15.) Braden Bishop – OF
Date of Birth: 8/22/93
Height/Weight: 6’1/190 pounds
Acquisition: Drafted 3rd round in 2015
Like with Tyler Smith, the Mariners elected to go with another local kid with their third rounder last June. Braden Bishop brings a very enticing skill set, highlighted by his blazing speed, and tremendous range in the outfield. The University of Washington graduate joined Everett last year and excelled from the word go. Bishop slashed .320/.367/.393 while also stealing 13 bases for the Aquasox. Plus at the age of 22, Bishop is already fairly well seasoned and could start advancing through the minors very quickly. Bishop also does a good job making contact, striking out only once every seven AB’s.
Obviously there’s only a small sample size but Bishop is off to a very promising start. Coming out of UW, there was a lot of concern on whether or not he could hit at a professional level, but at this point it seems like he has the ability to. There were never any doubts about his glove or speed, and that was on full display in his brief time in Everett last year. Bishop realistically could find himself in the bigs within a year or two if he can keep up the pace at which he’s started.
14.) Brayan Hernandez – OF
Date of Birth: 9/11/97
Height/Weight: 6’2/175 pounds
Acquired: International Free Agency in 2014
Brayan Hernandez was signed in 2014 as the #8 international free agent. The 18-year-old got his start last year in Rookie Ball slashing a .224/.295/.328 line, though there isn’t a ton of worry yet for Mariners fans and personnel. Hernandez is still so young, and has a lot to learn to improve his game. If he can really live up to his full potential, Hernandez has a chance to develop into a terrific baseball player. It’s way too early to tell though what he will become, and the Mariners will need at least another two years to determine what he can turn himself into.
From the brief look that we’ve gotten at Hernandez it’s easy to tell the kid has the intangibles to become a good player. His hitting definitely needs some work, and he isn’t going to be a big time power guy. What has been gathered though is that Hernandez can run and run well and that he can do a pretty good job in the outfield. The Mariners have plenty of time to work with him at such a young age, but the hope is within the next five years he can find himself in the big leagues.
13.) Ryan Yarbrough – LHP
Date of Birth: 12/31/91
Height/Weight: 6’5/205 pounds
Acquired: Drafted 4th round in 2011
Ryan Yarbrough is one of the older members of the Mariners prospect pool yet he was just drafted in 2014, and it looks like it may just pay off in a big way. While Yarbrough threw his fastball around 90 or 91 at Old Dominion, he was pushing 93 and 94 in his first few starts as a pro. Last year Yarbrough posted a 3.76 ERA in 16 starts at High-A. He also struck out 74 while only walking 18 hitters. Yarbrough will likely start the year at Double-A Jackson next year, and from there hope to continue his development with his funky three quarters delivery.
Outside of his rising fastball, Yarbrough also offers an excellent changeup which is enhanced by the aforementioned three quarters delivery. His breaking ball isn’t great, and needs a little work to become solid. One of his biggest strengths is his excellent command, and his fantastic ground ball rate. At 24 years old, Yarbrough has a chance to skyrocket through the system and get to the bigs soon. He may not make it this year, but if all goes well he should be up by 2017.
12.) Andrew Moore – RHP
Date of Birth: 6/2/94
Height/Weight: 6’0/185 pounds
Acquired: Drafted with Competitive Balance Pick in 2015
The Mariners just love their local kids. With Braden Bishop and Tyler Smith already noted, another northwest kid in Oregon State pitcher Andrew Moore makes an appearance. Moore made his pro debut last year alongside Bishop and pitched very well in 14 games and eight starts. Moore posted a terrific 2.07 ERA while striking out 43. The most impressive thing about Moore’s work is that in 39 innings he only walked two while registering over a strikeout per inning.
Moore is a little undersized which always worries people, but has proven it’s a non-factor. He doesn’t have a great heater, but he does have great command over it. His change is a solid pitch, and his curve is serviceable, but it’s his smarts on the mound which provide him a big boost. Moore doesn’t have the pitches or the velocity to become an ace but Moore projects as a solid starter at the back half of a rotation.
11.) Nick Neidert – RHP
Date of Birth: 11/20/96
Height/Weight: 6’1/180 pounds
Acquired: Drafted 2nd round in 2015
Last year’s draft has certainly been kind to the Mariners. Moore and Bishop look good as does righty pitcher Nick Neidert. At 19 years old, Neidert is fresh out of high school, and started at Rookie ball last year. Neidert started 11 games and started them well to say the least. In 35.1 innings, he posted a 1.53 ERA. He’s not dominant enough to strike out a ton, only notching 23 punch outs while walking nine, but he gets the outs he needs when he needs them.
Prior to elbow tendinitis, it looked as if Neidert may even find himself in the first round, but the injury dropped his stock. The Mariners took the bait though and signed the young pitcher. As long as the elbow is okay, his fastball will settle around 93 or 94 but has the ability to get up to 96 if it’s really working. His curve and change aren’t bad, but it may be worth it to develop a slider in the long run.