The time has finally arrived. It is time to reveal our number 1 prospect in the Seattle Mariners farm system. After weeks of a slow reveal, we are finally ready to crown our best prospect.
Of course, if you’ve been following with any regularity, you probably know who our top Mariners prospect is going to be. Really, it was a race between two players, but the young Jarred Kelenic is our #1 Mariners prospect.
Kelenic, the prize of the now-famous Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano trade, was the 6th overall pick of the 2018 draft. The Mariners had eyes on Kelenic all throughout the process, knowing it was a pipe dream that he would fall to their pick, 14th that year.
Kelenic is a true 5-tool prospect, with 55-grades or better across the board. The 6’1″, 200 lbs Kelenic is a physical specimen who is a freaky good athlete. His physical tools such as his arm and speed tools both rank as 60 or 65-grade.
Obviously, for a prospect to be this highly ranked, he needs to have the plus bat to go with top athletic abilities. Kelenic has just that. He has an advanced approach and can barrel up the baseball from foul line to foul line. Kelenic also has plus raw-power, a skill that has shown up in games almost immediately.
Kelenic showed this blend of tools in 2019, earning two promotions and finishing the year in AA Arkansas at 20-years-old. Overall, Kelenic hit .291/.364/.540 with 31 doubles, 23 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in 443 ABs.
Kelenic also shows above-average range in centerfield, thanks to his 60-grade speed, and should have no issue handling the position at the big league level to begin his career. His strong arm allows him to play anywhere in the outfield, but the Mariners can maximize his value by keeping him in centerfield.
Kelenic also earns high marks for his baseball IQ and work ethic. He is seen as a leader who grinds like a 10-year veteran and seems to be genuinely fueled to be the next young superstar in baseball. With that drive and commitment to excellence, as well as his plus tool belt, Kelenic has a real shot to be a superstar player.
If he can’t make it there, he should settle in nicely as a Nick Markakis type of player. But posting final slash lines as Carlos Gonzalez did in his prime is very much on the table. Kelenic should make a handful of All-Star teams and could challenge for an MVP or two as well.
Kelenic is one of the lynchpins in the Mariners’ quick rebuild and his success would go a long way to closing the gap between Seattle and the other playoff contenders. He should start the season in AA-Arkansas, but a trip to Seattle by the end of the year is very much in-play.
There we have it, the Top 40 Mariners prospects as ranked by us. The team’s farm system is deep and has a good mix of potential superstars, solid regulars, role players, platoon options, back-end starters, and middle relievers. The system could be better and likely will after the 2020 MLB Draft, but it is solidly in the upper-tier of farm systems. Now, we just need baseball to start back up to fully enjoy these prospects.