Sam Carlson, Seattle Mariners

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NOTE: Overall Future Potential (OFP), is not a prediction of where the player will land when all is said and done. It’s his future potential if the current profile gets through development stages and into the big leagues. Profiles can change as players gain experience, add pitches, change their swings, change positions, and alter their physical makeup. There is some profile projection, however, in the final OFP, using standard projection tactics based on a player’s frame, raw athleticism, and raw physical tools. Players  can rank above others with higher OFPs if the risk factor makes up the difference.

Many in the industry use ‘Future Value,’ or ‘FV’ rather than OFP, but those generally represent the current most likely result in the player, based on that particular analysts process and formula, and for me that’s just too subjective to provide real value to the fan. A player’s OFP tends to be closer to consensus without actually being so, suggesting it’s a more useful piece of information in the moment.

30. James Parker, SS | R/R | 3.26.00 | 6-1 / 200

Parker possesses the physical tools to produce consistently in all facets of the game, despite lacking a headlining skill. He’s moves well enough laterally and displays good hands and adequate arm strength to stay at shortstop long-term.

At the plate, Parker sprays the ball gap to gap and generates enough bat speed to develop average power, but the swing isn’t currently conducive to such production, but may in time. He’s an above-average runner with good instincts, but isn’t explosive and isn’t likely to steal many bases.

His swing can get a bit long at times and he ran out below-average contact rates for a middle-infield college draftee in Class-A ball, but there’s a lot of soft room for improvement in this area, suggesting we’ll know a lot more after 2022 when the bat goes through High-A.

TOOLS

HIT PWR FIELD RUN THRW OFP
45 50 55 55 55 45

ETA: 2024
ROLE: Utility Infielder
COMPS: Cody Ransom, Pat Valaika, Paul DeJong


29. Taylor Dollard, RHP| R/R | 2.17.99 | 6-3 / 200

Dollard’s fastball sits 90-93 mph, touching 94, setting up two slow breaking balls that range from the mid-70s to the low-80s, the harder version flashing average, occasionally better. The changeup was inconsistent in 2021 but has flashed above average and carries the best projection among his secondaries.

The right-hander throws strikes with everything and does a good job using his fastball all over the zone, but despite missing bats at both A-ball stops in his first professional season he yielded a lot of hits and served up too many long balls at High-A Everett.

Once he advances to Double-A, which is likely to happen in 2022, his fastball command and breaking ball will be tested, likely going a long way toward which future role is most likely. In relief, it’s plausible he adds a tick or more of velocity and sits 93-96, creating better early-count options and taking some pressure off the breaking balls.

TOOLS

FB CB SL CH CM/CT OFP
50+ 50+ 45+ 50 50+ 45.5

ETA: 2023
ROLE: Middle Reliever/Swing Starter
COMPS: Tanner Roark, Ian Kennedy (RP)


28. Juan Then, RHP | 2.7.00 | 6-1 / 200

Then struggled overall in 2021, but it was mostly about missing spots with his fastball and having to throw more of them in hitter’s counts. He allowed 12 home runs in 54.1 innings, didn’t get to his slider enough, and his changeup didn’t show much better than the last time he saw the mound in 2019.

He’s added good weight and now looks the part of a starter, but his stuff and command each remains short, and the trend isn’t positive.

Then still is just 22 and he’ll touch 96 mph with the four-seamer, so there’s both a foundation on which to build, and time remaining to develop. Still, the bullpen remains an overwhelming likelihood for Then entering 2022, with a lot of ground to make up to flip that script.

TOOLS

FB SL CH NA CM/CT OFP
55 55 50+ 45 46.5

ETA: 2024
ROLE: Middle Reliever / Limited HLR
COMPS: Cody Allen, Scott Oberg, Luke Jackson


27. Martin Gonzalez, SS | R/R | 9.28.04 | 5-10 / 180

Gonzalez signed in January and already is the mostly likely minor leaguer in the organization to stick at shortstop over the long haul.

