Seattle Mariners ink trio of top international prospects

Top international prospects Martin Gonzales (left) and Lazaro Montes pose for a photo after signing contracts with the Seattle Mariners on January 18, 2022.

Top international prospects Martin Gonzales (left) and Lazaro Montes pose for a photo after signing contracts with the Seattle Mariners on January 18, 2022.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle’s Second Farm System just added three top international prospects.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mariners Director of International Amateur Scouting Frankie Thon Jr. announced a trio of deals with players on the International Top 50 prospect list. Lazaro Montes, an outfielder from Cuba, tops the roster at No. 8 and has signed for $2.5 million, according to MLB’s Jesse Sanchez.

The signings of Colombian shortstop Michael Arroyo, who ranks No. 41 on the roster, and Dominican shortstop Martin Gonzales, who ranks No. 48, were also announced.

Arroyo signed for $1,375,000 and Gonzales signed for $1.3 million, according to Sanchez’s report.

Montes, the 17-year-old Seattle’s top signing, earned a 60-rated power tool by scouts and a 55-rated overall. He’s set to start his minor league career at center field, though his six-foot-four frame could allow him a corner spot in the future.

Montes’ MLB scouting report said his emerging athleticism helped him grow out of that of a one-tool player. He is described as possessing a medium arm with average defensive skills, and that the Mariners “bank on his hard-hitting raw power and above-average athleticism.”

He’s a left-handed hitter “who has the ability to become a powerful hitter in the middle of the order with a solid feel for the strike zone,” Thon Jr. said of the newly signed Montes in a press release. “He’s an above average hitter with basic skills to complement his elite raw power at the top of the ladder. Montes is a steady defender in the outside corners and a solid athlete. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound outfielder boasts a larger-than-life frame with an even bigger personality.

Arroyo, 17, earned an overall rating of 50 from the scouts. Unlike Montes, he’s best known for a 55-note hitting tool and “has a chance to have above-average tools across the board,” according to MLB. Now at shortstop, there’s a chance Arroyo could move to second base.

“He has stood out as a performer at different international events in many countries. Arroyo has a fast and compact swing with developing power and good knowledge of the strike zone with mature swing decisions,” said Thon Jr.

“The 5-foot-11, 170-pound infielder has a solid glove in the infield, likely settling in at second or third base.”

Gonzales, also 17, is the first player in the gauntlet and has some highly regarded defensive skills. Given an overall rating of 50 by scouts, he makes hard contact for his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame and sports an above-average arm for the shortstop position.

From Gonzales’ scouting report: “(he) makes defensive play easy.”

Seattle entered the 2021-22 signing period on January 15 with a pool of $5,179,700, which represents a hard cap that teams cannot exceed. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less are excluded from spending limits and teams cannot redeem pool space until December 15, 2022.

“It’s great to add these three young players to an already exciting Mariners minor league system,” said Thon Jr. really enjoy working. We are also delighted with the quality of the people we hire.”

The Mariners already rank second in MLB’s latest Farming Systems Rankings, which were updated last August. That list is headlined by outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez, who was placed on Seattle’s 40-man roster last month to avoid Rule 5 draft eligibility. He is expected to make his major league debut. in 2022.

Seattle signed Rodriguez in July 2017. He ranked 10th on the list of the top 50 international prospects at the time. He is now baseball’s No. 2 prospect.

Shortstop Noelvi Marte (#11), starting pitchers George Kirby (#33) and Emerson Hancock (#34) and 2021 first-round receiver Harry Ford (#98) round out the rest of the prospects of Seattle on the Top 100 list.

Kirby and Hancock are expected to make their Mariners debuts this season.

Tyler Wicke joined The News Tribune in 2019 as a sports clerk. A 2021 graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma, Wicke covers the Mariners, prepares and maintains office duties. Was once a near zero golfer but now he’s just happy to hit 80.

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