Seattle Mariners Top 31 Prospects by Eric Longenhagen May 13, 2022 © Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Seattle Mariners. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. This is the second year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here. All of the numbered prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2022 2021 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Mariners Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Julio Rodríguez 21.4 MLB CF 2022 65 2 Noelvi Marte 20.6 A+ SS 2023 60 3 George Kirby 24.3 MLB SP 2022 55 4 Matt Brash 24.0 MLB SP 2022 50 5 Harry Ford 19.2 A C 2026 45+ 6 Emerson Hancock 23.0 AA SP 2023 45 7 Edwin Arroyo 18.7 A SS 2026 40+ 8 Lazaro Montes 17.6 R RF 2027 40+ 9 Bryce Miller 23.7 A+ MIRP 2025 40+ 10 Adam Macko 21.4 A+ SP 2024 40+ 11 Taylor Dollard 23.2 AA SP 2024 40 12 Alberto Rodriguez 21.6 A+ RF 2024 40 13 Travis Kuhn 24.0 AAA SIRP 2022 40 14 Levi Stoudt 24.4 AA MIRP 2023 40 15 Gabriel Gonzalez 18.4 R RF 2026 40 16 Jonatan Clase 20.0 A CF 2024 40 17 Michael Morales 19.8 A SP 2026 40 18 Juan Then 22.3 A+ SIRP 2022 40 19 Prelander Berroa 22.1 A+ SIRP 2023 35+ 20 Spencer Packard 24.6 A+ LF 2025 35+ 21 Penn Murfee 28.0 MLB SIRP 2022 35+ 22 Cade Marlowe 24.9 AAA CF 2023 35+ 23 Jimmy Joyce 23.3 A+ SIRP 2025 35+ 24 Zach DeLoach 23.7 AA RF 2024 35+ 25 Riley O’Brien 27.3 MLB SIRP 2022 35+ 26 William Fleming 23.2 A SP 2025 35+ 27 Charlie Welch 22.3 A+ C 2026 35+ 28 Yeury Tatiz 21.5 A SIRP 2024 35+ 29 Kaden Polcovich 23.2 AA 2B 2024 35+ 30 Natanael Garabitos 21.8 A SIRP 2024 35+ 31 Bryan Woo 22.3 R SIRP 2025 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 2B SS LF CF RF SP SIRP MIRP 65 FV Prospects 1. Julio Rodríguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 228 Bat / Thr R / R FV 65 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 60/70 55/70 60/50 40/45 60 While Rodríguez hasn’t turned out to be a completely polished, impact big leaguer from day one, keep in mind that he’s the age of most college draft prospects and raced through the minors amid a season lost to the pandemic as well as overhauls to his swing and physique, all while still performing at an elite level (independent of his age). This all started back in 2019 when the Mariners skipped Rodríguez over two levels and sent him to full-season ball at their bygone affiliate in West Virginia. While perhaps a bit chase-prone, he dominated the Sally League, was promoted to High-A Modesto late in the year, and finished strong there before he looked heavy and gassed in the 2019 Fall League, where he was running in the 4.4s. Sequestered at the alternate site in 2020 (where he suffered a fractured wrist), he wasn’t seen again in anything resembling a normal competitive environment until the 2020-21 Dominican Winter League, where the most advanced pitching he had ever faced exposed his middling breaking ball recognition (more on that shortly). By that time, he had already begun to lean down and run faster (he’s running in the 4.25-4.3 range at this point), though it wasn’t until after that LIDOM jaunt that Rodríguez’s swing would be overhauled into the version you see today. Sent back to High-A in 2021 (this time in Everett due to the reshuffling of the minor leagues), he slashed .325/.410/.581 while striking out 21.6% of the time and walking at a 10.4% clip. Upon his promotion to Double-A, he improved in almost every category, recording fewer strikeouts and more walks while slashing .362/.461/.546 over 46 games. On only two occasions did he go two or more consecutive games without recording a hit, and never more than three. Rodríguez spent time away from affiliated ball representing the Dominican Republic as part of the Summer Olympic Games, first in June for the qualifiers, then later in the summer for the Games themselves. That he was able to hit among all these stops, starts, and long bits of travel — and with a relatively new swing — was incredible. This new swing (his hands once set up similarly to Juan Gonzalez’s, and are now akin to Brandon Marsh’s) may not stick long-term. This version struggles to get on top of letter-high fastballs, instead tending to foul them away, and Rodríguez’s front foot was striding open and leaving him vulnerable to well-located sliders on the outer third of the plate, though this has gotten better. Opposing big league pitchers have been trying to exploit this during Rodríguez’s debut. As of publication, he had seen a lower percentage of fastballs than all but six other qualified hitters and the fourth-highest percentage of sliders. Julio’s natural tendency has been to pull off of sliders, and he often pulls on the ground even the ones he makes contact with on the outer edge of the zone. It’s tough to ask him to more regularly dive to the outer part of the plate and try to drive the ball to the opposite field since his swing is already vulnerable to high fastballs, and committing to the outer third in a way opposing batteries can identify would leave him more vulnerable to getting blown up by fastballs in on his hands when he guesses wrong. It takes special feel to hit for a player to alter the way they use their lower half based on what they’re seeing, reacting while a pitch is in mid-flight. At the very start of his pro career that seemed like something Rodríguez was doing naturally, so either we were wrong about that or his current swing doesn’t allow for it. Again, Rodríguez has done nothing but rake in the minors despite these issues. He has enormous talent and drive to succeed, and is likely an adjustment or two away from being the dominant, heart-of-the-order force we expect he’ll be. For now, his speed is his carrying tool. Among the Statcast Sprint Speed leaders (a metric that measures peak speed), Rodríguez has been running 4.25 from home to first per Baseball Savant. That’s an above-average time per the traditional 20-80 run time scale and is plus in actuality, which has helped mask his lack of experience and middling instincts there. Would Rodríguez be playing center field on most rosters right now? Probably not, and at his age and his size, he still projects to a corner outfield spot long-term, but the more important takeaway is that this young man basically willed himself into being a passable option there by altering his training with speed in mind. That seemingly indomitable aspect of his personhood will likely find a way to dial in what’s happening on offense. 60 FV Prospects 2. Noelvi Marte, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 20.