M's 2005 Top 50 Prospects: No. 21-25

InsidethePark.com's Top 50 Mariners Prospects rolls along with numbers 21-25. During FREE WEEK, all readers can view this premium content.



Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
InsideThePark.com Prospect No. 25
Position: 3B
Opening Day Age: 26
Height/Weight: 6-1/205
Bats/Throws: L/R
Acquired: M's 10th round draft pick in 2000

Year

Team

AVG.

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

San Antonio

.325

5

34

25

5

11

23

.373

.507

2004

Tacoma

.271

8

31

28

4

5

36

.286

.416

2004

Seattle

.226

1

9

4

0

1

14

.250

.302



Strengths:
Dobbs brings a refreshing approach to the game on a daily basis and puts in the work the organization admires. The Oklahoma product makes the most of his physical ability and has a batting stroke that is capable of hitting for a solid average.

Weaknesses:
Dobbs lacks the power of the classic third baseman and isn't the type to take a load of walks to shoot his on-base percentage through the roof. Solid defensively, but not spectacular, Dobbs uses consistency and work ethic to get the job done with the glove.



Tools: Scout's Profiling Scale

Hitting for Average: 50
With a pure line-drive stroke leading the way, Dobbs could turn himself into a .300 hitter but to do so must learn to be more selective at the plate and take more walks. To hit in the big leagues, Dobbs needs to force the pitcher into better hitting counts.

Hitting for Power: 45
Dobbs won't be mistaken for Eddie Matthews or Eric Chavez, that's for sure. Without typical corner infield power, Dobbs is limited to the occasional long ball and reminds some of former Mariner Dave Magadan.

Speed: 50
Dobbs is a converted outfielder and doesn't have the thick lower body that many third basemen have, allowing for slightly above-average speed. The 26-year-old isn't going to blur anyone's vision with his blinding quickness, but isn't a detrimental figure once he reaches the base paths.

Glove: 60
Dobbs is a solid defensive player and could be much better in time. As is, he possesses solid footwork and decent range to a position he plays pretty consistently.

Arm: 55
Dobbs has a solid throwing arm that grades out as major league average as a third-sacker. A very accurate thrower, the former 10th round pick by the Houston Astros has enough arm to play the hot corner for years to come.



Future:
Unfortunately, Dobbs came along about five years too late. In 2000, Dobbs would have a decent shot to win the starting job in spring training but with the signing of Adrian Beltre, Dobbs will instead fight for a reserve role. It's unlikely that Dobbs breaks camp with the M's but has a shot to contribute as a backup down the road. Dobbs will likely open 2005 as Tacoma's starting third baseman.



MLB Clone: Jason Grabowski, Jeff Liefer

MLB ETA: 2005





Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
InsideThePark.com Prospect No. 24
Position: 2B
Opening Day Age: 21
Height/Weight: 5-9/185
Bats/Throws: B/R
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1999

Year

Team

AVG.

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Inland Empire

.303

2

10

11

0

4

3

.343

.500



Strengths:
Castro's bat is his bread and butter and the switch-hitting Colombia native has skills beyond his years of experience. His natural ability to work a pitcher into a hitter's count could be his greatest attribute.

Weaknesses:
Not blesses with great speed, Castro's base running and defense aren't typical of a middle infielder, although his throwing arm translates well to the major league level.



Tools: Scout's Profiling Scale

Hitting for Average: 60
Castro has good plate discipline, a good eye and a solid stroke from both sides of the plate. The 21-year-old handles the bat well and fits in the two-hole in most lineups.

Hitting for Power: 55
Castro already has a major league build and his power should continue to develop. When all is said and done he could hit 16-18 home runs a season, or top out in the 12-14 range with 35 double capabilities.

Speed: 50
The only missing component of a top prospect is Castro's lack of plus speed. Castro must stay smart on the bases without losing the appropriate aggressive approach.

Glove: 45
Castro has a strong glove but lacks in range. His footwork around the bag is average, but he could improve in that area enough to be the next starting second baseman for the M's. Castro has strong but soft hands and was showing great improvements before his season ending injury last spring.

Arm: 65
Castro has a strong arm for a second baseman and has played some shortstop and third base. More experience in throwing from second base will only make Castro better.



