For the past several seasons, the Mariners have been a team that has competed all year long, only to fall short. And every year, it seems, they’re missing that next level starting pitcher to take them to October.
Aside from Marco Gonzales, every starter on the staff this season has an ERA over 3.90.
General manager Jerry Dipoto has traded away prospects for MLB talent in recent years to try to win. This past offseason he changed his approach and traded some veteran talent for prospects in an effort to build the farm system back up.
However, an offense led by veterans Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion, along with unheralded slugger Dan Vogelbach, has surprisingly dominated at the plate. Eight players have hit at least five home runs, and they lead the majors with 59 long balls as a team.
It looks like the Mariners have the offense to contend. They could get desperate at the trade deadline to improve that starting staff.
A name that jumps out from their system is No. 7 prospect Kyle Lewis. The 2016 first-round pick is still finding his way in the minors, but he still has time to improve.
Another name to keep an eye on is No. 5 prospect Julio Rodriguez, who is an 18-year-old outfielder playing in his first season stateside. He has intriguing raw power and perhaps the highest ceiling of any prospect in the Seattle system. Developing him alongside Heliot Ramos would be a lot of fun.