Baseball America’s Glaser: Mariners prospect Colt Emerson is ‘on a rocket’

Jan 24, 2024, 12:53 PM

Seattle Mariners prospect Colt Emerson...

Colt Emerson, the Seattle Mariners 22nd overall draft pick, on July 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

A few years ago, the Seattle Mariners’ top prospects lists were headlined by Julio Rodríguez, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby. Now, those three are key parts of the M’s core and future.

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Which current Mariners prospects do we need to keep an eye on now? Kyle Glaser of Baseball America joined Gary Hill on Seattle Sports’ Mariners Hot Stove Show on Tuesday and dove into the M’s farm system and development.

“You look at Julio, you look at Cal Raleigh, you look at Logan Gilbert, you look at George Kirby – I mean, so many guys that they home grew and a lot of other guys they acquired as unproven major leaguers and helped get better like Ty France,” Glaser said. “Even J.P. Crawford had not lived up to expectations in Philadelphia and they helped him get better, so the Mariners have a really good development apparatus in place.”

When it comes to the state of the Mariners’ farm system, it’s bat-heavy, but those top prospects are almost all a ways off.

Of Seattle’s top 10 prospects according to Glaser and Baseball America, nine are hitters, with only one – first baseman Tyler Locklear (No. 6 Mariners prospect) – having played even a single game above High-A last season.

“Let’s give these guys time. You don’t want to rush them just for the sake of, ‘Oh, we’re trying to compete.’ You really want to give these guys the time to develop their skill set,” Glaser said.

Is there a chance some of those younger top guys have a big year and wind up making a late debut like Evan Carter did with Texas last year? Sure, Glaser said, but the Mariners shouldn’t count on that by any means.

“I would consider it like a bonus if it happens, but you don’t want to necessarily count on that because they’re so young with so much development left,” he said.

A recent draft pick is “on a rocket”

The Mariners have four prospects in Baseball America’s top-100 list: infielder Cole Young (44), catcher Harry Ford (51), infielder Colt Emerson (52) and outfielder/designated hitter Lazaro Montes (100).

Emerson, the first of three first-round picks the Mariners made last year, is someone Glaser thinks will shoot up prospect rankings this year. Emerson slashed .374/.496/.550 (1.045 OPS) in 24 games between rookie ball and Single-A last year after being drafted in July.

“He’s really, really on a bit of a rocket,” Glaser said. “He made his pro debut last year, quickly got up to Low-A Modesto and really was the leader of that incredible second-half run Modesto had en route to winning the California League championship in dominant fashion. And everything was great. You looked at just how he looked, the swing, how he moved, how he took pitches, it just looks like that beautiful, fast left-handed swing with some impact. You talk to evaluators who looked at kind of under the hood data from the more analytical types and they loved everything they saw.”

When Baseball America makes its top-100 list, all the publication’s writers make personal lists. They all combine those and sends the group list to scouts, executives and evaluators for feedback.

“Colt Emerson was one of the most mentioned guys (they told us to) move up,” Glaser said. “I mean, he’s one that people from other teams are like, ‘Yo, this is a really, really talented player, we think he’s gonna really take off.’ And we think so, too. It was a small sample size, it was less than 30 games at Low-A last year, so you don’t want to go too crazy. But what he showed early was super promising. It would not shock me if this time next year we’re talking about Colt Emerson as a top-25 prospect in the game.”

An under-the-radar Seattle Mariners prospect

Seattle’s top 10 is dominated by hitters, but do the Mariners have any pitchers worth keeping an eye on?

Glaser pointed to Jeter Martinez, who current checks in at No. 30 on the Mariners’ top prospects list.

“He really, really impressed a lot of people both inside the Mariners organization and outside in terms of just a nice, long, loose, projectable pitcher with a really good fastball. The secondaries still have to come a little bit,” Glaser said. “But when you think about, man, what do you want a pitcher to look like at 18? He kind of checks every box.”

Martinez, a 2023 international free agent signing, has yet to pitch in the United States, and pitchers are “fickle” in development for a number of reasons, Glaser said.

“It would not shock me if he came out to full-season ball this year and really, really started making a name for himself,” Glaser said. “He’s someone that I think has a chance to really rise up the list this coming year.”

The Mariners Hot Stove airs on Seattle Sports from 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays leading up to spring training. Listen to the full discussion with Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser at this link or in the player near the top of this story, and click here for podcasts of each full show.

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Baseball America’s Glaser: Mariners prospect Colt Emerson is ‘on a rocket’