Top 38 Prospects: Seattle Mariners by Eric Longenhagen May 17, 2021 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. As there was no minor league season in 2020, there are some instances where no new information was gleaned about a player. Players whose write-ups have not been meaningfully altered begin by telling you so. Each blurb ends with an indication of where the player played in 2020, which in turn likely informed the changes to their report if there were any. As always, I’ve leaned more heavily on sources from outside of a given org than those within for reasons of objectivity. Because outside scouts were not allowed at the alternate sites, I’ve primarily focused on data from there, and the context of that data, in my opinion, reduces how meaningful it is. Lastly, in an effort to more clearly indicate relievers’ anticipated roles, you’ll see two reliever designations, both on my lists and on The Board: MIRP, or multi-inning relief pitcher, and SIRP, or single-inning relief pitcher. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of Future Value’s merits and drawbacks, read Future Value. All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2021 2020 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Mariners Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Jarred Kelenic 21.8 MLB RF 2021 60 2 Julio Rodríguez 20.4 A+ RF 2022 60 3 Logan Gilbert 24.0 MLB SP 2021 55 4 Emerson Hancock 22.0 A+ SP 2023 50 5 Noelvi Marte 19.6 A SS 2023 50 6 George Kirby 23.3 A+ SP 2022 50 7 Cal Raleigh 24.5 AAA C 2021 45 8 Taylor Trammell 23.7 MLB LF 2021 45 9 Adam Macko 20.4 A SP 2024 45 10 Matt Brash 23.0 A+ MIRP 2023 45 11 Juan Then 21.3 A+ SP 2022 45 12 Brandon Williamson 23.1 A+ MIRP 2023 40+ 13 Sam Delaplane 26.1 AAA SIRP 2022 40+ 14 Wyatt Mills 26.3 MLB SIRP 2021 40+ 15 Zach DeLoach 22.7 A+ CF 2024 40 16 Connor Phillips 20.0 A SP 2025 40 17 Kaden Polcovich 22.2 A+ 2B 2024 40 18 Taylor Dollard 22.2 A SP 2024 40 19 Isaiah Campbell 23.8 A+ SP 2023 40 20 Jonatan Clase 19.0 R CF 2024 40 21 Milkar Perez 19.6 R 3B 2023 40 22 Sam Carlson 22.5 A SP 2022 40 23 Levi Stoudt 23.5 A+ SIRP 2023 40 24 Ljay Newsome 24.5 MLB SP 2021 40 25 Damon Casetta-Stubbs 21.8 A+ SIRP 2023 40 26 Jake Fraley 26.0 MLB LF 2021 40 27 Josias De Los Santos 21.8 A SIRP 2022 40 28 Alberto Rodriguez 20.6 A LF 2023 40 29 Carter Bins 23.0 A+ C 2023 40 30 Devin Sweet 24.7 AA MIRP 2022 35+ 31 Elvis Alvarado 22.2 A SIRP 2021 35+ 32 Tyler Keenan 22.2 A+ 1B 2024 35+ 33 Austin Shenton 23.3 A+ 3B 2022 35+ 34 Starling Aguilar 17.3 R 1B 2025 35+ 35 Kristian Cardozo 18.5 R SP 2025 35+ 36 Robert Dugger 25.9 MLB MIRP 2021 35+ 37 Will Vest 25.9 MLB SIRP 2021 35+ 38 Ty Adcock 24.3 R SIRP 2022 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 60 FV Prospects 1. Jarred Kelenic, RF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Waukesha West HS (WI) (NYM) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 50/60 60/60 50/60 50/45 45/45 60 Kelenic entered 2020 coming off a season during which he traversed three levels and reached Double-A at age 20 while hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 dingers and 20 steals despite wrist and ankle injuries. He got regular big league at-bats during spring training ahead of the shutdown, then had some very high-profile homers during summer camp and at the alternate site, which you probably already know because the Mariners’ prospect PR machine is very strong (maybe too strong for the club’s own good). I wrote last year that even though Kelenic had become a maxed-out beefcake, it hadn’t detracted from his ability to play a fringe center field. More recent looks indicate that is no longer the case. During several spring looks he failed to make plays on balls that I’d expect an average center fielder to make, especially fly balls in the gap that ideally your center fielder runs down. Kelenic’s size at his age may eventually push him to the 1B/DH realm, or at least cause him to slow down and be below-average in an outfield corner. I don’t think it matters. Kelenic rakes. His feel for contact, strength, and mature approach combine to make him a lethal offensive threat. He is short to the ball with power and can rip his top hand through to catch fastballs at the top of the zone, which bodes well for him against a pitching population that is working up there with increasing frequency. His short levers help him get to velocity on the inner half, and his swing path also enables him to get extended and put balls away from him in the opposite field gap. He’s been the among the most polished hitters his age since he was 15 and has a track record of statistical success dating back to his underclass high school days — he’s just added upwards of 30 pounds of muscle to that foundation of skill. He’s the most stable of the 60 FV prospects and likely to make an immediate impact now that he’s on the major league roster. (Alternate site) 2. Julio Rodríguez, RF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 20.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/55 60/70 35/60 50/50 40/50 60 I thought it made more sense to draw on Rodríguez’s stint with Escogido rather than whatever he did at the Mariners’ alternate site last year after he returned from his broken wrist (which he suffered in mid-July, Julio’s second fracture in his left hand/wrist area), where he saw the same handful of pitchers over and over again in a non-competitive environment. His approach and plate coverage in the Dominican were bad, and his swing’s front foot variability, which I wrote about last year, was gone. Julio became a bucket strider, striding open like he was trying to pull everything. Some hitters can do this and still manage to really get their arms extended to cover the outer half of the plate (Eddie Rosario, Alex Kirilloff), and Rodríguez absolutely has the strength to do damage the other way if he turns out to be this kind of hitter. But he swung inside of an awful lot of well-located sliders in LIDOM. Not nasty sliders, mind you — a bunch of fringe big leaguers and indy ball guys pitch in LIDOM — just well-located ones, something there’s no shortage of in the