Sodo Mojo’s Top 40 Seattle Mariners Prospects: 15-11
3 years ago, a prospect with tools like Jake Fraley would have likely landed him inside the team’s top 5 on a list like this. Fraley checks a lot of the boxes you look for in an everyday player. He has the size, standing at 6’0″, 195 lbs. He has the speed, earning 65-grade marks from scouts. Fraley also has average or better raw power and is an above-average defensive centerfielder. Fraley is, in short, a really good prospect.
Acquired as a bit of an afterthought in the Mike Zunino for Mallex Smith trade, Fraley set out to prove that his surge in 2018 as a member of the Rays organization was repeatable. For the most part, Fraley did just that, producing in both AA and AAA before getting a cup of coffee with Seattle in September.
Fraley has average or better tools across the board, with the exception of his throwing arm, which is firmly below-average. Fraley is a good centerfielder but may be pushed to left field thanks to some other solid option in the Mariners organization. 2020 will go a long way in determining Fraley’s future in Seattle.
The two things he needs to prove is that he is healthy and that he can manage against left-handed pitching. If he can check both of those boxes, he profiles as a solid, everyday leadoff hitter with a lot of pop. If not, he should still be a serviceable 4th outfielder or a strong side platoon player.
Fraley is trying to win a job on the Opening Day roster and looks to be in line to start in left field on March 26th against the Rangers. If not, Fraley will likely begin the season in AAA Tacoma, but won’t be down long. Expect Fraley to get a lot of playing time at the big league level this season.
If Fraley proves to be an everyday player, his game may remind some fans of Brett Gardner or Johnny Damon, two comps that should leave Mariners fans very happy.