O’Neill Hot In Arizona; Brosius Promoted

The Arizona Fall League is underway, and the Mariners have seven players performing in the prospect-centric circuit.

Outfielder Tyler O’Neill is one I’m keeping an eye on, as he projects to open the 2017 season with Tacoma.

O’Neill is a muscle-bound outfielder who has the ability to hit a baseball a long way. He made big strides at Double-A Jackson in 2016, cutting down his strikeouts, increasing his walks, and hitting for both average and power while winning the Southern League MVP award.

We’re just a little more than a week into the Arizona Fall League schedule, but the 21-year-old O’Neill already leads the loop in home runs. He’s played in five games and hit three home runs, including dingers in the last two games he has played in.

Word is that O’Neill can really launch some long ones – which should be a lot of fun in the PCL next season. He hit one on Tuesday which the “Trackman” computer system estimated at 443 feet.

The Mariners have announced an addition to their major league coaching staff: Scott Brosius has been promoted to be the Assistant Coach.

Brosius served as Tacoma’s hitting coach in 2016, and was promoted to Seattle in September. He must have shown some value during his September call-up to earn this promotion.

While the Mariners have made it clear that Brosius is an “Assistant Coach,” it makes sense to think that part of his responsibilities will be assisting hitting coach Edgar Martinez.

I’d guess about half of the major league teams now have two hitting coaches, with one titled “assistant hitting coach.” The Mariners haven’t had (and still don’t have) anyone with that title.

It makes sense if you think about it: a team has 13 position players, each needing time in the batting cage on a daily basis. Two hitting coaches to do that work makes a lot of sense, and it would be no surprise if Brosius spends a lot of time with Edgar working in the cage next year.

Regardless of his actual responsibilities, we’re happy for Scott, who played for Tacoma in the 1990s and returned as a coach last year. Hopefully he’ll be part of a great 2017 season in Seattle.

There have been online reports that the Mariners re-signed Triple-A starter Brad Mills to a minor league contract.

Mills made nine starts for Tacoma last year, going 3-3 with a 5.28 ERA. Shoulder problems caused him to start the season and finish the season on the disabled list.

The veteran lefty will be 32 next year. He’s had success in the PCL when healthy, and could be a boost to the Rainiers rotation if his arm is in good shape next spring.

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