Before the Mariners drafted him in the 20th round in 2019, Cade Marlowe was a pre-med/biology major at West Georgia who was aiming to become a doctor.
These days, the pro baseball path seems to be working quite well for the 25-year-old outfielder.
After a breakout 2021 season and a red hot 2022 finish that resulted in a September promotion to Triple-A Tacoma, Marlowe earned a spot on Seattle’s postseason taxi squad in October.
The Mariners then gave another vote of confidence to Marlowe on Nov. 15, when they added the lefthanded slugger to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
“Cade is a multi-talented player,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He can play all three outfield spots. He can run. He’s a good basestealer . . . He’s got power. And he controls the strike zone.
“We think he’s got the upside potential to be an everyday guy.”
During his second pro season in 2021, Marlowe hit .275/.368/.566 with 26 home runs while advancing from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett.
He followed that by hitting .287/.377/.487 with 23 homers and 42 stolen bases in 133 games between Double-A Arkansas and Tacoma in 2022.
Marlowe closed the season on a tear, batting .371 with 10 homers and 20 extra-base hits over 24 games in September.
“From the moment he stepped on the field for us in the minor leagues, he’s blown it up,” Dipoto said. “The second half of his season was phenomenal. (He) did things that we just haven’t had guys do.”
Marlowe was one of just six players in the minors in 2022 with at least 20 homers and 40 steals. He will look to improve on his 27% strikeout rate over the past two seasons.
“He went from a curiosity in his early days as a later-round pick . . . to putting himself at the doorstep of playing in the big leagues,” Dipoto said.
“He has the ideal skill set to enter the big leagues as an extra outfielder and work his way into playing time, because he can play all the spots and he can run.”