big leagues. He either needs to be in position to dive and spoil some of those, or just do a better job of laying off them entirely. A swing change has been made and was evident early during 2021, as Julio’s hands are loading further away from him body, which has altered his posture through contact. His torso is hanging over the hitting zone now in a way that looks more like Mike Trout‘s posture, and I think this will help Julio at least spoil those breaking balls away from him. The calling card power and makeup are still present, and Rodríguez’s 35-plus homer, All-Star slugger ceiling remains the same. He also showed up for 2021 spring training having lost a bunch of weight and running a full grade better than he did in 2019 and ’20; he’s once again an average runner from home to first. His swing-happy 2020 was an indication that adjustments might slow his ascent through the system but he’s already begun to make them. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League, LIDOM) 55 FV Prospects 3. Logan Gilbert, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Stetson (SEA) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 50/50 50/50 45/55 50/60 91-94 / 96 Last year, I wrote about the possibility that Gilbert would experience a velo rebound in pro ball because I thought he had been overtaxed at Stetson. He was sitting 92-96 as a rising sophomore on the Cape, but often sat 90-94, and sometimes 88-91, throughout his starts the following spring. Last year, he was again up to 96 but sat 91-94, about the halfway mark between his peak and nadir as an amateur. Considering how readily pitchers lose velo in pro ball, that’s still a win for Seattle. Even though it only sits 93-94, Gilbert’s fastball is his best pitch and the way he most effectively whiffs hitters, though maybe his changeup will show some late development. While all of Gilbert’s secondary pitches are average and flash above, I think his command will enable them to play above their raw grades, which, combined with what the innings count could be because of his frame and how efficiently he works, will still make him an above-average WAR generating starter. (Alternate site) 50 FV Prospects 4. Emerson Hancock, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Georgia (SEA) Age 22.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 55/60 45/50 55/60 35/55 93-96 / 97 This is Hancock’s pre-draft report since most of his 2020 pro activity consisted of side sessions and bullpens: His first start of the 2020 college season was rocky, but Hancock’s trademark stuff was present all spring, a comforting fact after he missed some of 2019, including the whole summer, with arm soreness. He sits in the mid-90s and will flash a plus changeup and slider. His slider lives in the 83-85 mph range, while the changeup has been harder this year, closer to 87. It looks like he’s leaning more on two-seamers so far in 2021. He has the prototypical power pitcher’s build, delivery, and stuff, he throws strikes and had a 30-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his final three starts of 2020 after that rough opener. He’s now in the hands of a Mariners dev group that has helped several of their recent high draft picks improve. His timeline during the 2021 minor league spring training ramp up was behind the other top guys in the system, probably due to expected workload increases. (Alternate site) 5. Noelvi Marte, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 50/60 25/60 60/55 40/50 60 I have a lot of high-ceiling, up-the-middle types sprinkled around 70th overall on the universal list, and I think you can make arguments to order them a few different ways. For Marte, that means weighing the certainty that he’ll have power (because he already does) against the possibility that his size, which is part of what provides that power, will eventually move him off of shortstop. My previous research into shortstop size has shown that most teenage prospects gain about 30 pounds between when they’re 18 and 21 years old, which puts Marte’s baseline body projection in the Willy Adames/Trevor Story realm, at about 210 pounds, assuming Marte’s current listed weight is correct. I’m inclined to think he’ll end up north of that just based on how big and imposing his frame has already become before he has even turned 20. If only because of what improved defensive positioning allows, there’s Goldilocks Zone power/defensive spectrum potential here, as Marte already has enough raw juice to put balls out to all fields, and will probably have at least a full grade more at maturity. His TrackMan power metrics (they’re over on The Board) are in the 40/45 range right now because Marte’s swing elements are not always well-timed. They are, however, very athletic. The big leg kick (which Marte is balanced enough to utilize), the little bit of bat wrap to create some loop and lift, and the ability to move the barrel around the zone are all encouraging swing elements, but we really don’t know a lot about Marte’s bat-to-ball skills right now because he hasn’t really been seen or generated a sufficient sample of stats against good pitching yet. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League) 6. George Kirby, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Elon (SEA) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 40/45 50/50 45/50 55/70 95-99 / 100 If you tally up Kirby’s three years at Elon, his summer on the Cape, and his brief pro debut, he has a 307-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 276 innings since 2017. That’s a 4% walk rate, and in Kirby’s most recent calendar year of innings, it has been a microscopic 1.3%. While his pre-draft velocity was strong (touching 97, often 93-95 early, 91-94 late in starts), his secondary stuff was very average. His slider and curveball (the latter is better) ran together a bit, and his changeup had inconsistent finish. But often elite command of what is a 55-grade pitch in a vacuum leads to elite results (see: Bieber, Shane), and I think that sort of secondary pitch effectiveness is possible for Kirby. One of Seattle’s stated post-draft goals for the right-hander was to make him stronger. In 2020 spring bullpens, Kirby looked noticeably thicker and stronger, and he was indeed throwing harder, touching 99 mph several times in Peoria side sessions. Then Kirby sat 97-99 throughout his time at the alt site and again during the spring of 2021. The context of all these looks is important, and there is risk of regression during the full-season slog, but because Kirby’s velo bump coincided with a change in physicality, I’m more inclined to believe it will hold. Even with fairly vanilla secondary stuff, mid-90s heat and Kirby’s potential for elite command gives him a mid-rotation ceiling. (Alternate site) 45 FV Prospects 7. Cal Raleigh, C Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Florida State (SEA) Age 24.