10 Names You Need To Know – Seattle Mariners

The Mariners system is filled with names that prospect followers know very well, with players such as Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby among them. These four each will have an opportunity to be cornerstones for the franchise for many years and have been written about extensively. For the purpose of this article, I am going to write mainly about notable players from the 2020 draft class and prospect eligible players who made the Opening Day roster and one other player who was not in the draft class or on the Opening Day roster.


Here are ten Mariners’ names you need to know for the 2020 season.

Emerson Hancock, RHP (2020 Pre-season: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: Round 1 selection in 2020 MLB Draft

Heading into the 2020 college baseball season, Hancock was in the mix for being the top overall pick in this year’s draft. The Mariners brass felt fortunate having him fall to them with the sixth selection. The hard throwing right hander has top of the rotation potential with a four pitch arsenal including a fastball that reaches the high 90s. In 2019, he posted an impressive 8-3 record to go along with a 1.99 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched. He is the third consecutive college pitcher that the Mariners have selected with their first draft pick joining Gilbert (2018) and Kirby (2019). He will be part of the organizations 60 man taxi squad.

Zach DeLoach, OF (2020 Pre-season: NR)
Age: 21
Highest Level: Round 2 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

After struggling and putting up average numbers during his first two seasons in college, the young outfielder introduced himself by winning the batting title during the 2019 Cape Cod Season hitting .353. He was on fire to start the 2020 season with Texas A&M with an impressive .421/.547/.789 slash line. He has shown average power, is a good contact hit and has above average running skills. DeLoach joins Hancock as part of the teams 60 man taxi squad.

Connor Phillips, RHP
Age: 19
Highest Level: Competitive Balance Round selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

The Mariners received a Competitive Balance pick from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Omar Narvaez trade last year. At 19 he is the youngest selection by the organization in this years draft. He started six games for McLennan Community College in Texas after turning down an offer to pitch for LSU before the pandemic hit. He is able reach 98 MPH on his fastball with his best secondary pitch being his curveball. He is not part of the 60 man taxi squad and we won’t get to see him pitch until 2021 where he will likely start in Low-A.

Kaden Polcovich, 2B
Age: 21
Highest Level: Round 3 selection in the 2020 MLB Draft

Polcovich bounced around a bit after graduating from high school in 2017 but was impressive in the Cape Cod league last summer and enrolled at Oklahoma State for the 2020 season playing in 18 games before the shutdown. His dad, Kevin is a former major leaguer having played a couple of seasons for the Pirates in 1997 and 1998. He is strong defensively, has some power along with plus speed. He is part of the 60 man taxi squad for the 2020 season and his dad played in the Major Leagues with the Pirates in 1997 and 1998.

Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF
Age: 27
Highest Level: MLB

Marmolejos made his major league debut on Opening Night for the Mariners starting in Left Field. Originally he signed with the Washington Nationals back in 2011 and spent nine years in the system without making it past AAA. He signed as a Free Agent with the Mariners in November and impressed the team in Spring Training and again in Summer Camp showing some nice power from the left side of the plate. The team is stacked with outfield prospects, but this feel good story could turn into something more if he can produce at the MLB level during the short 2020 season.

Justus Sheffield, LHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

The key component of the James Paxton trade struggled out of the gate last year with AAA Tacoma and was subsequently sent down to AA Arkansas where he was able to straighten things out going 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA over 12 starts with the Travelers. He had a nice Spring Training and Summer Camp earning a spot in Seattle’s six man rotation in 2020. He struck out 8 and looked good in the final tune up game prior to Opening Day. While the team does not expect to contend this season, it will be a real important one for Sheffield to show that he belongs in the rotation for years to come.

Justin Dunn, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

Dunn was acquired in the same offseason as Sheffield in the Kelenic deal and is joining him as part of the six man rotation to start 2020. The organization liked what they saw from him last year at AA Arkansas where he 9-5 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while striking out 158 before being promoted to Seattle for four starts to end last year. He pitches with power and improved his slider and changeup in Summer Camp like Sheffield, this season will show if he can be a part of the team’s rotation going forward.

Evan White, 1B
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

White as expected, made the MLB roster out of summer camp and made his debut on Opening Night. The team committed to him this past offseason signing him to a 6 year, $24 million dollar deal. White spent last year with AA Arkansas with an impressive .293/.350/.488 slash while developing his power hitting 18 home runs in 92 games. He has the potential to be a future Gold Glover and may have very bright future as a key part of the organization’s retooling process.

Kyle Lewis, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

More than any other player in the team’s system, I am super excited to see what Lewis can do in 2020, and he hasn’t disappointed out of the gate! The organization’s former number one pick in 2016 and former top prospect has battled his way back from injuries and is firmly entrenched in the starting lineup coming into the season. He made his debut with the Mariners at the end of the 2019 campaign playing in 18 games and demonstrating his power by hitting six home runs during that time frame. He continued to impress in the spring and summer and is my dark horse candidate for Rookie of the Year in 2020!
Note: As of press time (8/3), Lewis is only off to a .425 start, with 3 HR and hits in his first 10 games this season!

Noelvi Marte, SS
Age: 18
Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

Following in the footsteps of highly touted prospects Kelenic, Rodriguez, Gilbert, Kirby etc. the next man up is Noelvi Marte. The young shortstop looked good last year in the Dominican Summer League with strong power while putting up a .309/.371/.511 in addition to speed by stealing 17 bases in 65 games. He further impressed the organization in Summer Camp where he showed up looking much bigger than when he was seen last. He was blasting the ball all around T Mobile Park this summer and is on the 60 man taxi squad this season. He is not far off from being the top prospect in the system once some of the current crop graduates.


    • Joe mentioned Kelenic, Rodriguez, Gilbert and Kirby right at the top. Those are studs many already know about. His purpose of this column was to highlight 10 other names people need to know about.

      But you’re absolutely right. JRod should be mentioned in any breath of Mariners prospects talk.

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