Seattle Mariners 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Seattle Mariners Top 50 Prospects for 2018

The Mariners farm system is not filled with top level major league talent, in fact there is only one prospect in MLB’s top 100. In making trades to make immediate major league upgrades and clearing money in their failed effort to land Shohei Ohtani, the team traded away highly regarded prospects such as Tyler O’Neill, Nick Neidert, Drew Jackson, Christopher Torres, Thyago Vieira and Boog Powell.  With that said, between a strong 2017 draft class and free agent acquisition’s the M’s added players such as Evan White, Sam Carlson, Wyatt Mills, Oliver Jaskie, Mike Ford, Nick Rumbelow, Sam Moll, Nick Freitas and more which has helped rebuild organizational depth depleted by the aforementioned trades.   In addition, the team’s international signings this past year include top 6 prospect Julio Rodriguez and Juan Querecuto, two young raw players with high upsides.  I am cautiously optimistic that the organization under GM Jerry Dipoto is heading in the right direction.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster






Tier 1:

1. Kyle Lewis, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level: High A
The top prospect in the Mariners organization played just two games in the Arizona Fall League before getting shut down due to persisting knee problems following surgery for his torn ACL. Due to the injury, just a month into his pro career, Lewis has played just 81 games since being drafted in 2016. When healthy, he has impressed offensively demonstrating the ability to hit for both power and average. If all goes well, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach AAA by the end of 2018 and make his debut with the big club in 2019.


Tier 2:

2. Evan White, 1B
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Selected in the first round (17th overall) in last year’s draft out the University of Kentucky, White looked solid in 14 games with Low-A Everett hitting .277/.345/.532 with an .877 OPS. The athletic 2nd team all SEC first baseman is rare in that he is left handed defensively while hitting from the right. He has the ability to be an above average major league hitter possessing speed and mid-range power. His strongest trait is his defensive prowess with future gold glove potential. It wouldn’t surprise me, if he made his MLB debut late in 2019, but 2020 is the more likely scenario.

3. Sam Carlson, RHP
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
The Mariners were thrilled to be able to nab the right handed high school pitcher with their second pick in the Major League Baseball draft in 2017. The 6’4”, 205 Carlson possesses four pitches with high velocity, pitching into the high 90’s with excellent movement. Last year he pitched two rookie league games in Arizona and I would expect him to spend the entire 2018 season playing A level ball.

4. Braden Bishop, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Bishop played college baseball in Seattle at the University of Washington and now hopes to be playing professionally soon in the same city. The 24 year old has long been known for his defensive abilities. In 2017, he started opening eyes at the plate with a .336/.417/.448/.865 slash line in 31 games at AA Arkansas following his call up from Modesto. He doesn’t hit for power, but is a speedy base stealing threat who runs the bases well. He is a crafty defensive center fielder with the ability to cover lots of ground. He has the possibility of getting a call up before the season is out but should spend most of the season at AAA.

5. Joe Rizzo, 3B
Age: 19
Highest Level: High A
Rizzo was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft and played most of his 2017 season in the Midwest League with the Clinton Lumberkings before finishing the year at High A Modesto. He hit .251 with 7 HR in the 2017 campaign. He will need to work on plate discipline after striking out 121 times in 430 at bats. Rizzo’s physical skills resemble that of current Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager.

6. Julio Rodriguez, OF
Age: 17
Highest Level: N/A
Rodriguez signed out of the Dominican Republic during the international signing period. The 16-year-old has shown power hitting potential and is a possible future middle of the order hitter. He projects to be a corner outfielder with an above average defensive skill set. There is concern as he grows into his body that speed could be an issue.

7. Max Povse, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
The 6’8” right hander made his MLB debut last summer where he pitched 3 games out of the bullpen. The call up was due to his impressive showing with AA Arkansas, but he took his lumps with the big club and at AAA Tacoma. He’s not overpowering, averaging the low to mid 90’s in velocity. Long term he projects to be a number 4 or 5 starter, short term he could come out of the bullpen during the 2018 season.