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/40 55/55 40/50 30/30 40/45 45 Teams that had been tracking Raleigh’s framing ability since college have been optimistic about him profiling at catcher for longer than most individual scouts, who see a bigger-bodied guy with mobility issues. In 2019, as many orgs have done, Mariners catchers began working on one knee, a move that tends to be favorable for framing but not for throwing, a skill of dwindling importance (at least for now). Perhaps not coincidentally (or perhaps because we were wrong about Raleigh’s arm grade last year, when we 55’ed it), reports on Raleigh’s arm strength are worse than they were a year ago, though it appears he’s a viable long-term catcher, if an unspectacular one. He popped anywhere from 1.9 to 2.04 for me during the spring, but Raleigh’s throws tend to drift away from the bag. So while he isn’t a run-stopping defensive wizard, Raleigh does enough to catch, and switch-hitting catchers with power like this are rare. And I’m pretty confident about him getting to most of the power in games. Raleigh hit 29 homers in 2019 (most of those coming in the Cal League), he’s typically run groundball rates in the low 30% range (meaning he hits the ball in the air a lot), and the sourced TrackMan data to which we have access reinforces the visual evaluation of Raleigh’s strength and power. He projects as an everyday catcher and is a Pick to Click to make next year’s Top 100 who needs to be added to the 40-man this offseason. He could claim the lion’s share of big league catching duties next year. (Alternate site) 8. Taylor Trammell, LF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Mount Paran HS (GA) (CIN) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/45 55/55 40/50 70/70 60/70 35 Trammell brings a lot to the table and is likely to be a good role-playing outfielder even though his struggles with contact, which ultimately led to him falling out of the Top 100, feel scary after his month-long big league trial. Remember that he was once a 60 FV prospect on here, one who looked like a shockingly polished low-minors hitter with an old school leadoff man’s skillset. I simply don’t think he was seeing a high concentration of big league velocity at that time, and a significant weakness went unexposed until Trammell began to face upper-level competition and his performance changed. The skills foundation that made him a former top prospect remains: Trammell sees a lot of pitches and should run above-average OBPs, he runs well, and will either end up playing a viable center field, or a dynamic left field. I’ve typically projected Trammell to left due to lack of arm strength. Generally, I think most teams have a superior outfield defender who’ll play every day in center and instead have been comp’ing Trammell’s overall skill set to Brett Gardner’s for a while, though his feel for contact clearly isn’t as good as Gardner’s. Trammell’s swing makes it tough for him to get on top of high fastballs (though he’s often really close) and he’s also apt to swing over breaking balls. Basically his swinging strike rates against all pitches (he’s seen about 500 of them already) are all below-average. I have him evaluated as a versatile platoon outfielder. (Alternate site) 9. Adam Macko, SP Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from Vauxhall HS (AB) (SEA) Age 20.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/55 55/60 30/45 94-96 / 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 during his first pro summer but it’s been parked closer to 94, and topping out at 98, so far this spring. The increased velocity hasn’t really impacted Macko’s fastball control. 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 is already plus. Macko doesn’t turn 21 until the very end of the calendar year. It’d be impressive and important to his FV if he can hold this velocity throughout 2021. His delivery is atypical for a starter but he also has impact relief potential because of the quality of his breaking ball. Like several other pitchers in the system, he’s in starter/reliever limbo but would likely be an impact piece if he falls on the bullpen side of the continuum. (Fall Instructional League) 10. Matt Brash, MIRP Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Niagara (SDP) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 50/55 40/45 30/45 94-98 / 100 Acquired as the Player to Be Named from San Diego for Taylor Williams, Brash is another pitcher who enjoyed a couple velocity spikes over the last few years. He was 90-93 as an amateur then was 94-95 in just a couple of low-minors innings after signing. Now he’s been up to 101 and is sitting 95-97. Brash worked with four pitches as a starter at Niagara and continues to do so, the best being a mid-80s slider that is already plus. 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 probably 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 and the arrow is pointing up. (Fall Instructional League) 11. Juan Then, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 21.