The Ideal 2015 In-House Mariners

Let's start by saying: This is a waste of time. Little, if any, of this will come to pass. Teams change. Players change. Nothing stays the same, and predicting the future is futile. That being said...the Future! In-house candidates only!

Seattle Mariners: 2015

C: Mike Zunino. 2015 Age: 24. Other options: John Hicks, Marcus Littlewood, Jesus Montero.

A top prospect on every list. A solid to plus bat, good defensive fundamentals, leadership qualities.

Potential: High. Positional Comfort: High

1B: Justin Smoak. 2015 Age: 28. Other Options: Stefen Romero, Vinnie Catricala, Rich Poythress.

A former top prospect. Terrible major leaguer thus far. Signs of life in late 2012 and spring 2013. Changes to swing and approach are his last chance.

Potential: HIgh. Positional Comfort: Low

2B: Dustin Ackley. 2015 Age: 27. Other Options: Nick Franklin, Brad Miller, Stefan Romero, Jack Marder.

#2 overall pick, highly advanced bat, solid rookie year, disaster in year 2. Could have been injury related. Still has some time to get back to being that 300+ hitter that every scout saw. Some interesting options behind him.

Potential: High. Positional Comfort: Medium-High

SS: Nick Franklin. 2015 Age: 24. Other Options: Brad Miller, Carlos Triunfel, Brendan Ryan.

Highly touted prospect. Not a lot of worries about his bat, but some serious questions about whether he can handle SS in the majors. Similar questions about his backups. Could be Ryan is still around as a veteran presence.

Potential: High. Positional Comfort: Low

3B: Kyle Seager. 2015 Age: 28. Other Options: Stefan Romero, Vinnie Catricala, Patrick Kivlehan, Steven Proscia, Mario Martinez.

Good hitter. Good defender. Has hit at every level including MLB. Probably the guy the Ms are least worried about.

Potential: Medium. Positional Comfort: High

LF: Michael Saunders. 2015 Age: 28. Other Options: Casper Wells, Leon Landry, James Jones, Francisco Martinez.

Breakout season in 2012 for the former top prospect. Using all fields at the plate. Solid power. Plus defender. Destroyed WBC competition.

Potential: Medium-High. Positional Comfort: Medium-High

CF: Franklin Gutierrez. 2015 Age: 32. Other Options: Casper Wells, Leon Landry, James Jones, Francisco Martinez.

Outstanding defender. Solid bat. Can't stay healthy. Since this is a fantasy, let's assume his intestines cooperate and the rest of his body stays mostly intact. The only starting position player on the wrong side of 30.

Potential: Medium-High. Positional Comfort: Medium-Low

RF: Julio Morban. 2015 Age: 23. Other Options: Casper Wells, Leon Landry, James Jones, Francisco Martinez.

The baby of the group, but maybe the best pure hitter in the OF group. Has hit at every level, including on the road in A+ ball. Hit well in MLB ST. Starting 2013 in AA.

Potential: High. Positional Comfort: Medium

DH: Jesus Montero. 2015 Age: 25. Other Options: Stefan Romero, Rich Poythress, Michael Morse.

The former jewel of the Yankee farm system. Everyone still believes he'll hit. Catching skills are questionable. The hope is he is eventually the new Edgar, focusing on his hitting craft and ignoring pesky nuisances like defence.

Potential: High. Positional Comfort: Medium

SP: Felix Hernandez (29), Taijuan Walker (22), Danny Hultzen (25), Erasmo Ramirez (24), Brandon Maurer (24). Other Options: James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Andrew Carraway, Anthony Fernandez

Insane potential. Crazy youth. Anything can happen. Maurer over Paxton right now.

Potential: Off the charts. Positional Comfort: Medium-High.

RP: Wilhelmsen, Pryor, Capps, Moran, Furbush, LaFramboise, Bawcom, others.

Relief pitching is too fluid even for this exercise. The Ms are in good shape with those first 3 guys, though.

Why did I bother with this? I don't really know. I think it illustrates that there is a VERY bright potential future for this team. Almost every position has at LEAST one high-potential player and sometimes multiples. There are some holes in the depth, though, most significantly at SS (where there are some nice prospects but no one who is a lock to stick at short) and at Power Bat (1B and DH), where the organization could use a few Plus-power options. Its a shame they couldn't sign Kevin Cron. This position is less concerning, as some of the OF/3B prospects may eventually wash into the 1B/DH spot.

Let me know if I missed anything significant. For fun, a batting order is below.

2B L Ackley
RF L Morban
1B S Smoak
DH R Montero
LF L Saunders
C R Zunino
3B L Seager
SS S Franklin
CF R Gutierrez

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