Mariners Make Big Splash in 2023 International Signing Period
By Trevor Pedro
It’s been a long year for Mariner fans in the know about Felnin Celestin; MLB.com’s number two prospect in this year’s class of International Amateur prospects. We’ve written about the impact he could have on the system, but there are some additional signings to cover.
Jeter Martinez, RHP, Mexico
Per Kate Presseur from Lookout Landing, Jeter Martinez, the top prospect out of Mexico is a right-handed starter in the mold of Logan Gilbert. The number 42 prospect in this year’s class is already throwing in the low 90s at 16 years of age. Scouts rate his secondary offerings as developing with the possibility to take off with some pitch development, which is something the Mariners perform remarkably. Look for Martinez to start in the Dominican Summer League later this year.
Kelvin Alcantara, OF, Dominican Republic
Alcantara adds to an already talented group of young outfielders in the lower minors. He swings from the left side with a doubles approach to maximize his plus speed. That sure sounds like Jonaton Clase circa 2019. Additionally, scouts say his defensive skills are advanced for his age, which bodes well for his ability to play all three spots.
Delfry Carrasco, INF, Dominican Republic
Signing Carrasco might take the sting out of losing Edwin Arroyo in the Luis Castillo trade. We probably won’t see immediate dividends, as he is only 18 and surely ticketed for the Dominican Summer League. But if you look closely, you can see some comparisons. According to Mariners director of international scouting Frankie Thon Jr., “Carrasco can play across the infield and provides an on-base driven approach in the batter’s box.”
Sebastian De Andrade, C, Venezuela
Physically, De Andrade is built like Mariner top prospect, Harry Ford, but that is where the similarities end. According to Joe Doyle from Prospects Live, "Andrade is a pure hitter w/solid bat-to-ball skills and suffocating, sacrifice the body type defense."
At 5-foot-9 and only sixteen-years-old you’d expect some more height and subsequent bulk being added to the frame. If that happens, he should be able to stick behind the plate where his solid defensive tools will shine.
Andrade's brother, Danny, was a Top 10 int'l prospect in 2021.
Kendal Meza, RHP, Nicaragua
Meza might be the analytical darling of this class. The 6-foot power pitcher from Nicaragua is throwing bullets in the mid-to-low-90s already. Scouts like Doyle claim his delivery might keep him in the bullpen, but there is a lot to like. If we are playing the comparison game, there is probably some Prelander Berroa in there, with the ability to start if he can add a third pitch.
Ruddy Navarro, RHP, Dominican Republic
Another signing from the Dominican Republic, Navarro has the typical starter’s build with room for development. Thon added, “he’s a good athlete who currently relies on a solid fastball and changeup mix, while working on developing a slider.” He probably is a mid-rotation starter or swingman at this point, but there’s a good chance he could take off considering his pitch shaping at 17 years of age.
Kay Robles, OF, Dominican Republic
Robles is said to be in the mold of recent signee, Laz Montes. Where he carries surprising speed and big-time pop. The 18-year-old is already 6-foot-2 carries some bulk with the frame. Scouts, like Thon, believe his tools will allow him to stay in centerfield despite being one of the bigger prospects in the class.
Yesterday was the first step in restocking a farm that took some hits due to graduations and trades, but if this list is any indication of the future of the farm, it sure looks good.