8. Ian Miller, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
Miller was drafted in the 14th round of the 2013 draft and made his AAA debut with Tacoma last year. Between Tacoma and AA Arkansas he had a .307/.355/.748 slash. He is speedster, stealing 43 bases last year and is also a good defender who can cover a lot of ground. Look for him to roam the outfield at Safeco at some point this summer.

9. Art Warren, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: A
The hard throwing right hander was impressive with High A Modesto working as a setup man and striking out 67 in 64.2 innings with a 3.06 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His fastball it’s the high 90’s and he has shown a nasty slider and curveball as well. A call up in 2018 is not out of the question, though he should spend most of his time in AAA.

10. Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB
Acquired from the Cubs in 2016 for Mike Montgomery, Vogelbach was expected to make the Mariners roster last spring but was sent down to AAA prior to opening day. He spent last season with Tacoma before a late season call up, playing in just 8 games. Last year he produced a .290/.388/.455 slash line with 17 HR’s and 25 doubles while earning his spot as an PCL All Star. His biggest weakness is defense, which needs to improve for him stick with Seattle as the DH spot is occupied by Nelson Cruz. Still only 40 AB in the majors.


Tier 3:

11. Wyatt Mills, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
The Mariners drafted the Gonzaga University closer with their third round selection this past summer. The 6’3” side arm pitcher has drawn comparisons to Steve Cishek and impressed many during his 18 games in Everett and Clinton going 0-2 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.84 WHIP striking out 29 in 20.1 innings. It wouldn’t be surprising for him to reach AAA Tacoma this year.

12. Matt Festa, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: High A
Drafted in the 7th round of 2016 MLB draft out of East Stroudsburg University the right handed reliever demonstrated his nasty arsenal with High A Modesto and in the Arizona Fall League. With Modesto he earned All Star status while striking out 99 hitters in 69.2 innings working as the closer. He will turn 25 prior to opening day and figures to spend the bulk of his time at AAA Tacoma. A late season call up is a possibility.

13. Ronald Rosario, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: A
The Mariners signed Rosario as a 16 year old in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic. He played in the DR Summer League from 2014-2016 before coming to the US to play in the Arizona Rookie League and Class A Everett where he impressed with a .294/.355/.516 slash line while showing glimpses of power.

14. Anthony Jimenez, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
Another international signee out of Venezuela played in the Venezuelan, Dominican and Arizona summer leagues before shining last year as a Midwest League All Star last season with High A Clinton. Jimenez has a quick swing with some pop and is an excellent defender who can play all three outfield spots. He is a potential top of the order hitter, excellent on the base paths with speed that helped him accumulate 24 stolen bases last year.

15. Seth Elledge, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
The Mariners selected the hard throwing right hander in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Dallas Baptist University where he holds the career saves record. He spent last season with Everett and Clinton where he went 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA, 0.96 WHIP while holding batters to .178 average striking out 42 in 25 innings of work. He projects to be a late inning reliever in the majors.

16. Mike Ford, 1B
Age 25
Highest Level: AAA
The Mariners acquired Ford in the Rule 5 draft last month, so in order to remain with the organization he will need to make it out of spring training with Seattle and remain on the roster the entire year. If not, he will need to be offered back to the Yankees. He was a two time All American at Princeton, who was also the Ivy League player and pitcher of the year in 2013. He had .270/.404/.471 slash between AA and AAA with 20 HR’s in 2017 making the AA All Star team in the Eastern League. It will be interesting to see what happens between Ford and Vogelbach, as there doesn’t seem to be room for two left handed hitting 25 year old first baseman.

17. Greifer Andrade, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: A
Andrade signed with the Mariners during the 2013 international signing period out of Venezuela. Originally a middle infielder, he has since transitioned into an outfielder. He demonstrated his offensive abilities with a .295/.304/.420 slash line in 55 games with Everett last season. Andrade needs to develop patience at the plate after walking only 5 times in 207 at bats.

