Top 10 Prospects (2017): Seattle Mariners: Is The “Next Julio Urias” Among Their Top Prospects?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Seattle Mariners isn’t necessarily a system that you’d think of when it comes to high end prospects, though they’ve seen a few develop as such in recent years.  They’ve also made a few intelligent, somewhat under-the-radar, acquisitions (like Mitch Haniger), further bolstering the system.  That’s not to say that they are a top end group, but Seattle is certainly better off than you’d might think.  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Kyle Lewis – Outfielder
ETA – 2018
Grade – B+

The 11th overall selection in the 2016 draft quickly made his mark, hitting .299 with 3 HR and 3 SB over 117 AB.  Not impressed?  He added 8 doubles and 5 triples (.530 SLG), while also adding a good command of the strike zone (22 K vs. 16 BB).  At 6’4” and 21-years old, there’s a good chance that his power comes quickly.

The biggest question will be whether or not he can stay in centerfield, though chances are he’s ultimately shifted to a corner slot.  That obviously isn’t a major concern, and isn’t a knock against him.

 

2) Luiz Gohara – Left-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2018
Grade – B+

Is he the “next” Julio Urias?  Now 20-years old, the southpaw made his mark in his 13 starts across two levels of Single-A:

1.81 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 81 K, 23 BB, 1.68 GO/AO

That’s certainly the type of skill set we look for, the biggest question centers around his workload as he threw just 69.2 innings.  Considering that was a career high, it’s fair to wonder how long it’s going to take for him to make a significant impact at the Major League level.  That said, he’s heading in the right direction as he took a step forward with his control (the other significant concern hanging over  him).  We need to give him time to develop, but the upside is there.

 

3) Tyler O’Neill – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – B+

After hitting .293 with 24 HR, 102 RBI and 12 SB at Double-A (showing his proximity to the Majors), the hype machine is going to be in full force for O’Neill.  Considering he hit 32 HR at High-A in ’15 there’s obviously reason to believe in his power, though he has not supplemented the long balls with a significant number of additional extra base hits (21 doubles and 2 triples in ’15, 26 doubles and 4 triples in ’16).  He also has shown a propensity to swing and miss at an excessive amount:

  • High-A – 30.5%
  • Double-A – 26.1%

Obviously improving, despite the tougher competition, is an impressive sign.  That said last season’s mark still has a long way to go.  It’s something that could be exposed at Triple-A, and how he produces early in the year will help to cement our impressions.

 

4) Mitch Haniger – Outfielder
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B

It’s easy to overlook Haniger as the “other” piece in the trade that netted Seattle Jean Segura.  That said he was mighty impressive splitting time between Double and Triple-A last season, hitting .321 with 25 HR (along with 34 doubles and 5 triples) and 12 SB.  Even better was the consistent command of the strike zone he displayed (strikeout rate // walk rate):

  • Double-A – 15.7% // 12.7%
  • Triple-A – 19.9% // 12.5%

He has the potential to claim a starting role with the team immediately, as he certainly could help to add some thump to the lineup (he had an additional 5 HR in the Majors).  He also didn’t appear to be overmatched with Arizona, with a 9.5% SwStr% and 22.6% O-Swing%.  He’s an easy player to overlook, but that would be a mistake.

 

5) Mox Povse – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2017
Grade – B-

Standing at 6’8”, it’s impressive that he walked just 29 batters over 158.0 IP between High-A and Double-A last season.  Couple that with a solid groundball rate (1.24 GO/AO) and there’s a lot of reason for optimism.  That said, he doesn’t have the strikeout upside of other pitching prospects (139 K last season), and that is going to ultimately limit his overall appeal.  You would think he was a flame thrower, given his size, but that’s not the case.  It’s possible he turns out to be more Chris Young than anything (though that’s not a direct comparison).

 

The Rest:

6) Dan Vogelbach – First Baseman (Grade – C+)

7) Nick Neidhart – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

8) Andrew Moore – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

9) Drew Jackson – Shortstop (Grade – C)

10) Rob Whalen – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MLB.com

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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