Prospect Watch: Top 30 Future Mariners

InsidethePark.com's August look at the Top 30 Prospects in the Mariners farm system. From the blue-chip ace to the blue-collar utility-man, the M's have a solid crop for the future. We all know who No. 1 is, but can you guess who else dons the list?



1. Felix Hernandez (18), RHP, San Antonio Missions
12-4, 2.96ERA, 124.2ip, 145K, 38BB, .235avg
Handling Double-A at age 18. What's the world coming to?

2. *Jeremy Reed (23), CF, Tacoma Rainiers
.288/.345/.444, 4HR, 25RBI, 5SB
Posting solid numbers with Tacoma since acquired six weeks ago. Will be a September call up.

3. *Shin-soo Choo (22), LF , San Antonio Missions
.310/.376/.462, 12HR, 7-3B, 71RBI, 28SB
Developing into a true five-tool talent. Sky is the limit.

4. Travis Blackley (21), LHP, Tacoma Rainiers
7-4, 3.61 ERA, 97.1ip, 70K, 38BB, .228avg
Trying to regain confidence, changeup in Triple-A.

5. Adam Jones (19), SS, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.269/.319/.409, 10HR, 65RBI, 8SB
Passing test of the Midwest League both offensively and defensively.

6. Matt Tuiasosopo (18), SS, Everett AquaSox
.398/.459/.519, 5HR, 17RBI, 2SB
More natural ability than any recent draft pick.

7. **Jesus Guzman (20), 3B, Inland Empire 66ers
.296/.382/.416, 5HR, 51RBI, 10SB
Breakthrough season creates a dilema. Double-A at 20?

8. **Asdrubal Cabrera (18), SS, Everett AquaSox
.281/.330/..450, 4HR, 34RBI, 6SB
More polished than any 18-year-old since a guy named A-ROD. He was pretty good wasn't he?

9. Bobby Livingston (21), LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
10-4, 3.53ERA, 160.2ip, 126K, 27BB, .261avg
Steady season has the southpaw set for Double-A in 2005.

10. Ryan Rowland-Smith (21), LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
5-3, 3.82 ERA, 92ip, 106K, 28BB, .265avg
Away on Aussie Olympic Team, Rowland-Smith could return as 66ers best starting pitcher.

11. Yung-Chi Chen (21), 2B, Everett AquaSox
.297/.348/..430, 3HR, 29RBI, 22SB
After a month in the system, his return from the Olympics could be greeted with a promotion.

12. Wladimir Balentien (20), LF, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.277/.315/.519, 15HR, 46RBI, 10SB
Consistent contact remains only weakness, while power potential is top drawer.

13. Michael Morse (22), SS, San Antonio Missions
.255/.310/.426, 5HR, 31RBI
Must hit well enough to warrant move to third, and stave off a switch to the outfield.

14. Rene Rivera (21), C, Inland Empire 66ers
.244/.302/.352, 5HR, 52RBI
Defense remains best tool but his bat must come around.

15. *Casey Craig (19), LF, Everett AquaSox
.310/.438/.484, 4HR, 28RBI, 14SB
Advanced hitting skills could prove worthy of a split 2005 season between Wisconsin and Inland Empire.

16. Shawn Nottingham (19), LHP, Everett AquaSox
7-1, 3.00ERA, 69ip, 63K, 20BB, .234avg
Continues to throw strikes and keep runners off base. Tough to lose that way.

17. *Chris Snelling (22), LF, Peoria Mariners
.313/.476/.500, 9 RBI
Starting to look like the Golden Aussie may never stay healthy enough to hold a roster spot.

18. Jon Nelson (24), LF, Inland Empire 66ers
.303/.351/.492, 16HR, 80RBI, 22SB
Could slide back to first base in 2005, but his bat has made nice progress with the stick this season.

19. Chris Colton (21), CF, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.242/.317/.418, 12HR, 10-3B, 60RBI, 14SB
Needs to re-discover the stroke he displayed in May. That Chris Colton was a top 10 prospect.

20. Ryan Feierabend (18), LHP, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
9-6, 3.96ERA, 141ip, 96K, 40BB, .261avg
Not missing many bats this season but shows pitching wisdom beyond his years.

21. *Josh Womack (20), LF, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.262/.314/.380, 5HR, 35RBI, 20SB
Ugh, the strikeouts. A 15% cut in whiffs, probably vaults Womack into top group of outfielders.

22. **Ismael Castro (21), 2B, Inland Empire 66ers
.303/.343/.500, 2HR, 10RBI
Before the knee injury, Castro was the top 2B prospect in the system. Should be ready for spring training in March.

23. Jamal Strong (26), CF, Tacoma Rainiers
.324/.421/..424, 3HR, 24RBI, 19SB
Season-ending knee surgery will keep Strong from the bigs. Injuries seem to be the only thing that can do so.

24. *Bryan LaHair (21), 1B, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.305/.356/.480, 5HR, 26RBI
Showing good power in a pitcher's league should allow for a natural jump to the Cal League next season.

25. Erick Monzon (23), 2B, Inland Empire 66ers
.319/.360/.571, 6HR 14RBI, 4SB
Out of nowhere comes Monzon with all the extra-base hits and the unknown history. We'll see how long each last.

26. Rett Johnson (25), RHP, Inland Empire 66ers
0-0, 0.00ERA, 2ip, 3K, 3BB, .167avg
Just getting back into the swing of things. Should start getting stretched out soon.

27. *Greg Dobbs (26), 3B, Tacoma Rainiers
.307/.335/.449, 9HR, 56RBI, 8SB
As steady as they come, both with the bat and the glove.

28. Hunter Brown (24), 3B, San Antonio Missions
.284/.382/.430, 9HR, 45RBI, 16SB
Deserves to start 2005 in Triple-A Tacoma. Let's hope he doesn't get blocked.

29. Thomas Oldham (23), LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
8-7, 2.86ERA, 132.1ip, 154K, 34BB, .246avg
Challenging Felix for pitcher of the year honors. Promotion doesn't seem to be slowing him down either.

30. Cesar Jimenez (19), LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
6-5, 2.40ERA, 75ip, 67K, 17BB, 4svs, .234avg
Economical lefty reliever could move quickly through the system.


Notables:
**Juan Gonzalez (22), 2B/SS, Inland Empire 66ers
*Greg Jacobs (26), RF, Tacoma Rainiers
Aaron Taylor (26), RHP, San Antonio Missions
**Brandon Green (23), 1B, Everett AquaSox
Jason Snyder (21), RHP, Everett AquaSox
*A.J. Zapp (26), 1B, Tacoma Rainiers
Mumba Rivera (23), RHP, Everett AquaSox
Michael Wilson (21), OF/DH, Everett AquaSox
Ryan Christianson (23), C/DH, Tacoma Rainiers
*Dan Santin (18), C, Peoria Mariners
Luis Soto (20), 1B, Peoria Mariners
John Austin-Emmons (18), OF, Peoria Mariners
**Joseph Jacobitz, OF, Peoria Mariners
T.A. Fulmer (24), RHP, San Antonio Missions
Aaron Jensen (20), RHP, Everett AquaSox
Brent Johnson (22), 3B/OF, Everett AquaSox



*=bats left
**=bats both


Comments, questions, and general feedback is welcome at JasonAChurchill@Hotmail.com

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