Two of the three Mariners’ 2023 first-round draft picks are starting their professional careers this weekend in Rookie ball. Colt Emerson and Tai Peete, both shortstops, were assigned to the Arizona Complex League yesterday, meaning we should see them in the box score shortly.
The team might rotate the teens through the shortstop spot because they are coming off full seasons with their respective high schools. But the odds are they’ll take a different approach, leading to getting Emerson and Peete on the field together.
The blueprint is one they followed in Modesto when 2022 first-round pick Cole Young and international free agent signee Axel Sanchez, both shortstops, starred for the Nuts. In that case, Young switched to second base and spelled Sanchez a few days a week at shortstop. The lineup construction led to an elite double-play combination and helped fast-track both prospects’ development.
Scouts believe both Emerson and Peete have the upside and athletic ability to stay at shortstop long-term, but the odds are the latter might shift to the hot corner once he starts to fill out or move to the outfield. Either way, the most recent scouting reports have them defensively rated at 50 on the 80-grade scale.
Look for the team to assign centerfielder Jonny Farmelo to join the ACL Mariners in the next few days. All three prepsters played together on Team USA’s 18U World Cup squad and have strong friendships on and off the diamond. The great thing is Mariners Developmental System is creating an environment where these uber-talented teens can grow together, which bodes well for their future and the future of the big-league team.