Longtime public prospect writer Keith Law has released his annual ranking of MLB organization farm systems, under the banner of The Athletic. He ranked the Mariners 11th out of 30, noting with shock that Seattle’s farm is in fact “good”. Law attributes the improvements to “Jerry DiPoto (sic), who hasn’t traded a prospect away in several weeks now”, as well as consecutive promising drafts, a couple high-profile international signees in Julio Rodriguez and Noelvi Marte (though Law does once again mistakenly list the two as having signed the same year), and of course the trades that started the “step-back” in the first place.
Law’s ranking puts the Mariners lower than either of the other two major publications to release their rankings thus far, with Baseball America placing the Mariners 5th overall and Baseball Prospectus putting Seattle 4th (though the latter might be subject to change, as it is drawn from the BP Annual book - their rankings have not gone online publicly yet). Law has always been forthright about his preference towards upside over high floors, and Seattle, outside of Rodriguez and Marte, is flush with players that would be considered more high-floor than roof-raising. My own personal rankings have Seattle in the 6-9 range, so while this strikes me as a bit low, it does reflect a balance to BA and BP. The departure of Kiley McDaniel for ESPN has likely slowed FanGraphs’ prospect rollout, but once their list concludes (and the Mariners list is released) we’ll have a full array of the major sites rankings entering the season.