Prospect Watch: Mariners Top 10 Prospects

“The Farm System” is the lifeblood of all Major League Baseball teams. A solid farm provides you with cheap talent and gives you the ammo needed to make big trades. Here I will rank the Top 10 Prospects in the farm system, one at a time.

In the 16 months since General Manager Jerry Dipoto took control of baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners,  the team has undergone a series of changes, perhaps none bigger than in their farm system.

Dipoto’s quest to build depth has added to the farm, but while it is improved, it should not be considered one of the best in the game.

Before we begin, we should define a ” prospect”. Basically, anybody who has fewer than 150 PA or 50 IP in the Majors is considered a prospect. Now we begin our list at #10.

10. Ryan Yarbrough- Yarbrough is a left-handed pitcher who is entering his age-25 season. A former 4th round pick, Yarbrough signed for a measly $40,000 after graduating from Old Dominion.

Yarbrough’s repertoire consists of a 91-93 MPH fastball, which he throws for strikes and with great tilt, generating a ton of groundballs. His best off-speed pitch is a solid changeup, which he can throw on the same plane with the same movement as his fastball.

If Yarbrough had an average breaking pitch, he would have already been in the Major Leagues. He has a slurvy type of breaking ball, which is closer to a curveball than a slider. If he can develop the pitch, he could be a potential middle of the rotation arm, akin to Jason Vargas.

Yarbrough might be a suitable back-end starter right now. He has shown an ability to uptick his velocity in shorter stints, which makes a middle innings bullpen role possible too.

He posted excellent numbers with Double-A Jackson and was named an All-Star in 2016. Yarbrough made all 25 starts, posting a 2.95 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 128.1 innings, all while walking just 31 batters.

Yarbrough still has work to do, but likely starts the year in AAA Tacoma, with a legit shot at making an impact for the Mariners in 2017.

As impressive as Ryan Yarbrough was in 2016, he was not even the best pitcher in Jackson. In fact, that honor belongs to our #9 prospect…

Grades (20-80)- Fastball: 55 Changeup: 60 Curveball: 40 Control: 60 Overall: 50

ETA: 2017 Role: Backend Starter or Middle Reliever

This article originally appeared on