Safeco Field Park Factors: Hits 91; Runs 90; HRs 89
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: -$1 2001: $15 2002: $14 2003: $14
Pineiro has returned a solid value and posted good ratios in each of his two full years but has pitched less well down the stretch indicating his smallish stature may lack stamina. He has an excellent curve that dominates RH batters, plus a good fastball and change. His walk rate increased 29% to about league average, but otherwise his ratios improved. An excellent addition to any staff.
Values ~ 2000: $2 2001: $25 2002: $19 2003: $21
Moyer's signature pitch is the change-up, which in the last start I watched he threw about half the time. Moyer will come inside with his mid-80's fastball enough to keep hitters honest and then try to nip the outside corner with the change or will drop it off the knees. He usually has outstanding control which is key to his effectiveness. He managed to maintain a good ERA last year and win over 20 games by lowering his HR Rate 27%; however his other ratios took a turn for the worse. He's 41 now and although he doesn't rely on overpowering hitters and has been very reliable the last few years when he's been healthy, I think owners should expect last year's ratios to foreshadow a decline in values.
Values ~ 2000: $6 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: $7
Meche turned in something of a mixed performance in 2003 after missing 2001 following shoulder surgery and being limited to 65 AA innings in 2002. He had a 3.61 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP in the first half, but went 6.08 and 1.46 after the break. Perhaps his long layoff affected him. Meche has a mid-90's fastball with good running movement and an outstanding curve. I'd emphasize the positive of last year when bidding on him.
Values ~ 2000: $8 2001: $26 2002: $8 2003: $5
Garcia has been a severe disappointment the last two years following his superlative 2001. He has a low 90s fastball, curve and change. Both of his off-speed pitches have outstanding movement, so when he can hit his spots, he is very difficult to hit. His hit rate improved only slightly (4%) last year but his HR rate has more than doubled over the last two seasons and this is in a pitchers park. Garcia has fought weight problems, concentration lapses and inconsistency. At this point he's an enigma; as a result he's often rumored to be on the trading block.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: $6 2002: $7 2003: $13
After two years of serviceable work for the Mariners primarily in mop-up and long relief, Franklin stepped into the rotation last year and delivered value. I haven't seen him pitch and I need to because from the numbers alone, he appears to be doing it with mirrors. His strikeout rate is abysmal, and he's a flyball pitcher who led the league in HRs despite the favorable home park. He's said to throw a below average fastball, breaking pitches and a change. He's done enough to rate a bid but I don't think the ratios justify what he's earned and recommend caution.
Values ~ 2000: -$7 2001: $2 2002: $0 2003: -$10
Jarvis missed most of 2002 with a partially torn flexor tendon that required surgery and struggled last year attempting to come back from it. Jarvis throws a low 90s fastball, slider, curve and change. Even when he pitches fairly effectively, Jarvis is a HR machine. Borderline pick even if he were healthy.
Values ~ 2000: $13 2001: $16 2002: $30 2003: $32
Guardado took over the closer role last year at the end of the 2001 season and continued to build value for his owners the last two years. Guardado works up in the zone, gets a lot of flyball outs and used to cough up a high proportion of HRs, but has improved in recent years. His walk rate has improved from 4.69 in '99 to 3.65 in '00 to 3.11 in '01 to 2.39 in '02 to 1.93 last year. Guardado appears to have the closer job but has been hampered this spring; Guardado owners will probably want to add Hasegawa.
Values ~ 2000: $14 2001: $5 2002: $9 2003: $20
Hasegawa appears to have benefited from a somewhat less strenuous workload. Hasegawa's K rate declined 21% last year, following a 25% decline the year before. Normally, this would be an indicator of reduced effectiveness; however, Hasegawa's WHIP has improved during that time as he has significantly increased the number of groundball outs. Evidently, he's come to rely on getting outs by letting hitters make contact with his forkball and slider. Last year, Hasegawa's owners benefited from 16 saves accumulated during Sasaki's absence and could close if Guardado continues to have health problems.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $1 2003: $13
Soriano has been a starter in the minors but worked out of the bullpen after his call-up last year. He has a mid 90s fastball that moves, a slider and a developing change. In the minors he has been very tough to hit and has struck out almost a batter per inning. The ratios after his call-up are outstanding; it just remains to be seen what role he will fill on this staff. You should buy him now. Soriano's spring has been slowed by a strained oblique but he appears to be making progress.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $1 2003: $12
Mateo spent his first six professional years laboring in the low minors but after opening 2002 blowing away AA hitters, he split the remainder of the season at AAA and with Seattle. His ratios for 2002 at all three levels were respectable: Hit Rate = .95; K/BB Ratio = 2.55; HR Rate = .087. Last season, Mateo posted ratios that surpassed anything he had done in the minors. He has some minor league saves, so he's a name worth remembering.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $1 2003: -$2
Taylor made slow progress since being drafted in '96 until he was switched to the bullpen in 2001. At AAA last year he was very tough to hit (Hit Rate = .74; K/BB Ratio = 2.62; HR Rate - .074) and picked up 16 saves. He could factor into the Mariner bullpen this year if he can throw his mid-90s heat and slider/split combo for strikes. His closing role makes him especially interesting. Taylor had off-season rotator cuff surgery but is expected to be ready this spring. Still, his progress should be monitored.
Values ~ 2000: -$6 2001: -$16 2002: -$9 2003: $2
Villone surprised in '99 by pitching well in starting assignments but regressed the following three years in spot starter/long relief roles. Last year he was recalled in midseason, inserted into the rotation and returned a modest value. Villone has battled control problems throughout his career. He throws a fastball and curve and adds a change. Villone was less hittable last year than he has been at any time since '99 but that's not enough to put him on my draft list.
Values ~ 2000: $8 2001: $1 2002: $2 2003: -$5
Myers is a situational lefty, averaging less than an inning per appearance each season. He throws a low 80s fastball and curve, but survives more on deception than stuff. He has a pronounced sidearm delivery, appearing to lunge toward first during his release, causing his back foot to kick out toward third base, distracting the hitter. He doesn't pitch enough innings to build much value.