The Mariners tripled down on high-upside teens in the 2023 Major League Baseball draft, with Tai Peete's skillset being the most tantalizing. The 18-year-old infielder was one of the youngest players in his class, but the tools were loud this season.
Those two grand salamis were just the tip of the iceberg for Peete, who played an integral role in Modesto's run to the California League Championship. He routinely slotted in the middle of the Nuts' lineup, providing clutch hits and finishing with a solid slash line (.283/.349/.753) across two levels. The scouting scale loves Peete's bat speed and power (55 grade), which should be his calling card as he rises through the farm system.
Defensively, Peete bounced between third base and shortstop due to the Nuts' logjam of middle infielders (Arroyo, Emerson, Rodden). The power profile and his elite arm strength (60 grade) mean the hot corner is in his future. That development would serve the Mariners well, as they only have a few high-upside third basemen in the system. Scouts believe Peete's high-level speed could also end up pushing him to the outfield.
Being one of the youngest Mariner minor leaguers and some struggles at Modesto probably mean Peete is destined for starting with the Nuts in 2024. However, if he flashes early and takes the California League by storm we could see the electric teen in Everett by midseason. It all depends on Peete's ability to make more contact in the box.