Written By: Matt Ault
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**Right below is the Mariners Top 20 list simplified. Scroll further down for FULL Present/Future Grades, FV, ETA, and summaries on EACH PLAYER ranked in the system! Tons of Statistics on each player as well! Some player highlights, future outlooks and more enjoy!**
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|1||Jarred Kelenic||OF||1st Round: 6th Overall – 2018 Draft|
|2||Julio Rodriguez||OF||International FA Signing 2017|
|3||Emerson Hancock||RHP||1st Round: 6th Overall – 2020 Draft|
|4||Logan Gilbert||RHP||1st Round: 14th Overall – 2018 Draft|
|5||Evan White||1B||1st Round: 17th Overall – 2017 Draft|
|6||George Kirby||RHP||1st Round: 20th Overall – 2019 Draft|
|7||Noelvi Marte||SS||International FA Signing 2018|
|8||Taylor Trammell||OF||1st Round Comp: 35th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|9||Cal Raleigh||C||3rd Round – 2018 Draft|
|10||Justin Dunn||RHP||1st Round: 19th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|11||Brandon Williamsom||LHP||2nd Round – 2019 Draft|
|12||Juan Then||RHP||International FA Signing 2016|
|13||Sam Delaplane||RHP||23rd round – 2017 Draft|
|14||Andres Munoz||RHP||International FA Signing 2015|
|15||Jake Fraley||OF||2nd Round Comp: 77th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|16||Isaiah Campbell||RHP||2nd Round – 2019 Draft|
|17||Zach DeLoach||OF||2nd Round – 2020 Draft|
|18||Braden Bishop||OF||3rd Round – 2015 Draft|
|19||Wyatt Mills||RHP||3rd Round – 2017 Draft|
|20||Connor Phillips||RHP||2nd Round Comp: 64th Overall – 2020 Draft|
1. Jarred Kelenic OF – Arkansas Travelers (AA)
21 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L – 6’0″ 196lbs – ETA: 2021
The marquee talent in the Mariners organization, Kelenic came over to Seattle before the 2019 season, in the Robinson Cano trade. His deep skill set, relentless work ethic, and and elite makeup have all the makings of a future All-Star.
Kelenic has the ability to drive the ball to all fields, with a smooth swing that allows him to get solid contact on any pitch. He is very short to the ball, and does this without sacrificing much of his power. He has a solid approach from the left hand side, not getting easily fooled by breaking balls, while also having enough bat speed to catch up to fastballs.
Defensively he has enough arm to stick in Center Field long-term. The speed and athleticism figures to be a tad above average at this point, although this could move closer to average as the body continues to mature, as he already has a chiseled figure. The real question defensively is the fielding, where Kelenic has some concerns surrounding his routes and jumps when reading flyballs.
Kelenic’s overall tool set and rapid ascent through the minors have supported the hype around him leading up to the 2018 draft. When combined with the elite intangibles and makeup, he has all the makings of a future All-Star for the Mariners.
2. Julio Rodriguez OF – Modesto Nuts (A+)
19 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’3″ 220lbs – ETA: 2022
Signed during the 2017 International Free Agency period, he immediately produced in his debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2018. Many pundits say that Rodriguez has as much offensive potential as anyone in the Minor Leagues, and in addition to his monster raw power, he could produce plus hit tools and plus power down the road.
For a 19 year old, Rodriguez has shown an extremely mature approach at the plate. He has shown some vulnerability to chasing sliders down outside of the strike zone, but there are few holes in his swing besides this.
He has already shown plus levels of raw power in bating practice, which could approach plus plus levels as his body continues to mature. Rodriguez has put on about 40 pounds since signing in 2017, and speed is not a big part of his game. While he moves alright for someone of his size, he is likely ticketed for Right Field at the next level. The arm is above average, and the raw size of him plays into this characterization as well.
Rodriguez has had a injury stints throughout his time in the Mariners organization, and the organization does not want to rush around this young talent, but with a work ethic in the mold of Jarred Kelenic’s, there is no reason to think we won’t see J-Rod by 2022.
3. Emerson Hancock RHP – Drafted 2020
21 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’4″ 213lbs – ETA: 2022
Rated as one of the best prep arms in the 2017 draft, Hancock honored his commitment to Georgia, where he played himself into the Mariners top draft pick in 2020.
His fastball sits in the 94-97 MPH range, and he is able to miss bats with it by pounding it up in the strike zone and creating some carry. He touched 99 while at Georgia, and continued filling out of the frame will help him maintain this velocity long-term.
All three of his secondary pitches have shown the potential to be plus pitches. The slider is his go-to breaking ball, and its sweeping break is complemented by a hard curveball. The changeup was not fully utilized at Georgia, but it showed potential to be a plus pitch as well.
