Here are the Mariners' 2022 Top 30 prospects

March 29th, 2022

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners have spent the past three offseasons cultivating and developing young talent, transforming a once-bleak farm system into one of the Majors’ best. Many of those blue-chip prospects have begun the graduation process to the big leagues, such as Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic. Others are on the way, such as Matt Brash and George Kirby.

There are newcomers, too, like Lazaro Montes, the 6-foot-5 phenom that is just 17 years old, and Harry Ford, the first-round pick last year who already is touted with the most athleticism in the system. It all has many in the front office brimming with excitement at what’s to come.

On Monday, MLB Pipeline unveiled Seattle’s Top 30 prospects rankings ahead of the 2022 season. We already knew that six of those players were included among the Top 100 in all of baseball, tied for the most of any team in the Majors.

Top 30s

Leading that group is Julio Rodríguez, the 21-year-old whose world-class bat speed, evolving run tool and blossoming athleticism in the field has him on a trajectory that could lead to him making the Opening Day roster as the club’s everyday center fielder. Rodríguez has been one of the leading headliners in Mariners camp for his impressive power, his ability to make plays in the field and on the basepaths and his affection for their fans.

Checking in just behind him is 20-year-old shortstop Noelvi Marte, who was the 6-foot-3 manchild in camp before he was recently reassigned to Minors camp. Marte is a little further behind but will likely be knocking on the big league door at this time next year. The Mariners view him as a key foundational piece long term.

But it’s the pitching depth that truly headlines Seattle’s system. Beyond Kirby and Brash -- and Levi Stoudt, too, who should contribute in the Majors this year -- a wave of arms is on the horizon, such as Connor Phillips, Adam Macko, Emerson Hancock, Michael Morales and more.

Here’s a look at the Mariners top prospects:
1. Julio Rodríguez, OF (MLB No. 3)
2. Noelvi Marte, SS (MLB No. 11)
3. George Kirby, RHP (MLB No. 32)
4. Emerson Hancock, RHP (MLB No. 82)
5. Harry Ford, C (MLB No. 93)
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2021 preseason list to the 2022 preseason list.

Jump: Alberto Rodriguez, OF (2021: 21 | 2022: 8)
The Dominican Republic native was coveted enough by the Mariners to be added to their 40-man roster over the offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, and for good reason. In his first year with the organization after coming over in the Taijuan Walker trade in 2020, Rodriguez hit .295/.383/.484 (.867 OPS) with 10 homers at Low-A Modesto before earning a promotion to High-A Everett for the final two weeks. A focus on improved conditioning has made him leaner and more athletic, leading to sneaky power for his 5-foot-11 frame.

Fall: Juan Then, RHP (2021: 13 | 2022: 26)
Then took the biggest leap forward of any Minors pitcher in the organization in 2020, according to Jerry Dipoto, leading to loftier anticipation for what he could develop into -- especially after the club put him on the 40-man. But Then stumbled mightily in ‘21, racking up a 6.46 ERA and surrendering an opposing slash line of .300/.356/.542 (.898 OPS) at High-A Everett. Then is just 22 years old and possesses high-90s velocity, which will make him a continuing intrigue, but because he’s on the 40-man, his situation will face more urgency in ‘22.

Best tools
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: 70 -- Julio Rodríguez
Power: 65 -- Julio Rodríguez
Run: 70 -- Jonatan Clase (Victor Labrada)
Arm: 60 -- Julio Rodríguez
Defense: 70 -- Milkar Perez
Fastball: 70 -- George Kirby
Curveball: 55 -- George Kirby (Juan Pinto)
Slider: 65 -- Matt Brash
Changeup: 60 -- Levi Stoudt
Control: 65 -- George Kirby

How they were built
Draft: 17 | International: 9 | Trade: 2 | Free agent: 1 | Rule 5: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2022: 6 | 2023: 10 | 2024: 3 | 2025: 8 | 2026: 1 | 2027: 2

Breakdown by position
C: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 5 | OF: 9 | RHP: 11 | LHP: 2