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Tacoma Rainiers Roster Projection



I’ve been at spring training for the last couple days and after the sixth inning when the regular players have been replaced, I’ve been repeatedly looking at Fan Graphs profiles at each of them. I’m trying to be a far better-informed fan of the 180 players that are part of the Mariners organization outside of the major league team. All of these players have worked for years to be as in the position of a professional ball players and they all deserve to have their stories told even if their chances of making the show are near zero. In this piece I want to provide a baseline knowledge for nearly every player in the organization: how they were acquired which team they’ll be playing for in 2022, contract status, best 2021 stat and whether they fit in as a prospect, farmhand or MLB depth.

For the Rainiers and Travelers roster projections there are more than twenty-eight players because of the influx of minor league signings that will surely be trimmed down in the post Cactus League roster shuffle. In addition, Billy Hamilton is the only player on a minor league contract not listed, as with expanded rosters it seems likely he will serve as pinch runner and defensive replacement for the first month of the season.

Tacoma Rainiers-Pacific Coast League

Projected Lineup

C: Chance Sisco-27

- Signed on a minor league contract this spring

- Former second round pick and top prospect in the Orioles system

- Struggled last year in the majors with the Orioles and Mets

- Had a .208 batting average on balls in play last year in the majors, potentially could improve this year

- Upgrade on José Godoy as the Mariners fill in catcher

1B: Evan White-25

- 2017 Mariners first round draft pick

- Under contract for four more years and 19.4 million

- Had season ending hip surgery in May last year

- Made his Cactus League debut on Monday

- Had a slugging percentage of .833 in thirteen Tacoma at bats last year

2B: Sam Haggerty-27

- Outrighted to Tacoma in October

- 2021 season was ended by a shoulder injury in April

- Still has yet to appear in the Cactus League this spring

- Prolific base stealer, has only been caught once in ten attempts for the Mariners

- Only Mariner to hit it over the Green Monster and onto Eutaw Street in one season

SS: Donovan Walton-27

- 2016 Mariners fifth round draft pick

- Was recalled five times by the Mariners in 2021, equal to the new maximum

- Last year of MiLB Options

- Played 2B, SS, 3B for the Mariners last year and had a brief uncomfortable stint at corner outfield

- Had a .913 OPS and an impressive 10.3 K% in Tacoma last year

3B: Kevin Padlo-25

- Claimed off waivers from the Rays in August

- Ranked as a top thirty prospect in the Mariners farm system

- Last year of MiLB options

- Cut his K% nearly in half after being claimed off waivers

- Had a .984 OPS in twenty-six games for Tacoma

LF: Marcus Wilson-25

- Claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in August, then outrighted at the end of the season

- Can play all three outfield spots

- 69th Overall Pick in the 2014 draft

- Has yet to make his major league debut

- Had a .364 OBP in Triple AAA over 103 games

CF: Taylor Trammel-24

- Acquired from San Diego in the August 2020 fleecing of AJ Preller

- Best defensive center fielder in the Mariners organization

- Had a scary 42.1 K% with the Mariners

- Co-captain of the dugout hype squad along with JP

- Crushed eight homers in only 172 at bats last year

RF: Steven Souza Jr.-33

- Signed on a minor league contract after lockout as Mariners Twitter lost its mind

- From Everett, Washington

- Had thirty home runs with the Rays in 2017

- Crushed a grand slam in his first plate appearance for the Mariners

- Had an excellent .950 OPS in Triple AAA last year

Bench

C Brian O’Keefe-28

- Claimed off waivers in 2019 from the Cardinals system

- Earned a promotion to Tacoma after a .859 OPS in 49 games with Arkansas

- Will compete with Chance Sisco to be the Tacoma regular and alternate Mariners catcher

