It’s Prospect Season.
Joe Doyle is the MLB Draft Director for ProspectsLive and host of the brand new MLB Draft Podcast ‘Over-Slot’.
The Seattle Mariners farm system has taken a success over the previous couple of years with the graduations of premium prospects like Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, George Kirby and extra. Whereas these top-end guys have moved out of prospect standing, Seattle has a handful of thrilling abilities with upside and flexibility on the horizon. From this chair, there are causes to be bullish on what Mariners farm system might seem like nationally within the very close to future.
When constructing out boards, personally, I take bias out of the equation. I wish to see athletes and projection. I wish to see instruments. I wish to see on-field efficiency that’s correlative to the pure, goal, unfiltered information. This framework helps to create a good course of. Avoiding nationwide narratives and the predispositions set on gamers is essential.
Listed below are the Prime 50 Mariners Prospect getting into the 2023 season.
From this chair, Miller is the highest prospect within the Mariners system for numerous causes. His proximity to the present performs a heavy weight in my evaluative mannequin.
Miller is ready to debut this upcoming season and there’s actual motive to consider he’ll discover success. For me, a pitcher must be armed with a bat-missing fastball to be thought of a premium prospect. Miller’s fastball induced an 18-percent whiff fee in 2022, extra than simply about each different pitcher within the group final 12 months. He’ll combine in a sweeping slider that flashes above common at instances, in addition to a changeup that would show efficient towards left-handed bats. There’s additionally an upper-80s cutter in there that can be helpful if he hopes to chew by means of opposing lineups greater than twice as a professional.
Miller has No. 3 starter upside and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s one of many large storylines in Seattle this summer time.
Ford can actually hit and I believe the ability may be sneakier than some suppose. There’s a stretch purpose right here of a .275 hitter who posts a couple of 20-homer seasons in his profession. He tasks an above common hitter who posts spectacular on-base numbers as properly. Whereas the instruments behind the plate proceed to mature, he might by no means be sturdy sufficient again there to warrant a beginning job. Ford might transfer to second base or into the outfield in 2023 or 2024 if the bat proves too useful to carry again.
Fellow shortstop Cole Young obtained loads of thought right here, however Celesten will get the nod. On the finish of the day, we’re speaking a few true shortstop who figures to stay on the place. Which means an ideal deal to me. Celesten has loud instruments throughout the board and might be a quick-mover if the hit device proves to be as polished as Seattle appears to suppose it might be.
I like a prospect who can see sure instruments fail or regress with age and bodily maturation while nonetheless discovering success. Even when Celesten slows down, strikes off shortstop or doesn’t hit for energy, he has many avenues he can take to grow to be a big-league common. That is with out query the best ceiling of any participant within the group proper now.
Cole Younger can actually, actually hit. That hit device can be paramount in reaching his ceiling of a giant league common. The instruments at shortstop aren’t attractive, however the footwork is clear and he possesses a robust first step on the filth. In the end, I believe Younger is moved off the place in favor of a extra premium defender. That stated, he has the instruments to grow to be a Joey Wendle/Jeff McNeil-esque second baseman.
Emerson Hancock is a tricky pitcher for me to grade. He’ll sit 92-95 mph, touching 97, however his fastball didn’t carry out properly and doesn’t miss a complete lot of bats. His management for the pitch is elegant, however he could also be residing contained in the zone somewhat an excessive amount of for my liking. In an ideal world, Hancock would throw his four-seamer extra typically to make the most of his launch top, however which may be too taxing on the physique and the pronation necessities at launch to essentially make it a weapon.
On the finish of the day, Hancock might find yourself a two-seam/changeup/slider man who doesn’t miss a ton of bats however admirably fills a No. 4 or No. 5 spot in a rotation. Jury remains to be out on this one. He might shock in 2023.
What Gabriel Gonzalez was capable of accomplish as an 18-year-old in Modesto in 2022 can’t be understated. The bat-to-ball expertise exhibited listed here are fairly particular. Whereas I don’t love the physique, I do suppose Gonzalez has a shot to be a bat-over-everything sort of nook outfielder who makes it to the massive leagues as a 21-year-old. He actually jogs my memory of Kole Calhoun.
