SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners GM Dipoto shares philosophy on when to promote prospects

May 5, 2019, 10:55 PM
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has a lot of talented prospects to keep an eye on this year. (AP)...
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has a lot of talented prospects to keep an eye on this year. (AP)
(AP)

Unlike in past seasons, the Mariners have a lot of young talent in their farm system to look over this year. And a lot of their top prospects are off to strong starts at their respective levels.

Drayer: Félix has finally embraced change, and Mariners are seeing results

For example, there’s 19-year-old Jarred Kelenic, the outfield phenom acquired from the Mets in a blockbuster trade with the Mets last season who is torching opposing pitching in the South Atlantic League for the Class-A West Virginia Power. Or there’s big right-hander Logan Gilbert, who made his professional debut at the beginning of this season as Kelenic’s teammate and quickly was promoted to the Advanced-A Modesto Nuts after just four starts. And a few levels higher than that, shortstop J.P. Crawford is putting himself in the conversation for a return to the big leagues by playing well for Triple-A Tacoma.

So when players are performing in the minors, when is the right time to promote them to the next level?

On the latest edition of the Jerry Dipoto Show with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, the Mariners general manager shared his philosophy on that exact issue.

“The first thing that you want to see is the player, I guess, dominate his level, and in Jarred’s case or in Logan’s case, those players are certainly doing that now,” Dipoto said. “The second element that you have to consider is that player’s social standing and where is he in terms of his maturity. If we take a 19 year old and push him to the next level where the average age is 22 or we push him two levels beyond and now the average age is 23 or 24, are you putting him with a social group that he’s just not ready to join?”

Dipoto had one player specifically in mind as he further explained his response.

“I think especially in the case of a guy like Jarred Kelenic, we are just getting to know the player,” Dipoto said, noting how little time the Mariners have had the Mets’ No. 1 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft in their organization. “You’re trying to get a read for what makes him tick, and I think we’re comfortable with who Jarred is – (he is) a very mature player – and I don’t think moving to the next level will be pushing him too fast. But you want to put him in a situation where he can succeed. Clearly he’s showing us that West Virginia, at least for a month, has not been a big problem for him, and eventually we’ll have to have a long discussion about when it’s the right time to challenge him – and we’re starting to have those conversations now.”

Dipoto added that the 24-year-old Crawford, a first-round draft pick of the Phillies in 2013 who has 72 games of MLB experience over the past two years, has shown the Mariners what they wanted to see in his time in Triple-A. But even though current Mariners shortstop Tim Beckham has struggled defensively and recently fell into a bit of a slump at the plate, that won’t cause Dipoto to rush Crawford any faster than he has planned.

“We asked (Crawford) to go down (to Tacoma) and work on certain elements in his game. He’s done that and he’s putting himself in the discussion for another shot at the major league level, which we think is where he will spend the long term. (But) we don’t want to push him too fast,” Dipoto said. “… You never want to go to a young player because you are frustrated with the recent performance of a veteran player. That’s the wrong reason to promote. You want to promote the young player because he’s achieved what you laid out for him.

“We don’t want J.P. to step in for Tim Beckham because we’re frustrated that Beck has made 11 errors or that he’s had a rough 10 days with the bat. Tim Beckham will hit; he’s always hit. At the end of the day we want to promote J.P. because we feel like it’s his time, and that when he steps in, he’s ready to take the job and run with it.”

You can listen to the full interview with Dipoto in the player embedded in this post or download a podcast version at this link.

For an in-depth breakdown of the Mariners’ top prospects and other notable players in the minors, click the story below.

Checking In: How the Mariners’ top players in the minor leagues are doing

See you next season

Chevrolet Silverado

Wyman & Bob

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Semien Crawford...
Brent Stecker

Jerry Dipoto addresses how Mariners may find a fit in SS free-agency class

The Mariners have their shortstop, so why would they be interested in one of the big name free agent shortstops? Jerry Dipoto sheds some light.
21 hours ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is the future of the Mariners’ outfield as set as we thought?

The outfield is where the Mariners appeared to have the brightest future entering 2021, but the way the season played out changed some things.
5 days ago
Mariners Dodgers Chris Taylor...
Brent Stecker

The potential Mariners free agency targets to watch in MLB playoffs

A number of players set to enter free agency who could be interesting to the Mariners are still playing in the postseason. We break them down.
7 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy shares why Mitch Haniger's message from his column in The Players' Tribune makes him excited about the Mariners.
8 days ago
Mariners OF Julio Rodríguez...
Brandon Gustafson

Jerry Dipoto Show: Julio Rodríguez has opportunity to make Mariners, offseason priorities

During a visit with Mike Salk, Jerry Dipoto shared the Mariners' offseason focus and what the plan is with top prospect Julio Rodríguez .
8 days ago
Mariners Yankees Alfonso Soriano...
Dave Grosby

Groz Remembers 2001 Mariners: The magic runs out in the ALCS

The 2001 Mariners made it back to the ALCS for a rematch with the Yankees, but the dreams from their 116-win regular season were dashed.
9 days ago
Mariners GM Dipoto shares philosophy on when to promote prospects