UPDATE - He got the callup soon after this article was published. Congratulations!
If you've been following along with anything I've been doing for the past couple of years, you know that I am a massive fan of Jonatan Clase. I was lucky enough to interview him back in April of 2021. Despite being only 18 years old, he was already incredibly mature and professional. We did the interview in Spanish (which I don't speak and used google translate) to help him feel more comfortable with it. Despite a poor internet connection, he was adamant about finishing it up. Not only that but when we finished, he wanted to do it again because he knew he could do better.
I don't know many 18-year-olds that would be willing to do anything like that. It wasn't egotistical at all, just a confidence and drive to do it right and do it well. It's paying off, as the Mariners have already added him to their 40-man roster, easily making him the youngest one on there.
That shows in his preparation and his play as well. He turns 21 on May 23rd, and just might be in Arkansas by then. Sure, it would be early to move him up, but my guy is crushing it for the Everett Aquasox so far this year. Check out some of his stats (as of 4/26) so far in his limited time there.
- 15 games
- 60 ABs
- 18 hits
- 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR
- 15 BB (22 Ks, needs to be worked on)
- 12/14 SB attempts
Okay, it's overly optimistic to presume that he would be there by then. This is his first year in Everett, but he has been doing great ever since he showed up in the Mariners system. He was 16/16 on SB attempts in the Arizona Complex league in 2021 in just 12 games, went 55/65 in 423 ABs last season in Modesto while hitting 22 2B, 11 3B, and 12 HR.
Coming up, Clase was supposed to be just a speed guy. He's put in some series work at the plate though. He's been learning how to switch hit and has seen success from both sides of the plate so far in the lower levels of the minor leagues. It's more than that, as Clase has put on a lot of muscle as well, and it's actually translated into his power as you can see from the HR numbers in 22 and 23.
If Clase can keep hitting well, mixing in power with his incredible speed, I don't think it will be long until we see him make the jump to Arkansas. This is his first full season in Everett, but I think it's going to be a partial season when all is said and done. Jonatan Clase is going to be special, and he just keeps climbing through the ranks for the Mariners.