18. Sam Moll, LHP
Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB
The Mariners claimed the lefty off of waivers in November from Pittsburgh who were hoping that he cleared so they can keep him with the club without putting him on the 40 man roster. The groundball pitcher has above average velocity with his fastball ranging from 93-96 MPH striking out 47 in 54.1 innings last year in AAA. He has a chance to break camp with Seattle, but is likely to finish the spring in Tacoma. If the Mariners pitching situation plays out anything like last year, it won’t be long before he gets his shot in Seattle.

19. Oliver Jaskie, LHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
Jaskie was selected out of the University of Michigan as a 6th round selection out of the University of Michigan. The left hander isn’t a power pitcher but he does have 3 quality pitches. After last year’s draft, he pitched 13 games, starting 10 at short season Everett. He projects to be a possible back end of the rotation type pitcher.

20. Nick Rumbelow, RHP
Age: 26
Highest level: MLB
The Mariners acquired Rumbelow in a November trade with the Yankees, where they gave up hard throwing JP Sears. The right hander has a 2.72 ERA over 5 minor league seasons and last season he went 5-1 with AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre with a 0.62 ERA in 17 games. There is a very good chance he starts the season with Seattle; if not it won’t be long before he is called up.

21. Juan Querecuto, SS
Age 17
Highest Level: Did not play
Seattle signed the young shortstop during the international signing period for $1.225 million out of Venezuela. He is said to have a high baseball IQ and is disciplined at the plate. It will take some time for his body to fill out. Though listed as a shortstop, his future could be at 3B based on his arm strength.

22. Luis Liberato, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: High A
Liberato has had injuries numerous times that have kept him out of action since being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He did show flashes of power last year between Clinton and hitting 14 HR’s, but his .246/.312/.438 slash could use some improvement. He is strong defensively and has speed accumulating 12 stolen bases in the 2017 campaign.

23. Chase De Jong, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
The 2016 Texas League pitcher of the year struggled with the organization after being acquired from the Dodgers last offseason with a 6.35 ERA/1.55 WHIP and an opponent batting average of .282 splitting time between Tacoma and Arkansas. This came after making the Mariners roster out of spring training. Seattle hopes to get him back on track with a good camp.

24. Robert Whalen, RHP
Age 23
Highest Level, MLB
Whalen was temporarily taken off of the Mariners 40 man roster last year before being reinstated in September. Acquired in 2015 from the Atlanta Braves, he struggled last year going 0-7 with a 6.58 ERA at AAA Tacoma. Despite those struggles, he did get called up to Seattle last year where he pitched in 2 games. He’s a ground ball pitcher, whose best pitch is the curveball and those with average velocity. He figures to continue to hone his skills at AAA Tacoma in 2018, while trying to work his way back to the big club.

25. Billy Cooke, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
Cooke was drafted in the 8th round of the 2017 draft and played 3 games in Everett before going to Clinton for the remainder of the season. He earned the Sun Belt Conference player of the year leading off for Coastal Carolina University hitting .353 with 10HR’s and stealing 21 bases.






Tier 4:

26. Darin Gillies, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: AA
Drafted in the 10th round in the 2015 draft Gillies had a solid year in 2017 with AA Arkansas going 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA/1.29 WHIP and .231 opponent batting average. The hard throwing right hander impressed in the Arizona Fall League and should start the season with AAA Tacoma. He projects to be a middle reliever in the majors and could make his debut as early as this season.

27. Max Roberts, LHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
The 6’6” lefty went 10-1 with a 1.44 ERA with Wabash Valley college before being drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 draft. He pitched 10 games in the Arizona rookie league and figures to spend his time with Clinton and/or Modesto in 2018.

