Make it back-to-back days that the Mariners have claimed a shortstop off waivers from a rebuilding team.
Mariners make another waiver claim, picking up infielder Zach Vincej from the Reds. That puts 40-man at 37.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) November 3, 2017
After being selected in the 37th round of the 2012 draft, Vincej has been fairly steady offensively as he climbed the ranks in Cincinnati’s system, posting a wRC+ between 83 - 116 at each level. He spent most of 2017 with Cincy’s Triple-A club, where he posted a wRC+ of 94 through 110 games before receiving his first big league call-up in September.
The Pepperdine product’s most impressive season came in 2015 when he managed a BB% of 13.0% and a K% of 14.2% over a 90 games stint in Double-A. Unfortunately, that patience all but disappeared repeating the level in 2016, when his BB% fell to 5.7% and his K% jumped to 19.4%. He course-corrected some in 2017 following an unreal Arizona Fall League in which he slashed .352/.425/.676 over 80 plate appearances on his way to being named to the Fall League Top Prospects Team.
Vincej, who Fangraphs dubs “fundamentally sound defensively without the the speed to play there regularly (he’s a 40 runner)”, is expected to compete with the recently-acquired Andrew Romine, as well Taylor Motter and Shawn O’Malley for the backup infielder role. That said, it’s worth noting that Vincej has zero outfield experience, and has played just 1.2 innings somewhere other than short or second (third base).
The Mariners 40-man roster now stands at 37 players, including four players whose primary position is shortstop.