The Mariners haven’t been to the postseason since 2001 and lost 94 games in 2019. But there’s reason for optimism, and not just because that last-place finish in the AL West a year ago means they have the No. 6 overall pick in this year’s Draft.
Whoever that selection ends up being will join a farm system that has become one of the best in baseball. The five Top 100 prospects leading the Mariners’ new Top 30 list are the most the organization has had since it also had five back at the start of the 2013 season. And we’re not talking just barely making the Top 100, either. Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez represent one of the best prospect duos in all of baseball and seeing them roaming the outfield in Seattle by 2021 isn’t out of the question. Logan Gilbert has quickly evolved into one of the better pitching prospects in the game, one who could impact the big league rotation this year and lead it in the near future. And the Evan White era at first base is ready to begin this season.
Beyond that fab five, there’s more depth than there has been in this system in a long time as GM Jerry Dipoto has committed to building from within. Even small trades made last Deadline brought in intriguing bullpen arms and there are many names on this list who should be ready to help out this season when the call comes.
Efforts on the international market not only netted a talent like Rodriguez, but shortstop Noelvi Marte -- who should be a Top 100 talent talent sooner or later -- and a couple of others lower on the list who could rise quickly.
The key lesson? Be patient, Mariners fans. Help is on the way, and quick, with a turnaround in the AL West not too far off in the future.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2019 preseason list to the 2020 preseason list.
Jump: Sam Delaplane, RHP (2019: NR | 2020: 21) – The reliever went from being a curiosity to looking like a definite big league bullpen piece after reaching Double-A (and dominating there) and playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Fall: Dom Thompson-Williams (2019: 15 | 2020: NR) – After a 20-20 season in 2018, DTW hit just .234/.298/.391 in Double-A in 2019 and will miss all of 2020 with a ruptured Achilles.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Jarred Kelenic
Power: 60 -- Julio Rodriguez (Cal Raleigh)
Run: 70 -- Jonatan Clase
Arm: 60 -- Julio Rodriguez
Defense: 70 -- Evan White
Fastball: 65 -- Logan Gilbert (Joey Gerber)
Curveball: 55 -- Brandon Williamson (George Kirby, Art Warren)
Slider: 60 -- Sam Delaplane (Justus Sheffield)
Changeup: 55 -- Logan Gilbert (Justus Sheffield, Sam Carlson, Tim Elliot)
Control: 65 -- George Kirby (Ljay Newsome)
How they were built
Draft: 18 | International: 5 | Trade: 7
Breakdown by ETA
2020: 14 | 2021: 4 | 2022: 9 | 2023: 2 | 2024: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 1 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 1 | OF: 6 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 5