Mariners 2022 Prospect Rankings: #20 Tyler Locklear
In case you missed it, catch up with the rest of our Mariners prospect rankings! You can find numbers 21-25, 26-30, and honorable mentions here.
In the 2022 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners were the recipients of high praise for their selections. With a clear emphasis on the prep side of the player pool, three of their first four selections were all high-upside teenagers with significant prospect pedigree. The exception was second-rounder Tyler Locklear.
Meet the Mariners #20 Prospect, Tyler Locklear
Many viewed this pick as a “money saver”, yet Locklear would end up agreeing to a deal at full slot value. Drafted as a 3B, there are doubts as to whether or not he will be able to stick there long term and may end up at the first base. While drafting an RHH 1B may not be the sexiest pick, Locklear has legitimate upside and should be viewed a serious prospect for the M’s moving forward.
The 6’3 corner infielder can flat-out hit. With a gaudy slash line of .402/.542/.799 in his sophomore season, Locklear was one of the best college hitters over the previous two seasons. Locklear has an above-average ability at discerning the strike zone and knows when to take his walks. However, when Locklear opts to swing, watch out. He posts superb exit velocities and absolutely barrels the ball up. The combination of exit velocity, plate discipline, and contact ability is a profile the Mariners are sure to be drooling over.
The one knock on Locklear would be his defense. While he is a good athlete that moves well for his large frame, many evaluators believe he will ultimately end up as a first baseman. In fact, the most common comparison given to Locklear is Met’s slugger Pete Alonso.
With almost every outlet comparing the two and their offensive profiles, it’s easy to dream on Locklear and his prowess at the plate. Should he find the ability to play an average third base, Locklear could skyrocket up these rankings. Personally, I believe he has a better shot at sticking than most, but until we see the play in affiliate ball, we’ll have to withhold our judgment.