We are going to see prospects rankings come out from plenty of different sites as we get closer and closer to the season. We’ve already seen it some places, and ESPN has joined the fray with their top 100 prospects list. So, where did Kiley McDaniel end up ranking the top Mariners prospects?
#3: Julio Rodriguez
#12: Noelvi Marte
#34: George Kirby
#84: Matt Brash
#97: Harry Ford
Here’s the big thing for me with rankings. I don’t really care where you put people, as long as your reasoning is justified. If you have someone drastically different than most people and can’t back it up, that’s when you start to look like a moron. Saying that Player X is actually 6-8 spots lower than anyone else has them, and then having your reasoning immediately contradicts itself is when you sound like a fool.
The Mariners prospects rankings at ESPN aren’t too shabby
This is why I like how Kiley McDaniel did this when it comes to Julio Rodriguez (#3). He talks about the top 3 being in their own group (giving them all 65 FV’s) and then explains why he put Julio third. When you think a player will end up in RF, the approach is risky, and the speed will falter a bit, it makes for a reasonable argument. Hearing that Julio might have true 80-grade power and that he is reaching 115 mph+ sure makes me excited, though.
He drops Noelvi Marte (#12) in the middle of his 60 FV group, and it makes sense. It’s also astonishing how fast he has climbed. We know he’s gonna mash, and if the power can translate to games, he’s gonna be a stud. What stands out to me is “I think there’s about a 1-in-3 shot that Marte figures out how to stick at shortstop”, which is higher than I’ve heard in other places. It seemed all but certain that he would have to move off. If he can stick at SS, his ceiling is a lot higher.
If George Kirby (#34) can turn into a guy who is actually able to get a bit of life on the fastball, he’s going to launch up these boards. He already increased the velocity a lot and has insane command. You’ll see people throw out grades in the 70/80 range, which is Cliff Lee/Greg Maddux territory. It’s actually reasonable to say he could be the modern-day version of those guys if things work out, and you can see why a lot of people are crazy high on Kirby.
Matt Brash (#84) comes much later, but his stuff makes scouts, fans, and those doing rankings nervous and excited. It can be hard to rank him. Is he a starter? Is he a reliever? That’s a big factor on if he even makes the top 100. He’s got hot nasty dirty pitches, so I’ll just leave Pitching Ninja to show you what’s up.
Then, there is the Mariners most recent first-round pick, Harry Ford. He barely makes the top 100, and his combination of athleticism and crazy skill set should excite us all for someone who is only 18. Power, eye, arm, athlete, contact… he’s got it all. If I had to pick anyone to climb this list, from any team, it would be Ford. BOLD PREDICTION. For the 2023 list, he will be top 40.
Honestly, I think there is a bit of a conundrum for those who are doing rankings. The Mariners also have guys like Emerson Hancock and Brandon Williamson that could easily be in the top 100. It can be hard to rank so many players from one team in the top 100, especially when you have a position with a lot of players that are closely ranked.
It’s what the Mariners run into with those two, alongside Matt Brash. I think we’ll see sites pick one guy out of the trio, and run with them. Most seem to be HEAVILY discounting Emerson Hancock, and I think that’s a shortsighted mistake. He doesn’t mention anything on them here and doesn’t have a “just missed” list. It would be interesting to see how close he was, but that’s probably an ESPN article for another day.
I do think that McDaniel did a good job, even if he did leave Hancock off of his list. As we get closer and closer to the season, keep an eye out for more prospect rankings, and more importantly… actual baseball.