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Friday March 31 is the Opening Day for Triple-A and the Tacoma Rainiers are on the road to begin their season in Oklahoma City against the OKC Dodgers. One the mound for the Rainiers for the second consecutive Opening Day is Darren McCaughan. Their roster was announced today by the organization and it includes a few prospects who are playing at Triple-A for the first time.

This is the first crack with the Rainiers for Zach DeLoach and Taylor Dollard who rank inside the MLB Pipeline Top 30 Mariners Prospects. This is also the first time at Triple-A for Jake Scheiner.

Evan White is on the roster and is going to have an opportunity to play consistently and get regular at bats in the minor leagues. He will need to perform and stay healthy at Triple-A before getting consideration to join the big league club. Cade Marlowe and Taylor Trammell are also expected to be on the Rainiers roster once they are fully healthy after dealing with injuries during Spring Training.

Mariners Draft Spotlight

In last years draft the Seattle Mariners drafted high school shortstop Cole Young, and they could very well select another high school shortstop this year with one of their first three draft choices. They have the 22nd, 29th, and 30th overall selections in the upcoming draft and they could take a chance with another high school draft shortstop. One of the very talented young shortstops in this years draft class is Arjun Nimmala who won’t turn 18 years old until October.

The youngster is a right-handed hitter and thrower who is 6-foot-1 and weighs 170. He has shown plus power potential and Prospects Live is extremely high on him. They said, “He’s got a shot to hit 30+ homers per year and play on the dirt.” He is very young and has a lot more development left to go, but he has some very high potential. They are very high on Nimmala and have him ranked as their 11th best prospect.

That ranking is very different compared to the MLB Pipeline rankings where they have Nimmala listed as their 34th highest ranked draft prospect. With the large difference in different publications rankings, Nimmala could be a wild card in the draft. The Mariners may have a chance to select him or he might go well ahead of their first pick.

MLB Pipeline highlighted the lofty potential with the young shortstop, “Nimmala has every chance to play shortstop for a long time, with enough arm and range for the premium position to go along with loose actions. If it all clicks, the Florida State recruit could have plus grades across the board, and if that shows up in the spring, he could vault himself into serious first-round conversations.”

Here is a long home run Nimmala hit earlier this season from when he was ranked 16th previously on the Prospects Live board.

The Mariners might be able to “buy down” Nimmala by offering him a larger draft bonus than other teams might be willing to offer. It wouldn’t be a guarantee, but we will have to wait until July to see where everyone lands in the draft. He would sure be an exciting, young, and talented player to add to the Seattle minor league system.

Mariners Prospects in the News

Top International Free Agent signee Felnin Celesten drew the attention of Seattle Times writer Ryan Divish who got to see him up close at the end of Spring Training.

Corey Brock of The Athletic wrote about five prospects who could break out and become more well known this season.

Tacoma Rainiers Broadcaster Mike Curto wrote about the start of the Rainiers season which included the pitching rotation for the first five games of the season. We will see Taylor Dollard get the ball on Sunday in Oklahoma City.

Mariners Transactions

The Mariners made a trade on Friday March 31 by acquiring Nick Solak from the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. He was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma and is on the 40-man roster. He is a second baseman and left fielder who had been with the Texas Rangers for a few years prior to being purchased by the Reds during the winter. He adds some depth to the organization and could come up and be a bench contributor if needed. He has a career .252/.327/.372 slash line in just under 1000 plate appearances.

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Curtis Christianson

Curtis Christianson is the Athletic Director at Concordia Christian Academy. He also works in the Tacoma Rainiers clubhouse during the baseball season.