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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

January 25, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Mariners score highest in MLB.com prospect rankings

Thumbnail image for monterobanquet.jpg

Here’s a poll we’ve been running on our website:

What’s your opinion of the Mariners not signing Prince Fielder?

The M’s today announced their non-roster invitees to spring training from their organization (as opposed to veterans like Kevin Millwood who signed minor-league contracts: Pitchers Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Stephen Prior and Forrest Snow, infielder Nick Franklin, outfielder Vinnie Catricala (yes, he’s listed as an outfielder), and catchers Jesus Sucre and Ralph Henriquez.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com published his ranking of the top 100 prospects on Wednesday, which I’m just now getting around to seeing, because I was running in all different directions today.

The Mariners, it turns out, did extremely well. They have five players on the list, and three in the top 20 — catcher Jesus Montero (pictured here at tonight’s Seattle Sports Star of the Year ceremony at Benaroya Hall) at No. 12, left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen at No. 16, and right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker at No. 18. No other team had three in the top 20 (the Orioles, Diamondbacks and Royals were the only ones with two).

Rounding out the Mariners’ prospects on the list were shortstop Nick Franklin at 52, and left-handed pitcher James Paxton at 77.

Mayo used a formula where the team with the No. 1 prospect was awarded 100 points, No. 2 got 99 points, and so forth until the No. 100 prospect, who scored one point for his team. The Mariners led all teams with 329 points, ahead of the Royals (290) and Pirates (274).

These rankings don’t mean much in the big picture, but when coupled with a No. 4 ranking of the Mariners’ farm system by John Sickels of Minor League Ball earlier this week, it shows the M’s prospects are starting to get some acclaim by independent sources.

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