Who is Travis Witherspoon?

 The Seattle Mariners announced Tuesday that they have claimed outfielder Travis Witherspoon off waivers. Henry Blanco was designated for assignment.

Witherspoon, 24, is a right-handed hitting centerfielder with 60 speed and decent pop — he hit 11 home runs at Double-A Arkansas this season — but a questionable ability to hit for average. He was the Angels’ 12th-round pick in 2009.

He’ll draw some walks and play good defense, but didn’t make the adjustments this season, and for a bat that has to get on base to have value beyond a fifth outfielder, he strikes out a bit too much — 23 percent rate in 2013.

This isn’t an impact move by any means, and likely one that impact the minor league depth more than anything else.

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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at InsidethePark.com. He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016. Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.

2 Comments

  1. It’s about time the M’s hit on one of these under the radar moves. Many many other teams have had waiver wire success and the M’s seem to still be waiting for their pot of gold at the end of the waiver wire window. I know it’s hard to do because teams don’t dump legit players but every once in a while you can net a big win. Witherspoon seems like a candidate to become a win for the M’s down the road. He seems to always significantly outperform himself the 2nd time through a league according to his past stats. So I expect for him to hopefully figure out AA next year and put himself back on the map. He might be a guy that is a traditional late bloomer, always needing two times through a league to adjust and move up. We shall see. I’m hoping for the best because his athletic ability might be the best amongst minor league OF’s in the M’s system.

  2. Witherspoon, aged 24, had a down year in Double-A, hitting .214/.299/.342 in 129 games this past season. The 24-year-old was once thought to be a high upside prospect for the Halos but health issues last season and poor production this season have hurt his stock. Witherspoon isn’t too far removed from a time where he drew comparisons to Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin, notes Alden Gonzalez at MLB.com.” As reported by Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors.

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