The Seattle Mariners have finally signed International shortstop prospect Felnin Celesten. For the last few years, he has been linked to the Mariners, and he has been seen in Seattle gear when he trains in the Dominican Republic. He is one of the most expensive players the M's have signed in International Free Agency, at just under $5 million. Joe Doyle has been all over the Mariners and Celesten, and he shared the official news of the signing.
For a long time, Felnin Celesten has been considered to be one of the best International Free Agents prospects. MLB Pipeline even said that, "this teenager(Celesten) might have the highest ceiling of any international shortstop prospect in a decade. Yes, that list also includes Marco Luciano, Wander Franco and Robert Puason."
That is high praise for a 17-year-old. Even though Luciano and Puason have not made it to the big leagues yet, they were very highly regarded prospects when they signed. Celesten is no different. He is the latest in a long line of distinguished shortstop prospects to come from the Dominican Republic. He is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound switch hitter, and MLB Pipeline says he has the chance to be a five-tool player.
Pipeline gives him grades of 50 or higher in every scouting category: 50 hit, 55 power, 55 run, 55 arm, 55 field. If Celesten were to reach the Major Leagues and perform to those projections, he would be one of the best shortstops in the game of baseball. He carries that kind of upside, and that is very exciting to add to this system.
The Mariners have only had one player with that kind of upside, and that was Julio Rodriguez, who was not this highly regarded when he signed as a teenager. Players who have this much hype when they sign have turned out to be the best players in the game. Celesten has been mentioned in the same breath as players like Wander Franco, and he got a contract extension of 11 years after one year at the big league level. If Celesten can be better than Franco, look out baseball.
It is new to see Seattle signing one of the top International prospects, but adding the second best International amateur to the M's organization is a great thing to see for the future of the Mariners. With the recent drafting of some high school players including Harry Ford, AJ Izzi, Walter Ford and many others, Celesten will slot in right behind those guys in terms of path to the big leagues. The club is doing a great job of setting themselves up for a sustained period of succes.