2014 Seattle Mariners

C – Tyler Marlette  –  HiA High Desert/AA  Jackson – 21 yo;  – (2011 – 5th round)  –
  • .297 – 17 HR – 51 RBi – 54 R –  .349/.517/.867 slash   –   csPAG: 3.56
  • BA/#8  –   MLB Pipeline(mid-season)/#10   –   BP-NR
  • The 21 year-old Hagerty HS (FL) draftee is by leaps and bounds the top ranked catcher in the system and should be. Excellent make-up, improving defense and an absolute gun behind the plate. But, the 5’11 – 195 lb. righty’s true calling card is his bat. He debuted in 2011, but logged only 12 games and a 1.25 PAG for Rookie Pulaski. In 2012, Marlette saw two levels in which his growth began to take shape. He posted a csPAG of 2.56 mostly for Rookie Pulaski, then a minuscule two-game sniff for Short Season Everett. Again, 2013 showed that Marlette was developing into the hitter Seattle was happy to draft posting a PAG of 3.04 for LoA Clinton. Marlette’s power began to show while also batting .304, but 2014 was what seemed to be Marlettes’s true arrival in the mold of what the Mariners had hoped they’d see at this point in his development. Posting a 3.56 csPAG for HiA High Desert and Double A Jackson proves that the Florida native is going to be ready to make the ultimate leap sooner rather than later. 
1B – Jordy Lara – HiA High Desert/AA Jackson – 23 yo;  – (2008 – Int FA/DR) –
  •  .337 –  26 HR – 104 RBi – 91 R –  .392/.581/.972 slash  –   csPAG: 4.05
  • BA-NR  –  MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  • In the world of Under the Radar, the 23 yr old Lara falls into the analogy of what one would consider in the medium of major motion picture greatness as an “Oscar snub.”  Lara has been a pro for the last six seasons with his lowest PAG score of 2.32 coming his 2009 pro debut for the Dominican Summer League. His PAG progression and ascent through the ranks has been slow and methodical, but it hasn’t been due to poor performance. Since the start of his 2010 season, the 6’3 – 180 pounder hasn’t scored less a 2.89 PAG, a 98 game stop in LoA Clinton to begin 2013.  Now, I understand just as much as the next guy that the California League helps hitters pad their offensive stats. Lara is no different. He posted his highest PAG scores at the HiA levels (4.05 to end 2013/4.30 to begin 2014) and even posted a 3.27 for AA Jackson to end this season. What has me perplexed is Lara garnered no mention whatsoever for leading the entire minors in hits with 177. Let’s see how the start of 2015 fairs for Lara before people either jump on the UTR bandwagon or Lara is who most think he is. 

2B – Zach Shank –  LoA Clinton/HiA High Desert  –  23 yo;  – (2013 – 28th round)

  • .281 –   10 HR – 56 RBi – 84 R –   .341/.429/.770 slash   –   csPAG: 3.06
  • BA-NR  –  MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  •  Shank is one of those prospects that probably won’t ever make a name for himself in the major leagues. The Poughkeepsie, NY native has posted decent PAG numbers during his brief two year career serving time in three levels. But, as a 23 year old poised to (possibly) spend an entire year in HiA, the organization will probably have to be blown away by a supreme breakout to gain him any attention. I like him, make no mistake, yet hasn’t been overwhelming, but has shown systematic improvement. Which again, will surely gain him no attention outside of UTR. 
 3B – D.J. Peterson  – HiA High Desert/AA Jackson – 22 yo;  – (2013 – 1st round) –
  • .297 – 31 HR –  111 RBi – 83 R –   .360/.552/.912  slash   –  csPAG: 4.22
  • BA/#19  –  MLB Pipeline (mid-season)/#9  –  BP-NR
  • Peterson can be described as nothing short of a beast; and this is the type of prospect that if he happened to be playing in the National League, everyone in the much-talked about Pennsylvania Furnace League in which both Jim and I are members would spend the supreme dollar once stud minor leaguers began creeping their way into the draft bidding. Peterson has yet to post lower than a 3.41 PAG; and that was once he earned his late-June promotion to AA Jackson; where he still slugged 13 homers in 58 games. 
SS – Jack Reinheimer  – LoA Clinton/HiA High Desert – 22 yo; – (2013 – 5th Round) –
  • .276 – 3 HR – 58 RBi – 84 R – 39 SB  –   .338/.355/.692  slash   – csPAG: 3.15
  • BA/#26  –  MLB Pipeline (mid-season)/#19  –  BP-NR
  • There’s something about Reinheimer that everyone should like.  He’s not the most toolsy player on the field, but scouts say his instincts both defensively and at the plate make up for what he lacks in supreme level skills.  And I’ll take that eight days a week.  Hits for average, has some pop, steals bases, can play all over the infield. There’s room for guys like him in every organization. There’s nothing to dislike here and I expect to see the 6’1 – 185 lb. East Carolina alum spend all of 2015 in the HiA Cal League. 