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/70 35/60 60/55 40/50 60 2021 was many evaluators’ first stateside chance to see Marte face pro pitching, allowing them to better gauge his ability to bring his power to a minor league setting. He refined the timing in his swing over the course of the season, with his leg kick and bat-wrap allowing him to send balls out to all fields. His batting line in his first full season of pro ball was promising: Marte slashed .273/.366/.459 with a walk rate above 11% and a 118 wRC+ to go along with 17 home runs and 24 stolen bases. Most of that came at Low-A, though he finished the season at High-A, where his strikeouts ticked up and his walks ticked down. Still, he only played eight games there – not enough to fully adjust to the more advanced pitching – and he hit enough during that time to make up for it, reaching base safely in all but one of those games. Marte’s last home run of 2021 came in early August, which meant he ended his campaign with a 30-game homerless streak, his longest of the season by a factor of nearly three. It’s not enough of a power drought to make us worry about Marte’s pop (it’s definitely still there) and it may indicate a focus on contact over thump at this stage in his development. Plus, Marte had a bit of a slump in July and was able to get out of it, which speaks to a mental maturity beyond his years. There’s still a chance he ends up moving off of shortstop as he continues to grow (lest we forget, he didn’t turn 20 until the offseason). He played all his games at short in 2021 and committed 30 errors there (more than any other shortstop in the Top 100), lending credence to those who believe he’ll eventually find a new defensive home. There’s just so much power here (Marte can put balls out seemingly with a flick of his wrist) and no underlying swing-and-miss red flags yet, giving Marte a chance to mature into the Goldilocks Zone where he’s hitting for contact, hitting for power, and playing a viable shortstop, generating superstar-level output. 55 FV Prospects 3. George Kirby, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Elon (SEA) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 70/70 50/50 45/45 45/50 60/70 94-98 / 100 The story of Kirby’s prospectdom has mostly been about his plus-plus control. He maintained a puny walk rate during his time at Elon and on the Cape, and in his pro debut in 2019, he appeared in eight short-season games (23 IP) without issuing a single free pass. As of the lost 2020 season, that elite control bolstered a profile that included an otherwise run-of-the-mill mid-90s fastball and a number of secondaries. But at that year’s alternate site, Kirby’s velocity began to climb as he added strength to his 6-foot-4 frame, and at spring training in 2021, a new Kirby emerged, one who was now applying that well-documented control to a 97-99 mph heater. He had also made massive strides in developing his secondary stuff, which helped keep hitters off his fastball. He altered the grip on his changeup, which is consistently 10 mph slower than his heater, and while he hasn’t gained enough confidence in the pitch to throw it very often, when he does, it comes without any noticeable change to his impressively repeatable arm speed. He’s added depth to his curveball, too, using it effectively against lefties, while relying most often on his hard, upper-80s slider, which breaks up an otherwise north-south profile with its horizontal bite. In 2021, Kirby spent time in High- and Double-A, with a combined 5.5% walk rate against a 29.2% strikeout rate, allowing just one home run over 67.2 innings. If that innings total seems low, it’s because his starts were spread out, often by more than a week at a time, and he also missed two three-week stretches due to shoulder fatigue. He’s been on a more typical schedule to start 2022 and continued to dominant and work efficiently at Double-A Arkansas for a month before the Mariners called him up shortly prior to list publication. This is not a guy with premium secondary stuff; instead, the biggest reason for Kirby’s inclusion among the top 30 prospects in baseball is because he is a slam dunk, near-ready mid-rotation starter who, despite being handled with caution so far, we expect will work a huge load of innings thanks to how proactively he attacks the strike zone. 50 FV Prospects 4. Matt Brash, SP Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Niagara (SDP) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 173 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/70 70/70 60/60 40/45 40/45 94-98 / 100 Acquired as the Player to Be Named from San Diego for Taylor Williams, Brash is another pitcher who has enjoyed a couple of velocity spikes over the last few years. He was 90-93 mph as an amateur, then was 94-95 in a handful of low-minors innings right after signing. Now he’s been up to 101 mph and is sitting 95-97. Brash worked with four pitches as a starter at Niagara and continues to do so, the best being an upper-80s slider that has become a plus-plus offering. This is the pitch Brash has the best feel for, and he’s consistently able to locate it to his glove side, where it moves the most and is the most enticing to hitters. He’ll back that up with an occasional curveball (it was his fourth pitch in college but is third in line now) and changeup. The slider and velocity give him an impact relief floor (assuming health) but remember that we’re talking about a small school prospect who missed what would have been his first full pro season of development due to the pandemic. There’s big time variance here. Brash has a higher ceiling than Kirby because of the quality of his secondary stuff, but he also walked a batter every other inning in 2021 and has been down-shifted into a relief role in Triple-A after struggling with walks through his first handful of big league starts. Brash will probably be deployed in a high-leverage, multi-inning relief role in the short-term. That gives him the best shot to a) help the big league club right now, b) do so while mitigating some of the impact of his wildness, and c) retain enough of an innings foundation that he can move back into the rotation if/when he polishes up his command. Brash pitched 100 innings last season. If we were anticipating a typical year-to-year increase, that would have put him in position to work 120-130 innings as a starter this year, which is perhaps part of why he was given a big league rotation shot before Kirby, who is still building innings. If Brash works multiple innings in relief, he could still hover around the 100-inning mark throughout the season and be in a better position for a move back into the rotation than some of the guys who were yo-yo’d between starter and reliever during the “Save Era” window, when long relievers were more mop-up guys than impact pieces. In short, even if Brash ends up a permanent bullpen fixture, his stuff is so good that he belongs comfortably within the top 100 prospects. 