Posted by: portersprospectreport | July 28, 2008

7/27 AAA Minor League Report

Michael Saunders

  • 2-5 HR(11) 3 RBI—M’s rushing him at AAA (.235 3 HR 16 RBI in 22 games)

Zach Jackson

  • 6 IP 2H 2K (W)—Pitched well in his last two starts for Buffalo

George Kottaras

  • 2-5 HR(19) RBI—Power has stepped up this year but average has suffered

Francisco Liriano

  • 6 IP 8H 4ER BB 9K (W)—10th straight win.  Liriano will get well deserved nod after July 31

Brandon Moss

  • 2-5 2HR( 8 ) 3 RBI—Nice trading chip, no roome for Moss in Beantown

Will Venable

  • 2-6 HR(10) 2 RBI—.309 10 HR 52 RBI

Nelson Cruz

  • 2-5 HR(37) 2 RBI—.409 11 HR 19 RBI 4 SB last 10 games (WOW!)

John Mayberry Jr.

  • 1-4 HR(12) RBI—Emerging from slump (.195 HR 4 RBI last 10 games)

Brandon Wood

  • 2-4 HR(21) RBI—Sizzling his last 10 games (.444 7 HR 11 RBI)

Dallas McPherson

  • 4-5 3 HR( 38 ) 3 RBI—Battle with Nelson Cruz for HR title is approaching epic status!

Brett Hayes

  • 3-4 2 HR( 8 ) 2 RBI 2B 3R—Oft overlooked catcher handling promotion to Albuquerque well


BUY/SELL Analysis

Needs time to sharpen his 5 tools

Needs time to sharpen his 5 tools

Michael Saunders was an 11th round draft and follow pick in the 2004 draft by the Seattle Mariners.  A native Canadian, Saunders was thought to be an NHL calibur hockey player and standout basketball, lacrosse, and soccer player in high school.  Saunders has an impressive and projectible 6-4 205 lb. frame and 5-tool talent to match.  Saunders had a breakout season in 2007 hitting .296 with 15 HR 84 RBI 29 SB and 99 Runs at High A High Desert and AA West Tennessee.  This season, Saunders continued his success at AA hitting .290 with 8 HR 30 RBI and 11 SB.  Despite his impressive skill set, Saunders is still quite raw in many aspects of his game, mainly plate discipline, baserunning, and defense.  While experience is what Saunders needs, the Mariners seem to be compelled to challenge him at advanced levels.  This strategy has had mixed results for Saunders who is struggling to refine his skills at Tacoma.  Saunders has 1st year cards in the 2007 Bowman Draft and Chrome set as well as the  Bowman Sterling and Heritage sets.  Because his chromes feature him in his futures game uniform, they don’t get quite the market attention that other top prospects’ cards receive.  Currently, his chromes are selling for 50-75 cents each and refractors can be had at $3-4.  A better bargain are his Bowman Sterling refractors which can be grabbed at $5-7 each.


Market Advice: BUY this guy’s cards now.  He is a cheap 5-tool bargain playing in a fairly popular collector’s market (Seattle).  I think that he has an outside shot of getting a call up in September, though the M’s would be best suited to send him back to AA and let him marinate.   Long term, I think he is the rightfielder for the M’s in 2010 as Wladimir Balentien has taken a step back in his development.  Saunders has more upside than Balentien in every almost every aspect of his game and the M’s are in full-on rebuild mode.  A big bargain can be found in his Bowman Draft jersey and game-used base cards which sell regularly for 5 bucks and less.  Another solid BUY are Saunders’ Bowman Sterling refractors which, in the $5-7 range and #’ed to 199, are going to be extremely popular and valuable once Saunders breaks in with the M’s.


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