I’ll have an Arizona Fall League Notebook sometime in the next few weeks, but the circuit’s All-Star matchup was Saturday night — they call it the Fall-Stars Game … get it? — and Seattle Mariners outfielder Stefen Romero received two plate appearances and made the most of them as he and his West teammates were victorious behind those long balls and three strong innings from Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer. Yeah, great, Romero hit two home runs in a meaningless game. Partially true. The game doesn’t mean a thing. What Romero did in the game is not futile and trivial. The 25-year-old is far from an elite prospect, but he’s one that could help a big-league club in some capacity and that may occur in 2014. His two PAs Saturday night in the desert weren’t just two more at-bats for a young hitter. They came off two very worthy adversaries in Rays southpaw Mike Montgomery and Tigers’ right-hander Corey Knebel, and both went opposite field. Neither ball was exactly torched, and there’s a good chance neither one leaves Safeco Field in April or May, but Romero showed a sound swing on both, staying back on a breaking ball on the second four-bagger. He doesn’t stride much, but still creates solid power and should be able to hit a good number of doubles with 15-18 homers if the hit tool and his outfield defense develops enough to warrant everyday play. The fact that he’s not over-matched in these games is a sign he’s still improving, despite being a tad old to be a prospect. Here’s MLB.com’s video of both homers: Your browser does not support iframes.
To accompany the 2013 M’s Prospects of the Year, we’ve also put together the All-Prospects Team for 2013. Unlike the POY, players that continue to hold onto prospect status qualify, so, for example, Brad Miller is not eligible, despite his being named Prospect Insider’s 2013 Seattle Mariners Prospect of the Year. Nick Franklin also does not qualify. This is not a top prospects list of any nature. It’s also not simply a list of players at each position that improved their status the most. It’s the top talents that performed the best and made the most progress, improving their stock and getting closer to the big leagues in the process. It’s not based on statistics and it’s not based on a player being promoted. Those are each results of what matters most — development — the most significant major factor in choosing the All-Prospects Team. It’s worth noting that a player that conducts such development closer to the majors was given a bit more consideration, but at times the player’s upside and performance — again, not statistics — won out, too. Pos. Player Levels MiLB Stats SP Taijuan Walker AA, AAA, MLB 2.93 ERA, 141.1 IP, 57 BB, 160 SO SP James Paxton AAA, MLB 4.45 ERA, 145.2 IP, 58 BB, 131 SO SP Edwin Diaz R 1.43 ERA, 69 IP, 18 BB, 79 SO RP Dominic Leone A, A+, AAA 2.25 ERA, 64 IP, 18 BB, 64 SO RP Carson Smith AA 1.80 ERA, 50 IP, 17 BB, 71 SO RP Stephen Kohlscheen AA 2.30 ERA, 66.2 IP, 25 BB, 85 SO 1B Ji-Man Choi A+, AA, AAA .295 AVG/.394 OBP/.535 SLG 2B Tim Lopes A .272 AVG/.315 OBP/.344 SLG 3B D.J. Peterson SS-A, A .303 AVG/.365 OBP/.553 SLG SS Chris Taylor A+, AA .314 AVG/.418 OBP/.455 SLG C Tyler Marlette A .304 AVG/.367 OBP/.448 SLG OF Jabari Blash A+, AA .271 AVG/.387 OBP/.534 SLG OF Stefen Romero AAA .277 AVG/.331 OBP/.448 SLG OF Julio Morban AA .295 AVG/.362 OBP/.468 SLG