45+ FV Prospects 5. Harry Ford, C Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from North Cobb HS (SEA) Age 19.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 55/60 25/55 60/60 30/50 50 Ford is a very explosive, high-upside catching prospect with plus-plus bat speed. Tightly wound and muscular, he looks incredible during BP and has crude looking but effective feel for contact in games. It’s not always flush contact, but Ford finds a way to put the ball in play and his strength enables power that would make him a star if he can indeed stay at catcher. Though he is twitchy and has a big league catcher’s physicality, he needs a lot of technical development behind the plate. As such, there was talk of him being drafted as and starting his pro career at other positions, including center field. He’s run as fast as 4.1 from home to first and has the speed to give that a shot if the Mariners are inclined to try, but so far he’s only caught and DH’d. While he shows you plus or better raw arm strength, Ford tends to be slow out of his crouch and frequently produces below-average pop times. That’s just one more thing to iron out but isn’t a true impediment to him catching — not yet, anyway. A shoulder injury shelved him in early May of 2022, but nothing he did before then in either minor league spring training or the Cal League makes us want to alter our high-ceiling/high-variance assessment of Ford, who as a teenage catching prospect comes from one of the more volatile and bust-prone prospect demographics in the game. 45 FV Prospects 6. Emerson Hancock, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Georgia (SEA) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 55/60 45/50 55/60 35/55 93-96 / 97 Hancock’s 2021 season was limited due to shoulder issues that first caused him to miss about a month in the middle of the summer, then to be shut down for the season in September. He then had a lat strain during 2022 spring training and didn’t break camp. As of list publication, he has thrown to hitters in a live BP setting (at an affiliate, not in Arizona) and his return to Double-A Arkansas seems imminent. The injury issues affect how we’ve lined him up here, as he was a 50 FV prospect a year ago. Given the promise the org sees in the young righty, however, this approach to his various maladies is most likely an indication of how carefully the Mariners are proceeding with Hancock’s development, prioritizing him playing at full capacity, and not letting small signs of potential structural issues bloom into actual developmental stumbling blocks. Hancock’s fastball shape is pretty generic, and his secondaries are all about average, with his changeup standing out as the best of them. They are weaponized by Hancock’s command, which could be plus at maturity. He could still develop into an impact starter, but that would require him to stay healthy long enough to make meaningful improvements on all of his offerings. 40+ FV Prospects 7. Edwin Arroyo, SS Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from Central Pointe Christian (FL) (SEA) Age 18.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/40 45/50 25/50 50/50 40/50 50 In high school, Arroyo was a switch-hitting two-way player who pitched left-handed and played shortstop throwing right-handed. Though not an especially rangy defender, Arroyo’s hands and actions are a middle infield fit. He has a shot to stay at shortstop long-term and if not, second base will be a clean alternative. Arroyo’s swings are geared for power. His short levers enable him to pull a lot of the contact he makes in the air, and he generates surprising pop for a young hitter his size, without using a noisy, full-body swing. Both his left- and right-handed swings have a lot of natural pull-side uppercut, so much that it was a worry for some scouts on the amateur side, although Arroyo has come out hot, hitting for surprising power in his pro debut (Cal League caveats apply). There are times when his weight transfer can get out of whack, which is common for a switch-hitter this age. While he’s likely to add strength simply through maturity, Arroyo isn’t a big-framed guy with overt power projection. Instead, the key variable here is how much of his solid, average power Arroyo will be able to tap into in games. So far so good. If he can stay at shortstop and continue to club extra-base hits, he’ll be a bat-first everyday shortstop, and his realistic outcomes that fall short of that ceiling (he becomes a versatile, bat-first utility infielder) are still very positive. 8. Lazaro Montes, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2022 from Cuba (SEA) Age 17.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 50/70 25/60 40/50 20/40 60 Montes has the second-most obvious physical projection in the 2022 international amateur signing class behind Cristian Vaquero, who was one of the most prominent players in the entire group. Montes has a traditional power-hitting corner outfield profile and a remarkably athletic swing for a young man his size. At a broad-shouldered 6-foot-4, there is obvious room for Montes to add a huge amount of strength and muscle without impacting his ability to move around the outfield. His swing already has so much pull-side lift and explosion that there’s a chance he grows into plus-plus raw power at maturity. And it isn’t like Montes is a bull-in-a-china-shop young hitter relying solely on his power; his lower half is flexible and athletic, his hitting hands are deft and explosive, and he has good timing for a such a young, long-levered guy. Because almost all of what we know about Montes comes from how he’s performed for scouts in a showcase setting and in glorified practices, the forecasts for his hit tool and approach are cloudy, and will be until he comes to Arizona, hopefully for instructs (he is not on the Mariners’ extended spring training roster). But his power projection gives him a shot to anchor the middle of a big league order if those things even approach big-league average, and we’re unusually excited about Montes relative to other corner-only international signees. 