The Mariners have been among the most active and successful international amateur free-agent market teams. They’ve signed players like Julio Rodriguez, Jonatan Clase, Robert Perez Jr., Axel Sanchez, and Felnin Celesten over the past few years, and those are just a few of the prospects rising up the team’s organizational big board. A forgotten name is Gabriel Gonzalez, but he could catapult through the farm system if he keeps up his current performance.
Gonzalez joined the organization in 2021 after signing a 1.3-million-dollar contract and immediately started in the Arizona Complex League. His time in the ACL was up and down due to plate discipline issues, striking out at an 18% clip and swinging at pitches outside the zone. However, he’s reigned in those free-swinging tendencies and has had a fantastic campaign in Modesto this year. The slash line alone is promotion-worthy (.339/.399/.895).
The 19-year-old has shown good bat-to-ball skills in California League, lowering his strikeout rate (13.9). But the actual development is his ability to tap into his natural power and ability to impact the baseball. Through two years of pro ball, Gonzalez has a .491 slugging percentage with 14 homers in 121 games. Gonzalez entered the organization with a 50 grade on the power scale but often settled for hard-hit singles instead of extra-base hits. Through 32 games, he has amassed 15 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles.
Gonzalez currently checks in at number seven on the Mariners’ prospect list and is repeating a level (Modesto). The youthful slugger should be roaming the outfield grass in Everett before long. The needle is up, and he might even finish the year in Arkansas, depending on what happens with the outfielders in the upper levels (Clase, Spencer Packard, Cade Marlowe). Either way, the organization is brimming with outfield talent that could impact the big-league club in the next three years.