Infielder Alex Liddi #16
23 years old; Experience: one year
If you have heard of Alex Liddi and know anything about him then you are one of the biggest die-hard Mariners fans ever. Most likely, the only thing you know about Liddi is that he is the first Italian actually born in the motherland to ever play major league baseball. That little piece of trivia is exactly that - a piece of trivia. In case you haven't ever been to Italy, or even heard of it, baseball is not a very commonly played sport over there. So Liddi might be blazing a trail in the future, but for now that trail is overgrown and impassable. But somewhere out there, over in Italy, some young kid is holding a baseball bat starting at an Alex Liddi rookie card while all of his friends engage in a friendly game of futbol.
Liddi had a solid spring and was actually quite surprisingly made the roster over Carlos Peguero. Peguero also had a good spring training, but Peguero is also Peguero and has no business on a major league roster. Liddi doesn't necessarily either, but after his year stint with the Rainiers last year it was clear that Liddi had nothing left to prove in his constant embarrassment of AAA pitchers. He ended his 2011 minor league career with a .259/.332/.488 line while mashing 30 home runs and driving in 104 RBIs. He had a very limited call-up time after the rosters are expanded in September and didn't do a whole lot with it, although he still hit three home runs in only 44 at bats.
The power is definitely there for Liddi, but there is a big difference between clobbering minor league pitchers and jacking home runs off of the likes of CC Sabathia. Liddi definitely hit for power in his short stint last year, but when he wasn't hitting for power he was just flat out missing the ball. He struck out at a clip of 38.6% which is a number even Mark Reynolds can laugh at. For Liddi to have any usefulness with the Mariners, he needs to cut down on the pitches he takes hacks at and clobber the pitches worth clobbering. Since he has a whole ton of minor league options left, barring some horrendous infield meltdown/catastrophe/trainwreck of injuries, Liddi will probably have another limited stay with the Mariners riding the bench and occasionally filling in the infield when necessary.