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Wladdy Balentien

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I dont really keep up on the Minor League analyses, just the stats. Ive noticed that Adam Jones is on every single top prospect list, but Wladimer Balentien is not?? How come? I know numbers dont always tell the whole story, but here's the stat comparison:

Balentien-

.337AVG 11HR 39RBI 10SB(vs 2CS) .404OBP .976OPS

Jones-

.302AVG 7HR 32RBI 3SB(vs 4CS) .388OBP .891OPS

Wladdy has him in every single offensive category? Is Balentien just not getting the credit he deserves, or am i missing something? Also, i doubt it happens, but if one of the Mariners outfielders gets hurt or traded....who gets the call?

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jones appears to be the better prospect long term becuz of his athleticism and better tools, namely his speed and arm. jones could eventually be a mike cameron type and could be a better player player in reality than fantasy, but he does have 5 tool potential.

balentien has been awesome this yr. the knock on him before this yr was that he was basically a hacker with tremendous raw power. he's improved his walk rate over the past couple of seasons but hes still striking out a bunch. if he can continue to improve his plate discipline and shorten up his stroke and stride more often he could be major league ready some time next yr. i still think jones would be the first call-up since he has ML experience and has more versatility defensively. balentien is one to watch though, he could be a more coordinated version of wily mo pena.

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Thanks. Ive been wondering about that for a couple weeks. Is there a site that breaks down prospects that i should be reading? What do you use as your source...Baseball America? I give the minor league boxes a quick scour on a daily basis, but id like to have some dialogue to go with the numbers.

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Thanks. Ive been wondering about that for a couple weeks. Is there a site that breaks down prospects that i should be reading? What do you use as your source...Baseball America? I give the minor league boxes a quick scour on a daily basis, but id like to have some dialogue to go with the numbers.

i really dont use any premium sources like baseball america although i do receive their free newsletter. i just mainly use google and find as many blurbs about a player as possible then piece together the scouting report. i find the most detailed information are on team's blog sites.

heres a very detailed scouting report of balentien: http://prospectinsider.wordpress.com/2007/...imir-balentien/

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and for the record, here's Adam Jones' writeup from the Mariners top 10 list from BA over the winter:

Background: When Seattle took Jones with the 37th overall pick in 2003, it put an end to a dismal string of top draft choices that began with Ryan Anderson in 1997 and continued with Matt Thornton, Ryan Christianson, Sam Hays, Michael Garciaparra and unsigned John Mayberry Jr. Many teams preferred Jones as a pitcher after seeing him top out at 96 mph in high school, but he wanted to play every day and the Mariners granted his wish after signing him for $925,000. Jones has improved steadily as he has climbed the minor league ladder, and he has quickened his pace the last two seasons, opening 2005 at high Class A Inland Empire and reaching Seattle in mid-2006. Changing positions didn't slow him down. Jones spent his three years in pro ball at shortstop, but Yuniesky Betancourt seized that spot with the Mariners thanks to his defensive wizardry. Jones played two games in the outfield at the end of the 2005 season and worked on his center-field skills in the Arizona Fall League. In his first full year at the position, managers rated Jones the best defensive outfielder in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

Strengths: Jones has drawn Mike Cameron comparisons since changing positions. He's an excellent athlete who has gotten both stronger and quicker since turning pro. He has increased his power output each year and still has room to add another 20 pounds to his frame. He's an above-average runner, albeit more of a long strider who's more effective taking an extra base rather than stealing one. The Mariners believe he can become a consistent 20-20 man like Cameron, and that might be a conservative estimate of Jones' power. He also has the tools to emulate Cameron and become a Gold Glove outfielder. Jones tracks balls very well, covers plenty of ground and has one of the strongest center-field arms in the game. He recorded five assists in 26 major league games. If needed Jones also could return to shortstop and become at least a solid-average defender there. He has shown a strong work ethic and the ability to adapt to tougher competition throughout his pro career.

