SEATTLE—Selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft as a bat-first catcher, Tyler Marlette has always had talent, ever since his prep days in Oviedo, Fla.
He hit so well in his first four seasons—.289/.335/.458 in 872 at-bats—that he earned an invitation to big league camp in 2015, where he impressed then-Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.
Marlette failed to capitalize.
Instead of a tearing up the high Class A California League at Bakersfield in 2015, Marlette hit just .216 but did rebound slightly after a June promotion to Double-A Jackson.
“I definitely got exposed,” said Marlette, 24, of his 2015 season.
Thus the Mariners, with their new front office, did not invite him to big league camp in 2016.
“I wasn’t expecting (an invitation) after the year I had,” he said. “I figured I would go to mini-camp to break my swing down and recreate some of the stuff I had done right. It definitely motivated me, especially this year. It was an eye-opener.”
The swing breakdown was designed to find some consistency.
“I had that big leg kick,” Marlette said. “This year, we took all of it out. I’m just focusing on getting my front foot down and letting my hands work.”
Sent to the Cal League for a third straight season in 2016, Marlette hit his way to a promotion and posted an overall .798 OPS with 15 homers and 23 doubles in 98 games at Bakersfield and Jackson.
“When you look at probably his last 175 at-bats in the Cal League . . . there was a definite, measurable amount of progress,” farm director Andy McKay said.
In Marlette’s final 177 at-bats at Bakersfield, he hit .322 with an .885 OPS.
“Tyler Marlette can really hit, and he’s going to hit,” McKay said. “It’s just a question of the consistency on a day-to-day basis, and that consistency starts with a mindset.”
• Pat Shine will manage low Class A Clinton in 2017. He previously worked as the video coordinator for the Marlins. This is his first managerial job.
• Seattle named Oscar Marin its new minor league pitching coordinator. He was the low Class A South Atlantic League’s coach of the year in 2015 as pitching coach for Hickory.