Seattle Mariners Top 34 Prospects

Mark J. Rebilas-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 fourth 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. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but we use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the ranked prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Mariners Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Harry Ford 21.4 AA C 2026 50
2 Cole Young 21.0 AA SS 2025 50
3 Colt Emerson 19.0 A 2B 2027 50
4 Felnin Celesten 18.8 R 2B 2029 50
5 Jonny Farmelo 19.8 A CF 2028 50
6 Tai Peete 18.9 A SS 2028 45+
7 Brody Hopkins 22.5 A SP 2026 45+
8 Emerson Hancock 25.1 MLB SP 2024 45
9 Lazaro Montes 19.7 A+ DH 2027 45
10 Logan Evans 23.1 AA SIRP 2025 40+
11 Dawel Joseph 17.1 R SS 2030 40+
12 Teddy McGraw 22.7 R SP 2026 40+
13 Ryan Bliss 24.6 MLB 2B 2024 40
14 Jonatan Clase 22.1 MLB CF 2024 40
15 Tyler Locklear 23.6 MLB 1B 2024 40
16 Michael Morales 21.9 A+ SP 2026 40
17 Taylor Dollard 25.4 AAA SP 2024 40
18 Jeter Martinez 18.4 R SP 2028 40
19 Ashton Izzi 20.6 A SP 2027 40
20 Troy Taylor 22.8 AA SIRP 2025 40
21 Aidan Smith 20.0 A CF 2028 40
22 Michael Arroyo 19.7 A+ 2B 2027 40
23 Jimmy Joyce 25.5 AA MIRP 2025 40
24 Tyler Gough 20.9 A SP 2027 35+
25 Cole Phillips 21.1 R SP 2027 35+
26 Brandyn Garcia 24.1 AA SIRP 2026 35+
27 Ben Williamson 23.7 AA 3B 2026 35+
28 Spencer Packard 26.7 AAA LF 2025 35+
29 Carlos Vargas 24.7 MLB SIRP 2023 35+
30 Luis Suisbel 21.1 A 1B 2028 35+
31 Luis Curvelo 23.7 AA SIRP 2025 35+
32 Ruddy Navarro 18.0 R SP 2030 35+
33 Marcelo Perez 24.6 A+ SIRP 2026 35+
34 Peyton Alford 26.9 AA SIRP 2025 35+
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50 FV Prospects

1. Harry Ford, C

Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from North Cobb HS (SEA)
Age 21.4 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/30 55/60 30/50 60/60 40/50 70

Ford is a very explosive, high-upside catching prospect with a rare collection of tools for a backstop, most notably plus-plus bat speed that gives him impact power potential at that position. Tightly wound and muscular, Ford looks incredible during BP but has crude feel for contact in games. He’s kept his strikeout rates to a manageable level even though he has an obvious hole in his swing at the top of the strike zone, in part because he’s a very discerning hitter with great plate discipline. As explosive as Ford’s hands are, they tend to load and fire late. This is an individual whose K rates I expect will be very high when facing big league pitching every day. Still, on-base skills and mistake power tend to be plenty at catcher.

When Ford was drafted, he needed a lot technical development behind the plate. Indeed, he was so raw that there was talk of him being drafted as a center fielder. He has tweaked some aspects of his defense and is now catching on one knee. His pitch framing is still too conspicuous, but it’s much better than when he was drafted, as is Ford’s ball-blocking, which remains the weakest aspect of his defense. His arm is incredible — you don’t need a stopwatch to know Ford has an absolute hose, just watching this guy throw the baseball leaves no doubt. Ford is flawed but the skills he does have are top shelf in quality, and they’re a rarity at the position he plays. It would not surprise me if Ford hits under .200 a couple of times throughout his career, but he’s going to do enough other stuff to be a good primary catcher anyway.

2. Cole Young, SS

Drafted: 1st Round, 2022 from North Allegheny HS (PA) (SEA)
Age 21.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/55 45/50 35/45 50/50 40/45 45

Young’s profile has shifted pretty dramatically since he was drafted, as he’s added considerable bulk to his frame. As a high schooler, he was among the more polished shortstop defenders in his class and was performing well from a bat-to-ball standpoint on the showcase circuit. He looked like a high-floor middle infield prospect with a modest ceiling. Young has become much bigger and stronger in pro ball, especially in his upper body, which has aided his power but detracted somewhat from his defense. Though changes he’s made to his swing have resulted in him trading some contact for power, he’s still maintained strikeout rates in the mid-teens en route to a successful Double-A performance in 2024 at age 20.

Young is a very well-rounded offensive player whose on-base skills and burgeoning power will profile at either middle infield spot. Though he sometimes struggles to cover the high-and-away portion of the zone, he otherwise has great plate coverage and a patient approach. Most of his in-game power is currently isolated to lower pitches, and he tends to inside-out a sizable portion of his contact. Young’s surface-level slugging has tended to play above his current true talent level, in part because of Seattle’s A-ball parks but also because of the consistent lift in Young’s swing. It’s a well-rounded offensive skill set more than it is a special one.

On defense, Young is still mostly playing shortstop but is also mixing in lots of second base. His hands and exchange are good, but his arm strength and accuracy are only fair, and his future range might be a bit lacking. Considering how the Jorge Polanco trade is working out, it’s becoming more likely every day that Young debuts at second base. It’s probably a better fit for him long-term, especially if it allows Young to keep getting bigger and stronger on his way to generating more power in his mid-20s.

3. Colt Emerson, 2B

Drafted: 1st Round, 2023 from John Glenn HS (OH) (SEA)
Age 19.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 45/50 20/55 50/50 30/50 55

Pre-draft Emerson was a potentially viable shortstop defender with deft hitting hands from the left side and medium frame projection. I had him ranked 38th on the 2023 draft board and he was selected 22nd, but by the end of his first pro summer it was pretty clear that Emerson should have gone closer to pick 12 or so. After signing, Emerson was quickly sent to Modesto, where he slashed .302/.436/.444 for a few weeks, and he got off to a similar start there in 2024 before he suffered a small foot fracture that shelved him until the week prior to list publication.

