Feels nice to visit the peak of Prospect Mountain this week in Seattle. Julio Rodriguez is neck-and-neck with Bobby Witt Jr. for the number one overall spot, and the system itself is comfortably among the elite. 

Format: Position Player | Age on 4/1/2022 | Highest level played | ETA

1. OF Julio Rodriguez | 21 | AA | 2022

A 6’3” 180 lb right-handed right fielder, Rodriguez comes straight out of central casting for superstar ballplayers. The hit-tool scouting grades I’ve seen in public-facing spheres around the game feel a little light to me, typically 60 or 65. Even Bobby Witt Jr., who I like a lot and have tried to acquire in my dynasty leagues, can’t really compare to J-Rod with the bat. I hadn’t had a thought anywhere near that until I started researching this article, but he feels like as easy a 70 as I’ve seen since Wander. I suppose could trade some of his all-fields contact for power in the long run, but so far he’s been hit over power in his approach, slashing .362/.461/.546 in 46 games at AA. He didn’t turn 21 until December 29 and brings an energy to the game that we oldsters need to see just to keep us young. This day-in-day-out ebullience should serve him well in the big league grind and help him fight through the early struggles typical of the game today with pitching (and advanced scouting) being fathoms better in the big leagues than the minors. 

 

2. SS Noelvi Marte | 20 | A+ | 2024

The Fantrax prospect crew has Marte ranked third overall, so there’s a lot of value here from the dynasty perspective, even if a chunk of that comes in the form of trade value. For most of this write-up, I had Marte third in this system. I do think he’s a top 25 guy–maybe top ten–but I will say he’s fallen back a little in my rankings as I’ve cased the MiLB joint down to the roach and beyond to the extent that I’m coughing up little stat nuggets in my sleep. Marte slugged .462 in Low A at 19, which is good, but a .271/.368/.462 stateside debut doesn’t often launch a guy into the top five. He hit 17 home runs and stole 23 bases in just 99 games, so it was a loud season by a great prospect, but the 119 wRC+ provides a little context. 19 percent better than league average at 19 is an amazing achievement, especially if it comes with speed, but the hit tool isn’t as advanced as the typical prospect who sprints to the front of the dynasty draft line. 

 

3. RHP George Kirby | 24 | AA | 2022

The shapeshifting Super Smash Bros legend brings the pain with a triple digit fastball that he’s reportedly bumped up to 102. His off-speed stuff is less impressive, but his double-plus command makes everything play up and turns the fastball into multiple pitches. If you know you can hit the inside corner or the outside corner to hitters from both sides of the plate, that soon factors into your thinking as two different pitches, strategically speaking. He’s 6’4” 215 lbs and puts it together in a smooth, athletic delivery that should help him stay healthy, in theory. His outcomes have been stellar at every stop so far. In 67.2 innings across A+ and AA in 2021, Kirby allowed just one home run, struck out 80 and walked 15 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.079 WHIP. 

 

4. RHP Emerson Hancock | 22 | AA |  2022

For a minute there in college, I was really vibing with Emerson, Ralph Waldo. I was reading his poetry and letters along with the famous essays. Not much poetry there, really. You could read it in a minute, and it’s, well, it’s not great. I’m not a fan of most poetry though, truth be told, even though I might write a poem here or there. And that’s where we find ourselves with Emerson Hancock. He’s not great, among pitching prospects, in my opinion, which is not surprising considering I don’t like many pitching prospects on a dollar per outcome basis. Hancock began his junior year as a leading candidate for number one overall pick but didn’t dominate quite as much as expected, but he’s done exactly that since Seattle selected him sixth overall in the 2020 draft, posting a 1.03 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 44.2 innings across two levels. 

 

5. C Harry Ford | 19 | CPX | 2025

A hyper-athletic catcher with double-plus speed, Ford could play just about anywhere in the field, but the team will keep him behind the plate as long as possible. He’s not a star defender back there, and I’d rather see him in centerfield, but the org is loaded with outfielders at the lower levels, and I’m not sure they take Ford 12th overall unless viewing him as a catcher all the way. His plus power and hit tools played up right away at the complex site, where Ford slashed .291/.400/.582 with 3 HR and 3 SB in 19 games. I think he’s settled into the top ten for most first-year-player drafts this winter.

