Tag Archives: Mariners draft

Mariners Draft Some Guys

In the last 2 days, the Seattle Mariners have drafted 16 players.  I almost wrote that they now have 16 players but, surely, some of these players will not sign with Seattle.  The Mariners have merely drafted the right to negotiate a contract with 16 new players who won’t likely reach the big leagues for at least another 2 years.  I’ve just explained to myself why most people don’t find the MLB draft interesting.

I still think it’s interesting and that’s why all of you readers have gotten about 5 posts about it.  Suckers.  It’s definitely more interesting than watching Blake Beavan tonight.  I’m ready for Erasmo or Hultzen to come up anytime.  Oh, right, this is supposed to be about the draft.  By most accounts the M’s had a good draft day.  Of course, we’ll be able to actually tell you in 5 years if this was a good draft but for now I’ll say that the M’s had a good process in who they picked according to most scouts. They may have to pay over-slot on a number of guys which would mean that a few of them may not sign, since the M’s don’t want to suffer the new penalties that go with going over their allotted budged for the draft.  That’s all a bit confusing, but the main gist of it is that the M’s have an amount, set by Major League Baseball, that they’re allowed to spend on their top 10 round picks.  This amount is the sum of the monetary value that each draft slot the team owns, is given.  If they go over that amount then they will suffer penalties (as severe as losing draft picks for next year).  I could go into more detail but I’d rather talk about the actual players.  I’ll give you a few sentences on each player and tell you if I think they’ll sign over-slot or under-slot, starting with first round pick and moving down.

1st round (3rd overall) – Mike Zunino (C), University of Florida

Matthew gave a bunch of links and wrote a bit about Zunino last night.  The consensus about Zunino seems to be that fans would have loved to have one of the high-upside teenagers (Buxton and Correa) but since they weren’t available, this was the best pick.  There aren’t hardly any concerns about Zunino having to move away from catcher, and while his bat isn’t at a superstar level it’s quite good.  This was a good pick.  If Zunino signs over-slot, it won’t be by much.  Most think he’ll be right at slot.

2nd round (64th overall) – Joe DeCarlo (SS), Garnet Valley HS, Pennsylvania

I wonder when the last time the M’s drafted someone from Pennsylvania was.  DeCarlo may stick at shortstop but could also be a candidate for third base.  He’s a pretty big guy (6-0, 205) who will probably grow some more since he’s only 18.  He’s got a good swing and is thought to have some power with that size.  This is the 4th year in a row the M’s have taken a shortstop with their 2nd pick.  I think that DeCarlo is more of a signability pick, as BA ranks him as their 287th prospect.  I imagine he will go under-slot.  He’s committed to Georgia but I’d be surprised if he didn’t sign.  Another thing to keep in mind is that, with the new rules on the money and signing bonuses, high-schoolers may be taken higher because they are more likely to go to college if they’re selected later and not given as big of a bonus.

3rd round (98th overall) – Edwin Diaz (P), Caguas Military HS, Puerto Rico

Diaz is right-handed pitcher with a mid-90’s fastball.  He has hit 98 MPH a few times.  He’s tall and skinny (6-3, 163) and is more of project pick.  He will need to develop better off-speed pitchers and his mechanics seem to be a little weird but his upside is high.  He’s ranked as the 75th prospect by BA (just to let you know, those rankings are just a few scouts opinions.  Don’t pay too much attention to them) and will probably sign just over his slot, if not right at it.

3rd round (126th overall) – Tyler Pike (P), Winter Haven HS, Florida

This pick was compensation for not signing last year’s 3rd rounder.  Pike, a lefty, may have the most signability concerns of these first 3 picks, but this is one of my favorite picks for the M’s.  He’s a lefty with a high 80’s to low 90’s fastball and a good change-up.  His velocity may go up as he grows.  He will have to work on his breaking pitch but many scouts call him crafty.  He was rated as the 94th prospect by Keith Law, and will likely go overslot.  He is committed to Florida State but if he signs, this will be a good pick.

4th round (131st overall) – Patrick Kivlehen (3B), Rutgers

Kivlehen has an interesting story.  He played on the Rutgers football team for 4 years and then tried out for the baseball team.  He quickly went on to be the Big East Player of the Year.  If the Mariners do have a trend in drafting college players, I’d say it’s that they draft based on results rather than projected upside.  That’s not to say that the college players they pick don’t have upside but it’s surprising how many of those guys have won conference players of the year.  Maybe it’s just me, and every team does this but it doesn’t seem like this.  I like this approach.  Anyway, Kivlehen can hit.  He had better numbers than Zunino this year.  I don’t know anything about his defense but surely he’s athletic since he was a defensive back at Rutgers.  That or he was just a really crappy defensive back.  I would guess Kivlehen will go right around slot, if not under.

5th round (161st overall) – Chris Taylor (SS), University of Virginia

The other knack the front office has had is drafting guys from the same college or area.  Sure enough, Taylor was shortstop on the team with Danny Hultzen, John Hicks, and Steven Proscia (all now current M’s farmhands). Taylor is a very good defensive shortstop with plus range and a strong-arm.  There are concerns about his bat.  He doesn’t have much power, although he’s hit a good amount of doubles.  If he can hit adequately, his defense will carry him.  I would guess that he would sign at about slot.

