Former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden has long since transitioned back to a media role, however he continues to utilize his connections throughout the game to put together insider reports and analysis. While he is not always regarded as a prospect analyst like his new co-worker John Sickels, Bowden himself acknowledges his four-part prospect ranking relies heavily on combining appraisals of his contacts throughout MLB. With that in mind, six Mariners players make the cut for Bowden’s Top-200 prospects:
No. 151 - RHP Justin Dunn
No. 92 - OF Julio Rodriguez
No. 90 - 1B Evan White
No. 52 - OF Jarred Kelenic
No. 44 - LHP Justus Sheffield
No. 24 - LHP Yusei Kikuchi
Three things stand out to me most of all. The first is that Bowden is enthused about the newest members of the Mariners’ farm, giving Kelenic one of the highest evaluations of any list, and including Kikuchi just behind Rays’ RHP Brent Honeywell and Cardinals RHP Alex Reyes. Secondly, Shed Long does not make the cut after sneaking onto FanGraphs’ list at No. 132 (though somewhat interchangeably with the rest of the 50 FV players). Thirdly, Julio Rodriguez has appeared or narrowly missed the cut for various outlets, seeming to mostly depend on how much the outlet trusts the person they spoke with who saw Julioooooo play.
Bowden’s review goes mostly chalk with Vlad Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. at 1-2. He displays a tendency to fawn over tools, which may be what appeals about players like Julio, and certainly aids prospects like OFs Eloy Jimenez and Jo Adell of the White Sox and Angels, respectively, as well as pitchers like RHPs Michael Kopech and Honeywell, both facing/returning from Tommy John rehab but boasting top-of-the-line stuff at full health.
Our own Mariners-specific prospect rankings will conclude this week.