9. Bryce Miller, MIRP Drafted: 4th Round, 2021 from Texas A&M (SEA) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/55 40/50 40/45 30/45 94-97 / 98 Miller spent his freshman year at Blinn College, then pitched out of the Texas A&M bullpen as a sophomore and junior. He was passed over in the 2020 draft despite sitting 94-97 mph in outings that were often seen by decision-makers who were in to scout Asa Lacy and Christian Roa, largely because Miller was very wild. In 2021, he moved into the Aggies rotation, and while his fastball would peak at 95-98 mph, he’d typically settle in at 92-94 as a starter and still had issues with walks. The Mariners drafted him in the fourth round and have deployed him as a starter so far, with Miller working deeper into games than many other A-ball pitchers, especially early during the 2022 slate. His peak velocity has returned, and he has been sitting 94-96 with carry (his fastball has done a ton of damage at the top of the zone) while mixing in two good breaking balls: an upper-80s cutter/slider that has great length for how hard it is and a low-80s curveball with more depth. Miller’s arm swing is long and he has again been somewhat walk-prone in pro ball, but he’s holding his velocity deep into games and has some other pitchability traits that suggest he could continue to start. While it doesn’t get a ton of swings and misses, he has feel for landing his curveball in the zone, his fastball’s shape gives him in-zone margin for error that should better enable him to be loose with in-zone location, and one of our scout sources thinks his changeup also has a shot to be average. When you consider that Miller lost a lot of developmental time to COVID and being buried on A&M’s depth chart, you can start to get excited about how much potential growth remains for him even though he’s almost 24 years old. 10. Adam Macko, SP Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from Vauxhall HS (AB) (SEA) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 45/55 55/55 55/60 30/45 90-94 / 98 Macko was a 2019 seventh round high schooler who was drafted because of his proclivity for spin and his physical projection. His fastball sat 87-90 mph during his first pro summer but was parked closer to the 92-94 mph range, topping out at 98, in 2021, though he’s been in the 90-92 range again this year. He’s got a scaled down version of the Clayton Kershaw build, with a thick lower half and short levers, but Macko’s delivery looks more like Ryan Buchter’s. His sweeping breaking ball, which he throws with his forefinger entirely off the baseball, is already plus even though it doesn’t have the velocity of your typical contemporary power-pitcher’s breaking ball, bending in at about 82 mph. But the flat angle of Macko’s fastball, it’s riding life, and the way his breaking balls play off of it (including as a back-foot weapon against righties) give him a power pitcher’s style. He’s struck out more than a third of the batters he faced during his pro career, but is still in a relief risk area as a prospect due to below-average command and repertoire depth. Macko is still just 21 and doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2023 season, giving him ample time to show that he can sustain his peak velocities and polish up what he needs to and project as a starter. In the event that he does move to the bullpen, he projects as a late-inning option, especially if he enjoys a velo spike in shorter outings. 40 FV Prospects 11. Taylor Dollard, SP Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Cal Poly (SEA) Age 23.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/45 55/60 45/45 45/50 35/60 90-93 / 94 While it seems as though the velo uptick he showed last year has begun to plateau, Dollard has settled into the upper-levels as a low-variance backend starter prospect. He was only sitting 86-92 mph during the short, pre-shutdown college season, but has been more comfortably in the low-90s in the two seasons since. Dollard’s slider is his best pitch, and it’s now comfortably his most-used offering; he throws it 47% of the time, nearly twice as often as his fastball. Surgical arm-side command weaponizes the length of Dollard’s slider, the quality of which some pitch metrics indicate is elite, though visual evaluations have it as merely above-average. Dollard’s fastball and slider give him an east/west style of attack reliant on his plus command. His changeup and curveball both move quite a bit but lack power and true plus action. It’s a robust enough repertoire to continue projecting Dollard as a quick-moving, back-of-the-rotation candidate. 12. Alberto Rodriguez, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (TOR) Age 21.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 227 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/55 40/40 30/45 55 A physical, lefty corner bat with some thump, Rodriguez was generating peak exit velos consistent with the big league average as a teenager in the 2019 GCL while with Toronto. He was traded to Seattle in the 2020 Taijuan Walker deal, and part of the reason the Blue Jays were so willing to part with him was because Rodriguez was very out of shape at that time. He slimmed down over the several months following the trade, regained his explosiveness, and had a good age-20 season at Low-A, slashing .295/.383/.484 in the Cal League in 2021. Still, he was a relatively surprising 40-man add in the offseason considering how far away he was from the big leagues, with just a week of games above Low-A. Statistical models seem to love Rodriguez, who clubbed 45 extra-base hits last year and and kept his strikeout rates in the 16-22% range for two consecutive seasons while he was a young-for-the-level regular, but the visual evaluation of him is mixed. Rodriguez is indeed an explosive rotational athlete with plus bat speed. His swing is so uphill that he often struggles to get on top of fastballs, an issue that is compounded by the overall complexity of his swing, which is a lot of fun to watch but can negatively impact his timing. His swing is actually different than it was in 2021, featuring a much more open stance. Rodriguez’s feet then come together as he closes off, before he takes a huge stride forward as his uncorks. At times, he shows an ability to alter his posture in such a way that he can still connect with stuff at the letters even though his swing has so much uppercut (Juan Soto does this consistently — it’s incredible). But he doesn’t do so regularly, and this might be more thoroughly exposed as Rodriguez faces upper-level pitching with more velocity. Though he didn’t show any surface-level statistical evidence of it in 2019 or ’21, scouts who have seen him this year consider him chase-prone. We’re more inclined to lean on multiple years of data than a week’s worth of looks when it comes to assessing the plate discipline piece of Rodriguez’s puzzle, but as a corner-only defender with some visible swing-and-miss issues, it would be a body blow to his profile if he turned out to also have problematic pitch selection. Let’s revisit the core reasons for optimism here: this is a young, lefty-hitting prospect with impact bat speed who has performed statistically his entire career, and done so while being young for the level. If you have a pro scouting model or are simply doing age-bounded stat searches on our site, you need to consider that Rodriguez has already blown through physical maturity and is much less physically projectable than an overwhelming majority of the other 21-year-old prospects who you’re comparing him to or including him with. That he’s on already the 40-man creates some weird developmental tension, as it may cause him to press or be rushed through the minors. There are certainly statistical and visual reasons to be excited about Rodriguez, but there are some underlying attributes driving our skepticism. We’re hopeful he’s a power-over-hit part-time corner outfielder. 