Hancock is a strong athlete with above-average command potential, and his ability to command his full, deep arsenal, giving him top of the rotation potential if he stays healthy.
4. Logan Gilbert RHP – Arkansas Travelers (AA)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’6″ 225lbs – ETA: 2021
Gilbert was the Mariners top draft pick in 2018, out of Stetson University. He performed well early in his college career before having a velocity drop his Junior year, causing his stock to fall slightly going into the draft.
The fastball rebounded to sit 91-94, but being able to tick up to 96. The calling card for Gilbert is the well-rounded repertoire, and while many pundits have him ranked above Hancock, the lack of a true plus secondary pitch is a concern for me.
His secondary pitches include a a slider, curve, and changeup, and the slider is probably his favored breaking ball. Similarly to Hancock, the changeup was not utilized super frequently in college, but he has worked hard to make it another average offering.
With the ability to easily command all four pitches and avoid walking batters, his floor is relatively high. He has the body of a MLB starter, and I project him to be a number 2 or 3 starter at the MLB level.
5. Evan White – Seattle Mariners (MLB)
24 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: R – 6’3″ 205lbs – ETA: 2020
One of the most interesting players in the Mariners organization, White made his debut to start the 2020 season. In addition to solid Minor League performance since being drafted in 2017, White gained notoriety for being the fist player in baseball to sign a long-term extension without playing about the Double-A level, indicative of the faith that the Mariners have in him long-term.
White has a solid approach from the plate, and a level swing that is geared to provide solid contact to all parts of the field. There are questions as to how much the doubles power he possesses will translate to home run power, but the hit tool is above average, and he has a chance to be a good hitter for a long time.
White is extremely athletic for the First Base position, and he has shown some of the best range and footwork of any First Base at the Major League level. He will be a Gold Glove caliber defender for years to come. At this point in his career the speed is plus, although he has not stole a ton of bases in his professional career. He has an interesting tool set to work with, and the contract extension shows the Mariners faith in him.
6. George Kirby RHP – Everett AquaSox (A-)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’4″ 200lbs – ETA: 2021
Following their trend of taking college players with their first round pick, the Mariners selected George Kirby out of Elon with their first round pick in the 2019 draft.
His fastball sits in the 92-94 range, and can tick up earlier in his starts. The Mariners made it a concentrated effort to have Kirby bulk up after he was drafted, and he was touching 98 and 99 in fall bullpens.
He throws three secondary pitches, none of which project to be plus. The curveball might have the best chance, with the slider being as step behind. He has a sinking changeup that he has worked hard to develop, and it projects to be an average pitch.
For Kirby, his calling card is his potential plus plus command. He posted gaudy K-BB numbers at Elon, and continued that in his A- debut in 2019. Shane Bieber has shown that a plus fastball with elite command can play at the Major League level, and how the secondary pitches develop will help determine his trajectory.
7. Noelvi Marte SS – DSL Mariners (R)
18 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’1″ 181lbs – ETA: 2022
One of the more highly regarded players in the 2018 International Free Agency period, Marte did not disappoint with his rookie league debut in 2019.
Marte showed up to play noticeably bulked up last season, and it paid dividends from an offensive standpoint. He showed the ability to make hard contact to his pull side frequently, and this resulted in an impressive collection of home runs and extra base hits. This did not appear to be at the expense of contact, as his strikeout rates were fairly low and he also walked a fair amount.
His defense was not great at the start of the season, but seemed to make significant strides by the end of the season. He may be better suited for Third Base in the long-term as the body continues to develop, but the offensive profile would be a fit.
8. Taylor Trammell OF – Arkansas Travelers (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L – 6’2″ 215lbs – ETA 2021
Traded to the Mariners at the 2020 Trade Deadline as the headliner in the Austin Nola package, Trammell has bounced around between 3 organizations since being drafted in 2016.
Trammell has a contact oriented swing from the left side, and at his best, has shown the ability to put the ball in the gaps and let his plus plus speed play on the bases. He has shown above average raw power, and it remains to be seen how much of this he will be able to tap into during games. He has a strong approach, which has cumulated in strong walk rates throughout his time in the Minors.
Trammell has a fringe arm at best, and this will likely slide him over to Left Field long-term. His speed and instincts will potentially make him a Gold Glove caliber Left Fielder, and many scouts have compared him to Brett Gardner.
Consistency with the hit tool will dictate what his ceiling is, and there is some risk that he slides into a fourth outfielder role if he continues to stall out offensively in the upper minor leagues. With that being said, he has a track record of success and other tantalizing tools, so the Mariners will be in wait and see mode with Trammell.
