Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:22 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 2:35 pm
By Matt Snyder
The Mariners are coming off a 67-95 season, when they finished 29 games out in the AL West -- seven behind the third-place A's. It was the sixth time in the past eight years Seattle came in last and they haven't seen the postseason since 2001. One big trade headlined the offseason as they attempt to turn the tide.
Scott Miller's Camp Report: With Jesus, Seattle seeks resurrection | Likes, Dislikes
Major additions: C/DH Jesus Montero, RHP Kevin Millwood, C John Jaso, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
Major departures: RHP Michael Pineda, UT Adam Kennedy
1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Dustin Ackley, 2B
3. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
4. Justin Smoak, 1B
5. Jesus Montero, DH
6. Mike Carp, LF
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Miguel Olivo, C
9. Brendan Ryan, SS
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Jason Vargas
3. Hisashi Iwakuma
4. Kevin Millwood
5. Hector Noesi
Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush are also in the mix.
Closer: Brandon League
Set-up: RHP Shawn Kelley, LHP George Sherrill
Important bench players
C John Jaso, IF Kyle Seager, OF Casper Wells, OF Trayvon Robinson
Prospect to watch
With the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, the Mariners pegged left-handed starting pitcher Danny Hultzen from the University of Virginia. It's likely his presence -- in addition to Furbush, Beaven and prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton -- made it easier to deal Pineda for some offensive help. Hultzen appeared in the top 30 overall in most prospect rankings this spring and is said to be close to big-league ready. The M's likely don't have a reason to rush him, but if he's ready come June or July, it wouldn't be surprising to see him make an impact this season.
Fantasy sleeper: Kyle Seager
"Seager isn't much of a home-run threat, and playing home games at Safeco Field won't help matters, but his gap power and keen batting eye could help him to an average in the .290 to .300 range, if not higher. Owners may look at last season's .258 mark, his lack of prospect hype and his place in a less-than-imposing Mariners lineup and discount him. However, Seager's ability to get on base and rack up doubles makes him worth a late-round flier in mixed league formats." - Al Melchior [Full Mariners team fantasy preview]
Fantasy "head-to-head hero:" Dustin Ackley
"Ackley's in-the-park extra-base hits will make him one of the seven or eight best second basemen in Head-to-Head, but the potential for mediocre homer and run production makes him a later-round option for mixed league Roto owners." - Al Melchior [Full Mariners team fantasy preview]
Ackley and Montero become stars, Figgins returns to form, a finally-healthy Gutierrez returns to form as well and Ichiro thrives in the 3-hole, finally giving the Mariners a viable offense. Iwakuma adjusts to America impressively while Hultzen storms onto the scene in early June to provide an additional pitching boost. The Rangers and Angels suffer major injury and underachievement issues, and the Mariners shock everyone by winning the AL West.
Heading into this season, expect the Mariners to be picked third by pretty much everyone. Thus, the pessimistic outlook would be that the Mariners find a way to finish below the A's. If the offense sputters, younger players stall in their development and the rotation behind King Felix proves thin -- which is possible -- that last place finish could repeat.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Tags: Adam Kennedy, AL West, Blake Beavan, Brandon League, Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Chone Figgins, Danny Hultzen, Dustin Ackley, Felix Rodriguez, Franklin Gutierrez, George Sherrill, Hector Moesi, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Vargas, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, John Jason, Justin Smoak, KEvin Millwood, Kevin Millwood, Kyle Seager, Mariners, Michael Pineda, Miguel Olivo, Mike Carp, Shawn Kelly, spring training, Trayvon Robinson
Posted on: November 19, 2011 6:32 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Salt River Rafters wrapped up the Arizona Fall League season with an 9-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday, and with it came a flurry of awards.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (pictured) won the league's Most Valuable Player Award. The 20-year old, playing for the Rafters, hit safely in 27 of his 30 games, including a 2-for-4 performance with a solo homer in Saturday's championship game. Arrando led the minor leagues with 122 RBI at High-A Modesto in 2011.
