Jarred Kelenic may be stuck in the minors until after the Super Two deadline passes, but that doesn’t mean the Seattle Mariners won’t have a top outfield prospect making his MLB debut on Opening Day. Taylor Trammell was the 35th overall selection in 2016 by the Cincinnati Reds before being the piece that went to the San Diego Padres in the Trevor Bauer deadline deal in 2019. A year later Trammell found himself on the move at the deadline again, this time for Austin Nola and a pair of relievers.
Trammell has one season at Double-A and has yet to see Triple-A, but he has been informed he will be on the Opening day roster this season with Kyle Lewis unlikely to be ready to go. Despite having plus speed, 263 of his 394 games in the minor leagues have come in left field. His arm is well below average making right a non-option, but the speed will allow him to hold down center in a pinch, but left is the long-term solution for him. With that, the bat needs to improve from the .689 OPS he posted at Double-A.
When with the Padres, they made some minor tweaks to his swing that saw him selling out for pull side power too often and he really improved down the stretch. Based on raw talent, Trammell is a no brainer as an everyday guy, but he has not put it all together yet. He impressed enough in the alternate site a season ago and again this spring to get the nod, although I fully expect him to be sent down to Triple-A once Lewis is back and stay down there for long enough to keep him from being Super Two eligible.
One of the main pieces in the James Paxton deal, Erik Swanson, number nine in my preseason Mariners list, is now in the big leagues looking to help the bullpen in Seattle, although I do think there is long term starting potential in Swanson.
He comes from a very high arm slot that creates plenty of backspin on his fastball but good plane to go with it, and it can touch 97. Him staying on top of the ball allows for the fastball to have some rise to it, but he can also mix in an occasional two-seamer and get some mild run.
His secondary stuff is still just below average but both his change and slider flash at least average. My favorite of his two off-speed offerings is his change that gives some good dip and run. This allows his fastball to play even better and border on a plus pitch. The slider is solid but will never be more than average.
There is deception in his delivery, hiding the ball well, but he gets to the same release point every time allowing him to pitch with good command. He may be a piece to help out the bullpen in the short term, but I fully expect him to break into the Mariners rotation as early as this season where he can slide in as a number four of five starter and eat some innings. His stuff does not provide a ton of swing and miss, so he will have to rely on his defense a good amount, so there will be the occasional unlucky day that balls just all seem to fall into play, but overall he is a quality rotation option.
Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150. 15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.
Three Quarter Slot is still a one-man shop, so getting to every player trade and call up isn’t going to happen, but I will do my best to get as many as I can. I didn’t get to Nick Margevicius before his debut Saturday where he went 5+ innings allowing just three hits and a run without walking anyone, nor will I write up Chris Paddack before his debut today as my take on him is in the Padres Top 10 Prospect post this past week. Today I will highlight David McKay as he was called up with Hunter Strickland hitting the IL (I will mistakenly call it the DL several times this season) for the Seattle Mariners.
McKay is not an elite talent and may struggle to stick at the big league level, but there is some upside in the arm. He sits in the low 90s with a running fastball, although he misses high to the arm side more than you want to see. This comes in large part to the very low 3/4, bordering on side arm slot he releases the ball from that can see his fingers losing positioning on top of the ball.
The breaking ball is slurvy with a bump in it to make it look like a curve at times, but a late, sharp break to give it slider shape. He runs it into the low 80s and it can be inconsistent, but at its best can dive at a lefties feet allowing him to be successful against hitters on both sides of the plate.
The command is more control over command as he won’t walk a ton, but he won’t exactly hit the catcher’s glove all the time either. This comes from late effort and inconsistent arm/hand location in the delivery, although the cross-body action and movement on all pitches makes it effective in the lack of command. He will hang the breaking ball at times leading to hard hit balls, but when the fastball is at its best and the breaking ball is sharp, he can be hard to hit. I see him running through his options this year as he won’t stick in Seattle all season but will instead travel back and forth from Tacoma some and be a 4A arm.