Results tagged ‘ Brad Miller ’
Last year, the Seattle Mariners finished 75-87, last place in the AL West, a spot that they have held for seven of the last ten years. What are the Mariners doing to build a contender?
The club is loaded with pitching prospects, like Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer, and James Paxton, and they have collected some fine offensive prospects, like Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin, and Brad Miller along the way. With Jesus Montero being added last season and the ascension of Dustin Ackley to the majors, you would think that the Mariners were building for a run in 2015.
However, that can’t be the case after the club has traded for Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, both free agents after the 2013 season. While the club gave up John Jaso to get Morse and Jason Vargas to get Morales, the Mariners left themselves with some question marks.
With Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez, and Blake Beaven penciled into the rotation, the club may have to rely on Hector Noesi, Hultzen, or Paxton in the rotation to start the year. Noesi was 2-12 with a 5.82 ERA for the M’s in 2012, Hultzen was just 1-4 with a 5.92 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts in 2012, and Paxton would be jumping to the majors from Double-A. While Vargas isn’t close to being considered an ace, the Mariners will have a tough time replacing the 217 innings and 3.85 ERA that he provided last year.
After trading Jaso to Oakland, the Mariners only have Jesus Montero at catcher. Montero, who turned 23 in November, caught in just 56 games in 2012, throwing out 17 percent of base runners and posting a -8 Rtot (runs below average that he was worth defensively). While his bat has great potential, Montero is not an everyday catcher at the major league level.
There are two examples of their everyday lineup that I have found:
C: Montero C: Montero
1B: Morse 1B: Smoak
2B: Ackley 2B: Ackley
3B: Seager 3B: Seager
SS: Ryan SS: Ryan
LF: Ibanez LF: Morse
CF: Gutierrez CF: Gutierrez
RF: Saunders RF: Saunders
DH: Morales DH: Morales
Example one is eliminating Justin Smoak from the equation. Smoak has over 1,200 at-bats and has a career slash of .223/.306/.377 line, but he is just 26 years old and he posted a .341/.426/.580 in September, showing a glimpse of what he can do when he is healthy, and he has battled a thumb issue for the last couple of seasons.
Example two eliminates Raul Ibanez from the lineup. Ibanez has had great success in Seattle, having played 10 of his 17 seasons with the Mariners, but at the age of 41, he may just be a situational talent.
The Mariners could really use a catcher. If the club was able to deal Smoak to Boston for Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Ryan Lavarnway, the Mariners could then move Montero to DH, Morales to first, and Morse can play left field. The Red Sox only have Mauro Gomez at first base right now, so the deal would make sense for both clubs, as the Sox have David Ross and whatever catcher they don’t trade to roster.
The M’s could also rush Mike Zunino, who was the top college player in last year’s MLB draft. Zunino could take over at catcher, allowing for the same moves with Morales and Morse as above, while the club could keep Smoak around in case of an injury. Zunino had 51 at-bats in Double-A last year, so he could use some more seasoning in the minors, but he could be a better option behind the plate than Montero already.
Regardless of the moves at catcher that the Mariners could make, the additions that the club has made have not been stellar.
Morse has a powerful bat but he has issues making contact, having posted a 223:52 K:BB while hitting 49 home runs over 928 at-bats over the last two seasons. Turning 31 years old in March, Morse has two seasons with a WAR over 1.0 (1.2 in 2010 and 3.1 in 2011), so one has to wonder if his 2011 season (with 31 home runs and a .910 OPS) was his peak.
Ibanez is not a player that a rebuilding team needs. His age and declining skills limit his potential.
Morales rebounded nicely after missing nearly two years due to injury, posting a .787 OPS. In 2009, Morales posted a .924 OPS and he had an .833 OPS in 2010 prior to his celebratory injury. Is the drop in production due to his injury, timing issues due to being away from the game, or pressing to hit at the levels that he did in 2009? Can he reach those numbers when he is playing half of his games in Seattle?
Add in the interest that the Mariners have in Justin Upton and the supposed offer (Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Stephen Pryor, and Charlie Furbush) that they made, and the team seemingly has no long-term or short-term direction. The Mariners pitching, as it stands, is questionable at best. If the team is rebuilding, why would they offer two of their top five prospects instead of cashing in on any of their veterans that have value, even Felix Hernandez?
