Friday, February 1, 2008

Spring Training Watch: Wladimir Balentien

Balentien has been overlooked in the Mariners' system, because of Adam Jones. If Adam Jones is sent over to the Orioles in an Erik Bedard trade, then Balentien will likely be the top prospect in the Mariners' system.

Balentien has quickly climbed up the Minor Leagues the last few seasons. At 18, he put up
.283/.363/.658 with 16 HR and 52 RBI in 187 AB's in the Arizona Rookie League. At the young age of 19 he hit .277/.315/.519 in 260 AB's with Wisconson of the MidWest League (A). He jumped up to A+ to go .289/.357/.474 in 38 AB's. Not miraculous numbers, but still high quality. He spent his age 20 year in A+, but his numbers went up to .291/.338/.553 in 492 AB's, along with 25 HR and 93 RBI. He made the jump up to AA with San Antonio at age 21. He had a .230/.337/.435 line, but put up 22 HR and 82 RBI. His line looks very poor compared to the previous year, but his other stats are still in line. Wlad continued his climb getting 447 AB's with Tacoma (AAA) at age 22. He got his line back up to a solid .291/.362/.509 with 24 HR and 84 RBI. He got into three games in The Bigs (that same year) getting three at bats, getting two hits, and one home run. I wouldn't care too much about his MLB AB(s) but his minor league stats are solid, and should continue into his MLB career.

Wlad will only have Brad Wilkerson as competition this Spring. It's expected that these two will be in a platoon situation, but Wilkerson getting a few more AB's. I wouldn't be surprised to see Balentien starting at AAA in right field, but expect him to get some solid at bats, especially if Wilkerson tanks. He could also be put into the DH spot with Jose Vidro. Either way, he should be getting some serious playing time in 2008.

1 comment:

canadianrocket17 said...

I feel bad for Wlad now. He has been a pretty darn good player and we haven't noticed because of AJ.