Eli Sports is launching a new weekly list where we check in on the Mariners top 5 prospects and see how they are progressing on their respective MiLB clubs. We will be going through their current rankings within the farm system, stat line to date along with how their past week has gone. Due to players being called up and rankings changing, who is featured on these lists will fluctuate from week to week. With that little explanation out of the way let us dive into this weeks check in.
#1 Jarred Kelenic (Outfielder) – AAA Tacoma
AB-20 R-5 H-4 HR-2 RBI-4 BB-2 AVG-.200 (6/10-6/16 TAC)
At this point in time, anybody following the Seattle Mariners knows this name. Kelenic is the top prospect for the M’s and has had fans drooling at the mouth ever since he came over in the Robinson Cano trade with the Mets. The power hitting outfielder got his shot on the big league club earlier this season but was only able to muster 8 hits in 83 at bats which led to a .096 average and him being sent back down to Tacoma.
Kelenic went 4-for-20 at the plate with 2 HR and 4 RBI this past week with the Rainiers. Although some are hitting the panic button on the young star, there really isn’t a reason to worry yet. Kelenic came right out of high school and has been a stud everywhere he has gone in the minor league system. There is plenty of time for him to develop and Tacoma might be the place he needs to ride out the remainder of the 2021 season.
#2 Julio Rodriguez (Outfielder) – A+ Everett
AB-21 R-4 H-5 HR-0 RBI-2 AVG-.238 (6/10-6/16 EVT)
The other player in what will eventually be one of the best outfields in all of baseball, Julio Rodriguez has been as advertised since suiting up with the Frogs. He is batting .325 with Everett while hitting 6 HR and knocking in 21 RBI. He might have an argument for being the number 1 prospect ahead of Kelenic by years end.
Since coming back from the Olympic Qualifiers, where he hit .458 (11-for-24) with two home runs and seven RBIs for the Dominican Republic, Julio has had at least one base hit in 11 of his past 13 games. It’s a good bet that Rodriguez won’t be in a Mariners uniform this year, but his days in Everett appear to be coming to an end.
#3 Emerson Hancock (RHP) – A+ Everett
IP-3.2 H-3 ER-1 BB-3 K-1 (Last Start vs EUG 6/11)
Our first pitcher on the list, Hancock is the top prospect on the mound for the Mariners. Emerson had some tenderness in his arm over the summer and that meant the M’s were going to be cautious with him and that is evident on how he has been used with Everett to this point. He has only thrown 16 innings in five games started to this point.
In total, Hancock has a 2.25 ERA in those innings pitched with 12 K while allowing 9 BB. He has the potential to be a staple in the clubs rotation for many years to come so taking it easy on him might not be the worst thing in the world.
#5 George Kirby (RHP) – A+ Everett
IP-5.0 H-4 ER-1 K-3 W (Last Start vs EUG 6/12)
Logan Gilbert is the #4 prospect that the Mariners currently have, but seeing that he is currently active with the Mariners means George Kirby slides into his spot on this list. Another pitcher currently with the Aquasox, Kirby is a pitcher with amazing command.. This season he has a 2-1 record on a 2.25 ERA with 19 K and only 3 BB.
In his last start vs the Eugene Emeralds Kirby went 5 innings and allowed 1 ER on 4 hits. Kirby might be another player who could be seeing a call up to Arkansas and/or Tacoma by years end.
#6 Noelvi Marte (SS) – A Modesto
AB-16 R-4 H-8 HR-1 RBI-4 AVG-.500 (6/10-6/16)
The only player on today’s list that isn’t currently playing in Washington, Noelvi Marte is a slugging youngster who is still trying to find his spot on the field. Marte is also the youngest player in the top 10 of Mariners prospects (19) while also having arguably the biggest upside as well. He is currently hitting .339 with 8 HR and 26 RBI this season with Modesto.
Many predict that Marte won’t be a shortstop by the time he gets his first crack at the pros, possibly shifting over to 3rd or possibly the outfield. His bat has never been in question however.
It is clear that the future of the Mariners is bright, so long as they manage their young talent wisely. If you are looking to check out some of the prospects we highly recommend attending an Aquasox game soon, as they currently have half of the Mariners top 10 prospects and were ranked the 3rd most talented roster in all of MiLB by Baseball America.
Russell is the Content Director for the Eli Network. He studied broadcast journalism at Eastern Oregon and North Dakota State University. Mostly covers soccer and basketball in the Seattle area and is the current play-by-play voice for Seattle Redhawks basketball. You can follow him @brussbrwn.