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Lewis' first full professional season was a trying one. The 2016 Baseball America College Player of the Year and Mariners first-rounder played just 49 games as he came back from a serious knee injury, with multiple stops and starts. Drafted 11th overall and signed for $3,286,700 in 2016, Lewis tore his anterior cruciate ligament and medial and lateral meniscus in his right knee a month into his career at short-season Everett in a grisly home plate collision. He spent the next 12 months rehabbing and finally returned to game action at high Class A Modesto in June 2017, only to bang his knee into the center field wall in his first game back and go back on the disabled list. He returned to Modesto in July and finished the season with a flourish, batting .429 in the California League playoffs to help the Nuts capture the league title. Lewis was assigned to the Arizona Fall League after the season but was shut down after two games because of discomfort in his surgically-repaired knee. When healthy, Lewis has everything you want to see in a premier, middle-of-the-order outfielder. He plays the game hard and has the strong work ethic that allows him to make the most of his above-average tools. He has solid bat speed and a feel for the barrel, with plus raw power. It was obvious to scouts who saw him in the Cal League that he was not always in rhythm at the plate, with his upper half not syncing with the lower half, but he should get back in the groove when his knee is 100 percent healthy. His hands work well, and he's got a line-drive stroke with loft and home run power to all fields. Lewis speed hasn't come all the way back, but he should again be an average runner when healthy, perhaps a tick more underway. While Lewis has primarily been a center fielder, scouts don't see the instincts needed to stay there despite his ability to cover plenty of ground. An above-average arm makes him better suited for right field. He's primarily been a DH since returning from his knee injury out of caution. Lewis aggressive by nature, so the Mariners will make sure he's 100 percent healthy before putting him back on the field. He is expected to be completely healthy by spring training and has a chance to see Double-A at the start of 2018. Lewis' above-average offensive potential makes him a future regular corner outfielder, potentially a first-division one if his power plays as plus in the major leagues.
White performed to first-round expectations his junior year at Kentucky, hitting .373 with 10 homers, 41 RBIs and 48 runs scored. The Mariners rewarded him by making him the 17th overall pick and signed him for $3.125 million. White started strong after signing, but a quad injury cut his pro debut short after 14 games at short-season Everett. White is well-rounded and projects to be a plus hitter with average power. The Mariners are convinced his power will emerge because of the exit velocities he generates, and he has the athleticism and frame to add strength. White has a smooth, graceful righthanded swing, an outstanding eye and learns quickly from pitch to pitch. Defensively he is the rare example of a first baseman who is a plus runner with a plus arm. While he can handle either corner outfield spot, he's such an elite defender at first base, earning future 70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale, that he'll likely stay in the dirt. His defensive ability has drawn comparisons to Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, a similarly skilled athlete who is capable of playing in the outfield but is so good at first base that it seems foolish to take him out of the dirt. He's graceful around the bag, light on his feet and turns a pristine 3-6-3 double play. White projects as a high-average hitter with 15-20 home run power and Gold Glove defense at first base. He'll get his first taste of full-season ball in 2018.
Coming out of cold-weather Minnesota, Carlson was a late riser on 2017 draft boards before the Mariners popped him in the second round. It took a $2 million bonus to keep him from his commitment to Florida, and Carlson started his pro career with two short outings in the Rookie-level Arizona League before being shut down for the year as a precaution against some minor soreness. Carlson was a legitimate two-way player if he had gone to Florida, as he had line-drive gap power with decent speed. Carlson was one of the best prospects to come out of Minnesota in years. Carlson sports a solid pitcher's frame with room for added strength. He drew a lot of comparisons to Florida Gators and now Athletics righthander Logan Shore as a fastball–changeup righthander. His heavy fastball with late action and natural sink was up to 96 mph in the AZL, consistent with the velocity during his final high school season when he consistently sat 91-95 mph. His mid-80s slider features late action and tilt and projects as a potentially above-average pitch. His changeup is especially advanced for a young, hard-throwing righthander. He didn't use it nearly as much during his senior season of high school, but it flashed plus consistently on the summer showcase circuit in the year before the date. Carlson's delivery is easy and free-flowing out of a loose, quick arm. He participated in the Mariners' minor league strength camp in the fall to help prepare him for a pro workload. He will likely start 2018 in extended spring training in order to manage his innings, but he could get to low Class A Clinton before the end of the season.