Miami outfielder Kevin Mattison won the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. Mattison tied for the league lead in triples (five) and second in runs scored (29). Mattison was added to the Marlins' 40-man roster on Friday.
Arenado and Mattison were also members of the league's Top Prospects Team.
The entire team:
Michael Choice (Athletics): .318/.423/.667, 6 HR, 18 RBI
Robbie Grossman (Pirates): .375/.472/625, 7 HR, 22 RBI
Kevin Mattison (Marlins): .349/.433/.624, 6 HR, 23 RBI
Adam Eaton (Diamondbacks): .344/.410/.475, 2 HR, 16 RBI
Wil Myers (Royals): .360/.481/.674, 4 HR, 18 RBI
Nolan Arenado (Rockies): .388/.423/.636, 6 HR, 33 RBI
Mike Olt (Rangers): .349/.433/.764, 13 HR 43 RBI
Joe Panik (Giants): .323/.394/.473, 2 HR, 13 RBI
Brian Dozier (Twins): .296/..358/.454, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Joe Terdoslavich (Braves): .321/.424/.548, 3 HR, 14 RBI
Matt Adams (Cardinals): .250/.258/.475, 4 HR, 19 RBI
Christian Bethancourt (Braves): .306/.324/.556, 5 HR, 13 RBI
Derek Norris (Nationals): .276/.367/.382, 2 HR, 11 RBI
Jedd Gyorko (Padres): .437/.500/.704, 5 HR, 22 RBI
Josh Vitters (Cubs): .360/.383/.540, 4 HR, 17 RBI
Terry Doyle (White Sox): 4-0, 1.98 ERA, 27.1 IP, 22 SO, 5 BB
Brad Boxberger (Reds): 3 saves, 5.40 ERA, 13.1 IP, 22 SO, 6 BB@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adam Eaton, AL Central, AL West, Arizona Fall League, Athletics, Brad Boxberger, Brandon Crawford, Braves, Brian Dozier, Bryce Harper, Cardinals, Christian Bethancourt, Cubs, Danny Hultzen, Derek Norris, Diamondbacks, Giants, Jacob Diekman, Jedd Gyorko, Joe Panik, Joe Terdoslavich, Josh Vitters, Junior LAke, Kevin Mattison, Marlins, Matt Adams, Michael Choice, Mike Olt, Nationals, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Nolan Arenado, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Reds, Robbie Grossman, Rockies, Royals, Terry Doyle, Twins, White Sox, Wil Myers
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:01 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Arizona Fall League has announced the roster of its annual "Rising Stars" Game, designed to showcase the best of the best prospects in advance of baseball stardom. Two phenoms in Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, widely regarded to be the top two prospects in the game, will participate. Last season, the game boasted, among others, Seattle's Dustin Ackley and Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.
The AFL, which is staffed mostly by the game's elite prospects, will hold the game at 8:10 p.m. ET on Nov. 5 and will be televised by the MLB Network and MLB.TV.
Each team has the chance to play at least one of its prospects in the game, so it does function in a way like the All-Star Game. The first two selections of the 2011 amateur draft will be opposing each other to start the game. The Pirates' Gerrit Cole will pitch for the East on behalf of the Mesa Solar Sox. He will oppose the Mariners' Danny Hultzen, pitching for the West and representing the Peoria Javelinas.
Full rosters are below.
