Fear, not Mariners fans. The owners and major leaguers may be in a labor stoppage, but that doesn’t mean that baseball in its entirety is shut down. Starting January 10th, the Mariners will be holding an internal pitching camp until February 14th, called “Dominate the Zone“.
Essentially, the Mariners are taking 28 players from their minor league system and bringing them to Peoria to get started early. It’s a great opportunity for all involved to get some extra work in. When you take a look at the list, there are some incredible prospects from the team who are going to be there over the 5-week period.
“HEY! I see Emerson Hancock and Brandon Williamson, but I don’t see Matt Brash or George Kirby… what gives?”
That’s what I thought when I looked at the list. The Brash one is the simplest. He was called up late, and is going to get the spring training invite once it officially starts back up. Also, as a member of the 40-man, he is intelligible to take part in this.
Don’t worry about Kirby. He’s fully healthy and is working from home, according to Mariners Director of Player Development, Emanuel Sifuentes.
"“He has an amazing setup back home with a strength coach and resources – both people and technology. We fully have trust in what he is doing at home, (are) in constant contact with him, and quite frankly he just wants to spend a little bit more time at home. He participated in High Performance Camp in the fall, really can’t blame him.”"
Personally, I think they are giving him a break because they are playing with the idea of adding him to the 40-man and bringing him to Spring Training. Keeping him off the list gives him the opportunity to continue to work on his strength training and flexibility, before reporting to Arizona once the labor stoppage ends.
The Mariners still have a bunch of talented pitchers who were invited to “Dominate the Zone”
There are a couple of names I am really excited to keep an eye on from this list. Yeah, everyone wants to watch Hancock and Williamson, the top two pitching prospects in the camp. I’m interested in seeing what Levi Stoudt, Bryce Miller, and Adam Macko take from this. There are also Michael Morales, Bryan Woo, and Jordan Jackson, the Mariners 3rd, 6th, and 10th round picks, respectively.
Macko has quite the ceiling, but is still inexperienced. Getting five weeks of working solely on preparation, arm care, pitch shaping, and pitching in general is gonna be huge for him. I’m crazy curious to see if Stoudt can make it as a starter. The dude can bring the heat, and he has a nasty change to go with it, which he thinks is his best pitch.
It’s nice to see all four of the pitchers taken in the top ten rounds at camp for the Mariners. Bryce Miller is probably the closest out of any of them to making the bigs, as he brings the combo of college experience and a high draft pick. He also used to live at Zach Deloach’s house, which is a funny story.
The one that might stand out to some reading through the list is Juan Querecuto. You know, the Mariners Shortstop who was as high as 13th in their system only a few years ago. Sorry… err, former shortstop.
Yup, they’re bringing him in as a pitcher. It’s a big enough story (or, interesting enough) that we will do a whole article on it since it deserves more than a paragraph or two. He will definitely be a fun one to keep an eye on to see how he transitions.
The camp started up this week, and hopefully the team will provide some updates on how it’s going, or at least provide us with some tweets and videos of the players there during this dark and miserable time. No, I don’t mean winters in the Northwest (well, maybe I do), but this period without any major league baseball activity. Until they figure it out, we at least have the guys at Dominate the Zone to keep an eye on to satisfy our baseball needs.