While John Jaso and Jason Vargas aren’t superstars, you have to wonder if the club would have been better off with the two players still on their roster. While they wouldn’t have made many moves to improve upon their last place finish from 2012, the Mariners wouldn’t have question marks all over the field like they do right now.
Below you’ll find the top 100 prospects in baseball. The top 25 have a short write-up and their career minor league statistics. I am not a major league scout, I am just a baseball fan/nerd who follows all levels. If someone is missing, feel free to make your opinions known in the comments section, but be prepared to get mocked for being a troll!
1) Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers, SS
Profar is the perfect blend of raw power, speed, and on-base skills, and it is all packed into a 19-year-old excelling in the upper levels of the minors. There are rumors that he could be called up to help the Rangers down the stretch, but it would be a shame to have him come off of the bench considering he is probably one of their top five players when he arrives in Arlington. It will be interesting to see where the Rangers work him in with Andrus and Kinsler around.
2) Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles, RHP
It will be interesting what Bundy can do when the O’s take their chains off and let him loose. He just recently reached the sixth inning in a start for the first time. He is well on his way to becoming an ace, and he could reach the Majors by the middle of next year.
3) Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays, OF
For whatever reason, Myers was “blocked” in Kansas City by Jeff Francoeur. The Royals moved the slugging outfielder in the James Shields trade, immediately becoming one of the Rays cornerstone players. He should be the starting right fielder in 2013, with Desmond Jennings in center and Matt Joyce sliding over to right. His right-handed bat fits nicely in the middle of the order, as he and Evan Longoria will sandwich Ben Zobrist.
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||134||488||82||136||34||2||21||79||13||68||129||.279||.369||.486||.855|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||22||84||19||31||7||2||5||18||2||9||18||.369||.427||.679||1.106|
|A (1 season)||A||68||242||42||70||19||1||10||45||10||48||55||.289||.408||.500||.908|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||99||388||66||118||15||5||24||79||2||45||98||.304||.378||.554||.932|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||58||205||28||71||18||2||4||38||2||37||39||.346||.453||.512||.966|
4) Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals, OF
He has been called the next Vladimir Guerrero…as long as his knees don’t deteriorate late in his career, that would make Taveras a near Hall of Fame player. Taveras is a hitter, pure and simple. He may only get better as he matures, which makes him a huge asset for the Cardinals moving forward. He could force management’s hands and get a shot at an everyday job in the spring of 2013.
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||60||241||40||73||14||3||8||45||9||13||46||.303||.342||.485||.828|
|A (1 season)||A||78||308||52||119||27||5||8||62||1||32||52||.386||.444||.584||1.028|
|AA (1 season)||AA||124||477||83||153||37||7||23||94||10||42||56||.321||.380||.572||.953|
|FRk (1 season)||FRk||65||237||35||61||13||8||1||42||9||28||36||.257||.338||.392||.731|
5) Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, SS
I have him higher than most, but give me a 19-year-old who can post these numbers any day of the week. Bogaerts is still playing shortstop, but he will end up at third base or be forced elsewhere due to the presense of Will Middlebrooks. Powerful, young, projectable frame. Bogaerts will be a total offensive monster.
6) Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians, RHP
For all of his poor warm-up practices, the fact remains that Bauer has an elite arm. He has trouble with command, but he posts ace-level strikeout potential. Moving to a pitcher’s environment in Cleveland from Arizona should make dynasty fantasy geeks drool at his potential. The Indians stole him by getting him for Didi Gregorius, Lars Anderson, and Tony Sipp. He’ll be their No. 1 starter sooner than one may think.
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||8||2||.800||3.18||12||12||65.0||53||26||23||3||34||86||1.338|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||5||1||.833||2.85||14||14||82.0||74||28||26||8||35||97||1.329|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||0||1||.000||3.00||3||3||9.0||7||3||3||1||4||17||1.222|
7) Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates, RHP
Cole still has more stuff than impressive results at this poing in his career, but the stuff could be so dominant, that you have to hold out hope that he figures things out. For a guy who can throw a 90 mph change and curve while topping out in triple-digits with his fastball, you would expect more dominance in his strikeout totals. If he figures it out, he could be #2 behind Profar on this list.
8) Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners, RHP
The Mariners pushed Walker by having him skip the dreaded California League, allowing him to thrive without being destroyed by the thin air and small parks of High-A. Having just turned 20, Walker has posted some solid numbers. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be a nice addition to the Mariners rotation in the coming years. He isn’t Felix Hernandez and won’t come close to him, but how many pitchers can?
9) Danny Hultzen, Seattle Mariners, LHP
Hultzen may just be what he is right now and nothing more, but that is still good. He will throw strikes and toss a lot of innings while having some great success. The college arm will be ready by next season and he could get a look early in the spring, but he will settle in nicely among a group of solid young arms that the M’s are developing. With the Jason Vargas trade, his arrival may have just been pushed forward a bit.
10) Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates, RHP
Taillon has been hyped with very little as far as results. He has looked pretty good for a 20-year-old in High-A, but if he is an ace like others say he is, you have to expect more. He is coming along nicely, but he could be more of a mid-rotation arm than an ace. He still has time, though.
11) Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds, OF
Hamilton was moved off of shortstop due to Zack Cozart’s success in his rookie season in 2012, and with Drew Stubbs gone and a one-year rental of Shin-Soo Choo, Hamilton should be ready for 2014. His speed is game-changing and he increased his on-base skills tremendously in 2012. He will be entertaining to watch, even if he gets on at a .320-clip in the majors. He looks like he will be better than that, though.
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||112||449||80||124||19||13||2||35||62||39||103||.276||.336||.390||.726|
|A (1 season)||A||135||550||99||153||18||9||3||50||103||52||133||.278||.340||.360||.700|
|AA (1 season)||AA||50||175||33||50||4||5||1||15||51||36||43||.286||.406||.383||.789|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||82||337||79||109||18||9||1||30||104||50||70||.323||.413||.439||.852|
12) Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals, RHP
Miller has fallen out of favor with the Cardinals organization due to conditioning and other issues which continue to go unannounced. He has struggled in 2012 in the Pacific Coast League, which is notoriously a hitter’s league. He still has a bright future, but he could be someone who gets dealt if he continues to upset the Cards, who practically gave away Colby Rasmus due to his “issues.”
|A (2 seasons)||A||7||5||3.69||26||26||107.1||102||54||44||7||35||142||1.276|
|AA (1 season)||AA||9||3||2.70||16||16||86.2||72||28||26||2||33||89||1.212|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||11||10||4.74||27||27||136.2||138||78||72||24||50||160||1.376|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||2||3||2.89||9||9||53.0||40||20||17||2||20||81||1.132|
13) Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves, RHP
There were rumors that Teheran’s breaking ball wasn’t up to par. There are also rumors that his attitude was shaky due to being sent to the minors. Whatever went on with him in 2012, it is cause for concern. His numbers in Triple-A were pretty awful, and his brief opportunities in Atlanta haven’t gone well, either. Teheran is still a top-flight prospect, but due to this bump in the road, he may not have what it takes to be an ace. He still has some work to do.
|A (2 seasons)||A||3||5||2.92||14||14||77.0||65||28||25||3||21||73||1.117|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||3||3||3.68||13||13||58.2||54||29||24||4||11||56||1.108|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||22||12||3.75||51||50||275.2||269||127||115||23||91||219||1.306|
|AA (1 season)||AA||3||2||3.38||7||7||40.0||29||15||15||2||17||38||1.150|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||4||4||2.98||10||10||63.1||56||22||21||6||13||76||1.089|
14) Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals, RHP
Martinez is compared to Pedro Martinez due to his electric stuff and his size. Between the comparisons of Martinez and Oscar Taveras, the Cards have a couple of potential Hall of Famers, huh? Martinez’s strikeouts were down a bit in 2012, but he was 20 and pitching in Double-A, putting up some impressive numbers. He could return to Double-A in 2013 to start the season, but he’ll be someone to watch closely in coming years, as he has ace potential.