 

6. LHP Brandon Williamson | 23 | AA | 2022

Over his final seven starts in AA, Williamson pitched 37.2 innings, allowing 22 hits, 13 walks and 1 home run with 61 strikeouts. His 1.43 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 32.9 percent K-BB rate over that stretch represented a new level for the 6’6” fireballer, who also struck out 47.6 percent of the batters he saw at High-A. His upper nineties fastball and low-80’s slurve are a dynamite one-two punch, and his cambio should mix well with that combo as he refines his command of it. Prior to 2021, Williamson might’ve landed in a middle relief bucket for many evaluators, and that could still happen and provide a late-inning floor, but I’m betting against that now that he’s dominating upper-level bats over six-inning stretches. Great guy to pick up on the cheap if you can. A brief adjustment period to AA left his WHIP at the level at 1.26 and might help obscure a dominant season. 

 

7. RHP Matt Brash | 23 | AA | 2022

Bold prediction: Brash is good. Here’s what I wrote on August 29 in Prospect News: Jake Meyers Breaks Out in Time for Halloween

“Brash looks a little like closer Paul Sewald due to the impossible angle created by his delivery that brings his front leg well over toward third base before he crossfires back toward the plate. Will likely get hit with a reliever tag more than once as he climbs the org ladder, but he managed seven dominant innings in his last start. I’ve got a pretty open mind to his potential role, and I suspect Seattle feels a similar way. Brash is enjoying a loud breakout season, especially if you do the cool kid thing and remove his one big hiccup: 1.61 ERA and a 36.6 K% in ten starts since June 23, seven of those coming in AA.”

I’ll bet he’s back in AAA as a starting pitcher to open 2022, and I think he’ll probably dominate there and come up as a starter. 

 

8. OF Zach DeLoach | 23 | AA | 2023

The 43rd overall pick in the 2020 draft, DeLoach got busy in a hurry when he finally got the chance to play a pro game, slashing .313/.400/.530 with 9 HR and 6 SB across 58 games in Low-A. He then posted a .227/.338/.384 line in 49 games at AA, but that’s a tough hitting environment, as evidenced by DeLoach’s 98 wRC+. League average is more or less the expectation across the board here, I think, with a little room above that in speed and hit. At 6’1” 205 lbs, DeLoach is a high-energy guy who makes a lot of diving attempts in the outfield and grinds out tough at bats with something of a drop-the-hammer swing from the left side. 

 

9. 3B Milkar Perez | 20 | A | 2025

I feel good about having Perez here and then a little wishy-washy on who should have the final spot from a list of eight guys. The Milk-Man features a double-plus throwing arm and might already have plus plate skills. Tough to say until we see him play a full season, but his 20.7%/20.2% BB/K rate at the complex site is an outlier. Not many 19-year-olds walking around with .463 OBPs or 139 wRC+ scores in that league. He played just six games in Low-A at  season’s end but carried a 12.5%/12.5% BB/K rate there with a .406 OBP and 118 wRC+. I don’t think it’s just passivity pushing the profile, but that’s tough to tell until we see him against pitchers who can pound the zone. He’s listed at 5’11” 185 lbs and will likely add power as he grows into his frame. 

 

10. OF Cade Marlowe | 24 | AAA | 2023

Marlowe was a little old for the lower levels he played at this year, but that’s more due to the pandemic than anything he could’ve controlled. He clobbered Low-A in 34 games (146 wRC+) then put a similar hurt on High-A (135 wRC+) before spending the final day in AAA. His overall season line of .275/.368/.566 with 26 HR, 24 SB, 107 RBI and 87 runs would look pretty good on my fantasy squads, and while that’s not a realistic outlook for him given the age-to-level lens, it’s fun to see a guy produce this line in just 106 games. A 20th round pick in 2019, Marlowe is all upside for this organization. A left-handed hitter at 6’1” 210 lbs, he hasn’t gotten much pub in the echo chamber but looks plenty real to me. 

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

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Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
6 days ago

The Itch!!