One of the premier international talents on the market in 2017 mainly because of his easy power and feel to hit, Rodriguez signed with the Mariners for $1.75 million. He has yet to play an official game with the Mariners, but already ranks as having the best power in the organization. Rodriguez got his first taste of game action in the fall in Dominican instructional league, with positive reports coming from his performance there. While plus-plus raw power is Rodriguez's loudest tool, he is a quality hitter with the ability to retain information and make adjustments at the plate. He has quick hands and good bat speed, with a rhythmic righthanded swing that produces a solid bat path through the zone. He takes aggressive hacks at the plate and will have to learn to handle offspeed pitches. An average runner now, Rodriguez projects to slow down as he ages but still retain enough speed and baserunning acumen to take the extra base. Rodriguez is athletic enough to handle any outfield position, but a plus arm profiles him for right field. Rodriguez will launch his pro career in the summer of 2018 at age 17, either in the Dominican Summer League or the Rookie-level Arizona League.
Bishop was very well scouted in high school because he played on the same team as 2011 first-round pick and future big leaguer Tyler Goeddel and 2015 first-round pick Alex Blandino. Bishop was a potential Division I wide receiver as well, but he opeted to attend Washington where he hit .292 over three seasons, albeit it with modest power. Bishop is known for his 4MOM foundation that raises money for Alzheimer's disease in honor of his mother, but his performance on the field is earning increased notice, too. A premier athlete whose ability to hit was previously in question, Bishop hit .306 with a career-best 34 doubles and an .806 OPS across high Class A Modesto and Double-A Arkansas in 2017. He reworked his swing in offseason workouts with D-backs slugger Jake Lamb, a fellow University of Washington product. Bishop lowered his hands and became less jumpy in the batter's box, allowing him to stay in his legs more and introduce more drive into his swing to create more loft. He gets the barrel to the ball consistently, but questions remains whether he will develop enough upper-body strength to drive balls at the higher levels. He is a plus runner who upped his aggressiveness and stole 22 bases in 27 tries in 2017, and that speed helps him to be a plus-plus defender in center field with tremendous reads and reflexes. His average arm allows to handle any outfield spot. Bishop's continued offensive progress will determine whether he meets his starting outfielder ceiling. If not, he can settle in for a career as a fourth outfielder.
Acquired in the November 2016 trade that sent 2014 first-round pick Alex Jackson to the Braves, Povse made his major league debut with the Mariners in 2017 on June 22. He got into three big league games and split the rest of the year between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma. Povse started strong in Arkansas' rotation before a hamstring injury put him out for a month. He struggled regaining his consistency after the injury while also taking on a new role as a long reliever. He got stronger and more coordinated in his 6-foot-8 frame in 2017, allowing him to better repeat his delivery. The velocity on his fastball increased from the low 90s to sitting 93-95 mph and touching 97. He also shows more downhill angle than pure life. He gets swings and misses from his high-70s downer curveball but needs to land it more to be effective against big league hitters. An firm upper-80s changeup with armside fade is his third pitch. He throws all his pitches for strikes, and his long levers provide deception in his delivery. Povse's role for 2018 is still to be determined. He can win a rotation spot with a strong spring training or settle in as a long reliever.
The Mariners drafted Festa in the seventh round in 2016 after he went 11-2, 2.35 for Division II East Stroudsburg (Pa.). Signed for just $5,000, Festa jumped from short-season Everett in 2016 to high Class A Modesto in 2017 and dominated at the end of games for the California League champions, posting a 99-to-19 strikeout-to-walk mark. Festa's fastball velocity ticked up during the season, eventually sitting 94-96 mph at the top end with darting action, sink and run. He's very aggressive with the pitch and commands it well. Batters are frequently behind on his heater, and it draws an eye-opening amount of swings and misses from lefthanded batters. His wipeout slider in the 87-89 mph range earns plus grades, and he is developing an 87-90 mph cutter with armside action some evaluators like even more. He also has an 80-81 mph changeup and upper-70s curveball in his back pocket. Festa repeats his high three-quarters delivery with a loose arm and moderate effort, pounding the strike zone and frequently turning in 10-pitch innings. Festa has the stuff, control and mentality to be a high-leverage reliever. He'll move up to Double-A to begin 2018.
