We are finally ready to start to reveal our Top 40 Seattle Mariners prospects, as ranked by us. Today, we start with the last 5 names to make the list.
A few days ago, you read about a handful of Mariners prospects who just missed the cut of our Top 40. Today, we begin our official countdown, revealing the last 5 prospects to crack our Top 40 list.
But before we do, let’s review our process. First, the rankers consisted of 4 staff writers. All 4 writers produced a list of their top prospects. The average rank of each player is the spot they landed on our list. In this case, the lower the number, the higher the rank.
Our rankers were not given any criteria for their list. Different eyes see different things and unique minds value things differently than others. There are no cookie cutters for prospect scouting and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Also, take these ranks with a grain of salt. We do not get to see many of these players often and are relying on graining video, scouting reports, and statistics to cover our bases. If you want top-end prospect ranks, I suggest Keith Law of ESPN and Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel.
But with all that in mind, let’s begin the reveal our Top 40 prospects with number 40.
So first up is a player most Mariners fans are familiar with. Lopes has been around for a while, so the fact that we can still consider him a prospect is a bit odd. Lopes barely maintained his prospect status, appearing in 42 games last season, missing our cutoff by 22 PAs.
In his 128 PAs for the Mariners, Lopes impressed and hit .270/.359/.360 with 6 steals and 7 doubles. The long-time infielder also found success early in the outfield, proving to be at least an average corner outfielder.
Lopes has plus speed, good contact skills, and defensive versatility, making him a useful bench option at the big league level. The lack of power eliminates much of a ceiling for Lopes, but he should be a contributor for a big-league team for multiple seasons.
Yohan Ramirez cracks the Top 40 as a Rule 5 draft pick and has an uphill battle to make the big league squad. Ramirez features an upper-90s fastball, a nice slider, and a useable changeup, but lacks the command to rank any higher than 39th.
Ramirez cracks the list over other probable MLB relievers for two reasons. First, he has a higher upside than the likes of Jack Anderson and Ty Adcock. The latter relievers certainly have a higher floors, but Ramirez could be a future closer. Second, Ramirez could still become a starter. It is unlikely, but he has the stuff to make it happen.
Whether or not he can stick around long enough for Seattle to try and work their magic remains to be seen.
Macko is a bit of a favorite on the website. The 19-year-old pitched both in the Arizona Rookie League and even made an appearance for the Aqua Sox in the Northwest League as an 18-year-old.
The Mariners selected Macko in the 7th round of the 2019 draft. He is a stereotypical pitchability left-hander but shows rare command for a prep arm. The 6’0, 180 lbs frame isn’t the type of body you dream on, but Macko’s fastball sits in the upper-80s with a nice curveball and feel for a changeup.
Macko will need both off-speed pitches and a little bit of extra velocity to make a move up the ranks. But Macko is a good athlete will a smooth delivery, so there is some upside left in his game. Macko will probably get most of his work with Everett this season and will be a fun arm to track this summer.
Macko’s 2019 draft brethren, Limoncelli has a higher upside than Macko does. The 6’2, 180 lbs righty was receiving Top 100 buzz in 2019 before the high school senior underwent Tommy John Surgery. Limoncelli thought he was headed to college baseball powerhouse Coastal Carolina before the Mariners came calling in the 6th round of the draft.
Limoncelli’s pre-injury fastball touched 94 MPH but he pitched comfortably at 90-92 MPH with a good curveball and a fringe-average changeup. He possed good command for a prep arm, giving him 2 MLB quality pitches and 55-grade command. The changeup wasn’t far from average as a junior, and Limoncelli could have the 3 pitch mix and command to be a mid-rotation starter.
He was unable to make his pro ball debut in 2019 and the hope is that he will get into games by July or August. He may get some time in the NWL, but spending the whole year with the Arizona Rookie League squad as he rehabs from injury.
Querecuto made his stateside debut in 2019, playing 23 games in Arizona as a 19-year-old. Not much has changed in his profile since signing with the club in 2017. The 6’2″ shortstop still needs to grow into his frame to add power to his game.
Defensively, Querecuto may be the best shortstop in the system. He has soft-hand, a quick first step, and a strong arm. He can make shortstop look easy at times. But the bat hasn’t progressed much and the idea that he will grow into power is waning.
But we need to remember that Querecuto doesn’t turn 20 until late-September and you shouldn’t give up on a premier glove at a premier position this early in his career. Querecuto isn’t going to wow anybody with his footspeed, so if he loses half a step in his quickness, he could be best suited for a glove-first second baseman.
We hope you enjoyed our first group of 5 Mariners prospects. 3-years ago, these 5 prospects would likely land inside the top 25 or higher, a clear sign to the growth of the farm under Jerry Dipoto. Next time, we get to 5 more names, including 3 players added to the system in the past 15 months and a former second-round pick.