Dec 12, 2013; Settle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) poses for a photo following a press conference at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball 2014: Seattle Mariners Hitting and Pitching Projections

I had a buddy in college that I swear dated the same girl 9 times. Sure, they each had different first names (actually, I think there were two Jennifers in there) and if I squinted I could tell them apart, but darned if they weren’t similar. My buddy had a type.

It appears that the Mariners have a type.

I looked over their roster and they have 143 1B/DH types, and I’m not even kidding. Then I tried to work these guys into a reasonable lineup, figure where they’d play in the field (none of them can catch the ball or run a lick), and stagger the handedness of the lineup (almost all bat left-handed).

Then I said “screw it!”, that’s what manager Lloyd McClendon gets paid millions to do. He can figure out where the 143 1B/DH types play and I’ll talk about their fantasy appeal, which is nothing like their whip appeal.

Here’s my best guess, lord help us all:

Projected 2014 Mariners Offense

1. Brad MillerSS24L4946714617.284
2. Kyle Seager3B26L6187622739.262
3. Robinson Cano2B31L60091261002.308
4. Corey HartDH31R5506619753.262
5. Justin Smoak1B27S3924416460.238
6. Michael SaundersRF27L57568155217.228
7. Mike ZuninoC22R4035315431.235
8. Logan MorrisonLF26L4355015581.254
9. Dustin AckleyCF25L452557434.258

Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin

I won’t say much about Robinson Cano as a lot has already been said, and when talking about Cano I can’t help but think of his $240 million dollar contract, only to remember that of the 6 billion people on planet Earth, about 1.2 billion of them live on $.23 cents a day and every 16 seconds one of them dies of hunger. Then I think “good grief, that makes me sound insufferably self-righteous” and then I cut him some slack because the man just wanted to get paid because he has a kid of his own to feed. *eye roll*

So it’s a stupid ridiculous amount of money, but it is what it is, and large contract aside, Cano should produce well for fantasy owners the next 2-3 years, albeit with the expectation of a small drop in power due to his move away from Yankee Stadium and into Safeco Field. So pencil in a few less homers, but the same run production and batting average, making him again a top second baseman off the board.

Kyle Seager quietly had a great year at the dish, largely on the strength of a ridiculous July. Being that he’s solidified himself as a solid third base option, I wrote an entire post on his fantasy value.

Brad Miller might be startable in 10 team leagues, but he’s better suited as a MI option as he needs to play into his expectations. He’s 23 so the potential for growth is there, but it’s likely his realistic ceiling is around 14 homers and 10 steals. With a potential .280+ average that’s enough to garner attention at the thin SS position, particularly if he hits high in the lineup.

Nick Franklin is interesting because he has some talent, but is blocked by a $240 million superstar at 2B. It’s likely he’s traded (as it doesn’t appear that Seattle wants to part with any of their 143 1B/DH types), and has even been linked to David Price. Even with a trade that opens up a path to playing time, expectations should be tempered as Franklin struggled mightily as major league pitchers adjusted to him near the end of 2013.

Notice I didn’t mention any of the 143 1B/DH types as I don’t have the froggiest as to how at bats will shake out. While my gut says Corey Hart will get the bulk of them, you could also pull the names Logan Morrison, Jesus Montero, and Justin Smoak out of a hat.

Projected 2014 Mariners Pitching

Felix Hernandez27R2101402053.041.14
Hisashi Iwakuma32R2001201643.571.21
Erasmo Ramirez23R160801434.321.36
Danny Farquhar26R55330673.261.23

Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Felix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma, Danny Farquhar

King Felix has been around so long that it’s easy forget how young he still is. On draft day don’t forget that he’s still one of fantasy’s best pitchers. While Clayton Kershaw may now wear the crown of best young fantasy pitcher, Felix should still be targeted among the top 6-8 arms.

After a 2.66 ERA / 1.01 WHIP season in 2013, Iwakuma won’t sneak up on anyone in 2014. And after placing 3rd in the Cy Young voting, the 32-year-old Japanese import will cost more on draft day as well. Don’t let that deter you. e’ll be worth the money again in 2014.

The most darling member of the Seattle Mariners is Danny Farquhar’s mom who acts as an occasional spanish translator for the team. But you can’t draft Danny Farquhar’s mom, so draft the Seattle closer instead. The 5’8″ Farquhar splashed on a little Drakkar Noir and finished excellently in 2013, locking up closing duties in 2014.

Fantasy Star: Robinson Cano

After pick #5, picks 6-12 could seemingly be slotted just about anywhere in 2014 fantasy baseball drafts. Pick #6 seems too high for Cano as his home run totals could fall at Safeco, but I don’t know who I’d pick in front of him at #6. It will be a little bit of zen drafting, but if Cano falls as far as #10 you could have nice value.


Fantasy Bust(s): Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Zunino, any of the 1B/DH types.

Take your pick here. Better yet, save your pick here and look elsewhere for fantasy help.

As much as us fantasy baseball players can focus projecting player stats, it’s projecting plate appearances that matters even more (target players who are likely get 500+ plate appearances). In short, you can’t pour on fantasy gravy – runs, RBI, home runs and steals – if you are stuck in a platoon or rarely get to bat.

Most of the Seattle lineup is flawed in some way or another, when you pile on the fact that trips to the plate aren’t guaranteed for most of them, it’s wise to shy away.


Prospect Watch: Taijuan Walker

It’s looking more and more likely that Walker breaks camp in the rotation and after his 2013 cup of coffee, it’s clear he has the talent to stay there. If he gets 140+ MLB innings, he’ll have value, but temper your expectations as rookie pitchers more often than not have their growing pains. Here’s a profile on him from months back.


Fantasy Sleepers: Erasmo Ramirez

I don’t want to overstate this, but don’t be afraid to throw down a buck or two for “The Eraser” late in drafts. He’s no longer a trendy sleeper, but he still has the skills to offer a little back of draft value for fantasy owners willing to gamble on him.


Final Thoughts:  

The Mariners have everything a fantasy owner could want, from a first round hitter and top of the fantasy rotation ace, down to a couple interesting young prospects. Just remember to keep an eye on the playing situation for two thirds of their lineup as there are logjams a plenty and fantasy owners want 500+ at bats from the players they draft.


More on the Mariners: 

What the Cano signing means for his fantasy value.

I’ll draft Kyle Seager, please.

Prospect Watch: Taijuan Walker

All projections in partnership with Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball.

Tags: Felix Hernandez Kyle Seager Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners Taijuan Walker

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