Mariners' top breakout candidates this year? Dominic Canzone ranks high on list.

Adam Jude, The Seattle Times on

Published in Baseball

PEORIA, Ariz. — Jarret DeHart doesn't need much prompting. Mention Dominic Canzone's name and the Mariners' hitting coach perks up immediately.

"He is incredibly talented," DeHart said. "Like, he's one of the more skilled hitters I've been around. His ability to impact the baseball and his ability to make contact — it's a unique skill set. Unique."

The Mariners' No. 1 breakout candidate this year? Ask various folks around the club's spring training complex and Canzone is often one of the first players listed.

A 26-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder, Canzone was the key return in the Mariners' trade of closer Paul Sewald to Arizona last summer, and the more manager Scott Servais got to know Canzone over the final two months of the season, the more he liked.

This offseason, Canzone's presence was one reason — perhaps the main reason — the Mariners were willing to part with former top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic in a cost-cutting trade with Atlanta.

"He's a critical player for us this year," Servais said. "Looking at the outfield mix ... he is going to match up well against right-handed pitching. There'll be plenty of opportunity for him, and I know he's really focused right now."


Before he settles back into his new baseball home in Seattle, Canzone went back home to the Cleveland area and bought his first house last fall. The former Ohio State standout lived there with his 23-year-old brother, Bennett, and they got to work immediately on a makeover of the basement.

On one side of the basement, they built a new theater room with a bar and a pool table. On the other side, they brought it equipment to furnish a weight room.

"The perfect man cave," Canzone said. "Obviously, I don't get to see my brother that much (during the season), so it was awesome to be able to hang out and live with him."

When Canzone stepped into the batter's box early in camp, it was obvious he'd make good use of the weight room. His packed on 15 pounds of muscle, up to about 205 pounds on his 6-foot frame, most of that in his lower half, in his glutes especially. (He said he was proud of his brother, who added quite a bit of good weight too.)


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