Weaknesses: Jones sometimes can be too aggressive for his own good. Plate discipline never has been his strong suit, and the biggest difference between him and Cameron is that Cameron walks more frequently. Jones swings and misses enough that he may not hit for a high average and will pile up some strikeouts, though he's still young enough to make further adjustments. Breaking balls still give him trouble on occasion. Defensively, he can improve his routes, especially on balls hit over his heads. He made some errors early in 2006 because he made too many needless throws.

The Future: One of the youngest and best players from his 2003 draft class, Jones has the ability to become a much-needed building block for the Mariners. He could use a little more time to polish his game, so he probably will open 2007 at Triple-A Tacoma. When he returns to Seattle, he could face another position switch. The Mariners plan on playing Ichiro in center field, so Jones could move to right, where he has played briefly in the minors.

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Here is Balentine's, ranked sixth in the M's Org.

Background: Balentien arrived in the United States by hitting a Rookie-level Arizona League-record 16 homers in 2004, and he has been crushing homers and striking out in bunches ever since. A member of the 2004 Dutch Olympic team, he won San Antonio's MVP award and the Texas League home run derby in 2006. He also smacked two doubles in the Futures Game.

Strengths: Few players in the game can match Balentien's raw power. Though his approach remains simplistic, he made progress in 2006 with his plate discipline (more than doubling his career high in walks) and using the opposite field. Far from a one-dimensional slugger, he has average speed and a plus arm that managers rated the best among TL outfielders. A right fielder who can play some center, he led the league with 17 outfield assists.

Weaknesses: Balentien's all-out, all-the-time approach limits his ability to make contact and hit for average. He'll chase any pitch he can reach, and he swings so hard that he'll pull his head off the ball. His stroke is long, he can be helpless against breaking stuff and he doesn't adjust when he falls behind in the count. He can get out of control in the field as well, topping TL outfielders with 11 errors.

The Future: Balentien's power is undeniable, but how usable it will be in the majors remains in question. The Mariners love his ceiling and will hope he can find a more balanced approach this year in Triple-A.

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This is also from a recent article... you guys can pay for the rest B)

Five-Tool Franchise Player

The Mariners thought Jones, the club's first-round pick in 2003 from San Diego's Morse High, was big league ready last July when they called him up to play center field--when he was just 20 years old. Jones had made the transition from shortstop a few months earlier. He struggled in the major leagues, hitting just .216/.237/.311 in 74 at-bats over two stints, but the Mariners are expecting big things from this five-tool prospect.

"Most organizations have a prospect who could be up with the big league team, but whose progress you would be hindering if he wasn't playing every day," Mattox said. "Adam is making great improvement in center field, and that's because he's playing. You don't get any better by watching, so for the time being Adam will be playing every day in Tacoma."

Jones said he is fine with that for now.

"You always want to be in the major leagues, but I knew the situation," he said. "There was no space up there. They signed a guy (Jose Guillen), and I'm still young. I'm 21 and they wanted me to play every day."

Jones, who said he put in a lot of work with big league hitting coach Jeff Pentland during spring training, is off to a nice start with the Rainiers, hitting .297/.373/.398 in 118 at-bats with a homer and 12 RBIs. He said he's feeling more comfortable with a year under his belt in center field, and has no problems with batting leadoff.

"The first at-bat of the game is a bit different, because I try to take a couple of more pitches and work myself into counts," he said. "After the first time, I'm ready to go because there is no sense in me taking pitches because everyone's already seen what the pitcher has."

Jones, despite the good start, is lately finding himself overshadowed by Balentien, a heavy hitter with a propensity for striking out he had earned by fanning 442 times in 1,421 minor league at-bats in the U.S. But Balentien, who is from Curacao, was off to his best professional season, hitting .333/.407/.585 in 123 at-bats, with eight home runs and 26 RBIs . . . and just 23 strikeouts.

Though the Mariners had worked with Balentien on his swing to cut back on his strikeouts, Mattox credited the change to Balentien's approach.

"He has always shown the ability to hit the ball with power, but you have to hit the ball first," Mattox said. "He's understanding that if he hits it more, he can also hit more homers. He has become a much better two-strike hitter, but he's also swinging more at the right pitches before it gets to two strikes."

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