Future:
Castro could either repeat the California League for a third time, or show he is healthy this spring, earning a shot at Double-A San Antonio. Bet on a third opening day with the 66ers but he may not stay there long. When Castro hurt his knee last May, he was lighting up the league with the stick. He may be ready for San Antonio, even without more time with the Inland Empire club. The M's may have a keeper in Castro as the 5-9 fireplug could be the heir apparent to Bret Boone. Health and defensive development are the key issues for Castro to conquer.



MLB Clone: Placido Polanco, Jose Macias

MLB ETA: 2007





Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
InsideThePark Prospect No. 23
Scott Atchison RHP
Opening Day Age: 29
Height/Weight: 6-2/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Acquired: Mariners 49th round pick in 1998 Draft

Year

Team

G

GS

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

Sv

ERA

WHIP

2004

Tacoma

40

1

5-3

69.1

71

26

76

7

4.15

1.40

2004

Seattle

25

0

2-3

30.2

29

14

36

0

3.52

1.40



Strengths:
Versatility is not usually a typical attribute of a relief pitcher but in Atchison's case, it's perhaps his best. Capable of starting, or delivering in middle or short relief, the veteran is comfortable pitching in any situation at any point in the game.

Weaknesses:
After watching Atchison's best outings, one might get a bit greedy and want for more. Well, what you see is what you get. Lacking electric stuff that a top starter possesses, Atchison's stuff is relegated to the bullpen. At times, the right-hander starts to pick at the corners. His level of effectiveness drops significantly when he tries to overthrow his pitches.



Tools: Scout's Profiling Scale

Fastball: 55
Atchison's heater sits in the 90-mph range and has good movement throughout the strikezone. Rarely missing his spots with the fastball, Atchison turns an average pitch into a weapon with movement and command.

Slider: 55
Probably Atchison's best pitch, his slider can be an out pitch as well as a secondary pitch used to set up the change or the fastball. Improved control should make it more effective.

Change Up: 50
As with most hurlers, Atchison's change up is a developing, improving pitch. As a reliever, most pitchers tend to use their two best pitches. This would leave Atchison's change up out of the mix, but it's a good enough pitch to use on occasion.

Command: 55
Judging by the 40 walks in less than 100 innings pitched, one might see Atchison's command as below-average. But after a slow start in Triple-A Tacoma, the right-hander from Denton, Texas was nails and curbed the walk totals. His 14 walks in 30.2 innings with the M's were countered with 36 strikeouts and just 29 hits allowed. When Atchison attacks the zone, he is a very effective middle reliever.

Delivery: 55
With a delivery conducive to a healthy, active arm, Atchison has very few mechanical issues to work out. Arm slotting and consistent action are strengths for the 29-year-old.



Future:
It's going to be tough to keep Atchison off of the big league roster out of spring training. Look for a battle between Julio Mateo, J.J. Putz, and Atchison for two spots in the pen.



MLB Clone: Brian Boehringer, Scot Shields

MLB ETA: 2005





Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
InsideThePark.com Prospect No. 22
Position: 3B
Opening Day Age: 20
Height/Weight: 6-1/170
Bats/Throws: B/R
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2001

Year

Team

AVG.

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Inland Empire

.310

6

71

80

9

57

105

.393

.443



Strengths:
Guzman's strengths include the aptitude to learn the game quickly and make adjustments according to the situation. The 20-year-old Guzman played well-above expectations in his first season in the system.

Weaknesses:
Guzman just performs. Without much in the tool box, Guzman is able to get those average tools to get the job done, more often than not. Lack of experience didn't seem to hinder in 2004, but the more he plays, the better.



Tools: Scout's Profiling Scale

Hitting for Average: 65
Guzman has an advanced eye at the plate and a solid overall approach. His ability to draw walks is an aspect in which is far ahead of the curve for a first year player. Even considering the 105 strikeouts, Guzman makes solid, consistent contact and will only improve in this area.

Hitting for Power: 50
Guzman hit just six home runs in 2004 but his secondary power numbers are solid. After hitting 35 doubles and posting a .443 slugging percentage, Guzman could show an improvement in the home run numbers over the next year or two.

Speed: 50
Slightly better-than-average speed for Guzman limited the rookie to nine steals in 17 attempts. Guzman will, however, leg an extra base out of a long single and has no problems going from first to third in the right situations.