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||5||5||4.33||17||17||79.0||78||43||38||2||40||82||1.494|
|A (1 season)||A||3||2||2.33||8||8||38.2||27||10||10||1||14||50||1.060|
|AA (1 season)||AA||4||3||2.90||15||14||71.1||62||27||23||6||22||58||1.178|
|FRk (1 season)||FRk||3||2||0.76||12||12||59.0||28||8||5||1||14||78||0.712|
15) Tyler Skaggs, Arizona Diamondbacks, LHP
Skaggs overtook Trevor Bauer as the club’s future ace, which made dumping Bauer due to his odd techniques a bit easier. He has command of his pitches and has posted incredible numbers the last two seasons. The Diamondbacks have solid depth at starting pitcher, but Skaggs should get a look in 2013.
|A (1 season)||A||9||5||3.29||23||18||98.1||91||38||36||7||25||102||1.180|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||9||5||2.69||23||23||127.1||108||47||38||12||36||144||1.131|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||0||0||1.80||5||2||10.0||9||4||2||0||2||13||1.100|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||4||2||2.91||9||9||52.2||49||22||17||4||16||45||1.234|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||5||5||3.22||17||17||100.2||81||39||36||6||34||125||1.142|
16) Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets, C
D’Arnaud missed time due to a torn PCL that he suffered in late June. His strikeout rate was pretty alarming, but the power numbers and on-base totals were pretty impressive, still. D’Arnaud could be an offensive force for the Mets, who snagged the catcher from Toronto trade. J.P. Arencibia‘s presence ahead of him, and, for some reason, the re-signing of Jeff Mathis for two-years, $3 million (throwing away money?), made d’Arnaud expendable in Toronto, and David Wright better be praying that d’Arnaud establishes himself quickly because the Mets look awful outside of Wright and Ike Davis.
|A (2 seasons)||A||142||546||83||142||43||1||15||76||8||46||85||.260||.323||.425||.748|
|AA (1 season)||AA||114||424||72||132||33||1||21||78||4||33||100||.311||.371||.542||.914|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||41||141||18||34||3||0||4||20||4||4||23||.241||.278||.348||.626|
|A- (1 season)||A-||48||175||21||54||13||1||4||25||1||18||29||.309||.371||.463||.833|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||67||279||45||93||21||2||16||52||1||19||59||.333||.380||.595||.975|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||71||263||36||68||20||1||6||38||3||20||63||.259||.315||.411||.726|
17) Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins, 3B
28 home runs at the age of 19 with a drastic improvement in his walk rate is all that you need to know about Sano. He does strike out a lot, but that is typical of power hitters, especially those that are this young. Minnesota fans should be excited about Sano, although he is probably two to three years away.
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||107||415||81||121||32||7||24||78||7||33||120||.292||.347||.576||.922|
|A (1 season)||A||129||457||75||118||28||4||28||100||8||80||144||.258||.373||.521||.893|
|FRk (1 season)||FRk||20||64||11||22||2||1||3||10||2||14||17||.344||.463||.547||1.009|
18) Mike Olt, Texas Rangers, 1B/3B
Olt arrived in the Majors to showcase his power at the corners in 2012, though he didn’t get much of an opportunity. He was rumored in potential deals for the Rangers, but they may be better off keeping him and putting him at first base. He is ready to mash, like the Rangers needed more offense…
19) Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins, 1B
Yelich is a pure hitter, much like Oscar Taveras. While Yelich has posted solid speed numbers, he appears to be an intelligent runner than a true burner. An excellent hitter with surprising power for a stick figure, Yelich will move quickly to fill a suddenly disturbing Miami Marlins 25-man roster.
|A (2 seasons)||A||128||484||75||152||34||1||15||79||32||56||108||.314||.387||.481||.869|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||7||28||3||10||1||1||0||3||1||2||7||.357||.400||.464||.864|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||106||397||76||131||29||5||12||48||20||49||85||.330||.404||.519||.922|
20) Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs, SS
Baez could be a force at short for the Cubs. Just drafted in 2011 out of high school, the Cubs have already moved the youngster to High-A ball, having started the 2012 season late due to concerns about the weather. Regardless, he will continue moving quickly, especially if he keeps hitting like he has.
21) Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins, RHP
If you missed the Futures Game, you didn’t see how big Fernandez is already. The guy has a monstrous frame that makes him look like he could step right into a Major League rotation. His results are impressive to this point and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Marlins rush him next year.
