We’re eight months from the end of the 2021 Major League Baseball season, and a lot will happen between now and then. One of those things is movement in the prospect ranks.
Players develop at different paces, others will graduate, and new ones will be added to each club’s farm system. Aside from the ultimate additions in July — International free agents, the draft, deadline trades — let’s take a look at how the Seattle Mariners’ Top 10 Prospects might look.
I expect two players currently in the Top 10 to graduate, and it’s possible a third, Taylor Trammell, and a fourth, Cal Raleigh, also exceed the 130 at-bat limits to maintain rookie and prospect status, and I’m going to assume both do.
There’s a chance the club’s first-round pick (No. 12) and top international signing could factor in, but for this exercise I will make no assumptions.
This is just hypothetical in every way, so, try not to take this too seriously, eh?
|Julio Rodriguez, RF|
Rodriguez should be challenged in the upper minors this season, starting in Double-A Arkansas, but it’s difficult to see him show anything but progress, even if the numbers may not always scream it.
|Emerson Hancock, RHP|
Hancock’s full arsenal and command should allow him to cruise into Double-A, perhaps by season’s end if there are enough innings in the plan.
|George Kirby, RHP|
Kirby doesn’t have the raw stuff of Hancock or Logan Gilbert at this stage, but he might be able to command-and-feel his way through High-A West, and I expect more mid-90s heat.
|Noelvi Marte, SS/3B|
Marte has as much room to show out as anyone on this list, but there’s also a strong possibility he runs into a few hurdles at the plate and doesn’t move quite as quick through Low-A West as Rodriguez did the Sally League back in 2019.
|Brandon Williamson, LHP|
A consistently-plus curveball with more velocity than he showed over 15.1 innings in Everett two summers ago would offer a more bullish projection for the left-hander.
|Juan Then, RHP|
There are questions about Then’s future role, but the last time he was on a mound he was 91-95 mph with an average slider. There are signs he’s sharpened the breaking ball to significant levels and gas camp has offered at least another tick. If he holds most of the velocity deep into starts and his changeup flashes viable or better, he’ll shoot up the ranks.
|Zach DeLoach, OF|
DeLoach lacks a standout tool, but his best attributes are strike zone judgment, swing consistency, and athleticism, all of which should play well in either Low-A West or High-A West.
|Levi Stoudt, RHP|
Nearly two years off Tommy John and having yet to throw a pitch in a professional game, there’s reason to curb expectations. But the fastball-changeup combo is good enough to dominate Low-A West. An average breaker and he could see Everett for a bit.
|Isaiah Campbell, RHP|
Campbell’s fastball-changeup is competitive and his slider should be a weapon for him against Class-A bats, but the development of his slider and/or curveball is key to his future.
|Jonatan Clase, CF|
I guess Clase is my guy. He’s raw at the plate and unrefined in the field, but he’s a 70 runner with bat speed and some present ability to work the zone. He’ll turn 19 in May, but if he sees full-season ball it’s a great sign.
Jason A. Churchill
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