Top 10 Prospects (2018): Seattle Mariners: A Depleted System Lacking Much Upside…

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Mariners system is not an impressive one, especially with their top prospect facing health questions.  A healthy Kyle Lewis would help, but the team hasn’t been shy about trading away their prospects in an effort to win at the Major League level (like Luiz Gohara and Tyler O’Neill recently) at that has left things virtually barren.  Are there some intriguing names?  Possibly, but we really have to dig to find it.  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Kyle Lewis – Outfielder
ETA – 2019
Grade – B+

Lewis was selected 11th overall in 2016 and there were high expectations, though a serious knee injury sidelined him for nearly a year and left him limited upon his return in ’17.  In 187 AB between Rookie Ball and High-A he hit .257 with 7 HR and 3 SB, struggling to make consistent contact (16.4% SwStr%) and often burying the ball into the ground (53.3% groundball rate).  It’s easy to write off the issues, considering the missed time and need to get his timing back.

Further removed from the injury, 2018 will be key towards his development.  If he shows similar issues early in the season (and it’s possible that strikeouts remain a major concern) his value is going to diminish greatly.  The injury may have cost him any speed potential that he had, but his power is still there.  Watch him closely, as this “B+” could quickly become a “B” or “B-“.

 

2) Evan White – First Baseman
ETA – 2019
Grade – B

White was the team’s 2017 first round selection (17th overall) and showed a strong approach in his brief time at Low-A in ’17.  Over 55 PA he struck out (6) the same amount that he walked (6) and wasn’t overmatched (8.6% SwStr%).  He was 21-years old so you can argue that he was old for the level, but he also has the potential to move quickly through the system.

While there are concerns regarding his power, we’ve seen it before that a strong approach at the plate can lead to future gains in the home run department.  Maybe he’s never a 30+ HR threat, but is it a stretch to think that he can generate 25 HR routinely?  As long as he keeps the approach that’s going to make him extremely interesting (though the numbers would profile better as a corner outfielder, a spot he could transition to) especially with multiple outlets citing him as a potential Gold Glove candidate.

 

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3) Sam Carlson – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2021
Grade – B-

Carlson was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2017, and obviously we aren’t going to draw any conclusions off the 3.0 professional innings he threw after being selected.  Drafted out of high school, he’s already listed at 6’4” so it’s easy to project him filling out and maintaining the reported velocity bump he saw.  There are questions about his delivery, though the Mariners will have ample time to develop him.  Maybe his future ultimately is coming out of the bullpen, but if that were to be the case he will arrive sooner and could profile as a closer of the future.

 

4) Braden Bishop – Outfielder
ETA – 2018
Grade – C+

Bishop split time between High-A (412 PA) and Double-A (145 PA) hitting .306 with 3 HR and 22 SB.  His best asset is his approach:

  • Strikeout Rate – 14.4%
  • Walk Rate – 10.8%

While the stolen base total isn’t going to blow you away, he does have plus speed as well.  Coupling the two things he could turn into your classic top of the order bat, though he also may profile best as a fourth outfielder thanks to his defensive prowess and lack of true offensive upside.

 

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5) Dan Vogelbach – First Baseman
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – C+

Vogelbach was once a highly hyped prospect, and you would think a 6.1% SwStr% at Triple-A over 541 PA would get people somewhat excited.  He’s continued to struggle to generate much power, with 17 HR at Triple-A last season, though there is pop in his bat and it’s easy to envision him posting a 25 HR season at any time.  He lacks speed, but the biggest question is where he ultimately fits defensively (or if he’s better suited as a full-time DH).  Maybe the Mariners ultimately ship him off to a team that can utilize the bat, but for now he’ll remain buried at Triple-A.

 

The Rest:
6) Julio Rodriguez – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
7) Joe Rizzo – Third Baseman (Grade – C+)
8) Max Povse – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
9) Ian Miller – Outfielder (Grade – C)
10) Matthew Festa – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C)

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:

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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Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

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