28. Nick Wells, LHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
The 6”5” lefty currently has a three pitch arsenal while working on adding a change up to his mix. Though raw, he did have some impressive moments in the 2017 campaign. Still a few years out, he will continue to hone his craft in 2018 likely pitching in AA ball. He projects to be a back end of the rotation type pitcher.

29. Eric Filia, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: High A
Filia was originally in my top 15 before being suspended for the first 50 games for his second positive drug test which was believed to be for marijuana. Previously, he was suspended from UCLA for the entire 2015 for academic reasons. He raked last year in Modesto with a .326/.407/.434 slash with 28 doubles, 5 triples and 5 HR’s. He continued his success in the Arizona Fall League, making the suspension extremely disappointing. Staying out of trouble, seems like Filia’s main obstacle in becoming a major league ballplayer.

30. Chuck Taylor, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
The switch hitting outfielder was a Texas League All Star in 2017 playing for Arkansas. He is a strong defensive player, who could find his niche as a backup outfielder in the majors. He had his best year offensively in 2017 with a .274/.369/.766 slash.

31. Joseph Rosa, 2B
Age: 20
Highest Level: A

Rosa signed with Seattle after going undrafted in 2015. He spent time in AAA, AA and single A shining with short season Everett with a .296/.374/.531 slash line. The 20 year old appears to have a bright future with the organization.

32. Zach Vincej, SS
Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB
Vincej made his major league debut last September with the Cincinnati Reds in November after spending the year with AAA Louisville where he had a .270/.325/.370 slash line. After being claimed off of waivers by Seattle in November, he impressed in the Arizona Fall League and was named the Fall League Top Prospect team.  He is expected to compete for a backup infielder spot for the Mariners this spring.

33. Gareth Morgan, OF
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Taken 74th overall in the 2014 draft out of high school in Canada, Morgan started to show signs of progress in 2017 after struggling in his first few years in the organization. The 21 year old hit 17 HR’s with Clinton after accumulating 8 total from 2014-2016. One of the more intriguing prospects in the organization, 2018 should be a year of continued success.

34. David Freitas, C
Age: 28
Highest Level: MLB
The M’s claimed Freitas off of waivers from Atlanta in October. Since being drafted way back in 2010, he finally made his MLB debut with the Braves in 2017 playing in six games. Last year in AAA he had a .263/.338/.356 slash line with 21 HR’s and 13 doubles. Greg Johns from mlb.com says he will battle Mike Marjama in spring training for the backup catcher spot.

35.Bryson Brigman, SS/2B
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
The third round pick from the 2016 draft spent last season at Single A Clinton hitting just .235 with 2 HR.  His speed and defense are his top qualities; he stole 16 bases last year while mainly playing shortstop.   He projects to be a be a backup middle infielder in the majors.

36. Nathan Bannister, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AAA
A four year player at the University of Arizona, Bannister was drafted in the 28th round of the 2016 draft. After spending most of last year at Modesto, he was called up to AAA Tacoma in August starting 4 games and going 1-0 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.24 WHIP striking out 18 in 22.2 innings.

37. Mike Marjama, C
Age: 28
Highest Level: MLB
Acquired in an August trade with Tampa, the 28 year old catcher made his MLB debut in September (sound familiar?). Between Durham and Tacoma he had a .49/.320/.422 slash line with 12 HR’s and 19 doubles. He was a AAA all star this past summer and as I mentioned will battle Freitas for the backup catcher position this spring.

38. Andres Torres, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
The right hander out of Venezuela looked sharp in short season Everett going 7-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 15 starts. Expect the talented pitcher to continue raise his stock in 2018.

39. Jordan Cowan, 3B
Age 22
Highest Level: AA
Cowan reached base safely in 99 of 120 games with an at bat. He has both speed and is an intelligent baserunner with 18 stolen bases and 67 runs scored last year.

40. Ljay Newsome, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
The young right hander received a spring training invite after posting a 8-9 record with a 4.10 ERA and 1.13 WHIP at Clinton last year.

