Over the last couple years, general manager Jerry Dipoto has built up the Seattle Mariners’ farm system to the point of being one of the best units in the sport.
Jarred Kelenic, the outfielder the Mariners picked up from the New York Mets last year when they traded away Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, is the undeniable top prospect in Seattle’s system. Kelenic was the Mets’ #1 draft pick (6th overall) in 2018. Dipoto said that he would have picked up Kelenic if the Mariners had been in the position to do so.
Last season, Kelenic played in three different spots in the Mariners farm system. He began at Low-A before moving up High-A, then finishing the year in Double-A. He hit for a .291 average in the three spots along with 23 home runs and 68 RBIs. In all likelihood, Kelenic will start the 2020 season back in Double-A, but a big league debut should be in the cards for him later in the season. He won’t turn 21 years old until the middle of the campaign. Stardom is written all over him.
Julio Rodriguez was an international signee by the Seattle Mariners. He is likely a year behind Kelenic. Both of them will be patroling the Mariners outfield in 2021 or 22 at the very latest. Rodriguez just turned 19 years old in December.
Last season was his first playing professional ball in the USA. He played both levels of A ball, hitting .326 total with 12 home runs and 69 RBIs. He could start this season with Kelenic in Double-A. He, too, has stardom written all over him.
Logan Gilbert, a right-handed starting pitcher drafted in the first round by the Mariners in 2018, played his first season of professional ball in 2019. He played for all three teams Kelenic did last year. At some point, he will be in Seattle during the 2020 season. It would not surprise me if he ends up the Mariners ace in a couple of years unless the Mariners sign or trade for one. He will be a solid #2 starter for sure.
Evan White signed a multi-year contract with the Mariners during the off-season though he hasn’t played in MLB as of yet. That will surely change come March as he likely will be the Mariners’ starting first baseman. He may already be the best defensive first baseman in all of baseball, but the question is if he’s ready to hit in the major leagues. I am sure the Mariners think so.
Justin Dunn arrived in the same trade to the Mariners with Kelenic from the New York Mets. He is a right-handed pitcher who will begin the 2020 season with the chance of making Seattle’s starting rotation. The Mariners could move him to the bullpen at some point as well.
Last season, Dunn spent his first year in the Mariner organization pitching for Double-A Arkansas before making his major debut in September. He started four games as an opener, giving up only two hits; however, he had trouble with his control walking nine batters. His stuff, though, did look the strong. The M’s hope he can bust through Spring Training to make the Opening Day roster. If not, likely he starts at triple-A Tacoma.