There are a lot of prospect rankings that come out through the offseason. We’ve seen them from a handful of sites already, and it’s always an interesting experience to open them up and see what they have done with the Mariners prospects.
There is another list that just came out, as Fangraphs released their list on the morning of February 23rd. They have a handful of Mariners on there, but likely fewer than you would expect. I don’t have too many issues, but there are a few things that stand out.
Here are the Mariners that made the top 100 rankings from Fangraphs
#4: Julio Rodriguez – 65 FV – Tier 2 – #1 Outfielder
Julio is usually in the top 3’s, but it sounds like Fangraphs is going with the other Rodriguez (Grayson from the Orioles) for the third spot, choosing Cy Young potential over MVP potential. Julio showed incredible maturity last season, hitting well across multiple levels (and countries), which included making changes to his footwork in the box. He’s still the second tier, and it’s all personal choice here. No qualms with them putting him 4th.
#13: Noelvi Marte – FV 60 – Tier 3 – #3 Shortstop
I think Noelvi Marte might be the most interesting prospect in all of baseball. Can he stick at short? Is he going to move to third? Are the home run droughts real, or is it a byproduct of working on contact and other facets of his game? Can… can he be Hanley Ramirez?
Those are all reasonable worries and questions. 2022 will be huge for him, and we will want to keep an eye out on his accuracy in throwing the ball, as well as how big he grows as he continues to mature. He’s likely to see some action in AAA this year, which will be huge for someone who doesn’t turn 21 until October.
#28: George Kirby – FV 55 – Tier 4 – #5 Starting Pitcher
There’s a big reason that people think Kirby can be special. He’s throwing in the upper-90s, with some strong breaking pitches and a good change, all while having pinpoint control. The question remains whether he can hold the mix of control and velocity without getting tired. He added a lot of velocity last year, and if he continues to get stronger, he could easily hold it throughout a start. Fangraphs seems high on him, and for good reason. He could have 80 control.
#61: Brandon Williamson – FV 50 – Tier 5
Oh buddy. You wanna get me excited? Compare someone to Blake Snell, and you’ve got my attention. A high angled fastball in the mid 90’s that’s his worst pitch? Fangraphs is big on Williamson, and it makes me feel a bit better about their rankings, even though he’s the final Mariners player on their list.
Ummm. You had a list of 114, and you left Harry Ford off of it. The hate for Emerson Hancock continues as well, as he was left off yet another list. It’s also surprising to see them call Williamson a reliever (most likely) and have 50+ spots of separation between him and Matt Brash, who wasn’t on their list.
I understand that there is going to be variation between lists, that some scouts and analysts aren’t going to rank players as high. The big issue here for me is Harry Ford. His athletic ceiling is so high, and when you pair that with everything he brings to the table as a 19-year-old (Happy belated Birthday to Ford, who turned 19 on February 21st), it seems like he should be on the list.
The Mariners still have one of the best, if not the best, farm systems in all of baseball. With four guys in the top 61, and a handful of others that have a right or an argument to be in the top 100, the Mariners are in a great place. 2022 looks bright, and things are looking good for the foreseeable future as well.