We are four weeks into the 2021 season and the Mariners have gotten off to a good start, winning four of their first seven series while only losing one of them. Five of my top 50 preseason prospects have played with the big club thus far this year, and there are growing expectations that some of the higher-profile prospects will soon be on their way.
Here’s a look at how the young players have done so far and who we should be expecting to make their debut shortly.
Taylor Trammell (#6)
Trammell was a bit of a surprise making the club out of spring training and has displayed bursts of power coming out of the gate. Outside of his power, he has struggled quite a bit adjusting to major league pitching striking out 33 times in his first 70 at bats. With Kyle Lewis making his season debut last week & Sam Haggerty getting off to a good start, he has found himself on the bench against left-handed pitching. Trammell could very well find himself back in the minors soon to work on his contact, especially considering the looming debut of top prospect Jarred Kelenic.
Ljay Newsome (#17)
The right-hander has made four appearances so far this season. He has gone at least two innings in each game and has been effective to date with an impressive 11 strikeouts and only 1 walk. His top two pitches have been his 4 seam fastball and curveball both of which have had an increased spin rate from the 2020 campaign. Newsome is making a good case to be mainstay out of the bullpen for the 2021 campaign.
Jake Fraley (#20)
Fraley started the first five games of the season before injuring his hamstring against the White Sox. In 19 plate appearances he has only one hit, however, has shown patience with 8 walks including a walk-off one on Opening Day. He is expected back soon but like Trammell could find himself squeezed out of playing time soon.
Braden Bishop (#28)
Bishop filled in for Fraley after his injury and was used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement before being sent back to the Alternate Training Site on April 20. He is behind Trammell & Fraley in the outfield pecking order. As mentioned in the preseason top 50, there may not be a spot for him in Seattle and he will likely have to find an opportunity with another organization.
Will Vest (#35)
Vest had a rough Spring Training, however, made the team due to him being a Rule 5 and would have had to be offered back to the Tigers if he had not been. The decision seems like a good one thus far, as Vest has looked really good in his then appearances to date with a 1-0 record to go along with a 1.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 13 innings. Look for him to remain part of a surprisingly strong bullpen for the 2021 season.
Anthony Misiewicz (unranked)
I missed not having Misiewicz in my top 50. The left-hander has been highly effective for the Mariners in 10 appearances this year going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Part of the early season success has been the Mariners bullpen with Misiewicz, Vest, and Newsome being strong contributors to date.
GM Jerry Dipoto recently said that Kelenic’s debut is not imminent and that he wants him to see more left-handed pitching before being promoted. With that said, I would be surprised if we do not see him in Seattle at some point in June at the latest. I would also expect a summer call-up for one of the organization’s top pitching prospects in Logan Gilbert, especially considering they have been using a six-man rotation and expect to for the entire 2021 campaign. Raleigh will start the season in Tacoma and figures to have a good shot to come up this summer as well. He is currently third on the M’s catching depth chart behind Tom Murphy and Luis Torrens.