Draft day quick primer
Since we're talking about young blood - the next batch is about to hit the system

What to look for in round 1:

- Most people have Seattle on a hitter. Some pitching under performed this year and "Seattle likes to go for right-handed hitters" which means they apparently don't realize it's Scott Hunter's first time running a draft for us. That said, here's your most-talked-about bats for us:

1) Jake Burger - a RH 3B built like Youkilis. Expect the same 3B/1B crossover - which makes him a lot like DJ Peterson. Hopefully he hits better, faster. He's built like a fireplug but he's several inches taller than Seager. He's got enough pop for a corner and can hang at 3rd for a while, but if you just think Downside = DJ, Upside = Youk you'll be okay. I wouldn't be disappointed to add him.

2) Pavin Smith - a leaner LH UVA first baseman, built more like Mark Grace. The guy just doesn't strike out (just 12 walks all year against 38 walks) but doesn't have the power that Burger has shown with a KBIZLT approach that uppercuts with a natural flourish. He's more likely to run a Brandon Belt line with home runs in the teens and more of a setup man than an RBI masher, but gets some Olerud comps. Everything about the way he plays is like watching the fly-fishing scene in A River Runs Through It. It's just so dang RELAXED... so he's interesting too.

3) Keston Hiura, a college RH 2B who blew out his UCL and needs Tommy John surgery. He played DH all year because he can't throw right now, and still hit .440 / .570 / .690. He's a doubles machine and would be ready around the time Robbie might be moving to first base. Hiura also drew more walks than Burger or Smith. He was a good-but-not-great 2B though, and a move to the OF might be hampered by that arm as well. If Seattle is willing to wait (since he'll likely need that surgery right after the season) then he's got tons of potential.

My order of preference on the 3 is actually Smith / Hiura / Burger, but I expect Burger to be the most likely pick to be there and be chosen so he's #1 here. They're all pretty good picks for where we're at, so I don't have a lot of hate to spew on the hitter end. I don't think any of them are as good as last year's Kyle Lewis, but they could still be impactful hitters. If "all" we want is another Kyle Seager then maybe these guys can provide that. There are other bats that could be considered (Evan White is the slightly inferior version of Pavin Smith, for instance), but I'll run em down if we actually pick a different one because...

- I'd rather go with a pitcher, but it's a weird class. Lot of talent, lack of greatness perhaps. Here are a lot of options since it's hard to figure out who might be around:

1) David Peterson, LHP from Oregon. He doesn't really have one out pitch but ruins people anyway with a 90s singer and slider combo.  He walks nobody and strikes out the world (140:15 K-to-BB ratio in 100 IP, which is funny without "a strikeout pitch") but is essentially a 1-year wonder.  Pitchers do that, though.  Simplified mechanics and a slight change in arm slot can really turn a mediocre guy into a beast. I think Peterson is a beast with that low armslot that annihilates lefties and puts extra movement on his heater. He's got a changeup and a curve too, and should be on his way to being a complete pitcher.  You want a lefty for the rotation who can do Paxton-type things in a couple years? It might be Peterson.

2) Seth Romero, LBP from No School.  Funny story - Romero couldn't keep his act together long enough to stay on his college team (Houston).  There was a potential shoving incident with some fans, a tweet of himself holding a bong, a failed drug test and probably some other shenanigans.  There would be some research to do here, but Romero is a top-10-pick arm and the only reason he may freefall is that he has a 10-cent head. If you think he's got his head on straight, the talent is absolutely there - he struck out 80 dudes in 45 innings and consistently runs a 4:1 K-to-BB ratio with low-to-mid 90s stuff as a lefty.  He's a wide-body, though, and his motivation is in the same boat as his maturity.  If you don't like the risk in those areas you pass.

3) Tanner Houck, RHP from Missouri.  Low arm slot, almost sidearm, but potentially NASTY stuff.  He comes around the corner on righties and dumps a low-90s sinking fastball or biting slider in their laps. His secondaries wander in effectiveness, though, and with that armslot some people are almost certainly going to want him to go to the pen.  As we all know, there's nothing I love more than taking a potentially-great starter and tossing him in the pen for no reason. With Diaz and now Povse having been bullpenned, I'm leery of drafting Houck for a one-inning setup role.

4) Alex Lange, RHP from LSU. Kind of like Houck in that he has a great arm but never really got better in college. He's an interesting sleeper who has a good fastball and a phenomenally great curve. Like Houck, he might be turned into a reliever the Papelbon Way to see if he can get a few more mph on his fastball, which Ms like to do. I like Lange, but he pulls his head off to the side rather severely as he throws which messes with his fastball accuracy.  If someone can get him to keep his head more still through release he might find that consistency he needs to be a top arm.

