Mariner Mid-Season Top-25 Prospects

A lot has changed with the Mariners system over the last seven months. Many top prospects are on the big league roster and there have been several 40-man moves, DFAs and trades of players who were on our Top-50 at the beginning of the year. So now with the draft finished, all nine affiliates playing games and everyone with a bit of a 2013 profile, it is time for our updated Top-25 prospect list.

Here is my updated Top-25 Seattle Mariners prospect list. What I did for this installment of the organization prospect ranking is to remove all players that have exhausted their rookie status already in 2013 because of plate appearance, innings or time on the active roster (Maurer) and those who are in the big leagues and figure not to return to the minors any time soon (Miller, Franklin and Zunino). To head off a few questions before you ask them, if they were eligible I would have Zunino, Franklin and Miller at No. 2, 3 and 4, respectively, and Maurer slotted behind Peterson and in front of Paxton at what would be No. 7. Pryor, Capps and Medina would still fall in the bottom half of the list for me in that instance, too.

With all of that out of the way, the updated Top-25:

1. Taijuan Walker, RHP – No change at the top for our rankings. Shining in Triple-A at just 20 years of age despite still needing some polish with the secondary offerings. Potential No. 2 starter for me, legitimate possible 2014 rotation candidate.

2. Danny Hultzen, LHP – Dominant immediately off the DL and looking like he could be a big leaguer very soon -- if he can stay healthy. Solid No. 3 starter soon if the club doesn't shut him down for precautionary reasons.

3. D.J. Peterson, 3B – Great hands, strong frame, hitter's build. Probably not going to stick at 3B, with one of the main reasons being because he's going to move too quickly to get a lot of pro reps at the position.

4. James Paxton, LHP – Flashed some of his potential over the last month but still struggling with command and with putting hitters away. Looking like a back end of the rotation ceiling for the 24-year-old.

5. Stefen Romero, OF – Power has fallen off in Triple-A but still showing himself as a solid line drive hitter. Can he handle a corner outfield spot in the big leagues?

6. Julio Morban, OF – Plate discipline is the only thing that he is lacking at this point. Free swinging left-handed bat with speed that has had a lot of injury issues. Should see Tacoma soon, and he's still just 21.

7. Austin Wilson, OF – There are going to be swing-and-miss issues, but the bat has some big potential. Won't move as quickly as some others on this list but could end up better than almost all of them.

8. Luiz Gohara, LHP – 16-year-old is a ways away from making an impact at the big league level and as such there is a lot of risk attached, but he has ideal pitcher size, three good pitches and easy velocity from the left side. Highest upside of any pitcher not named Walker in the system.

9. Victor Sanchez, RHP – Polished with a great changeup, would like to see him missing more bats but you can't argue with the results so far. Still very young. No. 3 or 4 starter potential.

10. Tyler Pike, LHP – Polish goes for Pike, too. Sound approach, good three pitch mix from the left side and a bulldog mentality. Another one of the young arms in Clinton's rotation. No. 3 or 4 potential.

11. Carson Smith, RHP – Enigmatic, inconsistent, but when he's on his sinker/slider combo can be deadly. Total ground ball machine right now. Could turn into valuable late-inning arm at the big league level very quickly.

12. Chris Taylor, SS – Great hands and sound defender as a legitimate shortstop option. The bat has been a bit of a surprise; can he maintain his success at the plate? Speed plays and he's a selective hitter.

13. John Hicks, C – Missed time with injury and has regressed a bit in plate discipline but solid bat and defender behind the plate with a plus arm that can dominate the running game. Maybe only a backup option, but he could be a very good one.

14. James Jones, OF – Tools abound and strikeout rate has come down dramatically this season. Still more athlete than baseball player but progressing very well in Double-A. Plus speed, plus throwing arm, solid-average power. Can handle all three outfield spots but best in right.

15. Gabriel Guerrero, OF – So young, so raw. Lots of doubles but no home runs in Clinton. The power will come and will grow as his body develops. Strike zone awareness is lacking and off-speed gives him fits, but there is a lot to like in the bat.

16. Edwin Diaz, RHP – Fastball has been up to 94 and the command and control have grown by leaps and bounds since being drafted and debuting in Arizona last year. Good curve is already there. Body, changeup and overall polish are still a work in progress.

17. Tyler Marlette, C – Young and still developing but quickly moving past some of the more experienced catchers in the system because of his bat. Not the defender that others in the system are and that side of his game definitely lagging behind.

18. Logan Bawcom, RHP – Late inning stuff and close to big league ready right now. Just has to fine tune some of the inconsistencies. Probably best suited as a 7th inning arm in the big leagues. Dominating righties, needs to figure out lefties.

19. Carlos Triunfel, SS – He's done it at a higher level of competition than most and there has been improvement. Running out of chances and places to play with Seattle, however. Great arm, improving gap power.

20. Guillermo Pimentel, OF – Among the biggest raw power in the system but strikeouts still piling up. Repeating in Low-A this year would like to see more progression, but raw tools still showing promise. Early season high walk totals have disappeared. On DL at the moment.

21. Anthony Fernandez, LHP – Slow coming back to form from injury but starting to look like the guy from 2012. Smart pitcher, fastball tops out around 90-91 but good command and confidence from this left-hander.

22. Chance Ruffin, RHP – Working as a starter for the first time in several years, has refined command issues and began to get more strikeouts even though velocity has dropped in the rotation. Pitching instead of throwing now.

23. Patrick Kivlehan, 3B – Getting by mostly on athleticism and strength as he's still raw as a baseball player despite his age. Plate discipline improving but seemingly at the cost of some power. Needs to find that balance.

24. Dominic Leone, RHP – Big strikeout arm out of the pen with two plus pitches, command has taken off since challenging High Desert assignment. College experience proving to be a plus. Could move quickly from here on.

25. Phillips Castillo, OF – Raw tools still very impressive but the translation to game action isn't as frequent as we'd like to see. Physically mature –- limited to LF or maybe even 1B/DH down the road, the bat has a lot of potential, however.

Looking for more Mariners news, articles and player interviews? Want to keep up with which prospects are hot and cold for the M's? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse site Editor Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.

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