The Seattle Mariners farm system has been much maligned over the past 3 or 4 years. It is one of the biggest questions remaining surrounding the tenure of Jerry Dipoto has the GM. Can he build up the farm system?
My answer to this question is pretty basic: he already has. Is the Mariners farm system good? No. Yet it is good enough to accomplish it’s one and only goal: to make the big league team better. Remember, Modesto winning the Cal League means a lot to that team, but as Mariners fans, it’s nothing more than a neat story.
You care about winning here, in Seattle, above all else. So yes, Jerry Dipoto has dealt away some pretty good prospects. He gave up Luiz Gohara, MLB Pipelines #42 ranked prospect, and got nothing of value in return.
Dipoto also gave up one of the organizations only Top 100 prospect, Tyler O’Neil, and got the Cardinals number 12 prospect, Marco Gonzales. Is anybody complaining now? Never forget, the minor league system is there to develop talent to help the Major League team win. Sometimes it’s by getting called up. Other times, it’s being able to trade them for a valuable piece.
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As the GM of the Mariners, Dipoto now has 3 draft classes under his belt, as well as 3 international signing classes. He has wheeled and dealt, added and subtracted prospects, and has, for the most part, done a nice job in improving the farm system.
Again, there is a long way to go, but despite never having a Top 10 pick with the Mariners, the farm system is better and deeper under Jerry Dipoto and Scott Hunter. Today, we will take a look at the Top 20 prospects in this farm system.
Before we begin, remember that everybody has their own ranking system for prospects. Some focus on grading tools. Some only care about production. Most use a blended approach. I care about tools, but I also care about production. 80-grade power (highest grade) means little if you’re a 20-grade (lowest grade) hitter.
Rating prospects is a lot like grilling meat. Everybody has their preference, and it doesn’t mean one is necessarily worse than another. It’s just different. So without further ado, here are our Top 20 prospects.