Stefen Romero, 25, homered twice in the Arizona Fall League all-star game, yet is not on the 40 man roster, nor is he listed in the top ten Mariner prospects by Baseball Prospectus. After a promotion to Tacoma he hit .277 with 11 homers. But since he primarily played second and third he is being blocked by Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin. Franklin struggled as a rookie, but the Mariners still like his potential.
Number 2 is D.J. Peterson, listed as first baseman. He only played A ball, so is not ready for the jump. At Everett he hit .312 then .292 at Clinton. He had a combined 13 homers and 47 rbi in 230 plate appearances. I would be surprised if he doesn’t play in Tacoma this year.
Six of the ten prospects are pitchers but they are all young. Victor Sanchez, listed fourth, is 18. Edwin Diaz, number 5, is 19. They are both right handers. Luiz Gohara, number 6, is 17, and Tyler Pike, number 8, is 19 (20 in January). They are lefties. These four are a few years down the road.
Carson Smith, not on the list, has an excellent chance to be in the bullpen. He struck out 71, walking 17, in 50 innings in the Southern League, recording 15 saves and a 1.80 ERA. He is 24 and could make the jump with a good spring training.
Chris Taylor, the fourth Virginia Cavalier they have drafted the last three years, like Romero is a middle infielder. He may be slated for Tacoma. He hit a combined .314 in his two minor league stops in 2012.
In truth, outside of Walker and Paxton, the Mariners best prospects are in their late teens or early 20’s. Walker and Paxton, along with Carson Smith, have the best chance to make the club. By the time the younger players have established themselves as solid, can’t miss prospects, we will know more about Franklin, Brad Miller, and other young Mariners for a possible changing of the guard.