thoughts on the Mariners, MLB draft, and more homelinksdraftabout me

Prospect Profile: Matt Tuiasosopo

Now that the offseason has arrived, plenty of people will weigh in with their opinion on what the Mariners should/will do this winter. However, every Mariner fan needs to look in the mirror and realize that the Mariners are still a long way from being a playoff contender. So, the real question heading into this offseason is: When will the Mariners be a contender again? The answer lies in their farm system because every team improves by developing major league prospects. Luckily, the Mariners future looks bright thanks to many youngsters at the major league level (Felix Hernandez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeremy Reed, et al.) and many other promising youngsters in the minor leagues. Throughout the offseason, I will write short prospect profiles and by spring training I will have covered every prospect worth watching going into 2006. For the first prospect profile, I wanted a name any Seattle sports fan will recognize. The choice was a no-brainer.

Matt Tuiasosopo, SS, 19 years old

LOW A STATS

AB
OBP
SLG
AVG

409
.359
.386
.276

2B
3B
HR
RBI

21
3
6
45

K
BB
SB
CS

96
44
8
5

Everyone agreed that the Mariners hit a home run when they picked Tuiasosopo in the third round of the draft in 2004 but his first full year of professional baseball brought mixed results. Nothing about his numbers evoke excitement, but there is nothing discouraging either. Some would point to Tuiasosopo's low slugging percentage as disappointing, but he is only 19 and the Wisconsin League generally favors pitchers. Tuiasosopo played well enough in Low A this year to get promoted to high A in 2006 and it will be interesting to see what he does in the California League. Look for his power numbers to go up simply because he will have matured more physically and because the league is more hitter friendly than the Wisconsin League. If Tuiasosopo's on-base percentage improves he will truly be progressing. It is still too early to tell if Tuiasosopo is a legitimate major league prospect, but if he continues to progress at the rate of one minor league level per year he will be ready for the major leagues in 2009.