Emerson’s lightning-fast hitting hands are lively and quick. He can let the baseball travel an extra beat before deciding to swing and either roast inside pitches to his pull side or pummel them the other way when they get deep in the zone. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing swing that’s similar in form to those of several other Mariners prospects, one that looks like it might have vulnerability to belt-high fastballs, which Emerson hasn’t been tested by yet. His contact rates and plate discipline have both been quantifiably plus so far in pro ball, with Emerson’s 2024 swinging strike rate a very impressive 6.5% as of list publication. Emerson has below-average raw power right now. Across the board, his 2024 measurable power metrics (hard-hit rate, max exit velocity, etc) are down compared to his smaller debut sample. He’s of medium build and not likely to grow into big raw, but his hit tool is going to enable Emerson to get to in-game power.

On defense, Emerson remains a pretty inconsistent, flub-prone shortstop. He’s a bendable lower-body athlete but needs to polish his hands. His arm strength, build, and level of athleticism are more typically found at second base, and he has the physical tools to be better than average there if his hands get better. Neil Walker feels like a fair comp for Emerson’s high-end outcomes, but if there’s more significant swing exposure down the line, a power-over-hit Rougned Odor type might be more appropriate.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Dominican Republic (SEA)
Age 18.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 50/60 25/55 55/50 35/50 60

Celesten was the third-ranked prospect in the 2023 international amateur class and signed for nearly $5 million as a switch-hitting shortstop prospect who had a chance to mature in the Goldilocks Zone, where he adds meaningful power while staying at short. Just months after he signed, Celesten came to the states for a couple of weeks during minor league spring training and then quickly returned to the Dominican Republic, where he suffered a hamstring strain before the DSL season began, an injury that basically cost him the entire season except for a couple of games in Arizona during Fall Instructional League. The Mariners kept his promotion pace on schedule in 2024, as Celesten spent the spring in Arizona for basically all of minor league spring training, extended spring, and then the start of the official Complex League schedule. He’s been an absolute beast in the desert, producing an OPS around .980 so far in the ACL.

Celesten’s physicality stands out immediately and, as he approaches age 19, would stand out in a big league clubhouse. He probably weighs 15 or 20 pounds more than when he signed and every bit of it is muscle; Celesten’s shoulders look like he’s shoplifting grapefruits up his sleeves. This allows him to make a remarkable amount of hard contact with an easy, low-effort swing. He had a hard-hit rate well above 50% across the first 60 plate appearances of the season. Celesten’s left-handed swing has a beautifully balanced leg kick that takes advantage of his athleticism without getting out of control. His load from that side is pretty aggressive and deep, with the head of the bat tilted toward the pitcher as he prepares to unwind. You can see in the way Celesten’s lower body, hips, and wrists rotate throughout his swing that this is a pretty special and powerful athlete. His swing is currently geared for low-ball contact and he’s going to be tested by belt-high fastballs as he machetes deeper into the full-season pitching jungle, but if this guy ever learns how to alter the posture of his body as a means of covering the top of the zone so that his hands can continue to work with their natural loft, he’s going to be a problem. His right-handed swing is nowhere near as authoritative and is often late, but you can see the athletic elements of his cut from that side, too.

On defense, I’ve shifted my forecast for Celesten to second base. He was running in the 4.4s from the right side and the 4.3s from the left for me during the spring (I have no ACL run times from him because his contact quality has been too good for him to ever have to run hard), and I also think Celesten’s size at maturity will be bigger than the typical shortstop’s. The gigantic outcome here would be for the Mariners to get a Ketel Marte mulligan. Ketel’s righty swing is too good for the comp to be flush, but that sort of power-hitting second baseman in the Marte/Albies mold feels like Celesten’s ceiling, while production akin to Ryan McMahon or Brandon Lowe, or maybe even Nolan Gorman if Celesten gets really big, is a more realistic.

5. Jonny Farmelo, CF

Drafted: 1st Round, 2023 from Westfield HS (VA) (SEA)
Age 19.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 50/60 20/55 70/70 45/55 50

Farmelo had the second-fastest 30-yard dash at the 2023 Draft Combine and showed impressive BP power, but his swing was a bit of a mess and seemed to change constantly throughout his high school career. I was relatively low on him prior to the draft, but the Mariners made his swing better pretty quickly after he signed. He still has a lot of extraneous movement in his hands, but Farmelo looked good during backfield activity and then during Modesto’s 2023 postseason run. Assigned to Modesto again in 2024, Farmelo was slashing .264/.398/.421 across 221 plate appearances when he blew his ACL while making a slightly awkward catch in the outfield. A typical ACL rehab puts him on the shelf until the middle of next season. It’s a developmental blow to a prospect who is much more talented than he is polished. Farmelo has the footspeed to play center field and makes some incredible plays deep in the gap, but he’s very raw from a procedural and fundamentals standpoint, things like fielding the ball on the ground and where/how hard to throw the baseball. Farmelo has enormous ceiling as a power and speed center fielder if he can season his defensive ability, and the ACL tear robs him of reps.

Farmelo has a big, physical 6-foot-2 frame. His speed is great on its own, but it’s absolutely incredible how fast Farmelo is for his size. Whether that’s still true on the other side of the ACL tear is also going to have a huge impact on his potential outcomes. Farmelo can create big power in a short mechanical distance at the dish and he has pretty good bat control, but he still has a bunch of pre-swing movement in his hands that impacts the consistency of both. A hugely positive thing is that despite this, Farmelo was consistently pulling the ball with power before he got hurt, including fastballs. That’s not often the case with hitters this size or who have funky swings. This is a rare player who has actual five-tool potential, and if he hadn’t torn his ACL, I think you could make an argument that he’s the best prospect in this system. He’s certainly one of its two most gifted. Unfortunately, what is already a risky profile has now been heightened by severe injury.

