Mariners Notes: Prospect Rankings, Ichiro Not Leading Off, Noesi Appreciation

While the Seattle Mariners are having their media day, we're starting to see the idea floated that Ichiro might not lead off this season -- news that might rock the M's more than the Montero/Pineda trade (hyperbolic). We also have the results of this year's MLB Top 100 Prospects, in which the Mariners did quite well:

Mariners score highest in prospect rankings - Larry Stone | Seattle Times
"The Mariners, it turns out, did extremely well. They have five players on the list, and three in the top 20 -- catcher Jesus Montero (pictured here at tonight's Seattle Sports Star of the Year ceremony at Benaroya Hall) at No. 12, left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen at No. 16, and right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker at No. 18. No other team had three in the top 20 (the Orioles, Diamondbacks and Royals were the only ones with two)."

Interesting Ichiro developments on moving out of leadoff spot - Seattle Times
But today's comments went much farther than that. In fact, I got the distinct impression that Wedge plans to make the move, even though he left open the possibility of leaving Ichiro at leadoff. I don't think he'd bring it up so strongly if he didn't plan a move, because leaving him at leadoff now might create the impression that Ichiro is calling the shots. Actually, Wedge continues to say that Ichiro is on board with a possible move out of the lineup spot in which he's been a Mariner fixture for 11 years (for 1,722 of his 1,749 games), and which to a large extent has defined his game.

Notes from around the majors - Ken Rosenthal
"One good sign for the Mariners: Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, who worked for the Yankees in 2010, is a fan of right-hander Hector Noesi, who went to the Mariners with catcher Jesus Montero for righty Michael Pineda and minor-league righty Jose Campos. Towers, renowned for his pitching expertise, asked for Noesi as part of a trade package when he spoke with the Yankees about outfielder Justin Upton after the ’10 season, according to a rival executive."

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