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Former top prospect Wladimir Balentien is headed to Japan

Nov 16, 2010, 2:16 PM EDT

Wladimir Balentien AP

Wladimir Balentien consistently crushed minor-league pitching at every level and hit .283/.351/.535 with 67 homers in 302 games at Triple-A, but he’s now headed to Japan at age 24 after struggling in 559 plate appearances for the Mariners and Reds.

Balentien has tons of power, smacking 15 homers and 31 doubles in 511 at-bats even while struggling overall in the majors, but he hit just .221 with 149 strikeouts and a ghastly .281 on-base percentage while flailing away at off-speed stuff.

Flaws and all I’m still convinced that he could be a solid platoon player, starting against left-handed pitching as a backup corner outfielder, but instead of trying to work his way back to the majors by crushing more Triple-A pitching he’ll take what is surely a higher salary for a chance to be a star in Japan.

  1. easports82 - Nov 16, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Yeah, great. Let him become a star in Japan so that the M’s majority owners (Nintendo) decide to sign “Kenji Johjima” him and let him suck again in Seattle.

    • easports82 - Nov 16, 2010 at 2:27 PM

      Well that didn’t come out quite right (stupid work).

      What it should have said was “decide to sign him “Kenji Johjima” style…”

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 16, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    I’m speechless…. No really i don’t even know how to begin to pronounce his name.

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