45+ FV Prospects

6. Tai Peete, SS

Drafted: 1st Round, 2023 from Trinity Christian HS (GA) (SEA)
Age 18.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 193 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 50/70 25/55 45/45 35/55 60

Peete has the widest outcome variability in this system, even more than Felnin Celesten, because his hit tool is the riskiest of this high-profile group but he’s also easily the most projectable and exciting athlete of the bunch. Peete has uncommon size for a potential shortstop at a leggy 6-foot-2. His range and ability to bend is pretty amazing at his size, and Peete is surprisingly smooth making plays in on the grass. It’s his hands that need to get much better if Peete is going to stick on the infield. Lot of defenders have success improving their hands through side work and practice, so at this stage I’m more inclined to be excited by Peete’s potential to join the ranks of massive-framed power-hitting shortstops than I am worried about how crude his hands currently are.

Of the Mariners’ high school position player group from last year’s draft, Peete seemed the most overwhelmed by his initial exposure to pro pitching. His front side still bails way out toward first base on too many of his swings, leaving him vulnerable on the outer half of the plate. But Peete’s size gives him rare power projection, and he rotates beautifully and has shown he can muster pull power despite the length of his levers. His swing’s natural loft is going to help him get to power in games, and Peete is going to grow into a lot of it. Peete’s contact data (12% swinging strike rate, a 6-to-5 ball in play-to-swinging strike ratio) aren’t red flags; the perceived hit tool risk here is coming from a visual evaluation of Peete’s swing and an expectation of it being more of an issue as he climbs. Athletes this size tend to take longer to develop. This guy is on the “local” rather than the “express,” and should be considered more of a four- or five-year project with enormous potential ceiling.

7. Brody Hopkins, SP

Drafted: 6th Round, 2023 from Winthrop (SEA)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
60/70 55/60 40/50 40/55 30/40 93-97 / 99

Hopkins is a converted outfielder who spent his first couple of collegiate seasons at the College of Charleston, where he didn’t pitch very much. It wasn’t until he transferred to Winthrop that he began to pitch regularly in a starter role, and he still managed to lead the Eagles in homers during his draft year even though Hopkins was becoming an “arrow up” prospect on the mound. Hopkins’ big frame and delivery evoke Tanner Houck, or a little less limber Camilo Doval. The backfield version of Doval is perhaps the most apt comparison because Hopkins is also attempting to harness considerable low-slot arm speed and has crude feel for release.

Hop is a broad-shouldered 6-foot-4 and has a low-slot, drop-and-drive style, with his arm stroke happening suddenly at the very end of his delivery. This wreaks havoc on hitters’ timing and creates exploding rise and tail life up around the hands of righties. He has been up to 99 and, in his first year of focusing on pitching, is throwing a decent number of strikes. Obviously, with an arm slot like Hopkins’, his slider spells trouble for righties. This pitch has variable movement in the 86-92 mph range. Some of them look like cutters, while others have more length and depth. It used to be that pitchers with deliveries like this were rarely found in a rotation, but that’s not really true anymore and it’s becoming less true all the time. If Hopkins can develop a changeup and/or a well-commanded cutter, anything to flesh out his repertoire, he has a great chance to be a mid-rotation starter. There are all kinds of late bloomer traits here. Pitching full-time is still very new to him and Hopkins checks basically every athletic box on the scout card. This is a very exciting pitching prospect whose floor feels like that of a nasty late-inning reliever. He has a mid-rotation ceiling if he sustains this velo and finds a third pitch, and has quickly become the most exciting pitching prospect in this system.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Georgia (SEA)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/50 50/55 55/60 92-94 / 95

Hancock was effective, but not dominant, at Double-A Arkansas in 2023 leading into an August big league debut. His season ended with a shoulder strain. He’s been back and forth between Tacoma and Seattle this season and has cleared the bar for rookie graduation. Hancock’s velocity has been fluctuating again this year. He sat just 92 in his most recent big league start but averaged 95 in his most recent minor league start prior to list publication, the latter on 10 days of rest. Hancock has a command-driven sinker/changeup profile. His low arm slot doesn’t allow his slider to finish consistently and some of them have cutter shape at slider velocities. By mixing tail and sink with a few differently paced glove-side breaking balls, he should iron out a stable no. 4/5 starter role, especially if he keeps living in the 93-95 mph range.

9. Lazaro Montes, DH

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Cuba (SEA)
Age 19.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 45/60 25/60 35/30 30/45 60

Montes, who signed for $2.5 million in 2022, has posted absurd lower-level performance and has yet to produce a wRC+ below 130 at any minor league stop. He obliterated the Cal League and was promoted to High-A Everett about a week prior to list publication.

Montes and the Mariners have done a great job not only keeping his frame in check, but reshaping it in a way that has made Montes more lithe and mobile in 2024. Last year, it looked like he had already maxed out and might quickly enter DH-only athletic territory. It’s not as though Montes is suddenly a speedster (he’s running about 4.7 from home to first and has below-average corner outfield range), but if he can play an actual position, it will take some pressure off his bat. The most curious thing about Montes’ physical transformation is that it’s coincided with a bit of a downtick in his measured power. Both his hard-hit rate (from 43% in 2023 to 33% so far in 2024) and the average of his hardest 10% of balls in play (106 mph to 104 mph) has dropped. Both his 2024 marks are a shade below the big league average — not the output of a guy who should actually be slugging .550 or anything like that. It’s absolutely possible, maybe even likely, that Montes will recapture power as he ages and fills out again, this time with the guidance of Seattle’s stateside strength program.

How much is he going to hit? Montes’ contact rates are up compared to 2023, but he’s still beatable with fastballs around his belt. He has more in-zone swing-and-miss than the average big leaguer. Montes is an enormous guy but has pretty short levers, and it’s atypical for someone built like he is to have such a big hole in his swing in that part of the zone. I want Montes to leave Seattle’s lower level affiliates, where offensive production tends to be inflated because of the league (Modesto) or park (Everett), and mash at Arkansas before stuffing him in the Top 100 as a slugging everyday right fielder. I don’t think there’s terrifying hit tool bust risk here, but I do think it’s likely that it matures south of major league average, and that Montes will need a righty-hitting caddy and to come off the field for defensive reasons at times. That’s more of a strong platoon option than a foundational player.

