It's unclear what direction the Seattle Mariners want to go in. They have a wealth of young talent in the minor leagues, some of which has seen major league action.
The front office also has some fairly deep pockets to play with this off season, so it will be interesting to see whether Jack Zduriencik wants to rely on a mix of veterans and youth, or bring in a superstar player or two to help right what has been a very disappointing and consistently mediocre ship.
Besides the likes of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Danny Hultzen, here are three prospects the Mariners can build around in the near future, provided they elect to go that route.
2013 minor league stats: .303/.365/.553, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 55 games (A Clinton, A Everett)
First round draft pick D.J. Peterson is still a couple years form the majors, but he'll be a perfect first baseman/DH when he gets there. Peterson is a proven hitter with some pop—he won the Mountain West Conference Triple Crown while playing at New Mexico.
If the current infield of Kyle Seager, Nick Franklin and Brad Miller stay together and Peterson pans out, (there's also the possibility that Justin Smoak comes around), Seattle will have one of the best and most well-rounded infields in the league.
2013 minor league stats: .277/.333/.443, 11 HR, 76 RBI (A High Desert, AAA Tacoma)
Stefen Romero has been climbing the Mariners prospect ranks at an increasingly fast pace lately and has a chance to make the big league club out of Spring Training next season.
He's switched positions a handful of times and is best suited for the outfield, a position the Mariners need help in. He put up ridiculous numbers in Single-A and Double-A, and while his stats took a slight dip in Triple-A, he's proven himself as a professional hitter and should make his major league debut early in 2014.
2013 minor league stats: .295/.362/.468, 7 HR, 44 RBI (AA Jackson)
Morban is another talented outfielder who's shown the ability to hit for average and power with a hint of speed. His fielding needs improvement (.957 career fielding percentage), but Morban is a solid athlete who can play the opposite outfield corner from Romero.
He hasn't advanced triple-A yet so don't expect to see Morban in Seattle until mid-season 2014 at the very earliest, but he;s another quality player the M's can build around.
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