Despite frigid temperatures across much of the country, the Mariners had spring on their minds Tuesday.
Seattle extended an invitation to big league Spring Training to No. 4 prospect Braden Bishop and 21 other non-roster players. Pitching prospects Art Warren (No. 15) and Matthew Festa (No. 16) as well as outfielder Ian Miller (No. 20) also will train with the Major League club in Peoria, Arizona.
Taken in the third round of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Washington, Bishop has climbed steadily through the system while rising from No. 12 in 2015 to No. 4 last season in MLB.com's rankings of Mariners prospects.
Video: Arkansas' Bishop rips first Double-A HR
The 24-year-old has drawn praise mainly for his plus speed and fielding, but he also showcased his offensive potential in 2017. In 119 games between Class A Advanced Modesto and Double-A Arkansas, Bishop batted .306/.393/.413 with three homers, 43 RBIs and a career-high 22 stolen bases in 27 tries. Though his swing has yet to translate into home run power -- he's never hit more than three in a season -- the California native smacked a career-best 34 doubles last season, 23 more than the year before. Bishop's efforts earned him a spot among MiLB.com's 2017 Mariners Organization All-Stars as well as California League midseason All-Star honors.
Warren, a 24-year-old right-hander, transitioned to the bullpen last year after spending his first two professional seasons in the starting rotation. The 2015 23rd-round pick went 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA, 67 strikeouts and 25 walks over 64 2/3 innings with Modesto, converting eight of 10 save opportunities.
Offseason MiLB include
Festa, 24, also spent the season in the Nuts bullpen, where he was 4-2 with six saves, a 3.23 ERA, 99 punchouts and 19 walks over 69 2/3 frames. Drafted in the seventh round in 2016, the right-hander led all Modesto relievers in strikeouts.
The 25-year-old Miller reached Triple-A Tacoma for the first time last season after returning to Double-A to begin the year. Between the Texas and Pacific Coast leagues, the 2013 14th-rounder put together a .307/.355/.393 slash line with four homers, five triples, 22 doubles, 35 RBIs and 43 steals in 48 tries.
Reliever Ryan Cook, righty Ljay Newsome, catcher Joe DeCarlo, outfielder Andrew Aplin and infielders Zach Vincej and Jordan Cowan were also among the other non-roster invitees.