Dustin Ackley will play a huge part in the Mariners future success. Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Potential for Greatness

This year the Seattle Mariners are going to be one of the most frustrating teams to follow throughout the summer because of their expected inconsistencies. We are one of the youngest teams in the league and when that’s the case you can expect some major highs and some seriously dreadful lows. Take sweeping the Detroit Tigers for example, our lineup looked really good against a team who is expected to compete for a world series title. We got really good pitching as well as production from our young guns that are expected to carry a huge load on this team. This is what the team could be like in one or two years down the road, and for Mariners fans, these are the kind of games that have to make you very excited for the future of our team.

With that being said there is one thing that us as fans need to understand; because we run out so many young guys everyday, there are going to be times where this lineup just gets shut down, take the Philip Humber perfecto for example. While the perfect game is something that I don’t expect to see happen to us again this year (I sure hope not at least), it is an example of what is going to happen randomly throughout the year. I urge you to not get to high when we are playing great, and especially don’t get to low and negative about the team when were playing bad because we should expect that their going to be very inconsistent.

The Mariners have the potential talent to be on the same level as the Rangers and the Angels, key word in that statement is Potential. Will that potential turn into actual production is something that remains to be seen. It is great to always talk about potential and how much of it we have, but Mariner fans are growing tired of losing every year and only living off the hope that the future is bright. This current rebuilding process might just be the last chance this organization has to save some very frustrated fans in our city from giving up on them completely.

“In Jack Z we trust.” this has become a common sentence used throughout his term as our general manager. It is something that I’ve been trying to get a somewhat frustrated and negative Mariner fan base to understand. While the wins and loses are not something we can be proud of right now, Jack Z knows what he is doing and he knows what it takes to become a serious contender. Have patience and let these young guys develop, if our General Manager who has a proven background of creating a winner from the ground up thinks we are close to being very good, then I sure as heck trust him.

This year all we are asking is for our young guys to develop, we want to see Smoak take the next step. We want to see what Montero will bring to us, what Ackley is going to do with a full season. There are many things that we want to see happen this year and none of them will result in winning 90 games and making the playoffs. At the end of the year it does not matter what so ever what our record is, all that is important is that our potential superstars take another step toward being actual superstars.

2014, this is the year where it needs to all come together. Its the year where our core guys will no longer be youngster, but hopefully have transformed themselves into proven everyday stars. 2014 should be a special year for the Mariners and I cannot wait to watch them grow from being unproven prospects to proven superstars.

Here is my projected lineup for the 2014 Mariners, yes there are going to be a couple trades and free agent signings that change the dynamic of this lineup. But, I expect the core of our team right now will be somewhat similar in two years.

  1.  Ackley 2b
  2. Seager 3b
  3.  Carp dh
  4. Montero C
  5. Smoak 1b
  6.  Liddi Lf
  7. Saunders Cf 
  8.  Robinson Rf
  9.  Franklin SS

I think Liddi is going to be our solution in LF, that has been a major hole in our lineup for years. Liddi has the athleticism and the arm it takes to play the position and his bat sure translates over to that spot. Again this lineup is made up of strictly guys who are in our organization right now, but in two years this is a lineup that I would be very confident with going into the 2014 season.

Be patient Mariner fans, winning is coming

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  • JCondreay

    I think that looks like a pretty reasonable projection, except where is Catricala? Also, what do you think the ’14 lineup would look like if Montero had to become a full time DH?

    • http://www.sodomojo.com Riley Carel

      I really like Catricala but I am personally higher on Liddi, I know I am in the minority on this opinion but I think Liddi can bring the lineup some much needed pop. If Montero does not develop into a full time catcher then I dont think we have a catcher who in waiting that is currently in the minors. Adam Moore would be the obvious pick but the guy sadly just cant stay healthy. We will have to acquire one via free agency or trade or maybe even go to the draft. A lot of buzz around the Ms drafting catching prospect Mike Zunino with the 3rd overall pick. He is a quick to the majors kind of guy and we know Jack Z loves drafting those kind of players. (Ackley, Hultzen).

  • maqman

    Not bad guesses except for Robinson.  Cat the Bat has to find his way out of AAA and so far he’s not close.  There are some bats down in Jackson and High Desert that might come to fruition by then.  A long shot might be Peguero if he can pick up where he left off before he was injured. How about the arms?  Millwood and Noesi are not looking like keepers, nor does Iwakuma.  Erasmo Ramirez might stick, then there are the Big 3 and Andy Carraway.  Pryor might be in the bullpen next year if he keeps developing well.

    • http://www.sodomojo.com Riley Carel

      You could make a very good argument for both Peguero and Catricala, but I like the speed that Robinson could bring to the bottom of the lineup. Any of three guys could break away from the others and take that job. That position is by far the most up in the air and it will just depend on who develops the most.
      Our rotation will most likely look something like 1. Felix 2. Paxton 3. Hultzen 4. Ramirez 5. Walker/Noesi. Walker will only be 21 years old in two years and while he might be ready to pitch in the big leagues as early as next year, I could see them waiting to bring him up midway through the year of 2014. Kind of like what they did with Ackley. But, if he continues to pitch at the rate he is right now then his age will make no difference on when he gets the call. The kid is flat our filthy.
      Also, don’t give up on Noesi, this is the first time he has been given a full time starting role. Be patient with him and give it some more starts before we can fully judge him.

  • ScottMorse33

    Great article. Patience is key with this years M’s. The lineup looks good with the big prospects (Ackley, Montero, Carp, Smoak), but with darkhorse prospects like Seager and Liddi making big-time contributions this year the M’s young nucleas is looking dangerously big. Keep tappin into that UNC pipeline.