Seattle Mariners Farm System a Recipe for Success: A Historical Analysis

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 13: Jarred Kelenic #58 (R) looks on alongside Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners prior to an intrasquad game during summer workouts at T-Mobile Park on July 13, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 13: Jarred Kelenic #58 (R) looks on alongside Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners prior to an intrasquad game during summer workouts at T-Mobile Park on July 13, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Max Kepler and Byron Buxton pose.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- SEPTEMBER 20: Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins and Byron Buxton pose for a photo.  (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

2014: 1 – Minnesota Twins, 2 – Boston Red Sox, 3 – Houston Astros, 17 – Seattle Mariners

More than any other non-Mariner prospect I have ever seen, I really wanted Byron Buxton to succeed. I’ve always found myself drawn, as a fan, to fast players. Seeing a guy wreak havoc on the basepaths, bothering pitchers, making the third baseman nervous about getting beat on a bunt, and catching what seemed to be uncatchable fly balls. Buxton had it all and more.

He looked to be one of the fastest guys to ever come into baseball, at least of those who could do more than just run. Buxton was supposed to have a decent bat, an insane glove and range, and a great arm too. Hit for average. A guy you could build around.

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What’s the one common worry with speed guys though? Their hamstrings. That’s what has plagued Buxton and kept him from reaching his potential. He was supposed to be paired with one of the biggest bats in all of the minors, in Miguel Sano. He didn’t make it, but for a multitude of different reasons.

Some of their players would make it though. Sano contributed. Buxton shined occasionally. Trevor May was a great bullpen guy. Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco, and Jose Berrios all have had their moments too. It’s led to a continuation of one of the craziest streaks in all of sports… 17 straight postseason losses. Making it there is half the battle, so I guess it’s a mild success still.

Nothing has really changed for the Boston Red Sox or Houston Astros, their prospects just continued to show promise and ended up panning out. Mookie Betts became more of a stud, and the same goes for Carlos Correa and George Springer.

Meanwhile, the Mariners used their decent farm system and the newly signed Robinson Cano to actually have a winning record for the first time since ’09 but still missed the playoffs by just a game behind division foe Oakland. Seems like we are starting to see a trend of good farm systems making it to the playoffs. Will it continue?

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