Jason Castro, Astros
Derek Norris, Nationals
2B Joe Panik, Giants
1B Ben Paulsen, Rockies
SS Jean Segura, Angels
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS Brian Dozier, Twins
SS/3B Junior Lake, Cubs
3B Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
Mike Trout, Angels
Tim Wheeler, Rockies
Xavier Avery, Orioles
Robbie Grossman, Pirates
Bryce Harper, Nationals
RHP Steve Ames, Dodgers
RHP Charles Brewer, Diamondbacks
RHP Chris Carpenter, Cubs
RHP David Carpenter, Angels
RHP Kevin Munson, Diamondbacks
RHP Rob Scahill, Rockies
RHP Casey Weathers, Rockies
RHP Gerrit Cole, Pirates
LHP Jacob Diekman, Phillies
RHP Terry Doyle, White Sox
RHP Trey McNutt, Cubs
Christian Bethancourt, Braves
Kyle Skipworth, Marlins
SS Nick Franklin, Mariners
3B Mike Olt, Rangers
1B Joe Terdoslavich, Braves
1B Matt Adams, Cardinals
2B Tyler Bortnick, Rays
SS Christian Colon, Royals
3B Matt Dominguez, Marlins
Michael Choice, Athletics
Jaff Decker, Padres
Anthony Gose, Blue Jays
Mikie Mahtook, Rays
Wil Myers, Royals
LHP Danny Hultzen, Mariners
RHP Jeremy Jeffress, Royals
RHP Taylor Whitenton, Mets
RHP Nate Adcock, Royals
RHP Anthony Bass, Padres
RHP Brad Boxberger, Reds
LHP Jed Bradley, Brewers
RHP Cory Burns, Indians
RHP Wes Etheridge, Blue Jays
RHP Preston Guilmet, Indians
RHP J.J. Hoover, Braves
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:48 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in last month's MLB Draft, won the Golden Spikes Award as USA Baseball's top amateur player on Friday.
The right-hander went 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA in 16 starts for UCLA this season nd also led the country with 203 strikeouts. The 203 strikeouts was a Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark set by USC's Mark Prior.
Bauer was one of three finalists for the award, along with Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen. Jungmann was drafted 12th overall by the Brewres and Hultzen went second to the Mariners.@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:42 pm
By Danny Knobler
SECAUCUS, N.J. -- We knew this draft would provide some surprises.
We never thought the surprises would start so soon.
After the Pirates opened the draft by picking UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole, as expected, the Mariners followed by choosing University of Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen with the second pick.
Hultzen wasn't a pick out of the blue. The Pirates went to the final weekend before deciding between Cole and Hultzen at No. 1.
But in every pre-draft scenario discussed among officials at the draft, the pitching-rich, offense-poor Mariners were going to take Rice University third baseman Anthony Rendon.
"Completely unexpected," Hultzen told MLB Network after the pick was made.
The Diamondbacks followed by taking UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer, also as expected.
Rendon went to the Nationals, with the sixth pick.
At that point, the six players expected to go 1-6 had gone 1-6. In that sense, the draft was going as expected.
But who knew the Mariners would pass on Rendon and take Hultzen?
Other first-round thoughts:
-- The Orioles took high school pitcher Dylan Bundy, who some scouts considered the most talented pitcher in the entire draft.
-- As recently as Sunday, the Royals were expected to stay away from local high school product Bubba Starling, not because they didn't like him but because he has a football scholarship to Nebraska and they weren't convinced he wanted to sign. Eventually, the Royals took Starling, possibly because he convinced them or maybe because their preferred picks were taken before they drafted. Kent Babb, a writer for the Kansas City Star, wrote on Twitter that Starling told him two months ago that "it would make it very difficult to go to Nebraska if the Royals picked him."
-- Two picks after Nebraska's next quarterback went to the Royals, Oklahoma's next quarterback went seventh overall when the Diamondbacks used their second first-round pick on Archie Bradley. Bradley is also well-regarded, enough so that there was talk before the draft that the Orioles would take him with the fourth pick.
-- UCLA became just the second school to have two of the first three picks. Arizona State did it in 1978, with Bob Horner going first overall to the Braves and Hubie Brooks going two picks later to the Mets.
-- Bundy and Bradley didn't go to school together, but they have worked out together for years. In an interview on MLB Network, Bundy said they were "pretty much brothers."
-- As advertised, this was a pitcher-heavy draft. The first four picks were all pitchers, for the first time ever. But it also points up another general problem baseball has right now, which is that there aren't enough good young hitters in the game right now. It's one of the reasons that offense is down in the big leagues, and it's one of the things scouts covering the minor leagues talk about.