Glove: 50
Guzman struggled at times in the field, as evidenced by his 29 errors, but he has the hands and footwork to be an above average defender. His arm and reactions may be better suited for second base but he is likely to remain at third for the time being.

Arm: 50
An average arm might keep Guzman from playing third base for the next 15 years, and it's not just arm strength. Errant throws in his first year in pro ball helped lead him to nearly 30 errors.



Future:
At the plate, Guzman could develop into a solid all-around hitter and overall offensive player. If the organization finds the right defensive position for him, he could be a very solid prospect capable of being a replacement level player in the major leagues. Expect Guzman to get a chance at Double-A San Antonio to begin his 2005 campaign.



MLB Clone: Todd Walker, D'Angelo Jimenez

MLB ETA: September 2007





Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
InsideThePark Prospect No. 21
Jamal Strong OF
Opening Day Age: 26
Height/Weight: 5-10/180
Bats/Throws: R/R
Acquired: Mariners 6th round pick in 2000 Draft

Year

Team

AVG.

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Tacoma

.324

3

24

46

19

38

28

.421

.424



Strengths:
Strong's speed has taken him this far but if he is to make it at the next level, his ability to limit strikeouts and draw walks might be the reasons he sticks.

Weaknesses:
Strong's only natural weakness is his lack of a power stick, but his health has been a bit of an issue over the past two seasons. Staying healthy in 2005 is crucial for Strong's future.



Tools: Scout's Profiling Scale

Hitting for Average: 60
Any hitter that makes consistent contact, draws walks, limits his empty at-bats and has good speed can hit in the major leagues. Strong's approach and knowledge of the strike zone reflect his ability to be an effective lead off hitter.

Hitting for Power: 50
After hitting just two home runs in his first 1397 at-bats, Strong has five in his last 392 at-bats and seems to have added the necessary strength to reach the gaps on a more consistent basis. Remember, the gaps at Safeco Field mean triples.

Speed: 80
If he is 100% healthy, Strong is fully capable of 40+ steals at any level. Anytime he hits one down the line or into the gap, Strong could end up on third base. If not, he may just steal his way there. The Nebraska product reads pitchers very well and combines smart base running with his blazing speed.

Glove: 65
Possibly Strong's most underrated attribute is his ability to cover ground in the outfield. Using plus speed to his advantage, the 26-year-old takes solid routes and has good instincts. Even though he is best suited for left field, Strong is capable of playing center and is one of the best defensive outfielders in the organization.

Arm: 50
Even Lacking the arm to fit the classic prototype of a center fielder, Strong's average arm-strength is accurate and he rarely makes a bad throw.



Future:
Health and opportunity are all Strong needs on his side. At worst, the former Cornhusker is a solid fourth outfielder in the big leagues. Look for Strong to begin another year in Triple-A, if he isn't traded this winter.



MLB Clone: Dave Roberts, Coco Crisp

MLB ETA: September 2005





InsideThePark.com Top 50 Prospects

  • No. 50 Chris Colton, OF
  • No. 49 Mumba Rivera, RHP
  • No. 48 Jon Huber, RHP
  • No. 47 Mark Lowe, RHP
  • No. 46 Brandon Moorhead, RHP
  • No. 45 Jared Thomas, LHP
  • No. 44 Aaron Taylor, RHP
  • No. 43 Brandon Green, 1B
  • No. 42 Matt Thornton, LHP
  • No. 41 Brent Johnson, OF
  • No. 40 Greg Jacobs, OF
  • No. 39 Ryan Feierabend, LHP
  • No. 38 Cesar Jimenez, LHP
  • No. 37 Aaron Jensen, RHP
  • No. 36 Daniel Santin, C
  • No. 35 Ryan Christianson, C
  • No. 34 Rich Dorman, RHP
  • No. 33 Juan Gonzalez, 2B
  • No. 32 Jason Snyder, RHP
  • No. 31 Rett Johnson, RHP
  • No. 30 Josh Womack, OF
  • No. 29 Oswaldo Navarro, 2B
  • No. 28 Jon Nelson, OF
  • No. 27 T.J. Bohn, OF
  • No. 26 Hunter Brown, 3B






  • Seattle Clubhouse Top Stories