Warren began his college career at Cincinnati before transferring to Division II Ashland (Ohio), where he had Tommy John surgery as a junior but rebounded to show plenty of stuff (52 strikeouts in 60 innings) but also plenty of wildness (47 walks) in his lone season on the mound for Ashland. The Mariners picked him in the 23rd round in 2015. Warren excelled his first full year as a reliever in 2017, helping high Class A Modesto win the California League championship as the team's closer and emerged as a breakout talent in the Arizona Fall League with 11.1 scoreless innings as Peoria's closer. The gem of Warren's arsenal is a four-seam fastball that sits 92-97 mph and touches 99, getting ride and extension up in the zone. He has scattered command of his heater, but his velocity and movement produce a high rate of swinging strikes. His best secondary pitch is a plus 12-to-6 overhand curveball with depth and hard finish in the 80-84 mph range. He rounds out his arsenal with an 89-92 mph slider and below-average 85-88 mph changeup. He is physical and strong but not overly athletic, resulting in some wildness and an inconsistent release point. Warren's stuff and gunfighter mentality give him a chance to be a late-inning reliever, but he'll have to fine-tune his release point and command. Double-A Arkansas is next in 2018.
Teams considered Rizzo one of the top high school hitters available in the 2016 draft, and the Mariners selected him 50th overall and signed him for $1.75 million. He made his full-season debut with 110 games at low Class A Clinton in 2017 before moving up to high Class A Modesto at the end of the year. Though he struggled most of the regular season, Rizzo was named MVP of the California League championship series after batting 7-for-13 in the final round to help Modesto capture the crown. Rizzo is a polarizing prospect. He shows a feel for hitting and advanced plate discipline, but his supposed above-average raw power doesn't show up in batting practice or games and scouts say that you are betting very heavily on the bat because of his other limitations. Rizzo has to work on strength and conditioning to get the most out of his limited athleticism and physical skills. It's uncertain whether Rizzo has a future at third base. His tick above-average arm is enough for the position, but he needs to work on his thick lower half to stay quick enough for the hot corner. If he has to move off third base his short stature isn't an ideal fit at first base and his below-average speed doesn't work well in the outfield. Rizzo's performance in the Cal League playoffs was encouraging, and he'll return to Modesto to start 2018. He needs to work hard on his conditioning, but has the work ethic and attitude to succeed.
The Mariners made Querecuto one of their top priorities in the 2017 international signing class and signed the 16-year-old Venezuelan for $1.225 million. The switch-hitting shortstop comes from a baseball family. His father Juan played five years in the minors in the Blue Jays system, and his older brother Juniel is an infielder in the Giants system who reached the major leagues with the Rays in 2016. Querecuto doesn't flash any standout tools but has advanced instincts for his age and knows how to play the game. He's a gap-to-gap, situational hitter who does a good job of controlling the strike zone and uses the whole field. An average runner with an above-average to plus arm, he projects to be an above-average defender at shortstop with soft hands, a feel for where to position himself and the ability to slow the game down. While not a burner on the bases, Querecuto's baserunning acumen will allow his speed to play up. His makeup and instincts project to consistently allow him to play above his tools. Querecuto will begin his pro career in 2018 along with fellow international classmate Julio Rodriguez, either in the Dominican Summer League or the Rookie-level Arizona League.
The Mariners' selection of Mills in the third round in 2017 sent draft analysts scurrying for information on the Gonzaga righthander. Mills signed for an under-slot $125,000 to give the Mariners extra bonus money to use on second-rounder rounder Sam Carlson. After using an over-the-top delivery in high school, Mills walked on at Gonzaga and changed his delivery to a much lower slot after his freshman year. He worked exclusively as a setup reliever in college, recording a 1.79 ERA with a 58-to-4 strikeout-to-walk mark his senior year after he passed up an opportunity to turn pro when the Rays drafted him in the 17th round in 2016. Mills throws from a very low slot with the ball coming out of his hip--it's almost a submarine delivery that draws comparisons with Joe Smith and Steve Cishek. While Mills' velocity on his two-seam fastball was down in his pro debut split between short-season Everett and low Class A Clinton, he touched 95 mph in college with sink and deception, and he should get back to that velocity with an offseason of rest. He also uses a hard slider that projects as an average offering. Mills could wind up pitching at multiple levels in 2018 and will be on a fast track to the big league bullpen.
