Welcome Mariner prospect fans! Hopefully, the beginning of the MLB season has treated you well. As the first of a new series, we will be taking a look at all the action going on in the Mariners Minor League system. After an opening series split with Minnesota, let’s take a look at what went down on the farm this past week.
Mariners A Team: Modesto Nuts
Perhaps the team that truly defines the “next-wave” of young Mariner talent, this team had some stand-out performers to open up the season. If you recall from last year’s draft, the Mariners broke their status-quo and selected three straight prep players at the top of their draft. After spending time in the Arizona developmental league, all three prepsters find themselves on this year’s Modesto squad. Here’s how the trio did, alongside some other top performers.
After some early struggles, SS Edwin Arroyo came up with a clutch base hit to drive in two late on Sunday’s game. Additionally, Arroyo is displaying excellent plate discipline, boasting a .385 OBP.
Harry Ford, despite a slow start offensively, has shown excellent defense behind the plate and looks awfully comfortable calling a game as a young catcher. Don’t sleep on his .357 OBP, either. My gut says that Ford should be breaking out of his offensive woes rather quickly.
Perhaps the biggest stud of the week, third-rounder Michael Morales was simply dominant in his Cal League debut. Just 19 years of age, Morales befuddled hitters all night with plus control and the stuff to strike out nine batters over just five innings. His final line was 5IP/2H/1ER/1BB/9K all on just 62 pitches. Keep a very close eye on Morales. He could be the next prospect to break out in a big way.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the speedy OF Jonatan Clase. Clearly the team’s best hitter so far, Clase is slashing a ridiculous .364/.500/.636/1.136 through the team’s first series. Already with two stolen bases on the year, Clase is sure to be heaps of fun to watch this upcoming season.
Mariners A+ (High-A) Team: Everett Aquasox
Those with a keen eye on Seattle’s prospects will recall that last year’s Aquasox squad was absolutely loaded with prospect talent. While this year may not feature the sheer depth as last year, this team is still teeming with exciting young prospects fans should be aware of. Let’s take a dive into this week’s top performers.
Noelvi Marte is likely to fill the top Mariner prospect void Julio Rodriguez will be vacating as soon as his prospect eligibility expires and for good reason. Through the two completed games the team has played, Marte has slugged a home run, driven in two runs, and walked four times. To top it all off, he’s only struck out twice.
His .400/.667/1.000/1.667 slash line is bonkers. Again, it’s early. Way too early to make any long-term projections. But the production, alongside the heaps of talent, is hard not to get excited about.
The other player I wanted to highlight is the young lefty, Adam Macko. Macko’s pure stuff is hard to describe any other way than absolutely filthy. Sure, a 5.40 ERA doesn’t look good, but with 11 K’s over 5IP and just 2BB’s, Macko is sure to see far better results in the run prevention department. I am extremely bullish on Macko going forward and would recommend you hop on the hype train right with me. In my eyes, he is the undisputed top LHP in the system and has a name to underline, highlight, and circle three times. His stuff is that good.
(This footage is from last season, however, the stuff is too nasty not to share.)
Mariners AA Team: Arkansas Travelers
This year’s Travelers squad features primarily “older” prospects that have seen the level before. That being said, the Travs have seen several players get off to a hot start and put up some lofty numbers. Let’s take a look!
UTIL Kaden Polcovich is off to a fantastic start after struggling to adjust to the level last year. With the ability to play all over the field, Polcovich is slashing .250/.357/.583/.940 and has driven in five runs in three games. Still just 23, the 2020 third-rounder will look to build off his early success and begin pushing toward a promotion by the summer months.
Following our theme of 2020 draftees, Zach DeLoach finds himself getting his second shot at AA as well. After a good-not-great showing last year, the LF is off to a hot start in 2022. With a slash line of .357/.500/.643.1.143, DeLoach is looking to conquer the AA level and burst through onto the big league stage. Should this season progress well, the Mariners may find themselves with yet another OF that warrants a considerable share of reps in the outfield.
Finally, top prospect George Kirby was the opening day starter for the Travs and had a solid showing to get the season rolling. With a final line of 4.2IP/3H/2ER/1BB/5K, Kirby is in waiting to break with the big league club and should be the next player promoted up to Seattle. Look for Kirby to join the Mariners in the coming months. His debut will be sooner rather than later.
Mariners AAA Team: Tacoma Rainiers
The final stop from the big leagues, the Rainiers feature little to offer in terms of true prospect pedigree. However, this won’t stop me from talking about this team of journeymen! To Tacoma we go!
Firstly, Taylor Trammell, please be alright. He went down with a scary fall running to first base. He appears to have avoided structural knee damage, however, the official injury is yet to be confirmed. After a hot start, here’s to hoping he makes a speedy recovery. A class act on and off the field, there are few players that are easier to root for.
The Tacoma bullpen features many names that saw action in spring training this year, and at least one is sure to make an appearance at some point this upcoming season. Some names to know for the future are…
Patrick Weigel, Matt Koch, Danny Young, and Noe Ramirez
These guys are journeymen that may or may not turn into this years’ Sewald, Steckenrider, or Chargois. Who knows! Keep an eye out, especially for Weigel. I have a hunch we’ll see him more than once in the majors this year.
That’s all, folks! Be on the lookout for next week’s issue as I plan to make this a recurring series.
Let’s hope we see the big boy M’s have a successful trip to Chicago followed by a good first homestand, while the baby M’s continue to show their stuff. Go M’s!