I hate snow because I have to drive 18 miles to work and snow means ice, and neither are good for driving, especially in the wee hours of the morning.
But the question is whether the Mariners should be excited about snow, the snow in question being former U of W Husky Forrest Snow.
In the just concluded Arizona Fall League for top prospects, Snow the 6’6,” soon to be 23-year-old, led the league with an ERA of 1.10. In 16.1 innings he allowed 10 hits, 2 earned runs, striking out 16 while walking 3.
In 2010 he was a reliever for two teams, Clinton and Everett, with a combined ERA of 0.60, striking out 52 in 45.1 innings, allowing only 17 hits. Those are hard, compact numbers.
Sounds great, but Snow’s 2011 numbers are slushy. With three teams, Clinton, High Desert, and Tacoma, he started 21 of 28 games with a combined ERA of 5.09.
He is probably better suited for the bullpen where he spent most of his time with the Husky’s. He had a 5.29 ERA in college, hardly impressive, and his 27 walks in 34 innings no doubt contributed to his high ERA. The Mariners were probably impressed with his 41 strikeouts and saw him as a work in progress. They do like tall pitchers.
Randy Johnson, AKA The Big Unit, a tall pitcher
So the Snow watch is on. Whether Snow falls on Safeco Field or not the Arizona Fall League had other impressive Mariner pitching prospects.
They had three of the top four leaders in ERA in the Fall League. Lefty reliever Brian Moran from North Carolina was at 1.32 and the M’s number one draft pick Danny Hultzen finished at 1.48, fourth in league, but first among starters.
And in Venezuelan winter ball 21-year-old Erasmus Ramirez was 2-1 in six starts, striking out 20, walking 1 with a 1.48 ERA.
On the down side, Mariner outfielder Michael Saunders who has really struggled with the bat was also playing in the Venezuelan winter league. He was sent home after hitting .148 in 16 games, striking out 15 times in 54 at bats. With numerous prospects like Greg Halman, Treyvon Robinson, and Carlos Peguero, to name three, it looks like Saunders is a sea-sick sailor heading to land.
Unless he plays like Babe Ruth in the spring he is unlikely to be with the M’s. Or he could turn to pitching like the Babe. Maybe he will be the next Forrest Snow.