13. Travis Kuhn, SIRP Drafted: 19th Round, 2019 from San Diego (SEA) Age 24.0 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 30/40 93-96 / 98 Kuhn experienced an almost five-tick velocity bump from 2019, when he averaged 90 mph with his fastball, to last season, when he sat 94-95. He has held that jump into 2022, where he has been up to 98 and blowing his fastball past upper-level hitters because of its riding life. Kuhn is a powerful on-mound athlete with an incredibly fast arm action that creates a rise-and-run look to his heater. By some pitch quality metrics, that’s not even his best pitch. Instead it’s Kuhn’s wipeout mid-80s slider, the movement of which mirrors that of his fastball. He is racing to the big leagues as a middle-inning weapon and is almost certainly going to debut sometime in 2023, but he might kick down the door this season. 14. Levi Stoudt, MIRP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Lehigh (SEA) Age 24.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 55/55 30/40 50/60 93-96 / 97 Stoudt was a small school prospect with mid-90s arm strength and a good changeup who fell in his draft year due to a looming Tommy John surgery. He and the Mariners used his rehab period to rework the shape of his slider, of which Stoudt has developed ultra-consistent, almost robotic glove-side command. He has similar letter-high command of his mid-90s fastball, which doesn’t have huge life. He’s going to feast on the hiitters who struggle to get on top of pitches in that area, but his fastball isn’t so explosive that it will blow past everyone up there. This causes Stoudt to have to pitch backwards and nibble with his slider a lot, and the need to do this funnels him into a multi-inning relief role projection. While he will show you the occasional curveball and changeup, his new arm stroke doesn’t allow him to create the same bat-missing action on his changeup, further pushing him towards the ‘pen. He’s reached and had success as a starter up through Double-A, putting him in position to seize a 40-man spot after the season. Stoudt may begin his big league career as a short-outing starter and shift to the bullpen as his options dwindle. 15. Gabriel Gonzalez, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Venezuela (SEA) Age 18.4 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 50/55 20/50 40/30 30/50 50 Gonzalez is a precocious young corner bat with a well-rounded offensive skill set. He’s already quite physically mature and much less projectable than the typical 18-year-old corner outfield prospect of note, but his approach and feel for the barrel are advanced, and his physical maturity is helping him punish the ball with power already. He has enough juice to put balls out to right center, but his swing is compact enough to make him tough to beat with velocity. That Gonzalez is already quite filled out at his age perhaps puts his defensive profile at risk of bottoming out, but the level of offensive skill he’s shown gives him a better chance at hitting his way into a regular role than the other 40 FV outfielders in this system, who are part-time/bench ceiling types closer to the big leagues. 16. Jonatan Clase, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 20.0 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 40/45 20/30 80/80 45/60 45 Clase’s elite speed makes him an electric, impact baserunner and gives him a shot to be a special center field defender as he becomes more polished out there. Clase has added a bunch of muscle since signing and is now built like a little tank. He packs quite a punch for someone so compact, and his size helps him stay short to the ball even though his left-handed swing is geared for low-ball lift. We’ve often seen hitters with low-ball swings be exposed at upper levels, but they’re typically longer-levered hitters than the switch-hitting Clase, who may yet develop more precise feel for the barrel. His righty cut is much less coordinated and explosive than his lefty swing right now. The most likely outcome here is a tooled-out bench outfielder who makes an impact with speed, but there is a contingent of scouts who think the hit tool development portion of Clase’s profile will be a slow, ultimately effective burn and that he has a right tail, everyday center fielder outcome. 17. Michael Morales, SP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from East Pennsboro HS (SEA) Age 19.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/50 50/55 40/50 20/50 88-92 / 94 Morales is a typical high school pitching prospect: a low-90s fastball, feel for landing an average curveball that comes and goes, and the frame and athleticism to dream on more. This org has a strong recent track record of getting prospects like Morales to throw harder but that hasn’t happened here yet, as he’s still been in the upper-80s and low-90s so far in 2022. His breaking ball also needs more power, but has good shape. Morales isn’t an ultra-loose or projectable sort — his size and level of athleticism are both more middle-of-the-road — so even if things develop as hoped here, he’s more likely to wind up in the middle/back of a rotation than toward the front of one. 18. Juan Then, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/60 55/60 40/40 40/45 93-96 / 98 Then (pronounced “Ten”) was originally signed by Seattle, then was sent to New York when the Mariners were swapping low-level prospects for 40-man depth at the end of their last competitive window before being returned in the Edwin Encarnación deal. He had a velocity spike over the 2019-20 offseason and after sitting 91-95 mph and topping out at 96 in ’19, he was up to 99 mph in the bullpen to start ’20 before baseball ceased operations due to the pandemic. Similar to the way Vanderbilt and Kyle Wright found an extra gear for his fastball before the draft, a lower, more naturally comfortable arm slot for Then is part of what seems to have brought this about (along with physical maturity), and the Mariners thought enough of his progress to add him to their 40-man after the 2020 season. While Then sustained this velo as a starter when he was healthy in 2021, he missed a big chunk of time in July and wasn’t nearly as effective when he returned. His velo was down in the 92-93 mph range during the 2021 Fall League, and he hasn’t pitched yet in 2022 due to an elbow strain. While the Mariners have been keen on starting him, healthy Then looks like a potential set-up man with a huge tailing fastball and a slider that’s easily plus when located. 