The lack of big moves from President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and General Manager Justin Hollander has many of us wondering about the offseason plan. Are they banking on incremental improvements from young players like Cal Raleigh, Julio Rodriguez, and to a lesser extent, Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell to add wins to the 2023 roster? Of course, that is only some fans’ preferred approach, but I can see why they might think that way.
Taylor Trammell: The Forgotten Outfield Option
It’s easy for fans to lump Taylor Trammell in the “AAAA player” bin due to his less-than-stellar showing at the major league level. But the thing to keep in mind is that he’s had fewer MLB at-bats (295) than Jarred Kelenic (558). In addition, between the last two years, he’s spent less than half a season in the Seattle lineup due to a few trips to Tacoma for further development resulting in some recognizable adjustments that Dipoto addressed on Seattle Sports 710.
"“Mostly it’s going back and remembering all the things you do well and finding your confidence, finding the barrel of the bat consistently, which Taylor did from the moment he arrived in Tacoma. And a couple weeks in Tacoma resulted in a different level of confidence when he steps in the box.”"
That increased confidence resulted in some compelling stat lines. In 2022, Trammell authored a slash line of .196/.284/.402, suitable for a 99 wRC+. So, about league average. How did that happen? 2022 saw the 25-year-old outfielder adopt the “Control the Zone” approach. As a result, his walk and strikeout rates dropped considerably from the year before.
2021: 9.6% BB – 42.1% K
2022: 11.1% BB – 28.2% K
Additionally, he started using the whole field, which saw his pull % drop from 51.8 in 2021 to 38.0% in 2022. These numbers back up the fact that Trammell can adjust at the major league level.
The Adjustments Continue
Most recently, Trammell spent time at Driveline Baseball to smooth his swing path. In 2022, he had issues with elevated velocity driving the need for a more compact swing.
These minor adjustments should help him raise contact rates, and if you team that with his developing eye at the plate, he could play a role on this team.
Trammell probably isn’t a starter, but a fourth outfielder who can play all three positions, provide a speed and power combo, and knows how to adjust at the MLB level could be a valuable piece for Manager Scott Servais. Especially if Jarred Kelenic heads to Pittsburgh for Bryan Reynolds, but that’s a topic for another day.