The Athletic ranked starting pitchers from "just a guy" to "Inner Circle", where did the Mariners come in?

The Athletic ranked starting pitchers from "just a guy" to "Inner Circle", where did the Mariners trio of studs come in?

Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners
Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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#11: George Kirby: Ranking 81.5 - 2 Ace Votes - 7 applicant votes - Was a 62.5 in 2023

This got Kirby up into the next tier, the one mentioned that Gilbert is going after for the "one day might be aces" group. Such a big part of Kirby's game is his command and control. It's important to realize those are two different things. Kirby doesn't just throw strikes to get the ball over the plate. No, he manipulates the strike zone with brutal efficiency, placing the ball where he wants, when he wants, and dictating how each and every at-bat goes for the opponent.

Can Kirby repeat the control that he showed last year en-route to a top-ten season all-time in walk rate? That remains to be seen, as a single "off-day" really can derail the chance to get in there again. Is it crazy to think in his age-26 season, his third season in the majors, that he wouldn't continue to grow? Maybe he takes a slight step back like Gilbert did as hitters get used to him... but maybe he polishes his game and that step goes the other direction.

That's what the voters seem to think. They have him as #11, with two voters already giving him Ace votes, and seven others giving him applicant status. Nine of the voters think that he either will be or already is an Ace. He's on the precipice, and another great season, maybe one with a dominant September, could see him take control of the Mariners rotation for years to come.