Mariners Top 20 Prospects: #9 RHP Nick Neidert


Nick Neidert dominated his competition during his professional debut last summer.

Originally selected in the second round of the 2015 draft by the Seattle Mariners, Nick Neidert made a great first impression with the organization last season. The young right-hander has a chance to one day take up a spot in the M’s starting rotation, and he comes in at number 9 in SoDo Mojo’s list of Seattle’s top 20 prospects.

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The Peachtree Ridge High School alum began his professional career with the Mariners’ affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. Neidert was filthy, going 0-2 with a 1.53 ERA across 11 starts in Peoria. He fanned 23 and walked 9 in 35.1 innings pitched. Neidert limited the opposition to 0.962 walks/hits per inning, and surrendered just 1 home run all summer. It’s safe to say he exceeded expectations during his debut campaign.

Elbow tendentious during Neidert’s senior year of high school torpedoed his draft stock. However, he was still one of the top high school hurlers entering the 2015 draft, and the Mariners considered themselves fortunate to snag him with the 60th overall selection. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Neidert as the 48th best prospect in the nation, and Baseball America slotted him in at number 55 leading up to the draft.

The 19-year-old right-hander possesses an impressive three pitch arsenal. Neidert’s best pitch is his fastball, which tops out at 96 mph. He is able to generate considerable movement on his breaking ball, and scouts consider this offering to be his out pitch. Neidert’s changeup is another plus pitch that should continue to improve as his body matures.

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Aside from his injury history, the only legitimate concern scouts have with Neidert is his size. Standing 6’1, he lacks ideal height to be a right-handed starting pitcher in the big leagues. However, many scouts have compared his frame to that of Tim Hudson. It goes without saying that Mariner fans would be thrilled if Neidert was able to produce similar results to Hudson. Neidert would also be wise to take inspiration from Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays, who was also told he was too small throughout his minor-league career.

The Mariners will likely continue to give Neidert the opportunity to be a starting pitcher in 2016, but a move to the bullpen in the future is a possibility. He has an electric fastball, and his three pitch repertoire might be better suited to being a reliever. However, if Neidert can continue to pitch the way he did in 2015, he will soon take up a spot in the M’s starting rotation.

Next: Mariners Spring Training Recap: Day 5

I believe Jerry Dipoto will play it safe with Nick Neidert in 2016. I expect him to begin the season in extended spring training before being sent to Everett to play with the AquaSox in the Northwest League. Neidert is still very young, but he could potentially make his big league debut with the Mariners during the 2019 season.