Major League Baseball is packed with players who rise to the occasion against specific teams. Jose Altuve and Jonah Heim come to mind when thinking about the Mariners, but a few years ago, it was Cole Kalhoun. The lefty sparkplug would make the diving catch to rob Mariner hitters of extra bases or even come up with the clutch hit late. If we look for modern-day comps, Zach Deloach is a spitting image.
Deloach, a former Texas A&M Aggie, started his professional career during the COVID season and quickly showed his chops in team workouts in Tacoma. 2021 was a big year for him as he climbed to Double-A Arkansas. That season was about showing the ability to dominate the zone, which was evident by a solid slash line (.258/.369/.778). His professional performance earned him an Arizona Fall League invite that Fall.
The 25-year-old outfielder flourished in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this past season and was an anchor in the Tacoma Rainiers lineup. Deloach was a doubles machine, knocking 33 two-baggers and ripping 55 extra-base hits. The slash line is what most would expect from a second-round pick at .286/387/.868, which was suitable for 111 wRC+. The only negative from this season was a career-high 27.8% strikeout rate. That high whiff rate probably pegs Deloach as a fourth outfielder at the major-league level unless he foregoes some of the power and taps into his 50-grade hit tool a little more often.
Deloach can play all three outfield positions by using his solid route running to track down balls in the gap, much like the first few years of noted Mariner-killer Cole Kalhoun. Deloach is Jake Fraley with a little less speed if you are looking for former Mariner comps, which means we'll see him in the big leagues as a good bench bat who starts a couple of days a week.