All of the excitement in the prospect ranking season builds up to this. Baseball America has released their top ten Mariners prospects, this time authored by former USSM writer Conor Glassey. Gone are the days of Halman ranking too highly, but this list does still look a little different from what one might expect. Let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Dustin Ackley, 2b
2. Michael Pineda, rhp
3. Nick Franklin, ss/2b
4. Taijuan Walker, rhp
5. Guillermo Pimentel, of
6. Mauricio Robles, lhp
7. Johermyn Chavez, of
8. Marcus Littlewood, ss
9. Kyle Seager, inf
10. Dan Cortes, rhp

The top three is no surprise to anyone that’s given it some thought, much like last year’s top three was no surprise, but the ranking of Walker, a largely unknown commodity who only has tremendous arm strength and a biting curve going for him, is a little surprising. One of the things that you’ll find reading this version of the top 10 is that the scouting report anecdotes are not lacking, so you get comments about the velocity of Walker in instruct, the improvement of secondary offerings from Pineda and Robles, and some notion of why Seager didn’t rank higher on the list.

Other parts of the list suffer a bit from the “shiny new toy” phenomenon that you can see in other lists. Littlewood is a guy who has legitimate questions as to whether he can remain at shortstop, and projecting to hit fifteen to twenty home runs does not help his case if he’s at third. I’d take Tenbrink over him, or possibly even Liddi, but I’m more of a Liddi believer than most. If I were confident in him at backstop, or had any insight into his abilities there, I would have no problem putting Choi in the top ten.

The ranking of Robles also seems a little funky to me. The guy has stuff, certainly, and confidence in it, but his efficiency with his pitches leaves a lot to be desired. Give him and Pineda the same number of pitches and Pineda might make it to the seventh where Robles only makes it to the fifth. Still, this is built with a substantial amount of scouting data, and if the belief is that his issues are in approach more than mechanics, as indicated in the article, then there is some reason for hope.

I imagine that with the list up for a few hours now, Conor’s already been flooded with questions, but I’ll see what I can do to get my name in there.