Spring Training is on hold, so it is list time! Due to the MLB lockout, we haven’t gotten to see MLB Network do their Top 10 at each position list or their Top 100 list, ranking the best players in baseball. In that vein, here are the Top 10 Mariners players Right Now! You’ll see a mix of players from all over the Mariners roster, and we start with someone that may surprise you in Paul Sewald.
This list is based on the recent track record of players, potential for the near future, and most importantly, their ability to perform in the 2022 season. Prospects like George Kirby and Noelvi Marte may have more potential than most on this list, but they do not be able to impact the big league roster in 2022. So here is the first player on the list at #10.
Mariners Top 10 Players Right now: #10 Paul Sewald
Paul Sewald is coming off of a career year. He had been a journeyman reliever for the Mets who wasn’t anything special. That all changed when he joined the Mariners on a minor league deal before the 2021 season. He started the year with the Tacoma Rainiers, and he actually started on Opening Day for the Rainiers. Funny enough, he insisted on coming out of the bullpen after the National Anthem and all of the ceremonies for Opening Day.
He made short work of his time in Tacoma, and he was called up in May with top prospects Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic. He turned out to be even better than both of those players in 2021.
Sewald had an incredible year, posting a 3.06 ERA in 64.2 innings with a nearly 40% strikeout rate. He had one of the best reliever seasons we have seen in a long time. It was certainly the best since Edwin Diaz in 2018 for the Mariners. He was among the league leaders in WAR for relief pitchers at 1.4. His dominance was because of his wicked slider that he threw about 42% of the time. He used it against both lefties and righties to dominate hitters and get tons of Ks.
The reason that Sewald is at number 10 on this list and not higher is because he is only a reliever and he does not have as big of an impact on the game as other regular position players or starting pitchers. He does however make the list as the only relief pitcher and he is the best one the Mariners have. He also is in for some regression in 2022, most likely. He had a similar year to Edwin Diaz, who has not done the same thing since.
Paul Sewald will probably not be a top 20 reliever in WAR next year, but if he is 80% or more of what he was in 2021, then he will still be a stud. He also has been heavily recruiting Kris Bryant, who have been friends for a long time. A 2016 article said that they have been friends since they were playing little league and still play golf together. Sewald has been trying to get Bryant to sign with the M’s in free agency, which would be a big get for Seattle.
Paul Sewald turned himself into a cult hero last year in the Mariners bullpen. He is now officially a fan favorite, and one of the best players on the Mariners roster right now. He comes in at number 10 for me, and if he brings his buddy Kris Bryant to Seattle, he might just bump him off the list, but I think that Paul Sewald would be just fine with that because it would mean the Mariners would win more games in 2022, which is the ultimate goal.