Seattle could be very excessive on Woo and it’s straightforward to see why. The whole lot about his operation on the mound screams beginning pitcher. Woo has the stability, tempo and athleticism on the mound crucial to start out. The stuff is large, too. The fastball touched 99 mph this season and his changeup flashes plus, although command might be spotty. If there’s a critique, Woo possesses well-below-average spin charges on his slider. He does offset that by throwing the pitch 84-86, however I do have considerations over the eventual effectiveness of his breaking ball on the highest degree. If Woo can get it to the purpose of being even a median providing, he’d be three spots larger on this record.
Woo has the potential for 2 plus pitches and if he can get the spinner to even common, he has the upside of a mid-rotation starter with bat-missing stuff.
The studies out of the Dominican final summer time had been very loud for Arroyo with scouts lauding the hit device and his capability to maneuver on the filth. Arroyo has executed an ideal job up to now of staying lean and enjoying shortstop in professional ball. He’s nonetheless a possible candidate to maneuver to second base or third base as he matures, however his early work ethic is encouraging.
Nonetheless, the bat will dictate how rapidly he strikes and his eventual ceiling. All indicators level to a reasonably spectacular hitter right here.
For me, the jury remains to be out on Taylor Dollard as a reputable beginning pitcher choice for the Seattle Mariners transferring ahead. The slider is legit with plus sweeping motion, and he will get a ton of depth on his curveball too. However Dollard doesn’t miss a ton of bats and the fastball is common at finest. For me he’s extra of a mid-leverage reliever who can deal with a spot-start when wanted. The Penn Murfee comparisons aren’t completely honest as Murfee lives off deception and tunneling. Dollard lives off smooth contact and manipulating the baseball. He’ll show useful for Seattle very quickly, however seemingly received’t ever be a man who posts north of 100 innings in a season on the highest degree.
For me, Berroa is a reliever. Easy as that. The fastball command isn’t there proper now to undertaking something extra. However anytime you’re speaking a few man who can contact triple digits and praise it with a reputable double-plus bat-missing slider, you’ve got a useful asset.
I’ve at all times graded leverageable reduction prospects fondly as I believe it’s the market inefficiency in prospect grading. Berroa figures to debut in 2023 for Seattle and might be utilized in tight spots nearly instantly.
Sanchez was a dynamo at Modesto in 2022, although he was streaky and the pattern dimension wasn’t strong. Sanchez can get fairly trigger-happy on the plate and that tends to bloat his strikeout charges. He wants to indicate a extra constant method on the plate in 2023 if he hopes to proceed his climb up boards and show the hit device is a reputable weapon. Displaying extra of the thump he teased subsequent 12 months additionally wouldn’t damage his projection.
He has the instruments crucial to stay at shortstop and he’ll be 20 years outdated in 2023. He’s more likely to start the season at Modesto as soon as once more and may stay there till the hit device exhibits extra polish.
Going again to his school days, Locklear has at all times been among the finest pure hitters in whichever league he’s enjoying, and in nearly each class. He limits strikeouts, bludgeons the baseball, takes walks, and doesn’t chase.
After a sluggish begin, he completed with a flurry in Modesto. Locklear can be challenged in 2023 and can see significantly better stuff in Everett and probably in Arkansas later this summer time. Coming from mid-major Virginia Commonwealth, he hasn’t been uncovered to a lot really premium stuff. This season can be a barometer for simply how far alongside the event spectrum he’s.
There’s the potential for a stable common hit device right here with plus, perhaps even double-plus energy. Suppose: CJ Cron.
Montes was the massive fish in Seattle’s 2022 worldwide signing class, netting $2.5 million, the most important worldwide bonus ever dolled out oby Seattle on the time. He showcased the massive energy most anticipated, smacking 10 homers in 55 video games, although the swing-and-miss was a bit heavier than most anticipated.