40+ FV Prospects

10. Logan Evans, SIRP

Drafted: 12th Round, 2023 from Pittsburgh (SEA)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/50 70/70 40/45 45/50 40/45 92-95 / 97

Evans spent half his college career at Penn State and half at Pitt, where he wasn’t especially good. He had a career 6.78 ERA in college, but his ability to spin a breaking ball and his athleticism made him an interesting developmental Day Three pick. He quickly had a velo spike under the tutelage of the Mariners dev group and was in the 94-97 mph range during the early part of 2024. As Evans has gotten stretched out at Arkansas (which was an aggressive first full season assignment for someone who’d never been good before), his velocity has slipped into the 92-95 mph range and he’s become quite hittable. The Mariners downshifted him into the bullpen for a little while to see if he’d really pop in a relief role (which makes sense considering their big league injuries), but Evans didn’t take to it and Seattle announced not long before list publication that they were moving him back into the rotation. The way Evans looks mechanically and the way his fastball plays (or doesn’t, in this case) are characteristics I associate with a reliever, though his repertoire depth should allow for multi-inning work.

Evan’s best pitch is his nasty two-plane slider, which averages 2,800 rpm and has enough depth to play against lefties. He has distinct cutter and an inconsistent changeup that round out his mix. It’s impressive that a 12th rounder from last year has already put himself in the conversation for a fast-tracked bullpen role, and here Evans projects into a swingman role like the one Spencer Turnbull has played in Philly this season.

11. Dawel Joseph, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2024 from Dominican Republic (SEA)
Age 17.1 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 40/50 20/45 70/70 40/50 60

Joseph was identified as a $3 million-plus bonus international player very early in the process and ultimately signed for $3.3 million. As signing day approached this January and I circled back with scouts for thoughts on how players had changed since the time of their verbal agreements, Joseph’s reports had backed up. As he’s gotten underway in the DSL, scouts who’ve seen the Mariners’ group there in preparation for the deadline have expressed similar sentiments about his hit tool. Joseph swings hard for his age but with imprecision. Initially seen as one of the fastest players in the class, he has already begun to fill out to the point where that’s no longer true. Joseph is playing shortstop in the DSL, though there were scouts on the amateur side who thought he might be a better fit in center field. He deserves time to get his feet under him before his FV grade slides, which he will if he keeps striking out at a 30% clip in the DSL. While I feel free to take a patient and/or Bayesian approach to how I have Joseph lined up here, I don’t expect he’d be the target of a team talking trade with Seattle this month.

12. Teddy McGraw, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2023 from Wake Forest (SEA)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 50/55 30/50 93-95 / 98

McGraw has had two elbow surgeries in the last half decade, missing his senior year of high school with a traditional TJ and his junior year of college with another elbow reconstruction, this time the internal brace procedure that’s becoming more common. McGraw was generating buzz just before the 2023 season, with some scouts considering his stuff superior to Wake Forest teammate (and first round) Rhett Lowder’s. McGraw showed two above-average secondary pitches and mid-90s velo as a sophomore on Cape Cod and with Team USA, but his velo took a meaningful step forward just before he blew out for the second time, sitting 95-98.

It’s pretty important for all of that velocity to come back when McGraw returns (he hasn’t yet) because his fastball plays down a little bit due to its shape. If it doesn’t, then McGraw is more likely to be a reliever who leans a ton on his plus slider to get by. It has huge length and two-plane sweep, and hitters often swing inside it even when they identify slider out of hand because it just keeps bending and bending further away from them. McGraw also showed right-on-right changeup feel during the 2022 summer. There are three potential above-average pitches here, but only one is guaranteed (the slider). This guy has mid-rotation upside when wholly intact and has missed half of the last five years with injury. He may debut in a developmental environment that the Mariners can control, like Bridge/Instructional League after the regular season, rather than in an affiliated game.

40 FV Prospects

13. Ryan Bliss, 2B

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from Auburn (ARI)
Age 24.6 Height 5′ 6″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 45/45 40/45 60/60 45/50 30

Bliss is a pretty fascinating and fun-to-scout player who, despite his flaws, is in position to make an impact on a Mariners roster that needs more offense from second base. Acquired from Arizona in the Paul Sewald trade, Bliss makes impressively hard contact for a hitter his size, and he does so in what appears to be a short mechanical distance. This isn’t a guy hitting balls north of 110 mph or anything like that, but when Bliss makes contact it tends to be hard and he can spray it to all fields. He deals with a pretty substantial hole in the top half of the strike zone, where he is very vulnerable to fastballs and has been for a while, even when he was only striking out at a 17% clip in the mid-minors. Since he’s joined the Mariners organization, Bliss’ plate discipline has taken a pretty substantial leap. His swing rates haven’t changed, but his chase rates (especially with two strikes) have come way, way down. It’s not a premium offensive profile by any stretch, but if we line up all the game’s primary second basemen, it’s good enough for Bliss to be in the no. 25-40 range of that group right now.

Bliss has continued to play some shortstop in the minors this year, but he doesn’t have the arm to do it at the big league level and there are times when his arm is even an issue at second base. He makes some easy plays look tough and some tough plays look easy when the latter require big range or acrobatic effort. He might be Seattle’s best option at the keystone right now and could help stabilize the position simply by being fine.

14. Jonatan Clase, CF

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA)
Age 22.1 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 45/50 40/45 80/80 45/50 40

Clase had a cartoonish start to his 2023 season, posting a 203 wRC+ at Everett before a promotion to Arkansas and setting a career-high in homers halfway through the season, perhaps the clearest signal regarding the way we should all digest stats from Everett. Still relatively new to switch-hitting, Clase’s right-handed swing remains extremely raw and much less dynamic than his lefty cut, which is explosive but flawed. Clase is striking out a ton and wholly unable to get on top of high fastballs. But he’s also incredibly strong for his size, he’s an explosive rotational athlete whose swing often finishes with his bat in the dirt behind him, and he has the ability to dip-and-rip low pitches with authority. His feel for the outfield isn’t great, especially on balls hit in front of him. Elite speed helps mitigate this issue enough to profile in center and will enable Clase to make an impact on the bases. Considering he’s only 22, it’s fair to allow for long-term projection on Clase’s defense and his ability to hit, though more in a way that allows him to stick on a roster than be an everyday player. He’s seen a smattering of big league time this season as an injury call-up. He has a fifth outfielder’s skill set right now, with a shot to make a more meaningful impact than that as he matures because there’s a premium tool and some late-bloomer traits here.

