Saturday: Nos. 31-40
Sunday: Nos. 11-20.
Monday: Nos. 6-10
Wednesday: No. 5
Thursday: No. 4
Friday: No. 3
Saturday, Feb. 27: No. 2
Sunday, Feb. 28: No. 1
Monday, March 1: Best Tools
Tuesday, March 2: How many Mariners prospects would be No. 1 elsewhere?
Wednesday March 3: Projected 2024 Lineup, Rotation, Bullpen
Thursday, March 4: Projecting the Top 10 Prospects after the season
The Seattle Mariners farm system is as deep as it’s ever been. There’s big-league talent beyond the club’s Top 20. Below is prospects Nos. 21-30.
Important note: There’s not a significant difference between 40 and 18, at least not as much as 22 entire spots in a good farm system would suggest, but here’s a delicate balance between upside, risk, and ETA.
30. Sam Delaplane, RHR
Delaplane jumped onto the radar when he sat 95-98 mph for a bit in Modesto in 2019, but he was more 92-95 in Arkansas, with a reach-back for a bit more, rather than living in he high range.
His plus breaking ball looks like a spiking slider, but it’s a curveball at 83-87 mph with legendary spin rates and late break that results in swings and misses.
The right-hander is a strike thrower, but does struggle with location and when he doesn’t have his best fastball batters will lay off the breaking ball.
I have some durability concerns along with questions about how deep into his appearances he can hold the mid-90s or better heat or I’d rank him 10-plus spots higher, but he can answer those question very quickly this spring where it’s not out of the question he makes the big club.
29. Wyatt Mills, RHR
Mills is more projectable than Delaplane and while the last time we saw him pitch in games his raw stuff was merely average for a reliever, he’s shown improved velocity and breaking balls shape.
Mills was essentially the consolation prize in Round 3 when the Mariners schemed Sam Carlson into their second-round and paid him $2 million. Mills has proven to be a fine choice for the under-slot play.
He was essentially 91-95 mph in 2019 but in the fall was often 94-96 and touched 97. He throws from a true sidearm slot, adding deception and sink to the arm side life on the pitch, setting up a 55-grade slider that plays well off the fastball.
Like Delaplane, Mills has an outside shot to break camp with the big club, and if not likely sees the big leagues at some point later in the season.
28. Adam Macko, LHP
Macko is a fun left-hander to watch; he’s aggressive, very athletic, and works fast. He also has an above-average curveball that projects to plus, and if you know anything about me at all you probably know I love me some left-handed curveballs.
Macko lacks the stature of the protypical, projectable arm at just 6-feet and 180 pounds, which is part of the reason he doesn’t rank 10 spots higher. He’s touched 93-94 mph, but in Everett two summers ago was mostly 89-90, and it remains to be seen how he handles the workload of a pro starter.
On the flip side, he might be a four-pitch arm, and has separated himself as the best of the club’s prep arms for their 2019 draft class.
27. Joey Gerber, RHR
Gerber offers size, some athleticism, deception from a three-quarters slot and a sinking fastball up to 98 mph. He was mostly 93-95 in the big leagues last summers, and at times struggled to stay above 92, and the slider was quite flat.
He’ll have to finish better through his release point to get the bite on his slider and command both his pitches better. Doing so could lead him to a setup-style role with some chances in high-leverage situations, but there’s work to do here despite a lot of success in the minors, including a 112-30 K/BB ratio across four levels.
Gerber enters camp with a chance to show he’s ready for a big-league role, but the better bet is he starts in Triple-A Tacoma and is one of the first handful of relievers to get the call as the season progresses.
26. Yohan Ramirez, RHR
Ramirez’s raw stuff is pretty good, and it kept him from disastrous results in 2020 despite walking more than 21% of the batters he faced.
He’s up to 98 mph with the fastball and he ditched the curveball for a plus slider in the low-80s.
Ramirez has to throw more strikes to get back to the big leagues, and that means repeating his delivery and finishing through a consistent release point.
I’m projecting he starts 2021 in Tacoma, considering the additions Seattle has made to the reliever corps over the winter.