Montes fanned in over 33 p.c of his plate appearances; a little bit of an alarming determine for a bat-first prospect.
Regardless of the staff suggesting he might play centerfield as a professional, Montes didn’t play an inning up the center in 2022, as a substitute enjoying nearly solely in proper discipline when he wasn’t the designated hitter.
Montes should present an improved method and improved bat-to-ball expertise in 2023 ought to he hope to proceed climbing boards. The god-given instruments are pretty apparent.
Polish is the following checkbox. Right now, he tasks a bit like ex-Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero.
The self-proclaimed “Vanilla Missile” will take the mound for the primary time in affiliated ball in 2023 and scouts are excited to see what he brings to the bump. Ford can be 18 years outdated for your complete 2023 marketing campaign, however his stuff far exceeds that of a youngster. At his finest, Ford can rush it up into the upper-90s with a devastating sweeping slider. He additionally flashed a curveball with super two-plane break.
Ford is a terrific athlete with substantial projection remaining. Management and command had been a bugaboo for Ford at instances throughout his senior 12 months in highschool. That’ll be a giant barometer for simply how far alongside the event spectrum he truly is that this season.
Ford will seemingly see Modesto this season, however might begin the 12 months on the Arizona Advanced League.
Marlowe lands right here resulting from proximity and his potential to right away impression the massive league membership. Marlowe is extra tooled-up than many give him credit score for, with a smattering of common instruments, although the swing-and-miss in his sport has scouts questioning whether or not he’ll hit sufficient to succeed in his big-league common ceiling.
If Marlowe will get the at-bats, he has the prospect to be a man who hits 15 homers and steals 15 baggage for the membership, although he’ll should earn these alternatives while seemingly being supplied restricted alternatives on the plate early in his profession.
This coming season will surprisingly be Clase’s sixth 12 months within the Mariners group, but he received’t flip 21 till late Could. For so long as he’s been a prospect, he’s nonetheless extremely younger, however he does nonetheless have a lot to show.
Clase is a burner and can with out query be a useful asset on the basepaths for Seattle in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, perhaps as early as late-2023 in late-inning conditions. Clase confirmed an improved hit device in 2022 while additionally flexing the muscle a bit working into 13 homers. Clase will seemingly begin 2023 at Excessive-A Everett.
If the bat exhibits mature sufficient to maneuver him as much as Arkansas at any level, a September call-up wouldn’t be out of the query, particularly as he’s already on the 40-man roster. He nonetheless profiles a Brett Gardner sort of table-setter.
When Seattle drafted Morales within the third spherical in 2021 — poaching him away from a Vanderbilt dedication — it was all about persistence and projection. Quite a lot of Morales’ attraction is what it might grow to be. His fastball options some hop and arm-side run, but it surely presently sits 90-92. His curveball is a bit generic presently, however with added power and maturation, it might play up as its velocity will increase. There’s a slider in there too, however its form is inconsistent.
Morales does, nevertheless, have a great really feel for the strike zone with it. The changeup may be his finest weapon proper now with appreciable arm velocity and conviction, in addition to darting motion. It might be an above common providing with time.
With no velocity spike, Morales tasks as a back-of-the-rotation strike-thrower. If the projection card hits, he might work his approach right into a mid-rotation, dependable starter with 4 average-or-better pitches.
Lastly wholesome, Isaiah Campbell’s stuff took an enormous step in the proper path in 2022 pitching out of the bullpen. He now tasks a reputable big-league weapon late in video games. As much as 98 mph final season, Campbell rests 93-95 that includes important two-plane chew. His fastball missed a ton of bats final season. The truth is, with a 48-percent remoted whiff share, Campbell’s fastball truly missed extra bats than anybody else’s fastball in your complete group final 12 months. And by a large margin.
The heater was his simplest pitch, however Campbell additionally flashed an above-average slider with above-average spin charges and confirmed actual really feel for commanding the pitch. He’ll throw the occasional curve and changeup, although each pitches lag behind his two major weapons. Campbell is more likely to eat some mid-leverage innings out of the Seattle bullpen in 2023.
