What could unlock Mariners’ Dominic Canzone for a breakout

Mar 18, 2024, 3:42 PM | Updated: Mar 19, 2024, 1:27 pm

Seattle Mariners Dominic Canzone...

Dominic Canzone of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Los Angeles Angels in 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

In Monday’s Seattle Mariners game in Arizona, Dominic Canzone added to what has already been an impressive spring.

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In the left fielder’s first trip to the plate, Canzone deposited his third home run of Cactus League play over the right-center field wall, driving in two runs in the process. Not only did that tie him for the team lead in homers this spring, but it pushed him to a Mariners-best six extra-base hits as well.

A rookie in 2023, the potential of Canzone is still a bit of an unknown as he came to Seattle in a July trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. That means M’s fans didn’t get a chance to know him during his time as a prospect, and he appeared in just 44 games last season following the trade.

Canzone is showing why he’s worth keeping an eye on this spring, though, and the Cleveland native was apparently hard to miss when he first showed up at the team’s complex in Peoria.

“I asked him when he first arrived, ‘What are you doing in Cleveland in the offseason?’ because he looked like he was trying out for the Browns,” Seattle Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said of Canzone to Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. “He looked physical – and Dom’s a physical guy but more in a wiry way. He came in, he clearly spent a lot of time in the gym, which he told me is a common thing for him in the offseason because it’s cold outside.”

Listed as 5 foot 11 and 190 pounds, the 26-year-old Canzone has always clearly had pop at the plate. His biggest introduction to M’s fans last year, after all, was banging a game-tying home run in the ninth inning off the windows of the second deck in right field at T-Mobile Park. But what can he do to see more success in 2024 after posting a .220/.258/.399 slash line for a .657 OPS over 59 games with Arizona and Seattle last season?

“He’s always had the physical talent that we’re seeing on the field down here – he hits the ball as hard and as far as anyone,” Dipoto said. “If Dom’s pitch selection improves over what we saw in his maiden voyage in the big leagues, which we think he’s capable of doing, there’s a lot of ceiling there.”

Dipoto said that’s “especially” the case for the lefty-hitting Canzone against right-handed pitchers, which is what his role will mostly be this season. That being said, “he’s actually had success versus left-handers in the minor leagues because his bat-to-ball skills are different than a lot of guys,” Dipoto said.

“He doesn’t miss very often. He does put barrel on the ball, and he has a knack for hitting it hard. We’ve not yet seen the best of what Dom can offer. You know, young players get better is the moral of the story. At 25 when you get your first shot at the big leagues, sometimes it’s not as easy as it might be when you’re 26, 27, 28. And again, I think the best is in front of Dom Canzone.”

Hear the full Wyman and Bob conversation with Seattle Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More from Seattle Mariners spring training

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Seattle Mariners Notebook: Checking in on the pitchers
Drayer: How Servais’ Mariners view start of season differently
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