Michael Gregory Marjama
Height: 6'2" Weight: 205
Bats/Throws: Right / Right
Born: 07/20/1989 in Roseville, California
College: Long Beach State University
Acquired: In trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, with Ryan Garton, for Anthony Misiewicz, Luis Rengifo, and Osmy Gregorio (08/06/2017)
MLB Debut: 09/03/2017
Free Agent after: 2023 season
Twitter handle: @MMarjama
The Mariners' new backup catcher hasn't spent a lot of time catching. Compared to others in his peer group, anyway; he played infield throughout college and caught some in the low minors, but didn't really start learning the position until he ended up in the Rays' system in 2015. Once he began to understand what it was to be a catcher, he relished it. “Being a catcher is more rewarding than anything,” said Marjama. “I think it’s the most rewarding position there is in any sport." Marjama does seem to have the personality to be a great catcher—he has a talent for reading people and intuiting how best to communicate with them. It comes in handy with moody pitchers; in his minor-league years, Marjama said, "I was able to take little ticks from what guys would do—maybe a mannerism or something—and I could kind of tell what was going on" and counsel accordingly.
Before being traded to the M's, Marjama was a Triple-A All-Star in the International League, having hit .274/.342/.445 with Durham. He doesn't have a great deal of power, but has been known to launch prodigious home runs every now and again, like this one:
On the other hand, he's shown that he can get the job done via other means as well:
Marjama only figures to play once or twice a week (assuming Mike Zunino continues to hit like he did late last year), but when he's out there he'll be focused on his batterymates. "If I have to go out of my way to make sure [a pitcher] gets what he needs, that’s what I’m going to do. Of all the qualities a great catcher has to have, selfish isn’t one of them."