The Cactus League season is underway and the Mariners young players are playing quite well. But we continue to move along, unveiling our Top 40 Mariners prospects 5 at a time.
Today, we continue our official countdown, revealing the next 5 prospects to crack our Top 40 list. As we move up the list, more or more names will be familiar to Mariners fans. These are exciting times, so let’s get to it.
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 as well as Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel.
Without any further delay, let’s get started.
For the record, Juan Then tied Braden Bishop for this spot in our ranks, but we asked you guys to break the tie and this was the result. So a player who was traded by the Jerry Dipoto only to be re-acquired by Dipoto lands at #15 on our countdown, which isn’t too bad for a player most people scoffed at as the return for Edwin Encarnacion last June.
Juan Then is a 20-year-old, RHP who stands 6’1″ and weighs just 175 lbs. Despite his slight frame, Then can pump the fastball up to 94 MPH and sits in the 91-92 range with good riding life and solid spin rates. In addition to the heater, Then also has a changeup and slurvy slider, both of which have a good chance to be average or better MLB offerings.
The slider is his best pitch and it will occasionally flash as a 60-grade offering. The changeup is behind the other two offerings but shows promise. Then throws the changeup a bit too firm and doesn’t trust the pitch enough to use it often, something that will need to change for him to hit his ceiling.
Then throws a lot of strikes for a player his age and peppers the strike zone with quality pitches, giving him a 55-grade command. If Then maxes out his arsenal, he could be a #3 starter in the next 5 years and an MLB debut sometime in 2021 isn’t out of the question.