Harry Ford, Cole Young, Felnin Celestin, Colt Emerson, Michael Arroyo, Jonatan Clase. If you look at the Mariners' draft picks and international signings over the past three years, there is a common denominator. The team tends to lean toward up-the-middle talent. Mariner brass invested further in the international signing period this offseason by grabbing a well-rounded backstop in Sebastian De Andrade.
De Andrade, a 17-year-old catcher from Venezuela, kicked off his professional career in the Dominican Summer League, flashing what MiLB insider Joe Doyle called "solid bat-to-ball skills and suffocating, sacrifice the body type defense." Offensively, he more than held his own, slashing .269/.355/.716. De Andrade sported a 20.3% strikeout rate and a 9.4% walk rate in a league with abundant free-swingers, showcasing an ability to subscribe to the organizational philosophy (Dominate the Zone). Those are some inspiring numbers for any player, but even more so for a catcher, traditionally a power position full of strikeouts.
One signature moment for De Andrade was catching fellow prospect Jeter Martinez's no-hitter. Those two will ascend together through the Mariners' farm system and should debut in 2028. However, if you focus on the tape (which was hard to find), De Andrade has some solid pitch-framing skills
Most catchers focus on defense first, often late bloomers in the batter's box. De Andrade has a solid set of defensive skills, including using his 5-10 frame for blocking and a strong arm behind the dish. He flashed that ability, leading the DSL with a 35% caught stealing rate.
Look for De Andrade to receive an aggressive promotion to the Arizona Complex League next summer and hopefully continue to rise up the Mariner's top prospect list.