Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (2) | 2012 (9) | 2011 (18) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (24)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [71-91] AL West
AAA: [76-68] Pacific Coast League – Tacoma
AA: [62-73] Southern League – Jackson
A+: [64-76] California League – High Desert
A: [67-72] Midwest League – Clinton
A(ss):  [44-32] Northwest League — Everett

Graduated Prospects
Nick Franklin (2B); Brad Miller (SS/2B); Mike Zunino (C); Danny Farquhar (RHP)

The Run Down
When considering the Mariners farm for fantasy purposes, it’s impossible to ignore the Safeco effect.  Every pitcher on this list should carry inflated fantasy value thanks to the ballpark at which they’ll be spending most of their time.  On the flip side of that statement, however, the M’s offensive prospects aren’t necessarily as exciting as they could be.  We apply the same principle when evaluating the Padres or Giants farm systems — never shy away from a pitching prospect pushing through the Seattle org.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Taijuan Walker, RHP:  The M’s shut down Walker in February because of some shoulder discomfort, but he’s scheduled to return to the mound today for a bullpen session, on track to join the Seattle rotation in April.  The 21-year-old brings front-of-the-rotation potential, and we’ve covered him plenty this preseason.  He came in at #4 in my top 25 for 2014 post, and Grey had this to say yesterday in his starters to target post:  “Velocity isn’t everything, but last year he averaged a 94.7 MPH fastball.  That would’ve ranked him 5th for all of baseball behind:  Matt Harvey, Strasburg, Jose Fernandez and Wily Peralta.  If he can hold his 2.40 BB/9 from last year, he’ll be a top 25 starter this year…easily!”  ETA:  2014

2.  D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B:  Peterson was drafted 12th overall last June and spent time in both Everett and Clinton during his first pro season, posting a cumulative line at .303/.365/.553 with 13 HR in 55 games.  The 22-year-old possesses a high-end hit tool and potentially significant pop.  He should be ready for upper levels baseball this summer.  I have further notes on Peterson in a pre-draft feature (here), if you’re interested.  ETA:  2015

3.  James Paxton, LHP:  Paxton came in at #32 in my top 50 for 2014 post.  Here’s what I had to say:  “Paxton will compete for a starting gig in Seattle during spring training.  He has some command issues to sort out, but if he can learn to harness his stuff, he’ll be a useful fantasy starter with good whiff totals.  The Safeco effect doesn’t hurt either.”  ETA:  2014

4.  Luiz Gohara, LHP:  With great size and raw stuff, Gohara brings an enormous ceiling, and he’s an exciting arm for fantasy purposes.  Extreme patience is required if you’re adding him in dynasty formats, though — Gohara won’t turn 18 until late July.  It’ll be interesting to see if the M’s push the young pitcher’s development with a full-season assignment this spring.  ETA:  2017

5.  Edwin Diaz, RHP:  Diaz is another teenage arm with big raw stuff who’s yet to be tested at the full-season level.  The 19-year-old is a little wiry, and he doesn’t have the same projectable frame as Gohara, but he still figures to stick as a starter, and there’s front-end upside if everything clicks.  He’ll play full-season ball in 2014.  ETA:  2017

6.  Victor Sanchez, RHP:  Sanchez posted a 2013 line at 2.78/1.09/79 through 113 IP with Low-A Clinton.  The 19-year-old resembles recent Mariners farm system graduate, Erasmo Ramirez, in that the physical profile isn’t great, but the stuff and command is too good to ignore. He doesn’t have the upside of Gohara or Diaz, but he’s far more advanced, and that makes him a safer bet to develop into a big league starter.  ETA:  2016

7.  Tyler O’Neill, OF:  A third round pick last June, O’Neill is tooled-up offensively, with potential to help all around in the fantasy game.  He’s also Canadian, so you can expect Nick Capozzi to draft him in the first round of his dynasty league.  O’Neill, age 18, should get his first taste of full-season baseball in 2014, and he’s the type of talent that could headline this list next year.  ETA:  2017

8.  Austin Wilson, OF:  A second round pick last June, Wilson offers outstanding athleticism, but his skill set, for the time being, is extremely raw — much more underdeveloped than what you’d expect from a college product.  Seattle will likely give the 22-year-old a full-season assignment in Clinton this spring, and I anticipate him spending the entire year there.  Long-term, Wilson has high-impact potential in the power department.  ETA:  2016

