Quick-hit thoughts from Peoria
By Mike Salk
Some quick hit thoughts after seeing the pitchers and catchers in action:
-Adam Moore stands out…again. When I first saw Moore, it was last August in Tacoma and he was the starting catcher for the Rainiers. He looked comfortable and confident, and I wrote at the time that he has a natural leadership to him that seems instantly evident.
After he was called up to the big league club, that confidence and leadership ability had to take a back seat as he learned to know his place as a rookie in a clubhouse full of men.
But after talking to him in Peoria, that confidence seems to have returned. Moore believes he has a legitimate shot of winning the starting catching job out of spring training. I’m nit sure if that’s possible or not, but believing he can do it might be the first step towards actually getting it done.
-I’m intrigued by Brandon League. I watched him play catch with David Aardsma yesterday and he just has a natural way of throwing that I think is going to be fun to watch. Psyched to see him throw a bullpen this week.
-While everyone is talking about 19-year-old catcher Steve Baron, keep your eye on young shortstop prospect Nick Franklin. The Mariners 27th pick in the first round of the 2009 draft is at minor league camp but I keep hearing his name from people around the club. He may not be the â€œtoolsiestâ€ player around, but he’s known for his (often vocal) confidence despite graduating high school less than a year ago. He hit .302 in rookie ball last year then .400 at Low-A. I’ll try to catch up with him this week to give you a better report.
-Each player I spoke with seemed to be genuinely excited to be at camp and with this team. I know players are almost all happy this time of year, but the energy and buzz of this clubhouse seems a little extra positive. Last year, the tone was questionable. The guys seemed to be withholding judgment until they knew which way the wind would blow. This group seems positive from the start.
And that positivity rubs off on even the new players who weren’t around for the 2009 love-fest. I’m not sure any of this helps the team win, but it does make it all a lot more fun.
-Please, don’t feel bad that you’re in Seattle while I’m living it up in sunny Arizona. My wife and I drove to Sedona yesterday where it is in the 30’s and raining. We also got all the way to the Grand Canyon before we realized the visibility was zero and it wasn’t even worth going into the park. The reason? SNOW! In Arizona! Go figure…