Mariners Minor Leagues: 2023 Everett Aquasox Preview
By Trevor Pedro
The Frogs opening day roster is stacked with talent in the pitching and position player department. Some promising prospects finished the year in Everett, and if they continue to produce, they should be on the first plane to Arkansas. With opening day this Friday, let's dive into what looks like a very intriguing team.
Mariners Minor Leagues: Formidable Aquasox Batting Order
Many of the Mariners' top position players were scattered across the lower levels (DSL, AZ, Modesto) last year. Well, that first wave of bats is starting the 2023 season in Everett, and the possible opening-day lineup looks deep.
CF – Jonatan Clase
SS – Axel Sanchez
C – Harry Ford
1B – Tyler Locklear
2B – Hogan Windish
RF – Alberto Rodriguez
DH – Charlie Welch
3B – Ben Ramirez
LF – Walking Cabrera
There is a lot of upside on the offensive side, with top prospect Harry Ford leading the charge. In addition, keep an eye on the recently waived and unclaimed Alberto Rodriguez. He came to Peoria with something to prove and had an exciting spring in which he provided some late-inning magic.
Jonatan Clase's power, speed combination (46 XBH/55 SB), and Sanchez (Manny Machado comps) are reasons alone to make the trip to Everett for a game.
Mariners Minor Leagues: A Stable of Intriguing Arms
The pitching prospects repeat a level, but that isn't their fault. Arkansas' starting rotation is stacked right now. Ty Adcock, Jorge Benitez, Juan Mercedes, and Logan Rinehart are a few possible standouts, but my eye is on Sam Carlson. The former first-round pick is transitioning to the bullpen, and the initial results are exciting.
The fastball is up from 93 to 98 mph, and the off-speed offerings were sharp this spring. The easy gas should bode well for Carlson claiming a late-inning role in the Frog's pen. Teaming him with Arizona Fall League participant and former Modesto Nuts closer Benitez (36 IP – 40 K – 11 SV) could shorten games in a hurry for the opposition.
The offense should be the Aquasox calling card, especially with strength up the middle in the form of Ford, Sanchez, Windish, and Clase). However, the key to a successful season will be those arms like Jimmy Kingsbury, Tyler Driver, and Tim Elliott taking a step forward. If they do, watch out, the Frogs could be hoisting a league champs banner at the end of the season.