Morosi on Mariners: Why Ryan Bliss is potential rookie to watch

Mar 7, 2024, 1:19 PM

Seattle Mariners Ryan Bliss MLB Futures Game...

Ryan Bliss fields the ball during the 2024 MLB All-Star Futures Game hosted by the Seattle Mariners. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners are nearly two weeks into Cactus League play, and the names leading the team in hits are Ryan Bliss, Jonatan Clase and Tyler Locklear – a trio of prospects.

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All three could break into the big leagues somewhat soon, but the one who is likely the closest to playing at T-Mobile Park at this point is Bliss. The 5-foot-6, 165-pound second baseman is also a Mariners hitter who has caught the attention of a well-known MLB insider this spring.

“I think one guy that’s stood out to me with his performance so far for the Mariners has been Ryan Bliss,” MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said Wednesday during his weekly conversation with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

The 24-year-old Bliss was part of the return in the Mariners’ trade last season that sent relief pitcher Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he’s been impressive ever since the transaction. He hit 10 home runs with 20 stolen bases and an .822 OPS in 47 games with Triple-A Tacoma in 2023, then took part in the Arizona Fall League.

Entering Thursday, the No. 12 Mariners prospect per MLB Pipeline is 6 for 16 this spring for a .375/.412/.438 slash (.850 OPS) with a double and two stolen bases.

“What Ryan Bliss has shown me is that he is a legitimate up the middle player, I think he can defend well at second at the very least at the major league level, and he can hit,” Morosi said. “He’s put the ball in play, he’s driven in some runs, he’s stolen a couple of bases.”

What is Ryan Bliss’ path to Seattle Mariners?

A second-round pick by Arizona in 2021, Bliss seems on the verge of making his MLB debut soon, but there’s a big question about just how soon.

“I’m not sure that he’s got a clear pathway to playing on a consistent basis in the major leagues this year, unless there’s a Jorge Polanco injury – which we all hope doesn’t happen,” Morosi said. “… So if I’m (Mariners manager) Scott Servais, if I’m (president of baseball operations) Jerry Dipoto, (general manager) Justin Hollander, there’s definitely that idea in the back of my mind where if there’s an injury to Polanco or maybe Dylan Moore, depending on where you’re at in the year, that someone like a Ryan Bliss is on the radar. (He’s) probably closer to being major league-ready than maybe I thought he was when spring training started.”

Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with MLB Network insider Jon Morosi in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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