Mariners Top 20 Prospects: #6 CF Boog Powell


This speedy center fielder will likely be calling Seattle home in the very near future.

The Seattle Mariners acquired Boog Powell from the Tampa Bay Rays this past November as part of the return package for Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar. Boog immediately became one of the Mariners’ top prospects, and he is the most pro-ready youngster in the organization.

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Hershel Mack Powell IV, shortened to Boog in honor of the other Boog Powell, is a 23-year-old center fielder. He is more of a slap hitter, who projects as a top of the order bat. He does an excellent job of getting on base, and his speed creates problems for the opposition. Boog hits and throws from the left side.

Powell started the 2015 season with the Rays’ double-A affiliate in Montgomery before earning a promotion to Durham. Boog was brilliant with the Biscuits of Montgomery, posting a .328 batting average with 1 home run, 22 RBI and 11 steals. His .408 on base percentage and .416 slugging percentage were both very impressive.

The Orange Coast College alum made his debut with the Durham Bulls on June 27th. Powell slashed .257/.360/.364 across the final two months of the Bulls’ season. He clubbed 2 home runs, drove in 19 runs and swiped 7 bags. Boog’s 41:32 strikeout to walk ratio was great, and should bode well for him hitting out of the top of the M’s lineup.

Overall, Powell hit .295 with 3 home runs, 40 RBI and 18 stolen bases across 117 games in 2015. He registered a .385 on base percentage and slugged .392 through 522 plate appearances.

Originally selected by the Oakland A’s in the 20th round of the 2012 draft, Powell began his professional career with the Athletics affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. Boog put up a solid .306/.383/.315 slash with 13 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 35 games. However, he tallied just 1 extra-base hit across 130 plate appearances.

Oakland sent Powell to the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York/Pennsylvania League in 2013. He did a pretty nice job with the Lake Monsters, hitting .283 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, 14 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 59 games. Powell still struggled once again to hit for power, but he posted an impressive .364 on base percentage.

Powell began the 2014 season with the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League. The speedy outfielder dominated the competition, hitting .335 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI in 69 games. Boog earned MVP honors at the Midwest League All-Star Game after finishing 1 for 3 with a double, two walks, three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Powell finished the season with the A’s California League affiliate, the Stockton Ports. Remarkably, he was even more productive in Stockton, slashing .377/.449/.459 across 69 plate appearances.

The A’s dubbed Powell to be one of their top prospects, and sent him to the prestigious Arizona Fall League following the 2014 season. He excelled against the best young players in baseball, hitting .300 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBI and 2 stolen bases across 21 games. Powell also registered a .402 on base percentage and slugged .429 through 84 plate appearances in the AFL.

Powell is considered to be an above-average defender in center field. He tallied 11 outfield assists this past season, but his .972 fielding percentage left something to be desired. Boog has solid range, and is thought to be capable of playing all three outfield spots.

Despite his productive minor league career, there is some controversy associated with Powell. He was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in 2014 after testing positive for amphetamines. However, Boog has not had any further infractions, and hopefully his trouble is behind him.

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The mathematicians at FanGraphs are high on the Mission Viejo, CA product. They suggest that he will register 4.7 wins above replacement through his age 28 season. FanGraphs projects Boog will have a similar career to that of Gregor Blanco. I think Mariners’ fans would gladly take that.

Jerry Dipoto told Chris Russo of MLB Network that he envisions “at some point, whether it’s April or later in the year, Boog Powell will become a top-of-the-order, athletic, on-base center-field option that should give us a lot of return for years to come.” These statements were made prior to the Leonys Martin trade, but they would seem to indicate that Dipoto envisions Powell making an impact with the Mariners in 2016.

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Boog Powell appears to fit exactly what Dipoto and his cohorts are looking for in a leadoff man. He boasts a .401 career on base percentage and a 175:163 strikeout to walk ratio during his four seasons in the minor-leagues. Powell is ready to contribute at the big league level, and I would be shocked if we do not see him patrolling center field this summer in the Emerald City.