The Mariners were extremely lucky to get Taylor Trammell at the trade deadline last year in exchange for Austin Nola and some relief pitchers. The Mariners prospect has been a well-respected outfield prospect in the MLB and has shown his talents this Spring Training.
Trammell is making life harder on general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais by becoming a legitimate competitor to be the Opening Day left fielder. Although we have seen a lot of great things across the board from the speedy outfielder, I still think there is one major issue to look at.
Mariners prospect Taylor Trammell’s kryptonite
Taylor Trammell is hitting .289 with a .965 OPS this Spring, along with two home runs and two stolen bases. Taylor has also made a couple of great defensive plays in Arizona, which makes me even more excited about him. But of course, every player has a weakness, unless you are Mike Trout.
Taylor Trammell has struck out 16 times in Spring Training and currently leads the team alongside Sam Haggerty. It’s amazing that he has struck out so many times but still has great offensive numbers. Trammell has appeared in 16 Spring Training games and had 38 at-bats.
So, 42% of those at-bats ended with Trammell striking out. Furthermore, of the times he has gotten out, 59% of them were strikeouts. This is too big of a number for the type of player Trammell is. If he was trying to be Khris Davis and only hit home runs, it might be a little more accepted but that isn’t who Taylor Trammell is.
When looking at his minor league stats, strikeouts weren’t too large of an issue for him. Across all of his at-bats in the minors, he struck out 26% of the time. Kyle Lewis struck out 29% of the time in all of his at-bats in the minor leagues.
But, when you look at some of the elite players in the league with speed and pop, Trammell isn’t close. Trea Turner struck out only 20% of the time among all of his minor league at-bats. Mike Trout only struck out just 19% of the time.
Taylor Trammell’s strikeout track record isn’t terrible, but I would like to see that percentage a little lower based on the tools he has, particularly speed. I also recognize that I may be overthinking it and taking a traditional lens on this matter. After all, I am a lifelong Ichiro fan that was used to seeing the ball put in play no matter where the ball was thrown.
I also wonder if Trammell made some changes to his hitting approach which has led to an extremely high strikeout rate this Spring. If you watch the video below from last Spring Training, the former Padres prospect is much smaller and his swing is different.
Either way, I think Taylor Trammell’s strikeouts this Spring are problematic and may force the Mariners front office to start him in the minor leagues. As much as I want Taylor Trammell to be the starting left fielder on Opening Day, the number of strikeouts is a big red flag for me.
There is no reason to rush the Mariners prospect either. It looks like Trammell bulked up and he may continue to get stronger. I think it would be wishful thinking to expect Trammell to become the left-handed version of Mike Trout but I don’t think he is that far off in terms of offensive tools. Mike Trout is 6’2″, 235lbs according to MLB.com. The Mariners prospect is the same height and weighs in at 213lbs.