Michael Pineda: The Seattle Mariners' Greatest Prospect Since Ken Griffey Jr.?

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Michael Pineda: The Seattle Mariners' Greatest Prospect Since Ken Griffey Jr.?
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
At 6'7'' 255 lbs, Pineda is a beast.

Michael Pineda has created quite a splash thus far in 2011, posting a 3-1 record with 21 strikeouts and nine walks through 25.1 innings—not to mention a 1.78 ERA.

In doing so, he has already inveigled us into Rookie of the Year talk, as we approach the end of opening month.

Any baseball fan can admit that he's had an impressive start, especially when we examine the conditions under which he's pitched so far.

Pineda, like the rest of the Mariners' rotation, is cursed with deplorable run support from Seattle's derelict batting order.  

When we also take into account that he's had several tough matchups early against hard-hitting teams like the Rangers and Royals (ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in team batting average), his wicked talent becomes increasingly apparent.

I've just hyped him up, but is he really the best prospect that Seattle has seen since Ken Griffey Jr. stepped up in 1987?

Here's a chronologically ordered look at some of the guys who have generated buzz in Everett, West Tennessee, Tacoma, and eventually the majors over the past two decades:

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