10 more picks to cover after the jump!  Thanks for coming this far!  Continue reading

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Mariners Draft Mike Zunino

We’ll have more insight later, but in case you hadn’t heard the Mariners selected Mike Zunino 3rd overall a few minutes ago in the MLB draft.  Zunino is who the Mariners had been linked to for a while.  I think it’s a good pick, especially considering Buxton and Correa were off the board already.  Zunino is the most major-league ready position player in the draft and could be seen as early as 2014 in the majors.  We’ll have more on him later but this was for anyone who hadn’t seen.  Go M’s!

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Mariners’ Draft Concensus: Good Day!

While it was an ugly day on the field for our baseball team, it was dubbed a good day on the draft front.  I’m not going to pretend to know a ton about the MLB draft.  I started following it last year and have gained some knowledge but not near as much as other websites such as Pro Ball Northwest.  Over the last two years it’s started to grab my interest though.  I like following it as much as I like the NBA or NFL drafts, maybe because I like baseball more. 

As Matthew noted, the Mariners took a small gamble with their first round pick in RHP Taijuan Walker.  For the record, I like the pick.  It makes sense to me, especially when you put it into context with some of the picks today.  Yes, there’s not much buzz about Walker but this was the 43rd pick.  It’s not like we were drafting in the top 10 (we might next year, with the way this season is going).  This wasn’t a strong draft either.

Anyway, here’s a few highlights from today:

  • In the 2nd round (67th pick), we selected Marcus Littlewood.  Many people thought this is where the Mariners would go with their first round pick.  Using basic logic, it’s nice that the Mariners got this guy in the second round when many people thought we’d take him in the first.  Littlewood is a switch-hitting shortstop but most scouts don’t think he has the range to stay there long-term.  I read a few accounts of him having slow feet.  With that being said, he has great hands and great instincts that can make up for being a bit slow.  As far as hitting goes,  Baseball America has him pegged as a .270 hitter with limited power.  10-20 home runs a year should be expected.  Many people feel as if Littlewood was a steal at 67 and most feel as if he’ll be a major league contributor (maybe as a utility guy) at some point in his career.  He doesn’t have star power but he’s solid.
  • In the 3rd round the M’s nabbed Rybe Stanek.  Most draft services had Stanek rated higher than Walker, but Walker had a higher ceiling.  Stanek is said to be a solid Arkansas commit, so we’ll have to buy him out of that.  Since the first two picks won’t break the bank by any means I’m not extremely worried about this.  Stanek is more developed than Walker with cleaner mechanics and a mid-90’s fastball.  He’s already 6’4” and is expected to grow a little more.  The Mariners drafted some really tall people.  If you can’t beat people on the field you might as well beat them in height!  This was a great pick, especially if you were a fan of the Walker pick.
  • The 4th round brought a pleasant surprise.  LHP James Paxton was selected as the 132nd pick.  Really, this is maybe the best pick of the Mariners draft if they can sign him.  Paxton was drafted last year by Toronto in the supplemental round (the round between the 1st and 2nd) last year but they failed to sign him.  Before he was drafted he pitched for the University of Kentucky and was electric.  This year he’s pitched in the independent league and reports have shown more of the same.  His fastball is 91-94 and can reach up to 97 and has a plus curveball to go with it.  He has struggled with a few injuries over his career but our organization has handled young pitchers with injuries pretty well recently (Michael Pineda for instance).  Pro Ball NW say that if Paxton signs he is put into our top 10 prospect list right away.  This is great news for an organization that doesn’t have quality pitching depth. 
  • Stephen Pryor was selected in the 5th round.  He goes to the same college, Tennessee Tech, as my cousin so that’s kind of exciting.  Pryor might move faster than any of this years draftees because he projects as a late inning reliever.  He’s a big right-hander with a fastball that can reach triple digits.  The organization may start him in the rotation but expect him to be in the bullpen if he ever makes the big club.
  • In rounds 6-8 the Mariners grabbed a few position players.  Round 6 brought us catcher Christian Carmichael.  He’s a defensive-first player who’s a switch-hitter.  No one is overly excited about him, as he generally projects to be a backup.  In round 7 the Mariners got Maguire Wiswall, who has the best name of all the draftees.  He’s a first baseman out of Boston College.  I heard someone compare him to Adam Laroche with a little less power.  Jabari Blash (another sweet name) was picked in the 8th round.  He’s an outfielder who has shown great potential but is very raw.  He’s a big boy who needs to hit for power if he wants to make the show.
  • Round 9 brought us our first local product of the draft, RHP Luke Taylor.  Another tall pitcher, 6’6″, who is said to have great mechanics.  Taylor is thought to be a strong commit to Hawaii but maybe the local ties and the money will help persuade him to sign.  In round 10 the M’s selected another pitcher who may move fast through the system in route to the bullpen.  Tyler Burgoon is a right-hander from Michigan with low 90’s fastball and an above-average slider.

The Mariners went on for another 20 rounds after these picks but I’m sure some of you have lost interest already.  All in all, it was a good draft day.  The Mariners selected 20 pitchers out of the 30 picks which will help fill the void that prior GM’s left Jack Z with.  Tomorrow we have Day 3 of the draft which will be rounds 30-50.  While that may not be very interesting, it might be more enjoyable than watching an Ian Snell start.  My goodness, Snell is bad.  Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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