22) Zack Wheeler, New York Mets, RHP
Wheeler was acquired from the San Francisco Giants for Carlos Beltran in 2011. He was a talented arm at the time and has established himself as the Mets top prospect since being acquired. Wheeler could still refine his command before he is a finished product, but he has the ceiling to be a top of the rotation starter.
|A+ (1 season)||A+||9||7||3.52||22||22||115.0||100||50||45||7||52||129||1.322|
|A (1 season)||A||3||3||3.99||21||13||58.2||47||27||26||0||38||70||1.449|
|AA (1 season)||AA||10||6||3.26||19||19||116.0||92||46||42||2||43||117||1.164|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||2||2||3.27||6||6||33.0||23||13||12||2||16||31||1.182|
23) Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers, 3B/OF
The Tigers have moved Castellanos to the outfield due to Miguel Cabrera occupying third base. Castellanos is an interesting talent. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t really walk much, while his power numbers are lagging. However, he is just 20 and his 32 doubles show that there is power in there somewhere. If Castellanos beefs up a little, that will help the power numbers, and then he can help the Tigers
24) Gary Brown, San Francisco Giants, OF
Brown’s 2011 numbers were likely the product of the California League, but he still showed solid speed and glimpses of power in Double-A in 2012. His 32 doubles and 33 steals show his potential. Since the Giants have thrived with a lack of pow er production since Barry Bonds left San Francisco, Brown could contribute as a speedster at the top of the order by 2014.
25) Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, SS
For a team with such a terrible offense, Indians fans sure do love this slick fielding slap-hitter. Lindor is young and has gap power, but he isn’t as valuable to the Tribe as current shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera because he can’t produce runs like Cabrera can. However, Cabrera is only signed through 2014 and Lindor should be ready by about the same time that Cabrera is leaving town. Lindor is a switch-hitter and has very good on-base skills. If he gets bigger, Lindor could become a more valuable offensive weapon. As it stands, he is a solid leadoff or No. 2-hitter.
26) Bubba Starling, Kansas City Royals, OF
27) Carlos Correa, Houston Astros, SS
28) Brett Jackson, Chicago Cubs, OF
29) Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks, RHP
30) Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP
31) Jonathan Singleton, Houston Astros, 1B
32) Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles, RHP
33) Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals, 2B/3B
34) Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners, C
35) Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees, C
36) Tyler Austin, New York Yankees, 3B/OF
37) Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies, 3B
38) Martin Perez, Texas Rangers, LHP
39) Cody Buckel, Texas Rangers, RHP
40) Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies, SS
41) Jon Schoop, Baltimore Orioles, INF
42) Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, RHP
43) Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners, SS
44) Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres, 3B
45) Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs, OF
46) Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox, RHP
47) Jake Marisnick, Miami Marlins, OF
48) Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers, RHP
49) Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins, OF
50) Mason Williams, New York Yankees, OF
51) Justin Nicolino, Miami Marlins, LHP
52) George Springer, Houston Astros, OF
53) Michael Choice, Oakland Athletics, OF
54) Dan Straily, Oakland Athletics, RHP
55) Daniel Corcino, Cincinnati Reds, RHP
56) Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds, LHP
57) AJ Cole, Oakland Athletics, RHP
58) James Paxton, Seattle Mariners, LHP
59) Kolton Wong, St. Louis Cardinals, 2B
60) Addison Russell, Oakland Athletics, 3B
61) Alex Meyer, Minnesota Twins, RHP
62) Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins, OF
63) Avisail Garcia, Detroit Tigers, OF
64) Kyle Zimmer, Kansas City Royals, RHP
65) Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins, 2B/OF
66) Rymer Liriano, San Diego Padres, OF
67) Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics, RHP
68) Albert Almora, Chicago Cubs, OF
69) Christian Bethancourt, Atlanta Braves, C
70) Cheslor Cuthbert, Kansas City Royals, 3B
71) Manny Banuelos, New York Yankees, LHP
72) Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers, 3B
73) Jackie Bradley, Boston Red Sox, OF
74) Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins, RHP
