First Half In Review: Passing Out The Grades (Position Players)

These posts are always boring. You probably shouldn't even read them.

Note that all grades are subjective as I'm pretty much going off the top of my head and not applying any sort of scientific equation. Why? Because report cards like these are meaningless. Onward!

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Wladimir Balentien: F. People will argue that Wlad wasn't given enough of an opportunity, but the only thing he did to deserve one was be born in the mid-80s. Other than that, he sucked. Didn't walk, didn't make contact, didn't hit for power. For better or worse, he's finished here.

Adrian Beltre: C+. Called it quits just as he was getting hot at the plate. Didn't hit for nearly enough power, which caused our lineup great distress, but his defense was so damn good that he was an overall asset and I can't wait to get him back.

Yuniesky Betancourt: F. Some people used to say that Yuni had a lot of potential to go from being good to great. Other people used to say that he was already close to his ceiling and unlikely to improve much further. Yuni defied both groups by getting worse at everything, and for his transgressions he's been given a sentence in the baseball equivalent of Pelican Bay.

Russell Branyan: A. So much more than we expected. If you're wondering why we're not hearing more from fans and the media about how the Mariners missed out by not re-signing Raul Ibanez, look no further than Russ.

Ronny :(edeno: F.On the plus side, the list of things Ronny hasn't done to hurt the team is longer than the list of things he has.

Endy Chavez: B-. Hit like expected, played defense like expected, lost a battle to Yuni's considerable mass as expected. Turns out there is such thing as too much range after all.

Ken Griffey Jr.: C-. The walks are nice, but it'd be great if he would hit a little bit. I'm giving him some bonus tickle points. I didn't think much of it at first, but then yesterday I saw a rattlesnake curled up in my backyard and I wanted to know if it was sleeping or dead but I couldn't muster the courage to poke it or even throw a rock near it to see if it would move, so Junior's more brave than I gave him credit for. On the other hand, my girlfriend poked the snake with a baseball bat and then took pictures of it from two feet away, so maybe Griffey's normal and I'm just a pussy.

Franklin Gutierrez: A. I can't decide if I want to buy home, away, or alternate.

Kenji Johjima: D. Listen up, Kenji. You either need to start hitting or collapse completely. I'm sick of this debate.

Rob Johnson: D. You too. Do the opposite of whatever Kenji does.

Ryan Langerhans: B. He hasn't been here too long, but already we've seen the walks, the gap power, the defense, and the strikeouts. The upside of Endy getting hurt is that we wound up with a better and younger player in his stead. Saunders is playing well again, so I don't know how much more Langerhans we're going to get to see, but he's a way better player than he's been given credit for.

Jose Lopez: B-. The defense is subpar, but if you regress his BABIP to something more reasonable, it turns out he's pretty decent. Not my favorite player, but he's done a good job of answering questions regarding the sustainability of his 2008-level offense.

Ichiro Suzuki: A. A for Amazing!

Mike Sweeney: D-. I'm convinced that Sweeney cares more about this team than the coaches do. I'm always suspicious of people who make such a good first impression. What are you hiding, Mike?

Assorted Others: Irrelevant. I love that Josh Wilson is getting a Major League paycheck to run sometimes. I remember there was an article in SI a few years back where Todd Pratt said he had the easiest job in baseball. Suck it, Todd.

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