Seattle Mariners 2020 MLB Draft Big Board: 11-20
15. Pete Crow-Armstong, OF Harvard-Westlake (CA)
A Vanderbilt commits just like Hassell, Peter Crow-Armstrong will remind some Mariners fans of Jarred Kelenic. At 6’1, 180lbs, Crow-Armstrong is a great athlete with above-average or better tools across the board with one exception: power. Most grade Crow-Armstrong as having below-average power but the he does possess the bat speed and approach that traditionally lead to more game power as the player fills out.
Crow-Armstrong is a plus-runner with a strong arm and will have no issue handling centerfield on a long-term basis. When he is right, Crow-Armstrong is a slasher who pepper the entire field with line drives and occasionally crank one over the fence.
Even if he never reaches his max power output, he is a good bet to hit for average with 30+ doubles and 10-15 home runs while playing above-average centerfield defense and stealing 20 bags.
He’ll likely be a Top 20 pick and even if he falls to 43, it would take such a drastic overpay by Seattle to sign him, that it wouldn’t make a ton of sense. But a toolsy outfielder is always going to rank high on the Mariners big boards, especially one like Crow-Armstrong.
14. Nick Bitsko, RHP Central Bucks East (PA)
Nick Bitsko is right in the same ballpark as our number 10 prospect, Mick Abel in terms of talent. The 17-year-old boast impressive size, standing at 6’4″, 220 lbs, and has two, plus offerings to go with it. His fastball sits in the 92-94 range and he’s touched 97 MPH with a sharp, firm curveball as his primary out pitch.
Bitsko never had much need for a third pitch, but he has shown a good feel for a changeup, throwing it with good arm speed and fade. Bitsko is also a strike-thrower with above-average command. He shows an advanced plan of attack and isn’t just a prototypical prep flamethrower.
He is a strong University of Virginia commit so he won’t come cheap to any team wanting to take a chance on him. But Bitsko could be another Sam Carlson type, where Dipoto and his staff know what number he’ll sign for, so he could be in play at 43 if the concerns about his commitment to Virginia come into play early.
13. Jarred Kelly, RHP Refugio (TX)
Jared Kelly is our second-ranked prep pitcher in the upcoming draft. The 6’2″, 215 lb RHP features one of the best fastballs in the class, sitting 92-95 and touching 97 MPH with some significant arm-side run. But Kelly is unique from other prep players in that his changeup, not a breaking ball, is his best secondary pitch. Kelly’s changeup has great fade and sink and he has confidence to throw it in any count, a rarity for an 18-year-old prospect.
Kelly’s breaking ball, described as a hard slurve, needs some refinement but is currently projected to be a solid offering by the time he reaches the big leagues. Like Bitsko, Kelly is advanced when it comes to game-planning and throwing strikes. He’s not afraid to throw any pitch in any count and can often get the baseball to go right where he needs it to.
Kelly may not be done growing and the ease of his delivery gives him a high floor with some serious projection left in his game. Thanks to his advanced feel for pitching, Kelly might be the first of the big three prep arms to make his big league debut.
12. Reid Detmers, LHP Louisville
Reid Detmers is a popular choice for Mariners fans to want to talk about at #6. The 6’2″ LHP certainly has the stuff, pitchability, and probability to be an interesting option with the team’s first-round pick. Currently, Detmers has three above-average offerings, but none are expected to be graded as plus when all is said and done.
His fastball sits in the 90-93 MPH range that plays up thanks to some deception in Detmers’s delivery. He also throws a big, loopy curveball and a solid enough changeup to give him 3 good offerings. Detmers also has good command and throws plenty of strikes with a smooth and repeatable delivery.
There is very little downside to Detmers’s game. He has one of the highest floors in the class with a strong possibility of being a quality #4 starter with a quick timeline to the big leagues. But Detmers falls in our ranks thanks for a relatively low ceiling. Detmers has a limited range of outcomes and will likely either be a #3 or #4 starter, which keeps him out of our top 10.
11. Cade Cavali, RHP Oklahoma
Cade Cavalli stands at 6’4″, 225 lbs with a power righty upside. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with riding action that is backed up with a sharp hammer of a curveball and an above-average slider that he can firm up and use more like a cutter. He also flashes a solid changeup as a fourth offering and has a simple, repeatable delivery.
Cavalli has the raw stuff to be a #2 starter inside of five years, but he lacks any deception and has below-average command despite his clean delivery. There are also some medical red flags including a stress reaction in his pitching arm that shut him down for three weeks in 2019.
The Mariners will have to believe that they can help Cavalli with his command as even average command with his stuff brings at least #3 starter value. Seattle has had good luck in the past, helping the likes of Austin Adams and Connor Sadzeck throw more strikes than other teams.
Cavalli gets the bump over Detmers thanks to his top of the rotation upside and a relatively high-floor as a high-leverage reliever. But ultimately Cavalli may be too big of a risk for Seattle, who will have their choice of a player with a higher ceiling and floor.
There we have it, the Top 20 MLB Draft Prospects on the Mariners board… at least according to us. Let us know who you like and who we are too low on. Draft day is about a month away and the Mariners will need to hit some doubles and home runs in this class to keep their rebuild moving in the right direction. Will they? Only time will tell.