mariners, Top 10 Prospects