That 'special' time Chipper scouted Trammell

April 11th, 2021

keeps his social media notifications muted except when he’s mentioned among those he follows, and naturally, his phone was lighting up after his first big league hit on April 3. While sifting through the congratulatory tweets and soaking them all in, one that gained considerable engagement was from first-ballot Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.

Trammell was born and raised in the Atlanta suburbs and grew up watching Jones and those loaded Braves teams that Jones was the unquestioned leader of.

“I was like, ‘Unless somebody is playing some serious prank on me, this isn't a joke,'” Trammell said. “As it all unfolded, I was extremely happy, just because he's somebody that I looked up to as a kid. And it was pretty special because I know how much he means to the city of Atlanta, and also how much he means to the kids that are playing baseball.”

Jones was able to pack a lot of substance into one tweet, sharing comments that played at Trammell’s coming-of-age moment, a full-circle story to their connection and a player comp to Curtis Granderson.

It was almost like Jones was telling his 1.1 million followers to pull up a chair while he tells a 211-character story.

Specifically, Jones -- who has worked for the Braves in a part-time role since retiring in 2012 -- tweeted that he recalled scouting Trammell when he was a high-profile Draft prospect in high school. The Braves, who were in the thick of a multiyear rebuild, had two first-round Draft picks in 2016 that were going to shape the future of what has since turned into three straight National League East titles. And they were strongly considering selecting the hometown kid if he was available at No. 40.

But Trammell wound up going to the Reds at No. 35. He was then dealt to the Padres in 2019 and then to the Mariners at last year’s Trade Deadline.

“I was really wanting him to join the family here, but it didn't work out,” Jones told “He's kind of made a couple other stops since then. But hey, that's one of the beauties of social media nowadays, being able to keep tabs on people. And the Mariners throw out a tweet saying congrats to Taylor on his first hit, and I mean, it really kind of strikes home with me that I was scouting that stinkin’ kid just a couple years ago.”

So, what did each party remember about that muggy afternoon in Georgia, with Trammell on the field and Jones watching with 20-30 scouts from the stands?

“In and around the Draft, the Braves would send me 10 or 15 other top hitters that they were interested in, and obviously Taylor was one of them,” Jones said. “He just carried himself differently than the rest of the kids. Obviously, you can see the skills. Whenever Curtis jumps off the page at you, you take notice and that was Taylor for me.”

“It was it was pretty special,” Trammell said. “Some of the guys that were coming up to me and they're like, ‘Hey, Chipper is here to see you,’ and I was like, ‘No, he’s just here to see the team.’ And I kind of knew a little bit. I just wanted to get his autograph, but I was like, ‘No, I can't fanboy right now. Focus on the game.’”

It’s probably a safe bet to assume that Trammell’s vibrant smile that is quickly catching on with Mariners fans was on display that day.

As Jones alluded, Trammell has come a long way since. He was arguably the Mariners’ top all-around performer in Spring Training, which earned him an Opening Day roster spot.

Now, he’s in the thick of a Seattle outfield that long term could also include MLB Pipeline Nos. 4 and 5 overall prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodríguez, as well as reigning American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, another Georgia native who Jones follows closely.

“Taylor, he's still developing,” Jones said. “I feel like he's going be a really good all-around hitter from foul pole to foul pole with some thump. I mean, what more could you ask for? That’s going to be a pretty formidable outfield once those young kids get their feet up under them, because that Lewis kid is a flat-out stud. You add another stud to the outfield [Trammell], and now, Seattle's got a couple of pieces to work with, and build around for years to come.

“I mean, you're talking about two really high first-rounders [Lewis and Kelenic] and another late first-rounder [Trammell] in your outfield, you’ve got stud outfield written all over you.”