LF – Jabari Henry – HiA High Desert –  23 yo; –  (2012 – 18th round)

  • .291 – 30 HR – 95 RBi – 79 R –   .398/.584/.982 slash  – –  PAG: 4.39
  • BA-NR  –  MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  • Henry is another one of those ‘temper my enthusiasm” prospects due to the Cal League inflation. He’ll be 24 years old for the 2015 season and posted a 4.39 PAG for HiA High Desert. But, I’m intrigued by the fact that outside of his incredible power display this season, his csPAG numbers aren’t anything to sneeze at: 2012 – csPAG: 3.51 and 2013 – csPAG: 3.47. I’ll keep Henry’s numbers in my notes and watch his performance in 2015. Then determine what it is I need to do with those notes; throw them away or use it as proof when we at UTRMinors said, “We told you so!”
CF – Aaron Barbosa – HiA High Desert/LoA Clinton  –  22 yo; – (2013 – Free Agent signee) –
  • .264 – 7HR – 10 3B – 38RBi – 71R – 39 SB  –  .335/.400/.735  slash  –   csPAG: 3.47
  • BA-NR  –  MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  • Jim and I have always had the warm fuzzies for those over achieving UTRs that you could say compare to those lovable characters on the Island of the Misfit Toys in the holiday classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: the un-drafted kids. Go ahead and click on this link. I know you want to!  Barbosa is another hitter with a very attractive PAG deviation and a true UTR having been un-drafted, then signing a 2013 late-July contract with the Mariners. The Northeastern University career leader in stolen bases (69), the 5’10 – 160 lb. speedster opened is pro debut in 2013 with Rookie Pulaski and posted a 30 game PAG of 3.63.  The Dracut, MA native reminds me lot of former Nationals UTR Breakout Billy Burns, now with Oakland.  Barbosa hits for average, has blazing speed, supplies no power and brings superior defense to centerfield.


RF – Gabriel Guerrero – HiA High Desert – 20 yo; – (2011 – Int FA signee/DR)

