Oh, you want to have some fun? Go look at the 2012 stats of the young guys this team jettisoned without having given them a real chance. How would you like to have some of these guys on your team?
Adam Jones .303/.333/.621/.955 in 69 plate appearances
Shin Soo Choo .250/.382/.339/.722 in 68 plate appearances
Asdrubal Cabrerra .282/.333/.513/.846 in 42 plate appearances
Brian LaHair .361/.467/.639/1.106 in 45 plate appearances
Now compare that to the M's aggregate stats at CF, LF, SS and 1B -- the positions those guys would have been playing...
Now, does that mean those same guys would be producing at those levels had they stayed in Seattle? Nope.
In fact, I'm betting that they would have washed out. There seems to be something about Seattle - the coaching, the player development, the management of young players, SOMETHING - that seems to mess kids up.
I think the key is to get the kids out of Seattle before they've been "taught" by a system that has no idea how to develop talent. Those are the kids who flourish.
The ones the M's fully develop on their own and then give a real chance to play and be coached at the MLB level (Balentien, Clement, Lopez, etc.) those are the ones who seem to lose whatever strengths they once had in their game and eventually flame out. Ackley and Clement once had incredible batting eyes. By the time the M's finished with them, they were swinging at everything. Lopez used to have incredible pull power. After the M's spent a couple years trying to get him to hit everything the other way, he was lost.
OK. I may be overreacting. It just feels like the M's break all their shiny new toys.