Mariners' Prospect Spotlight: Tyler Gough

2022 draftee Tyler Gough is making noise in the California League while fronting the Modesto Nuts' rotation.
Seattle Mariners v Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Jerry Dipoto, then the Mariner's General Manager, embarked on a complete rebuild five years ago. The focus was on college arms, with Logan Gilbert and George Kirby as the foundation. Dipoto would continue to add quality arms to the farm, with Emerson Hancock, Bryan Woo, and Bryce Miller joining the fold. Mariner scouting and drafting trended to high school-aged hitters like Cole Young, Harry Ford, and Colt Emerson in the past three years, with a few high-upside arms sprinkled in. 

One of those exceptionally gifted arms is Tyler Gough. The Mariners recognized his talent and drafted him in the 9th round in 2022, successfully luring him away from Oregon State. Gough wasted no time showcasing his skills, taking his mid-90s fastball and above-average control to the Arizona Complex League backfields. He continued to impress in Modesto, where he has been since 2023, amassing 39 innings over 11 starts. His repertoire includes a well-developed changeup and a fastball with late life, making him a formidable player to watch. 

Now 20, Gough is fronting an exciting Modesto Nuts team and carving up California League opposition. The sample size is small, only nine innings, but it's promising because he's averaging a strikeout an inning as one of the youngest starters in the league. 

With an elite offense behind him, Gough could springboard low-stress innings and continued development into a promotion by season's end. Deciding factors include sharpening the curveball from its current slurvy form (45-grade) and honing his already solid command. The 2022 draftee's ceiling (at this point) is a mid-rotation starter in the mold of former Mariner Chris Flexen. However, with any young arm, it's boom or bust, and a few mph on the fastball could raise his ceiling. Either way, it's great to see solid arms like Gough complementing the young bats in the system.