Andres Muñoz

Andres Clemente Muñoz

Height: 6'2"    Weight: 243 lbs.

Bats/Throws: Right / Right

Born: 01/16/1999 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico

Nickname: El Plebe

MLB Debut: 07/12/2019

Acquired: In trade from the San Diego Padres, with Ty France, Taylor Trammell, and Luis Torrens, for Austin Nola, Austin Adams, and Dan Altavilla (08/31/2020)

Free Agent after: 2025 season

As if the haul the Mariners got in their August 2020 trade with the Padres wasn't huge enough with Ty France and Luis Torrens, they also got a Player to be Named Later that was revealed to be this guy. A fireballing right-hander, Muñoz made his Seattle debut on the last day of the 2021 season after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery (undergone while he was still in San Diego's organization). The Mexican native impressed many that day, none more important than Jerry Dipoto—the Seattle general manager signed Muñoz to a four-year contract days later, buying out all of his arbitration years and adding three option years following for good measure. All for a guy with 23 appearances in the Majors.

In his rookie year of 2019, Muñoz's fastball averaged 99.9mph. That's some serious cheese, and he topped 100 twice in his Mariner debut so the TJ rehab didn't diminish that ability. Muñoz has understandably been compared to former Mariner closer Edwin Díaz, and it's certainly possible we'll see the same sort of outstanding results Electric Eddie showed in his Seattle tenure. But watching his form, I'm reminded of another guy that threw hard fastballs and sliders—the late great Bob Gibson. It's the sweep of his right leg after he delivers the pitch. I can't be the only one to have noticed this, but if you want to check it out next time Muñoz takes the hill, watch his follow-through. The leg sweep is not as pronounced as Gibby's was, but it's a similar torque. If the 23-year-old ends up with a career resembling that of either of those guys, even a little bit, Mariner fans will be plenty pleased.

TH, 3/30/22