Sodo Mojo’s Top 20 Seattle Mariners Prospects 10-1
5. Evan White
Newly minted as the #2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, we slot Evan White as our 5th best prospect. This is no knock against White, who I am actually a pretty big fan of. Instead, it speaks to just how much better the Mariners farm system has gotten.
White, the #17 overall pick of the 2017 draft, gives the Mariners a fun profile to work with. He hits right-handed but throws left-handed. He is a Gold Glove level first baseman, who doesn’t hit for the power associated with the position. He is a great athlete, and some scouts speculate that he could handle centerfield well if the Mariners are concerned about his offensive output.
Having strict offensive expectations based strictly on position played is stupid, but that is a different topic for another day. As for on the field, White is having a season fairly typical to what his profile might suggest.
He is slashing .289/.354/.406 in the minors, mostly at High-A Modest (he got a small cup of coffee at AAA Tacoma as an injury replacement). Not a lot of power for a first baseman. On the year, White has 18 doubles, 4 Triples, and 6 home runs.
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Again I’m not a fan of traditional statlines based solely on position, but White will need to hit for a bit more power to move back up into the Top 3 of our ranks.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 55 Power: 45 Run: 60 Arm: 55 Field: 70 Overall: 55 ETA: 2020
#4: Julio Rodriguez
We have now reached the international free agent signing tandem of our Top 10 Mariners prospects list. Julio Rodriguez was a major prize for teams in the 2017 international signing period, but the Mariners snagged him for $1.75 million.
The 17-year-old already looks like a good investment, as he has impressed scouts with his first foray into professional baseball. In the Dominican Summer League, Rodriguez is slashing an impressive .316/.401/.493 which fits his scouting profile like a glove.
Scouts have long been impressed with his approach at the plate and willingness to take walks. This isn’t a common trait for teenagers. He has a quick bat and can use the whole field, with more power on the way once he adds strength to his wiry 6’3″, 180 lbs frame.
Rodriguez has the arm and defensive ability to play a solid right field, and scouts believe his bat can be an impact, middle of the order type. Rodriguez might have the highest upside of any player in the farm system.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 60 Power: 55 Run: 45 Field: 50 Arm: 55 Overall: 55 ETA: 2022
#3 Noelvi Marte
We go from last years darling of the international free agent class to this years prize. Ranked as the #7 international free agent by MLB Pipeline and #4 by Baseball America, Noelvi Marte is quite a steal for the Mariners.
Signed for a $1.55 million bonus, Marte is the type of player who is easy to dream on. A 6’1″, 180 lbs shortstop who already has an advanced approach with exciting power upside. He has a smooth swing that generates plenty of backspin, giving him a plus power tool.
He is actually a solid defensive shortstop and should be given an opportunity to stick there. If he outgrows the position, he would be a natural fit at third and has the potential to be plus there. One of the scouts who are highest on him dropped a Jose Ramirez comp.
Marte just missed the #2 ranking on this list, but it was decided we needed to see him in game action before we make that next step.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 45 Field: 50 Arm: 55 Overall: 55 ETA: 2022
2. Kyle Lewis
What??? Kyle Lewis at #2? Why? Well, simply put, he hasn’t exactly done much to prove that he is what we thought he would be. Now, there is the obvious caveat that his career was certainly derailed by a bad knee injury just 6 weeks after he was drafted 11th overall by the Mariners in 2016.
But since then, Lewis has struggled to stay on the field. When he does play, the results have been mediocre at best. As a 23-year-old in High A Modesto, Lewis mustered just a pedestrian .260/.303/.429 slash. For a first-round pick in the Cal League, you’d expect to see much more.
Lewis has been promoted to AA Arkansas, but not because he earned it. He was only promoted after Braden Bishop broke his forearm. The Mariners need to start seeing results. Lewis has the raw tools and is in his first full season back from the injury. There isn’t any reason to panic yet, but the days of assuming he is going to be a really good player are fading fast.
Lewis did participate in the Futures Game this year, which speaks to the type of upside he has if he can get right at the plate.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 50 Power: 55 Run: 50 Arm: 60 Field: 50 Overall: 55 ETA: 2019 Comp: Adam Jones
1. Logan Gilbert
Yes, the 2018 first round pick is the new #1 Mariners prospect. Logan Gilbert is an exceptional blend of high ceiling, high floor, with numbers and stuff to throw into the mix as well. Gilbert led college baseball in strikeouts in 2018. That alone has to raise one’s eyebrows.
Gilbert will not pitch in the organization this year, as he was worked hard in college and is currently battling mono. What fans will see next year is an advanced starter with 3 above-average pitches and a 4th that isn’t far behind.
Gilbert’s fastball sits in the low 90’s but has touched 97 mph. He can live at 94 mph if he wants but typically sits at 92 mph on most nights. Gilbert also has a nice slider which is a little more slurvey than your prototypical pitcher. He has a curveball as well, which lags behind his other 3 pitches.
The changeup is the real price of Logan Gilbert’s off-speed repertoire. It shows good fade and run and generates swings-and-misses, as well as soft contact. Gilbert is fine mechanically, but with most young pitchers, there are tweaks to be made to help improve his average control.
Gilbert has the non-injury floor of a #4 type of starter. If he refines his command a bit and is able to take one of his pitches from above-average to plus, he could be a #2 starter.
It is this blend of high probability to hit and decent probability to be great that puts Gilbert into our #1 spot.