Seattle Mariners 

O’Neill exploding into potential star

In March of 2013 I was doing what I usually do in Arizona: spending the first several hours of every day on the back fields watching top prospects. From the 98 mph heater of Reds’ right-hander Robert Stephenson to the young arms in the Padres’ system, including Zach Eflin, Robbie Erlin, Max Fried and Matt Wisler, and so on. One day in the middle of the month, Canada’s Langley Blaze, a travel team from British Columbia, were in town taking on one of the lower-level clubs from those Padres. On…

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Seattle Mariners 

M’s Prospect Monthly: O’Neill, Moore, Herb stand out

The Seattle Mariners began the season the owners of one of the thinnest farm systems in baseball. The only depth in the organization resides on the mound and all but one of the upside plays there began the season above Advanced-A ball and three of them didn’t start the year assigned to a full-season affiliate. Player development, the biggest factor in the sinking of the farm system under Jack Zduriencik — a system once ranked among the Top 10, only to fade fast thanks to rush jobs and poor planning…

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Seattle Mariners 

How MLB’s top 10 prospects have fared

Despite the historic influx of impact rookies last season in Major League Baseball, the crop of prospects in 2016 again is strong. Some began the season in the majors and remain stalwarts, while others began the season there and either remain or have since been promoted. I spent the past week digging, studying, calling, texting and emailing scouts that have seen the top talents to get their takes on the first month of the season for the game’s best prospects. For context, I’m using Keith Law’s Top 100, since he’s…

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Seattle Mariners 

Paxton is the reason

James Paxton has shown he can dominate baseball games with a 92-97 mph fastball with late life, a plus curveball and the occasional cutter and changeup. What he’s also shown is that he hasn’t been able to harness the stuff enough to remain a consistent option at the big-league level. He started 2016 in Triple-A Tacoma after a rough March in Peoria where he allowed 33 of 80 batters he faced to reach base, including eight bases on balls. So, off to Tacoma he went. Paxton then issued nine walks…

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Seattle Mariners 

The New-Old Mike Zunino?

Mike Zunino was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma last summer after struggling somewhat historically in the big leagues for four months. He hit the ball well in the Pacific Coast League for a month, showed positive results in spring training last month and now is off to a roaring start with the Rainiers in 2016 — .415/.439/.868, 3-2B, 7 HR, 3 BB, 9 SO in 13 games. But numbers aren’t what’s necessary for Zunino to earn his way back to Seattle at some point. It’s all about the process. Some of…

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Seattle Mariners 

MiLB Rosters Released

The rosters of the full-season affiliates were set Monday. Let’s take a look at the assignments to start the season for the Seattle Mariners organization. Remember, Everett and Arizona do not begin their seasons until late June. Here are the roster links: Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) Jackson Generals (AA) Clinton LumberKings (A) The Advanced-A Bakersfield Blaze do not have a roster available by link, so I’ll list that roster below. Here are my thoughts: Tacoma Rainiers The Rainiers pitching staff might be the best the club has had on opening day…

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Seattle Mariners 

Pistorese a victim of flawed drug program?

The suspensions happen several times a year. Most of the time very few pay attention to them, because they are minor leaguers, often not big-time prospects and just as often have yet to play above the Class-A level. Seattle Mariners left-hander Joseph Pistorese isn’t alone, but the former Washington State Cougars pitcher who was the Mariners’ 17th-round pick in this year’s draft serves as an example. Just not the kind Major League Baseball and the players union should be setting. It may not be the kind of example either side…

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