A year after being acquired in a multi-player deal with the Cubs and coming off a strong season at Triple-A, Vogelbach went to spring training in 2017 with a chance to earn a major league platoon job at first base with Danny Valencia. Instead, he hit .228 in spring training and wound up at Triple-A Tacoma for most of the season. A well below-average fielder and bottom-of-the-scale runner, the hefty Vogelbach has to mash to be a big leaguer. He has a good approach at the plate, uses the whole field and has some power, but evaluators aren't convinced it's enough to justify a regular lineup spot. He also struggles against lefthanders, making a platoon role his ceiling. While Vogelbach worked hard on improving his defense in 2017, he'll never have the range or mobility needed to be even close to an average defender. Most scouts say he's either a bottom-of-the-scale or at best a 30 defender at first base. The ideal role for Vogelbach is as a platoon DH, provided he can get to more of his power. The Mariners acquired the Athletics' Ryon Healy after the 2017 season to handle first base moving forward. Vogelbach will come to spring training in 2018 with a shot to win a job as a platoon partner for Healy and DH Nelson Cruz, although the Mariners selection of Mike Ford in the Rule 5 draft creates further competition for Vogelbach.
When the Yankees needed to clear space on their 40-man roster to protect new players in advance of the Rule 5 draft after the 2017 season, they traded Rumbelow to the Mariners for pitching prospects Juan Then and J.P. Sears. Rumbelow made his major league debut in 2015, two years to the day after signing with the Yankees for $100,000 as a seventh-round pick out of Louisiana State. After missing virtually all of 2016 after having Tommy John surgery, Rumbelow returned in 2017 and recorded 45 strikeouts and 11 walks in 40.1 innings split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has a three-pitch mix consisting of a 92-94 mph four-seam fastball with armside run that touched 98 prior to surgery, a mid-80s changeup and an 81-84 mph solid-average curveball he lands for strikes. He repeats his high three-quarters to overhand delivery with a long, deep arm action. The Mariners paid a relatively high price in prospect talent for Rumbelow, so he'll get every opportunity to earn a job in the Seattle bullpen in spring training.
Filia led UCLA with a .444 batting average during the 2013 College World Series as a sophomore to lead the Bruins to their first national title. He expected to be a high pick in the 2014 draft, but instead missed the 2014 season after having labrum surgery. He was then suspended from the university the entire 2015 season after he plagiarized a philosophy paper. Filia took on multiple jobs during his suspension, including working as a butler at the Playboy Mansion. Even after two years away, Filia never lost his feel to hit. He posted an .816 OPS in his return to UCLA in 2016, then hit .360 in his pro debut. He proceeded to hit .326 at high Class A Modesto in 2017 and led the California League with 65 walks and a .407 on-base percentage. He then led the Arizona Fall League with a .408 average and .483 OBP. Using an open stance with a shimmy routine that went viral on the internet, Filia takes professional at-bats and barrels up balls every time. He's an extreme contact hitter with excellent plate discipline who can handle breaking balls and doesn't get overpowered by velocity. He spoils pitches until he gets the one he wants and then drives it on a line. His stroke is flat and purely for hard line drives, without the loft to produce home run power. Filia is a below-average runner and fielder at both corner outfield positions, complicating his profile. But if he continues to hit as he always has, he'll get a shot as at least a lefthanded bench bat.
Whalen has been traded twice since being drafted by the Mets in the 12th round in 2012. He made his major league debut with the Braves in 2016 before being included with Max Povse in a trade for Alex Jackson. Whalen reached the big leagues the Mariners in 2017 but missed most of the season with leg and knee issues early and later a shoulder injury. The sharpness of his secondary pitches suffered because of his leg problems, and Whalen became frustrated at not being healthy. He was mostly ineffective in 10 starts at Triple-A Tacoma in 2017. When he's right, Whalen has a lively 90-93 mph fastball with tail and heavy sinking action. His repertoire includes a low-80s slider with depth, a curveball with good downward movement and a changeup that is used infrequently. Whalen needs to work on holding runners and limiting damage with runners on base. He was often hurt by one bad inning in his subpar starts. None of Whalen's pitches grade above-average, but he has a diverse repertoire with different looks from both his fastball and curveball. After a mostly lost season in 2017, Whalen will head back to spring training looking for a shot at the big league staff in 2018.
