Mariners' crown jewel prospect blazing a trail at Third Base

In this week's Mariners' prospect spotlight we highlight the current Everett Aquasox third baseman, Ben Williamson.
Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Over the past few years, the Mariners' scouting department has strategically invested in high-upside teens, followed by signable seniors, demonstrating their foresight and planning for the future. Players like Brock Rodden, Tyler Locklear, and this week's prospect spotlight, Ben Williamson, come to mind. 

Williamson, a second-round pick out of William and Mary University, didn't play much last season, only getting into a handful of games for Modesto. Despite the lack of playing time, the Mariners aggressively promoted the athletic third baseman this season, starting him in Everett and taking the Northwest League by storm. In 24 games, Williamson leads the circuit in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs, XBH, and total bases. 

MLB Pipeline ranks Ben Williamson as the Mariners' 15th prospect, drawing comparisons to Tyler Locklear. Like Locklear, Williamson brings elite defense, a strong hit tool, and the ability to hit for power. While third base is typically a power position, Williamson's style leans more towards consistent hitting, with the potential to hit 12-15 homers per season. 

The bat is above average, and his arm (55 grade) and glove (60 grade) are his carrying tools in his young professional career. 

That's not to say defense will be his calling card, though. If the 23-year-old infielder continues to excel in the batter's box, we could see a quick rise through the system, especially since scouts rate him as the Mariners' best third-base prospect. Considering seasoned veterans Jason Vosler, Michael Chavis, and Robbie Tenerowicz are planted in the levels above him, Williamson will probably spend this season at Everett with an off chance of joining the Arkansas Travelers for the stretch run. 

The Mariners' farm system, particularly in Double-A (Arkansas) and below, is a hotbed of high-end talent, with recently drafted teens leading the charge and a few talented college graduates like Ben Williamson ready to rise the ladder quickly.