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 40/50 40/50 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 and topping out at 96 in ’19, was up to 99 mph in the bullpen last spring 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). His well-located sliders are easily plus. Then’s delivery is silky smooth for a guy who’s often parked in the upper-90s, so I think there’s a shot he develops a more consistent release and feel for that slider, which would help him outperform some of the relief projections that currently befall him. A better changup (or some other third pitch) will be needed, as well. Because of his size, athleticism, relative mechanical ease, and the fact that his third pitch needs work, it makes sense to develop Then as a starter for as long as possible to see if things click. If they don’t, then he still has a high-leverage relief fallback purely based on the ingredients that are already there (velo, slider). (Fall Instructional League) 40+ FV Prospects 12. Brandon Williamson, MIRP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from TCU (SEA) Age 23.1 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 50/55 55/60 45/50 35/40 92-95 / 97 It’s not as if Williamson didn’t show plus stuff at TCU — he would be parked at 92-93 in the first inning or two, and flash two plus breaking balls. He did, however, struggle to hold it deep into starts, and by the fourth, he was often living in the 88-91 range. After the 2019 draft, in one- and two-inning outings, he sat 92-95 with a plus curveball (and fewer, if any, sliders). I’m skeptical that Williamson can hold 92-95 as a starter for a whole season because of how his stuff has waned in the past and because the 2020 shutdown created a gigantic roadblock preventing a natural innings increase. He also suffered a severe hip injury while in junior college (he tore both labrums dunking a basketball and needed surgery) that might impact his ability to do it. I buy that the velo will be there in short stints and that both breaking balls, assuming the slider returns, will be plus. As such, I have Williamson projected as a three-pitch power reliever. (Alternate site) 13. Sam Delaplane, SIRP Drafted: 23th Round, 2017 from Eastern Michigan (SEA) Age 26.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 60/60 70/70 40/45 92-95 / 97 Delaplane has power, vertical action stuff that I think is going to play in a high-leverage relief role. He creates a nearly perfect vertical arm slot by striding wide open, starting on the third base side of the rubber but landing in the middle of the mound. It helps give his fastball plus-plus carry and ride. Delaplane also has a power, Brad Lidge-style slider with late, downward movement. He has less raw arm strength than the Nick Andersons of the world, but the stuff works in the same way, and I think Delaplane will be a reliever of rare quality once he returns from Tommy John, which should be in the middle of 2022. (TJ Rehab) 14. Wyatt Mills, SIRP Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Gonzaga (SEA) Age 26.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 55/55 45/50 50/55 92-94 / 95 At the very least, Mills profiles as a good, sidearm “look” reliever who can enter the middle of the game and present hitters with a visual conundrum because of his sidearm slot. His combo of repertoire depth (though he’s been exclusively fastball/slider so far in the big leagues) and command are both rare for a reliever, and I think he has a chance to have some peak years akin to those that Luke Gregerson, Steve Cishek, Brad Ziegler, and other low slot relievers who closed in recent seasons have had. The statistical case for it — a 30% strikeout rate and 54% groundball rate in the minors — is strong and Mills has better surface-level stuff than most sidearm relievers do. (Fall Instructional League) 40 FV Prospects 15. Zach DeLoach, CF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Texas A&M (SEA) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 50/50 30/50 60/55 40/50 45 DeLoach is a stocky guy with some pull power. His footwork in the box is very quiet but he still ambushes fastballs on the inner half and has big power in the alley to his pull side. He’s also a plus runner and a viable center field defender despite middling instincts and a bowling ball build. After a really rough sophomore year at A&M, DeLoach won the Cape batting title and got off to a raucous start to 2020 that included him hitting for more power than ever before. I have DeLoach projected as the bigger half of an outfield platoon. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League) 16. Connor Phillips, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from McLennan JC (SEA) Age 20.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 50/60 45/50 50/55 30/40 90-94 / 98 In high school, Phillips was best when he was 88-92 with command, but could sit 91-94 and hit 96 mph while losing the strike zone. He decided not to sign as 35th round pick by Toronto out of high school in 2019, and opted for junior college rather than following through on an LSU commitment. He began hitting 98 in the fall of 2019 and held that velo coming out early in 2020 before slipping back into the 91-94 range by mid-February, though he’s back into the mid-90s now. Phillips has three good-looking pitches but his grip-and-rip style of pitching is more evocative of a reliever. He’ll try to back door his curveball for strikes but otherwise there aren’t many present pitchability elements to speak of here. (Fall Instructional League) 17. Kaden Polcovich, 2B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Oklahoma State (SEA) Age 22.