5) Corbin Martin, RHP from Texas A&M.  Reminds me of a typical As starter, really.  Not a lot of hype, college team wasn't sure what to do with him, but he has upper-90s heat when he's in the pen or low-90s heat as a starter.  He has the body and mechanics to start, so it's really up to whomever drafts him to figure out what they want from him.  He's malleable, and I don't think ever really reached his peak in college thanks to limited innings.  I think he's a late bloomer and someone will take him in the first.

There are a couple of prep arms, Sam Carlson and DL Hall who are interesting as well. Carlson is from my typically-preferred cold-weather clime (Minnesota in this case) where baseball players don't get that year-round uber-coaching that So Cal and Florida prospects get. If you like a cold-weather and a warm-weather teen the same, then take the cold weather one because he should have more growth left. DL Hall is a Kazmir type of lefty and I don't expect him to get down to Seattle, but if he does they'd probably snatch him up.  I'm not interested in Griffin Canning, who keeps getting talked about at our slot.  His motion is TERRIBLE - talk about a guy meant for a bullpen - and he's had some medical concerns pop up this week. To me he seems to have maxxed out his polish with his current motion but still doesn't have great stuff. Maybe it would tick up in a pen but I'm not taking a potentially-damaged reliever in the teens of the draft.  No thanks.

- Our range is weird, and this is a draft of closely-clustered hitters and pitchers. I don't know who we're taking, but there are a bunch of good-but-not-obviously-great players in our area of the draft.  Picking the right one could net BIG rewards.  Picking the wrong one means the rest of the draft had better be pretty special, and we've been short on deep, special drafts for a while now as Mariners fans.  We don't have a comp pick this time around and have a relatively small draft allowance. The Mariners pick at 17, 55 and 93 out of the top 100.  They have work to do to restock the farm.  Let's hope they nail some picks this time. 




This is a strange draft, and no one stands out. Further, there are a lot of HS kids worthy of going in the middle rounds, so I expect several teams to try to go cheap on the first round or two, and save money for the middle rounds.

Thus, I fully expect the Boras clients to drop like a rock in this draft, so IF the M's want to deal with Boras, they could get a top 10 player again.


Keston Hiura is one of those guys I expect to go way earlier because his injury lets teams underslot him and have more to spend later.  Our slot value for the first round is basically half our pool for the entire draft, so the Ms could be another team to underslot a guy in the first - or they could grab one of the falling, more-expensive guys like you said.  It should be an interesting first day just to see how teams apply their slot value in a relatively flat draft.

I think Romero and Lange are both Boras clients, and with options being equal I'm sure the squeezed teams will take the equally-rated player who might have some bonus money wiggle-room.


Much appreciated G!!  I'll add some video links here, for the batters, anyway.

Burger:  He has a "Happy Feet" approach at the plate that is interesting.  Or weird.  Also looks like he's going to develop  a bit of a wide aft load (Seager-esque or Pablo-esque?) and runs with kind a Babe Ruth type step.  In this video he misses a lot and hits some flies to LF.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3XP82oUmfQ

Smith:  Here's a highlight reel of homers:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wtHyA4UGYo

            Some BP time and some game AB's  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-lF0IU55ws

            I love his two-handed short follow-through that you see in his highlight reel.  Love it. That move reminds me of Jim Thome, not that he's Thome-like slugger, mind you.  I hate the long,             one-handed follow-through he uses in BP and in some AB's.   The first two homers here are hit by a very young Jim Thome (the 1st is his 1st big                                   league tater).  Thome was l lean like Smith, when he  came up.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-oRoPBuV9g

Hiura:  Short and quick to the ball:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOJgLcQQoug  By all accounts he's a high character guy.  His stroke actually freminds me a              bit of Bob Horner.

I will absolutely concur, based on the video's above.  Smith, then Hiura, then (a distant) Burger.

BTW, here's Peterson at his best, in a 20 K performance vs. ASU in April:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blvrdWhl82w

Being a Duck, Class of '79, I wouldn't mind that pick, at all.  Seems like he's sort of a fast-rack guy, as well.


At least among the players I expect might be available.  Quality pitcher, still hasn't reached his limit, control all over the place with enough stuff to be dangerous in the bigs.  Naturally he'll go to some other AL West team just to irk me.

Love the video selections, man.  I don't think Smith gets out of the top-10, but man if anyone could slide down to us amongst the hitters he'd be great.  I have the hope that he'll actually be at first what we wanted Dustin Ackley to be. He's just a hitter. We're probably gonna be stuck with Burger though.  It's not a booby prize but I'd rather have an arm.