35+ FV Prospects 19. Prelander Berroa, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (MIN) Age 22.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/50 30/40 30/40 92-96 / 98 Berroa put up an impressive 32% strikeout rate during his full-season debut in 2021, but between his sub-six-foot frame, a rough delivery, a lack of command and his reliance on just two pitches for the most part, everything about him screams future reliever. Berroa certainly has arm strength, sitting 94-96 mph with his fastball while getting into the upper-90s and leaving many scouts with the belief that he could sit there with greater regularity in shorter stints. He’s missing a plus second pitch, with his slider just average and his rare changeup still in the 40-45 range. There’s a wildness to Berroa’s overall game, and there are stretches where he just flat out can’t find the zone. He got his second career change of scenery (Berroa was originally with the Twins), as he was acquired from San Francisco for upper-level slugger Kevin Padlo. He projects as an up/down reliever. 20. Spencer Packard, LF Drafted: 9th Round, 2021 from Campbell (SEA) Age 24.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 30/45 30/30 30/40 40 Packard played a year at Arizona Western, then transferred to Campbell, where he spent another three. He was eligible to be picked in 2020 but had the worst month of his amateur career during that brief four-week season, hitting just .164. Even with his 2020 clunker included, Packard was a career .324/.453/.504 hitter at Campbell. While the 24-year-old has modest tools, he has a very polished approach, a great idea of the strike zone, can clear his hips and ambush inner-third fastballs, and has enough power to take fastballs on the outer half into the opposite-field gap. Packard’s age is an important variable to consider here, but he was walking more than he had struck out at High-A Everett as of list publication. He’s in the LF/1B area on the defensive spectrum and doesn’t have the raw power typical of those positions, but he has enough in the way of secondary skills to project as a low-end platoon option and bench weapon. 21. Penn Murfee, SIRP Drafted: 33th Round, 2018 from Santa Clara (SEA) Age 28.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 30/30 50/50 60/60 88-91 / 92 The side-arming Murfee has a tailing 90 mph fastball, a sweeping low-80s slider and plus command. He looks like an up/down ROOGY type but his command may enable him to stick on the roster as a “look” middle reliever. 22. Cade Marlowe, CF Drafted: 20th Round, 2019 from West Georgia (SEA) Age 24.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/40 50/50 40/45 55/55 40/45 40 Marlowe has a super narrow approach at the plate, really only offering at pitches in the upper third of the zone. This helps him walk a lot (12% career clip) and also allows him to do damage when he does make contact, since his swing is geared for lift in that part of the strike zone. Marlowe hit 26 homers in 2021 even though he only has about average raw power, largely because he knows which pitches to target and hits those in the air with remarkable consistency. His stiff front side makes it tough for him to get the bat head on pitches in the bottom third of the zone, and Marlowe does swing and miss quite often. He runs well enough to play center field but he is not great at closing the deal out there, covering a lot of ground but looking awkward at the catch point, and often struggling to communicate with his corner guys on balls in the gap. He’s an interesting upper-level sleeper with some bizarre, specific skills who doesn’t have an obvious big league fit due mostly to a lack of positional versatility. 23. Jimmy Joyce, SIRP Drafted: 16th Round, 2021 from Hofstra (SEA) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/50 40/45 55/60 30/50 91-93 / 94 Joyce is a plus on-mound athlete who gets deep into his lower half as he bounds down the mound, giving his fastball weird, flat angle, especially for a running two-seamer. He will probably develop both fastball types as he climbs the minors to take advantage of his heater’s angle at the letters. He also has a plus changeup that he wasn’t executing with great consistency at Hofstra, with the pitch often sailing high and to Joyce’s arm side. Joyce started in college and has continued to do so in pro ball. He doesn’t have great feel for his sweepy slider, which is in the 77-80 mph range. Realistically, he’s a funky two-pitch reliever with a dandy changeup and a fastball that punches above its weight. 24. Zach DeLoach, RF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Texas A&M (SEA) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 50/50 30/50 60/55 40/50 45 DeLoach hasn’t gotten off to a great start in 2022, with a strikeout rate three times that of his walk rate. In his professional career, he has yet to replicate the power he showed in his explosive, though truncated, pre-draft 2020 season at Texas A&M, most of which consisted of non-conference play. DeLoach is a patient hitter, often working deep counts, with a better feel for the zone than his mid-20% whiff rate implies. Lifting the ball more was a developmental emphasis for him in 2021, and it’s possible he’s still adjusting to having such a narrow approach where he tries to target pitches on the inner third. There are lots of big league hitters with a similar doubles-oriented offensive skill set who can actually play center field, though DeLoach may find another gear through approach refinement and he will have a platoon advantage most of the time. Once viewed here as a potential multi-positional platoon outfielder, DeLoach has trended into fifth outfielder projection. 25. Riley O’Brien, SIRP Drafted: 8th Round, 2017 from Idaho (TBR) Age 27.