There are certainly a good number of solid prospects in the Seattle Mariners organization. It’s not one of the 5 best farms but it’s certainly not in the bottom 5. Here’s my take on the Mariners of the future. Let me know what you think. Shoot me your comments after the list or hit me up on Twitter at @OrangeCountry77.
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
1. Kyle Lewis, OF
Age: 21 (DOB: 07/13/1995)
Lewis’ pro debut was cut short by a torn ACL and a few other injuries in a home plate collusion. His swing has more movement and intricates in it than is expected, but he has the bat to play just about anywhere. Defensively, he could spend his early years in CF than move to a corner as he ages.
2. Drew Jackson, SS
Age: 22 (DOB: 7/28/1993)
Drew Jackson is a classic shortstop prospect whose defensive potential is ahead of his offensive prowess. As of now, he has the athleticism and reliability expected out of the position to be a regular for the Mariners as he progresses through their system. Offensively, he still needs some work keeping his hands in line when he follows through, but once he gets on base, he is a threat to wreak havoc on the base paths giving him enhanced value
3. Tyler O’Neil, OF
Age: 22 (DOB: 06/22/1995)
He has the classic look of a number 3 or cleanup hitter in the big leagues one day. He moved up to Double-A in 2016 and he did not miss a beat. What sets him apart from other prospects in this system is his off the charts potential to hit for average in addition to his Giancarlo Stanton like power. Defensively, he will profile best in an outfield corner where he can be hidden more due to his limitations in terms of tracking a ball.
4. Nick Neidert, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB: 11/20/1996)
Neidert is the first pitcher to appear on this top 50 list and for good reason. He has a lower to middle 90’s fastball he can control to both sides of the plate as well as a curveball that is more refined than most pitchers his age. The organization has taught him a slider that could emerge as a legitimate third pitch. He also has a changeup he could stand to improve as well. At his age, ability to generate groundballs, and his effortless delivery, he has the makings of a mid-rotation starter in a few years.
5. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
Age: 24 (12/17/1992)
Here is your classic power hitter with this being his only marketable skill that stands out. The rest of his profile suggests he needs to pull the ball to keep a job at the big league level. He has a clear path to the open first base job with the M’s in 2017. The ball is now literally in his court to seize the opportunity ahead of him.
6. Joe Rizzo, 3B
Age: 19 (DOB: 03/31/1998)
Rizzo is rare of terms of the ability he’s shown thus far as more of a pure hitter in the Mark Grace or Tony Gwynn type. He may not have as much power as the hitters do above him on this list, but these types of hitters are few and far in the minors. Due to his size and lack of a clear position, he could be a Jose Ramirez type that plays all over the field or he could be Cruz’s future replacement at DH with Seager blocking him at 3B.
7. Andrew Moore, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB: 06/02/1994)
Despite being undersized and having a limited ceiling with his pitching mix, Moore has a good chance to stick in a rotation for 10 plus years. He is the true definition of a pitcher who has a solid arsenal at his disposal, but he will need a solid defense and some more refinement in some of his lesser offerings to succeed at the big league level.
8. D.J. Pederson, 1B
Age: 25 (DOB: 12/31/1991)
Pederson is older than the typical prospect and some of the luster he once possessed has worn off. When he’s on, his swing can get compact and he becomes a hitter who can hit to all fields. After his rapid promotion path and the horrific injury he suffered in 2015, he has regressed some. After a 2016 season that saw him stay healthy, the onus is on him to continue to show the Mariners the reason they drafted him so high a few years ago.
9. Braden Bishop, OF
Age: 23 (DOB: 08/22/1993)
Bishop profiles as a classic up the middle defender with lead-off potential as well as the innate ability to steal bases at a high clip. Holding back in terms of a regular job is if his bat can catch up to his defense. If this holds true, he could be the lead-off hitter Seattle has looked for since Ichiro left town many years ago.
10. Christopher Torres, SS
Age: 18 (DOB: 02/06/1988)
Not to be confused with the Yankees top prospect of the same last name, the switch-hitting shortstop has more of an advanced feel from the left side than the right side at this stage. He already has the ability to adjust as he moves up the organizational ladder, but that could change as he faces better pitching. Defensively, he has the arm and the range to stick at the position long-term
11. Ben Gamel, OF
Age: 24 (DOB: 05/17/1994)
Gamel is now at the big-league level and he has a somewhat clear path to regular time, but Dyson is now in the fold along with Martin. He stopped hitting for power and focused on using the whole field instead. He relies on his instincts and quickness defensively than pure talent. 2017 will a long way to determining if he can be a regular or if he’s just a backup.