15. Tyler Locklear, 1B

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2022 from VCU (SEA)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 65/65 30/55 30/30 30/40 50

Locklear cruised through the minors en route to a brief big league debut this year, followed by a relatively quick return to Tacoma. He posted a .930 OPS at Double-A Arkansas (a pitcher’s park) and .363 wOBA with the Rainiers as he climbed, but Locklear’s strikeout rates were also climbing. I’m skeptical he’s going to make enough contact to be an average big league first baseman. Locklear’s swing path leaves him very vulnerable to fastballs, which he tends to be late on when they’re away from him. I fear it will take a pretty significant swing change to correct this, and because he’s always performed, there’s never really been a reason to undertake one. Locklear does generate plus power on contact. His hard-hit rate is up over 50%, he has plus peak exit velocities, and if given enough big league at-bats, he’d likely be fed enough mistakes to hit 20 bombs. Still, his strikeout rates are going to be way beyond what is typical at first base and will deliver a meaningful blow to his output.

16. Michael Morales, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from East Pennsboro HS (SEA)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/30 55/60 45/50 35/60 91-93 / 94

When your favorite team drafts a prototypical high school pitching prospect, you hope there’s a Kershaw or a Bumgarner at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes, however, their stuff doesn’t get much better, though they learn to pitch with the stuff they currently have and things turn out okay. This latter track is the path Morales is on. Morales wasn’t an projectable high schooler — his size and level of athleticism are both more middle-of-the-road, and those are the things that tend to lead to a big breakout. He still has a low-90s fastball, feel for spin, a suitable changeup (which I think will continue to get better because of his release consistency), and starter-quality command. Morales pitched over 100 innings each of the last two years and is on pace to work well over that mark in 2024. He’s tracking like a post-2025 40-man add as a low-variance fifth starter.

17. Taylor Dollard, SP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Cal Poly (SEA)
Age 25.4 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

Dollard made three 2023 starts before he was shut down with a shoulder injury that cost him the rest of the season and required labrum surgery, which he still hasn’t returned from. He had been tracking as one of the higher-floored prospects in this system. Dollard only sat 86-92 mph during the short, pre-shutdown college season, but has been more comfortably in the low-90s as a pro. His slider is his best pitch and had become his most used offering, with him throwing it about 47% of the time. Surgical 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 they 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 if his stuff returns to form when he’s healthy.

18. Jeter Martinez, SP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Mexico (SEA)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/60 50/60 30/50 20/45 93-96 / 97

Martinez presents an interesting projection dichotomy because he’s very young and big, but he’s also a slow-twitch athlete who has quickly filled out. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds on his official MiLB player page but is more likely in the 215-220 pound range already. More graceful than he is explosive, Martinez shows good balance over his front side throughout his delivery, but he struggles to control his long levers and his release point wavers. Even if Jeter doesn’t end up throwing much harder as he matures, he’s already living in a pretty good range. Based on his athleticism and capacity for movement, I’m inclined to believe he’ll throw harder over time. His fastball has two-seam shape and pairs pretty nicely with his 80-85 mph two-planed slider, which flashes huge bat-missing sweep. Were Martinez a domestic draft prospect, he’d compare to the sorts of players who get a $1 million bonus, give or take. He has pretty standard developmental boxes to check (command is the big one, with a better changeup next) and possesses a little less twitch and explosion than same-aged prospects with big time ceiling tend to.

19. Ashton Izzi, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Oswego East HS (IL) (SEA)
Age 20.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 50/55 30/50 30/50 92-95 / 97

The Mariners gave Izzi $1.1 million in 2022 and have brought him along relatively slowly. He hasn’t had a ton of bat-missing success early on in his pro career, but his lanky frame and mechanical fluidity encourage exciting long-term velocity projection on his fastball. He’s made good on some of that in 2024, as he’s now peaking around 97, often with sinker shape. His slider tends to be average but flashes better, and the quality of his slider will likely improve as Izzi continues to throw harder. His arm action is changeup-friendly, and the way a theoretically mature change would pair with Izzi’s sinker also adds to my enthusiasm here. Still very much in the nascent stages of development, Izzi has long-term no. 4/5 starter projection.

20. Troy Taylor, SIRP

Drafted: 12th Round, 2022 from UC Irvine (SEA)
Age 22.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/60 40/50 30/40 93-97 / 98

Taylor was a high school shortstop who moved to the mound in college, where he rambled from Long Beach State to Cypress College and finally to UC Irvine. He had a dominant first pro season facing A-ball hitters who couldn’t handle his two-pitch mix. Taylor struck out a batter per inning and generated a 66% groundball rate across 45.1 A-ball innings in 2023 and then looked good in the Arizona Fall League. He hasn’t been quite as dominant at Double-A Arkansas, where he has mostly spent 2024, but he still has a two-pitch mix that looks poised to play in a middle inning role. Taylor sits 93-97 with big tailing action and his mid-80s slider has big wipe in the opposite direction. It’s his slider that has underperformed so far in 2024; it’s generating way less swing-and-miss than it did last season. Here I’m betting on Taylor’s athleticism, feel for spin, and (to a degree) Seattle’s player dev to get things back on track. Isolating Taylor’s slider performance since June via Synergy Sports indicates that this is already happening, as the pitch has a 50% chase rate since then.

