The Seattle Mariners 2017 projected lineup has some interesting looks. With two rookies looking to make the starting nine, the Mariners definitely have plenty of youth. Combined with the talented, seasoned veterans on the roster, this club could put up a fight for the American League West division title. Here’s who the Seattle Mariners are projected to send to the plate.
- Jarrod Dyson, OF
The Kansas City Royals traded Jarrod Dyson to the Mariners in the early part of January. Seattle sent pitcher Nathan Karns to the Royals, to help their fleeting starting rotation. Right out of the gate, Dyson will most likely land the leadoff spot. Last season, he had an on-base percentage of .340 and hit for a .278 average. The most impressive part about Dyson was his 30 stolen bases in 2016. He adds speed to the Mariners roster, and an opportunity to make plays once he’s on base. He does get mixed up in rundowns, getting caught stealing seven times last year. This will be something to keep an eye on, as he tries to show off his ability to be a threat on the bags.
- Jean Segura, SS
The Mariners acquired Jean Segura from the Arizona Diamondbacks, that ended up being a five-player trade. Segura had a career-high 20 home runs last year. He also led the league with 203 hits. His .319 BA and .368 OBP make him an ideal fit at the No. 2 slot. Segura is a prime shortstop and adds to the Mariners both defensively and offensively. He has the speed of his own, giving the team an additional threat on the base paths. This is a nice change for Seattle, as they seemingly lacked in this part of their offense last season. Expectations are high for Segura in 2017, and he is likely to meet and exceed them.
- Nelson Cruz, DH
Putting Cruz in the No. 3 slot is probably an unpopular decision. The typical thought process would have Robinson Cano here. However, Cruz had a better OBP (.360) and more home runs (43). He does have a bad strikeout habit but is also able to draw more walks than Cano. From the outside looking in, Cruz looks to be in a better position to hit third. His talent speaks for itself. Cruz has been a dominate hitter throughout his career and is a cornerstone of the Seattle Mariners lineup.[Blake]
- Robinson Cano, 2B
While Robinson Cano is beginning to age, he’s still very much productive. Last season, Cano hit for a .298 BA and a .350 OBP. He slammed 39 homers in his 161 games. Many consider him the best hitter on the roster. Cano fits well at No. 4. If he bats in the clean-up slot, he gives the Mariners a solid opportunity to get runs across home plate. Just like Nelson Cruz, his skill speaks for itself. Cano has been another cornerstone for this Mariners team. His presence in the locker room, defensive wonders, and hitting dominance will have any pitcher second guessing their moves.
- Mike Zunino, C
This 25-yeaer-old is a bit of a question mark in the lineup. He played in 55 games last season, finishing with a .207 average. While that in itself wasn’t impressive, Zunino managed 12 home runs. His OBP is slightly above expectations, at .318. While he may not be a force to be reckoned with when he has a bat in his hand, he is a presence that the Mariners need at the catcher position. His defensive skill set may surpass his batting ability in 2017. With a 55 game sample size in 2016, there is still a lot left to speculate for the season to come.
- Kyle Seager, 3B
Kyle Seager is a left-handed wonder. He definitely has power in his swing, sending 30 bombs over the fence in 2016. Many consider him one of the best third basemen in the American league. He has the power to back his position and has a solid OBP to accompany it. He had a .359 on-base percentage and hit for a .278 average. There is room for improvement both defensively and offensively for Seager. Without a doubt, he will be one player to keep an eye on in 2017.
- Dan Vogelbach, 1B
The first rookie in the Mariners lineup, Vogelbach holds the No. 7 slot. He shows promise in the bigs, but there isn’t much Major League experience to go off of. He is the best option the team has at first base and shows more defensive promise than he does with his bat. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as every team will have that one player that may suffer a little offensively. Hopefully, Vogelbach will make a name for himself at first base. With these expectations on the table for Seattle, Vogelbach will sit at the back of the lineup.[Blake]
- Leonys Martin, OF
At one point, Martin was the only hint of speed that the Mariners had on the team. He was caught stealing six times, but they were largely unnoticed with his success once on the bases. In his 143 games, Martin hit for a .247 average. He had 15 home runs. The bigger concern here was his 149 strikeouts. Again, in just 143 games, that’s a lot of K’s. If Martin can keep a better eye on the ball, and draw more walks, he can increase the threat he poses at the backend of the lineup. He can still cause a headache for pitchers, for the simple fear that he’s dangerous on base. Overall, the hitting isn’t extremely impressive and warrants him hitting No. 8.
- Ben Gamel, OF
Ben Gamel is the second, and final, rookie on this roster. Gamel had a .188 average and a .278 OBP. He had nine home runs in his 33 games, showing a bit of pop. He’s 24-years-old and has a bright future. His Minor League accomplishments are enough to get him into the bigs. He earned the International League Most Valuable Player award for his work with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he posted a .365 on-base percentage with a .308 average in 2016. He’s more of a gaps hitter/speed guy than a slugger, scoring 80 runs and hitting 26 doubles and six homers, stealing 19 bases in 116 games. He is the final speed addition that Seattle made to the roster, leaving the team more of a threat in the AL West than ever before.