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 50/50 30/45 60/60 30/45 40 There is a difference between being short and being small. Kaden Polcovich is about 5-foot-8, but he’s also pound-for-pound the strongest prospect I saw during minor league spring training in Arizona. Polcovich generates big power with a max-effort style of hitting and is a threat to do damage from both sides of the plate. He’s also a plus runner with experience at many different positions, including second base and center field. So why was he undrafted for two consecutive years while he was at Northwest Florida State? The max-effort swings have driven swing-and-miss concerns, and while Polcovich has the range for the middle of the diamond, his defensive hands and actions are below-average. So on the one hand, he’s a switch-hitting up-the-middle player with power, while on the other, he’s a positionless player with strikeout issues. After two years at Northwest Florida, Polcovich was seen on the 2019 Cape, and at Oklahoma State early in 2020. He raked during a non-conference play (the Cowboys had a bold non-conference slate) and buoyed his draft stock into the Day Two mix. He’s raw for a player his age, but Polcovich has impact tools. Even with a 30 bat, he projects to play a role similar to the one Sam Haggerty is playing now, expect with more meaningful power. (Fall Instructional League) 18. Taylor Dollard, SP Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Cal Poly (SEA) Age 22.2 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 45/50 45/50 35/60 90-93 / 94 Dollard had great command of below-average stuff in college but has already seen a little bit of an uptick in velocity since last year. He sat 86-92 during the short 2020 pre-shutdown college season but his delivery’s pace has totally changed, and Dollard has been more consistently in the low-90s in 2021. The new velo is exciting because several other elements making up the foundation for a back-end rotation piece were already in place, namely, Dollard’s slider command. He has surgical command of a huge, sweeping, two-planed slide piece and also peppers the arm-side of the zone with a decent changeup. His delivery’s pace and the way he gets down the mound are helping his fastball jump on hitters even though it isn’t that hard, and I think his slider will play as plus because of his command. Dollard’s very slow curveball projects as a show-me pitch and so his changeup needs to improve to justify stuffing him this high on the list just after he was a fifth round pick and unranked on last year’s amateur list. (Fall Instructional League) 19. Isaiah Campbell, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Arkansas (SEA) Age 23.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/55 50/50 40/50 90-93 / 96 Campbell was granted a medical redshirt in 2017 because of surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. His stuff was not totally back in 2018 and the Angels tried to buy low on the then-redshirt sophomore in the 28th round. He returned to school, his stuff bounced back, and Campbell went in the 2019 second round. He was ridden pretty hard at Arkansas, and the Mariners chose not to run him out after the draft. Then the pandemic wiped out the following year, so Campbell didn’t make his pro debut until 2021; he’s nearly 24. His stuff has held. He was 90-95 with the same well-rounded pitch mix that he had at Arkansas. So long as he stays healthy, Campbell is a low-variance backend starter. (At-home dev) 20. Jonatan Clase, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 19.0 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/45 20/40 70/70 45/60 45 Clase packs quite a punch for someone his size, and his swing is very short but also geared for some lift. He has a relatively projectionless build because he’s added a bunch of muscle since signing and is now built like a little tank. Clase’s speed gives him a shot to be a special center field defender, while the contact feel and seemingly mature idea of the strike zone might weaponize the speed on the bases. There’s a right tail, everyday center field outcome in here. (Fall Instructional League) 21. Milkar Perez, 3B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Nicaragua (SEA) Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/50 20/45 40/30 40/50 70 Like a lot of the Mariners’ hitting prospects who you’ll read about from here on out, Perez has a high-risk build that might end up at first base rather than third. The difference between Perez and some of the other guys is Milkar’s arm, a 60 or 70 on the scale, that might mask future issues with his lateral range. The real reason to like Perez is that he has more of a frame than his measurables suggest, he has advanced feel for the strike zone and for contact, and he has pretty good power for his age, though that’s in part because of how physical he is already. He’s in the same bucket as Clase: squint hard enough and you can see a future regular, though it’s probably a half decade away. (Fall Instructional League) 22. Sam Carlson, SP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Burnsville HS (MN) (SEA) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 45/50 50/60 40/55 89-93 / 94 Carlson was a revered two-way high school prospect committed to Florida even though he was from Minnesota. He spent the summer before his draft year sitting in the low-90s and working with a better changeup and better command than is typical for a cold-weather, two-way player. His big, strapping frame portended more velocity. The following year, that velo arrived, and Carlson sat 93-97 for stretches of his pre-draft spring. Seattle drafted him in the second round, gave him $2 million, and Carlson made two starts in the AZL before he was quickly shut down. He had Tommy John and had a season wiped away by the pandemic, all of which piled up to nearly four years between when Carlson threw his last pitch in affiliated ball in 2017 to when he threw his next one, at Low-A in early 2021. His peak velocity has not returned, and Carlson has been more in the 91-93 range, topping out at 94, with some carry and tail. His arm action is still fairly long, his delivery has some head violence, and at a physical 22-years-old, I don’t consider him a likely candidate to add velocity. His new-ish curveball has good back-foot angle against lefties and enough depth to miss bats, while his changeup remains a fair offering with tailing action. The entire package looks like a fifth starter (a 40) right now, but the way individuals in baseball either round up or down on that projection depends on what part of Carlson’s prospectdom they choose to look at. Look at his draft pedigree and there’s hope for more than that; look at his actual performance track record and there’s skepticism. He needs to pitch well enough to be added to the 40-man this offseason and nobody is sure how his stuff and health will respond to a full-season workload after he’s never even come close to pitching deep into season. I’m inclined to take the under on the hype and justifiably good feelings surrounding his return. (Fall Instructional League) 23. Levi Stoudt, SIRP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Lehigh (SEA) Age 23.