21. Aidan Smith, CF

Drafted: 4th Round, 2023 from Lovejoy HS (TX) (SEA)
Age 20.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 40/50 20/40 60/60 40/50 60

Smith got a cool $1.2 million as Seattle’s 2023 fourth rounder. He’s an above-average athlete with above-average physical projection and super loose hitting hands but a significant lack of barrel feel. He has the prototypical high-waisted, tapered outfielder frame, and Smith has the speed to develop in center field. Smith’s lever length caused him to inside-out more pitches than he should as an amateur, but the Mariners seem to have helped him with this. He’s able to pull the ball more now but still lacks good feel for contact. It’s tough to see an average hit tool here, and Smith’s game power will probably play down as a result. He’s an athletic extra outfield prospect.

22. Michael Arroyo, 2B

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Colombia (SEA)
Age 19.7 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/45 20/45 60/60 40/55 50

I continue to have a conservative evaluation on Arroyo despite his pro performance to this point. Visually, I am scared of his hit tool. He has a bat wrap and a late hitch that I fear will make him habitually late against velocity, and his closed stride looks like it will make it tough for him to cover the down-and-in portion of the zone. To my eye, his swing is geared for contact with low-and-away pitches and that’s kind of it, and his in-the-box operation reminds me of former White Sox prospect José Rodríguez.

On paper, he’s been a much better hitter than that during his young minor league career. He held his own as an 18-year-old in Modesto last season and had a .904 OPS there in 2024 before earning a recent promotion to Everett. It’s possible that at a short-levered 5-foot-8, what looks to my eye like mechanical length is made sustainable by Arroyo’s (lack of) size. Still, I’m more inclined to trust my eyes than I am to care about Cal League performance. I think there’s a swing change that could unlock better plate coverage, and it’s possible I’m just wrong, but I wouldn’t be confident taking Arroyo back as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade at this stage.

Tightly wound, I’m more sure Arroyo isn’t a shortstop. He has decent range but can’t position his body to make all the throws from there. He has the hands, range, and arm strength to play the other infield positions and might even have the speed for center field. There are some exciting elements here, and Arroyo is definitely a prospect, he’s just not a projectable potential star.

23. Jimmy Joyce, MIRP

Drafted: 16th Round, 2021 from Hofstra (SEA)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
35/45 45/50 55/60 30/40 90-92 / 94

Joyce is a plus on-mound athlete who, after a big hip turn, gets deep into his lower half as he bounds down the mound, giving his fastball weird, flat angle, especially for a running two-seamer. It bores in on righties with action that causes hitters to drive the baseball into the ground, and Joyce has generated a 50% or higher groundball rate at every minor league level. He also has a changeup that has the potential to be a plus pitch, though he has never been able to execute it to bat-missing locations with regularity; a lot of them finish in the meat of the strike zone. He also has a sweeping low-80s spike curveball that has lovely depth, but is easy to identify out of the hand because it looks so much different than his sinker. When I wrote up Joyce last year, he was in the middle of a little velo uptick that doesn’t seem to have lasted, and he’s been in the 90-92 mph range (amid an elbow injury) in 2024 as he continues to start at Double-A Arkansas. Here he’s projected to add a couple of ticks with a bullpen move. He has low-leverage long man written all over him.

35+ FV Prospects

24. Tyler Gough, SP

Drafted: 9th Round, 2022 from JSerra HS (CA) (SEA)
Age 20.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 45/50 45/50 50/60 30/45 90-93 / 94

Gough signed for an over-slot $275,000 and is a physically mature, four-pitch righty with plus-plus riding life on his fastball and a precocious changeup. His mid-70s curveball has good looking depth but at present lacks bite. Gough had growing pains at Modesto last year, but he’s pitching better in his return there in 2024. It’s tough to project a ton on his fastball because Gough is already pretty filled out, but there are starter ingredients here.

25. Cole Phillips, SP

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2022 from Boerne HS (TX) (ATL)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/70 40/50 30/45 20/50 94-98 / 100

Phillips had a huge velo spike during his 2022 senior spring. After sitting about 91 mph during his showcase summer, he was sitting 94-98 with relative ease during his draft year until he had Tommy John in early April. The Braves still saw fit to give him about $1.5 million in the second round. The Mariners used their amateur reports to inform their decision when they traded for Phillips as part of the Jarred Kelenic/Evan White contract swap. Phillips needed a second Tommy John before the 2024 season and won’t be back until 2025.

Healthy Phillips has a powerful, athletic delivery, though scouts have had varying opinions about the quality and consistency of his secondary stuff. Seattle has shown an ability to coax better secondary stuff out of George Kirby (who was also fastball-heavy as an amateur) and others. Phillips is a prospect of extreme variance. It’s tough to value an arm strength-only prospect who will have gone several years between starts in an actual game, but Phillips has the talent to be a good reliever even if only one or two of his other attributes progress.

26. Brandyn Garcia, SIRP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2023 from Texas A&M (SEA)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/60 30/50 92-96 / 97

Garcia spent three years at Quinnipiac before transferring to A&M to pitch out of their bullpen during his senior season. There Garcia had a velocity spike, which he has mostly carried into pro ball even as the Mariners attempt to turn him into a starter again. Garcia is a big guy with a low arm slot and unusually high velocity for a sidearmer. His feel for release isn’t consistent enough for me to project him as a long-term starter, but it makes sense to stretch him out and see if any developmental gains can be made via lots of reps. For instance, Garcia was slider-dominant at A&M but he’s using his fastball more as a starter, and he doesn’t have great feel for how to run it up the ladder for whiffs yet. He also doesn’t have a good third pitch. Garcia was only just drafted, so while he’s a little older than a typical first-year pro, the Mariners still have several years to develop him. He’s most likely going to be a middle reliever in the lefty Justin Topa mold.