9.  Gabriel Guerrero, OF:  Guerrero went through some ups and downs in his first year of full-season ball, wrapping up the season with a line at .271/.303/.358 with 30 XBH (4 HR) and 12 SB through 499 PA.  Evaluators tout Guerrero for his power potential — a tool that’s yet to translate into game power.  Look for the 20-year-old’s HR production to begin ticking upward in the hitter-friendly California League this season.  ETA:  2016

10.  Danny Hultzen, LHP:  Labrum surgery is a downright frightening item to have on a pitching prospect’s resume.  Hultzen showed great promise as a minor leaguer and was on the brink of breaking through in the bigs before the injury.  I’d love to continue to project him as a front-end starter, but frankly, it’s going be extremely tough for him to climb his way back to that status. Hultzen, age 24, likely won’t pitch again until 2015.  ETA:  2016

2013 Seattle Mariners MiLB Preview

  1. The Dead Heads says:

    Hultzen’s injury is saddening, hate to see a guy that close with that kind of devastating injury. I snagged Gohara in my 20 team dynasty for my Farm so I’m excited about his potential. Great stuff as always Scott. I’ve been digging through your posts looking for any unclaimed offensive prospects since in both of my dynasty leagues I’m a little heavy on the pitching side. Your fantasy slanted rankings are just invaluable for these leagues so I thank you very much!

    • @The Dead Heads: Thanks, Deadhead! Gotta love upside like Gohara’s in dynasty that deep…

  2. Swfcdan says:

    I second Dead Heads above, your work Scott is really great and so useful for allowing us to snag less heralded prospects in keeper leagues. Im sad for Hultz too having had him in a keeper, why is labrum surgery such a killer for pitchers?

    See Yordano’s got the 5th starters job in KC, seems C-Mart is very close. Do you think hes a guy that can go in and dominate and be 10 team worthy right from the off? Trying to decide whether to promote him this year on my team, or give him a year of seasoning.

    • Swfcdan says:

      @Swfcdan: And talking about C-Mart not Yordano (dont own him unfortunately. Someone should also tell them only one can be named Baby Pedro.

    • @Swfcdan: Thanks, NewGuy (I can still call you that on my threads, right?) … I think you gotta promote C-Mart if he secures the #5 spot…

      • Swfcdan says:

        @Scott Evans: Ha, nah would like to drop that title around here now. Here hoping C-Mart gets it (see no reason why he shouldn’t )!

        • goodfold2 says:

          @Swfcdan: OldGuy (he should like that one) is right, very useful info, all the time. Par for the course on this site.

  3. Count de Monetball says:

    Scott, I can’t believe that this is team number two and we only have one minor league preview left to read. Great work and thanks for all the insight!

  4. MB says:

    Love these updates.

    How many steals am I getting from Gregory Polanco this year?


  5. Alan says:

    LOVE their pitchers. Too bad they have not developed them.

    • @Alan: Walker & Paxton are just about fully cooked, but the others need significant time…

  6. Jon says:

    I’ve got room for two minor leaguers. Any preference between Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Tyler Glasnow?

    • @Jon: I like Stroman & Sanchez over Glasnow… Sanchez over Stroman long-term, but it’s very close…

  7. Yescheese says:

    Nice work Scott. Excited to see if Paxton can put it all together! Unless he loses a rotation spot to Scott Baker. Stiff competition…

    • @Yescheese: Yeah must be frightening looking over your shoulder & having Scott Baker breathing down your neck…

  8. goodfold2 says:

    finally at least one of these guys (o’neill) not owned in porn ass deep league. probably my 4th to 5th target so far come all star break.

    • @goodfold2: Maybe should be considered higher… super tooled-up player… could be in the top 50 neighborhood a year from now…

      • goodfold2 says:

        @Scott Evans: so nice to hear that.

  9. Kenneth says:

    Great work Scott. Appreciate the time and effort put into these. Nice to see O’Neill get some love. As a Mariners fan, would be curious to hear any thoughts on these players who might have been considered for that 10th spot instead of Hultzen, Stefen Romero, Ji-Man Choi, Tyler Marlette, Jabari Blash, and Patrick Kivlehan?

    • goodfold2 says:

      @Kenneth: i know a few more of those guys are owned in my league too, so feeling all the more lucky o’neill isn’t.

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