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Which New Team? The one with Ackley and Smoak

He continues to count off the odds-enhancing factors, on the fingers of both hands...

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8.  You would take infielders over outfielders.  Ackley plays a premium position.  As a quality 1B, you'd rather have Smoak than a corner OF or DH or lumbering Montero type (though of course you'd rather have a CF than a good 1B).

Franklin is probably going to provide the Mariners with a league-average, low-salary SS real quick here.  Figgins will play 3B.  That positions your Yahtzee card to just cram bats into your OF and DH slots.

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We're not saying the job is done.  We're reminding, just how thunderously perfect the M's scenario is with these two.  They've got their Braun and Weeks.

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Q.  Are Ackley and Smoak the best ML-ready prospects in the game?

A.  Jason Heyward is a little better than they are, and Buster Posey is as good.  Jesus Montero isn't quite ML-ready; he's as good overall as Smoak, a better hitter but worse at anything that doesn't require a bat in your hands. 

There are other glam guys, of course.  But the fact is, you could reasonably argue Ackley and Smoak as the #1 and #2 franchise hopefuls in baseball.  Except for Heyward.

Mariners fans need to drop the "No Cheering In The Press Box" shackles and wake up.  The Mariners right now have a Rays-type storm brewing in the minor leagues.

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Q.  Two players.  One LH and one switch-hit.  One a #3 hitter and one a #4 hitter.  One a doubles guy who can run and draw walks.  The other a 35-homer, 120-RBI guy.  Is that enough to carry an offense?

A.  Show me a team with two ideal 3-4 hitters, say Minnesota, and I'll show you a team that figured out how to score runs somehow.

But the M's also have:

  • Nick Franklin, whom if Ackley and Smoak weren't here would be a legit glam spect
  • A 8-to-make-2 situation in OF with Halman, Wilson, Saunders, Raben, Morban, etc
  • Triunfel and Liddi and Moore etc

  • The farm system rated #1 (one) in baseball for hitting by Baseball Prospectus before Smoak got here
  • The #2 or #3 overall in the next draft

It is simply amazing that the 2010 Mariners, at this time of day, was able to put up an offense worse than the ones I watched in the 70's and 80's.  But that's not going to be the lineup for long.

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Part 4

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