Pair of Mariners OF prospects on 2017 Top 100 list

Pair of Mariners OF prospects on 2017 Top 100 list

SEATTLE -- Outfielders Kyle Lewis and Tyler O'Neill, two of the Mariners' up-and-coming position players, will enter the season among the game's Top 100 prospects, as rated by MLBPipeline.com.

Lewis, last year's first-round Draft pick, is ranked No. 29, despite knee surgery that will likely sideline him until July. He was rated 28th in last year's midseason prospect rankings.

MLB Pipeline's 2017 Top 100 Prospects list

O'Neill jumped to No. 36 in the new rankings, a healthy hike from last year's No. 60 spot, after a strong season for Double-A Jackson earned him the Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year honors.

The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams.

Only players with rookie status entering the 2017 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

Andy McKay, the Mariners' director of player development, said Lewis is recovering well after injuring his knee in a home-plate collision last July while playing for Class A Short-Season Everett. He had a .299/.385/.530 slash line with three home runs and 26 RBIs in his first 30 professional games, after being selected with the 11th overall pick out of Mercer University.

"He looks great," McKay said. "His mindset is tremendous. He's in good spirts and has the smile on his face, like he always does, and is working hard. But it was a massive injury he sustained. I would expect sometime around the All-Star break you'll see him competing with a full-season club."

O'Neill has been invited to the Mariners' Major League club for the first time. And while chances are slim that he'll crack the 25-man roster to open the season, there's a realistic chance he could earn a promotion to the big leagues at some point this year if he continues performing well.

The 21-year-old Canadian had a .293/.374/.508 slash line with 24 home runs and 102 RBIs in 130 games for Jackson, and was named the Southern League MVP.

Top Prospects: O'Neill, SEA

"He's a special player," McKay said. "The numbers speak for themselves. But there's so many things about Tyler that are more exciting than the numbers. He bought into what we asked as much as anybody. He handled a lot this past year and stood up. I'm a big fan. There's a lot of substance behind those numbers."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.