9. Cal Raleigh C – Arkansas Travelers (AA)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: S – 6’3″ 215lbs – ETA: 2021
Drafted out of Florida State in 2018, Raleigh was long on the radar of scouts during his college career. He had a breakout 2019 season, where he hit 29 homers between 2 levels.
He is definitely power over hit tool from the plate, and there are some long-term questions about the hit tool long term. His K% jumped once he reached AA, although some of this concern is mitigated by above-average walk rates as well.
Raleigh was notable for shifting to the one knee catcher stance in 2019, and like many other catchers, the framing improvement was accompanied by a worsening of pop time. He has had some fluctuation in grading with the arm over the years, and it projects to be below average in the long-term.
With catching ability likely to become less important as we shift to an electronic strike zone in coming years, Raleigh projects to be able to stick behind the dish due to the power and high intangibles that he brings.
10. Justin Dunn RHP – Seattle Mariners (MLB)
24 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’2″ 185lbs – ETA: 2020
Although Dunn has struggled in his brief time in the Majors, I remain bullish on his upside as a potential back end starter. Traded over from the Mets as part of the Robinson Cano trade, there is a wide range of opinions on what Dunn’s long-term role should be.
Dunn has shown the ability to pump the fastball in the mid 90’s for stretches of games. When he starts, this velocity often drops into the low 90’s, raising questions about his durability.
The changeup plays well off the fastball with its tailing motion, and has the potential to be an above-average pitch. Additionally, the slider is an out pitch for him, and he has shown the ability to miss bats with it. The command will likely be average moving forward, how well he handles his velocity into his appearances may dictate whether he ends up as a back end starter, or a power reliever out of the bullpen.
11. Brandon Williamson LHP – Everett Aquasox (A-)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L – 6’6″ 210lbs – ETA 2023
Williamson was the Mariners Second Round pick in the 2019 draft, drafted out of TCU. He was the Saturday night starter behind Nick Lodolo, and while he displayed a deep toolbox of pitches, his control left much to be desired coming into professional baseball.
His fastball sits in the 92-94 range, and his curveball has flashed as a plus pitch. One of the biggest questions surrounding Williamson is how well he can maintain his velocity into his starts. He would be sitting more in the 89-91 range by the Third Inning, and this is a cause for concern in terms of starting pitching viability.
The slider has the ability to be above-average, and he was able to use the changeup more in his professional debut than he did in college. Listed as 6’6 210 lbs, there is some potential for him to continue to add onto his frame in coming years. If his fastball can tick up and he can maintain it deeper into starts, the quality secondary pitches will help mitigate some long standing concerns regarding the control. His ceiling is that of a number 3 or 4 starter at the MLB level.
12. Juan Then RHP – West Virginia Power (A)
20 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’1″ 155lbs – ETA 2022
Then was originally acquired by the Mariners during the International Free Agency period of 2016. He was then swapped back to the Mariners in 2019, as part of the Edwin Encarnacion deal.
His fastball has sat in the 92-94 range in the past, but it has ticked up during the off season, likely as a result of his body continuing to mature. At 155 lbs, its fair to wonder if his velocity could continue to improve in the future. The slider has flashed plus at times, and from his low arm slot, comes across the plate in a long, sweeping motion that fools hitters.
The changeup is still a work and progress, and the command has been suspect at times as well. To develop into a viable starter, he will need to continue to develop that third quality pitch, and it remains to be seen what his velocity ceiling is as he continues to mature physically.
13. Sam Delaplane RHP –Arkansas Travelers (AA)
25 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 5’11″ 175lbs – ETA 2021
Drafted out of Eastern Michigan in the 23rd Round of the 2017 draft, Delaplane has quickly cemented himself as one of the best relief prospects in the Mariners organization.
He has a two pitch mix, which include a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s, and a power slider that has graded out as plus plus. He has a very similar arm slot for each of the pitches, and batters have a hard time picking up what is coming out of his hand.
Delaplane is noted for coming out of a distinct vertical arm slot, and this contributes to him striking out batters at a very impressive clip, including 15.1 K/9 in the AFL. He has flashed some inconsistency at time in terms of command, but nothing unheard of for someone with his power stuff. If the command continues to improve, he will be a high leverage reliever for the Mariners.
14. Andres Munoz RHP – Tacoma Rainers (AAA)
21 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’2″ 165lbs – ETA 2021
Munoz came over to Seattle a few weeks ago in the Austin Nola trade, and he projects to be a power arm in the Mariners bullpen for years to come, after making his MLB debut with the Padres at the end of 2019.
Munoz has one of the best fastballs in professional baseball, sitting 97-100 and topping out at 103. It has tremendous rise as well, and he has shown the ability to consistently put the pitch past good hitters.
