New Year, New Rainiers Outfielder

Hey guys, we’re back!

I hope you had a good holiday season, and are ready to get on with 2017. We expect to have a super-fun season at Cheney Stadium this year, highlighted by the defending division champion Rainiers, and the Triple-A All-Star Game in July.

Spring training opens in just six weeks. To build up to spring training, we’ll start a weekly series of blog posts looking at which players are going to camp with a chance to open the season in Tacoma. The first post will come on Thursday.

The Mariners were very quiet over winter break, and still need to acquire a starting pitcher (or two) for the big league club.

On the minor league front, the M’s signed free agent outfielder Kyle Waldrop, who is kind of interesting.

A 25-year-old outfielder, Waldrop has hit in the lower-level minor leagues but struggled with Triple-A Louisville in 2016, batting .252 with five homers and a .300 on-base percentage. What’s interesting is that he put up much better numbers in Double-A, and he is young enough to improve.

In 133 Double-A games for Pensacola of the Southern League, Waldrop has hit .295 with 14 homers and a .473 slugging percentage, while keeping his strikeouts at reasonable levels. He’s a left-handed batter.

Waldrop appeared in 15 major league games for the Reds last year, going 5-for-22, but was removed from the 40-man roster after the season and became a free agent. He’ll be a player to keep an eye on this season for Tacoma.

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