12. Mitch Haniger OF
Age: 26 (DOB: 12/23/1990)
Here is another outfielder with the opportunity to at least receive semi-regular playing time in 2017. Finally healthy, the power emerged after injuries stunted his growth in previous years. He could play in left and show off his plus arm where his other defensive characteristics are not up to par with his throwing ability.
13. Max Povse, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB: 8/23/1993)
Povse is rather tall at 6-8, but he pitches well for his size at a downward angle. His three pitches are a fastball, changeup, and a curveball that needs some more work to be a viable third pitch. He does not stand out like other pitchers on this list so far, but if he continues to refine his pitches, he has a shot at being a back of the rotation pitcher.
14. Brayan Hernandez, OF
Age: 19 (DOB: 09/11/1997)
He was one of the top international prospects in the 2014 class and that was for his ability to showcase the 5 classic tools scouts salivate over. As of now, he is a line-driver hitter who can bat from sides, and play a solid centerfield. The onus is now on Hernandez to continue to develop his considerable gifts moving forward.
15. Bryson Brigman, SS
Age: 21 (DOB: 06/19/1995)
Brigman has the ability to flash 5 tools at this stage, but none of them stand out. He plays a solid shortstop, but a move to second base looks to be in the fold long-term. The hitting side remains in flux as he has not shown much due to injury.
16. Tony Zych, RHP
Age: 26 (DOB: 08/07/1990)
Zych is one of many hard-throwers that are in high demand now across the majors. He flashes a fastball that hits 96-97 and a slider that can go as high as the mid 80’s to give hitters another look. He got hurt in 2016 otherwise he would not be on this list. He has a real opportunity to help the parent club in 2017 and perhaps even get some save chances in the future.
17. Dan Altavilla, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB: 09/08/1992)
Altavilla may be another undersized pitcher in this system, but he comes at you with the hard stuff. His fastball can reach as high as 97 and his slider can be a power pitch as well. Were he a foot taller, the comparisons to Randy Johnson might become a reality. The Mariners have moved him to the bullpen where he can maximize these 2 offerings.
18. Luis Liberato, OF
Age: 21 (DOB: 12/18/1995)
Liberato is another prospect who profiles best as a top of the order hitter. He does not have one outstanding skill that stands out, but he’s solid across the board. If the M’s are patient with him, he could pay off big by say 2019.
19. Gareth Morgan, OF
Age: 20 (DOB: 04/12/1996)
This impressively large human being has the typical lighthouse tower power that has big-league teams excited about their future. He needs to continue to cut down on strikeouts and focus more on pitch recognition if he wants to continue on the fast track he is currently on. Defensively, he profiles as a below average regular so his bat needs to be his calling card.
20. Nick Wells, LHP
Age: 20 (DOB: 02/21/1996)
Wells is another real young pitcher for the Mariners who is a bit behind schedule after an injury has robbed him of some precious development time. He has a four pitch arsenal that has a curveball as his best offering. He will need to develop his other pitches if he wants to move up the ladder.
21. Rob Whalen, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB: 01/22/1994)
Whalen may be higher on other prospect lists, but his fastball lacks the necessary velocity seen in other pitchers in this system and his curveball while it’s his best offering, lacks the crispness on video. He could be a useful long arm in the pen type of pitcher at best.
22. Boog Powell, OF
Age: 24 (DOB: 01/14/1993)
Powell not to be confused from the former Orioles standout has been praised for his hustle as well as the ability to overcome his size limitations to hit well so far. Due to recent suspensions, he has some issues he needs to work on to not get suspended again. With that in mind, he profiles as a table setter for the heart of the Mariners lineup in the future.
23. Brandon Miller, RHP
Age: 21 (DOB: 06/16/1995)
Miller’s middle name might as well be Brandon Command Miller. He has the best command of any pitcher arguably right now in this system. As with other pitchers that are on this list, he has the potential to be a #4 or #5 type pitcher for the Mariners.
24. Thyago Vieira, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB: 07/01/1993)
Here is another potential future piece of the big-league club’s bullpen albeit he throws harder than any other pitcher on this list. He can touch 102 MPH with relative ease, but he differs in that his curveball can almost touch 90. With these types of weapons at his disposal, he could be a unique piece to the Mariners puzzle in the future.
25. Greifer Andrade, 2B
Age: 19 (DOB: 01/27/1997)
The 2nd hitter in this list that has the pure hitter label that could really help him shoot up a future prospect list if he can harness his hitting talents. If he can reign in his aggression, he has a real chance to advance quickly in this system.
26. James Pazos, LHP
Age: 25 (DOB: 05/05/1991)
Pazos profiles as another future piece of the parent club’s pen. The deception in his delivery gives him a leg up on the competition and gives his pitches added potency when facing hitters.