- Entering his ninth year of minor league baseball

- Showed real power last year with twenty-four home runs in 104 games

1B Mike Ford-29

- Signed to a minor league contract after lockdown

- Had a 134 WRC+ with the Yankees in 2019

- Big guy who is still an average defender

- Struggled in Triple AAA in 2021 for the Rays and Yankees

- Leads the Mariners in total bases in the Cactus League

INF Seth Mejias-Brean-30

- Signed to a minor league contract during lockout

- Previously was in Seattle System in 2017-18

- Made his MLB debut with San Diego in 2019

- Split his time in the Orioles farm system between Double and Triple A

- Has played every position but catcher in the minors

SS Erik Mejia-27

- Signed to a minor league contract after lockout

- Originally signed as a teenager by the Mariners in 2012

- Struggled in two brief stints with the Royals

- Had 53 steals across 2018-19 but only one last year

- Low walk rate and limited power

3B Zach Green-28

- Signed to a minor league contract

- Had a 39.2 K% in Triple last year

- Drafted in the third round by the Phillies in 2012

- Remarkably had only a .214 AVG despite hitting .327 on balls in play last year

- Has had double digit home run totals in three straight minor league seasons

OF Forrest Wall-26

- Signed to a minor league contract

- Former Rockies first round pick

- Had an OBP over .340 in three straight minor league seasons

- Only hit over ten home runs in a season once

- Had thirty-five steals in 2021

1B/OF Jack Larsen-27

- Went undrafted in 2017

- Has played all three outfield positions

- Had nineteen homers and thirteen steals in 2021

- Consistently high walk rate

- 156 WRC+ in High A and 137 for Arkansas

Starting Rotation

LHP Justus Sheffield-26

- Acquired in the 2019 James Paxton trade

- Former top 100 prospect

- Had a 3.17 FIP in 2020

- Made six relief appearances after returning from injury

- Had an unsightly 1.84 WHIP in 2021

LHP Nick Margevicius-25

- Claimed off waivers before the 2020 season

- Struggled in three starts in 2021

- Suffered a season ending shoulder injury in April

- With expanded rosters could feature for the Mariners

- 73% of his pitches in 2021 were fastballs

RHP George Kirby-24

- Mariners first round pick and top pitching prospect

- Dominated High and Double A in 2021

- Can touch 100 MPH

- Has elite command, only a 6.4% walk rate in Double A

- Could start 2022 in Double or Triple A

LHP Ian McKinney-27

- Elected free agency at the end of the season

- Resigned with the Mariners during lockout

- Had a 2.18 ERA and a 37.6 K% for Arkansas

- Struggled after being promoted to Triple AAA

- Has a chance at making his debut this year

RHP Darren McCaughan-26

- 2017 Mariners twelfth round draft pick

- Made his major league debut with five scoreless innings against the Rockies

- Crushed by the Astros in the Dylan Moore Grand Slam game

- Low strikeout rate throughout his career

- Had a 5.09 FIP in twenty starts for Tacoma

LHP Andrew Albers-36

- Drafted in 2008 by the Padres

- Bounced between Triple A and the Majors for nine years

- Had a solid second half with the Mariners in 2017

- Averaged almost six innings per start in Triple A

- Had a 7.58 ERA in nineteen innings in 2021 with the Twins

RHP Penn Murfee-27

- 33rd round draft pick in 2018

- Has high strikeout and walk percentages

- Could feature in the bullpen or rotation

- Potential MLB long reliever

- Had an abnormally low HR/FB rate in Tacoma

RHP Asher Wojciechowski-33

- Signed after being outrighted off the Yankees 40 Man Roster

- Former Blue Jays first round pick

- Bounced between the Majors and Triple A since 2015

- 5.76 ERA in the minors in 2021

- 14.29 K’s per 9 in five starts with the Mariners

Bullpen

LHP Ryan Buchter-35

- Thirty-third round pick in 2005

- Elite reliever for the Padres and Athletics from 2016-19

- Struggled with walks for the Diamondbacks last year

- Alternative to Anthony Misiewicz as the lefty out of the pen

- Had 11.25 K’s per 9 in Triple A

LHP Kyle Bird-28

- Thirty fifth round pick by the Rays in 2014

- Elite minor league reliever in 2018-19

- Made Major League Debut in 2019 with the Rangers

- Pitched 12 times before being released

- Missed 2020-21 with Tommy John

RHP Matt Koch-31

- Elected free agency from Cleveland and signed with the Mariners in March

- Former top fifteen prospect in the Diamondbacks system

- Has never had a K’s per 9 over eight at any professional level

- Over 150 MLB innings pitched

- Spent all of 2021 with Cleveland’s Triple A affiliate

RHP Braden Shipley-30

- Released by Cincinnati in August 2021

- Signed to a minor league contract by the Mariners just before Spring Training

- Former first round pick

- Has struggled in 2019 and 2021 in Triple AAA

- High walk and strikeout rate in 2021

RHP Sal Romano-28

- Signed to a minor league contract in March

- Pitched for the Reds, Yankees and Brewers in 2021

- 95+ MPH fastball

- Spent the entire 2018 seasons the Reds Major League roster as a starter and reliever

- 3.56 ERA in Triple A in 2021

RHP Patrick Weigel-27

- Signed to a minor league contact after electing free agency

- Brief appearances for Atlanta and Milwaukee the last two seasons

- Threw over 50% sliders in 2021

- Had 7.89 walks per nine in Triple A

- Pitched only four innings in the majors last year but had nine strikeouts

RHP Devin Sweet-25

- Went undrafted in 2018

- Converted from starter to reliever in 2021 for Arkansas

- Elite changeup and low walk rate

- Could start 2022 in Arkansas or Tacoma

- Had a 27 K% in 2021

RHP Wyatt Mills-27

- Third round pick by the Mariners in 2017

- Classic side arm reliever

- Made his major league debut for the Mariners in 2021

- Struggled in the majors giving up fourteen runs in twelve innings

- Had an elite 16.01 K’s per 9 in Triple A

RHP Mathew Festa-29

- Drafted in the seventh round by the Mariners in 2016

- Pitch thirty innings for the Mariners in 2019

- Had Tommy John surgery in March 2020

- Potential Major League reliever this season

- 2.95 ERA in Tacoma after returning from injury last season

RHP Darin Gillies-29

- Tenth round pick in 2015

- Bounced between Arkansas and Tacoma since 2018

- Arkansas closer in the first half

- Had a 46% ground ball rate in Arkansas last year

- 2.80 ERA in 2021

Injured

LHP-Roenis Elías-33

- Was great in Spring Training last year, most likely was going to end up on the opening day roster

- Had to have Tommy John in March 2021

- Has started throwing live batting practice

- Could return as soon as late April

- Had a 2.65 ERA in 51 innings for the Mariners in 2018

RHP-Joey Gerber-25

- Eighth round draft pick in 2018

- Had season ending back surgery in May 2021

- Solid contributor in the 2020 Mariners bullpen

- Will miss at least the first couple weeks of the season with a forearm strain

- Over twelve K’s per 9 in both his minor league seasons

That is my projected Tacoma Rainiers roster! I listed thirty-three players and the max roster size is 28. Most likely a couple of the bullpen arms will be released by the team before the April fifth opener. If there any players I missed or anyone your particularly excited about let me know in the comments!