De Jong won Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year honors in 2016 and was acquired by the Mariners that offseason for minor league shortstop Drew Jackson and righthander Aneurys Zabala. De Jong made the Mariners' Opening Day roster in 2017 because of injuries to other staff members, his first of multiple stints in the big leagues. Despite three good outings out of his seven big league games, the rest of De Jong's season was shaky because he failed to regroup and get his footing at Triple-A Tacoma, where he posted a 6.00 ERA in 15 starts. He finished the year with five mostly ineffective starts at Double-A Arkansas. De Jong is a finesse righthander with average stuff who relies on pitching acumen and his ability to throw his four pitches for strikes. He's a flyball pitcher who needs to get the extension and rise he had in 2016 for his average 90-91 mph fastball to play up. He adds an average curveball and fringy changeup and slider, but his execution must be more precise in the strike zone. De Jong will head to spring training with a chance to make up for a lackluster 2017 season. He has a chance to make it as a spot starter or swingman.
After drafting Gonzaga reliever Wyatt Mills in the third round, the Mariners popped another college bullpen arm in Elledge one round later, signing the hard-throwing Dallas Baptist product for $400,000. After pitching in four games for short-season Everett, Elledge spent most of his first pro season with low Class A Clinton, saving five games and posting an outstanding 35-to-6 strikeout-to-walk mark in 21 innings. Elledge's top pitch is a 92-95 mph fastball with a high spin rate and late life that gets plenty of swings and misses. He's also got a hard downer curveball at 78-83 mph, an average pitch that he throws to both sides of the plate and a changeup that he uses infrequently. While his deceptive delivery is high-energy and high-effort, Elledge repeats it well and commands all of his pitches. Considering the success in his first try at full-season ball, Elledge may be ready to start 2018 at high Class A Modesto with a move to Double-A later in the season. As a robustly built reliever with a big fastball, Elledge could move quickly through the system.
Originally drafted by the Mariners in 2015 out of Michigan State after a three-year college career spent mostly in the Wolverines' bullpen, Misiewicz reached Double-A before being packaged in a trade to the Rays midway through the 2017 season. Tampa Bay then sent him back to Seattle for $1 million of international bonus pool money that the Mariners had accumulated prior to their unsuccessful attempt to sign Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. Misiewicz pitches above his mostly fringy stuff by throwing strikes, with his control being better than his command. He uses a four-seam fastball from 88-93 mph with average tail. He has feel for a firm mid-80s mph changeup with sink, which grades as a fringe-average pitch. Rounding out the arsenal is an average 79-82 mph downer curveball that slurves at times and doesn't get enough swings and misses from lefthanded hitters. He repeats a simple, deliberate high three-quarters delivery that doesn't provide a lot of deception. Misiewicz profiles as an up-and-down back-end starter or swingman. He had some success at Double-A in 2017 and could be ready to move up to Triple-A in 2018.
The third time was the charm for Miller at Double-A, with much better results in 2017 after two previous tries at the level. He's always been an elite runner (averaging 47 steals his last three seasons) and played above-average defense, but an offseason working with hitting coordinator Brant Brown to re-invent his swing helped Miller get to more power and use the whole field. After not posting an OPS above .700 since his debut year in 2013, Miller batted .326/.382/.430 with 30 stolen bases in 83 games at Double-A Arkansas. He finished the season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he looked more timid at the plate. Plus-plus speed and elite baserunning instincts are Miller's biggest strengths, but he needs to control the zone more against better pitching to draw more walks and take better advantage of his wheels. He played exclusively in center field at Double-A but got more time in left field with Tacoma, in preparation for his likely role as a reserve outfielder. Miller needs to improve in the corners, but his average arm is to handle all three outfield spots. Miller has a ceiling as a fourth outfielder, but needs to continue to improve as a hitter to reach that projection.
Moll reached the big leagues with 11 relief appearances for the Athletics in 2017 after nearly five seasons in the Rockies' minor league system. Colorado sold his contract to Oakland in August 2017. The Mariners claimed Moll on waivers in November. While the short lefty had success in the Rockies organization as a reliever, Moll had been slowed at times with various injuries. He missed most of 2014 with bone chips and part of 2016 with elbow inflammation. What makes Moll an intriguing commodity is his mid-90s velocity from the left side with a max-effort delivery. His four-seam fastball touches 96 mph has sinking action. His fastball command suffers at the upper velocity range, and he's a much more effective strike thrower in his 90-91 mph comfort zone. He also throws a below-average slider in the mid-80s, but he doesn't always command the pitch. It has some two-plane movement. He rarely uses his changeup. Moll hasn't started a game since his pro debut season, but the Mariners will give him a chance to earn a rotation job in spring training.
