Extended Spring can be very hit and miss when it comes to seeing guys with bright futures. Some clubs have highly drafted players and high priced international guys, while other clubs don’t feature many players that carry much name recognition. The Seattle Mariners are a bit of the later, but I decided to focus on the non-rehab players that were the highest draft picks on the Extended Spring Training roster when I saw them the other day.
Kristian Brito was an 11th round pick in 2012 out of Puerto Rico, and is a massive human being. He is 6’5” and politely listed as just 240 lbs. His glove is actually quite soft and can pick just about anything thrown his way, so long as it is within arm’s reach. He is every bit as slow as he looks in the ground out video above, which came just a couple pitches after the third baseman over-ran a foul pop up that should have been an out. I have seen Brito a couple times, and he has been somewhat underwhelming. There is certainly power in the bat, but there is a lack of consistency in the swing and the bat can take a long time to get through the zone.
The Mariners 11th round pick in 2013 was right-handed pitcher Zack Littell. Littell throws a two-seam fastball with solid run, but I have yet to see it clock higher than 87 MPH. He has a curve that routinely had batters way out on their front foot, as it comes in between 67-70 MPH, but he can drop into whatever spot he wants. He has another pitch in the low-80s, I believe it is a cutter, but I couldn’t really tell. He is still 18 and could add some velocity, which he will need. If he doesn’t add a few MPH to his fastball, he probably won’t progress very far, but if he does add the velocity, he could be a future high minors arm that gets a cup of coffee or two.
Lachlan Fontaine was taken in the 13th round last year out of a Vancouver, BC area high school, and his approach at the plate needs work. In the video above, he gives up on a curve ball almost the moment it left the pitcher’s hand on a pitch that wound up being a strike. He just looks very uncomfortable at the plate.