By Nina Zimmerman on March 22, 2014
As the 2014 MLB season quickly approaches, here's a look at the Seattle Mariners' top five prospects of Spring Training.
Baseball America’s 2014 scouting reports call Peterson’s abilities to hit for power and average the best in the Mariners’ system. He's proven that this spring with four hits, including a home run, in nine major league camp at-bats. Chosen 12th overall by the Mariners in last year’s draft, Peterson hit a combined .303 in class-A Short Season and class-A Advanced last year with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs.
Choi, who played first base in the All-Star Futures Game last year, had a .364/.417/.455 line and three RBIs in 10 at-bats in big league camp before being reassigned. The South Korean first baseman hit .295 last year in time spent divided between class-A Advanced, double-A and triple-A.
Ranked as the Mariners’ No. 6 prospect according to MLB.com last year, Paxton’s occasional command issues don’t seem to have had an impact on the fact that he’s still a candidate to start the season in the Seattle rotation. The tall lefty is 0-1 on the spring with a 3.18 ERA, and has given up just six earned runs in 17 innings pitched, with 12 strikeouts and four walks.
A non-roster invitee and former 16th-round pick who spent most of last season in class-A ball, Leone now finds himself in the running for a spot in the Seattle bullpen. The 22-year-old has surrendered just one run and four hits in 7.1 innings of work this spring, and drawn positive attention from manager Lloyd McClendon, who said he likes what he sees in Leone.
Ramirez continues to baffle hitters as spring play continues. The righty from Nicaragua is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched. He’s only surrendered two earned runs all spring, and has 14 strikeouts and two walks. Though manager Lloyd McClendon hasn’t made any firm decisions on the starting rotation yet (with the obvious exception of Felix Hernandez), Ramirez seems to have a lock on a spot.
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