After six picks from the college ranks, the Mariners finally cannonballed into the pool of prep talent, taking enigmatic RHP Michael Limoncelli out of Horseheads HS (NY) with pick No. 186. Wow, they really let you name places any old thing in the 1800s. The son of his high school coach, Limoncelli may draw comparisons to Sam Carlson as another teenage talent in the M’s system. The other similarity is that they’re both rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
For Limoncelli, the Teej got him this spring, after his stuff was down and his velocity was slipping late in starts. If the Mariners are able to sign him, they’ll take over his rehab and likely target spring 2020 for Limoncelli to begin playing in games. That draftability is a question mark, as Limoncelli was a top-40 talent to many prior to his surgery. The rate of return from TJ is such that it shouldn’t be too great a concern, but Limoncelli may see a shot at a higher future selection if he sticks with his commitment to Coastal Carolina.
If Seattle gets him back the Limoncelli they saw prior to the injury, there’s a lot to like. He sat 93-94 his junior year and carried that well through the summer against showcase competition, and was a prototypical Yankees pitcher a la Deivy Garcia with a high-spin curveball that generated whiffs in spades. As a northeastern player, he is unsurprisingly under-viewed, but at 6’2, 185 he’s right on the edge for rotation size. Freshly 19 years old last week, he’ll need to develop a third pitch or improve his fringy changeup, but he’s generally shown a penchant for throwing strikes.
I do not have scouting video for you, but why would you want that when you could have some local news coverage of him and his dad?
Baseball America ranked Limoncelli as their 184th prospect, MLB Pipeline had him at 190th, and FanGraphs put him as a 35 FV and their 48th-ranked HS pitcher.