There’s no standout tool here, but the swing is short and quick, and the hands-feet combo in the field give tons of versatility options if the bat doesn’t ultimately play on the daily.

TOOLS

HIT PWR FIELD RUN THRW OFP
50 45+ 55 55 55 46.5

ETA: 2027
ROLE: Utility
COMPS: Ronald Torreyes, Everth Cabrera, Ruben Tejada


26. Isaiah Campbell, RHP | 8.15.97 | 6-4 / 230

Campbell is a big, physical arm with velocity into the mid-90s and a chance for a legitimate four-pitch mix. The slider is his best of the secondaries, but his changeup shows promise, too. The curveball is slow (72-76 mph), but could remain an option in certain counts if he can command it well enough.

The right-hander hasn’t pitched much as a pro — thanks to the pandemic and an elbow injury — robbing him of a ton of development time, but the surgery he had last summer is deemed relatively minor and he’s expected to be back on the mound this spring ready to rock.

A fully healthy Campbell should be given a chance to start, even though his best chance at helping the big club inside the next two-plus years is in a multi-inning bullpen role, and because he’s already 24 I suspect that’s the route the Mariners take once he’s within a year of the majors.

TOOLS

FB SL CB CH CM/CT OFP
55+ 55+ 40+ 50 45 48

ETA: 2023
ROLE: Late-inning relief / mid-rotation starter
COMPS: Lou Trivino, Nick Pivetta, Blake Wood


25. Jonatan Clase, CF | S/R | 5.23.02 | 5-11 / 185

Clase has added muscle each of the last two winters, and has grown somewhere between three and four inches, making him at least 5-foot-11, if the rumors are true.

The added strength gives him a real shot at the plate, with some evidence coming through that he’ll have no problems reaching the gaps and even leaving the yard a bit down the road. He remains at least a 65 runner despite the added weight, and he’s tinkered with switch-hitting with promising results.

His raw speed and explosive first step make him a good bet to stick in center, but he’ll need ample time there to develop instincts.. The arm will play in left if need be.

Clase’s ability to make consistent contact will dictate his future, but in order to develop that skill he’ll need to stay on the field. After missing 2020 with everyone else in the minors, the 19-year-old managed just 14 games in affiliated ball in 2021.

If he can hit at all, he’ll swipe 30-plus bases and have a chance to play a lot, if not every day.

TOOLS

HIT PWR FIELD RUN THRW OFP
45+ 45+ 55 65 55 48

ETA: 2025
ROLE: Regular CF
COMPS: Mallex Smith, Delino DeShields, Michael Bourn


24. Bryce Miller, RHP | 8.23.98 | 6-2 / 195

Miller was the club’s fourth-round pick last summer out of Texas A&M, and despite allowing 15 hits in 9.1 innings, he posted a 15-2 K/BB ratio and did not allow a long ball in five appearances.

There’s some physical projection left in the frame, and the delivery is clean, athletic, and offers some deception. He’s up to 96 mph with the fastball, missing bats up in the zone, and commanding it well to both sides.

His best offspeed pitch is an 81-85 mph slider he can back foot or back door versus lefties, and work effectively down and away versus right-handed batters. There’s a real chance at a plus pitch here.

The changeup and curveball both have a shot, but are below average entering 2022. His arm speed gives him a chance with both offerings, and the spin on the curveball is promising.

TOOLS

FB SL CB CH CM/CT OFP
60 55 45+ 40+ 45 48.5

ETA: 2023
ROLE: No. 4 starter
COMPS: Drew Storen, Tyson Ross, Clay Buchholz


23. Andrés Muñoz, RHP | 1.16.99 | 6-2 / 245

Muñoz is a simple scout; he’s 97-102 mph with the fastball — was 98-100 in his one-game return to the mound last September after 2020 Tommy John surgery — setting up an average slider that flashes above average and teases plus. Throwing strikes consistently, however, has been a bit of a problem.

The Mariners clearly believe in his ability to figure out that particular issue, having signed the right-hander to a four-year, $7.5 million deal this winter, including three options years that could keep the flamethrower under contract through 2028.