The secondary pitch that he shows is a hard slider, and it flashes as a plus pitch at time. When he repeats his mechancis and floods the strike zone, the slider is another out pitch to complement the fastball.
The command is poor, and realistically could only improve to below-average down the road. This hinders his ability to harness the slider’s full potential. If he can improve the command or ability to control the slider, I will be more bullish on his future role.
15. Jake Fraley OF – Seattle Mariners (MLB)
25 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L – 6’0″ 195lbs – ETA 2020
After the 2018 season, Fraley was a part of the package that came back to Seattle for Mike Zunino. Flashing a tantalizing hit-run tool combination, Fraley bulked up in the past few seasons. The hit tool is average, and while the power is still below average, he provides enough in the way of defense and running to stay high on this list.
Fraley has the athleticism to play in all three of the outfield spots. At absolute best the arm is average, but likely close to below average long-term. This likely pushes him out of Center, but with strong route running and tracking skills, Fraley would be a plus defender in Left Field.
The issue with Fraley has always been durability. He missed large chunks of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and evaluators struggled to pin him down. If he can stay healthy and display at least a little pop, he could be a low end regular. If not, he projects as a above-average fourth outfielder due to the overall skillset.
16. Isaiah Campbell RHP – Everett AquaSox (A-)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’4″ 230lbs – ETA 2022
No Professional Stats
After taking on a heavy workload in his last year at Arkansas, the Mariners shut Campbell down in his first professional season. Campbell sits in the 91-95 range with his fastball, and created a good downward action with it. It has touched 98, and there is optimism that a professional team could help tap into this velocity with some slight mechanical tweaks.
Some pundits think his slider is more of a cutter, and when sitting in the mid 80’s, projects as an above-average pitch. The curveball has some strong vertical break, but he struggles to command it as well as the slider. The changeup is also a work in progress.
The command was on and off while at Arkansas, and he has suffered a myriad of injuries as well. 2022 will be a telling year for him, as it will be his first time playing competitively since June 2019 with Arkansas. The durability and command will help determine what his future role is.
17. Zach DeLoach OF – Drafted 2020
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L – 6’1″ 205lbs – ETA 2023
No Professional Stats
Drafted in the Second Round of the 2020 draft, DeLoach’s career at Texas A&M was a tale of two halves. He was a .240 hitter in his first two seasons, before lighting up the Cape Cod League in 2019, winning the batting title for the league.
DeLoach carried this momentum over to the start of the 2020, where he was scorching balls before the season got shut down. He projects to have an average combination of hit and power, and the hit tool could potentially be bumped up if he shows the past summer was not a fluke.
DeLoach has shown the ability to drive the ball in spurts, and his ability to tap into this remains to be seen. The speed will play in Center Field, but long-term concerns about the arm and fielding route have him destined for a corner spot more than likely.
18. Braden Bishop OF – Seattle Mariners (MLB)
27 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’1″ 190lbs – ETA 2020
At this point, the book on Bishop has pretty much been written. At 27 years old, the fact that he still appears on these lists are indicative about the injury concerns that have plagued him throughout his career.
His defense in Center has graded out as plus plus, and he has tremendous burst and route running to track fly balls. The arm is above average, which will allow him to stick there long-term. The hit tool and power are both below-average, and he has not hit well in the upper levels of minor league ball. Bishop projects as a defensive replacement or pinch runner on a contending team, it just remains to be seen if he will get this opportunity with the Mariners.
19. Wyatt Mills RHP – Arkansas Travellers (AA)
25 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’3″ 175lbs – ETA 2021
Agreeing to an underslot deal in the Third Round of the 2017 draft, Mills had a strong debut, reaching AA in his first full season. He has scuffled at that level, but had enough of a showing at lower levels to remain a viable candidate.
Mills has a funky side arm motion, and hitters struggle to pick up on his release points when seeing him for the first time. The fastball is above-average, and when the slider is showing plus, he makes hitters continuously pound the ball into the ground.
He has solid command for a reliever, and his ability to generate weak contact has been his calling card in the minors leagues. He has drawn Brad Ziegler and Steve Cishek comparisons, and this could be his ceiling as well, if he shows the ability to attack more advanced hitters.
20. Connor Phillips RHP – Drafted 2020
19 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’2″ 190lbs – ETA 2024
No Professional Statistics
Phillips was drafted in the 2020 draft, coming out of a Texas Community College, and showing plenty of upside.
He has a fastball in the 92-96 range, and for his age, has shown an impressive ability to hold this velocity deep into his starts. The curveball shows great break and could be a plus pitch, but Phillips is not always able to throw it for a strike. Likewise, the changeup is a work in progress.
He is fairly projectable, and could add more bulk on his frame. He is also fairly athletic an has a repeatable delivery, giving optimism that he can develop in the coming years.
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