Seattle Mariners: 6 Prospects Likely to Debut in 2019
By Ty Gonzalez
OF BRADEN BISHOP
It may not be so far-fetched to say that Braden Bishop has silently been Seattle’s best prospect. Before an unfortunate forearm injury abruptly ended his season, Bishop was well on his way to joining Triple-A Tacoma in 2018. Selected 94th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Washington, Bishop has hit well above-average at every level within the Mariners organization. It had seemed that, if he had made it to Tacoma this season, that trend would have definitely continued and Bishop would potentially be on his way to making Seattle’s roster out of Spring Training.
Bishop is a career .294/.366/.385 hitter in the Minor Leagues, posting a 114 wRC+ and an average walk-rate of 8.3%. He’s shown the ability to swipe a few bags over that time, stealing 48 bases, but his speed is best exhibited in the outfield. In fact, Bishop’s bat has overachieved in ways, as the 25-year-old outfielder was drafted a defense-first player, often drawing “future Gold Glover” projections. If the bat is here to stay, which it appears to be, then Bishop’s ceiling has shot up from a potential JaCoby Jones, Delino DeShields type to something more along the lines of Kevin Pillar.
He may not have the highest ceiling of the current Mariners class, but he may have the highest floor at this point. It’s very hard to imagine Bishop completely failing at the Major League level, never developing into at least a quality fourth outfielder. That’s a very good feeling to have if you’re Seattle, who don’t have a lot of “sure things” in their farm system at the moment.
As a side note, you can never write about Bishop without mentioning his charity 4MOM, a foundation that helps the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Bishop started the fund in college after his mother, Suzy, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The success of 4MOM really kicked into high gear when Bishop entered the M’s organization, allowing the great Seattle fanbase to really take note and help this amazing cause. With great support from the Mariners, Bishop’s family has grown exponentially over the course of his incredible journey. Consider donating, if you haven’t already or would like to again, by visiting www.4momalz.com.
While Bishop has shown the ability to be a great baseball player, he’s an even better person. For that, I’m very excited to welcome him to the Mariners when his time comes relatively soon.