Seattle Mariners Option No. 2 – Shed Long Jr.
After a successful 42 game rookie campaign in 2019, Shed Long Jr. was given a clear path to everyday at-bats by Servais and Dipoto heading into spring training. Long struggled in the spring, but he later claimed his shin issue which plagued him since his time in Peoria in 2020. His struggles continued throughout the shortened regular season, hitting .171 and striking out nearly 30% of the time.
The stress fracture in his shin more than likely played a part in Long’s less-than-ideal 2020. After-all, the fracture occurred in his right shin, his front foot within his left-handed stroke. The abbreviated leg-kick is a major part of Long’s swing, allowing him to time-up pitchers and activate his hands from the left side.
An injury to that front leg likely caused a deal of pain and discomfort within every single swing he took last year. With a healthy shin, Long’s swing has the potential to get back to the explosive place that it was at in 2019.
Despite his struggles at the plate, Long showed considerable strides last year defensively, even with that stress fracture. His defensive runs saved jumped up 4 points from 2019, while he made eight more out of zone plays in only five more starts at the position last year.
One also must remember Shed Long Jr. is only 25-years-old and he was a highly-touted prospect. He has considerable potential for a bounce-back season in 2021, as he will be fully healthy and has an opportunity in spring to get hot and reclaim his starting role.
Now onto the final option.