Seattle Mariners Spring Battles: Backup Catcher

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Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher John Hicks plays for the Surprise Saguaros during an Arizona Fall League game against the Salt River Rafters at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dark Horse: John Hicks

John Hicks is currently ranked 14th in’s recently released list of the top 30 prospects in the Mariners’ organization. Hicks was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Virginia. The 26-year-old backstop has fared well thus far in spring training, going 3 for 9 with 1 double and 1 RBI. Hicks has appeared in 7 games this spring, and he has done a nice job defensively.

The Goochland, VA product started last season with the Jackson Generals of the Southern League, before earning a promotion to the Tacoma Rainiers in early July. Hicks posted a .290 batting average with 5 home runs and 47 RBI’s across 290 plate appearances between Jackson and Tacoma. Hicks registered a .351 on base percentage and slugged .403 in 2014. Hicks recorded a .996 fielding percentage last season, and threw out 38% of potential base stealers.

While it is unlikely John Hicks breaks camp with the M’s, I could easily see him making his big league debut at some point during the 2015 season. Hicks could use a tad bit more seasoning and should start the year with the Rainiers.

Next: Seattle Mariners' Spring Battles: Second Southpaw Reliever

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