One thing you should know when following the Mariners’ farm system is that they excel at finding talent in the Caribbean and South America. It’s a who’s who list that includes Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Julio Rodriguez, Lazaro Montes, and this year’s top signee, Felnin Celestin. We could spend days writing about the talent in the Dominican Summer League, one rung up the ladder in the Arizona Complex League. However, this week we’ll take a trip to Modesto and shine the spotlight on a corner infielder with an above-average hit tool.
The Mariners signed Luis Suisbel in 2019 for $350,000. The Venezuelan infielder was initially labeled a versatile defender who might hit enough to play a utility role—his first two seasons in the DSL backed up those claims when he slashed .202/.346/.327, which was suitable for just under league average (98 wRC+). The strikeout rates were also high, but he showed a keen eye walking at a 10.2% clip. Most prospects who stall in the DSL have difficulty rising the organizational ladder.
Thankfully for the Mariners and the 20-year-old Suisbel, something clicked this year when he got his first taste of the ACL. He’d first take the desert by storm, teaming up with Lazaro Montes to anchor a dominant lineup. In 36 games, Suisbel would launch 15 extra-base hits while displaying some dominate-the-zone tendencies (18.6% BB). That performance pushed the Mariners to move him up the ladder with Montes in Modesto, where he’s continued to rake.
His offensive profile has some swing-and-miss, but his keen eye and ability to hunt fastballs should serve him well as he makes his way through the Mariners’ farm system.
Defensively, he’s handling the cold corner for the Nuts but can also move to third. With 2023 2nd round pick Ben Williamson locking down the hot corner for now, look for Suisbel to split time between first base and designated hitter this season. If he keeps this up, he might join the long list of international gems uncovered by the Mariners' scouting department.