The Mariners farm has improved, but not enough to move them out of a bottom-third farm ranking, according to Keith Law, who puts the Mariners at 22nd ($). Despite placing three Mariners on his Top-100 list, Law ranks the Mariners below the Kansas City Royals, the Texas Rangers, and the New York Yankees. As for other teams in the AL West, Law has the Athletics 27th, the Astros 12th, and the Angels all the way up at the 7th spot, citing a strong international class and “lesser-known names.” The top spot goes to the Padres over the Rays, with Law noting that the Rays have been slowed by player injuries. Last place belongs to the hapless Baltimore Orioles.
While I’ve long since given up trying to discern Law’s methods, it seems he pays more attention to what he perceives as overall system health and less to the number of impact prospects—how else to justify ranking the Yankees and Royals, each of whom only placed two prospects on his Top-100 list, higher than the Mariners? Law also mentions player health in many of his blurbs, which might be partially responsible for Oakland’s poor showing on this list despite possessing three of MLB Pipeline’s Top-100 prospects.
Our general sense as a staff is the Mariners should rank right around the middle/high-teens of most farm system rankings. They have three players in Sheffield, Kelenic, and Dunn/White who are all Top-100 or Top-100 adjacent players, plus a well-regarded international signing class with players like Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, and Juan Querecuto. It’s far from the Top-10 system Dipoto spun after the initial flurry of trades, but the system is more robust than it’s been in years. If Law does take off points for injury, perhaps having Sam Carlson and Kyle Lewis turn in healthy seasons this year (or late in 2019, for Carlson) will push them up the list somewhat.