  • .307 – 18 HR – 96 RBi – 97 R  –  18 SB   –  .347/.467/.814  slash  –  – PAG: 3.79
  • BA-13  –  MLB Pipeline(mid-season)/#3  –  BP-On the Rise
  • I really wavered on my Mariners RF O.A.S. choice even though the 20 year old Guerrero was by far the cream of the right field crop this season for the Mariners. He’s a true physical specimen at 6’3 – 190 lb. and is the nephew of former major league great Vladimir; which certainly helps his case. Yet, Guerrero, and his O.A.S. competition in the PAG realm, forced me to dig a little deeper which gave me new ideas in taking PAG even further, possibly helping me find my next Mariners Breakout P.O.Y. Guerrero is a star in the making, yet I’d love to see more power, improved defense and bigger average. Sometimes even I’m blinded by baseball bloodlines and lose sight of a players age/level ratio, yet understand he has great career PAG scores and still a lot of growth ahead of him. 
Top 5 Starting Pitchers – Mention Points/TPS
1. RHP Dylan Unsworth – (11) SP/TPS .109
  • 21 years old – (HiA High Desert)
  • Undrafted – 2009
  • UTR Mention (June 20th)
  • 2014 UTR Breakout
  • Ranked #30 by Baseball America
  • This kid can’t get to the major fast enough, he could be the show within the show. Research on Unsworth uncovered that he might have a quirky sense of humor which should make him a fan favorite. Its a good thing he has that going for him because by the looking at his stat line his games could be boring…..as not too many runs cross the plate when he’s on the mound. It started with his debut in 2010 when he only walked one batter in 50.1 innings. Then in 2013, to go along his sub 1.00 WHIP, he only issued 2 free passes in 72 innings. He took his lumps in the California League last season, which is to be expected, but the excellent command/control is there for South African native. His fastball is in the low 90’s with not much movement. He’s keep hitters off-balance with a very good change-up and his breaking stuff, which needs improvement for him to advance.
2. LHP Scott DeCecco – (9) cSR/TPS .140
  • 23 years old – (HiA High Desert)
  • 21st round – 2012
  • DeCecco put together strong seasons in high school and college (U. of South Carolina), but it hasn’t translated in the pros. The Mariners must see something in the lefty, by giving him the extra look in the Arizona Fall League where worked from the bullpen. He did have some flashes this summer, but may end -up being a organizational type or possible long-reliever.
3. RHP Lars Huijer – (8) cSR/TPS .161
  • 20 years old – (LoA Clinton / HiA High Desert)
  • Undrafted – 2011
  • Ranked #28 by Baseball America / #17 By MLBPipeline
  • An international signee, Huijer had some control issues in 2014  but it didn’t keep the organization from promoting him to Double-A High Desert. He is a groundball pitcher that saw that stat take a slight dip last season but still at a respectable 54%. The uncharacteristic stats that stuck out were the 26 HBP and 18 wild pitches. With three effective pitches, look for Huijer to bounce back.
4. RHP Jose Flores – (8) cSR/TPS .182
  • 21 years old – (LoA Clinton)
  • Undrafted – 2009
  • Had a decent sophomore season in the states last season , but probably would have serve best for the organization to keep him in the Venezuelan Summer League one more year back in 2012. The projectable framed right-hander throws a mid 90’s fastball.
5. LHP Blake Holovach – (7) cSR/TPS .121
  • 23 years old – (LoA Clinton / Short-Season Everett / LoA Clinton)
  • 27th round – 2012
  • UTR Mention (July 16th)
  • Holovach didn’t bring much to the table when drafted in 2012. He had a static 2013 spending the season with LoA Clinton. He repeated LoA to start 2014 and it remained status quo, so the club sent him back to Short-Season Everett to right the ship. Facing younger, unpolished hitters, Holovach seemed to get back on track and he basically snuck in at #5 with those solid S-S starts He did strikeout 17 batters and walked none over 24.1 IP in four starts. They returned him to Clinton and placed him in the bullpen, where he again regressed.
Top 3 Relief Pitchers – Mention Points/TPS
1. RHP Grady Wood – (8) RP/TPS .088
  • 24 years old – (HiA High Desert)
  • 10th round – 2012
  • 2-Time UTR Mention (April 18thMay 29th)
  • Wood turned in a good season for HiA High Desert, but it would have been nice to see him earn more that eight mentions points over 40 appearances. Benefit of the doubt pitching in the Cali League, so it could be interesting to see if his side-arm delivery that creates deception plays in Double-A in 2015. His arm action is more like a short-arm throw compared to a true whip-like motion, this works for Wood to create movement and induce ground balls
