Despite possessing one of the worst offenses in baseball the Seattle Mariners are still in contention for their first postseason berth since the 2001 season. This has led to the team being connected with essentially every player who could be realistically traded, particularly right-handed bats who could be available before the July 31 trade deadline.
One of the positions the Mariners have struggled to get production from is shortstop, and while he won't be anywhere close to the solution to their offensive woes, the Mariners -- and fantasy owners -- could get some help from recent call-up Chris Taylor.
A fifth-round pick by the Mariners out of the University of Virginia in 2012, Taylor has been one of the pleasant surprises of that year's class. Taylor, considered more of a defense-first prospect, has essentially reworked his swing with the Mariners, and he's put up numbers that are well above average at every stop so far, including his effort this season in Triple-A Tacoma that saw him hit .327/.397/.497 with five homers and 14 stolen bases before his promotion to Seattle.
"He's probably the best shortstop I've seen in the Pacific Coast League, if you're going to combine offense and defense," an NL scout said. "The swing has a little bit of length to it, but he gets through the zone quickly, and his ability to make contact is superb. The power is below average, but he can square up a fastball, and he's able to put the ball into the gaps and run.