Noelvi, DeLoach go deep in Minors scrimmage

March 2nd, 2022

PEORIA, Ariz. -- They’re still quite a ways off from the Majors, but two top Mariners prospects gave a glimmer of the power in the pipeline that’s on the way.

Leading off a scrimmage against the Padres on Wednesday, outfielder  connected on a middle-in fastball from Daniel Camarena in an 0-1 count and golfed it way over the right-field wall. Immediately after, infielder  yanked a belt-high heater and watched it sail over the left-field wall.

Both deep flies evoked a hearty eruption from their teammates in the visiting dugout, all of whom are here for a Minor League minicamp before Minors Spring Training opens on Thursday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

In the grand scheme of things, it was just a practice. But at this time of year, grainy cellphone footage of top prospects on a back field is the type of Internet fodder that fans, scouts and anyone else stoked for the oncoming season salivate over.

Marte enters 2022 as the Mariners’ No. 2 prospect and the No. 11 in all of baseball, per MLB Pipeline. There’s chatter that he could climb to the top five, perhaps as soon as this season, once the players occupying those spot graduate to the Majors -- and there’s an understandable reason why. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 181 pounds, and obviously still growing, the 20-year-old has been unmistakable to recognize this minicamp for his raw power and physique.

The Dominican Republic native is coming off a year in which he hit .273/.366/.459 (.825 OPS) with 17 homers and 71 RBIs between two affiliates, earning a promotion in September from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett, where he’ll likely begin 2022, with the opportunity to propel to Double-A Arkansas as the season progresses.

DeLoach, the club’s No. 6 prospect, is already there, and he’ll return this season looking to find more consistency after hitting .227/.338/.384 (.722 OPS) in 49 games. At Everett, the former Texas A&M standout hit .313/.400/.530 (.930 OPS), which was more reflective of the hitter that Seattle coveted when it selected him with its second-round pick in the shortened 2020 Draft.

Again, Wednesday’s showing was merely a scrimmage. But it was by far the biggest highlight in this camp compromising many of the Majors’ No. 2-ranked farm system.