The final in-season update to the Baseball America Top-100 list has been released this morning, with many things sticking as expected, but a couple notable shifts for prospects in the Seattle Mariners system. The M’s placed five prospects on the list this update, the same number as the club was designated at the start of the 2021 campaign, though the group has shifted some. Ahead of the season, BA had OFs Julio Rodríguez at No. 3 overall, and Jarred Kelenic at No. 4, followed by RHP Logan Gilbert at No. 35, RHP Emerson Hancock at No. 57, and SS Noelvi Marte at No. 73. Kelenic and Gilbert have both graduated from prospect eligibility, and the updated rankings are as follows:
No. 2 OF Julio Rodríguez
No. 10 SS Noelvi Marte
No. 12 RHP George Kirby
No. 93 RHP Emerson Hancock
No. 100 RHP Matt Brash
The new designations are hardly a surprise for the top three, who have had excellent campaigns and showcased their respective talents against better and better competition. Rodríguez has been one of Minor League Baseball’s best hitters, Marte has handled older competition with aplomb and made at least some improvements defensively, and Kirby, well, he throws 96-100 now with seemingly no downtick in command, so that’s fun.
On the other end, Hancock obviously has slid. That’s at least somewhat performance based as Hancock’s stuff looked solid but his results were often good-not-great. The primary culprit, however, is lack of durability, as the young righty was limited significantly by Seattle in an effort to prevent injury following the 2020 layoff, as were many of Seattle’s top arms. However, Hancock was shut down on multiple occasions with soreness, and ended up having his season cut short ultimately a couple weeks ago as the club decided to start his offseason regimen early in an effort to build arm strength and improve long-term durability.
The last member of the list, however, is ascendant. RHP Matt Brash is not a new name to anyone who reads or listens to just about anything we put out, but it’s encouraging all the same to see his season draw national recognition. The compact righty fireballer sits 96-100 himself, with the best breaking ball in the system. Whether his role ultimately is that of a starter or a high-leverage reliever, it’s easy to see the pathway to success for the young righty who Seattle acquired at the 2020 trade deadline in exchange for recently DFA’d RHP reliever Taylor Williams. It’s a good showing once again for the organization BA ranked as the strongest farm system in baseball less than a month ago.