I've been called a lot of things since I started writing about baseball. Some of them are nice, and some of them are downright disgraceful. The top one is "Go drink bleach so you can never write again". That one was fun. I laughed. I say that because I'll admit that I'm a bit odd sometimes, and part of that is because talking about Mariners prospects is one of my favorite things to do, and is one of my favorite times of the year.
I don't talk about prospects here anymore, and you can check out 2023 prospect rankings over at Prospects Live and their Patreon to see anything I've written on 2023 MLB prospects. I can talk about the Mariners prospects when they get brought up on other sites though, which is what I wanted to do today as it relates to ESPN and the rankings that Kiley McDaniel released to open up the month of February.
We've seen 2-3 prospects make the top 100 in different site releases since the beginning of the offseason as we head to 2023. For ESPN, they only have two Mariners in the top 100, which isn't that surprising. We have seen Cole Young sit right around the cutoff mark, making it on some and missing on others. However, there is a big slight here that I see, and it comes after the top 100.
McDaniel lists out his guys who missed but are still given 50-grades. This is a list that should have a couple of Mariners on it, and would at most places. Especially Young, who has a nice run and hit tool. Maybe you'd see Prelander Berroa, who has been flying up prospect rankings since being acquired from the Giants. Or even Hancock or Gabriel Gonzalez.
You know how many were on that 50 list?
That's the embarassing part here, and stands out apart from other sites you'll see across the wild world of the internet.
Anyway, here are the guys who did make his list.
Mariners Harry Ford - #59, #8 Catcher
Honestly, this is pretty on par for what you are going to see for Ford, albeit on the lower end. Ford is usually in the 50s, but is given a 50-grade value overall, which is on the lower end of what you will find. I don't know that I agree with this, and it's usually a bit funny to read their explanations about Ford... how athletic he is, the power, the speed, the footwork... and then seemingly drop his value because he's too versatile and might move off of catcher.
Mariners Bryce Miller - #74, #15 RHP
Miller is climbing the prospect rankings, and from everything you see it seems like he is only going to climb. Check the blurb from McDaniel on Miller's stuff.
"...with a 70-grade heater that sits 95-97 with bat-missing life at the top of the zone along with a two-plane slider and changeup that are above-average to plus."- Kiley McDaniel, ESPN Top 100
Those are really good. Like, really good rankings. I think sometimes prospects get the raw end sometimes because evaluators don't like moving unranked guys up a ton, whether its from a side of caution or not wanting to admit they didn't see it earlier. That second part is asinine to me, as a player can figure something out or change how they play and incur massive results, and that's not an evaluators fault. Their job is to evaluate the current player.
At the same time, this is one of the higher rankings that you will see for Miller, and it's awesome for the Mariners. He, Taylor Dollard, Emerson Hancock, Bryan Woo, and Prelander Berroa are all standing at the steps to the Mariners rotation, ready to pounce. It could definitely be Miller that takes the lead based on the jump he made in 2022.
As different projections, predictions, and rankings come out, we are here to analyze them, talk about them, and give our opinions on them. Stay tuned for any Mariners news and reactions from the squad here at Sodo Mojo.