The first two rounds of the MLB amateur draft are in the books, and the Mariners added a pair of college hitters. With their first pick, they selected New Mexico 3B DJ Peterson. He’s a masher with solid plate discipline. Billy Butler is the comp I’ve heard often for Peterson, and a Baseball America writer threw out the Edgar template: solid all-around hitter who might not hit a ton of homers but should balance that with lots of doubles and good on-base skills.
Discounting the guys who were unlikely to be available, Peterson and college outfielder Hunter Renfroe were at the top of my wish list. That doesn’t mean much, as I’m no scout and am just going by others’ opinions, but they seemed like good fits for what the Mariners need. By the time the Mariners picked, pitcher Braden Shipley was also surprisngly still on the board and would have been a good pick, but I was happy they went with Peterson. Some called him the best all-around college bat available, and he should move fairly quickly. If you’re worried what they’ll do with both Seager and Peterson, don’t be. There’s a good chance Peterson’s a first baseman or DH, and there’s no guarantee that both of them are good by the time it would matter anyway. They can let it play out and adjust positions once Peterson forces the issue.
Second rounder Austin Wilson is a big (6’5″ 245 lb.) outfielder from Stanford. He’s one of those guys with lots of talent who’s performance thus far has not matched expectations, especially in the power department. He’s battled some injuries, though, and Stanford is notorious for messing up guys’ swings. I’m sure the M’s hope to get him healthy and straighten out his swing and turn him into a monster. It could happen, although usually it doesn’t. The Mariners were rumored to be interested in him with their first pick, so from that perspective, getting him in the second round is a win.
The draft resumes in the morning, and there will be a lot of new Mariner prospects, most of whom will never sniff the majors. I’m hoping their next pick is Rowdy Tellez, a slugging lefty high schooler with the best name in the draft. I might recap tomorrow night, or I might not, but there are tons of other places to get much better information in this case. See the end of the post below for some recommendations. Happy drafting!