A look behind the scenes from a live look at the Mariners in Spring Training

Getting to watch a game is always great. We were able to step onto the field in Peoria and get a live look at the Mariners in Spring Training.
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Getting to leave the grey skies and cold temperatures of the Pacific Northwest for the warm and sunny Peoria, Arizona was an incredible experience. I was able to see lots of players at different stages of development in the Seattle Mariners organization working to get better including some current big leaguers and top prospects. Being on the backfields was great because the entire organization was there getting better.

Mariners Big League Roster Takeaways

When the Mariners were running infield drills this past Sunday morning with their big league guys, they had Josh Rojas, Luis Urias, and Samad Taylor at third base, JP Crawford, Dylan Moore, and Ryan Bliss working at shortstop, Jorge Polanco and Ryan Bliss at second base, and Ty France at first. I thought that Rojas looked like the best third baseman there. He is taller and more athletic than Urias.

At the start of Spring Training, Luis Urias wasn't throwing yet and so a lot of fans were unhappy about the Mariners going into the year with him as one half of a platoon at third base with Josh Rojas. However, when I saw him he looked like he had progressed in his throwing and was throwing nearly or completely normal. I am not sure what his arm looked like before this offseason injury but I thought he was throwing just under 100 percent and looked fine.

At second base Jorge Polanco was turning his end of double plays at second base very quickly. He looked much faster than Ryan Bliss who was splitting time at second base and shortstop. He might be the solid second baseman that this team needs who didn't look like a liability at second base.

I was also able to see Ryne Stanek throw his first bullpen in a Mariners uniform. He looked good playing catch before getting on the mound for his bullpen. He is a veteran reliever who has had success in other places, which is something that the Mariners bullpens have not had in recent years. He will be bringing another strong fastball to the bullpen and will help stabilize the group while Matt Brash and Gregory Santos recover from their injuries. He was also wearing the number 45 so this likely means that first base coach Kristopher Negron will need a new number.

It was great to see Julio Rodriguez hit his first home run of the spring against the Brewers. He also had a hard hit double and the rest of the offense clicked around him which was nice to see. The Mariners showed off their deeper lineup for this year in that game by beating the Brewers 7-5 on Saturday. The Mariners put up an 8 spot on the Giants on Sunday thanks in part to Jorge Polanco's two home run performance that included a grand slam.

Mariners Minor League Prospect Takeaways

It was great to see that Cole Young was having success in Major League camp with the Mariners. The 20-year-old looks comfortable on the field and does not look like he is lost or too young for this opportunity. He didn't have any great success at the plate in the games I saw but he did hit the ball hard a few times and showed his impressive bat-to-ball skills. Having the ability to put the bat on the ball a lot is good to see from the young infielder.

Manager Scott Servais said that Cole Young has been as advertised so far in Spring Training and it is good to see him taking the most of this opportunity to show off his skills and potential to the big league staff. I would certainly think that this Spring Training has shown the Mariners front office that this guy needs to be kept around so that he can be an impact player in T-Mobile Park in a few years.

I also got to see the Mariners prospects who were in Modesto last summer who were just drafted. Colt Emerson, Tai Peete, Jonny Farmelo, and Aidan Smith all looked very impressive in the time I saw them on the backfields. Emerson looked the best out of the group and as it was reported by others he has put on some significant muscle in his lower half. He looks strong and I wouldn't be surprised if he moves to third base in the future.

Despite the potential move to third base, I loved what I saw from Emerson. He looks legit and he belongs in pro ball. I believe he will have a great season, especially if he starts the year in Modesto. Tai Peete looked tall and athletic as I expected. He didn't look as impressive as Emerson at the plate. They were taking swings against a machine throwing offspeed pitches and Peete swung and missed the most out of the group, but I would not put any significant amount of stock into it.

Aidan Smith looked really good from the right side of the plate against the same offspeed machine. He was hitting the ball just as hard if not harder than Emerson in the drill. He drilled a line drive to center field against the Brewers late in the game but was robbed of extra bases by the center fielder who made an impressive leaping grab. I think that there are big things to come for Smith who does not have the same level of hype as the infielders at Modesto but keep an eye on him this year.

I did not see as much of Jonny Farmelo as I did the others, but he did hit a home run against the Giants over the weekend. He also looks like he has put on some good muscle. He is a great athlete who could tear up the minor leagues and I look forward to seeing the season he puts together in 2024.

Spring Training was great and I loved getting to be up close and watch the Mariners players at all levels of the organization. I highly encourage all Mariners fans to go down to Spring Training and see guys like Mitch Haniger and Julio Rodriguez hit on the big league side as well as prospects like Colt Emerson and Tai Peete on the minor league side. The organization seems poised to have a great season in 2024.