H/W: 6-4 205 lb. B/T: L/R DOB: 11/19/86
Michael Saunders, a native of British Columbia, Canada, continued his rapid ascension through the Seattle Mariners' farm system by playing at both AA West Tennessee and AAA Tacoma (.277 11 HR 46 RBI 12 SB 22 doubles). Saunders has 5-tool potential and is widely regarded as one of the M's best organizational athletes. His left-handed swing generates good loft and speed that could develop into 20-25 HR power in the ensuing seasons. He has above average speed that he utilizes well in the outfield, but is still struggling to use effectively on the basepaths. Last season, Saunders took a step back in his plate discipline, earning only 39 BB/96 K. This may be due to the fact that he has been promoted quite aggressively (4 times in 2 years) and has yet to catch up to more advanced pitching. This held true at AAA where Saunders' average dipped to .242 and 30 K's in 24 games. The potential is there for Saunders to be an above average MLB outfielder, but the M's may need to gently apply the brakes to his rapid development.
2009 Projection: Saunders will undoubtedly be headed to AAA to start the season. This year's go around should provide better results for the 22 year old OF. Keep an eye on the plate discipline numbers as well as his power output. The Mariners are a team in transition with LF completely wide open and CF being manned by the unproven Franklin Gutierrez. Aside from Greg Halman, Saunders is the top OF talent in Seattle's farm system. If he can return to his 2007 form, he may get a shot to earn some AB's in Safeco come September.
Key Michael Saunders Baseball Cards:
- 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft
- 2007 Bowman's Best
- 2007 Bowman Sterling
- 2007 Bowman Heritage