The Mariners system is pretty thin on potential impact players but, nonetheless, have some interesting names littered throughout the system. I’m a big fan of the team’s 2018 first round pick.
1. Evan White | 1B | A+ —> White entered pro ball — after being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft — with the reputation for being a good hitter with a modest power output for a first baseman. That continues to be the case for the young hitter, even while spending most of the year in the California League, which tends to boost offensive numbers. He has the athleticism to play the outfield but the Mariners have kept him firmly entrenched at first base; White hasn’t played even one inning at another position in pro ball. Right now, he looks like a future average big league hitter with above-average defence.
2. Kyle Lewis | OF | A+ —> Once considered a potential star-in-the-making, injuries and inconsistencies have tempered enthusiasm for the toolsy player. He has above-average raw power but has yet to tap into it in pro ball. His overly-aggressive nature at the plate (nine walks in 41 games) hurts his effectiveness at the plate. Lewis, who turns 23 in a week, has now spent parts of two seasons in high-A ball with modest results and little sign of improvement. If the light clicks on, though, there is still potential here.
3. Logan Gilbert | RHP | SS —> One of my favorite college arms in the 2018 draft, the Mariners got a good one here. I see mid-rotation starter with the potential for a little more if he develops well. Gilbert has a big, strong frame and should be capable of chewing up lots of innings. If his stuff holds up to the rigors of pro ball, he has the potential for an above-average heater and good secondary offerings.
4. Braden Bishop | OF | AA —> Bishop has long shown the ability to impact the game on the base paths and in the outfield but it’s his bat that has been the biggest question mark. The good news for Mariners fans is that he’s finally showing some consistency at the plate and a willingness to get on base. He’s also shown some additional pop this year.
5. Julio Rodriguez | OF | R —> It’s hard to get too excited about a player who is so far from the majors but this 17 year old has looked good playing in the Dominican Summer League. If everything breaks right, there is a strong armed outfielder here with above-average power potential.
6. Sam Carlson | SP | R —> Carlson was advanced for a teenaged hurler and looked like he might move quickly after being selected 55th overall in the 2017 draft. Unfortunately, the Mariners have just three innings to show for an investment of more than $2 million. Carlson, 19, recently underwent Tommy John surgery and may not be ready to throw in a minor league again until late in the summer of 2019.
7. Matt Festa | RP | AA —> This is where the talent starts to muddy a bit. With that said, Festa looks like a solid big league reliever in the making… with the potential to be a solid set-up man. In 29.2 double-A innings, he’s struck out 42 batters and walked just seven. He needs to work on his command, though, as he allows too many hits.
8. Art Warren | RP | AA —> Warren has the fastball-slider combo to be a high-leverage reliever but his control is below average, as witnessed by his 14 walks in 15.2 innings. His development was slowed in 2018 when he missed all of May due to injury.
9. Ian Miller | OF | AAA —> It’s been a long, slow road through the minors for Miller but it looks like the 26-year-old outfielder might be ready for a shot at the big leagues. His ceiling is likely modest — that of a fourth outfielder — but has a chance to impact the game both in the field and on the base paths.
10. Joe Rizzo | 3B | A+ —> Just 20, Rizzo is already in high-a ball but his unusual profile makes him difficult to project. He’s just 5-9 but 200 pounds and is said to have excellent makeup. But he swings and misses too much and has yet to show much pop. He’s currently playing third base but may eventually have to move to left field or first base (which his height/reach is less than ideal) which would significantly hamper his defensive value.
Juan Querecuto | SS | R —> Given more than a million dollars last year like his DSL teammate Julio Rodriguez above, Querecuto is a very raw hitter but shows the potential for plus defence at shortstop.
Max Povse | RHP | AA —> Povse got torched in triple-A and was demoted to double-A earlier this year. He may be miscast as a starter and could see more success with his fastball-change-up combo out of the bullpen.
Wyatt Mills | RHP | A+ —> Mills is a sidearmer that can work in the low-to-mid-90s with his heater and has a potentially-plus slider. He also shows the ability to throw strikes and induce an above-average number of ground ball outs.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.