As a testament to how barren the Seattle Mariners’ farm system is of anywhere near major league ready bats, the team brought up 12-year journeyman and 36-year-old OF Endy Chavez over the weekend to help plug some holes in the lineup, as Robinson Cano remained out with a hand contusion. Cano is listed as day to day, and with Logan Morrison now on rehab assignment, Chavez’s stint in Seattle is likely to be short, but still. Endy Chavez?
Chavez’s lifetime line of .269/.307/.364 in close to 3,000 AB’s is remarkably devoid of any power. He has 28 career HR’s, or about a HR every 100 AB. When he was younger, he showed some decent speed and was a fashionable fantasy pickup if you needed SB’s. But, as a real baseball player, he’s always been empty numbers. So, of course, Lloyd McClendon put him in the leadoff spot, where 2/3rds of MLB managers put players who don’t get on base but are fast.
However, looking to younger, more promising players in the system at this time is a bit premature. The two top prospects to possibly upgrade the outfield and first base are a few years away.
Twenty-two year old D.J. Peterson, the Mariners’ highest hitting prospect according to ESPN’s Keith Law, is currently playing 3B in high A but could shift to 1B in the majors. He is hitting .302/.352/.533 with 10 HR and 40 RBI in 47 games. These are promising numbers, with the caveat that his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is relatively high at .347 and should regress closer to .300 and he is striking out 21.3% of the time.
In A ball, 22-year-old outfielder Austin Wilson, the Mariners’ second highest hitting prospect according to Law, is hitting .289/.364/.457 with 5 HR’s and 32 RBI in 48 games. He also has a high .344 BABIP and is striking out 19.4% of the time.
Both are at least two years away but should project out as solid everyday players in the big leagues.
In the meantime, the Mariners will have to go with the Endy Chavezes of the world, (at least until Cano gets back in the lineup), continue to ride good pitching, see if they can stay around .500 up until the trade deadline and make an upgrade then to push for the playoffs.