27. Ben Williamson, 3B

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2023 from William & Mary (SEA)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 40/40 30/35 55/55 55/60 60

Williamson signed for $600,000 in the 2023 second round, well under slot. Sometimes when you take an over-slot player or two early in the draft, you get your pick of the best couple of senior signs, and that seems to have happened here. Williamson has already reached Double-A by virtue of his defense and feel for contact. He has a punchy, compact swing that doesn’t produce much power, but he’s a physical guy who stays on time and uses his strength to shoot balls in all directions. A plus third base defender, the Mariners have recently begun deploying Williamson at both middle infield spots. Aside from some throwing inaccuracy, which might be due to inexperience, he looks the part at both of those positions even though his muscular build is much more typical of a corner infielder. Because Williamson lacks power, defensive versatility is mandatory here and it looks like he’s in the middle of developing it. Williamson projects as a bench infielder.

28. Spencer Packard, LF

Drafted: 9th Round, 2021 from Campbell (SEA)
Age 26.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 45/45 30/40 30/30 30/40 40

Packard played a year at Arizona Western before transferring to Campbell, where he spent another three. He was eligible to be drafted in 2020 but had the worst month of his amateur career during that brief four-week season, hitting just .164; he was taken in the ninth round in 2021. Even with his 2020 clunker included, Packard had a .324/.453/.504 career line at Campbell and then coasted through the lower minors before his power production slipped at Double-A Arkansas, which is a pitcher-friendly park. Packard still ran plus contact and walk rates at Arkansas, and was promoted to Tacoma two weeks before list publication. Packard has a stout, everyman build and below-average power. His swing is simple, he tracks pitches like a hawk, and he has opposite field tendencies that suit his physical abilities. He’s going to be an above-replacement big league hitter during his physical peak, which is pretty much here. He’s great upper-level depth, an up/down corner outfielder who lives on the 40-man fringe.

29. Carlos Vargas, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (CLE)
Age 24.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Cutter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 55/55 30/30 95-97 / 99

Peak prospect Vargas sat 97-101 mph and had a plus, upper-80s slider. The Guardians put him on the 40-man after the 2020 season and Vargas ended up having Tommy John before his first spring on the roster had even concluded, causing him to miss all of 2021 and the start of 2022 to rehab. Part of a crowded bullpen field in Cleveland, and volatile-seeming due to his lost time and control issues, he was tough for the Guardians to keep after the 2022 slate and he was traded to the Diamondbacks. He appeared in a few big league games at the start of 2023 but was optioned and spent the bulk of the year either in Reno or on the IL, not enough big league time to graduate. Then Vargas was traded to Seattle as part of the Eugenio Suárez deal. Vargas isn’t quite touching 101 anymore, but he’s sitting 96 with sink and getting a ton of grounders at Tacoma, though he isn’t racking up K’s. Vargas mixes in a mid-90s cutter and upper-80s slider. Well-located sliders are his best way to miss a bat. An intersection of fastball playability issues magnified by poor command has Vargas on the up/down relief shuttle.

30. Luis Suisbel, 1B

Signed: International Signing Period, 2019 from Venezuela (SEA)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/60 35/50 30/30 30/40 40

Suisbel signed in July of 2019, so his pro career didn’t get underway until 2021. He then spent two years in the DSL, putting him well behind the developmental curve. As he’s trudged to Low-A Modesto, where he’s been so far in 2024, Suisbel has struck out at a nearly 30% clip at each level but still produced above-average overall offense because of his prodigious power. Switch-hitters who are this dangerous from both sides of the plate do not grow on trees, and while both of Suisbel’s swings are grooved in the middle of the zone with basically no precision or variability, his swing is geared for big loft and does huge damage on the pitches he runs into. Suisbel is probably never going to have an average hit tool, but I think the circumstances surrounding his delayed pro debut leave room for some late projection, enough to forecast him as a dangerous bench bat.

31. Luis Curvelo, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (SEA)
Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
45/45 70/70 30/40 94-96 / 97

The tightly wound Curvelo has big arm strength that plays down due to his fastball’s shape and his lackluster command. His bullet spin slider is very nasty and has uncommon depth for a pitch in the 83-87 mph range. It also plays as a strike-stealer in the zone, and Curvelo’s feel for landing it is much better than his feel for locating his fastball. He’s having success in a one- and two-inning relief role at Arkansas right now and looks like an up/down reliever.

32. Ruddy Navarro, SP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Dominican Republic (SEA)
Age 18.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/50 50/60 30/50 20/45 88-92 / 94

A supremely athletic righty, Navarro’s pro career began in 2023 when he was still just 16. He only threw a handful of innings and is back in the DSL this year where, as a starter, he’s already doubled his innings count in just a few outings. Navarro’s fastball only sits about 90, but he’s such an exciting, lithe athlete that he will likely throw harder over time and his 4-foot-7 release height gives it odd upshot angle. His slider sits about 82 mph and averages nearly 2,700 rpm, a two-plane sweeper type with big lateral wipe, and you can project on his changeup based on Navarro’s arm speed and athleticism. This is a very fun DSL pitching prospect who is obviously far away in terms of both physical and technical development.

33. Marcelo Perez, SIRP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2022 from TCU (SEA)
Age 24.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
30/40 60/60 30/40 45/50 30/50 91-94 / 95

The Mariners tend to find a couple of really interesting college pitchers on Day Three of each draft and Perez, last year’s 11th rounder, is among them. The athletic, undersized righty has a plus low-80s curveball. He’s currently leaning on that pitch and a mid-80s cutter more often than his fastball as a High-A starter. Perez’s fastball was in the 93-95 mph range during my in-person looks in Peoria, but he’s been more 91-94 as a starter and gives up a ton of contact via his heater. I think it’s going to be important for Perez to throw as hard as possible so that pitch isn’t so vulnerable, which is where his long-term relief projection is coming from.

