By Gary Hill
Raul Ibanez and Nick Franklin are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in their Major League careers.
Ibanez continues to chase down history with every at-bat as he further cements his status as the greatest left fielder in Mariners history. Franklin has launched his journey with wide-eyed optimism as all the possibilities of a great career lay before him.
Ibanez has accumulated 7,709 plate appearances in 18 MLB seasons. Franklin has strolled to the plate 90 times in his first campaign.
Ibanez has collected 1,929 hits during his Big League stay. Franklin has 22 knocks.
The Mariners drafted Nick Franklin with a 2009 first-round pick they were awarded for losing Raul Ibanez in free agency. (AP)
Ibanez took his first at-bat in the Big Leagues on Aug. 1, 1996 at County Stadium against the Milwaukee Brewers. Franklin was 5 years old then.
Despite the differences, Ibanez and Franklin will forever be linked.
In 2008, Ibanez produced a sensational season for the Mariners. He played in 162 games as a 36-year-old while stroking 23 homers and driving in a career-high 110 runs. He hit .293 and finished 20th in MVP voting. Ibanez entered the winter as a hot commodity and inked a three-year, $30 million free-agent deal with the Phillies.
Ibanez was a Type-A free agent when he signed with Philadelphia, which meant the Mariners were awarded a first-round pick in the 2009 MLB draft. Seattle used the 27th overall selection on Franklin. He rocketed through the minor-league systems with brief stops in Arizona, Everett, Clinton, West Tennessee, High Desert, Jackson and then Tacoma.
When Franklin made his first appearance as a Mariner, the man who indirectly made it possible for him to be here was in the lineup as the designated hitter. It is a true rarity that the supplemental draft pick (Franklin) and the free agent (Ibanez) that made it possible for him to be picked would ever end up as teammates.
Here is a full look at the supplemental picks the Mariners have received through their draft history:
• Taijuan Walker (2010) for Adrian Beltre
• Nick Franklin (2009) for Raul Ibanez
• Steve Baron (2009) for Raul Ibanez
• Matt Mangini (2007) for Gil Meche
• Adam Jones (2003) for not signing John Mayberry Jr.
• Michael Garciaparra (2001) for Alex Rodriguez
• Jeff Heaverlo (1999) for Mike Timlin
• Tony Manahan (1990) for not signing Scott Burrell
• Scott Burrell (1989) for Mike Moore
• Bill McGuire (1985) for Steve Henderson
• Terry Bell (1983) for Floyd Bannister
• Rene Rivera (2001) for Alex Rodriguez
• Brandon Parker (1997) for Dave Hollins
• Mark Langston (1981) for Bill Stein
• Richard Naumann (1978) for Ray Fosse
• Tyler Pike (2012) for not signing Kevin Cron
• Carter Capps (2011) for not signing Ryne Stanek
• Lazaro Abreu (2001) for Jose Mesa
• Sheldon Fulse (1999) for Mike Timlin