Another Mariners Hard Throwing Lefty: James Pazos
James Pazos is looking for a breakout season with the Mariners after struggles in the Bronx with the New York Yankees. Will he have it in his first year in Seattle?
Being born the day after National Star Wars Day, James Pazos has always been told to use the force (his mid 90’s fastball) when he’s been on the mound.
Okay, that wasn’t entirely funny. Also, it’s probably not the truth, but the rest of the article will prove to be incredibly truthful.
The one truth in that terrible pun was his consistent mid 90’s fastball, which is Pazos most powerful weapon. Pazos also possesses a slider. he has struggles controlling at times but General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, certainly thinks he will be able to improve.
Born in Gilbert, Arizona Pazos was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 40th round of the 2009 draft.
He did not sign.
Instead, he chose to attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College and then transferred to a college with a stunningly beautiful campus, the University of San Diego.
During his second year at USD, Pazos finished with an ERA of 2.14, his WHIP below one at .94, and on top of all that averaged a strikeout an inning over 63 times on the hill.
He was teammates with Kris Bryant during his time there.
After his second year at USD Pazos was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 13th round.
In 2015, three years after being drafted, Pazos had his best year in the minor leagues. Splitting time between AA and AAA, he recorded a 1.27 ERA with 49 punch outs in 42.2 innings.
Later that season, he was called up to the minors where he didn’t allow a run in 11 appearances.
Pazos started 2016 in the minors, he was called up to the big leagues again but didn’t have similar success as the year before which resulted in fewer opportunities for him out of the ‘pen.
Pazos has always had arm talent but struggled with command. Which led the Yankees to trade him to the Mariners for Zach Littell shortly after the end of the 2016 season.
Pazos is glad to be back on the west coast where he grew up.
Looking to make the Opening Day roster, Pazos has built himself quite a case.
After struggling in his first outing, giving up three runs in two-thirds of an inning, he has yet to give up an earned run and has only given up one hit in his last six outings.
In 5.2 innings of work Pazos has struck out five batters, but the command issues have come back with four walks.
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Pazos is currently battling for one of the possible two left-handed bullpen arms along with Dillion Overton, and Marc Rzepczynski. (somehow I spelled that right on the first shot)
The competition has been lessened by the demotion of Ariel “Moon Boy” Marinda to AAA Tacoma.
Pazos’ potential Opening Day roster spot is going to come down to the very end of spring training.
Either way, we should see Pazos in a Mariners uniform sometime this season.
On another note, Pazos might be a switch hitter as his University of San Diego player profile shows him as a left-handed hitter, but his Mariners player profile shows him as being right handed.
Pazos has never had a professional at-bat.
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But that’s not why the M’s brought him to Seattle. They have high hopes for the young lefty to master his fastball and slider.
It may take some time (if it happens at all) but Pazos might have the force with him every time he takes the mound at Safeco Field. The question is when?