Seattle Mariners Instructional League: Cal Raleigh is the best hitter right now

PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 18: Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during photo day. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 18: Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during photo day. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners throws to second base.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JULY 10: Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners throws the ball to second during summer workouts. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Seattle Mariners prospect Cal Raleigh is the hottest hitter in the Instructional League for the Mariners right now

Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners /

Seattle Mariners

Cal Raleigh is currently the eighth-ranked prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization. The switch-hitting catcher was drafted in the third round of the 2018 MLB draft and is one of the best hitters right now in the Instructional League held in Arizona. Raleigh is not a Top 100 prospect in the MLB or a Top 10 catching prospect but he is showing a lot of promise for the Mariners.

The Florida State University product is currently hitting .341 in the Instructional League, which leads the team. Through 13 games out of 22, Raleigh has:

  • 6 home runs (leads team)
  • 15 hits (leads team)
  • 5 doubles (tied second)
  • 5 walks
  • 12 strikeouts
  • 44 at-bats (second)

The numbers listed above are subject to discrepancies. The Mariners published a limited amount of stats so the numbers in this article should be considered as approximations.

Raleigh’s average maximum exit velocity during the Instructional League is roughly 96mph (average of all the fastest exit velocities from Raleigh’s games). His hardest-hit ball traveled 107.7mph. Raleigh has hit triple-digit exit velocities numerous times after the halfway point of the league.

The Instructional League is important for many of the minor leaguers who did not get a full minor league season due to the pandemic. Some players had the opportunity to practice and scrimmage while on the taxi squad, but that was a very limited group of players. For this Instructional League, the Mariners have given top prospects Cal Raleigh, Taylor Trammell, Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, and several others to catch up for the missed time.

Raleigh’s hitting skills are not much of a surprise for Mariners’ scouts. Raleigh’s strength lies in his hitting ability and is the main reason why the Mariners drafted him. During the Instructional League, he has been the main Designated Hitter and has not seen much time behind the dish.

According to the MLB website, Raleigh is given these scouting grades (20-80):

  • Hit 45
  • Power 60
  • Field 55
  • Arm 45
  • Run 35
  • Overall 50

To put it into perspective, the No. 2 ranked MLB prospect, Adley Rutschman is graded this way:

  • Hit 60
  • Power 60
  • Field 60
  • Arm 60
  • Run 40
  • Overall 65

There are clearly areas that Raleigh is lacking in, but he has made great strides with his defense and is a quick learner. The Mariners do not have a long-term plan for catching besides Cal Raleigh, and the organization will continue investing highly in Raleigh.

Cal Raleigh is projected to debut in 2021 and that seems likely because he was in Double-A during the 2019 season. He was also able to spend time in Tacoma with the taxi squad this past summer, and now is getting more time in Arizona before 2021. The Mariners have two catchers on the active roster right now, Luis Torrens and Tom Murphy, so there is no rush to call up Raleigh just yet.

He was a college draft prospect, meaning he is more mature and could arrive sooner rather than later. Raleigh is 23-years-old and played in two full minor league seasons already (2018 and 2019). Mariners fans are excited to see Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic’s debuts in 2021, but fans should also be excited to see Raleigh soon.

dark. Next. Instructional league is crucial for Mariners prospects’ development

Stay tuned for more updates from the Seattle Mariners’ prospects from the Instructional League. 11 games are left for the Mariners Instructional League team in Arizona.