The Mariners give Fantasy Baseball owners some intriguing names to look at this year.
The Seattle Mariners are a franchise that continue to build for the future with homegrown talent. While they may not be ready to compete with the Angels and Rangers in 2012, they have a bright future thanks to some young guys oozing with potential.
Fantasy Baseball players love to find sleepers and diamonds in the rough to help carry them to a championship. Hitting on a sleeper in the 20th round of your draft may not win you the title, but it sure helps along the way. The Mariners will have plenty of late-round options to choose from in 2012 in addition to their top-pick in Felix Hernandez.
A popular name come draft day will be second baseman Dustin Ackley. While he doesn't do anything great at the plate or on the base paths, he is still very young and will produce solid numbers throughout the year. There are very few elite second basemen in the game right now and they will likely be off the draft board once the third or fourth round rolls around, so Ackley is definitely a guy to target around the 13th round or so.
Justin Smoak is a guy to keep an eye on in the later rounds. ESPN currently has him ranked as the 37th best first baseman -- the position is awfully deep this year -- but Smoak has all the tools to become a very successful slugger at this level. He will need to improve his approach at the plate, and playing in Seattle will not help his offensive numbers, but he could be a keeper for years to come.