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Mariners ink 3 highly touted prospects during international signing period

DerekJohnsonDerekJohnson Administrator, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 49,884
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By Corey Brock 7h ago 4

In 2021, the Mariners graduated prospects Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert and Cal Raleigh to the major leagues, which at least on the surface would seem to take the team down a peg from its lofty standing as having one of the best farm systems in baseball.

But that same farm system has been bolstered not only by what was considered to be a strong draft last summer, but now the addition of three highly regarded players during the international signing period.

On Tuesday, the Mariners announced the signings of infielders Michael Arroyo (Colombia), Martín Gonzales (Dominican Republic) as well as Lázaro Montes, a dynamic outfielder from Cuba. All are 17 years old.

This is the Mariners’ biggest single-year international talent haul in a long time. Montes was rated as the eighth-best prospect on MLB.com’s Top 5o International Prospect list, Arroyo came in at No. 41 and Gonzales at No. 48.

MLB.com reported that Montes agreed to a deal for $2.5 million with Arroyo signing for $1.375 million and Gonzales for $1.3 million.

The Mariners have a base signing pool of $5,179,700 for this signing period, which runs through Dec. 15.

Montes is probably the club’s most highly regarded international signing since shortstop Noelvi Marte agreed to a $1.55 million deal with the Mariners in 2018.

On Wednesday, Baseball America released its annual top-100 prospect list and the Mariners had five players in the top 100, including four in the top 45: outfielder Julio Rodríguez (No. 2), pitcher George Kirby (12), Marte (18) and pitchers Matt Brash (45) and Brandon Williamson (83).

Last month, The Athletic took a swing at tabbing the Mariners’ top 10 prospects and had Rodríguez (No. 1), Marte (2), Kirby (3), Brash (5) and Williamson (6).

Rodríguez and Marte were international signings and began their careers at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic, which will likely be the same place Montes, Arroyo and Gonzales will get their first taste of professional baseball.

Could these three eventually land on a top-100 list? Time will tell, but the Mariners are certainly happy with their early haul of talent in this signing period.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve been doing on the international front. Over the past five years we’ve been fortunate enough to land a group of prospects with high impact potential,” said Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto told The Athletic. “This year’s class is exciting in that it presents multiple position players with impact potential, which is uncommon in any one signing period.”

“It’s great to be adding these three young players to an already exciting Mariners minor league system,” Seattle’s director of international amateur scouting, Frankie Thon Jr., said in a press release.

“Each of them offers a unique skill set that our player development staff should really enjoy working with. We are also thrilled with the quality of the people that we are bringing on board.”

Thon offered the following description of each player:

Arroyo: A right-handed hitting infielder who is considered one of the more advanced pure hitters in the 2022 international class. He stood out as a performer across different international events in numerous countries. Arroyo has a quick and compact swing with developing power and good knowledge of the strike zone with mature swing decisions. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder has a solid glove in the infield, likely setting in at second or third base.

Signing scout: David Brito

Gonzalez: Is a right-handed hitting infielder who has been praised for his glovework at shortstop, ranking as one of the better pure defenders in the 2022 international class. Gonzalez has also shown a plus arm for the position. At the plate, he has surprising raw strength considering his frame and profiles as more of a power hitter than a natural one. The 5-10, 170-pound infielder is a solid overall athlete with average speed

Signing scout: Alfredo Celestin

Montes: Is a left-handed hitting outfielder who has the ability to develop into an impactful middle-of-the-order power bat with a solid feel for the strike zone. He’s an above-average hitter with on-base skills to complement his top-of-scale elite raw power. Montes is a steady defender on the outfield corners and a solid athlete. The 6-5, 205-pound outfielder possesses a larger-than-life frame with an even bigger personality.

Signing scout: Ismael Rosado

(Photo of Gonzales and Montes courtesy of the Seattle Mariners)

Comments

  • chuckchuck Member, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 8,230
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    Montez is a freakin monster. Love him.
    dnc
  • CFetters_Nacho_LoverCFetters_Nacho_Lover Moderator, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 21,680
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  • TXDawgTXDawg Member, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 459
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    It’s amazing how good our farm system is and how lackluster the club performs.
  • chuckchuck Member, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 8,230
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    TXDawg said:

    It’s amazing how good our farm system is and how lackluster the club performs.

    It's coming. The farm system just went through a rebuild, and it's just translating to the Mariners. This really should be a big year for their top prospects getting their shot. Meanwhile the Ms are already pretty good.

    I know. We've seen this. Still though.
    dnc
  • DerekJohnsonDerekJohnson Administrator, Swaye's Wigwam Posts: 49,884
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  • dncdnc Member Posts: 54,229
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    chuck said:

    TXDawg said:

    It’s amazing how good our farm system is and how lackluster the club performs.

    It's coming. The farm system just went through a rebuild, and it's just translating to the Mariners. This really should be a big year for their top prospects getting their shot. Meanwhile the Ms are already pretty good.

    I know. We've seen this. Still though.
    This aged well
    DerekJohnsonchuck
  • BleachedAnusDawgBleachedAnusDawg Member Posts: 7,524
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    Do we know if the kids touted in the article have made any progress in the farm system? Seems like they'd be 3-4 years away at best.
  • dncdnc Member Posts: 54,229
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    Do we know if the kids touted in the article have made any progress in the farm system? Seems like they'd be 3-4 years away at best.

    All three played in the Dominican Summer League (where the M's start all their international 16/17 year old signings, no matter how hyped they are). Montes was as advertised (7th in the league in OPS at 1.007, 4th among kids in his age class). High K rate, massive power when he hits the ball. If he can improve making contact he has Yordan Alvarez kind of upside. Reports suggest his defense is pretty bad but they have been a bit all over the place.

    Arroyo was a real pleasant surprise leading the team in OPS most of they year before slumping to end the season. Finished 16th in OPS at .941 (11th in the FA class). Very advanced approach, good eye and patience with some surprisingly solid pop. Reports on his defense are mixed - most think he's destined for 3B or 2B.

    Gonzalez is the defense first signing of the three and that played out as expected. Slashed .232/.377/.326, with a decent K/BB rate which may actually be discouraging with that slash line. You hope a guy like that just can't make contact. If you're making contact and still hitting .232 you're not hitting the ball well at all. Thankfully like all these kids he's super young and has plenty of time to figure it out. Hopefully he can put on some muscle. Defensive reports with any substance are hard to come by but I haven't seen anything to suggest he's been a disappointment with the glove.

    Montes is surely going to be in the M's top 10 prospects this offseason (probably 6-10), Arroyo should be in the 7-13 range or so and Gonzalez might sneak into the back end of a top 30 here or there.
    chuck
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