Mariners prospect earns promotion after he ‘destroyed’ Double-A

May 28, 2024, 12:05 PM

Seattle Mariners Tyler Locklear 2024...

Seattle Mariners prospect Tyler Locklear poses during photo day at 2024 spring training. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

One of the Seattle Mariners’ top hitting prospects is now just one step away from the majors.

After an impressive first seven weeks of the season at Double-A Arkansas, 23-year-old first baseman Tyler Locklear was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma on Monday. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound slugger is slated to make his Triple-A debut for the Rainiers on Tuesday night in Sacramento, according to Mariners general manager Justin Hollander.

Locklear, a second-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, slashed .291/.401/.532 with eight home runs, one triple, 12 doubles and a .933 OPS in 41 games at Double-A Arkansas this season. He sits near the top of the Texas League leaderboard in a handful of categories, ranking third in OPS, fourth in slugging percentage, seventh in on-base percentage, ninth in batting average and tied for sixth in homers. He put up those numbers despite playing in a spacious Arkansas ballpark that’s notoriously difficult for hitters.

Related: Is it time Mariners call up hot-hitting prospect from Double-A?

“What he’s done is just dominate a level that’s really hard for right-handed hitters to go dominate,” Hollander said while providing updates to the media before Monday’s Mariners game. “That ballpark in Arkansas is a tough place to hit, especially for right-handed hitters, and he’s gone out and destroyed that environment. … It stands out for a right-handed power hitter to do that.”

Locklear recently cracked Baseball America’s Top 100 as the No. 96 overall prospect in baseball. Baseball America ranks him as the No. 5 prospect in the Mariners’ farm system, while tabs him as Seattle’s No. 8 prospect.

Locklear has a strong track record of production. As a redshirt sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth in 2022, he hit a school-record 20 homers and ranked fourth in NCAA Division I with a 1.342 OPS. Over his three pro seasons, he has a .288/.396/.510 slash line with 28 homers and a .907 OPS in 157 games. He also had an impressive showing in MLB spring training this March, hitting .320 with one homer and three doubles in 25 at-bats.

Just about the only thing that’s slowed Locklear was a hit by pitch last season that broke a bone in his hand and sidelined him for two months. Shortly after returning from the injury, he earned an Aug. 23 promotion to Double-A Arkansas. Between last year and this year, he played 63 games at the Double-A level.

“We don’t set artificial numbers on number of at-bats a player needs or number of plate appearances they need to have at a certain level,” Hollander said. “It’s about: Are they doing the things we value? Are they hitting their developmental goals? And he did all those and then some at Double-A. So we just felt collectively … that he had checked all the boxes in Double-A.”

Locklear is expected to make his Triple-A debut when the Rainiers open a six-game series at the Sacramento Rivercats at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. As for the Mariners, they will play the second of four games at home against the Houston Astros at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, with radio coverage on Seattle Sports beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show. For details on how to stream Mariners Radio Network broadcasts from Seattle Sports, click here.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Is the real Julio back in Mariners’ lineup? ‘Best he’s looked all year’
• Mariners place Polanco on IL, call up prospect Ryan Bliss for debut
• Morosi: It’s ‘exactly the right time’ for Mariners to go all-in on trades
Drayer: How Mariners are trying to find more consistency at plate
• Drayer: How Seattle Mariners pulling Gilbert points to bigger picture

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 83° | Low 55°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Marlins today at 4:10pm

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners...

Zac Hereth

Where Mariners should be comfortable trading prospects from

Senior MLB writer Will Sammon from The Athletic discusses the Seattle Mariners and the upcoming trade deadline on Seattle Sports.

15 hours ago

Texas Rangers OF Adolis Garcia...

The Associated Press

AL West Check-In: Rangers struggling with key OF in extended slump

With outfielder Adolis García struggling at the plate, the Texas Rangers are having trouble trying to win ballgames.

16 hours ago

Seattle Mariners 2023 MLB Draft...

Zac Hereth

ESPN insider breaks down projected Mariners first-round pick

ESPN draft analyst Kiley McDaniel breaks down his Seattle Mariners first-round draft pick projection, East Carolina pitcher Trey Yesavage.

19 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Dylan Moore...

Brent Stecker

Mariners Breakdown: Where things stand after series loss in Cleveland

The Seattle Mariners dropped two of three to Cleveland in a battle of first-place teams. Where do they stand now? A detailed look here.

21 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Luis Castillo Guardians 2024...

Brian Dulik

Guardians tag Castillo as Mariners fall 6-3 in rubber match

Luis Castillo gave up five runs and the Seattle Mariners lost 6-3 to the Cleveland Guardians in a series rubber match of first-place teams.

21 hours ago

Seattle Mariners...

Zac Hereth

The Mariners’ less-talked-about trade deadline need

ROOT Sports analyst Ryan Rowland-Smith explains how the Seattle Mariners need to add to their bullpen before the MLB trade deadline.

1 day ago

Mariners prospect earns promotion after he ‘destroyed’ Double-A