Jerry Dipoto Show: Mariners’ Taylor Trammell has ‘put himself in favorable position’ in LF battle
The Seattle Mariners are entering the stretch run of spring training, as there are exactly two weeks to go until they open the regular season at T-Mobile Park against the San Francisco Giants. And even with 17 of their 28 Cactus League games now under their belts, the surprise highlight of the Mariners’ spring continues to be Taylor Trammell.
That’s important to point out because Trammell, who is 23 years old and yet to make his MLB debut, is battling to be Seattle’s starting left fielder on opening day.
General manager Jerry Dipoto isn’t shying away from the possibility that a player with no major league experience may break camp as an everyday player for the Mariners, either.
“The guy who has really stood out to this point has been Taylor Trammell,” he said Thursday when asked about his team’s left field options on the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. “Taylor has been the most consistent, and we’re seeing from Taylor (a) level of maturity and preparedness.”
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 15, 2021
When Dipoto mentioned Trammell’s maturity and preparedness, he was comparing him to two players the Mariners promoted straight from Double-A to the big leagues – center fielder Kyle Lewis, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, and Evan White, who won the 2020 AL Gold Glove at first base as a rookie. Trammell is in a similar boat, with 126 games of experience at Double-A but none at Triple-A.
While it’s always wise for observers to be cautious when assessing a young player’s performance in the first half of a spring training, it was eye-opening that when asked how the left field battle was going, Dipoto spent the vast majority of his answer talking about Trammell. And it makes sense, as fellow prospect Jarred Kelenic just returned to play Wednesday after missing a week with a knee injury, and Jake Fraley and Braden Bishop have both struggled at the plate in Cactus League games thus far.
That hasn’t been the case for Trammell, who despite cooling down offensively in recent games to drop his slash line to .269/.345/.538 is still showing enough to be in the lead for the open position.
“He’s had a really solid spring training,” Dipoto said. “He’s got a pretty neutral history in terms of how he handles both right- and left-handers. I think he’s played good defense, he can play all three positions (in the outfield), which is a positive as we move into a season, and gives us the potential for a left-hand bat with a speed element in our lineup should he make the club. Right now he’s trending in the right direction.
“There’s still two weeks to go but he’s definitely put himself in a favorable position to this point and I’m excited to see where he goes with it. It’s been a refreshing part of our spring training, and what can sometimes become a week of Mondays, watching Taylor Trammell every day has become a really fun element to our day.”
Dipoto also discussed Evan White’s recent success with the bat, the possibility of trading for a proven starting pitcher this season and much more on this week’s Jerry Dipoto Show. You can hear it in its entirety at this link or in the player below.