I made the 60-mile drive from the outskirts of Mesa up to Peoria again this afternoon, and was lucky enough to get a good look at many of the Mariners' top farmhands.
To view the pictures I took from today - yet another hot weekday in the Valley of the Sun - click here:
Pictures from Peoria
Or go this link:
Some quick impressions from what I observed today:
***Outfielder Sam Bradford, a 22nd-round selection of the M's last June that came with little fanfare, was a line-drive machine during batting practice. A switch-hitter, he peppered right field with liners while batting lefty and had similar success from the other side of the plate as well. Tall and slender, Bradford spent most of last season at Everett, where he hit just .239 but showed some tools with 5 HR and 13 SB in just 189 ABs. Expect him to start the season at Wisconsin, and possibly head back down to short-season Everett if he struggles with the Timber Rattlers.
***Cristian Guerrero, an outfielder claimed off waivers last May from Milwaukee's organization, is a cousin to Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero and quite an imposing man at 6-foot-7. He looks more suited to play first base based on his height, and has a huge swing that can hit the baseball a long ways. Like Bradford, he has speed and power. He batted .278 with 9 HR and 12 SB in 299 ABs with High-A Inland Empire in 2003.
***Outfielder Gary Harris, an 18th round pick in 2002, is a guy to keep an eye on for next season. Quietly, he was one of Wisconsin's best players last season, hitting .285 with 26 2B, 7 3B, 4 HR and 36 SB. Today he looked like a magician with the bat while doing bunting drills, spraying balls softly wherever he wanted. He looked more confortable bunting than anyone else.
***Boy the M's have a lot of left-handed minor league pitchers!
***There's no shade in Arizona...anywhere.
Pictures from Peoria
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