Here are the Mariners' 2024 Top 30 prospects

March 6th, 2024

For all the recent graduations of homegrown Mariners talent to the Majors in recent years, headlined by the likes of Julio Rodríguez, Cal Raleigh, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert and many more, the next wave of top-end arrivals is on the horizon.

And there’s a consistent theme among that group -- they’re almost all hitters.

MLB Pipeline unveiled its Top 30 Prospect rankings for the Mariners on Wednesday, revealing a promising nucleus of position-player talent that could comprise the next long-term core. Many among that group have already made an impression in Spring Training, some in their first big league camp.

“Our scouting group has done a tremendous job over the last few years, and you see their work with the talent we have on the field,” Mariners director of player development Justin Toole said. “The thing that is exciting is these guys love to compete and they pay attention to the little things -- they buy into baserunning, they talk situational baseball, they love to work -- things like that.”

That’s not to say that Seattle’s well-chronicled success of developing pitchers has taken a step back, but there has been a pointed objective from the front office in recent Draft classes to add to that group promising hitters, many of whom are still in the lower Minors and at least a year or more away.

“Our pitching development has been phenomenal, and our pitching group deserves a ton of credit for that,” Toole said. “That said, it’s been fun to see our hitters and hitting group start to get some recognition. ... Supplementing that group with offensive talent is the goal.”

While the Mariners’ pipeline doesn’t rank near the top of Pipeline’s overall farm system rankings -- like it did ahead of 2022, when Rodríguez, Kirby and Matt Brash still held their prospect status -- it’s quite likely that it will climb significantly by this time next year.

Here’s a look at the Mariners' top prospects:
1. Cole Young, 2B/SS (MLB No. 37)
2. Harry Ford, C (MLB No. 38)
3. Colt Emerson, SS/2B (MLB No. 87)
4. Lazaro Montes, OF
5. Felnin Celesten, SS
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2023 preseason list to the 2024 preseason list:

Jump: Jeter Martinez, RHP (2023: NR | 2024: 13)
Beyond the rankings, Martinez might’ve taken the biggest step forward of any arm in the organization, particularly after a stellar debut season in the Dominican Summer League, where he carried a 1.72 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 30.7% strikeout rate in 47 innings. Yet beyond the numbers, what really stood out for the 17-year-old was that he saw a huge velocity jump, from the 89-90 mph range to 93-94 mph and even touching 97 mph -- all while maintaining his plus strike-throwing skill.

Fall: Walter Ford, RHP (2023: 8 | 2024: 28)
Ford’s transition to the pros hasn’t been as seamless, particularly after experiencing a notable drop in velocity to the high-80s during his debut season in the Arizona Complex League. Some of those issues prompted the Mariners to allocate him extra rest in between starts. He showed decent run suppression (3.57 ERA) but surrendered consistent contact (.789 OPS against) and had a high walk rate (9.7%). The focus this year will be for Ford to regain some of that velocity -- and confidence.

Top 30s

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: 60 -- Cole Young (Colt Emerson, Jonny Farmelo)
Power: 65 -- Lazaro Montes
Run: 70 -- Jonatan Clase
Arm: 60 -- Harry Ford (Tai Peete, Aidan Smith)
Defense: 60 -- Blake Hunt (Ben Williamson)
Fastball: 70 -- Cole Phillips
Curveball: 50 -- Michael Morales
Slider: 55 -- Troy Taylor (Teddy McGraw, Cole Phillips, Logan Evans, Brody Hopkins)
Changeup: 55 -- Teddy McGraw (Jimmy Joyce)
Control: 60 -- Taylor Dollard

How they were built
Draft: 19 | International: 7 | Trade: 4

Breakdown by ETA
2024: 7 | 2025: 7 | 2026: 6 | 2027: 6 | 2028: 3 | 2029: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 2 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 1 | SS: 6 | OF: 5 | RHP: 13