Mariners' impressive ESPN Top 100 showing marred by Julio Rodriguez's low ranking

The Mariners ended up with a literal handful of players ranked in the ESPN 100, but there was an important snub and Julio was vastly underrated by their team
Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

I always keep an eye out during the offseason for rankings related articles that come out from the major publications. Whether it is power rankings, prospect rankings, odds to win awards, or overall player rankings, I try and look at them all. It's a fun thing to make the offseason go by faster, especially when you can take issue with something that you see in them. Which just so happens to be the case with the ESPN top 100 player rankings.

There are definitely some good things in here, but let's get to that after. I want to talk about the big issue first, and that's where they have Julio Rodriguez ranked. Now, when MLB came out with theirs, they had Julio Rodriguez ranked 10th. It seemed right, as he had a bit of an inconsistent season in 2023, even though he still ended the year with great numbers while finishing 4th in MVP voting.

Where ESPN ranked Julio Rodriguez in their top 100 is a joke

As I started going through the article, I got down to about 13th and thought I missed it. I went back up to 5th or so, and checked through the list again. Nope, didn't miss anything... Julio just wasn't there yet. 14, 15, 16, 17... nothing. Finally, there he was, at 18th. Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that there are 17 people better than Julio? I didn't think so.

We have to wait a bit to see another Mariners' player listed, down to 39 and 40. I have no issues with this, and think it's actually a strong spot and a great indicator of the strength of the Mariners rotation. At 38, you have Zac Gallen, and he's ranked as the #6 starting pitcher on the list. Then you have Luis Castillo and George Kirby at 39 & 40, respectively. #7 and #8 in all of baseball? Yeah, I'll take that.

Julio Rodriguez was ranked too low, and I think there are going to be a fair amount of people who think the next entrant for the Mariners is ranked too high. Logan Gilbert comes in at #62 and is the 18th ranked SP on the board. Three of the top 18 starters in baseball... yeah, I like that. Personally, Logan Gilbert is my favorite player on the team, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for the 2024 season. I may or may not head to the casino to place a legal bet on him to win the Cy Young.

All the way down near the bottom is when we get to Cal Raleigh, sitting at #97. He's the 6th catcher on the list, and I can't really argue with this one. Only a few spots behind Gabriel Moreno, Cal is a great catcher. We've talked about it before, but if he can get that average up into the 240s or 250s? Watch out.

There may be one name missing from this list, you're thinking. I agree. Where is JP Crawford? So many players on here jumped way up because of a strong 2023, yet none of that love was given to JP. Schoenfield mentions him in his snubs list, and it's worth talking about. Crawford was the 2nd best offensive shortstop in baseball last year, had a 5.1 WAR, nearly 20 HR, and led the American League in walks while slashing .266/.380/.438. He probably should've been in the high 70s/low 80s.

We are only a couple of weeks away from baseball starting up. I can't wait, especially to see Julio and JP show the world what they can do with another year of success under their belt.