41. Kyle Wilcox, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level A
Wilcox has impressed many in the organization with his athleticism and his ability to throw three pitches effectively. The hard throwing righty struck out 52 in 33.1 innings in Clinton last year with a 3.78 ERA in 21 games. Has the potential to be a late innings reliever in the majors.






Tier 5:

42. Tommy Romero, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Taken in the 15th round out of Eastern Florida State, Romero impressed in the Arizona Rookie League going 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.97 WHIP striking out 51 in 41.3 innings.

43. Ryne Inman, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
A 6’5” hard throwing right hander had some impressive moments the past couple of years. In 2017 he struck out 72 in 74.1 innings.

44. Chris Mariscal, 2B
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
After a blistering start in Modesto last year, Mariscal earned a promotion to AA Arkansas. Combined he had a .285/.368/.402 slash line and projects out to be a utility infielder in MLB.

45. Reggie McClain, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: A
Taken in the 16th round of the 2016 draft McClain spent the year with High A Modesto where he pitched a team high 153.1 innings going 12-9 with a 4.75 ERA while striking out 127.

46. Johnny Adams, 3B
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
After being drafted in the 22nd round in 2017, Adams opened eyes with short season Everett with a .316/.374/.445 slash line with 5 home runs in 52 games.   He showed defensive versatility playing 3B, 2B and SS.   An intriguing prospect, he will be interesting to watch in 2018

47. Eugene Helder, 3B
Age: 21
Highest Level: AAA
The third base prospect out of Aruba spent most of last season in Everett before finishing the season at AAA Tacoma. Combined he had a .296/.336/.401 slash line.

48. Randy Bell, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
Drafted in the 10th round out of South Alabama, Bell was the number 1 starter in his senior year had 7-3 record with a 3.69 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. After the draft, he pitched 13 games in short season Everett.

49. Darren McCaughan, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie
Drafted in the 12th round of the 2017 draft, McCaughan impressed in the Arizona Rookie League striking out 18 in 12 innings pitched with a 3.75 ERA 1.00 WHIP and .205 average against.

50. Joey Curletta, 1B
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA
Standing 6’4” and weighing 245 pounds the 1B possesses power hitting 17 and 15 HR’s the last two seasons but needs to cut down his strikeout rate after collection 136 last season.

Others of Note:
Joe Decarlo, C
Age: 24
Highest Level: A
Selected in round 2 of the 2012 draft as a third baseman, the organization moved him to catcher this past summer. After spending last year with High A Modesto, he figures to spend a few more seasons working on his new craft before earning his way up to the big leagues.

Matt Walker, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Walker is a crafty off speed pitcher worked out of the bullpen with High A Modesto going 4-5 with a 4.19 ERA and 6 saves in 42 appearances.

Joe Pistorese, LHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: A
Another bullpen arm that spent most of last year with the Modesto Nuts the left hander has an above average strikeout rate and projects to be a late inning relief pitcher.

Jack Anderson, RHP
Age: 24
Highest level: A
Anderson split his time between Clinton and Modesto in 2017 posting a 3-5 record with a 2.51 ERA and 1.20 WHIP striking out 75 in 71.2 innings of work out of the bullpen.

5 Comments

    • Joe Rush took the time to write this comprehensive piece and all of our writers may or may not actually be able to get to minor league games based on where they live. Please feel free to list out the players you’re looking for and Joe will certainly be able to comment on where he might have ranked them if not on his Top 50.

    • Don’t think so, the only prospect I think should be added on is Jorge Benitez a 9th round pick with some upside. Maybe in the 40-50 range. This list pretty much covers the Mariners prospects entirely.

  1. Thanks for reading, but that’s some fairly generic criticism Mark. Who would have you included and who would have you left off?

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Monday January 22, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. Mariners Prospect Performances (April 2018) | Prospects1500
  3. 2018 MLB Draft Link Round-Up | Prospects1500

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