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 40/45 55/60 30/40 93-96 / 97 Stoudt is a probable relief prospect with a plus changeup who went lower in the 2019 draft than his talent suggested because the industry knew he needed TJ after signing. The Mariners and Stoudt used his TJ rehab to rework his slider shape. His arm strength has returned after surgery and he’s once again sitting in the mid-90s. If the slider’s new shape improves its results, Stoudt will still need to develop sufficient control/command to start. His roster timeline (he doesn’t need to be added to the 40 until after 2022) gives him a longer developmental runway, but for now I have him projected as a fastball/changeup middle reliever. (Fall Instructional League) 24. Ljay Newsome, SP Drafted: 26th Round, 2015 from Chopticon HS (MD) (SEA) Age 24.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 45/45 55/60 55/60 89-92 / 94 Newsome has a short, weird arm action that seems to bug hitters and create abnormally strong results on a fastball that is, in most respects, barely average. Even though he exhibited a little velo bump in 2021 (his second in three years), Newsome was still only averaging 93 mph. He has still managed to generate a 13% swinging strike rate against big league hitters while parked in the 91-93 range. He does have a plus changeup and throws an obnoxious rate of strikes, which almost always is enough to be some kind of contributor on a pitching staff. Newsome’s smoke and mirrors have worked as a starter up through High-A and Mariners saw fit to push him straight to the big leagues from there. He’s only gone about two or three innings per outing in the bigs and his FIP stats indicate a regression is coming, but Newsome has pitched well in a limited sample at the highest level. Elbow inflammation now has him on the shelf and may result in Tommy John. It impacts Newsome’s timeline but not the role I expect him to play, which is that of a 1 WAR swingman or long reliever. (Alternate site, MLB) 25. Damon Casetta-Stubbs, SIRP Drafted: 11th Round, 2018 from Kings Way HS (WA) (SEA) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/55 55/60 30/30 40/50 89-93 / 95 Last year I wrote that Casetta-Stubbs’ fastball had limited projection because he’s already a pretty maturely-framed guy, but at least so far in 2021, he’s actually had a velo bump and is living in the 93-95 area rather than just peaking there on occasion. Whether that holds up to the rigors of an entire season remains to be seen. I still have Casetta-Stubbs projected as a reliever because of his fringe athleticism and high-effort delivery, but I expect he’ll be a rock solid one thanks largely to his two good breaking balls. (At-home dev) 26. Jake Fraley, LF Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from LSU (TBR) Age 26.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 50/50 45/45 35/40 55/55 50/55 40 There’s no change here: Fraley is officially in tweenersville. He plays a fine center field but he’s not such a black hole that it makes up for his lack of power on offense and enables him to profile. Perhaps plus corner defense with a slightly better hit tool than I’ve projected means Fraley can be a platoon 45 FV, but I think enough puzzle pieces with power are floating around that he ends up a Ben Gamel style bench outfielder. He’s currently out with a hamstring injury. (Alternate site, MLB) 27. Josias De Los Santos, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 45/50 45/50 90-95 / 97 The Mariners pushed De Los Santos to full-season ball in 2019 because his secondary stuff desperately needed reps and they trusted him to scrap through starts early on even though it wasn’t ready. He succeeded and now looks like a fastball/cutter/slider relief prospect. His slider has good two-planed movement and will likely be his best pitch at maturity, while his cutter is terse and quite average. In my opinion, De Los Santos’ arm action length is what pushes him to the bullpen, but a move will likely come with enough extra velo to support a regular role rather than an up/down one. (Fall Instructional League) 28. Alberto Rodriguez, LF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (TOR) Age 20.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/50 25/50 45/40 40/45 50 A physical, lefty corner bat with some thump, Rodriguez generated average big league exit velos 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 is because Rodriguez was very out of shape at that time. He’s slimmed down over the last several months and regained some of his explosiveness but remains a totally unprojectable athlete. Some of his swings are beautiful uppercut hacks, and Rodriguez has a shot to be a power-over-hit corner outfield role player. (Fall Instructional League) 29. Carter Bins, C Drafted: 11th Round, 2019 from Fresno State (SEA) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/55 25/45 45/45 40/50 60 Bins has plus bat speed, rare speed for a catcher, and in college had a really athletic build. His build has thickened since he was drafted and he’s now put together more like a typical catcher, though it hasn’t cost him much twitch or explosion. Bins’ swing is grooved and he needs defensive polish, but he at least has raw power/arm strength carrying tools and a good chance to be a whiff-prone backup. (Fall Instructional League) 35+ FV Prospects 30. Devin Sweet, MIRP Drafted: 0 Round, 2018 from North Carolina Central (SEA) Age 24.