27. Paul Fry, LHP
Age: 24 (DOB: 07/26/1992)
Fry is another unique relief pitcher in this system as he throw side-armed. He mixes in an average fastball that has some good sink, a slider that is an underrated pitch, and a change that he throws fairly hard. He has a good shot at being a setup man at the game’s highest level.
28. Tyler Marlette, C
Age: 23 (DOB: 01/23/1993)
The first catcher on this list and this low shows a severe lack of catching talent in this system. His bat is far ahead of his defensive prowess so the possibility remains open he could move off of the position one day. If he can even just be average defensively, he could be a future big-league piece.
29. Tyler Smith SS/2B/3B
Age: 25 (DOB: 07/01/1991)
Smith is the epitome of what an average major leaguer might look like. He is a hard-working, grinder who uses his makeup and other less tangible tools to succeed in professional baseball. His best outlook is as a major league backup at multiple positions.
30. Kyle Waldrop, OF
Age: 25 (DOB: 11/25/1991)
After a very promising 2014 season, Waldrop has moved up the system ladder only to be exposed to high levels of pitching. At this point, he profiles best as a fourth OF type who could be useful as he can play first base as well.
31. Luis Veloz, OF
Age: 17 (DOB: 12/15/1999)
2016 International signee, Veloz could be a big power guy but also could K a lot. Has plenty of time to develop!
32. Emilio Pagan, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB: 05/07/1991)
Pagan has emerged as another viable future bullpen piece.
33. Dario Pizzano, OF
Age: 25 (DOB: 04/25/1991)
Pizzano had a fantastic first half in 2015, but has lost some of his prospect luster since then.
34. Anthony Misiewicz, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB: 11/01/1994)
After being stretched out into a starter, Misiewicz has become a viable option for the Mariners.
35. Steven Baron, C
Age: 26 (DOB: 11/07/1990)
Baron continues to hit at an elite level and could be a factor at the big-league level.
Editor note: Mariners released Baron on November 9, 2016. This was an oversight by Reid and we’ve added another prospect to the list at #50(a).
36. Matt Clancy, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB: 04/01/1994)
Yet another arm the Mariners could use on down the line.
37. Rayder Ascanio, SS
Age: 20 (DOB: 03/17/1996)
Ascanio needs to progress on the hitting side if he wishes to continue his pro career.
38. Kyle Wilcox, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB: 06/14/1994)
You guessed it. Another bullpen arm for the Mariners can potentially use in the future.
39. Coby Mobley, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB: 11/23/1996)
He’s still young enough to carve out a decent career if he can advance his offerings.
40. Austin Wilson, OF
Age: 24 (DOB: 02/07/1992)
Some regression on Wilson’s part has him on the fringes of ever becoming a useful player.
Editor’s Note:Wilson was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft and was not part of the Mariners organization at publication.
41. Marcus Littlewood, C
Age: 24 (DOB: 03/18/1992)
He has moved to catcher and with his hitting ability, he has a chance to make the majors.
42. Ian Miller, OF
Age: 24 (DOB: 02/21/1992)
Miller needs to really step up this year to continue to progress.
43. Joe DeCarlo, 3B
Age: 23 (DOB: 09/13/1993)
He really broke out in 2016 and he should receive a promotion.
44. Chantz Mack, OF
Age: 25 (DOB: 05/04/1991)
He had a solid year at the Double-A level.
45. Chris Mariscal, 3B
Age: 23 (DOB: 04/26/1993)
Mariscal is on the rise as a future big leaguer.
46. Donnie Walton, 2B
Age: 22 (DOB: 05/25/1994)
Walton emerged this year and really raked.
47. David Greer, OF
Age: 21 (DOB: 07/04/1995)
In limited time in 2016, Greer showed he deserved more playing time.
48. Jack Anderson, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB: 01/10/1994)
Anderson just needs more innings to prove his track record is no fluke.
49. Jonathan Aro, RHP
Age: 26 (DOB: 10/10/1990)
Six years in the minors with 11 MLB IP in Boston and Seattle. Now or never for this 26 year old.
50. Juan Camacho, C
Age: 20 (DOB: 04/19/1996)
Had an impressive first year for the low level Mariners farm team.
50(a). Kyle Petty, 1B
Age: 25 (DOB: 03/01/1991)
Dark horse candidate to make the big leagues in the next year or two, even if only for injury fill-in purposes. Very solid season at High A Bakersfield (14 HR, 62 RBI, 12 SB) earned him a promotion to AA Jackson, although he didn’t fare as well offensively and was back in Bakersfield two months later.
*Editor note – removed #31 Lopes (was traded to Toronto) and #50 Guaipe from list (had been released in 2016), added Luis Veloz at #31 and Juan Camacho at #50. Also #35 Baron was released in November 2016 and we’ve added #50(a) Petty to the list.