Jaskie gained plenty of good weight and added 10 mph to his fastball between the time he arrived on campus at Michigan to the time he left. He finished 2017 in Ann Arbor as one of the Big Ten Conference's top starters with an 8-3, 3.77 mark and 11.5 strikeouts-per-nine innings. Jaskie's fastball sat 87-90 mph during his pro debut at short-season Everett, down a couple of ticks due to a heavy workload at Michigan. He generally works inside to righthanded hitters with his fastball, setting up his changeup, which is his best secondary. Jaskie's changeup is an average pitch at 78-82 mph with late fade that he uses to get swings-and-misses. He also mixes in a fringy but usable slider at 79-83 mph. Jaskie has some funk that helps his stuff play up. His three-quarters delivery plays like a higher slot because of spinal tilt, and the effort in the delivery provides some deception. He is athletic for his size and has the mentality to remain in the rotation, but perhaps not the delivery to do so. Jaskie will try to keep starting at low Class A Clinton in 2018.
After four strong years at Princeton, Ford was still passed over in the 2013 draft. But his strong Cape Cod League season in 2013, when he hit .407/.495/.663 with Cotuit, caught the eye of Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. The Mariners were in the bidding for his services that year, too, and acquired Ford four years later in the Rule 5 Draft. With the Yankees, Ford was one of the system's most polished hitters, and his .410 on-base percentage led the Eastern League. He's posted OBPs of better than .400 in each of the past two seasons. He's got above-average power as well, and he tied for the system lead in home runs with 20 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He knows the strike zone as well as anyone in the Mariners system. He's a below-average defender at first base, but he has improved his glovework some. With the Yankees, he was blocked, and he'll face similar problems with Seattle, where Ryon Healy and Dan Vogelbach stand in his way. Still, the Mariners will give him a chance to win a spot on their roster come spring training.
Walton is the classic grinder ballplayer. A four-year starter at shortstop for Oklahoma State and the son of a coach, Walton has no plus tools and doesn't profile as a starting big league infielder. However, he is capable of playing every position on the dirt and maximizes his skillset by doing a lot of things right on the field. Walton is exceptionally fundamentally strong and has an uncanny ability to slow the game down when he's on the field. Walton's 2017 batting line of .269/.349/.368 is a reasonable reflection of what he projects to do at the plate. He has a good approach and does all the little things to help the team, like bunting, advancing the runner and taking the extra base. He's a below-average runner but a capable basestealer with good instincts. Walton is a solid defender who positions himself well, and his tick above-average arm strength is enough for any infield spot. Walton missed time in 2017 with a wrist injury, but may be advanced enough to head to Double-A Arkansas to start the 2018 season.
Since signing with the Mariners for $140,000 in 2012, Liberato has consistently flashed outstanding defensive tools and speed but never answered whether he can hit enough to be a major league contributor. Liberato is streaky and inconsistent, and struggles mightily to hit lefthanded pitchers. That inconsistency comes from how he sets his hands at the plate, in that he locks them deep, sometimes up and sometimes down. He's also plagued by high strikeout totals, including a 26 percent mark in 2017. Liberato is a plus runner and better underway, but stole only 12 bases in 20 attempts. He uses his speed in the outfield and tracks balls well, and is good at going back on balls over his shoulder. He has an average arm with above-average accuracy. Liberato's defense is promising, but he needs to improve his consistency at the plate and contact skills to be a backup outfielder. He will probably return to the Cal League in 2018 for more seasoning.
Rosa was born in New York and grew up in the U.S., but he moved to the Dominican Republic and signed with the Mariners for $30,000 in 2014. The diminutive switch-hitter spent most of his third professional season at short-season Everett, where he was named a Northwest League all-star. Rosa has a sweet swing from both sides of the plate with better feel to hit from the left side, but needs to consistently trust himself and his instincts and not get into bad habits. While his size and speed indicate that he's more likely a gap-to-gap hitter, Rosa has some power as evidenced by the .235 isolated power he put up at Everett. He's a plus runner but was successful in only seven of 13 stolen base attempts in 2017. Rosa's best position is at second base because his average arm works better on that side of the bag, but he's capable of handling shortstop in a limited role. Rosa finished 2017 with low Class A Clinton, and he'll head back there in 2018.