75) Matt Davidson, Arizona Diamondbacks, 3B
76) Alen Hanson, Pittsburgh Pirates, SS
77) Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners, SS
78) Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF
79) Trevor May, Minnesota Twins, RHP
80) Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals, RHP
81) Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP
82) Taylor Guerrieri, Tampa Bay Rays, RHP
83) David Dahl, Colorado Rockies, OF
84) Dan Vogelbach, Chicago Cubs, 1B
85) Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, OF
86) Miles Head, Oakland Athletics, 3B
87) Wilmer Flores, New York Mets, SS
88) Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres, C
89) Zack Cox, Miami Marlins, 3B
90) Ryan Wheeler, Arizona Diamondbacks, 1B/3B
91) Hak-Ju Lee, Tampa Bay Rays, SS
92) Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers, OF
93) Adam Eaton, Arizona Diamondbacks, OF
94) Aaron Hicks, Minnesota Twins, OF
95) Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF
96) Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers, OF
97) Kaleb Cowart, Los Angeles Angels, 3B
98) Mike Montgomery, Tampa Bay Rays, LHP
99) Robbie Erlin, San Diego Padres, LHP
100) Zach Lee, Los Angeles Dodgers, RHP
It is early and top prospects are adjusting, like Bryce Harper and his current .222/.276/.333 slash in Triple-A, while guys you’ve possibly never heard of are posting some eye-popping numbers. Here is a look at some of those guys performing well early on.
Brad Miller, SS, Mariners, High-A
.371/.463/.914, 13 for 35, 12 R, 3 2B, 2 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, 9/6 K/BB
Miller is a lefty swinging college bat out of Clemson. He is playing the whole season at the age of 22, and he should be advanced and hitting well, but the California League may result in Miller becoming a legend. Miller is now hitting .398 in 88 professional at bats, so he is someone to monitor this year, even if he has Nick Franklin ahead of him in the Mariners system at short.
Alen Hanson, 2B, Pirates, Low-A
.412/.474/.824, 14 for 34, 11 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 6/4 K/BB
Henson is a long way off, but he has a solid eye and solid speed, while seemingly spraying the ball all over the field. He is a switch hitter and he looks like he could be a potential leadoff hitter for the Bucs down the road. Neil Walker is under team control until 2017, but if he becomes too expensive through arbitration, Pittsburgh could toss the job Henson’s way in 2015.
Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins, Low-A
1-0, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 11 IP, 5 H, 18/4 K/BB
Fernandez is a known name as the Marlins first round pick from 2011. The youngster from Cuba is a high upside arm that turns 20 in July. He could be a fast mover in the Marlins system, especially if he keeps pitching like he has in his first two starts.
Cody Buckel, RHP, Rangers, High-A
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 10 IP, 4 H, 16/3 K/BB
Buckel has only thrown 111 2/3 innings but he now has a 145/31 K/BB. He is another chip in an absolutely loaded Rangers system. He’ll be 20 in June, but he seems to be picking up where he left off from last season when he posted a 2.61 ERA and 120/27 K/BB 23 games (17 starts).
Andrew Chafin, RHP, Diamondbacks, High-A
2-0, 0.82 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11 IP, 5 H, 18/2 K/BB
The California League eats pitchers for breakfast, so when a guy dominates there, like Tyler Skaggs did last year, you need to take notice. Chafin is a college arm, so he’ll be 22 this year, and he had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and missed the entire season. The Kent State product was the 43rd pick in the 2011 draft and he does seem to have the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter, with a plus fastball and slider. If he develops his change, he could become much more.
A.J. Griffin, RHP, Athletics, Double-A
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.36 WHIP, 11 IP, 2 H, 16/2 K/BB
Griffin is 24, a 2010 13th round pick out of San Diego by the A’s. In 2011, Griffin pitched at four levels, finishing with an 11-7 record, 3.47 ERA, 160 2/3 innings pitched, and a 156/32 K/BB. Not overly impressive until you look at his splits. He was impressive early on, posting a 9-3 record, 2.71 ERA, 122 2/3 innings pitched, and 128/19 K/BB between 20 Low-A and High-A starts. He didn’t fare as well at the higher levels (2-4, 5.92 ERA), which is why he’s back in Double-A this year. He has solid breaking stuff and very good control, so he could be a back-end starter, possibly a Joe Blanton-like innings eater.