Awesome!

a. Love the content as always. I’m still super stoked from finding out about Jayden Murray from your last post! Thanks for that.

b. Williamson piques my interest. I also research (using thebaseballcube, Justbaseball, BA and fantasyrundown in the main). I also study goofy social infrastructure stuff like did you know the distance between Welcome, MN (where Williamson was born) to Mason City, Iowa (where he went to college for his freshman and sophomore years) is only 110 miles? This means to me that he is very close to his family. Obviously he used the negative result from the 2018 draft (drafted by Milwaukee in the 36th round, 1085th overall). He went to TCU (Big-12 conference) for his junior year of college so he could get a better draft slot and it worked landing him a nice 925,000$ signing bonus. Jayden Murray is also close with his family. Just little insights to help myself out.

c. Norm MacDonald quote of the day for January 12, 2022

‘Singer Billy Joel survived a massive earthquake which rocked Japan this week. The Kobe earthquake killed nearly 5000 people and crushed over 100 buildings. To repeat, do not panic! Billy Joel survived the earthquake.’

d. Marx Brothers quote of the day for January 12, 2022

Question: ‘What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic and a dyslexic?
Answer: ‘Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog.’

Cheers,
Ante

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
6 days ago

Yesterday, I didn’t word this generically enough. Is there any way to get a chronologic list of postings so I can see what topics were addressed since the last time I had logged in? The graphics are physically attractive but do not allow me to efficiently get to newer unread articles. Will a complete list of topics be available in one of the MLB tabs — (say) Player Rattings?

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
Reply to  The Itch
6 days ago

Good answer. I didn’t realize this was introduced as a work in process and that concerns like mine will eventually be addressed. I’m really not concerned now; these’ll be more of a concern in a few months (assuming we have a season) or, if pessmistic, in another year.

Thanks.

everywhereblair
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
6 days ago

Hey Norman! I’ve been processing reader comments as they come up and various people in the Razzball blogosphere are doing their best to organize/address stuff as much as we can. Thanks for hanging in there!

Coolwhip
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
6 days ago

Yep the goal is get everything addressed by the time the season starts, hence release 2.75 :) we are sorta preseason beta testing so that the bugs can be discovered before the season, all your feedback is helpful QC!

Sport
Sport
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
6 days ago

Just from a casual reader here. I use the site quite a bit. Have you tried clicking on the writer’s names at top? For example, if I click on ‘The Itch’ I will get all of his team prospect posts in order. Same with clicking on ‘Grey’. I get all of his Sleeper posts and any others he has posted lately.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Sport
6 days ago

speaking just since monday or so, the letters used here in the comments DID improve from then till now, upon first seeing the comments font it was more lighter grey than before (harder to see by a bit for me, could be worse for badeyesight cases and such) now more precise and blacker (easier to see). so it’s possible other improvements (or breakevens from before the change) could still be involved later (such as readding the pages back button)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
6 days ago

this was my only issue exactly as well. only option now appears to be at the bottom “more pages” and have to click that for good lord only knows how many minutes if say you wanted to for instance read a post from june. whereas before (and i have no idea why this couldn’t just be readded again) it was the page counter, and your farthest back option was 10 pages at a time (this could be done overall or if indexed by writer).

Sport
Sport
Reply to  goodfold2
6 days ago

When I clicked on ‘The Itch’ just under the thread title at the top, I scrolled all the way to the bottom and found page counters of all of his articles. I clicked on the ’10’ and it took me to articles as far back as December 13, 2020. I could also click on ’20’ which took me to articles as far back as Oct. 16, 2019. It seems that option is still there.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Sport
6 days ago

you are correct, i didn’t notice before, the counter no longer appears on from just the main page which would have all articles, but DOES if you index by writer (this since when indexed by writer the pages look like they used to, so not sure if that gets changed later)

Sport
Sport
Reply to  goodfold2
6 days ago

Noticed the same thing! The main page is def taking some getting use to.

Coolwhip
Reply to  Sport
6 days ago

good feedback guys, so article page counters to navigate through at bottom of the section was something you used more often than the search bar? and that would make the experience better for the new site?

Sport
Sport
Reply to  Coolwhip
6 days ago

Actually, personally I am liking the new way. On the main page, if I want to go to just prospect posts I can click ‘Prospects’ that show above each of Itch’s articles. That takes me to all of his in order with more recent. Or I can click on ‘Sleepers’ and it takes me to Grey’s sleepers in the same order.

