Mariners News: Introducing Boog Powell


The Seattle Mariners pulled off a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. The M’s sent Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar to the Rays in exchange for Nate Karns, C.J. Riefenhauser and Boog Powell. Ben Garza talked about Karns in an article yesterday, and today we will take a closer look at Powell.

Hershel Mack Powell IV, shortened to Boog in honor of the other Boog Powell, is a 22-year-old center fielder. Powell started the 2015 season with the Rays’ double-A affiliate in Montgomery before earning a promotion to Durham. Boog was brilliant with the Biscuits of Montgomery, posting a .328 batting average with 1 home run, 22 RBI and 11 steals. His .408 on base percentage and .416 slugging percentage were both very impressive.

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The Orange Coast College alum made his debut with the Durham Bulls on June 27th. Powell slashed .257/.360/.364 across the final two months of the Bulls’ season. He clubbed 2 home runs, drove in 19 runs and swiped 7 bags. Boog’s 41:32 strikeout to walk ratio was great, and should bode well for him hitting out of the top of the M’s lineup.

Overall, Powell hit .295 with 3 home runs, 40 RBI and 18 stolen bases across 117 games in 2015. He registered a .385 on base percentage and slugged .392 through 522 plate appearances. Boog hits and throws from the left side.

Originally selected by the Oakland A’s in the 20th round of the 2012 draft, Powell was acquired by the Rays last offseason as part of the return package for Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar. Powell hit .308 through his first four seasons in the minor leagues. In 2014, Boog earned MVP honors at the Midwest League All-Star Game after finishing 1 for 3 with a double, two walks, three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. He excelled against the best young players last fall in the Arizona Fall League. Powell posted a .300 batting average with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBI and 2 stolen bases across 21 games in the AFL.

Powell is considered to be an average defender in center field. He tallied 11 outfield assists this past season, but his .972 fielding percentage left something to be desired. Boog has solid range, and is thought to be capable of playing all three outfield spots.

Despite his productive minor league career, there is some controversy associated with Powell. He was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in 2014 after testing positive for amphetamines. However, Boog has not had any further infractions, and hopefully his trouble is behind him.

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Not surprisingly, Boog is reportedly quite a character. He has an affinity for snakes, which seems silly to me. According to, Powell grew up a fan of the Los Angles Angels. He wears the number 15 to pay tribute to Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon. Of coarse that will have to change with Seattle, as Kyle Seager is unlikely to surrender the number anytime soon.

The mathematicians at FanGraphs are high on the Mission Viejo, CA product. They suggest that he will register 4.7 wins above replacement through his age 28 season. FanGraphs projects Boog will have a similar career to that of Gregor Blanco. I think Mariners’ fans would gladly take that.

Jerry Dipoto told Chris Russo of MLB Network that he envisions “at some point, whether it’s April or later in the year, Boog Powell will become a top-of-the-order, athletic, on-base center-field option that should give us a lot of return for years to come.” Powell is ranked by as the Mariners’ 7th best prospect.

Next: Mariners News: Introducing Nate Karns

Boog Powell certainly appears to tick all the boxes Dipoto is looking for. He is constantly getting on base, and his speed allows him to put serious pressure on the defense. Scott Servais mentioned in his introductory press conference that strikeout to walk ratio is something he values, and Powell excels in this regard. It should be fun to see what Powell can do next season in the Emerald City.