For the first time in years, the 2021 Seattle Mariners four young players brewing that will become the centerfold of the future Mariner playoff drought-snapping team.
With three outfield prospects and one reigning rookie of the year winner, the outfield looks stacked for success in the coming years for Seattle with a combination of speed, power, defensive prowess, and swagger.
Seattle fans may be a bit wary of the term “Big Three” based on the pitching trio of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Danny Hultzen. While two did end up becoming premiere major leaguers, Hultzen had injuries that derailed him, and Paxton and Walker did very well for the M’s before both left and eventually came back.
In the case of the outfield, all four seem to be making strong strides for Seattle including a new edition from last year’s trade deadline. Only one of these players is guaranteed to start the season on the main roster, but all four of them have the chance to get playing time this season.
2021 Seattle Mariners: Outfield Big Four
1. Kyle Lewis
The reigning Rookie of the Year is ready to continue his tear through baseball and to improve on an already stellar 2020 season. In the shortened season, Lewis hit above .260 with 11 homers and a slugging percentage of over .430.
Going into 2021, his main goal is to prove that the shortened season wasn’t just a flash in the pan. During 2020, Lewis was drawing comparisons to legendary Seattle center fielder, Ken Griffey Jr. with his stellar defensive plays and hot bat. 2021 is the chance for Lewis to prove that he can live up to the enormous expectations placed on him.
Kelenic is one of the most hyped-up prospects in all of baseball and for good reason. Ever since he was traded to Seattle from the Mets, Kelenic has been a bright spot in an already strong Mariner farm system. With the combination of power, speed, defense, and clutch factor, Kelenic is making a case that he should be starting for the Mariners on opening day.
The question for Kelenic is not if, but when. After the comments made by former Mariner President/CEO Kevin Mathers, Kelenic’s immediate future is in limbo about whether or not he will be able to start the season on the major league squad, or if he will start in the minors for non-baseball related reasons.
When he gets the ability to play, if he lives up to even half of the hype he is bringing, he could be a superstar for Seattle and maybe even become the 2021 Rookie of the Year.
Another prospect that the Mariners have had for years in the farm system, Rodriguez also has a lot of hype surrounding himself coming to 2021. Rodriguez has made a name for himself as someone that up and down throughout the organization, can be respected. His professionalism and on-field ability have made him a hot prospect for Seattle over the last few years.
For J-Rod, signs do not look good for him to be starting the season on the M’s roster. While he has had a strong showing in spring training and has meshed well with the team, Seattle feels he needs more time to season in the minors before joining the major league squad. Signed at the age of 16, Rodriguez is only 20 years old and showing signs of being a major league-level talent.
While Seattle fears bringing him up too early could damage his growth, his ability will at least warrant a few looks in 2021 if anything during the September Call-ups. However, once he steps foot in T-Mobile Park, Rodriguez will be hard-pressed to ever leave the major league level again.
Coming over from San Diego in the Austin Nola trade, Trammel has been in a bit of a limbo with Seattle. The fans and management knew he had insane talent as a top prospect, but the question became of where did he fit in with the big three? However, during a strong spring training, he may have forced his way into the fold and the starting lineup.
The biggest question mark for Trammell is about where to put him. Seattle has the problem of there only ever being three outfield positions, so there will always be one man left out. For 2021, Trammel will not be that odd man out with Rodriguez needing more time to develop before reaching the club.
While not everybody will be fully ready by opening day, before the end of 2021, Mariner fans will have a glimpse of the future of the outfield as the youth-movement is finally starting to take place. With this movement, the Mariners are on their way to breaking their postseason drought.
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