25. Braden Bishop, CF
The former UW standout still possesses the elite defensive chops and at least 65-grade speed, but he’s struggled in sporadic opportunities in the majors, showing shaky discipline and some timing issues.
The swing isn’t clean, but he’s worked to kill a trigger tick that should allow his above-average bat speed to play better, which suggests a better shot to make consistent contact and take advantage of improved raw power.
His raw speed has never resulted in a lot of stolen bases, but he’s a very good baserunner and can handle the bat in small ball opportunities.
Bishop’s defensive instincts are terrific — the best I’ve ever seen from a prospect. He gets very good jumps, reads balls off the bat at an elite level and his routes are pristine. He also throws well, generally receiving above-average grades.
If he hits even a little bit he’s a major leaguer, even as a fourth outfielder or platoon option, but he’s running out of time, both in terms of age (27) and chances in Seattle. He has an option left, but could earn a spot on the Opening Day roster as part of the at-least temporary solution in left field prior to the arrival of Jarred Kelenic.
24. George Feliz, CF
The Mariners signed Feliz as part of their 2019 July 2 class for his athleticism, advanced hitting skills and legitimate chance to stick in center.
He projects for a lot of above-average tools, with present plus speed, a plus arm and a hit tool reminiscent of a .300 or better hitter with good OBPs.
He’ll get on the field for the first time this summer, so Feliz is a longer-term prospect. He has received comparisons to Nationals centerfielder Victor Robles from some, though I’d cut a bit shy of that, to be honest. At least for now.
23. Will Vest, RHR
Vest was the club’s Rule 5 pick in December, plucked from the Tigers’ organization after his velocity ticked up beyond the mid-90s in the fall.
A starter at Stephen F. Austin State, Vest has taken to the relief role and his arm speed has turned into 93-96 mph velocity and a slider that was sharper as he added velocity.
He’s going to make the club out of camp barring injury, and has a chance to be a very good middle reliever, somewhat similar to Sam Dyson with better control, and therefore a better chance at consistency.
22. Anthony Misiewicz, LHR
Misiewicz exhausted his rookie status in 2020 due to pro-rated service time rules, but his 20 innings pitched certainly doesn’t remove the prospect tag.
The lefty was pretty good in those 20 frames, including a 30%-7% K/BB ratio and a 98th percentile barrel rate. But he still gave up a lot of hard contact and right-handed batters did almost all of that damage (.308/.386/.590), and all of it off his cutter and curveball.
He can use the cutter more effectively in on righties, or use his 93-95 mph four-seamer more often. But command is a rather large part of the success in these situations, too.
Misiewicz’s ceiling is multi-inning middle reliever — but he’s ready to take on a similar role immediately (since he did it fairly well last season), so his lack of reward is mitigated some by both ETA and probability.
21. Ljay Newsome, RHP
Newsome is a fascinating prospect, partially because he wasn’t one at all until his arm took well to gas camp two years ago. Until then, the right-hander was cruising at 84-86 mph and touching 88, winning with volume strikes and fringey overall stuff.
He also lacks physical projection at 5-foot-11 and a listed 210 pounds that might be a few kilos light.
Newsome came out firing in 2019, however, sitting 91-93 mph and even touching 95. Later that summer the velo faded, but he was back at it last summer in the majors, averaging 91.7 mph on the four-seamer.
He’s still a command-and-feel arm with fringe-average stuff, and lacks an out pitch, but I’m not convinced we’ve seen his best curveball or changeup, and he’s used a cutter in the past that might help him versus lefties (.379/.400/.724).
The best news is the command is consistent, includes all of his pitches, and at least borders on plus. He has a shot to be a back-end starter and hang around the bigs awhile, but could also be effective in a long role.
Newsome enters camps as the No. 7 or 8 starter, and falls behind Logan Gilbert on the ultimate depth chart for 2021, so there may not be a lot of chances for him to start for Seattle. Or is there?
Newsome likely starts in Tacoma, but he’ll be back at T-Mobile in 2021.
Jason A. Churchill
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