34. Peyton Alford, SIRP

Undrafted Free Agent, 2021 (SEA)
Age 26.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/50 40/40 91-94 / 95

Alford has a left-handed invisiball, a riding 93 mph ghost with elite vertical break. It’s so difficult for hitters to get on top of his fastball that he’s only allowing a hit every other inning so far in 2024, and after walks caused him to be demoted a couple of seasons ago, he has slowly been getting them under control. Like a short-levered Colin Poche, Alford hides the ball forever and then has a short, vertical arm stroke that imparts backspinning axis on his heater. His drop-and-drive delivery, smaller stature, and T-Rex arms help him to have a low release height, and his fastball has uphill angle as it approaches the plate. Alford would be in the 40 FV tier if his breaking ball quality were more consistent, but since he has to live off of one pitch and deception, he has an up/down look right now.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Rookie-Level Names to Know
Adrian Quintana, RHP
Dylan Wilson, RHP
Walter Ford, RHP
Eduardo Ponce, C
Juan Cazarez, RHP
Danery Meyer, RHP

Quintana is a well-built 21-year-old righty who is sitting 90-92 with a plus curveball. He was promoted back to Modesto a few days before list publication. A 6-foot 18-year-old righty from Curaçao, Wilson is sitting 88-90 with two decent breaking balls (a low-80s lateral slider and a slower, vertical curveball). He’s an above-average athlete with below-average physical projection. Ford, who’s still just 19, signed for $1.2 million as the 74th overall pick in 2022, but he hasn’t yet left the complex and he also hasn’t had his pre-draft velo as a pro (89-92 in my pro looks the last two years). A 5-foot-9 Mexican DSL catcher with advanced defense and bat-to-ball skills, Ponce has very limited physical projection. Cazarez is an athletic 5-foot-11 DSL vert lot righty who’s been up to at least 95 and has a promising 12-to-6 curveball. Meyer is a 6-foot-4 17-year-old DSL righty. He’s a 40 athlete, but his fastball rides and his low-70s curveball has big depth.

Funky Low Slots and Guys Who Can Spin It
Ty Cummings, RHP
Logan Gragg, RHP
Tyler Cleveland, RHP
Blas Castano, RHP
Will Schomberg, RHP
Anyelo Ovando, RHP

Cummings, a seventh rounder last year out of Campbell, is a skinny low-slot righty starter with a low-90s fastball and a good slider. He looks like a potential no. 6-9 starter. Gragg was released by the Cardinals last year after he posted a 5.74 ERA as a Double-A starter. The Mariners signed him and moved him to the bullpen, where he’s had upper-level success as a junkballing righty with five pitches. Cleveland was a starter at Central Arkansa. A low-slot righty, he’s run into walk issues after moving to the bullpen this year. Castano is a loose, skinny, low-slot 25-year-old righty sinkerballer who could make an emergency start at some point in his career. Schomberg is an undrafted free agent out of Davidson with elite breaking ball spin. He’s an older guy who had success throwing a lot of cutters and curveballs to Low-A hitters before his recent promotion. Ovando is a huge-framed 23-year-old A-ball reliever with a messy delivery, a plus curveball, and seven feet of extension.

Contact Bats and Extra Outfielders
Brock Rodden, 2B
Cade Marlowe, OF
RJ Schreck, OF

The switch-hitting Brock Rodden spent two seasons at an Oklahoma JUCO before matriculating to Wichita State, where he had more walks than strikeouts and 17 bombs in both seasons for the Shockers. The diminutive speedster has great looking hitting hands from the left side of the plate and is a good bit less coordinated from the right. He hasn’t really been tested by big velo yet, and I’d like to see him try center field. Marlowe looked like a potential extra outfielder for a number of years, but his strikeout rates have ballooned in Tacoma. He had a 34-game major league debut last year. Schreck is a 23-year-old left fielder from Vanderbilt who is having bat-to-ball success at Everett; his swing is tailor made for the short porch there.

System Overview

Seattle’s big league roster has elite starting pitching and generates inconsistent offense. How appropriate then that the Mariners farm system is stocked with promising young hitters. Aside from Cole Young, who is the most advanced player of the top infield prospects here and a potential near-term solution to Seattle’s issues at second base, these hitters are far from the big leagues and/or often redundant with pieces of the big league roster. Harry Ford is blocked by Cal Raleigh and will probably need a prolonged adjustment period at the dish before he starts hitting big league pitching. Colt Emerson and Young are similar defenders to one another, while J.P. Crawford, who reads through my TV like the team’s spiritual leader, is entrenched at shortstop through 2026. As the white-hot Astros nip at the heels of a Mariners squad that has seen its division lead shrink from 10 games on June 18 to two game as of publication, there shouldn’t be an untouchable name atop this farm system with the trade deadline approaching.

The big chunk of potential everyday hitters at the top of this system is one of the better collections of young bats across baseball even though only a couple of them have star-level ceiling. The lack of a universal Top 20 type talent and Seattle’s below-average overall farm depth have this system sliding in just below the league median. Both the international and domestic amateur scouting departments are responsible for this contingent of potential everyday guys. Pro scouting has had more impact on the big league team than is evident here because Luke Raley, Dominic Canzone, and others graduated in past seasons.

The lack of impact pitching in the system doesn’t feel ominous because the org has tended to do a good job of developing it, which theoretically should continue. Plus, the big league club is already stacked in that regard, though the bullpen could arguably use a bit of reinforcement. The area scouts and analysts who have unearthed good arms later in the draft are helping to maintain pitching depth, and it’s possible that some of the pitchers drafted or acquired recently who are currently injured will inject the system with upside when they return healthy.





Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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sadtrombonemember
18 days ago

I’m not so sure these players are redundant. Catchers are fragile and it sounds like Ford will need more work on his defense and hitting, so he might be a project still. One of Young or Emerson should be able to stick at shortstop or fill in at third, where Rojas will be a free agent.

If Farmelo wasn’t hurt I would say he is the most likely to get moved since Julio Rodriguez is entrenched in CF, but we don’t know how either one’s speed will look in four years. And Celestin has so much upside it is hard to see the Mariners being excited to move him.

That does not mean that these guys aren’t getting traded. Their GM loves trades and the team desperately needs offense so I think there’s a good chance some will. But I don’t think many of these guys are going to be blocked. Not like Caminero being blocked by Paredes, or the Dodgers’ catching prospects being blocked by Will Smith (and eventually possibly each other), or the Red Sox’s outfielder logjam with Rafaela and Anthony and Campbell joining them soon.