The last two decades of Mariners' producing position players essentially boils down to three outcomes:
A) Draft player, player fails to develop.
B) Draft player, player develops into promising prospect, trade player for pennies on the dollar.
C) Draft Kyle Seager.
With few exceptions Seager is the lone Mariner position player to actually be drafted by the team, make the major leagues and contribute above average play. We love him, perhaps irrationally so, in part for traversing the desert of the Mariner minor leagues and emerging, balding but unbowed. Still his 2 seasons in MLB have accounted for an average of 3.5 WAR and I'm not sure his career years are producing much more than 4.5 wins or so. Take that as the opinion of neither an analyst or a scout, just someone who watches a lot of baseball.
I write about Seager to set the bar for our friend Brad Miller. You have no doubt heard that Miller is currently pillaging and burning his way through the Cactus League, playing quality shortstop while swatting 12 XBH, slugging .900+ and basically being a revelation. His 1st half season in MLB produced 1.7 WAR. Projections for 2014 have him somewhere between 2.7-4.1 wins. Scott discussed his potential upside, and we're all generally feeling pretty damn rosy about the Crazy Legs Experience.
But the list of Mariners who impressed in their initial big league appearance is long, pasty, and Dustin Ackley. Nothing is certain but death and loss. You know this. So tell me not what you hope, not what you wish, but what you believe.