Izzi is a protracted, wiry pitching prospect who figures so as to add fairly a little bit of muscle and power as he matures. At 6-foot-3, 175 kilos, Izzi is already touching 94 mph and will discover his approach into the upper-90s in a reduction function.
He’s received a lightning fast arm and presents spectacular athleticism on the mound. The heater has some deception and hop late within the zone. A splitter/changeup is his most polished secondary with some fade off his fastball tunnel. The slider is brief, however Izzi tends to broadcast the pitch.
There’s some effort within the supply right here with notable head-whack at launch. Izzi’s most probably end result is within the bullpen the place he could possibly let the fastball eat and complement it with a pair common secondaries.
|20||Robert Perez Jr.||1B/OF||A+||2024||35+|
Perez Jr. actually improved his inventory as a prospect in 2022, launching 27 homers throughout two ranges, culminating in a robust 35-game stretch to finish the season in Excessive-A Everett. Perez Jr. confirmed a good little bit of swing-and-miss in his time at Modesto, however introduced that all the way down to a slightly wholesome degree after the transfer as much as Everett late within the season.
This season can be a giant marketing campaign for the Venezuelan first-base prospect. If he can present the method and worth with the bat over an extended pattern at Everett and probably Arkansas, Perez might be in line to debut with Seattle in 2024. He doesn’t present a lot worth outdoors of the bat, however he’s making the case it might be useful sufficient alone.
Packard was restricted by accidents in 2022, however when wholesome supplied important thump and impression to a Excessive-A Everett lineup that lacked it for a lot of the 12 months.
At his finest, Packard is an above-average hitter with a discerning eye on the plate. He not often strikes out and attracts a good variety of walks as properly. He’s proven above-average uncooked energy, and he’s attending to most of it in video games too.
Packard is fringy within the outfield corners, has a fringy arm, and doesn’t present a ton of worth within the discipline. At 25, he’lll want to remain on the sphere this season and may see Arkansas in some unspecified time in the future. He’s on an identical observe as Marlowe and will current himself a tough Rule 5 choice on the finish of the 2023 season.
Packard tasks as a fourth outfielder on the subsequent degree, although the bat might be polished sufficient to warrant some begins at DH.
It was a step again in 2022 for Alberto Rodriguez who noticed his contact share drop, his chase share leap, and his total manufacturing take a success. Rodriguez additionally confirmed much less impression on the basepaths. After exhibiting off a leaner, extra bodily physique in 2021, Rodriguez’ body appeared to revert again a bit final season.
In the end, this appears to be like like a left-field profile with fringy instruments scattered about his scouting report. The hit device might want to resurface up into 2021 ranges if he hopes to proceed climbing the organizational ladder.
Rodriguez was DFA’d in January, eradicating him from the 40-man roster. That will in the end be a great factor for his growth because it takes some stress off the concept of getting to hurry him to the massive leagues. Simply 22 years outdated, Rodriguez and the group can take their foot off the proverbial pedal and take issues sluggish in 2023.
This can be 12 months seven for Mercedes with the Mariners. He’ll play out this season on the age of 23.
As much as 94 mph, Mercedes will sit within the low-90s together with his fastball, although it options generic form and struggles to overlook bats. His finest pitch is a sweeping slider that he’s proven super management of and a willingness to make use of constantly. The changeup could also be his finest secondary by way of pitch form because it options tons of arm-side fade and has been a weapon towards left-handed hitters.
With out important adjustments to his fastball profile or added stuff, Mercedes is probably going an up-and-down arm who can eat a number of innings in a pinch. His stuff isn’t fairly leverageable at this stage, although the slider does have some tooth.
Pinto, a member of the Mariners 2021 worldwide free agent class, will spend nearly the entire 2023 season at 18 years of age. The 6-foot-3-inch lefty has added near 30 kilos to his body since becoming a member of the group and now has the fastball as much as 92 mph.
