Mariners roster projection 1.0: Former Royals top prospect snags roster spot

Could Scott Servais create a super speedy bench to better prepare them success in close games? There are avenues to make it happen.
Seattle Mariners Photo Day
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The Mariners officially turned the calendar on a disappointing end to the 2023 season by kicking off their Cactus League slate yesterday. The front office, led by the President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and general manager Justin Hollander, took players' feedback, conducted a little self-reflection, and reimagined the position player portion of the roster by acquiring five new faces. However, the bench and the bullpen should have some intriguing competition. 

With a concerted effort to add more contact, depth, and power to the lineup, the bench could look much different than in past seasons. Here's our first spring 26-man roster projection, including a speedy take on the Mariner bench. 

Catchers: Cal Raleigh, Seby Zavala

The 27-year-old Raleigh is a team leader and one of the most solid backstops in the league. Offensively, he's above his peers, leading all catchers in home runs the past two seasons while offering a unique switch-hitting skillset. 

In the past three years, we've seen the former Florida State University alum make significant strides defensively, specifically in blocking and pitch framing. He's always had a strong arm (87th percentile), evident in his inclusion in the top ten in caught stealing rate and outs above average amongst catchers. Newcomer Seby Zavala offers more of a defensive profile and contact approach from the backup catcher spot. 

First base: Ty France 

We've written extensively about Ty France and his work at Driveline this offseason. Early reports from Mariner spring training show a slimmed-down version with an added 3.5 mph in bat speed. A return to 2021-2022 Ty France could do wonders for this team and help solidify the bottom third of the lineup. 

France will never be mistaken for a true slugging corner infielder, but his contact-oriented approach is a much-needed element to the lineup.