He was not a Seattle Mariners Top 15 Organizational Prospect to begin the season, but what Vinnie Catricala has become is perhaps the most under the radar prospect currently at the Double-A or Triple-A level. The numbers he has put up between the High-A High Desert Mavericks and the Double-A Jackson Generals in 2011 are eye popping. The 22 year old is hitting a combined .348 with 46 Doubles, 4 Triples, 22 Home Runs, 101 RBI’s, and 16 Stolen Bases. The most impressive thing is Catricala has hit for a higher slugging percentage after leaving the hitter friendly California League and moving to the Southern League which houses some of the best pitching prospects in the game. In the story link below you will find an in depth interview with Catricala conducted by Rick Randall, a must follow on twitter @RandallBall. In the piece Catricala talks about flying under the radar in high school, playing for the University of Hawaii, learning to play the outfield after being a corner infielder most of his playing career, his hitting approach, and much more. It’s an outstanding read that will introduce you to a must watch prospect heading into the 2012 season.
SeattleClubhouse Q&A: Vinnie Catricala — Seattle Clubhouse
This is a fascinating story by Seattle Times columnist Geoff Baker who is a must follow on twitter @GBakerMariners. Kyle Seager was born with a heart defect called Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD. When he was an infant Seager underwent open heart surgery to correct the problem and was told later in life he would be unable to play contact sports. The Seattle Mariners rookie went out of his way to hide the condition, only letting people know about it when he absolutely had to. That is until this summer when the Jackson Generals had an 11 year old boy with the same condition throw out the first pitch prior to Seager’s game with the Mariners Double-A affiliate. It’s a must read feel good story.
Mariners’ Kyle Seager overcame open-heart surgery as infant. Infielder reached out to a young fan last month with the same condition, Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). — Seattle Times
The Seattle Mariners have traded Erik Bedard and pitching prospect Josh Fields to the Boston Red Sox in a 3 way deal that sends Tim Federowicz, Juan Rodriguez, Stephen Fife, and Chih-Hsien Chiang to the Mariners who then flipped Federowicz, Fife, and Rodriguez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Trayvon Robinson. The 23 year old Robinson has been one of baseball’s breakout prospects in 2011. He’s hit .293 with 9 Doubles, 6 Triples, 26 Home Runs, and 71 RBI’s for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isatopes. In 2010 the 5’10” centerfielder hit .300 with 23 Doubles, 5 Triples, 9 Home Runs, and 57 RBI’s for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. Robinson was a 10th round pick of the Dodgers in the 2005 draft. In the deal, Los Angeles gets the soon to be 24 year old catcher Federowicz who is currently batting .275 with 20 Doubles, 7 Home Runs, and 50 RBI’s for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Last season for the High-A Salem Red Sox he hit .253 with 34 Doubles and 4 Home Runs. Federowicz is a U.S. National team alum. The Red Sox drafted him the seventh round of the 2008 draft out of the University of North Carolina. The 22 year old Rodriguez is currently 2-4 with a 5.19ERA in 32 appearances for High-A Salem. He has 88 strikeouts in 59 innings. He pitched in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 going 5-1 with a 3.51ERA. Rodriguez was signed by the Red Sox as a non drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. The 24 year old Fife is 11-4 with a 3.66ERA in 18 starts for Portland. He’s repeating Double-A this season after going 8-6 with a 4.75ERA for the Sea Dogs in 2010. Fife was a third round pick of the Red Sox in the 2008 draft out of the University of Utah. Additionally in the deal, the Mariners received and are keeping Chih-Hsien Chiang from Boston. The 23 year old Chiang is currently hitting .338 with 36 Doubles, 4 Triples, 18 Home Runs, and 76 RBI’s at Portland. The native of Taiwan is repeating Double-A and has vastly improved upon the .260, 35 Double, 11 Home Run, 65 RBI season he had with the Seadogs in 2010. Chiang was signed by the Red Sox as a non drafted free agent in 2005. Boston acquires Fields who is 1-2 with a 3.92ERA and 3 saves in a combined 39 innings out of the bullpen for the Double-A Jackson Generals and Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. Fields was the 20th overall pick of the 2008 draft out of the University of Georgia.