There are a few players to watch during the Seattle Mariners Spring Training. These players have the ability to impact the Major League roster in a good way. With the potential to give Texas and Houston a run for the AL West title, Seattle will need solid evaluation this Spring.
After only lasting 118 innings last season, the addition of Yovani Gallardo to the roster was a shock. He is old, and not very impressive. He has had injury issues in the past, and could very well suffer more with his age.
He does benefit from seemingly better outfield defense. Hopefully, he can be the innings-eating arm that Seattle desperately needs. Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and Drew Smyly fill the front part of this rotation. Seattle needs someone that can handle the backend of the rotation, without causing a bullpen catastrophe.
The Mariners could use Dan Vogelbach in a platoon situation at first base. He’d join Danny Valencia at the position. Valencia is 32, and put up okay numbers in 2016. He had a .287/.346/.446 batting line last season. Valencia also had 17 home runs and 51 RBIs. Manager Scott Servais has been impressed with the 24-year-old Vogelbach. Rightfully so, based on his Triple-A performance in 2016.
Last year, Vogelbach hit a .292/.417/.505 line. That was over a combined 459 at-bats. He slammed 23 homers and 96 RBIs in the same time frame. Vogelbach appears to have a high offensive ceiling. He could be a vast improvement to the Seattle lineup. If he shows a solid performance in Spring Training, he could earn a spot on the 25-man roster. With a little time at the Major League level, he could very well find himself becoming the everyday first baseman.
The Seattle Mariners need Mitch Haniger to be ready for an everyday outfield role. He was considered an insignificant addition to the trade that landed Jean Segura in Seattle. However, the Mariners plan to put him to work. Before spending the last six weeks of 2016 on the Diamondbacks MLB roster, Haniger was impressive in the Minors. He had 25 home runs and 24 doubles through 129 minor league games.
Haniger looks good so far in Spring Training. When it’s time to finish off the 25-man roster, Haniger will most likely be on it. He will be a fantastic addition in right field. He adds something that Seattle has been missing. Speed and agility are qualities that Mitch Haniger will bring to the table, when the 2017 season officially starts.
It is unlikely that Tyler O’Neil lands on the roster, come Opening Day. However, he’s someone worth keeping an eye on. In 2016, O’Neil was named the Class AA player of the year. He had a .293/.374/.508 slash line. With 24 homeruns and 102 RBIs to accompany that, he was more than impressive. At 21-years-old, O’Neil is the future of the Seattle outfield.
O’Neil will likely see time at the Triple-A level in 2017. If he continues to have exceptional performances, this youngster could be the next franchise player for the Seattle Mariners.
Check out the Seattle Mariners projected 2017 lineup here.
Check out the Seattle Mariners projected 2017 rotation here.