Notebook: Chris Taylor, Chihuahuas and M’s managerial search begins
It’s so hard to get consistent play in the Arizona Fall League. Sharing positions with one or sometimes even two other players is not easy, especially considering these guys are used to playing day in and day out. That belief was in the Mariners’ 2013 Minor League Player of the Year, Chris Taylor’s mind, but he is proving it otherwise so far.
The numbers agree with that assessment by Taylor.
He’s leading Peoria in AVG (.409), OBP (.500), SLG (.545), without a home run mind you, and OPS (1.045). His .409 batting mark in six games ranks third in the AFL.
“I’ve been seeing the ball well,” said Taylor. “I’ve only played six games though so things can go up or down in a hurry. Still nice to get off to a good start though.”
I get asked often, what you can take away from these stats from the fall league. Well, what does Nate Roberts, Jedd Gyorko, Brent Morel and Dustin Ackley have in common? Have no idea? They are the AFL batting champions the last four years. So, while Gyorko and Ackley had their moments, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will tear it up at the Major League level soon. Eric Hosmer batted .203 during the 2010 AFL season. Logan Morrison, Daniel Murphy and Gordon Beckham were in the top 7 in batting in 2008. Matt Kemp finished second in the AFL in 2005 with a .383 batting average. In 2007, Jed Lowrie hit .163 in 24 AFL games. Get my point? There is no rhyme nor reason, but it’s fun to keep up with.
Taylor draws a lot of comparisons to Brad Miller. Both are terrific young middle infield prospects that come from the ACC. Neither are franchise changing players, but both can be solid pieces to a club. Taylor is more of a natural shortstop than Miller and Nick Franklin, while Taylor does not possess the power of Miller or Franklin.
Who does Taylor remind me of?
Taylor reminds me a lot of young Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett. Gennett played for Huntsville in 2012 and hit .324 with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 21 RBIs and 2 stolen bases in 69 games this season for Milwaukee. I think that is Chris Taylor in a nut shell.
Winning the Mariners MiLB Player of the Year award hasn’t really been an oman for future success. See Vinnie Catriciala’s epic fall from grace and Stefen Romero’s battle with injuries and position change. Although, I do believe Romero will end up being a solid player. Taylor has the potential to have a breakout season in 2013 more than likely starting in Triple-A Tacoma and knock on the door for an MLB promotion relatively quickly.
Mariners interview Chip Hale for managerial opening
GM Jack Zduriencik is in Arizona and met with Chip Hale of the A’s about the M’s managerial vacancy.
Interesting tidbit from that story is that Hale interviewed with the Mariners in 2008 when they hired Don Wakamatsu. Also intriguing is that Ted Simmons’ name was mentioned as a potential candidate. The former St. Louis Cardinals star catcher has spent many days at The Ballpark in Jackson over the last few years watching the young players in the organization. That’s an interesting name to keep an eye on in this process.
Taijuan Walker tweet of the week
I think he’s is referring to a Lil Wayne song, but it still made me laugh and is just random. But, that is just one of the million reasons why we love you dude.
There’s a new dog in town!
San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate has relocated to El Paso, TX from Tuscon and was named the Chihuahuas on Wednesday. The name has been greeted with mixed reviews, but as this tweet below represents. It’s merchandising genius!
I personally don’t like the name and the dog logo looks a little strange, but I would probably buy a hat. So, El Paso, you win!
Haunted Stadium Continues
Don’t forget the Generals Haunted Stadium continues this Friday and Saturday from 6-11pm. The first weekend was a lot of fun and everyone that went through the tour was extremely happy and in some cases, soiling themselves scared. Come on out if haunted houses are your thing.