Sodo Mojo’s Mariners Round Table #2: It’s Prediction Time!

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 4: A hat and glove of of the Seattle Mariners is seen prior to the game against the San Diego Padreson March 4, 2015 at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. The Mariners defeated the Padres 4-3 in 10 innings. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 4: A hat and glove of of the Seattle Mariners is seen prior to the game against the San Diego Padreson March 4, 2015 at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona. The Mariners defeated the Padres 4-3 in 10 innings. (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images) /
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Question 5: The Seattle Mariners 2018 MVP, Cy Young, and Breakout players will be???

Ty Gonzalez:

If Dee Gordon continues to have success in center field, he will be the clear-cut MVP of this team. We know the bat will be there, and while guys like Cano and Cruz will do way more damage at the plate, Gordon will create a lot of their opportunities and push the envelope on the base paths.

Though James Paxton or Felix Hernandez seem to be the obvious choice, I’m going with Mike Leake for the team’s Cy Young. He won’t blow anyone away, but he’ll be consistent and probably (hopefully) healthy for the entire season.

Marco Gonzales leads the way for breakout players going into 2018. Gonzales has looked really solid and has shown a lot of composure when he wasn’t on this Spring. On the offensive side, look for Mike Zunino to continue becoming the offensive juggernaut we always thought he would be. He’s been smacking the ball around Arizona and should continue to bring that approach into the regular season. I see an All-Star selection in his near future.

Dan Clark:

The Mariners MVP will be Dee Gordon. Gordon will prove his natural athletic ability is no fluke and will be a natural in CF. He will also steal 60+ bases and hit over .315 this season. He will be a fantastic fit within the clubhouse as well.

Cy Young award will go to James Paxton. He will finally have a fully healthy season and show everyone outside of the Pacific Northwest he is a top 5 pitcher in the AL. The Breakout player will be Guillermo Heredia. He will prove himself to be a valuable LF option and hopefully be fully fit this year as well.

Jeff Nooney:

The 2018 mariners MVP will be Robinson Cano. I fully expect Cano to hit .285 and drive in over 100 Runs, with Gordon and Segura hitting in front of him. The CY Young will be James Paxton, if he stays healthy. The breakout player this year will be Marco Gonzales. The former 1st rd pick out of Gonzaga showed well this spring, and will continue his success Into the regular season.

Michael Johnson:

MVP: Dee Gordon

All spring we’ve waited to see some sort of fail out in center field… we’re still waiting. Gordon looks to be everything Servais was hoping for defensively, which to me is as huge as it can possibly get. Why? With the transition coming so smoothly, the more comfortable Gordon will be on both sides of the ball. And so, I expect a big year out of the Mariners leadoff hitter. His success will only add to the success of the guys hitting behind him so although Segura, Cano, and Cruz may wind up with bigger numbers, it will all flow through “Flash.”

Cy Young: James Paxton

It is his time. It has to be. We’ve waited… and waited… and waited… seen glimpse of what could be, only to be disappointed by a sore elbow here and a finger blister there. Paxton is due for the breakout season he was on his way to having last year. An injury free, 29 start year is on the horizon and come September Paxton will have officially met all of our expectations.

Break Out: James Paxton, Marco Gonzales, Dan Vogelbach

I already spoke about Paxton. But there another arm ready to break out. Two years removed from Tommy John, Gonzales has looked like a whole new guy this spring. In 6 starts he’s given up just four earned runs (all coming in two games), has a 1.69 ERA, and just 7 walks compared to 18 strike outs. As the fourth starter in the Mariners rotation, Marco should find himself in some favorable match ups and could wind up being a candidate for break out player of the year for the M’s.

Offensively, how can we not look at Vogey. The guy tore up the spring, earning his way onto the Opening Day roster (50 AB, .400 AVG, .531 OBP, 1.431 OPS, 7 2B, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 10 SO). Despite Ryon Healy being slated as the “every day” first baseman, there is a part of me that feels Servais may find himself falling into the same trap every other recent Mariners manager has fallen into – the trap of the platoon. I am far from a fan of this option, but it will only become a reality if Vogelbach forces the hand, so with that in mind I guess I say… bring on yet another platoon situation at the 3 position!

Colby Patnode:

The Mariners MVP in 2018 will be Kyle Seager. I believe a return to his 2016 stat line is coming. He has looked great this spring, and we saw his floor in 2017, where he was still a good player. Seager will smash 30 home runs, drive in 100, and post a .280/.350/.530 slash line and play his usual great defense.

The Cy Young of this team will be James Paxton. It won’t be all that close. He is the only dominate starter they have. If he makes 25 or more starts, he will be the best pitcher on this roster, regardless of how you view Felix Hernandez.

My breakout player is a guy who has already broken out… sort of. Mitch Haniger will break out. In fact, Mitch Haniger will have a 5 win season. If not for an already stacked American League outfield, Haniger would be an All-Star this season.

Haniger already posted a 3 win season as a rookie in just 96 games. If Haniger can play in 140+ games this season, he will be a true breakout player. The Mariners fans know what they have in Haniger. And after 2018, the rest of the baseball world will as well.

Colton Swanson:

I think Kyle Seager will have a monster year in 2018 and he will be the MVP.  The lineup is deep and he has protection behind him for once. As for Cy young, going with Felix again. He just looks good and feels good. He is ready to go. And for Breakout,  its my man Dan Vogelbach. Some way, some how, Vogey is going to get regular at bats before the end of the season, enough to keep us from moaning over the loss of Nelson Cruz.

Next: 5 Ways the Mariners Could Make Playoffs in 2018