On Wednesday, Baseball America announced their preseason Top 10 Mariners prospects for 2020. While many publications have highlighted Jarred Kelenic as the cream of the crop, the folks at Baseball America decided Julio Rodriguez has surpassed his outfield counterpart as the top prospect in the organization.
Whoops!— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) January 3, 2020
Here it is
Baseball America Top 10 Prospects for 2020
1) Julio Rodriguez
2) Jarred Kelenic
3) Evan White
4) Logan Gilbert
5) George Kirby
6) Noelvi Marte
7) Justus Sheffield
8) Justin Dunn
9) Brandon Williamson
10) Kyle Lewis
Seattle could see 5, if not 6, in Top 100 pic.twitter.com/YJX3Wx3k9H
Having contributed at Baseball America for about a year now, Rodriguez’s name continues to generate immense helium in those circles, especially after his strong, albeit abbreviated stint in the Arizona Fall League. There were a ton of eyes on the now 19-year-old during the 15 games in Peoria, and Rodriguez delivered. Running a .288/.397/.365 slash, “J-Rod” showed exceptional plate discipline against much older, more advanced top-shelf pitching. While the in-game power wasn’t on display, Rodriguez dispelled the distorted notion that he was just an “average”, if not worse, runner. Many analysts tabbed Rodriguez as a 45-50 grade runner. After stealing four bases in five attempts, that perception has passed, though questions remain on how that tool with age with Rodriguez's frame.
Evan White was the other potential surprise to Mariners fans, assuming the no. 3 spot in the rankings.
White’s power surge at uber-pitcher-friendly Dickey-Stephens Park in 2019 was enough for Baseball America talent evaluators to up his ceiling into more of a complete, prototypical first baseman with elite defense. After a definitive swing change, dropping his hands to a place with more load-leverage, White found a huge in-game power spike, pushing 19 balls over the fence last season. Fellow Arkansas Traveler Kyle Lewis hit just 11 home runs last season at AA. Seeing Lewis come to Seattle and hit six bombs in just 18 games certainly didn’t hurt White’s prognostication for 2020.
Several familiar names made appearances on this years list, though some fast-rising international signees from the last few years also got some well-deserved love as well. Readers may find the “Loudest Tools” section especially interesting.
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Julio Rodriguez has a chance to be a special hitter. Here's BA's new Seattle Mariners prospect list and scouting reports: https://t.co/ATMndu5QHL— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) January 15, 2020
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