Seattle Mariners: 3 darkhorse candidates to contribute in 2020
By Ty Gonzalez
DH Daniel Vogelbach
It may seem awkward at first to include Vogelbach on this list considering he was the Mariners’ lone All-Star selection last year, but his rough second half of the 2019 season has now put his safety on the 26-man roster into question. Before the All-Star break, Vogelbach slashed .238/.375/.505 with 21 home runs and an incredible 17.9% walk rate. Afterwards, the walks stayed about the same, but the strikeout numbers skyrocketed and his slash line for the final two-and-a-half months of the year slid to an atrocious .162/.286/.341.
With Evan White now set to open the season as Seattle’s starting first baseman, Vogelbach is now cemented exclusively as a designated hitter, providing nothing to the team aside from his bat. That’s not to say that Vogelbach was previously valuable whatsoever on the defensive side, but now there’s no other place for him to go—he has to hit.
This adversity isn’t new for Vogelbach, however. At this time last year, there was much doubt about his future within the Mariners’ organization, given how frustratingly reluctant they were to give him consistent playing time. That’s a bit different this year, and now that teams have figured out how to attack him, it’s a matter of him being able to adjust or not. At the very least, the capability to put up big numbers is there, which puts him at the top of this list.