I wouldn’t say the Seattle Mariners organization is the deepest system in the majors but it has some of the best upper-tier talent among the 30 baseball clubs. What’s even more impressive with the organization is that so many of those top prospects are pitchers and up-the-middle position players. Also, unlike a lot of the top systems in the game, the bulk of Seattle’s talent is at the double-A and triple-A level suggesting better days are ahead for the Mariners and their fans.
While some might want or expect to see Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson in this spot, I go with Eberle because of his penchant for filling the net at clutch times.
5. Baltimore Orioles (4*)- The fact that the system remains this strong after graduating a slew of prospects to the big leagues in 2009 is a very good sign for Oriole fans. The system is thin on position players, but I like Snyder and Bell. The system also features a lot of players in the high minors (although that is not a bad thing). I liked the Orioles' 2009 draft, and it will be very important that those players progress to fill in some of the holes in the lower minors. I think this system has more depth than it is given credit for, but the Top 7 is what makes it an above-average system. The Orioles totaled 12 players in the top 150 (1 A, 3 B+, 3 B, 3 B-, 2 C+). System Sleeper: Aaron Wirsch- The Orioles' 7th round pick in 2009 had a great pro debut. He's got a big time curve, and the frame to grow into some velo.
No. 3 ADRIAN CARDENAS, 2B ATHLETICS
Team: Double-A Midland (Texas)
Why He's Here: .423/.444/.731 (11-for-26), 5 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
With an easy, compact swing, Cardenas is the type of player who could sleepwalk his way to a .300 average. His pure hit tool ranks among the best in the organization, and he has the strike-zone judgment (shown in part by his 37 walks and 35 strikeouts in Double-A) to make it all come together for him at the plate. A brief trial in Triple-A didn't work out, but the lefty-swinging Cardenas is still one of the youngest players in the Texas League, where he's hitting .358/.429/.489, ranking second in the league in average and on-base and third in OPS.
No. 8 GRANT DESME, OF ATHLETICS
Team: high Class A Stockton (California)
Why He's Here: .368/.500/.947 (7-for-19), 3 HR, 1 3B, 4 RBIs, 6 R, 5 BB, 6 SO, 3-for-4 SB
The Scoop: Desme is having a solid season, especially considering that injuries had limited him to just 49 at-bats during his first two pro seasons. A second-round pick out of Cal Poly in 2007, he started the season with low Class A Kane County, where he batted .274/.334/.490 with 19 doubles, 11 homers and 24 stolen bases in as many attempts. Desme got a power boost after being promoted to the Cal League, of course, and over his first 21 games with the Ports, he has hit .260/.360/.649 with eight home runs. The power doesn't come without its downfalls, though. Between the two levels, Desme has struck out 113 times in 336 at-bats.
I sniffed a little bit of the NHL last year and when you get that smell, you want to get more because it smells better than the (AHL), that's for sure.
"Jeremy is extremely remorseful for what happened and will be voluntarily checking himself into a rehab facility to deal with his problem," Kusnick said. "Jeremy is sick and needs help. We are here to support him in getting his life back. Right now, the most important thing is to help him get his life back, and baseball will take care of itself.
"He is sorry for letting everyone down who believes in him."
The Chicago Blackhawks have signed left wing Rob Klinkhammer, defensemen Jonathan Carlsson and Brian Connelly and goaltender Alec Richards to entry-level contracts.
"The last thing I want to hear is that we have great players in the Minor Leagues. I don't care. How about some great ones, right now, winning a ballgame?"
The problem is the prospect observer effect—once people notice that players who "hold their own" at a young age tend to become good prospects, the unquantifiable thing that observation was measuring is changed forever. That calculus—involving the team noticing a teenager playing far enough over his peers, and being sure enough of his skill to put him in a league that will test him instead of one he'll dominate, before he gets moved up to full-season ball—is no longer valid once a team makes it part of the philosophy.