SEATTLE -- Alex Jackson and D.J. Peterson, the Mariners' first-round Draft picks the past two years, are both rated among the top 50 prospects in baseball in the newly released MLB.com rankings.
Jackson debuts at No. 28 in MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list that came out Friday night on MLB Network, while Peterson is No. 50. They are the only two Mariners on the list, with Seattle having seen several of its previous highly-rated youngsters promoted to the Major League club in the past year and thus no longer carrying prospect status.
The annual ranking of baseball's Top 100 Prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, 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. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2015. Team-by-team Top 30 Prospects lists for 2015 will be unveiled in March.
Jackson gives Mariners fans a new name to watch, as the 19-year-old from San Diego already is rated No. 4 among outfield prospects after playing 24 games in Rookie ball last summer. Jackson was selected with the sixth overall pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft out of Rancho Bernardo High School, where he played primarily at catcher.
Seattle immediately converted Jackson to the outfield, and he hit .280 with an .820 OPS in his short Rookie League stint in Arizona before his season was cut short by a fractured cheek bone when he was hit in the face by a line drive.
Chris Gwynn, the Mariners' Minor League director, said Jackson could have a shot at opening the season with Class A Clinton if he has a good spring and proves himself healthy.
"It's 100 percent now, and I'm just ready to get back out there," Jackson said at Mariners FanFest last weekend.
Peterson, 23, split last season between Double-A Jackson and Class A Advanced High Desert, hitting a combined .297 with a .912 OPS with 31 doubles, 31 home runs and 111 RBIs.
Peterson was Seattle's first-round selection (12th overall) in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of New Mexico. He's ranked No. 4 among third basemen on the MLB.com ratings, but he is also capable of playing first base and is expected to get a look at both positions as a non-roster invitee to the Mariners' upcoming Major League camp in Peoria, Ariz.
"He'll play third, get a shot at first. Who knows where he's going to end up in the long run," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "But we all do think he's going to hit. He's got a gift to hit the baseball, and that will play for us at some point."