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/45 45/45 55/60 45/55 90-93 / 95 Sweet was a 2018 undrafted free agent senior sign who had a 2019 breakout. He began the year in the Low-A bullpen (50 K, 9 BB in 35 innings), then in June was moved to the rotation and thrived for 12 starts. He made a few late-August starts at High-A, and was good there, too. Sweet has fastball command, fastball ride, and a plus changeup. He’s a little light on velocity, only sitting 90-93, but he’s garnered swings and misses at that velocity at the top of the strike zone so far. His changeup has bat-eluding sink and fade, and is used against righty hitters. The breaking ball is just okay, but he can land it for strikes to start counts. It’s a 40-man look, to be sure. Perhaps the velo would tick up in the bullpen in an interesting way (all our Sweet info comes from folks who’ve seen him start), but for now he projects in the fifth or sixth starter area. (Fall Instructional League) 31. Elvis Alvarado, SIRP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (WSN) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 183 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 60/70 40/50 35/40 92-95 / 98 A converted outfielder, Alvarado was up to 100 during 2019 extended and sat in the mid-90s with bat-missing movement throughout the rest of that summer. He’ll flash an occasionally nasty slider but it’s not consistent right now, and neither is his strike-throwing, but of course he hasn’t been pitching for all that long. He wasn’t good enough during 2020 instructs to merit a 40-man add or Rule 5 consideration from other clubs, but Alvarado is still throwing hard, Seattle has had success developing pitching lately, and this guy has late-inning ceiling if things click. Based on his build and athleticism, they might. (Fall Instructional League) 32. Tyler Keenan, 1B Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Ole Miss (SEA) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 250 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 30/50 30/30 40/40 45 Keenan performed all three years at Ole Miss, slashing .306/.420/.550 during his career there. His performance makes him a fairly stable kind of prospect, a low-variance corner role-playing sort. He played third base in college but is listed at 250 pounds and while he is still at the hot corner, he will likely only be passable there (if that) and projects to play more 1B/DH in pro ball. His prospect stock is tied heavily to his statistical performance. (Fall Instructional League) 33. Austin Shenton, 3B Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Florida International (SEA) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/55 30/50 30/30 40/45 50 Shenton had a loud 2018 Cape, then regressed athletically the following spring and looked more like a future first baseman at FIU. He’s still in the athletic bucket, looking pretty soft and unathletic. He still has power, though, and is short to the ball with lift. Shenton can also go down and scoop well-located pitches at the bottom of the zone and occasionally impact buried breaking balls when he feels the need to expand with two strikes. His swing looks vulnerable at the top of the zone because of its path but it might not be because of how short it is. Regardless, this is a 1B/DH-only athlete with a high offensive bar to clear. (Alternate site) 34. Starling Aguilar, 1B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (SEA) Age 17.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 50/55 25/50 30/20 40/50 50 A big-bodied, lefty power prospect, Aguilar had among the most present raw power in the 2021 international signing class, but because of how big he is already, there’s a real possibility that he ends up at first base. The Mariners know this and want Aguilar to work on his conditioning to give himself the best possible shot to stay at third base, but he’s still pretty soft-bodied at the moment. He does have above-average bat speed from the left side and is a fairly short-levered hitter with relatively advanced feel for contact, but the list of hitters who have been in this realm before (Joe Rizzo, Tyler Keenan, Austin Shenton, Keegan McGovern, etc.) have all either been stagnant or regressed physically, so there’s no example of these sorts ending up on a more favorable end of the defensive spectrum. (International Signee) 35. Kristian Cardozo, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (SEA) Age 18.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/50 45/50 40/50 30/50 87-91 / 92 There’s no change here: Cardozo signed for just shy of $600,000 in July of 2019. He doesn’t have the typical July 2 prospect’s physical projection, but his delivery is loose and repeatable. He’s been up to 92 with feel for his breaking ball and change. (Fall Instructional League) 36. Robert Dugger, MIRP Drafted: 18th Round, 2016 from Texas Tech (SEA) Age 25.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 198 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/30 50/50 55/55 45/45 50/55 87-93 / 94 Dugger leans heavily on his breaking ball command to accrue outs, flipping in his mid-70s curveball and low-80s slider as often as he throws his fastball, if not more. His fastball’s angle still gives it some utility at the top of the zone, and when hitters have seen a couple slow curves in the at-bat they are vulnerable to the heater at the letters even though Dugger only throws about 91. Pitching backwards with 30-grade velo typically comes with diminishing returns the more the pitcher is seen, so while Dugger has a sixth starter look, he’s probably better-suited to work one time through the order in relief. (Alternate site, MLB) 37. Will Vest, SIRP Drafted: 12th Round, 2017 from Stephen F. Austin (DET) Age 25.