Which outfielder will reign supreme in Mariners Spring Training battle?

With spring training approaching soon, the Mariners have one last roster battle to keep an eye on. Which outfielder will claim the final spot?

Sam Haggerty celebrates during a game against the Houston Astros
Sam Haggerty celebrates during a game against the Houston Astros / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The former prospect: Taylor Trammell

Last year Taylor Trammell boasted a 16.7% barrel rate, a 45.8% hard-hit rate, and an average exit velocity of 91.5 MPH. All those power numbers are eye-popping, and over a full season, would rank him as one of the game’s best power hitters, so there’s no question that Trammell doesn’t have juice. Unfortunately, Trammell also struck out at a 39.3% clip, one of the highest in the league. Trammell’s .168 career batting average and -0.4 bWAR don’t help his case either. What Taylor does have on his side is his contract.

Trammell is out of MiLB options, so if the Mariners want to give him one last chance, they would be forced to give him an MLB roster spot. If not, they would have to designate him for assignment and hope that no other team claims him off waivers. That seems like the likely route, but maybe Trammell has something more in the tank…with an impressive spring, he could earn a spot on the roster, at least for Opening Day. 

The recent acquisition: Samad Taylor 

Samad Taylor was recently acquired by the Mariners from the Kansas City Royals, and he is certainly an intriguing player. The 25-year-old hit .200 in 31 games last season for Kansas City but has a lot of tools that could help him succeed in the future. He profiles similarly to Sam Haggerty, being a quick, versatile player who has a lot of intangibles that make him valuable while being more of a liability offensively. Taylor’s OPS+ of 52 last season indicates he probably needs more time in AAA, and with older, more deserving guys ahead of him on the depth chart, it’s hard to see a scenario where Taylor cracks the Opening Day roster.