Levi Stoudt Is Better Than Ever
Levi Stoudt was stunned to learn the soreness in his arm that he felt at the end of his junior season at Lehigh was really a Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament strain and the result of chronic tears over time.
He considered rehab, but the 23-year-old righthander now sees that electing for Tommy John surgery, which was what he also felt the Mariners wanted him to pursue just after they drafted him in the third round in 2019, was the best choice he could have made.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Stoudt has since thrown his first professional outings at High-A Everett, which through June included a 2.90 ERA to go with 45 strikeouts and 26 walks in 40.1 innings. This strong start came after Stoudt’s instructional league foray that had the organization buzzing.
“Levi Stoudt was the talk of (instructional) league, which was great for him,” Mariners farm director Andy McKay said. “He’s fully recovered now, and he was exceptional in Peoria.”
Then, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto this spring was asked about under-the-radar prospects to keep an eye on.
“The most under-the-radar prospect would be Levi Stoudt,” Dipoto said. “He was outstanding down in the Arizona instructional league. He jumped out. Levi’s stuff was in the mid 90s with two polished breaking balls.”
Those breaking balls are Stoudt’s split-changeup and slider, though the slider has more slurve characteristics than that of a true slider. He’s worked on getting separation between his slider and curveball and now feels confident he can use four pitches.
But if Stoudt gets to the big leagues, it will be because of that changeup—with its dive and run—to go with a fastball that has touched 97 mph.
After entering Lehigh as a pitch-to-contact thrower, he's since dialed in to better pitch sequencing and has significantly increased his strikeout rate. He fanned a season-high 10 batters while allowing one run in five innings in a June 2 start against Hillsboro.
“You can’t say enough about him coming back from Tommy John surgery,” Dipoto said. “He was as impressive as any starting pitcher in Peoria.”
— Top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic appeared to bounce back from his rough big league debut with the Mariners. The 21-year-old homered twice in a June 25 game for Triple-A Tacoma in Albuquerque. Through 122 at-bats in Tacoma, Kelenic had a 1.011 OPS with nine homers and 28 RBIs after hitting .096 in 83 at-bats in Seattle.
— Talk about raking—switch-hitting catcher Cal Raleigh through 41 games in Triple-A this year was hitting .319 with eight homers, 35 RBIs and an OPS of .972. That included a 23-game hit streak.
— Righthander Emerson Hancock earned his first professional win June 19 pitching for High-A Everett. The 2020 sixth overall pick from Georgia went five innings and struck out eight batters. Meanwhile, 2019 first-round pick and Everett teammate George Kirby issued his first career walk May 14. He had tossed 27.2 innings without allowing a walk to open his professional career.
— Righthander Penn Murfee was named the Double-A Central pitcher of the week in June, pitching a complete game shutout on June 18, when he allowed three hits, walked two and struck out 11.
— Jack Larsen, a 26-year-old outfielder from UC San Diego, earned High-A West player of the month honors for May, when he hit .337 with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs and had an OPS of 1.019, all of which led the league, for Everett. He was a nondrafted free agent signed by Seattle in 2017.