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Seattle Mariners Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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Checking in on the Mariners system. . .

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Kyle Lewis
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Seattle Mariners farm system.

This list was originally published January 22nd, 2018




1) Kyle Lewis, OF, Grade B: Age 23, first round pick in 2016 from Mercer; pro career has gotten off to a slow start due to serious knee injury; hit .260/.303/.429 in 196 at-bats in High-A, then .198/.256/.296 in 81 at-bats in Double-A; still having issues with swing mechanics and contact, with an approach that has not been as polished as advertised; development time lost to the injury seems to have had an impact; ceiling remains high.

2) Evan White, 1B, Grade B: Age 22, first round pick in 2017 from University of Kentucky; hitting .294/.361/.431 with nine homers, 41 walks, 89 strikeouts in 418 at-bats in High-A; a decent year though not a spectacular one by California League standards; general profile hasn’t changed: a polished hitter with moderate power and a superb glove at first base. Stock holding.

3) Sam Carlson, RHP, Grade B-: Age 19, second round pick in 2017 from high school in Minnesota; prototype pitcher’s body with athletic 6-4, 195 frame; fastball as high as 96-97 MPH, all in flux now as we wait to see how he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

4) Braden Bishop, OF, Grade B-: Age 24, third round pick in 2015 from University of Washington; hitting .284/.361/.412 with eight homers, 37 walks, 68 strikeouts in 345 at-bats in Double-A; will miss rest of season with a broken arm after being hit by a pitch in July; superior defensive outfielder with good arm, plus range and reliability; stock holding.

5) Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Grade C+: Age 25; hitting .299/.438/.566 in 274 at-bats in Triple-A, .212/.342/.333 in 66 major league at-bats; proven AAA masher and that won’t change but finding a spot on the major league roster has been troublesome due to defensive limitations; I think he would be a productive slugger if given enough adjustment time.

6) Julio Rodriguez, OF, Grade C+: Age 17, signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017 for $1,750,000; strong early results with .315/.404/.525 mark in the Dominican Summer League, 10 steals in 10 attempts, 30/40 BB/K in 219 at-bats; living up to potential so far, obviously we need to see what happens when he gets to the States but a fast start is better than a slow one.

7) Max Povse, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, third round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2014 from UNC-Greensboro, traded to Mariners in November 2016; strong in Double-A (3.41, 60/19 in 61), hammered due to command issues in Triple-A (8.84, 45/28 in 37); placed on disabled list in mid-July.

8) Joe Rizzo, 3B, Grade C+: Age 20, second round pick in 2016 from high school in Virginia; hitting .248/.310/.328 with 37 walks, 93 strikeout, 408 at-bats in High-A; draws continued praise for hustle and work ethic but production has been mediocre, less power than anticipated; that may still come given his age, but his defense at third base hasn’t improved as hoped and he may end up in the outfield or even first base, which would increase pressure on the bat.

9) Nick Rumbelow, RHP, Grade C+: Age 26, seventh round pick in 2013 from Louisiana State University by the New York Yankees, traded to Mariners in November 2017; 1.69 ERA in 16 innings in Triple-A, 7.84 ERA in 10 innings in the majors; has missed time with injuries but back on the mound and pitching well for Tacoma; I still project him as a very good middle reliever.

10) Matthew Festa, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, seventh round pick in 2016 from East Stroudsburg University; 2.70 ERA with 58/10 K/BB in 43 innings in Double-A, 18 saves in 18 attempts; plus slider with 92-96 fastball and solid control, ready for a bullpen trial soon.

11) Art Warren, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, 23rd round pick in 2015 from Ashland; another hard-throwing relief type, 1.72 ERA in 16 innings in Double-A with 22/14 K/BB, on the disabled list with shoulder trouble.

12) Seth Elledge, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2017 from Dallas Baptist; 1.91 ERA with 64/19 K/BB in 47 innings in High-A/Double-A, traded to St. Louis Cardinals for Sam Tuivailala on July 27th, will be in Cards bullpen mix soon.

13) Wyatt Mills, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, third round pick in 2017 from Gonzaga, 2.70 ERA in 47 innings between High-A and Double-A, 54/10 K/BB, 37 hits, 11 saves; yet another promising bullpen arm.

14) Ronald Rosario, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013; hit .294/.355/.516 with six homers, 11 walks, 40 strikeouts in 126 at-bats in Northwest League in 2017 but has been much weaker this year, just .130/.179/.150 in 100 at-bats between rookie ball and the NWL, with six walks and 44 whiffs; has gone backwards in all phases.

15) Anthony Jimenez, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, signed out of Venezuela in 2013, hitting .251/.296/.365 in High-A with 13 steals, 17 walks, 90 strikeouts in 334 at-bats; plus runner, will flash power but poor plate discipline holds back his hitting, may be a tweener type.

16) Juan Querecuto, SS; Grade C+: Age 17, signed out of Venezuela in 2017 for $1,225,000; hitting .228/.314/.321 with 20 walks, 48 strikeouts in 215 at-bats in Dominican Summer League; pre-season reports said he had a (potentially) slick glove but needed to get stronger physically and had work to do with the bat; that profile still fits, long way off.

17) Joseph Rosa, 2B, Grade C+: Age 21; New York native signed as an undrafted free agent in summer of 2015; hitting .213/.296/.272 with 42 walks, 103 strikeouts in 394 at-bats in Low-A, 20 steals; looked like a nice sleeper prospect entering 2018 but Midwest League tenure has been disappointing both offensively and defensively.

18) Ian Miller, OF, Grade C: Age 26, 14th round pick in 2013 from Wagner College, hitting .275/.350/.342 with one homer, 39 walks, 77 strikeouts, 27 steals in 363 at-bats in Triple-A; reserve outfield type with excellent speed and good defense, but lacks power.

19) Mike Ford, 1B, Grade C: Age 26, selected from Yankees system in 2017 Rule 5 draft; didn’t make the team and was sent back to New York, hitting .256/.329/.447 in Triple-A;similar to Dan Vogelbach, somewhat better with the glove.

20) Oliver Jaske, LHP, Grade C: Age 22, sixth round pick in 2017 from University of Michigan, 6.60 ERA in 76 innings in Low-A, 77/49 K//BB, 92 hits; he’s got a good arm but no way to spin this as anything other than a disaster; placed on inactive list in July.


The pre-season list was thin.

A list for 2019 will look rather different. 2018 draftees Logan Gilbert, Cal Raleigh, and Josh Stowers will rank highly and Julio Rodriguez will likely move up a few notches. Relief prospect Dayeison Arias in the Northwest League is also interesting. 27-year-old Triple-A reliever Shawn Armstrong is also worth a look.

While there are some hints of improvement the Mariners system still has a long way to go.