In season, if someone one wants to go back to Grey’s buy column from two weeks ago, or daily notes from ‘last week’, I’m assuming the same can be done. I have always just clicked on Grey’s name in the past to get me to his articles, and then I would navigate with the pages at the bottom if I needed to go that far back.

And I’m assuming the main window on the left that has left/right arrows is another way to scroll the most recent articles?

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Sport
6 days ago

yeah the arrows scoll across the most recent 3 posts in the biggest link page center left, 4th most and earlier are below listed by date.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Coolwhip
6 days ago

search bar i’ve never used as it only tends to apply if say a player’s name was in the title of something (so i’ve tried).

Coolwhip
Reply to  goodfold2
6 days ago

the search should be able to find tags… some that i have tested work… if its not finding something let us know

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
6 days ago

Man, I’ve got Julio and Matt Brash. Looking forward to them getting the call! I had a chance to draft Kirby a couple years ago and went a different direction. Now I’m regretting that decision. But I think I’m sitting in good shape for the moment.

Any predictions on when Julio gets the call? As for Brash, would he likely be a August or September call-up?

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
6 days ago

Wow, that’s a quick call-up for both guys! I hope you’re right for sure. I was thinking June for Julio and September for Brash so I’d be giddy with what you think might happen.

Whoever is ranking Julio from #8 to #10 is a moron. Dude is top two or three at the worst.

Appreciate your help bud, as always!

Last edited 6 days ago by Harley Earl
Philip
Philip
6 days ago

Great list, Itch. Love these Mariner pitchers.

Could you look at my rotation and tell me who you would shop for offensive upgrades? It’s an 18 team dynasty.

Woodruff, Gausman, Urias, Peralta, Flaherty, Rogers, Mahle, May, Gilbert, Skubal, Ashby, Crochet.

Thanks so much!

kcc26
kcc26
6 days ago

Good morning!!!

i have an offer of $8 Julio for my $11 Mullins/$4 Houck in ottoneu. Steep price. Would you be considering? i mentioned the other day that Mullins speed is devalued heavily in this league. Gets a lot of his value from volume. Just worried about taking the step back this year with a roster near ready to compete. what do you think? current roster (~$125 to spend at auction)

C $18 Realmuto
C $5 Kirk
1B $28 Alonso
2b
Ss: $22 Wander
3b:
MI: $6 Oneil Cruz
OF: $63 Acuña
OF: $11 Mullins
OF: $9 Reynolds
OF:
OF:
Utility:
bench/minors: $5 Toro, $3 j. rojas, $3 c. carroll $a. thomas, $3 abrams, $3 nick gonzalez $3 zac veen $2 brennen davis, $3 luis matos, $2 nick yorke

SP: $21 Alcantara
SP: $10 Ray
SP: $3 Verlander
SP: $4 Houck
SP: $5 Javier

RP: $16 Chapman
RP: $3 Bednar
RP: $4 L. Sims
RP: $3 Kittredge
RP: $4 Bummer

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  kcc26
6 days ago

You definitely want Julio! Take the deal!!!

NUX
NUX
6 days ago

Only have 1 Team post left, right? I prob missed you mentioning, but what happens after the Rangers post on your end? The Top 100 getting refreshed in Jan or Feb?

Appreciate everything your doing for us here, so much good info all in+off season.

I’m in the middle of a startup, which I feel like I’m killing right now for 2023 and beyond. But don’t want to say too much about roster construct or ask for anything specific bc I have feeling some leaguemates are here reading. Show yourself in the group chat!!!

Anyways, will likely check in with ya and ask for some thoughts and feedback once its completed. We’re in like round 30 of 55. So prob around the end of the month at the pace we’re going at here.

Be well and stay safe bruthaman!

Sport
Sport
6 days ago

Mariners have a good bunch. Thank you for the analysis on them. I have Kirby in 3 of 6 dynasties! What would be your concerns for him? Rise on fastball? Secondaries?