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 55/55 40/40 45/45 93-95 / 97 Vest had a huge 2019 season in the minors and was a pitch data marvel whose fastball featured big vertical movement, but his stuff looked down when he arrived for the 2019 Fall League. Then there was no 2020 regular season and he exhibited a huge velo spike during instructs, sitting in the 94-97 range with backspin and carry. The Mariners made him a Rule 5 pick. He hasn’t looked nearly as sharp during 2020, with his fastball only averaging about 93. He may spend the whole year on the M’s roster so that they can turn him into an up/down bullpen piece and hope to catch lightning in a bottle down the line. (Fall Instructional League) 38. Ty Adcock, SIRP Drafted: 8th Round, 2019 from Elon (SEA) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 65/65 45/50 40/50 45/50 30/35 94-97 / 100 There’s nothing new here since Adcock is currently listed on the IL and has yet to make his pro debut. He is a catcher conversion arm who emerged as an upper-90s power relief prospect a full year after he was first draft-eligible. (At-home dev) Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Backfield Targets Pedro D’costa, RHP Gabriel Gonzalez, LF Michael Limoncelli, RHP Luis Bolivar, CF Danny Chang, LHP D’costa is a really athletic teenage righty who was sitting 84 when he signed and is now sitting about 90. He has precocious command. Gonzalez is a well-rounded player with a well-built medium frame. He hit well during the spring of 2021. Limoncelli is an athletic, 20-year-old projection arm signed out of high school despite having a TJ. Bolivar is a 70 runner. Chang struck out a lot of AZL hitters in 2019 with a spin-efficient fastball in the mid-80s but needs to get much stronger to develop viable big league velo. Arm Strength Relief Sorts Yeury Tatiz, RHP Dayeison Arias, RHP Raymond Kerr, LHP Aaron Fletcher, LHP Jake Haberer, RHP Natanael Garabitos, LHP Tatiz almost made the main section of the list. He’s 19 and up to 95 with an average slider. Arias has performed as a pro, striking out 160 hitters in 116 frames. He’s consistently been in the 92-96 range as a lower-minors closer. He has an odd, swinging gate delivery that swivels about an axis created by a stiff front leg. If that’s not a long-term issue, then he’s a middle relief up/down type. Kerr is a late-bloomer who came into big velo ahead of the pandemic. He can dunk a basketball and has superlative weight room exploits as well as rare lefty velo, inconsistently up to 99. His splitter flashes plus and the Mariners have worked with his slider enough to create viable sweep on the pitch but it was a 30 the last I saw it. The strike-throwing and secondary consistency are present issues, too. Fletcher was recently with the big club but has also had velo fluctuations. He’s a sinker/changeup up/down reliever. An undrafted free agent who was signed out of Indy ball with the notion that he’d eventually be an in-office contributor, Haberer cruised through A-Ball and is now in the upper levels at age 24 and throwing very hard. He was up to 99 in 2019 and has a shot to be a bullpen contributor. Garabitos was up to 97 at age 18 but has little idea where it’s going right now. Bench Bats Donovan Walton, SS Braden Bishop, CF Dom Thompson-Williams, OF Connor Hoover, INF There’s not much upside from this group. Walton is a versatile 26th man possibility. Bishop can run and play center field well. DTW is now 25 and the late-blooming possibilities are gone. He’s a smaller-framed guy who is a fifth outfielder at best. Hoover was old for his level last year but his swing has some verve and he might be a bat-first infielder. Older Depth Arms Penn Murfee, RHP Kyle Wilcox, RHP Darin Gillies, RHP Scott Boches, RHP Nick Duron, RHP Collin Kober, RHP This group is pretty self-explanatory. They’ll sit at the upper-levels and provide viable innings if a rash of injuries occur. Murfee is the current minor leaguer most likely to be a GM based on what people in and out of the org say about his aptitude for learning and implementation. Wilcox and Gillies both throw pretty hard (up to 96/97) and performed at the upper levels in 2019. Boches is a spin/ride mid-90s relief arm, Duron has more arm strength and is up to 97 but with fewer underlying traits to bolster it, and Kober is a heavy sinker submariner who has missed bats. Other Sleeper Arms Blake Townsend, LHP Tim Elliott, RHP Jorge Benitez, LHP Leon Hunter, RHP Townsend is a strong-bodied teenage Aussie up to 93 with a shot for an above-average slurve. Elliott has a plus curveball and fringe other pieces, though I did see him up to 93 this spring so maybe the velo is coming as we speak. Benitez was a projection arm from Puerto Rico who is now approaching age 22, and he’s still lingering in the lower-90s and has moved to the bullpen. Hunter is a huge guy who lives in the low-90s with big carry. He was acquired from Texas shortly before the season. System Overview This is a strong system with several potential stars and more probable everyday players than the typical farm has. Drafting first round college arms and manicuring their stuff is one thing, but the later picks with big jumps in stuff are the real evidence that this is becoming one of the better orgs for arms. For instance, Adam Macko’s stuff came much faster than anyone, even draft-day optimists, would have expected. It has helped keep this system flush with potential impact outside the Top 100 guys you already know about. I don’t understand the long-held fascination with the bad-bodied corner guys, though. It’s present in Seattle’s activity in both amateur markets. I’m of the mind that guys like Ryan McBroom and Garrett Cooper do have on-field and trade value even if you told me they’re nothing more than high-leverage pinch hitters, but I think players like that are often freely available. It’s not a demographic I’d spend finite resources like early draft picks on (Tyler Keenan) since hitters who mash at the upper levels like the names I mentioned earlier a) are closer to the bigs and therefore safer bets to actually hit than any college guy and b) can be easily leveraged off of clogged 40-man rosters. I’d much rather spend international slot money or draft picks on hitters with more variance who have a chance to outperform where they were selected rather than break even, or pitchers. At what point does the dial in this org turn from “prospect collection” to “consolidation” via trades in an effort to win the division and end the longest postseason drought of the major four North American sports? There’s probably already opportunistic room for it if the club is willing to bet that the industry’s assessment of a prospect is greater than their own, à la the D-backs/Marlins Zac Gallen/Jazz Chisholm challenge swap of a few years ago.