Top Prospects Series
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 third 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 I use that as a rule of thumb.
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.
Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
The 22-year-old Miguel Perez isn’t hitting at Modesto, but he’s still extremely projectable and covers a lot of ground in center field. He’s a potential late-bloomer to monitor for physical development, but he’s presently not strong enough to have a viable swing. Cova is now on the complex after two years in the DSL. He’s only 5-foot-8, but he’s strong for his size and can play all over the diamond. He was hit by a pitch on the knee yesterday and removed from the game. Gilliam, 26, has plus switch-hitting power and could be a bench weapon despite a 20-grade hit tool. Robert Perez Jr., 23, has plus power, but his combo of whiffs and poor plate discipline has kept him in this section of the list for a while. It looked like he was developing more patience last year, but his walk rates have regressed. Windish, 24, was a 2022 seventh rounder out of UNC Greensboro. He is hitting for power at Everett while playing a few different positions. Polcovich hasn’t played yet this year (I’m actually not sure why), and has always had an interesting power/speed blend for a switch-hitter; he just doesn’t have a clear position. Rodriguez and DeLoach have some pop but not quite the bat-to-ball skills to make the main section of the list.
All of these guys have a Philly connection of some stripe. O’Keefe, a St. Joe’s alum, is perfectly fine upper-level catching depth with power. Levins transferred from La Salle to Pitt for his senior year and had a great season. He’s a contact-oriented catcher with an athletic swing and enough ability on defense to be developed behind the dish. He needs to cover the top of the zone a little better. Hood went to Penn and then transferred to NC State for his senior year. He’s a well-built, versatile infielder with 40-grade tools on offense.
Perez is a polished college arm from TCU who is currently sitting 93 with sink and tail at Modesto and commanding his slider. Bayless (no relation to the 13-year veteran combo guard from Arizona) is a low-slot righty specialist type. Mercedes is a slider-heavy starter at Double-A who has good peripherals, but I don’t trust that he actually has good command and he’s at best a 40 athlete. Benitez is a low-slot lefty with a good changeup. Kolek has a standard mid-90s/slider reliever look; his heater plays down due to shape and below-average control. Flynn (no, not that one) was a sinker/slider sixth rounder from 2018 who has remade himself as a low-slot righty with a good slider.
Burgos has a great pitcher’s build and has been sitting 93-96 amid some injury issues at Modesto. Taylor, a 2022 12th rounder from UC Irvine, sits 95 with sink. Garabitos is sitting 96 but still has zero feel for location.
The Mariners system is flush with interesting developmental arms, but overall, it’s quite shallow and lacks huge impact up top. Harry Ford has the best chance to be the next homegrown star, but he’s risky and his development is likely going to be slow, as is typically the case with young catchers. Felnin Celesten didn’t look great during his brief stateside jaunt this spring, but he left Arizona quickly and then was injured, so there’s no real evidence to support a re-evaluation there. There are people within the org who love Michael Arroyo, but I’m not ready to stuff the guy just yet, though I’m poised to do so if his swing becomes more dynamic. The Mariners tend to waste little time promoting the guys they like, which is part of why the farm system doesn’t look great on paper — lots of them become big leaguers very quickly.
I would consider the Mariners a data-driven org, especially when it comes to evaluating pitchers. Their farm system is dense with guys who have big measurable breaking ball movement. Their track record of tweaking prospects and fringe big leaguers for the better is long enough now to consider them very good at developing arms. If there’s another Bryan Woo in the system, a guy who is raw developmental material right now but who looks like they have the build and athleticism to take a sizable leap, it’s Darren Bowen.
Even if the Mariners were in the thick of the AL West race right now, it would probably be easy for other teams to outbid them at the deadline. They’re a good ways back of first place in their division and the East is crowding out the Wild Card field. Yesterday, they traded Chris Flexen and Trevor Gott (one of those fringe arms they improved) to the Mets for depth arm Zach Muckenhirn, an indication of their likely posture for the next month. None of the Mariners players on expiring deals are having especially good seasons, though Teoscar Hernández would probably fetch something at the deadline if Seattle wanted to move him. If there’s any solace to be found for Mariners fans in the back half of the summer, it’s that the club is likely to have a big draft. They have three top-30 picks in a loaded class. It’s likely that all of them will be top 10 prospects in this system as soon as they sign, which will make the “high end” of this farm (anyone in the 40+ tier or above) look closer to average in terms of depth and quality.