Tag: Yusei Kikuchi

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.


Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150


Seattle Mariners 2019 Preseason Top 10

Evan White. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan


Player: Justus Sheffield
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’ Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: He doesn’t possess the biggest arsenal, but all three of his pitches are above average. His fastball can get up to 97 but sits more in the 93-94 range, while the slider is his best pitch, a wipeout slider that grades out as plus. His change is a touch behind his other two pitches but has flashes of being an excellent offering. He is listed at 6’ but is probably closer to 5’10” in reality. Despite his shorter stature, he gets good extension thanks to solid drive with his lower half and creates downhill plane even out of a lower 3/4 arm slot. I have seen him in person back in the AZL when in the Indians organization and in the AFL with the Yankees. I say that to highlight the fact I have seen him have real control trouble, but also in the AFL where he demonstrated the best command of his young career. If he can keep the command closer to the AFL version, he can be a number two or three starter.


Player: Yusei Kikuchi
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 27 2018 Highest Level: Japan
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’ Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Like most Japanese pitchers, Kikuchi has a ton of different offerings and all have movement. His worst pitch is probably his fastball, which is definitely different than most pitchers in today’s game. He has a very good curve and his sinker is a viable out pitch, but he also shows a cutting slider that is above average. He does have the wild movements we often see from Japanese imports, and all the moving pieces and the pause at the top of his leg kick do lead to some inconsistencies in his delivery, hurting his command. He is a solid number three starter without a ton of upside, but he has plenty of stuff to be successful in the states.



Player: Jarred Kelenic
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Getting out from under the Robinson Cano contract was a good move even if they had to deal Edwin Diaz along with him but getting Kelenic in return could prove to make it a great deal. The hit tool is plus thanks an advanced approach and smooth stroke from the left side. There is plenty of raw power and natural strength in the bat, but he is more of a line drive hitter currently, although the home run power could develop into 20-25 a year eventually. He is a solid fielder but his speed shows up better on the bases than it does in the field, suggesting he will have to move off center. If/when he does, he has plenty of arm to hold down right.


Player: Justin Dunn
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: The other main piece of that Cano/Diaz deal, Dunn was a standout pitcher at Boston College in both the bullpen and rotation, but rotation is where he has landed and should stay. He sits up to 95 with his fastball to go with a plus slider and solid curve. His change is a newer pitch but has really impressed thanks to significant arm side run, although there isn’t the velo difference you typically want off the fastball. Coming out of Boston College he was very thin but has filled out well in his couple years of pro ball and now looks to be over 200 lbs. rather than his listed 185. He should also be able to hold up to the riggers of a starter’s workload thanks to the properly added strength and solid mechanics that see his legs providing some drive and the arm being smooth in his delivery.


Player: Evan White
Position(s): 1B Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Left Height: 6’3” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: The first player on the list to be drafted by the Mariners and there was genuine buzz in Spring Training a season ago, rightfully so. He is far from your typical prospect, as he is an elite defender at first, where he throws left and hits right. He has also long been a bat over power guy, but some minor adjustments have allowed him to tap into the above average raw power he has. I walked away from Mariners camp last year fully expecting him to get an aggressive assignment but he was sent to the California League where he, unsurprisingly, dominated the younger pitching. He did get a four-game look in AAA to end the year, but I don’t rule out an assignment to AA to start the year and a September call-up to the big leagues to end it.


Player: Logan Gilbert
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’6” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Gilbert gets the most out of his length, getting good extension on a running fastball that has had inconsistent velocities over the past 18 months, but has played well at any velo. I like his slider more than his curve, while others are the other way around. The slider has late action to it that plays well off the fastball, while I saw the curve as more of a rolling spinner, although I have spoke to scouts who say he can get very good 12-6 shape on it. The change will never be special but is solid, while his mechanics look a mess, but he is able to repeat the delivery well and show a consistent 3/4 slot even if it does come with mild arm bend.


Player: Julio Rodriguez
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: Yet to make his stateside debut, Rodriguez not only could be, but probably will be the biggest climber by this time next year. There is talk he could skip all domestic short season leagues and move straight to Low A to start the year, where I expect him to show well. He has a bat that gets to the ball in a flash with a swing that looks like it should spray line drives all over the field, but those line drives carry over fences with some ease. He will likely have to move off center to right in time, but there is upside for Rodriguez to be my number one prospect in the Mariners system in 12 months.


Player: Kyle Lewis
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: I will confess, I have no idea what to think of Kyle Lewis. In 2016 at Mercer, he has a monster junior year that earned him the Golden Spikes award, but his pro career has been a head scratcher. I saw him a bunch, well, as much as one could in 2017 as he bounced back from an ACL injury. He started back in complex ball where he didn’t stand out, but he was coming off an injury. Then he went to the AFL, a stint that lasted all of two games before another injury. Last year he was largely healthy a season ago but struggled after getting the bump to AA. In person, I have not been impressed, but in talking to scouts and swing tape, he has the athleticism to play center and plenty of arm to play right. The bat has plenty of power and many think he can hit for a quality average as well. He is one who could tumble down prospect lists this year, or rocket up them, it all depends on whether or not he can put together a season where he shows both health and consistency this year.


Player: Erik Swanson
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 25 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 235 lbs.
Quick Report: The piece often overlooked when word of the James Paxton trade came down thanks to the name recognition of Sheffield and name length on the back of the Thompson-Williams jersey, but Swanson may turn out to be a great pick up by the Mariners. He has a fastball that can get up to 96-97 but sit mid-90s with good plane thanks to the high arm delivery, but also mixes in a two seam that runs. His change can really run arm side to create good deception off the fastball and a quality slider. Thanks to his ability to hide his arm until late in his delivery, all of Swanson’s pitches play up. He will never be an impact starter but could be a solid number four starter and be that in Seattle soon.


Player: Sam Carlson
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: A second round pick in 2017, Carlson has a grand total of three pro innings under his belt after having to undergo Tommy John surgery last July and missing all of 2018 and possibly 2019 as well. I caught his one inning pro debut in Surprise and he certainly has plenty of stuff. He was sitting 93-95 with some run and an impressive change tat he could really spot. I have seen video of his curve, although it is certainly behind the other two pitches. There is effort to the delivery and he has a low 3/4 slot, so the future may be in the bullpen where his fastball-change combo can play well. The concern is on the developmental side, as he may be back on the mound in game action as a 21 year old with no college experience and three innings of pro experience, but there is plenty of upside to make him crack my top 10.

Others of Note:

Noelvi Marte – SS – 17 – DNP
Braden Bishop – OF – 25 – AA
Shed Long – 2B – 23 – AA
Jake Fraley – OF – 23 – High A
Cal Raleigh – C – 22 – Low A
Dom Thompson-Williams – OF – 23 – High A