It seems as if the former 2004 3rd rounder has been toiling in the Seattle Mariners farm system forever, but the fact remains that Tuiasosopo will be just 22 years old on opening day. A former top quarterback recruit at the University of Washington, Tuiasosopo is athletic and very strong. He began his career as a raw project and has slowly begun to develop his skills. He is remarkably agile in the field and should be an above average defensive 3B. His bat is showing signs of life as well. Until recently, he had worked on being a better contact hitter, allowing balls to travel deeper into the zone before inside-outing them to the opposite field, but he showed an increase in power production over the second half of the '08 season at AAA Tacoma and has drove the ball with authority during his spring training outings this season. Plate discipline continues to be an issue that Matt needs to refine. Last season he walked 49 times while striking out 120 times between Tacoma and Seattle. His work ethic and makeup, however, continue to be catalysts that fuel his rapid improvement and when blended with his strength and athleticism, they should propel him to much greater accomplishments in the years to come.
2009 Projection: Tui has opened some eyes within the organization this spring. The M's are at a crossroads as Adrian Beltre's impending free agency and near certain departure from the team looms large. There is talent at the lower levels in the form of Jharmidy DeJesus, Mario Martinez and, perhaps, Carlos Triunfel, but there is no one other than Matt Tuiasosopo to fill Beltre's shoes for the next couple of seasons. This is a big year for Matt to make the developmental jump from prospect to major league player. Beltre's presence in the middle of the M's lineup and his Gold Glove at the hot corner should force Tuiasosopo back to Tacoma for more everyday work. Watch the power numbers and plate discipline. If Tui can continue his hot hitting, a mid-season trade of Beltre will become a greater reality.
Key Matt Tuiasosopo Baseball Cards:
- 2004 Bowman Chrome Draft
- 2004 Bowman Sterling Bat/Auto
- 2004 Topps Chrome Update
- 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Auto #/473
- 2004 SP Prospects Auto #/600
04 Bowman Matt Tuiasosopo X-Fractor graded 9.5 079/125
04 Grandstand Matt Tuiasosopo Graded 9.5 Aquasox
2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars MATT TUIASOSOPO #206 Top Prospects Autograph