Seattle Mariners Top 30 Prospects Series: Honorable Mentions

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: RY 21: Gerson Bautista #63 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during photo days at First Data Field on February 21, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: RY 21: Gerson Bautista #63 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during photo days at First Data Field on February 21, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Before we dive on into our Top 30 Prospects in the Mariners farm system, we should spend a few moments to talk about a handful of players who just missed the cut.

Some of these players will almost certainly outshine some ranked above them. That is the nature of the beast (to understand our process, click here). While some may never dawn Mariners uniform’s, they still have talent that cannot be ignored. Some are close to the big leagues, and others are years away, but we believe these are some names you should look out for.

Eric Filia was given strong consideration for cracking the Top 30. His hit tool is undeniable and has hit at every level he has played. He makes a lot of contact and takes more walks than he strikes out. Unfortunately, he has little to no power and lacks the athleticism to provide much value on the field.

Filia has also always been older than average considering the league he was in, and has some off the field concerns too, including a suspension for marijuana use last season. He turns 27 in July, and will likely start the year in AAA Tacoma. His career .407 OBP in the minors has earned him a look despite his other limitations. Perhaps Filia can continue to surprise everybody and carve out a nice career in the big leagues.

Speaking of outfielders who will start the year in Tacoma, Ian Miller just missed the cut this year. One of the fastest players in this organization, Miller looked like he would make his debut in 2018 after he made a splash in AA in 2017. Unfortunately, Miller took a step back in Tacoma, slashing .261/.333/.327 in 114 games.

Miller won’t ever hit for much power and has just a .320 slugging percentage in AAA. Still a plus runner and base stealer, Miller doesn’t have to hit for much power but will need to get on base at a well above-average clip to carry much value. He’s not a great defender yet, but has shown some growth this year and should be a solid average defender in centerfield. The 27-year-old still has a shot to make some waves with the Mariners but will have to show growth in Tacoma before he gets a shot.

Also likely to start the year in Tacoma is Gerson Bautista. The young right-handed reliever is a bit of a forgotten piece in the Cano and Diaz trade. He has a big-time fastball that can reach the triple digits but will need to master some level of command and polish his slider before he can reach his ceiling. Bautista will certainly light up the radar gun at Cheney Stadium, and will likely pitch for the Mariners at some point this season.

Speaking of lighting quick bullpen arms worth monitoring, don’t sleep on Dayeison Arias. The slender 21-year-old righty just completed a fantastic stint in Low-A Everett. In 32 innings, he struck out 45 hitters while walking just 10. His fastball sits in the high 90’s and has a talent for missing bats. He will have to continue to polish his delivery, and find a way to get the ball on the ground more, but is a name worth monitoring.

In addition to Arias, Collin Kober is another reliever worth watching. The 24-year-old has bounced around the low levels of Seattle’s farm system and had a breakout season of sorts across A and High-A Ball. Kober struck out 82 in 60 innings while issuing just 15 walks. A sidearmer, Kober may find his way into the bullpen as a right-handed specialist sooner than later.

In terms of starting pitching prospects, Ljay Newsome comes to mind. Very much a command over stuff guy, Newsome has a similar feel to Andrew Moore. He has well below-average offerings but an ability to hit the corners. He walked just 14 batters in 143.2 innings and was able to strike out 125 batters. With his diminished stuff, he has a long way to go to move into our ranks.

Finally, we want to mention Donnie Walton. Walton is a 24-year-old infielder who may just have enough bat to ball and defensive skills to carve out a career in the big leagues. The 2016 draft pick split time between High A Modesto and AA Arkansas and will likely start 2018 in Arkansas.

Walton is a very instinctual player. His high baseball IQ along with his toolset gives him a nice chance to reach the big leagues. He has a below-average arm which makes him a second baseman only but has the defensive skill to play an above-average shortstop.

All of these players mentioned above are those worth watching. These are the type of players that can make one minor adjustment and completely change their profile. Having a deep farm system gives your organization more lottery tickets you have.

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As we go down our list from here on, it is important not to forget these names. They may not be sexy players, but they have value in the organization. One of these players could pop, and completely change their standing quickly.