Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
Lewis did not see game action during spring training and was held back in extended spring training until the second week of May to give his surgically-repaired knee time to strengthen. Returning to high Class A Modesto, Lewis has shown explosiveness in his legs and moves around the outfield well. At the plate, he is balanced and short to the ball, with loose hands and the ability to adjust to fastballs in the zone. He’s played mostly center field this season, but opinions that he’ll eventually move to right field, where his average or better arm will play, are becoming more prevalent. Lewis will continue to be watched closely to see if the knee can hold up for a full season, but for now the signs are positive.
Except for a brief four-game stint with Triple-A Tacoma, White has teamed with Kyle Lewis in the heart of the Modesto order. The 2017 first-round pick is a smart hitter who consistently has a plan when he’s in the batter’s box. Noted as more of a line drive hitter with an opposite field-approach, White is coming off a hot June in which the home run pop has emerged. He’s a plus defender at first base with acrobatic movements around the bag.
Gilbert was Seattle’s first pick in a college-heavy 2018 draft after the righthander pitched 112 innings in his junior year at Stetson. At 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, he projects as future workhorse in the big league rotation, using a heavy, power fastball with good extension and life, and a breaking ball that the Mariners see as a plus offering. Since he’s already had a heavy college workload, the priority for the start of Gilbert’s pro career is to prepare him for next season.
The jewel of Seattle’s 2017 international class stayed on the island to begin his pro career in the Dominican Summer League, where he is hitting .319/.422/.462 through the end of June. A smart hitter with plus-plus raw power and a plus arm in right field, Rodriguez will likely get a bump to the Rookie-level Arizona League before the end of the summer.
Bishop is following his strong 2017 season with a solid year at Double-A Arkansas after overcoming a slow month of April. He continues to get stronger, allowing him to better impact the baseball, and he has already surpassed his previous season high in home runs with seven long balls through the end of June. Regardless of how he hits at higher levels, Bishop’s plus-plus defense will earn him major league time before too long.
One of the top infield prospects in the 2018 international class, Marte signed with Seattle for a $1.55 million bonus on July 2. A natural hitter with a compact stroke, Marte has a track record of getting on base and hitting for power in games. He’s athletic and a plus runner underway with the chance to stay at shortstop long-term, depending on how the body develops with maturity. Like Rodriguez, Marte will likely start his pro career next summer in the Dominican Summer League.
Selected by Seattle in the second round after a three-year college career at Louisville, Stowers has started strong at short-season Everett. He’s extremely athletic and is an above-average runner with top-of-the order skills. Stowers is playing his natural center field position to start his pro career and has plus instincts there. While his arm is no more than a fringe tool, the Mariners believe that Stowers’ instincts and athleticism will allow him to stay in the middle of the outfield.
Seattle’s second-round pick in 2017, Carlson saw limited action with only two appearances in his first summer as a pro. Elbow and forearm tenderness kept him off the mound since then, but he was recently throwing bullpen sessions with the goal of pitching in Arizona League games by July. Instead, Carlson had Tommy John surgery and will be out until likely the 2020 season.
Festa’s season got a slightly late start due to a hip flexor issue, but since then he’s been an effective cog in the Double-A Arkansas’ bullpen. His fastball has been 92-94 mph, with a plus slider being his money pitch. He should get to Triple-A before the end of the summer and it’s not unreasonable to envision him helping out in the Mariners’ bullpen late this season.
Elledge fits the profile of many of the hard-throwing arms from Dallas Baptist. The 2017 fourth-rounder hasn’t disappointed in his first full season, posting a miniscule 0.93 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 29 innings through the end of June. The fastball comes out hot, sitting 90-95 mph with the possibility for more velocity in the future. His best secondary pitch is a sharp slider, but he needs to improve the command and control of all three of his pitches.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up