-- Baseball has improved the visibility of the draft in recent years, almost all for the better. But it probably wasn't a great idea for one of the MLB Network guys to walk to the front of the media section and yell to the fans sitting behind that they should applaud every pick: "Even if it's fake, it looks good on TV."
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 1:12 pm
By Evan Brunell
The last two seasons, the Nationals' draft picks were patently obvious the day the team finished with baseball's worst record: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
This year is a different story, as the Nats pick seventh and aren't tipping their hand, writes the Washington Post. Part of that is because of questions about who will be available, as players can drop because of signability and other concerns. The Nationals are expected to draft the best player available, but are expected to trend toward pitching if it's available. That means they could potentially pass up the top high-school bat in the draft in Bubba Starling to pluck someone such as Danny Hultzen, who is at risk for sliding down draft boards as a college lefty.
Speaking of signability, Starling is a Scott Boras client -- as are Strasburg and Harper -- but if the club wants to spread out the money in the draft, it could elect to draft Hultzen. That would allow the team to fill a priority by grabbing a college pitcher and then target more high-priced players in future rounds, as they appear to be leaning.
The draft is at 7 p.m. ET on Monday. You can follow the draft live on MLB.com and the MLB Network.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:44 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The baseball draft is certainly a different animal than its football or basketball counterparts. There's not a lot of hype leading up to the draft. It's being televised for just the fifth time this season, and chances are you've never seen any of the top prospects play.
There are plenty of negatives to the way the baseball draft goes, but there are plenty of positives, too. While in three of the past four televised drafts, the No. 1 pick has been a slam-dunk, sure thing, three days out from this year's first round (Monday, 7 p.m. ET on MLB Network), the question of who the Pirates will take is still just that -- a question.
The last two seasons, the Nationals took Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper -- two no-doubt, easy picks. In 2007, the first year the draft was on TV, there was little to no doubt that David Price would be selected by the Rays. In 2008, Tampa took high school shortstop Tim Beckham over the likes of Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer and Gordon Beckham.
This year is more like 2008 than the others in the TV era, and not just because Gerrit Cole will be selected in the first round of both drafts.
Cole, taken No. 28 overall by the Yankees in 2008, is considered the most likely choice of the Pirates on Monday, but others could be considered.
So, starting with Cole, here are the 10 names you need to know leading up to this year's draft, which starts Monday:
Cole, RHP, UCLA -- Cole throws 100 mph, which is something that's pretty special and tough to pass up.
Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn -- Barnes dominated in the Cape Cod League last year. At 6-foot-4, he has an ideal build to go with a mid-90s fastball and a hammer of a curve.
Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA -- UCLA's other starter has drawn comparisons to Tim Lincecum because of his unorthodox motion. He's a devotee of long-toss, which could scare off some teams.
Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS -- Bradley has signed a scholarship to play quarterback at Oklahoma, but a top-10 signing bonus can certainly change that.
Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS -- The top high school pitcher in the draft has what some are already calling a major-league ready fastball and curveball. His 6-foot frame is about the only knock against him.
Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia -- The Diamondbacks drafted the lefty three years ago out of high school in the 10th round and most expect them to do so again on Monday with the third overall pick.
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas -- A 6-foot-6 right-hander who went 13-0 for the Longhorns this season. He had a 0.95 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 116 in 122 2/3 innings.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde (Fla.) Academy -- The top high school infielder doesn't have the great power that others have, but he's a very good defender at shortstop and is a switch hitter.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice -- If the Pirates don't take Cole with the top pick, they could take Rendon, who was relegated to DHing this season because of a shoulder strain. Still, when healthy, he has a plus arm to go along with plus power and a plus hit tool. A solid defender at third base, he played just eight games in the field this season.
Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) HS -- Starling may have as much potential as anyone in the draft, but he may be the biggest risk. Like Bradley, he's also a quarterback and there are reports that he will go to Nebraska in July regardless of where he's drafted.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.