Under The Radar: Five To Watch

Everyone knows about Phillippe Aumont, Carlos Triunfel, and Michael Saunders. But here are five guys having standout years in the Mariner organization who might not be on your radar just yet.

1. Prentice Redman, OF, Tacoma

Redman had a cup of coffee with the Mets in 2003 but otherwise has been a career minor-leaguer. Redman has consistently mashed in AA but has had mixed results at the AAA level, keeping him from ever getting a real shot at the next level. But 2008 has been a breakout year for the 28-year-old outfielder, as he's hit 11 home runs in 45 games with Tacoma, posting a .947 OPS in the process. Redman has played so well that he has essentially replaced Charlton Jimerson, who was eventually released by the M's. Redman is a contact hitter (only 43 strikeouts in nearly 350 plate appearances this year) who has pop, and he walks enough to be useful during slumps.

2. Juan Fuentes, C, Pulaski

The 22-year-old Venezuelan catcher is just about as far under the radar as you can go. The non-drafted free agent hit .313 in 31 games last season in Peoria and struck out just 12 times in more than 125 plate appearances. He moved to Pulaski this season and has been nearly impossible to get out. In 26 games with the P-Mariners, he's leading the Appalachian League with a .440 batting average. He has more walks (11) than strikeouts (10), and is hitting .520 (13-for-25) with runners in scoring position. Power is not in his repertoire yet (he has just one homer over the last two seasons), but he's looking like yet another strong catching prospect. He's a year behind because of elbow surgery that forced him to miss all of 2006, but he's definitely one to watch.

3. Shawn Kelley, RHP, West Tenn

Kelley has been one of the best arms in the whole system this season, putting up staggering numbers while moving his way up from Wisconsin all the way to West Tenn. At 24, Kelley already has a mature arm that he developed at Austin Peay, where he was Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2007. Unfortunately, Shawn has had some arm troubles that make his long-term prognosis questionable. He had Tommy John surgery at the age of 19 and missed a large chunk of last season with an elbow strain. This season, he's managed to stay healthy and is putting up spectacular numbers. In 22 innings at AA, he's allowed one earned run on 12 hits, with 22 strikeouts. This follows his stint in hitting-friendly High Desert, where he threw 12 innings with no earned runs allowed.

4. Carlos Peguero, RF, High Desert

Peguero is a free-swinging outfielder with some power who could be very tough to deal with if and when he develops a better understanding of the strike zone. Peguero has 12 homers and 25 doubles this season, leading to a healthy .480 slugging percentage. But despite a .299 batting average, he's only getting on base at .317 due to 10 walks in nearly 400 plate appearances. But while the walks aren't piling up, Carlos is putting together a very nice July, with a .938 OPS and only five strikeouts in 14 games. Peguero is only 21, so there's time for him to grow into his ability.

5. Donnie Hume, LHP, High Desert

Hume went on the DL more than two weeks ago, but until then was one of the most effective starters at the A level in the system. After posting a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts with Wisconsin, Hume moved up to the thin air in High Desert and continued to perform well, giving up seven runs in 18 innings in his three starts with the Mavs. Hume has a 2.5-to-1 K/BB ratio and has more strikeouts (64) than hits allowed (61). The six-foot lefty is in his first season of pro ball after being drafted in the eighth round in 2007 out of San Diego State.


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