Three more Seattle Mariners prospects will spend the final week of the season with the big league club, though they won’t see the field at T-Mobile Park.
Former first-round picks Logan Gilbert and Evan White, as well as former third-rounder Cal Raleigh, will each be in Seattle during this final six-game homestand, which began Tuesday night against the Astros, to get exposure to the major league atmosphere.
“That’s an idea we had a little while ago, to bring in a few guys and just get them exposure without having to play,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Kind of what’s going on and what we’re about. It’s a good experience for those guys.”
Seattle’s three prized prospects — Gilbert is considered No. 3 in the organization by MLB Pipeline, White is No. 4 and Raleigh No. 7 — haven’t been officially promoted, so they can’t be in the dugout for games or work out with the team, but they can attend meetings and get a feel for what being in the majors means.
Servais said he spoke with several of the Mariners’ current players ahead of time, asking if they though this sort of approach — being in the clubhouse without the added pressure of playing — would be beneficial to young players who had yet to debut, and was told it would have made a “big difference.”
“I really like where our clubhouse is at right now,” Servais said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to bring a couple of younger guys in and expose them to it. That’s what we’ll do here this week.”
“I think it’s all beneficial,” he continued. “There’s no question about it. ... They’re here. They’re checking it out, and I think it’s a good opportunity to get them exposure without going over the top. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
White, who was drafted No. 17 overall by the Mariners in 2017 out of Kentucky, is projected to be the closest of the three to play for Seattle. It is possible the 23-year-old third baseman could break with the big league team out of spring training in 2020.
He spent the entirety of 2018 with Double-A Arkansas, helping key the Travelers’ playoff run by slashing at .293/.350/.488 with 13 doubles, two triples, 18 homers and 55 RBI.
Gilbert could officially join the Mariners sometime in 2020 as well, but likely not until a few months in at least. In his first full season of professional baseball, the 22-year-old, who was selected 14th overall in 2018, went 10-5 with a 2.13 ERA between three clubs.
Gilbert started the season with Low-A West Virginia, compiling a 1.59 ERA there. He was then promoted to High-A West Virginia, logging five wins with a 1.73 ERA. And, in his final nine starts of the season with the Travelers, he compiled a 2.88 ERA.
His command was consistent throughout the three stops, with a 165-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and he only allowed seven home runs facing 521 batters.
Raleigh, who was selected No. 90 overall by the Mariners in 2018, also made the jump to Double-A this season after starting with Modesto. The 22-year-old catcher played 82 games with the Nuts, slashing at .261/.336/.535 with 19 doubles, 22 homers and 66 RBI. Those numbers didn’t hold in Arkansas — he went .228/.296/.414 with six doubles, seven homers and 16 RBI in 39 games — but is another player who could be in Seattle sooner rather than later, projecting for either late 2020 or 2021.