Sodo Mojo Presents Seattle Mariners Top 30 Prospects: 15-11,
11. Sam Carlson, RHP
Sam Carlson is such an enigma. The high school arm fell to the second round of the 2017 draft despite being a consensus top 20 talent. The Mariners wasted no time scooping him up and paying him $2 million to secure the talented, young RHP. Unfortunately, Carlson has struggled with injuries in his pro career and is likely missing all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
But at 6’4″, 205 lbs, Carlson has all the makings of a solid #2 type of starter in his future. He has a clean delivery and is a great athlete. The Mariners shouldn’t push Carlson to get on the mound until he is 100% ready. The upside of showing patience could pay off tenfold.
When he was healthy, Carlson showed a 96 mph fastball with some sinker like movement. The slider is a solid-average offering, with an opportunity to be above-average. The reason Carlson has the potential to be #2 is the changeup. It was a plus pitch pre-injury and could get even better with time.
Carlson has a chance to have 2 plus pitches and a solid, above-average third pitch in his arsenal. Carlson also has above-average command and should have no problem throwing quality strikes and getting through a lineup multiple times.
Of course, the big issue with Carlson is just his health. He likely won’t be on the mound against minor league bats until 2020, and will still need a year before he can get back on track. This pushes Carlson’s ETA back to at least late in 2022, with 2023 as the most likely scenario.
The entire profile is contingent on him coming back at full strength. If he does, Carlson has a “#1 prospect in the system” type of upside. But the fact that Carlson comes in at 11 despite facing a grand total of 14 batters in his pro career, while coming off a TJ Surgery, speaks to the immense upside of Sam Carlson.
Scouting Grades- Fastball: 60 Slider: 55 Changeup: 65 Command: 55 Probability: 2.5/5
Next time, we will dig into the Top 10 Mariners Prospects. Here is where we see the most exciting names, most of whom could be in Seattle before the All-Star break of 2020. Stay tuned for more.