Welcome back to LL’s prospect rankings! Today we’re really starting to get into the meat and potatoes of a burgeoning young system that’s ready to jump into the national spotlight. Featuring a four-pack of teenagers, we’ll cover some tantalizing upside that are sure to draw the attention of prospect evaluators throughout the league. If you happened to miss the prior installment, click here.
12. Michael Arroyo, SS
Age: 19 / B/T: R/R / Signed: 2022 / Final level in 2023: A / MLB ETA: 2026
Arroyo signed with the Mariners in the same 2022 international class as Lazaro Montes and looks to be a valuable piece to this budding farm system. Receiving the highest signing bonus for a Colombian amateur, Arroyo quickly established himself as a mature hitter that is a natural at controlling the barrel of the bat and lacing line drives all over the field. He doesn’t have tremendous power but he should settle somewhere slightly below average and be a double digit homer guy on a regular basis. Defensively, he’s probably a second or third baseman at the next level but currently plays some shortstop as well. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Arroyo bounce around the infield positions throughout the minors due to the tremendously crowded infield in the lower minors. He’s probably not going to break records defensively, but I wouldn’t consider him a liability on the dirt. He’s a short and stocky player with a choppy running stride, but Arroyo is good on the basepaths despite not stealing many bases. Some outlets have suggested Arroyo has lost a step or three, but watching him run late into the season last year certainly does not corroborate this notion. Perhaps my eyes deceive me, but Arroyo looks every bit of at least an average runner and probably a tick better.
Michael Arroyo mashes a double. On base 3 times tonight. pic.twitter.com/7kxyE3cVnj— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) June 24, 2023
Arroyo’s profile is centered around his bat he projects to be an offense first player. If some things break right for Arroyo, he could wind up being a contact machine that plays average defense at second and acts as a table setter for the rest of a lineup. It’s not crazy upside that puts butts in seats, but a fully formed Arroyo would be an excellent addition to a ballclub. Arroyo may be shipped to Everett out of necessity due to a lack of room in the infield, but 2024 is an important year developmentally for Arroyo that will give a strong indication as to where he ends up as a professional.
11. Tai Peete, SS
Age: 18 / B/T: L/R / Drafted: 2023 / Final level in 2023: A / MLB ETA: 2028
Peete, the third and final first rounder from last year’s draft, goes against the recent Mariner mold for prep players. A two way player for the majority of his high school tenure, Peete gave up pitching his senior year due to an injury and blossomed into a major power threat on the Georgia high school circuit. Peete doesn’t have the typical “hitterish” profile that recent draftees Cole Young or Colt Emerson had coming out of high school, but comes with tremendous upside. With the potential for plus tools across the board outside of the hit tool, Peete could wind up being a middle of the order thumper while maintaining enough raw athleticism and foot speed to stick up the middle. Because the contact ability is the weakest of the five tools as of now, there is inherent risk in his profile that other top prospects in the system don’t have, but his gaudy projectability everywhere else prevents him from falling too far down our list.
Peete’s swing has quite a bit of natural loft and allows him to get to his raw power in game, but also leads to some additional swing and miss. The swing is a bit pull happy as of now, though this could be alleviated with a more refined approach. It’s a bit of a strange way of building an up the middle athlete, but a below average contact ability with plus game power is still an invaluable player to a lineup. If the contact ability ticks up, fantastic. But it’s not as though it needs to be his carrying tool. He’s a physical freak and should electrify the diamond all throughout the 2024 season.
10. Jonny Farmelo, OF
Age: 19 / B/T: L/R / Drafted: 2023 / Final level in 2023: A / MLB ETA: 2027
If you love prospects with stupid high ceilings, you’ll love Jonny Farmelo. Drafted with the second of three picks in the first round of last year’s draft, Farmelo is a tooled up centerfielder that can absolutely fly. With twitchy hands and plenty of bat speed, Farmelo has the potential to be a plus power threat paired with double plus running ability. While his swing is oriented around stinging line drives into the gaps, it looked as though there was some added loft in the swing in his brief stint with the Nuts. He can cover some serious ground in the outfield and has a good throwing arm that should allow him to play an above average centerfield.
Farmelo is no different from most all prep prospects and will need to be able to hit enough in order to stick in the sport. Most evaluators project for Farmelo to be at least an average hitter, though I’ve seen split evaluations as to whether it’s hit over power or vice versa. Regardless, the upside on Farmelo is quite ridiculous and he could truly be a dynamic force for any squad should everything come together. He’s one of the few outfield prospects in the upper-echelon of the system and should have all the opportunity in the world to prove himself. He’ll start the year on a loaded Modesto squad that’s looking to prove their championship run was no fluke.
9. Jeter Martinez, RHP
Age: 18 / B/T: R/R / Signed: 2023 / Final level in 2023: DSL / MLB ETA: 2027
Regarded as the top Mexican prospect from the 2023 international free agent class, Martinez opted to sign with the Mariners in January of 2023 at just 16 years old. While video on the flamethrowing hurler is limited, he possesses my holy trinity of the makings of an exciting prospect: a big league body, a major league heater, and a track record of success at the professional level. Toeing the rubber at 6’4” 180lb and equipped with an arsenal consisting of a sinking fastball that can touch 95, a low-80’s slider, and developing change-up, Martinez dominated the Dominican Summer League, posting a 1.72 ERA (3.56 xFIP) and 0.79 WHIP across 47.0 innings while striking out 55 and walking 20.
El mega prospecto de @Mariners, Jeter Martinez, fue invitado al campamento del equipo en Arizona.— Fernando Ballesteros (@purobeisbolfb) January 12, 2024
Fue el MVP el año pasado en la Dominicana Summer League y estuvo trabajando con su coach de pitcheo Robert García.
Está proyectado para ser el próximo mexicano en lanzar 100 MPH pic.twitter.com/B8syKlduaR
Despite being a 1.6 years younger than the DSL average, the Durango, Mexico native was dominant out of the gates, working 6.0 innings of one-hit, no-walk ball while striking out eight in just his second professional start. A month later, he tossed 6.0 innings of hitless ball and whiffed another eight batters. While he’s a little buried in the rankings (MLB.com prospect pipeline has him listed as the Mariners’ #27 prospect), the organization clearly holds him in high regard, as he was recently announced as an invitee to the club’s player development pitching camp, where he’ll work alongside some of the system’s top arms and leave his stamp on some of the organization’s U.S.-based coaching staff.
That’ll do it for this tier, folks. With the pre-season about to begin, most (if not all) of the remaining players we’ll be covering should be getting some reps down in Arizona. If you happen to be traveling down to catch some games, be sure to give the minor league guys some love and look for the next installment to get the inside scoop on the next crop of future Mariners.