Mariners prospects put up runs in Spring Breakout

March 23rd, 2024

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It took an extra eight days and necessitated more cooperative weather, but the top of the Mariners’ farm system finally took the field for the first Spring Breakout game on Saturday, a 13-10 loss vs. a similarly assembled group from the Padres.

“It's an exciting time,” said Scott Servais, who managed the big league game against the White Sox on Saturday -- an 8-2 Mariners win -- but has been up close with most of Seattle’s prospects all spring.

“I think as the season plays out, our farm system will continue to rise in the rankings -- because we have real dudes, impact-type players. Even though they're very young, they've had really good springs and the fact that we've given them an opportunity in the spring, they've all handled it.”

Here are a few highlights from the Breakout game:

New era of Chaos Ball
The youngsters put together their own spin of what’s become a regular brand of baseball with the big league team in recent years: Chaos Ball.

With two on and no outs in the fourth, got all the way to third base on a hard-hit knock to the opposite-field gap -- thanks to a wide throw from the Padres’ cutoff man at shortstop to the plate, attempting to cut down Tyler Locklear, and a second throwing error into left field attempting to nab Lazaro Montes after he rounded third.

Smith, the Mariners’ No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline, also had a hard-hit single up the middle in the second. A fourth-round Draft pick last year, Smith flew more under the radar than the other high-school bats that Seattle selected higher -- , and -- but he was touted as one of the best pure hitters among the talent-rich Texas high-school ranks.

Two-out Bliss
Ryan Bliss continued to flash the sneaky power he showed in big league camp with an RBI double in the second that led to Seattle’s first run and countered the floodgates that the Padres had opened. He did so in a full count with two outs, and it scored , who had led off the inning with a first-pitch single up the middle off Padres starter Robby Snelling, which left his bat at 102 mph.

For a farm system full of hitters that are still a ways away, Ford and Bliss are closer to the Majors than most who played in Saturday’s game.

“Over the past year, I've had some success and I think I'm starting to find my identity and find out the type of player I am, and honestly the type of player that the Mariners would want me to be,” Bliss said. “So I'm just trying to be that.”

Clase’s diving catch
's reputation has been built on a historic power-speed combo, but it was his glove that shined on Saturday, when he made a diving catch in the fourth.

Clase, the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, was reassigned to Minors camp last Saturday but could be in the Majors this season if he continues to progress and the Mariners have an eventual need for an outfielder.

“The most improved player in our camp, hands down, from where he was a year ago,” Servais said.


“His defense just went to a different level,” Servais said. "It wasn't that he was a bad defender, it was just very inexperienced. He didn't look comfortable, even tracking balls, going back on balls. He typically had played very deep in the outfield. So he was much more comfortable coming in.”

Emerson joins the broadcast
After going 1-for-3 with a double over the center fielder’s head in the third, Emerson joined the broadcast booth with Aaron Goldsmith and Rick Rizzs, who were overseeing a live webcast on The shortstop wound up stealing the show, so to speak, for the final out in the top of the seventh, when second baseman Michael Arroyo made an easy third out.

“And Arroyo makes the field and throws it to the sweet spot,” Emerson said, to which Goldsmith joked, “Hey, you can stop that now. We have a job to do here, too.”

Emerson, Seattle’s No. 3 prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No. 87 overall, played in six Cactus League games, and made a strong impression -- specifically with his approach in deeper counts.

“Just more about myself,” Emerson said recently. “I know and I realized, I come out and be myself every day, then that's all you can do.”