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 40/40 55/60 45/50 92-95 / 97 O’Brien’s developmental roadmap has been riddled with unpredictable traffic and detours caused by factors out of his control. He excelled in his early minor league career in the Rays’ system, but found himself crowded out of the org’s loaded 40-man before he was traded to the Reds in exchange for Cody Reed in 2020. The timing of the trade made for an uncomfortable return to the mound that year, and his velocity dipped. In 2021, the velo was still down from its ’19 mid-90s peak, resting instead around 92-94 mph. O’Brien induced a lot of swings and misses with the heater at the top of the zone during his time in Triple-A, and paired it with a low-80s power curveball, thrown most effectively as a chase pitch in the dirt. He’ll also mix in a hard, high-80s changeup with sink for additional whiffs when he can locate it. But though each offering has flashed plus, his command of his overall repertoire has been the biggest barrier to his stuff’s ability to play, and by extension, his projection as a starter. This was evident in his only big league appearance in 2021, a start against the White Sox in which he lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing two home runs on belt-high heaters and throwing a total of 71 pitches, nearly half of which were balls. Small as that sample is, it hints at the importance of O’Brien honing his command for an eventual relief role. Since being acquired by the Mariners his curveball usage is through the roof and his changeup has been scrapped as he’s deployed in an up/down relief role. 26. William Fleming, SP Drafted: 11th Round, 2021 from Wake Forest (SEA) Age 23.2 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/45 55/60 30/40 35/55 93-95 / 97 Fleming’s velocity was in the 92-94 mph range early during the 2021 college season, but by late May, he was peaking in the 95-97 area and the Mariners used their 11th rounder on him. Fleming has long filled the zone with his fastball and shown above-average glove-side command of his slider, but his fastball’s shape made it quite hittable in college. Wake Forest doesn’t typically leave a lot of meat on the bone when it comes to maxing out their pitchers, so perhaps the version of Fleming that posted an ERA over 6.00 in his fourth year there is simply what he’ll be, but there’s a plus-flashing breaking ball and above-average am strength here, and maybe more in the event that he moves to the bullpen. 27. Charlie Welch, C Drafted: 19th Round, 2021 from Arkansas (SEA) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 45/45 30/40 30/30 20/35 40 Welch is an interesting tip-of-the-iceberg prospect who had a nomadic college career. He spent his freshman season at Pepperdine, transferred to St. John’s River State College in Northeast Florida, then spent his junior year as a part-time DH at Arkansas because veteran Casey Opitz returned to catch every day (in part because the shortened draft contributed to Opitz going unselected in 2020). Welch had a huge 2021 college postseason performance, hitting home runs to all fields against NC State in the Super Regional. He doesn’t have great offspeed recognition and weakly mis-hits a lot of slow curves and changeups into the infield but he can bang a fastball, including good ones, in most parts of the strike zone. Welch’s best chance of being any sort of big league role player is to improve as a catcher, which might happen late given his amateur circumstances. He’s raked so far in pro ball and could conceivably be a bat-first backup. 28. Yeury Tatiz, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 30/40 30/40 92-95 / 96 Tatiz has so far been deployed in a piggyback starter/long reliever role in which he’s thrown three to five innings at a time, sitting 92-96 mph while flashing a plus, mid-80s slider with 10-to-4 shape and above-average length. His total lack of changeup feel and the command issues created by his long arm action cause Tatiz to project in the bullpen, but this is a 21-year-old with a prototypical pitcher’s frame and a really loose, whippy arm who might see his fastball and slider velocity spike if/when he’s deployed in single-inning stints. His pitch grades are projected with that anticipated outcome. 29. Kaden Polcovich, 2B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Oklahoma State (SEA) Age 23.2 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 50/50 30/45 60/60 30/45 40 Polcovich checks a lot of the boxes we like here at FanGraphs. He’s a short-levered, switch-hitting, up-the-middle player with above-average bat speed. He does not have great tactile feel to hit and just sort of rips the bat through the zone as hard as he can, so his likely ceiling had been as a versatile power-over-hit sort who could hopefully play a passable second base and a good center field based on his speed and athleticism. Polcovich has really bulked up, and now has a lower half that looks like it was designed by an Instagram algorithm, in Anthony Recker territory. His mobility has regressed and he’s been limited to 2B/DH duty this year, and there isn’t really a path to profiling if he isn’t bringing defensive versatility to the party. 30. Natanael Garabitos, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/55 20/35 94-98 / 100 Garabitos is raw for a soon-to-be-22-year-old pitching prospect, but he has big time arm strength and will occasionally show you a plus slider. He was 93-96 mph and touching 98 for our in-person looks this spring, but he sat 95-97 and touched 100 for some of our sources. We saw two breaking balls, an upper-80s slider and a low-80s curve, with the slider showing more length than is typical for a pitch that hard and appearing to be the more promising offering. Without improvement, Garabitos’ inconsistent release and lack of control will make it tough for him to seize a big league bullpen spot, but if things click, he’ll be a good reliever. 31. Bryan Woo, SIRP Drafted: 6th Round, 2021 from Cal Poly (SEA) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/60 30/40 20/50 30/40 93-96 / 98 Woo is coming off of Tommy John and hasn’t yet faced live hitters; he’s on track to return the second half of the year. From a stuff standpoint, Woo’s fastball was his only good pitch in college, but his frame, on-mound athleticism, and arm action were all exciting components and he seemed like an intriguing developmental project with rare athleticism for a college prospect. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. On the Complex Michael Arroyo, SS Milkar Perez, 3B Martin Gonzalez, SS Edryn Rodriguez, SS Victor Labrada, CF Starlin Aguilar, DH George Feliz, RF This group is either currently in extended spring training down in Arizona or still in the Dominican Republic. Most of the players in this subgroup have also already filled out quite a bit. Arroyo (in the DR) is a skills-over-tools Colombian middle infield prospect with a maxed out frame and advanced feel to hit. Perez, 20, had a good 2021 on paper but lacks great feel to hit and may have given up switch hitting already, as he’s been seen taking right-handed at-bats against righties on the complex. He looked like an advanced, young, switch-hitting infielder during parts of last year, but it’s been a rough look so far in 2022. Gonzalez is the other relatively projectable prospect here, a collection of 40s and 50s with a chance to grow into more than that. Rodriguez, 19, had huge numbers in the 2021 DSL but is another maxed-out, skills-over-tools infielder who’ll have to prove it at each level. Labrada, 22, is a 70-grade runner who plays really hard, but he’s striking out a ton and there was no external scout support for him. Aguilar was a big dollar international signee a couple of years ago who is at risk of ending up a DH-only prospect because of the way he’s trended athletically. Feliz is similar to Gonzalez, except with a corner outfield profile. Bench Ceilings Robert Perez, 1B Marcus Wilson, CF Ben Ramirez, 3B Axel Sanchez, SS Perez generated some of the bigger peak exit velos in the org in 2021 and is pretty athletic in the box for a first base-only guy. He was sent back to Low-A after spending all year there in 2021. He could conceivably be a power-hitting bench option in the Ryan McBroom mold but is more likely a candidate for pro ball in Asia. Wilson can play center field and he has some power, but he strikes out too much to be a consistent big league option. Ramirez had a big time profile in high school as a projectable SoCal shortstop headed to USC. He didn’t hit for meaningful power in college. He has a strapping 6-foot-3 frame and can pick it at third base. Sanchez is all projection, a 19-year-old infielder with a glove-first toolkit for now. Is There Enough Velo? Joseph Hernandez, RHP Leon Hunter, RHP Isaiah Campbell, RHP Devin Sweet, RHP Juan Pinto, LHP Sam Carlson, RHP Hernandez, 22, is a funky, low-slot righty whose slider is death to right-handed hitters. He was living in the low-90s during the spring of 2022 and touching 94 mph, though it was during an early morning intrasquad; there might be more in the tank. Hunter, 25, is a super loose 250-pound reliever with big carry on a 90-91 mph fastball. Campbell, 24, was sent back to High-A to start the year. He was a reliable pitchability guy at Arkansas and dealt with some injuries there. He looked like a No. 4/5 starter at his best but more like an emergency spot starter more recently. Sweet was on the main part of the list in the past with the hope he’d find more velo in the bullpen to pair with his plus changeup, but he’s still sitting about 92 mph. Pinto, 17, was a high-profile 2021 signee who looked like he had filled out without adding any velocity, sitting about 87 mph during that same early morning intrasquad. Carlson sat about 90 mph the two inning he threw at Modesto before list publication; it’s fine to move on now. System Overview This is an extremely top-heavy system that has been able to actualize its high-profile prospects into big leaguers at a high rate. While we’re still waiting on some of them to be good big leaguers, the fact that this will still be one of our higher-ranked farm systems even after Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert, Cal Raleigh, Kyle Lewis and others have graduated in the last two seasons is encouraging, even though Seattle lacks great prospect depth. The Mariners’ ability to develop pitching is the org’s core competency right now. The shining example of this is obviously Matt Brash, who the Mariners traded for after he had barely thrown a pro pitch. They saw something San Diego didn’t (the same is true for me — I called Brash a “developmental relief prospect” at the time of the deal) and turned him into a monster. There are also lower-round draft picks spread throughout this list. Both the amateur and pro departments seem to be interfacing with the dev group well enough to hand them pitchers who are candidates for meaningful tweaks. Seattle’s last couple of international amateur classes not been great upon their initial entry into pro ball. The team made changes to the top of their international scouting department at the end of 2018, a group that had been led by Tim Kissner and oversaw the signings of Julio Rodríguez, Noelvi Marte, Juan Then, and a lot of other players who were traded to other clubs while they were prospects, most notably Freddy Peralta. It’s possible that group had some hand in agreeing to deals with the players who Seattle would sign in the next couple of classes, and because of how the international market works, there is always a lag between when a new group gets its footing and when the players they target actually sign and begin low-level play in the states. But part of the reason this system is short on depth is because the early returns from the recent couple of classes aren’t that good. Obviously a big part of it is also that Seattle traded two prospects who would have been in the 45 FV tier or above (Brandon Williamson and Connor Phillips) to add Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the fold just before the season. There are 10 prospects on other teams’ lists who were originally drafted or signed by Seattle, most of them guys who have turned into 40 FV backend starter or relief types, like Tommy Romero and JP Sears. Is there enough ammunition to make another trade? The team’s 40-man starting pitching depth is thin and the Mariners aren’t in a position to withstand the typical rate of pitcher injury given the current state of their roster, especially as they seem committed to Brash, Justus Sheffield, and Riley O’Brien as relievers. They have viable spot starters in Tommy Milone and Darren McCaughan at Tacoma, but most teams need 10 or so starters throughout a season. It’s possible they will need to add depth, or might be motivated to improve on their current group (sorry, I know everyone loves Marco Gonzales), and have to do so with a trade. If last year’s deadline is any indication, in a blockbuster deal for a huge name, teams are going to ask for at least one of the 50+ FV guys, and because moving any of the others means taking from your current big league group, that makes Marte the more likely arm-twisting target for opposing teams. Unless several of the players in the 45 and 40+ FV tiers have huge breakouts, a more modest trade is much more likely.