Jake Fraley, OF
Finally, we are done with the relievers. Maybe. But coming in at number 16 is a new addition to the farm system, outfielder Jake Fraley. The second piece of the Mike Zunino trade, Fraley joins a crowded group of Mariners outfield prospects.
A former Competitive Value Pick (77th overall) of the 2016 draft, Fraley is coming off a monster 2018 season. In High-A ball, Fraley slashed .347/.415/.547 in 66 games. He also slugged 4 homers, 19 doubles, and 7 triples last season, thanks in large part to a swing change.
If Fraley can show even more improvement in the power tool in 2019, he could be a legitimate starting level player, in the same vein as Ender Inciarte. Fraley, the former LSU Tiger, is a superb athlete who has double plus speed.
He uses the speed to cover a ton of ground in centerfield but still has work to do to refine his base-stealing chops. Fraley’s arm limits him to either CF or LF and his bat profiles much better there. However, Fraley has all the tools to be a high-end defender in CF.
If the bat continues to come along, there is a little Jacoby Ellsbury in his game. The most likely scenario for Fraley is as a glove-first 4th outfielder. However, there is enough intrigue in his bat to suggest he could be more.
With his defense, Fraley probably needs to be a .260/.340/.400 type of hitter to become an everyday guy and he very well could end up there.
Fraley likely starts 2019 in AA ball. However, thanks to Mallex Smith’s injury to his elbow, he will get an extended run early in Spring Training to show the big league staff what he can do. The hope has to be that the swing change unlocked some unknown potential in Fraley. If it did, the Mariners may have gotten more than one big league regular for Mike Zunino.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 50 Power:40 Run: 65 Field: 60 Arm: 45 Probability: 3/5
There you have it. We are officially half way through our list. Next up, we dive into the Top 15 overall prospects. There will be a ton of new names and based on previous years, that can only be a good thing for Seattle going forward.