Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Solid start to last night’s ALCS.
Let’s get to some stuff.
First, in the shameless self promotion category, here’s the podcast of my interview on SportsRadio KJR with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett. We discussed the situation with Michael Saunders and also the Nelson Cruz stuff that wasn’t really new.
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From the Arizona Fall League ….
Patrick Kivlehan had a two-run double in Surprise’s 14-3 win on Friday night. DJ Peterson went 1-for-3 with two walks and John Hicks went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He also threw out two runners and picked off another at first base.
Relieve Stephen Landazuri got the win in relief, but wasn’t particularly sharp, giving up a run on two hits with two walks.
What’s the floor and ceiling of Patrick Kivlehan? He has to be considered a legit prospect now, right?
— Eric N., Portland, Ore.
To answer your second question first: Absolutely. And Kivlehan is ranked as such, currently No. 6 on the Mariners’ Top 20 list.
For those not familiar with Kivlehan’s story, here’s the synopsis. A football player at Rutgers, Kivlehan didn’t play baseball until his senior year, promptly going out and having a huge season. The Mariners took him in the fourth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and sent him straight to the Northwest League, an aggressive placement considering he hadn’t played much baseball. Kivlehan didn’t miss a beat, winning league MVP honors.
Kivlehan hasn’t stopped since. Putting up good numbers in High Desert might have to be taken with a grain of salt because of how hitting-friendly it is, but Kivlehan earned a promotion in 2014 and kept on raking in Double-A, with a .300/.374/.485 line in just over 100 games. He has the ability to hit for a decent average and a good amount of power — he hit first home run of the AFL season — and his ceiling is an everyday run-producing third baseman in the big leagues.
Kivlehan will turn 25 this offseason, so he is who he is from a physical standpoint, but he’s still learning to maximize his tools on the field. He’s played first and the outfield, so his floor might be as a productive super-utility type who can swing a good bat from either infield or outfield corner.
From the Venezuelan Winter League …
Gabe Noriega went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in for the Cardenales de Lara in a 9-1 loss.
Ji-Man Choi went 1-for-4 with two walks for Tigres de Aragua in a 4-1 loss.