Mariners' young prospects journey from undrafted to unhittable

Modesto Nuts' righty Will Schomberg is carving up the California League and racking up awards in a breakout 2024 campaign.
Seattle Mariners v Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Mariners' scouting and development staff have long been celebrated for their exceptional ability to spot pitchers with unique qualities. From Logan Gilbert's elite extension to George Kirby's historical accuracy and Bryce Miller's rising four-seamer, their track record is a testament to their expertise.

This success extends beyond the major leagues, as demonstrated by their discovery of promising arms like Logan Evans, Michael Morales, and Brody Hopkins in the minor leagues. The most recent addition to this illustrious roster is undrafted free agent Will Schomberg, a testament to the Mariners' continued success in identifying and nurturing talent. 

Schomberg was a reliever at Davidson University for the first three years, switching to a Sunday starter in his solid senior season (7-2), earning first-team all-conference honors. The Mariners saw something in Schomberg and signed him in August of 2023 as an undrafted free agent. 

Like many rookies, Schomberg faced his share of challenges in his initial games with the Arizona Complex League Mariners. Despite showing promise from the bullpen, he struggled with control, resulting in five walks in just 2 2/3 innings. These early struggles, however, are not a setback but a crucial part of his learning process.

Will Schomberg joins the next wave of Mariners' pitching

Flash forward to this season, where the diminutive righty is a stalwart in a talented Modesto Nuts rotation. Schomberg leads the California League in pitched innings, strikeouts, and opponent's batting average (.169) while landing in the top five in nearly every other pitching category. This stellar performance recently propelled Schomberg to Cal League Pitcher of the Month honors. 

A 5'10" with a low three-quarters arm slot, Schomberg induces a ton of swing and miss, especially on his sweeper. He pairs that with a low 90's fastball from the same tunnel to present some unique challenges to opposing lineups. The lack of elite velocity will probably limit Schomberg's ceiling, which is a solid number-five starter or swingman. However, if he can continue to reign in the walks and hone the changeup to keep hitters off the barrel, we could see another pitching gem rise through the system quickly.