The Mariners signed some big-name hitters in this year’s International Signing period, adding in a power-hitter with Lazaro Montes and a pair of shortstops in Michael Arroyo and Martin Gonazlez. They got some pretty good guys the year before though, and Luis Bolivar sped under the radar a bit.
He just turned 18 and will be getting a much better chance to see playing time this year after being in the team’s system for a year already. When you see the combination of youth and speed, you would expect a smaller guy. However, that isn’t what you get with Bolivar.
Luis Bolivar has the build to turn into an exciting Mariners Prospect
Standing around 6’2″, Bolivar is up to around 180 lbs heading into 2022, finally filling out his body. It makes sense to see a lot of the International signings do this within their first couple of years on a team. It’s the same thing that stateside prospects do during the back end of high school since they are in the same age range when it happens.
The main tool with Bolivar is speed. It’s plus-plus, and there is a fun conversation to have within the system about who the fastest prospect is. It could be Clase, Bolivar, Labrada, and Julio is making a case (cause he’s just an athletic alien). Bolivar might have the advantage, but it will all depend on how these guys fill out and mature into their early-20s.
There’s a big plus with Bolivar, in that he has a natural feel for defense in Center Field. Pairing that with his plus-plus speed, he is showing all the signs of being a great defender for a long time at the highest level. It could be why, back in 2020 before the signing period happened, there was a comp to Byron Buxton.
He’s got an above-average arm and a nice hit tool, focusing on making good contact and showing results in doing so. The biggest issue with Bolivar will be power. He has all the other tools… speed, glove, arm, and hit. If he can show league average power, then he is going to move from the platoon-type outfielder to a #2 outfielder in your lineup. Being able to slash the ball into the gaps and put up 15 HR a season will see that SLG skyrocket, and make him much more dangerous.
There is a long way to go for Bolivar, as he turned 18 at the beginning of February. We likely won’t see him until 2025, but we should start seeing him play more games during the baseball season, and get a better idea of how his body and game is improving and growing. The Mariners have built an impressively deep farm system, and Luis Bolivar is going to be one of the ones we all want to keep an eye on.