The Seattle Mariners no. 23 prospect, Wyatt Mills pitched extremely well in the Instructional League and could be a big part of 2021
You don’t see or hear about many prospects that are relief pitchers, but Wyatt Mills might be a name Seattle Mariners fans should remember. Mills was drafted in the third round of the 2017 MLB draft and is one of the many money-saving college seniors Jerry Dipoto has drafted. Mills is a local, born in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University.
Since the 6’4″ right-hander joined the team, he has performed pretty well in the minor leagues. He reached Double-A in 2019 and could be pitching in the 2021 regular season for the Mariners. Mills was recently added to the 40-man roster so that he could not be drafted by another team in the Rule 5 Draft.
Mills has an unorthodox low three-quarter delivery with a low-90s fastball that sinks and a good slider. Both his fastball and slider have high spin rates which prove his pitch effectiveness. Mills has also been working on a changeup to get left-handed hitters out, but it is still a work in progress.
The 25-year-old relief pitcher recently pitched in Arizona with the Instructional League team and he was one of the best on the team. Mills was given a lot of opportunities which gives me the feeling that the Mariners like him, and that they want him as ready as possible for 2021. Mills led the team with 14.2 innings pitched and was the second most efficient with his pitches.
The stats I share are subject to discrepancies because of the limited amount of sources that published the Instructional League stats. I was able to compile some numbers from Mariners PR Twitter and a recent blog post by Kelly Munro, but you can consider the numbers as approximations.
Wyatt Mills only needed 9.92 pitches per inning during the Instructional League in Arizona. What is even more impressive was how he limited runners on base. The Seattle Mariners do not publish hit by pitches, but we do know how many hits and walks the pitchers allowed. Mills only allowed eight hits and one base on balls.
Mills was also able to strike batters out often. He struck out 20 batters out of the 51 batters he faced. I will have to say, Mills should dominate because many of the hitters in the Instructional League are young inexperienced professional hitters. But that still does not take away from Mills’ performance and is a good sign for the Seattle Mariners organization.
Jerry Dipoto talked about improving the bullpen with the hope of becoming a legitimate competitor in 2021, and there are lots of options on the free-agent market, and the Mariners have spending room. But do not underestimate the young group of relief pitchers in the current bullpen and some of the options coming out of the minor leagues. I think Mills can make an impact in 2021 and many more years to come.