Also, with the LF fence moving out in Baltimore, you see Grayson or DL Hall moving up your lists?

goodfold2
goodfold2
6 days ago

now up to these picks (middle of 4th round out of 6):
1.5 watson
1.35 elly dela cruz
2.5 c.morris
2.33 b.chandler
3.5 k.howell
4.5 b.bello

2 more hitters to get, done with pitchers. who’s best 3-5 drops (which i won’t need to make yet, but will later) out of this:

(have d.ellis and diplan in active slots, both could be put back down later, could switch if paredes brought up or others)

def do not drop group i’d think:
– CI: mayo, padlo (also could call up), vientos, k.smith (TOR), paredes (MI), a.tejeda (ex TEX, now STL),
– MI: n.gonz, elly dela cruz, k.watson, r.preciado, bracho, w.perez (DET)
– OF: b.bailey (WSOX), b.packard, pages, cozens (on MIL now), g.whitley (ex TB also on MIL now), t.ornelas
– SP: bowlan, m.thompson (WSOX), c.morris, m.sauer, kochanowicz, c.rodriguez (SP/RP LAA), n.swiney, j.soriano (PIT, ex LAA)

possible drops:
CI: lavalley, b.denton (STL), w.craig,
MI: a.rondon (ex TB),
OF: c.brannen (BOS), v.garcia (STL), p.gonzalez (ex TEX), victor to the 2nd mesa
P: kilome, j.guzman (of the stanton trade), a.smith (ex SD)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
6 days ago

i forgot to add all the guys just drafted in the “likely not drop” section but it’s a 40 stash max. i’m currently right at cap with a few guys likely to be dropped pulled into active slots (regular FA bidding goes on after draft for 5 separate weeks)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  The Itch
6 days ago

thanks, that’s gross here is where these were obtained:

  • vic2nd (clearly 1st at around 20th overall)
  • – j.guzman (2nd rounder, he was a big ralph guy years ago in his draft year or the year after that, before the stanton trade)
  • – c.brannen (pretty sure pretty early real life pick)
  • – w.craig (2nd or 3rd rounder here)

a.smith not as expensive, man if anybody needs any further having it jammed into their brain how often these guys never do anything at MLB level join a super deep league.

Dom Cobb
Dom Cobb
Reply to  goodfold2
6 days ago

Great stuff as always – 1st time posting on the new site so not sure if I’m making my own thread or responding to the lateat, but what peak comp do you see for Noelvi Marte? A Marlins-days Hanley Ramirez?

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  The Itch
5 days ago

came in later than when hanram was a prospect, but he was ranked like say julio/kelenic (last year)/witt would be now, pretty sure.

Powdered Toast Man
Powdered Toast Man
5 days ago

Itch- who do you like better long-term, Noveli or Orelvis of the Jays system? I had both last year and flipped Noveli (for need not build) keeping Martinez. Did I make the right call? I have Moncada Wander and Devers as keepers so I know I had to part with one.

Mr. A. Knife
Mr. A. Knife
Reply to  Powdered Toast Man
5 days ago

i know he’s been moving up o-mart for a while, we’ll see shortly (possibly the post after TEX, which is next) if he’s gotten to n-marte levels (only 8 spots apart in last overall list here: https://razzball.com/top-100-prospects-for-2021-fantasy-baseball-final-update/)

Mr. A. Knife
Mr. A. Knife
5 days ago

oh baby all those spots where i stashed julio rod last year and get his last year ADP price for even in short keepers (3-6) gonna be nice (all 16+ or AL onlyies) gonna finally be nice (thought it had at worst a decent chance last year of being nice then, but of course he was MUCH cheaper than a bunch of lesser prospects last year)

Shawnuel
Shawnuel
4 days ago

I’m curious about who some of those eight guys, that you feel wishy washy about in regards to the last spot in Seattle’s top 10, might be.

Mr. A. Knife
Mr. A. Knife
Reply to  Shawnuel
4 days ago

yep, me likely those names too. like with PIT/HOU (8 is even more than those too)

Mr. A. Knife
Mr. A. Knife
Reply to  Mr. A. Knife
4 days ago

i’d think gilbert has to be one of them.

Mr. A. Knife
Mr. A. Knife
Reply to  The Itch
3 days ago

forgot he got up to over 119.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  The Itch
3 days ago

man this team is popular, in that 30 teamer all but 5 (of these last 8) isn’t owned, plus all the 10 owned (about 4-5 of them drafted just now). 5/13 of the HOU guys left and HOU is always popular.