He’s probably never going to have better than fringe-average command and average control, but if he gets to such levels, the raw stuff will take over, anyway.

There’s elite reliever ability here, but that upside comes with the danger he’s an up-and-down arm that serves as the cause for Scott Servais to lose all of his hair in a very short period of time.

TOOLS

FB SL CM/CT NA NA OFP
80 55+ 40+ 46

ETA: 2022
ROLE: High-leverage reliever
COMPS: Bruce Rondon, Hector Rondon, Gregory Soto


22. Sam Carlson, RHP | 12.3.98 | 6-4 / 200

Carlson missed three years after being the club’s second-round pick in 2017, and his return to the mound last spring flashed velocity into the 93-95 mph range.

He didn’t hold that velo all year, and at times was 87-90, but he also flashed a plus slider, a newly-minted curveball with good shape and two-plane break, and a solid-average changeup.

Carlson simply need to stay on the mound and gain experience so his pitches — and his delivery — can develop and mature. I suspect once his arm strength is all the way back the velocity will stabilize.

He’s a tremendous athlete — perhaps the best in the system — with loose arm action and plenty of giddyap on the fastball, including some armside run and sink.

Despite being 23 now, the Mariners are certain to go slow with Carlson, but that also likely means he sticks in the rotation for the foreseeable future to get the work he needs, perhaps allowing him to ride that roe into the big leagues in two or three years.

There’s plenty of risk to his role comp right now, but the track record of UCL surgery recipients is good enough to stick with it for another year.

TOOLS

FB SL CB CH CM/CT OFP
60+ 55+ 40+ 50 50 51

ETA: 2025
ROLE: No. 3 starter
COMP: Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon Morrow, Chris Archer


21. Juan Pinto, LHP | 8.26.04 | 6-3 / 181

Pinto has yet to throw a pitch in affiliated ball but has worked his way into the Top 25 thanks to increased strength that has led to a bump in velocity. He’s now touching the low-90s at 17 years of age.

It’s a very loose delivery with a high three-quarter arm slot and a lanky, athletic lower half.

He hides the ball pretty well with a closed front shoulder, and does a very good job spinning the curveball, currently his best secondary pitch which has a real shot to garner plus or better grades in time.

Everything about Pinto is projectable; the body, the fastball velocity, movement and overall value, and his chances to develop a changeup, thanks to very good natural arm speed and early feel.

TOOLS

FB CB CH NA CM/CT OFP
55+ 55+ 40+ 50 51

ETA: 2027
ROLE: No. 3 starter
COMP: Blake Snell, Steven Matz, Scott Barlow


20. Starlin Aguilar, 3B | L/R | 1.26.04 | 5-11 / 190

Aguilar enters 2022 after 220 plate appearances in the DSL last summer that may have generated more questions that it confirmed his original scouting report. There was more swing-and-miss, fewer line drives, more ground balls and, as expected, some less-than-ideal footwork and range at third base.

But Aguilar also displayed advanced plate discipline and strike zone judgment, and the swing remains short and powerful, sustaining above-average power grades, and his arm and general athleticism remain solid enough to suggest a chance he sticks at third long-term, or at least profiles in left field.

The swing plane needs maturation, but that isn’t unique for players of his age and experience, and there’s plenty of belief in his ability to make hard contact.

It’s not a classic hot corner profile due to the defensive questions and especially the power upside, but those that like Aguilar see a chance the power plays up into the 25-homer range as the hit tool takes hold over time.

TOOLS

HIT PWR FIELD RUN THRW OFP
55 55 45 30 55 48

ETA: 2026
ROLE: Corner-based utility bat
COMPS: Ryan McMahon, Jeimer Candelario, Derek Dietrich

 

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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 and spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio. He now serves as the Executive Copy Editor at Data Skrive, a tech company that manipulates data to provide automated content to clients including the AP, BetMGM, USA Today, and ESPN. Find Jason's baseball podcast, Baseball Things, right here.

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