Dominican dynamo forcing way into Mariners' prospect picture

Carlos Jimenez's breakout ACL performance is leading him to join the next wave of position player talent. for the Mariners in their farm system
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Luke Hales/GettyImages

Arizona Complex League rosters always have an exciting mix of rehabbing mid-20s arms, top prospects, and, in this case, under-the-radar players starting to make a name for themselves in their first stateside action. The ACL Mariners might be known for uber-athletic shortstop Felnin Celestin. However, a Robin to Celestin's Batman is down in the desert, Carlos Jimenez.

The Mariners saw potential in Jimenez, signing him to a contract during the 2019 International Signing Period when he was just 16. Scouts predicted that his advanced approach in the box and above-average athleticism would set him apart as he advanced through the minor leagues. True to their expectations, in his two Dominican Summer League seasons (2021-22), Jimenez showed promise, slashing a solid .224/.381/.458 across 74 games. His standout tool was his strike zone awareness, with an impressive 52 BB/70 SO.

This season, the now 21-year-old outfielder is batting at the top of the lineup, setting the table for sluggers Jarrod Belbin and Celestin and authoring a breakout campaign. He's in the top five in nearly every offensive category.

In the last month, Jimenez has run a .365/.481/.603 slash while still displaying an ability to control the zone (13 BB/20 SO). The over-the-fence power isn't there and might never materialize. However, he makes up for it with a gap-to-gap approach, similar to Ben Williamson's affinity for doubles. As a left fielder, Jimenez's bat-to-ball skills are instrumental for good major league teams. From a roster construction standpoint, filling an entire lineup with big boppers rarely pays off (minus the 1927 Yankees).

The 5'10" Dominican has solved the Arizona Complex League and should be on the short list of prospect promotions at mid-season, seven games away. With Lazaro Montes and Aidan Smith primed for a second half in Everett, Jimenez could be in a Modesto Nuts uniform by mid-July.