SeattleClubhouse Top-50: Sneak peek

Giving our subscribers the names that make up our Third Annual Top-50 Seattle Mariners prospect list.

Following is the SeattleClubhouse 2014 Seattle Mariners' Top-50 prospects list. Unlike the last two years, I am unveiling this entire list to subscribers ahead of releasing the detailed breakdowns and scouting reports on each group of players. Those reports will be released five players at a time, counting down from 50 to 1. The first set, covering prospects number 50 through 46, went live yesterday right here and was free for all. The Top-5 prospects will once again be free for all, too, but the other 40 prospects which will be covered in-depth here are subscriber-only content, as is this advanced look at the entire list.

At the end of the scouting reports series, which is scheduled to be completed on February 3rd, I will make the full list available to all readers. Until that time, I ask that you please not post this list to any message boards, Twitter, Facebook or other websites. If the M's make trades this off-season that impact this prospect list, I will release a revised version before the start of spring training.

This is the third year that I have released a Top-50 prospects list and the work put in here is more than for any other story or stories that I do here at SeattleClubhouse. Determining this list is never easy and there is room for debate. I strongly considered more than 80 players for this 2014 list and, undoubtedly, there will be players who just missed this list who will make me look foolish next season for leaving them off. At the end of our scouting report series, I will once again release a list of players who just missed making this ranking.

I'm often asked about the methodology used in choosing these prospects and their ranking order. As there is no universal magic formula for prospect ranking, each person has their own tastes, and my list does differ from the ones you'll see on other very good sites. Guessing the future value of a player is a subjective and unscientific proposition, at best. That being said, it is something that I take very seriously and put a lot of time and effort into.

My evaluations are based on the following criteria: 1) Talent/ceiling (Does this player have an unusual set of talents that, should he reach his maximum potential, would allow him to be a star, i.e., a special bat, plus-plus power, Gold Glove defense, etc.?); 2) Proximity to the big leagues (Has the player advanced to a point where the big leagues are within reach soon?); 3) Chances of having a big league career (Is this player a future major league regular?) 4) Most likely projection/floor (In my informed opinion, is this player likely to reach his maximum potential, whatever that potential may be? If not, what is the most likely outcome?); 5) Results on the field (Did the player produce numbers that indicate he will have future success?); 6) Age relative to level (Has the player competed against age-appropriate competition and is he still young enough to have a long career in the big leagues?); 7) Make-up (Does the player project the temperament, intelligence and work ethic to succeed on a big stage?); 8) Position (A middle infielder, centerfielder or catcher might be considered more valuable in the long run than a corner outfielder or infielder; same goes for a potential starting pitcher as opposed to a relief pitcher). Also, players who have exhausted their Major Legue Rookie status and players who have passed league-age 26 season are not considered.

The assessments for all of these players are borne out of discussions with baseball executives, scouts, and players -- from within Seattle's system and from the outside -- fellow and other media members, as well as my own personal observations of the players being analyzed.

Again, I recognize that all rankings lists are controversial, and I encourage feedback and discussion on the Top-50 prospects in this thread on our subscriber-only message board:

With that all out of the way, I now present to you the 2014 Top-50 SeattleClubhouse Seattle Mariners' prospects:

Seattle Mariners' 2014 Top-50 Prospects:

50. Joe DeCarlo
49. Jesus Ugueto
48. Jamal Austin
47. Marcus Littlewood
46. Jabari Henry
45. Jose Valdivia
44. Dan Paolini
43. Leon Landry
42. Jack Reinheimer
41. Tyler Smith
40. Lars Huijer
39. Kyle Hunter
38. Roenis Elias
37. Dario Pizzano
36. Tyler Burgoon
35. Stephen Kohlscheen
34. Jack Marder
33. Chance Ruffin
32. Xavier Avery
31. Forrest Snow
30. Wilton Martinez
29. Guillermo Pimentel
28. Timmy Lopes
27. Anthony Fernandez
26. Carlos Triunfel
25. Tyler O'Neill
24. Ketel Marte
23. John Hicks
22. Ji-Man Choi
21. Jabari Blash
20. James Jones
19. Logan Bawcom
18. Tyler Marlette
17. Luiz Gohara
16. Gabriel Guerrero
15. Dominic Leone
14. Patrick Kivlehan
13. Abraham Almonte
12. Edwin Diaz
11. Carson Smith
10. Austin Wilson
9. Victor Sanchez
8. Julio Morban
7. Stefen Romero
6. Chris Taylor
5. Tyler Pike
4. Danny Hultzen
3. James Paxton
2. D.J. Peterson
1. Taijuan Walker

Head over to the subscriber-only forums to discuss the list, ask about near misses, question the position of the rankings, etc., with myself and other subscribers.

Looking for more Mariners news, articles and player interviews? Want to keep up with which prospects are hot and cold for the M's? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse site Editor Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.

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