In the 2021 draft, the Seattle Mariners selected high school right-hander Michael Morales out of Pennsylvania in the third round. He only made a short appearance in one entry that year. Then in 2022, he started 26 games and pitched around 120 innings. However, he never pitched six full innings in any start and topped with just 92 pitches in one outing.
Now that Morales has more experience under his belt, he’s been throwing deeper in games this year. In four of his last five starts, the right-hander has thrown at least six innings. In his last two starts he went 7 innings on 85 pitches and 6 2/3 innings on 104 pitches, a career high. He also tied a career high in his most recent outing when he struck out 9.
Morales might not be the top-tier prospect that George Kirby and Logan Gilbert were, but he’s definitely a back-of-the-rotation prospect. Jason Churchill had this to say about his 18th-ranked Mariners prospect: “I still see Morales as a four-pitch volume starter with a No. 4 ceiling, in the Jeremy Hellickson, Ian Kennedy, Alex Cobb type mold. , Anthony DeSclafani. ”
Even without the ceiling of being a front-of-the-rotation starter, the pitchers Churchill mentioned have had long, quality careers in the big leagues. With the exception of DeSchlafani, who is the youngest of the bunch, they all started for at least a decade in the big leagues and had at least one win run above 10 replacement according to Baseball Reference. Morales doesn’t make top 100 prospect lists, but he really is having a solid year in Modesto.
Modesto Nuts (A) – California League
|5||young cole||H.H||.264/.400/.413, 2 HR, 14.8% BB, 14.8% K|
|9||gabriel gonzalez||OF||.343/.401/.503, 4HR 6.8%BB, 15.5%K|
|18||miguel morales||RHP||10 SG, 54 IP, 3.33 ERA, 24.5% K, 7.9% BB|
|28||Tyler Gough||RHP||9 G, 8 GS, 28 IP, 6.11 ERA, 17.7% K, 11.3% BB|
|35||Milkar Perez||3B||.276/.394/.366, 14.4% BB, 25.6% K|
|36||josh hood||SS/3B||.257/.336/.398, 4 HR, 10.8% BB, 21.1% K|
|48||Tatem Levins||C.||.294/.378/.539, 5HR 12.6%BB, 21.8%K|
Everett AquaSox (A+) — Northwest League
|1||harry ford||C.||.267/.433/.439, 7 HR, 20% BB, 18.9% K|
|8||Axel Sanchez||H.H||.202/.307/.311, 2 HR, 10.2% BB, 29.2% K|
|13||tyler locklear||3B||.311/.419/.572, 11 HR, 12.4% BB, 22.1% K|
|25||Hogan Windish||2B||.214/.339/.459, 6 HR, 13.6% BB, 31.4% K|
|29||alberto rodriguez||OF||.304/.391/.613, 10 HR, 10.1% BB, 23.1% K|
|38||walk cabrera||OF||.238/.298/.431, 7 HR, 8.3% BB, 32% K|
Arkansas Travelers (AA) – Texas League
|6||bryan woo||RHP||9 SG, 44 IP, 2.05 ERA, 34.3% K, 7% BB|
|7||emerson hancock||RHP||11 SG, 46.1 IP, 5.44 ERA, 27.8% K, 13.2% BB|
|12||Prelander Berroa||RHP||14 G, 5 GS, 34 IP, 3.97 ERA, 35.5% K, 19.1% BB|
|14||Jonathan Class||OF||.273/.386/.585, 15 HR, 15% BB, 29.7% K|
|twenty-one||Roberto Perez Jr.||1 B||.253/.308/.416, 7 HR, 6.2% BB, 31.3% K|
|22||Isaiah Campbell||RHP||12 G, 13 IP, 2.77 ERA, 26.4% K, 7.5% BB|
|26||john mercedes||RHP||10 G, 9 GS, 48.1 IP, 4.28 ERA, 23.8% K, 7% BB|
|33||travis kuhn||RHP||17 G, 18 IP, 3.00 ERA, 18.4% K, 13.2% BB|
|Four. Five||spencer packard||OF||.302/.426/.481, 5HR, 16%BB, 20%K|
Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) – Pacific Coast League
|fifteen||taylor dollar||RHP||3 SG, 8.1 IP, 7.56 ERA, 22.2 K%, 8.3% BB|
|19||John then||RHP||9 G, 11.2 IP, 9.26 ERA, 22.4% K, 10.3% BB|
|twenty||cade marlowe||OF||.242/.307/.404, 3 HR, 7.8% BB, 28.5% K|
|24||Zach DeLoach||OF||.303/.414/.442, 5 HR, 15.1% BB, 27.9% K|
We’re only 30 days away from the MLB Draft, so we’re starting to hear some names that could be tied to teams. MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis spoke with Seattle Sports about potential draft targets for the Mariners in the upcoming draft. He first mentioned TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor, who we covered here last week. Callis noted that the Mariners could go with a high school infielder like they did last year with Cole Young. He grouped Kevin McGonigle, Colt Emerson and Walker Martin. Perhaps the most interesting name mentioned in the article is a very talented two-way prep player.
The two-way player mentioned by Callis is Virginia’s Bryce Eldridge. He is a 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher, outfielder, and first baseman. He has a power arm on the mound and has great power off the left side of the plate.
Ranking him as his 10th-best prospect in this class of 2023, Joe Doyle of the Future Stars Series says, “This is the best two-way setup the game has seen in a long time. Projection, projection, projection. Eldridge and his 6-foot-7 frame with long levers and advanced body control have legitimate two-way advantages.
Some believe Eldridge’s twice-superior raw power, tight spin and compact swing will propel him into a role as the next-level slugger archetype, and we can’t disagree. It’s banged up enough to suggest that may be the case.
He is also an accomplished defender in the outfield with plenty of speed and a strong throwing arm, tested in center field as a setup. His tools are an abundance of riches. An incredibly exciting talent.”
Seattle may not even have a chance to draft this talented 18-year-old, but if he’s there at 22, 29, 0r 30, the talent could entice scouting director Scott Hunter to pull the trigger on Eldridge. . MLB Pipeline placed him 21st overall compared to Doyle’s 10th overall ranking, so there is a bit of a difference in the rankings. In both Jonathan Mayo’s and Jim Callis’ most recent mock drafts, they had Eldridge ranked 17th for the Orioles and 19th for the Rays, so he could move up to 22nd for Seattle.
Mariners prospects in the news
The Mariners have plenty of talented young players in the rookie leagues, but MLB Pipeline says one right-hander stands out from the rest right now.
Seattle signed veteran infielder Didi Gregorius to a minor league contract, according to sources.
After a tough debut, rookie Bryan Woo will remain in the rotation and is scheduled to pitch Saturday in Anaheim.
Curtis Christianson is the Athletic Director of Concordia Christian Academy. He also works at the Tacoma Rainiers clubhouse during baseball season.