Seattle Mariners All-Time Fantasy Draft: Meet the Squads
3. Maduell vs 6. Wicke
My clear first pick (and third overall) was the great Edgar Martinez. Along with 309 homers and a .312 batting average through 18 seasons, he also posted 100-plus RBI’s through six of those as well as 145 in 2000 alone! Edgar was the first designated hitter to come into his own and his ALDS walk-off against the Yankees gave Mariners fans their first highlight to cheer about.
At starting pitcher is Aaron Sele who never had ace stuff like Moyer or Garcia but was a key middle-of-the-pack starter during the key 116-win season. At relief is JJ Putz and though he had one good year for the club, it was a big one with 40 saves and his lone All-Star berth.
On the other end of the battery is former backup catcher Ben Davis. He wasn’t the best catcher nor hitter but he had more power than Dan Wilson and if you can play backup during the early 2000’s glory years, you’re a worthy catcher.
We move to inside the diamond with Jose Lopez at the hot corner. Though his Mariner glory years were at second base, he played full-time third between Beltre’s departure and Seager’s call-up. Next to him is Carlos Guillen who despite an ALDS-clinching squeeze in 2000, remained under-rated due to injuries.
The Mariners didn’t use him well as he was traded right before he hit prime. At second is Bret Boone and whether or not the HGH rumors were true or not, aren’t 37 homers, 141 RBI’s, and a .331 average (2001) darn impressive from a guy under six feet and 200 pounds?
Lastly, we end with Tino Martinez at the other corner. Though he really hit prime later as a Yankee, his 31 homers, 111 RBI’s and .293 average led to his first career All-Star berth during the magical ’95 season.
In left field, we have Ruben Sierra who was a one-and-done in 2002. For someone who platooned with Mark McLemore, he posted a solid season of 13 homers, 60 RBI’s and a .270 average. In center roams Willie Bloomquist, the poor man’s Mark McLemore of utility men. Finishing out my team is the former right fielder, Al Cowens, who hit 20 homers his first year as a Mariner as well as the right fielder in team history to start Opening Day consecutive seasons.
Could you imagine the one-two punch of Randy Johnson throwing 8 shutout innings, just to have Edwin Diaz trot out to the mound and clinch yet another save? With my All-Time Mariners team, it’s the sweet reality.
Johnson, who is considered the greatest pitcher in Mariners history (though King Felix would think otherwise), was my first round pick at #6 overall. Knowing that pitching is vital for any contender, and each team is allowed just one reliever — I took the most dominant closer in Mariners history with my second pick: Edwin Diaz.
Jean Segura, who mashed a 3-run home run in last season’s All-Star game after a magical “Send Segura” campaign, was my third round pick at shortstop. The “hit machine” slashed .302/.345/.421 in his 269 career games for Seattle.
My outfield consisted of fan favorites Ben Gamel and Raul Ibanez, along with Ruppert Jones (1977-79). Jones, a Mariners All-Star in 1977, would go on to slash .257/.333/.418 in his 3-year Mariner career.
With catching great Dave Valle behind the plate, the rest of the infield consisted of first baseman Tom Paciorek (.296/.343/.460), second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt (.279/.302/.393) and third baseman Dan Meyer (.265/.305/.405).
Paciorek was a Mariners All-Star in 1981 when he slashed .326/.379/.509, finishing 10th in American League MVP voting.
The team features the old and the new of Mariners stars, from Edwin Diaz and Jean Segura to Randy Johnson and Raul Ibanez. And with the Big Unit setting up a save for Sugar – how sweet it is.