Dan Vogelbach, the 23 year old, 6 foot, 250 pound slugger, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft by the Chicago Cubs. He was the main piece sent to the Seattle Mariners for LHP Mike Montgomery. Vogelbach got a brief cup of coffee in the majors with the Mariners in September of the 2016 season. He was only given 13 at bats and recorded 1 single and 1 walk. Based on Chris Mitchell’s KATOH projections, Vogelbach is ranked 60th of the top 100 prospects and it projects his worth around 5 WAR in his first 6 seasons. According to Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs Vogelbach’s tools are graded as follows: Hit: 45/50, Raw Power: 60/60, Game Power: 45/50, Run: 20/20, Field 30/30, and Arm 40/40.
Minor League Career
In his minor league career, Vogelbach slashed .286/.391/.481 while hitting 83 home runs and driving in 355 RBIs in 544 games. In 2015, Vogelbach made the jump to Double-A and appeared in 76 games. He was able to maintain a slash line of .272/.403/.425, which was consistent with his previous years, despite the jump in competition. His power dipped a bit, only managing 7 home runs in the 254 plate appearances. In 2016, Vogelbach was pushed up to Triple-A playing 89 games for the Iowa Cubs before being traded to the Mariners were he played 44 games for the Tacoma Raiders. Between the two teams, Vogelbach saw an uptick in his power, raising his slugging percentage .75 points and hitting 16 more home runs. Vogelbach finished the season with a .292/.417/.505 slash line. One thing that jumps out when you look at Vogelbach’s numbers is his patience at the plate. He maintained a BB% of 18.2% while in Double-A, and maintained the high walk percentage in Triple-A.
Vogelbach is expected to start the season with the Mariners heading into 2017. Depth Charts has projected him to be worth around .9 WAR in 92 games. They expect him to drop off slightly into a more .250 average hitter while maintaining his high On-Base percentage. Most experts have been predicting Vogelbach as a future DH, but Nelson Cruz currently fills that position for the club. With former Mariners Dae-ho Lee and Adam Lind now free agents, it appears Vogelbach will get his reps at first base, but he does not appear have the footwork, range or flexibility to be a everyday first baseman. Vogelbach is pulled down by his lack of defensive and baserunning value, but with his above average plate discipline and his adequate power, he will look to make a mark in the Majors heading into 2017.