Found July 04, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Glass half full Let’s not sugar coat this: The Seattle Mariners have not had a good season. The veteran presences haven’t lifted the team the way you’d like them to, and Jonah Keri of Grantland recently stated that the team is ‘years away’ from contention. It’s true that this group is a ways away with its current roster, but that’s the nice thing about sports—rosters constantly evolve. In competition, passionate fans are well-versed in hyperbole. The world is coming to an end, things will never get better, and the light at the end of the tunnel just keeps getting further away. Miller profiles to be a top of the order hitter. But it’s that same passion that gives fans a reason to stick through adversity. Good things are ahead for the M’s, and that’s reason enough to keep your head high in Seattle. Brad Miller The Mariners recently called up shortstop Brad Miller, which is a good sign for M’s fans everywhere. At just 23 years old, Miller gives this team a bright future. He was a second-round pick in 2011, and he hit .356/.426/.596 in 26 Triple-A games—he also hit six home runs. Offensively, Miller is often compared to Kyle Seager, who is another reason to have hope in Seattle. The best sign, though, is that the youngster improved following his promotion from AA to AAA. If that trend continues, and he embraces the challenges of the Big League, he’s going to push the Mariners in the right direction sooner rather than later. Mike Zunino Mike Zunino is the future of the catcher position in Seattle. The nice thing, however, is that the future might be sooner than some expected when it comes to success at that spot. As the No. 3 pick in the 2012 draft, Zunino made his debut this season after being brought up from Tacoma. He reached Double-A play during his first summer, so no one should be surprised at his jump to the Majors. Zunino has the kind of strength that will let him be a power hitter in Seattle. He also has the kind of arm that should keep runners honest with him behind the plate. At just 22 years old, Zunino has room to grow, but then again, that’s not a bad thing with the team continuing to grow alongside him. Franklin has proven a stud early on (Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photo) Nick Franklin As a rookie infielder, Nick Franklin is leaving his fingerprints on the Mariners’ season. The second baseman found success with his swing in Tacoma, and he’s finding it again in Seattle. This kid hit some deep home runs while he was in Arizona, and that’s something fans should look forward to at Safeco Field. As someone who understands how to use his line-drive batting style, Franklin has the chance to be someone who avoids strikeouts. He puts the ball where it needs to be after making contact, and he’s disciplined enough to know when the right play needs to be made. Batting aside, there’s one nice thing about Franklin that all Seattleites should take note of: He’s hungry to win. The M’s can’t ask for much more at this point, and someone who wants to win is going to be a welcomed addition for years to come. In the system – Taijuan Walker Taijuan Walker is rated the No. 1 prospect on the team by MLB.com, and it’s not tough to see why. In his debut with Tacoma (AAA), the 20-year-old was beyond impressive. Six scoreless innings and just three hits led to a win, and it feels like we’re getting closer to him joining the crew in Seattle. With a fastball, curveball and changeup to his name, he has a chance to make the jump up this fall. He’s been selected to play in the 2013 Futures Game, which will be the second of his young career. Once Walker finally makes his first appearance, fans will have a little something extra to cheer about moving forward. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEATTLE MARINERS CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!
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