#5 Cal Raleigh – Have a bounce back season
Last season Cal Raleigh began the year in AAA Tacoma, on the doorstep of the major leagues. He looked as ready as anyone could in AAA. Raleigh dominated the competition in Tacoma, putting up some video game numbers. He had a slash line of .324/.377/.608. A .608 slugging percentage is absolutely insane. Raleigh had 21 doubles and 9 home runs in 44 games. He also only struck out 25 times and walked 14 times.
The then 24-year-old looked poised to join the Mariners in the summer of last year and be an impact bat. That turned out not to be the case. Raleigh joined the Mariners on July 11 and never hit as he did in Tacoma. Raleigh slashed .180/.223/.309 in 44 games for the Mariners. He was very disappointing, and the Mariners will need him to step up for the team this year to get better production from the catcher position.
The goal for Cal Raleigh this year is for him to be an average catcher. He doesn’t have to be anything great, just league average. If he can be a good compliment to Tom Murphy and form a strong catching tandem next year, the Mariners will have a great offense next year. Raleigh having a .240/.300/.400 slash line next year would be a huge leap, and anything close to it is amazing.
A big-time offseason, with lots of development and growth from Cal Raleigh, will bode well for him in 2022 as he should figure to be a key cog of the Mariners lineup next season.