Tag Archives: MLB Draft 2012

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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Who I Would Draft

Happy MLB Draft Day!  As Matthew covered last week, the first round of the draft is today (starting at 4 P.M.) and the Mariners have the number 3 pick.  This is probably my favorite draft out of all the major sports because no one really knows what’s going on aside from the people inside the organization.  Last year is a perfect example.  Everyone and their dog had the Mariners taking a hitter with the number 2 pick last summer.  It would be Anthony Rendon.  If not, it’d be Bubba Starling or Francisco Lindor.  Then the Mariners took Danny Hultzen.  Lookout Landing had a meltdown, U.S.S. Mariner authors were shocked and I had friends on Facebook ripping the Mariners to shreds.  Most of these people, excluding the U.S.S. Mariner writers, had never seen video of any of these players.  If your friend tells you that he thinks the Mariners are dumb for taking whoever they take today at 4 P.M. tell him that he doesn’t know anything.  Neither do you!  Neither do I!  None of us know anything about what the Mariners are going to do and what fits best for them aside from Jack Z and a few close employees.  Some of us have better ideas than others but nothing more.  What we do know is that the Mariners will have a new prospect in their top 5 after tonight!  Unless you’re really high on… Pimental?  Catricala?  Francisco Martinez?  Carter Capps?  Steve Baron?  Just kidding.  Whoever they draft should be in their and your top 5…

With all of that said, I’m going to give you my draft board because that’s what sports are for.  Matthew outlined about 6 players last week in his post and I’ll add a few to those.  I don’t know what I’m talking about too much, I’ve seen video of most of them and that’s about it.  But, after reading about them and thinking about how I value players, these are my top 8 in order of who I want the most.  I would love to see the M’s draft board but you’ll have to settle for mine.  Suckers.  It may be exactly the same as theirs (I doubt it) or there might not be a single slot the same (probable).

1.  Byron Buxton (OF), Appling County High School 

Buxton, who will be drafted out of high school, is said to be the best talent in the draft by just about every expert.  He’s fast and extremely athletic.  He has the build to think that power will come soon in his career.  He puts on batting practice shows but that hasn’t completely translated to games yet.  He’s the most intriguing player to me because of the raw talent.  Most people don’t think he’ll fall to the Mariners but there are rumors that Houston will pick Appel and the Twins go with Correa.  I really hope this happens but I won’t get my hopes up.

2.  Carlos Correa (SS), Puerto Rican Baseball Academy

Correa is another young guy (17) from Puerto Rico who has a lot of raw hitting talent.  He doesn’t have a ton of plate discipline yet but is a very strong hitter.  Carlos may be moving to third before too long in his career as most scouts don’t think he can cut it at shortstop. He seems to be Buxton’s only challenger as ‘Most Talented Player’ in the draft.  These guys aren’t the safest picks but they are said to have the most talent and I think the Mariners farm system is in a safe enough place to where they can stray away from the safe pick.

3.  Mike Zunino (C), University of Florida

Zunino is a college guy from Florida.  The organization hasn’t had a catching prospect that’s worked out in…. well, get back to me if you think of someone.  Zunino is the most sure position player in the draft.  Most experts don’t see him having any problem with catcher and he hits pretty well.  He’s belted 2 home runs in the last 2 nights in the college regional.  He’s below Buxton and Correa because he just doesn’t have the upside those 2 do, in my mind.  You can counter that by saying he’s more major-league ready than both of those guys and you’d be completely right.  I think it depends on your preferance there.

4.  Kyle Zimmer (SP), USF

Most people wouldn’t agree with this.  Every mock draft has Zimmer below fellow college arm Appel and most of them have him below Gausman.  Zimmer is just interesting to me.  He was recruited to college as a hitter.  He did that, then all of a sudden became the staff ace his sophomore year in college.  He out-dueled last year’s number 1 pick, Gerrit Cole, in the college world series and then went on to have a very successful Junior season.  He throws in the mid-90’s with a few different off-speed pitches.  He’s more raw than the other college arms because he hasn’t pitched as much  But, that means his arm hasn’t gone through as much wear and tear, as well.  I think of him as Taijuan Walker a little bit because of their late starts as pitchers.  He has the most upside of the college pitchers because he has the most room to go.

5A.  Kevin Gausman (SP), LSU

Gausman is the next in line of the college pitchers.  He throws a little harder than Zimmer does and has a good change-up to go with it.  He doesn’t have a very good breaking pitch at the moment but, well, I think that’s a little overvalued at times anyway.  He is labeled with the ‘number 2 starter ceiling’ in this draft.  You know who had that last year?  Hultzen.  Don’t listen to the scouts on that.

5B.  Mark Appel (SP), Stanford

Appel is projected to be the number 1 pick to Houston by most and there was a rumor floating around today that Houston is indeed where he is going.  Who knows?  Why is he sixth (or tied for fifth) on my list than?  Well, along with liking upside, I also like to see results.  Appel may have the best ‘stuff’ of anyone in the draft but he wasn’t as dominating as what people expected.  That sounds like Gerrit Cole.  After half of a minor league season, I’d rather have Hultzen, Bundy and Bauer over Cole who were all drafted behing him because their stuff wasn’t as good.  It’s dumb to base things off half a minor league season but that’s what I just did so, take that.

7. Max Fried (SP), Harvard Westlake High School

Fried is a high school arm, a lefty who could be Clayton Kershaw or could be a finesse lefty.  We saw last year that the organization likes their lefties who throw in the 90’s but Fried doesn’t seem to project quite the way Hultzen does.  He may add some velocity as he gets older, which would put him around 95, and that would truly put him in the Kershaw category.  If Jack Z sees that kind of future, then I would be fine with this.  Otherwise, we’re getting to the point where any of these would be a huge surprise.

8.  Albert Almora (CF), Mater Academy Charter

We’ve seen how valuable a good center fielder can be here in Seattle.  Almora is extremely athletic, and although he doesn’t possess the power potential Buxton has but he does have most of the other gifts.  He’s sure to be great defensively.  He may be a giant reach for the Mariners here but, then again, I have no idea so maybe it wouldn’t be.  Why did you even read this far?

9.  Lucas Giolito (SP), Harvard Westlake High School

Giolito probably won’t go as high as this but before an elbow injury, he was headed towards the number 1 pick.  He’s a high school lefty who throws hard.  Of course, I don’t want to spend the third pick of the draft on a guy with injury concerns.  If I wasn’t worried about that then he would move up to the number 3 on this list.  Unfortunately for Giolito, just about everyone seems worried about his health.

The next 2:

10.  Deven Marrero (SS), ASU
11.  Andrew Heaney (SP), OSU

So, hopefully you know more a little bit more about these guys now.  None of them would disappoint me but I do feel like there’s quite a gap between the first 6 I put and the rest of this list.  I could make the same argument about such a gap between the first 2 and the rest of them.  Hopefully, Buxton falls to the Mariners and there won’t be any second guessing tonight but that is unlikely due to his talent.  I think Zunino or Correa is the most likely but maybe one of the college pitchers is the best option in the front office’s eyes.  We’ll see shortly!  Happy draft day, again!





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