Romero played two years of junior college ball in Florida, first at Polk State JC and then Eastern Florida State JC. He went 9-4, 1.55 at the latter but was fairly anonymous when the Mariners drafted him in the 15th round in 2017. The burly righthander has put himself on the radar with an outstanding pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League, going 5-1, 2.08 with 51 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 43.1 innings. Romero stands out for his pitchability and fastball command, using a mechanically-sound delivery to pound the strike zone with downhill plane. He gets swings-and-misses with an average 88-92 mph fastball that has some cut to it, and a 74-77 mph curveball is his best secondary pitch. He also uses a 79-83 mph slider and an 80-83 mph changeup that are both below-average but play up off his fastball. There's not a lot of projection in Romero's body, but his pitching smarts should allow him to thrive in the lower levels of the system as he develops. Romero may be advanced enough to jump to full-season ball to start the 2018 season.
The Mariners picked Brigman as a draft-eligible sophomore in the third round in 2016 and signed him for $700,000. Primarily a shortstop in college, Brigman has always been pegged for some type of super utility role in the pro game. That may now be the ceiling for Brigman since his bat has yet to come around. He has solid plate discipline but hasn't yet developed the strength to drive balls. Brigman's below-average arm strength isn't quite enough for shortstop, so he played more at second base in his first full year with low Class A Clinton. A plus runner and a good athlete, Brigman has stolen 33 bases as a pro but has also been thrown out 20 times. He needs to refine his technique to more effectively utilize his speed. There are still plenty of question marks about Brigman's future, but the biggest one is whether he'll get strong enough to reach his ceiling as a utility bench bat.
Adams went undrafted after his junior year at Boston College and a subpar senior year in which he posted a .603 OPS dropped him to the 22nd round in the 2017 draft. His bat came alive with short-season Everett when he hit .316/.381/.445 in a utility infield role for the AquaSox. Adams possesses good baseball instincts and solid makeup, pre-requisites for the utility role that is his ceiling. He homered only three times in four college seasons, so the 12 doubles and five homers he hit in the Northwest League was surprising. Adams showed the strength to impact the ball in batting practice, although his actions at the plate are rigid. A shortstop in college, Adams doesn't have the range to play there on a regular basis but can be adequate in a utility role. His tick above-average arm is enough for the left side of the infield and he could also handle a corner outfield spot. He's a below-average runner but is smart and instinctual on the base paths. Adams will be right behind the very similar Donnie Walton on the Mariners depth chart, and at 23 years old could jump right to high Class A Modesto in 2018.
Rosario finally made it stateside in 2017 after three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He originally signed in 2013 for $350,000, and early scouting reports had him as light on game skills but with tantalizing tools. Four years later that's still the case with Rosario. He spent the early part of the season in the Arizona League before moving to short-season Everett after the trade that sent Brayan Hernandez to the Marlins. Rosario has some bat speed and makes hard contact, pulling balls on the inner half, but his actions at the plate are still very raw and he needs to learn to use all fields. He also needs to add strength to his lean, high-waisted frame. Rosario put up good numbers in the Northwest League, batting .275/.327/.478 with six home runs in 126 at-bats, but also had a 30 percent strikeout rate. He's got slightly above-average speed and can run down balls in the outfield, but is still a bit uncoordinated. Rosario's best tool is his plus-plus arm. Rosario is still a lottery ticket, but the Mariners may have something if he gets stronger and learns to tap into his intriguing toolset.
The Mariners went heavy on college players early in the 2017 draft, but found room on their draft board for an extreme projection play in Benitez. Drafted in the ninth round from his high school in Puerto Rico, Benitez signed for $150,000 and began his pro career with an inconsistent performance in the Rookie-level Arizona League. The lean, lanky Benitez intrigues with a free and easy, whippy lefthanded delivery from a low-three-quarters arm slot. He got his fastball up to 91-92 mph by the end of the summer after earlier sitting in the upper 80s. Benitez's frame certainly has room to add strength, so more velocity is expected. He also shows an ability to spin his breaking ball. While Benitez shows two promising pitches, he was very wild in his pro debut. Benitez is extremely raw and going to take a lot of time to develop. He needs at least one more full year, possibly two, before he'll be ready for full-season ball. He is slated to return to the AZL in 2018.
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