The first 5 prospects on this list are more or less interchangeable. At the beginning of my process, I had 45 prospects that I was considering. Picking the last 5 was the hardest part of this list. Many intriguing and interesting prospects just missed the cut, and could easily slide into these spots if I wrote the list in 2 weeks. But here is where we landed for now.
20. Michael Plassmeyer, LHP Everett Aqua Sox
Plassmeyer was the 4th round pick of the Mariners in the 2018 MLB draft. He had a sensational year for Missouri, posting a 3.05 ERA in 91 innings, striking out 103 batters on the season while issuing just 17 walks.
Tools wise, Plassmeyer has relatively average stuff. The fastball sits at 90 MPH but has one of the highest spin rates in the 2018 class, making it difficult to square up. The changeup and slider are average. The slider has the potential to be a good pitch.
Plassmeyer uses his above-average command along with average stuff and pitchability to get batters out. It isn’t the type of profile that will excite most, but his high-floor of a back-end rotation piece is worth watching. He is off to a great start in Everett, where the Mariners are managing his innings for the remainder of the season.
Scouting Grades (20-80)- Fastball: 55 Slider:50 Changeup: 50 Control: 55 Overall: 50 ETA:2021 Comp: Jarrod Washburn
19. Keegan McGovern, OF Clinton LumberKings
Sometimes, you just like a guy more than most people. Keegan McGovern might be that guy for me. The ninth round pick of the Mariners in the 2018 draft, McGovern is a guy who has always been good at 1 thing: getting on base.
In his 4 seasons at Georgia against SEC competition, McGovern posted a career .407 OBP. It wasn’t until this year that he grew into some of his natural power. In 216 AB’s for the Bulldogs, McGovern hit 18 home runs and 14 doubles, slugging .644 without sacrificing his patience at the plate.
McGovern will have to hit to make it to the show, as he posses below average speed and is only okay defensively in LF. But with his blend of approach and power, he very well may get there.
McGovern briefly appeared in low A Everett before being promoted to Clinton. He is off to a decent start there, slashing .259/.333/.469 in 22 games.
Scouting Grades- Hit:50 Power:50 Speed:45 Arm:45 Field:45 Overall:45 ETA: 2021
18. Daniel Vogelbach, 1B/DH Tacoma Rainiers
Oh Vogey, our large adult son. How you have so many fans. Daniel Vogelbach is actually just one of 2 players on our list with MLB experience, and a favorite of Sodo Mojo contributor Colton Swanson.
Vogelbach has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. In his 8 seasons of minor league ball, he is slashing .287/.395/.482 and is having another great season in AAA Tacoma. Unfortunately for Vogelbach, the Mariners don’t have a spot for him. He is truly a DH only, and Nelson Cruz is still Nelson Cruz.
He has gotten a handful of AB’s at the Major League level but hasn’t exactly taken advantage of those opportunities, slashing .196/.311/.284. Of course, this doesn’t mean he can’t hit big league pitching. It just means he hasn’t yet.
The bat and power combo cannot be denied. However, he cannot play defense or run the bases. Like, not at all. The Mariners have a hole at 1B right now with Ryon Healy, and they still won’t give Vogelbach a shot. That says something. I’m not sure what, but it probably isn’t great news for Vogey.
A conclusion to the Mariners career of Vogelbach may be nearing. He is out of options and could be an enticing piece in trade talks before Opening Day of 2018. But hey, at least we will always have this, the most impressive HR I have ever watched in person:
Scouting Grades- Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 30 Arm:50 Field:40 Overall: 50 ETA: 2018
17. Joe Rizzo, IF Modesto Nuts
The second selection of the Jerry Dipoto era, Rizzo was a highly touted prep bat when Seattle selected him in the second round. Scouts raved about his feel for hitting, earning high praise for his approach and ability to spray line drives all over the field.
Thus far, the results have been… okay. Rizzo is in his second full season of pro-ball and finds himself in High-A Modesto at 20-years-old. He is slashing .270/.341/.359 in 340 PA so far. Not earth-shattering numbers, but still pretty decent production for a kid. Certainly, no reason to pull any panic alarms.
The power has yet to come for Rizzo, but at 5’9″, 195 lbs, there isn’t much room to add strength to his game. Rizzo was never a big power prospect, but he will need to at least increase his extra-base hit production in the coming years.
Rizzo is still playing a lot of third base, but most believe he is destined for LF, where his fringe-average arm plays better. There is no reason to write off Rizzo yet, who is still getting on-base and showing the bat-to-ball skills that made him a second-round pick just 2 summers ago.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 50 Power:35 Run: 40 Arm: 50 Field: 45 Overall: 45 ETA: 2022
16. Wyatt Mills, RP Modest Nuts
Wyatt Mills was the money saving 3rd round selection of the 2017 MLB Draft. All he has done since then is get hitters out. The side-arm slinging reliever has posted a 2.17 ERA in his first 57 innings while striking out 71 batters.
Mills uses deception along with his 94 MPH fastball and sharp slider to get hitters out. Mills is 23-years-old after spending 4 years as the closer for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
He doesn’t have pinpoint command, and probably never will thanks to his unique arm-slot. But he throws strikes and will be a nightmare for most RHH to face. His high-floor and set-up man ceiling makes him an ultra-intriguing reliever you could see very soon.