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Top Prospect Alert - Ryan Christianson

By Robert Sherry

Ryan Christianson: A former first round pick in 1999 draft (11th overall), this 19-year-old has the skills to be the catcher of the future for the Mariners.

Coming out of Arlington High School (CA), Cristianson was the top catching prospect and possibly the defense player of any high schooler in the country. However, in his first full season in 2000, he endured some struggles as he adjusted to the rigorous life of pro baseball. His season finished on more of a down note as he battled shoulder tendonitis. In all, his stats at Wisconsin read: .249 average, 13 home runs, 59 runs batted in, 60 runs scored, 20 doubles, 50 walks, 98 strikeouts, and one steal in 418 at-bats. I feel the strikeouts, combined with the inflammation, was the main reason for the low average. He's a better hitter, capable of being a consistent .280+ hitter when he learns to use the whole field instead of trying to do too much with every pitch.

Still only 19, and at 6-foot and about 210 pounds, Christianson has the size and make-up to be one of the better catchers at any level that he plays at, while his batting upside is almost just as high. He projects as an above average power hitter who could hit the ball out to any field when he doesn't try to do too much. A better understanding of the strike zone would improve his power and average stats. 


 

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