2. RHP Matt Brazis – (7) RP/TPS .071
  • 24 years old – (HiA High Desert / Double-A Jackson)
  • 28th round – 2012
  • 2-Time UTR Mention (May 4thMay 21st)
  • Things kind of stalled for Brazis this year in repeating HiA to begin the season. It could came from the fact that he got off to such a quick start in 2013 (0.65 ERA in 18 appearances over 2 levels) that the assignment in HiA was too aggressive. It settled down for him after 23 appearances at High Desert to start the season, which earned him a promotion to Double-A where he held his K & HR rates steady.
3. RHP Oliver Garcia – (5) RP/TPS .070
  • 23 years old – (HiA High Desert / Short-Season Everett / HiA High Desert)
  • Undrafted – 2007
  • UTR Mention (April 12th)
 Top 5 TPS – Starting Pitchers
1. RHP Osmel Morales – cSR/TPS .062
  • 21 years old – (AZL Mariners)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • 2-Time UTR Mention (July 17th, July 28th)
  • Here’s an arm to watch for Mariners. Had an outstanding first year in the U.S. after 3 solid years in the VSL. Possible 2015 Under the Radar Breakout Candidate?
2. LHP Ryan Yarbrough – cSR/TPS .074
  • 22 years old – (Appy League Pulaski / Short-Season Everett)
  • 4th round – 2014
  • A finesse left-hander that stands at 6’5″ but he doesn’t bring much heat with that downhill plane. What translated over from his days at Old Dominion University was that he doesn’t walk anybody.. In 38.2 innings Yarbrough only issued 5 walks while striking out 53, posted a 1.40 ERA and a paltry 0.750 WHIP. There’s upside in Yarbrough, but it may come from the bullpen.
3. LHP Michael Suarez – cSR/TPS .075
  • 19 years old – (VSL Mariners)
  • Undrafted – 2014
  • 3-Time UTR Mention (May 15thMay 21stJune 29th)
  • Vast improvement in his second year in the VSL. He went 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA and 60/16 K:BB rate.
4. LHP Pat Peterson – SP/TPS .078
  • 21 years old – (Appy League Pulaski)
  • 23rd round – 2014
  • UTR Mention (July 9th)
  • Good debut year for the draft pick out of North Carolina State
5. RHP Daniel Missaki – SP/TPS .079
  • 18 years old – (Appy League Pulaski)
  • Undrafted -2013
  • 3-Time UTR Mention (June 21stJune 26thAugust 5th)
  • For a 18 year old Missaki, he’s been labeled with advanced pitchability and shown that he can keep advanced hitters off balance. His fastball comes in at 88 to 91 mph, but its his ability to throw three different offspeed pitches. His change-up is already near a plus pitch and when the others come around, Missaki could be lethal. Against batters nearly three years younger than the right-hander, Missaki posted a 2.76 ERA and had 62 strikeout in 58.2 innings of work. This whole package at such a young age and it all went unnoticed….what a development dream.
 Top 3 TPS – Relief Pitchers
1. RHP Hawtin Buchanan – RP/TPS .059
  • 21 years old – (Short-Season Everett)
  • 20th round – 2014
  • We thought Yarbrough was a presence on the mound. How about Buchanan, who registers-in at 6’9″ 250 lbs. He has a very deceptive fastball that ranges in the high 80’s, but by the time it leaves his hand that close to the plate it must look like in the 90’s. He couples that with a plus curveball. Hawtin Buchanan should be fun to track in the coming years and will mostly likely making this list next year, including the mentions points. 
2. RHP Trey Cochran-Gill – RP/TPS .067
  • 21 years old – (Appy League Pulaski / Short-Season Everett)
  • 17th round – 2014
  • 2-Time UTR Mention (July 30thAugust 2nd)
  • 23 appearances in his debut season with a 0.25 ERA and 12 saves. He uses a 95-96 mph fastball that struck out 44 hitters in 36.1 innings.
3. RHP Rohn Pierce – RP/TPS .067
  • 21 years old – (Appy League Pulaski)
  • 19th round – 2014
  • Three very good relief pitchers on this list all drafted in 2014. Pierce comes at hitters with a low three-quarters arm slot which produces a low 90’s fastball, sweeping slider and solid change-up that keeps batters off balance. He went 5-1 with 3.40 ERA in his debut season.
 2014 Breakout Grades
The following pitchers were chosen in early March. Their selection was based solely on their previous season’s TPS rating and using the UTRMinors.com criteria for those under the radar.
SP Dylan Unsworth
RP Rafael Pineda

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.