His finest secondary is a curveball that flashes plus potential, although Pinto’s complete repertoire is held again by properly below-average management. Pinto walked 29 batters in 30.1 innings as a 17-year-old on the Dominican Summer time League final season. Scouts consider he might find yourself a participant just like Roenis Elias in due time.
The Mariners appreciated what they noticed in Gough on the MLB Draft Mix previous to the 2022 Draft and are enthusiastic about what’s to return in 2023 when Gough takes the mound for the primary time professionally. Gough will give attention to getting extra bodily and athletic as he develops within the Mariners system. At his finest in his prep days, Gough touched 97 mph, although he’d sit within the low-90s in longer outings, flashing a slider/changeup combo that had been efficient in showcase settings.
The Mariners inked Munoz throughout the 2019 worldwide signing interval and his stuff has actually exploded ever since. Now 20 years outdated, Munoz is touching 95 mph, resting a pair ticks beneath that over prolonged outings. Not but deployed as a reliever, it’s believed Munoz might be sitting within the higher 90s when the coaching wheels come off out of the bullpen.
He additionally throws a agency breaking ball that sits within the low-80s. The form of each his fastball and breaking ball have a methods to go by way of consistency and polish, however in time Munoz might develop right into a mid-or- high-leverage arm.
When the Mariners drafted DeLoach within the second spherical within the 2020 draft, they most likely anticipated a bit extra manufacturing than what they’ve seen up to now. He was a stable but unspectacular in 2022.
He exhibited extra of his trademark eager eye on the plate, drawing tons of walks, however his strikeout fee remained regular at ~24 p.c. When coupled together with his lack of sport energy and his lack of bodily and athletic instruments on the basepaths and within the discipline, DeLoach an increasing number of tasks an up-and-down twenty sixth man off the bench.
Nonetheless simply 24 years outdated, there’s nonetheless time for the polished outfielder to get extra bodily on the plate or enhance his hit device. Till a type of two issues occur, he profiles extra a Quad-A daily slightly than a giant leaguer.
Come spring coaching, Clarke might not even be on the staff given the requirement to maintain him on the lively large league roster all season. In the meanwhile nevertheless, his profile is intriguing. Clarke will work up into the mid-90s with heavy sink and a steep method angle.
He’ll break a whole lot of bats with the heater, and needs to be a floor ball machine. Couple this with a real downer curveball and above-average command and Clarke tasks a man who might make a spot begin or deal with a multi-inning workload if the staff wanted it, particularly early within the season as starters are ramping up.
Clarke’s distinctive pitch traits and flexibility might show useful, although he seemingly received’t ever exceed his mid-leverage bullpen ceiling.
There wasn’t one other participant within the 2022 draft — league-wide — who received as a lot expertise as Windish did final summer time. After being chosen within the seventh spherical, the Mariners received Windish 157 skilled plate appearances, most of these in Modesto.
The most important knock on Windish’ prospect sheen is his age, as 2023 can be his age-24 season. Nonetheless, Windish was a base-hit machine at UNC-Greensboro and continued his hitterish methods for Seattle final summer time.
He’s restricted defensively, seemingly a beneath common defender at second base or a median glove at first base. Most scouts don’t consider he has the arm for third base.
The bat might want to do yeoman’s work for Windish to succeed in his big- league ceiling. There’s the potential right here for an above common hit device. Windish truly possesses above-average uncooked energy, perhaps even a tick extra, however he’s nonetheless working to include all of it into video games. He has had a propensity to hit the ball on the bottom rather a lot.
Kuhn has battled accidents the final couple years, however when on the bump, he’s showcased some unpolished large -eague stuff. In 2022, Kuhn touched 99 mph and sat 95-97 with authority. It’s a little bit of a vanilla 99, if that exists, so Kuhn struggled to overlook bats with the warmth.
That, coupled with inconsistent command, actually capped his manufacturing. Kuhn additionally affords a tough, brief slider that performs off his fastball, although it lacks the motion profile essential to undertaking something greater than a median providing presently. He’ll have to proceed refining the form of his fastball and preserve it within the zone if he hopes to succeed in his mid-leverage bullpen ceiling.