That of course means that Burger will turn into Goldschmidt if we do not draft him and into Jeff Clement if we do.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

Somehow the good Doctor has mentioned a "consensus" list of possibilities that will go high, "consensusing" from draft professionals, semi-pros, and amatuer hour.

With a new draft  guru for the M's, you just can't be sure in there is a formula other than an unweighted BPA.

But, I'm guessing DePoet will repeat his daily double with a college arm and a HS bat, or a HS bat and a college arm in their first two selections.

I was asstounded to learn than most major league clubs never get more than one starter (SP, reliever, or position player) out of any draft.

Do DePoet's methodology of churning the roster is an advantage that other clubs will soon be emulating.

Oh, yeah, Chris Crawford figures a player getting to the majors is based on 2/3 talent, and 1/3 development.

In the past, the M's have been a revolting development.

I'm going to the ticket window with a Sgt Schultz "I know nothing" approach in selecting a daily double.

SP David Peterson in the first, and 1 of 5 high school position players in the second:  C Luis Campuscho; OF Garrett Mitchell; 1B/3B Mark Vientos; 1B/3B Ryan Vilande; and C M.J. Melendez.

This wager is for recreational purposes only.



He patterned his swing on Adam Jones but he's a better hitter than Jones, with a somewhat jangly, athletic approach.  He flies around the bases like a gazelle and eats up the outfield in long, casual strides. I pulled an Andre Dawson high-side comp on him when he was drafted and I stand by that.  He seems okay after the knee surgery and that was my biggest fear with him.

I like him a ton.  Even if he hits his mid-point projection you're looking at an All-Star in center field if his leg is 100% and right now it looks fine.  Let's not trade this one, yeah? He's the one super prospect I see in the system right now.  The Ms do too because he's rehabbing two levels higher than the level he was injured at last year. Lewis could be through Tacoma next year if he blows the doors off the rest of this year.  Fingers crossed for the kid, but I think he's the real deal.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

G Money was Flash Gordon was a movie character or an MLB pitcher.

Credit where credit be do.



This Mock Draft has all 4 of the guys (Burger, Smith, Hiura and Peterson) still on the board when the M's pick.  And it has us taking, Sigh, Gulp, Burger.


This one has Smith going #7, Peterson #13 and Burger #15.  We don't pick Hiura, who goes #20.


And here Hiura goes at 6, Smith at 8, Peterson at 18 and Burger at 24.


In those three Mocks, burger doesn't go before #15, Smith goes as high as 7 (and 8), Hiura peaks at 6 (and 20), Peterson at 13 (and 18).



"If the best bet at the top of the draft is the college position player in general, the worst bet is the amateur first baseman. That list of 18 players drafted from 2011 to 2015 includes 12 players who spent significant time in college at an up-the-middle position, four third basemen, and Conforto and Naquin, who were corner outfielders. Nobody on the list was a first baseman at the time of the draft.

"According to Baseball-Reference, only two players listed as first basemen at the time of the draft have gone in the top 15 since 2010: Dominic Smith to the Mets in 2013 and Josh Naylor to the Marlins in 2015. The last college first baseman to go that high was Brett Wallace in 2008. He went two picks after Justin Smoak, who went four picks after Yonder Alonso, who went four picks after high school first baseman Eric Hosmer. With a career 107 OPS+ and 10.8 WAR in 945 career games, Hosmer is the best first baseman taken anywhere in the first round in the past decade, but despite his starting role on Team USA and playoff reputation, he isn’t that good. The last indisputably good first baseman to go in the first round was Prince Fielder in 2002, and he effectively retired nearly a year ago."

Interestingly the safest pick in the draft used to be college first basemen. That changed basically in The Great First Baseman Draft of which Smoak was a part.  Since then it's been a slog of mediocre guys on the right corner of the diamond (Goldschmidt excluded). But Goldschmidt didn't go until the 8th round.  None of the college guys (who came into the league as first basemen) have panned out in a big way. Smith's hitting ability I think will translate even if his power isn't great, and he's a good defender.  I sort of view him as a 3B-to-1B position switch based on how he plays, so maybe that will work out better for him.  Evan White hopes to be in the same boat. 

It's definitely a weird draft, though.


Some of that is taking good college hitters who might give you a discount to let you sign a prep player in the next couple of rounds.  We'll see - but it leaves all the arms I've been looking at for us.  Fingers crossed as we go forward.  LOTS of early preps so far, which also helps our "college arm" cause.


I left Evan White off the original list, but he was the 4th batter I was going to write up (and did mention).  He's a cat-quick defender at first with a bat that probably profiles more like David Segui.  I'm not a huge fan of the shoulder-dip dive he does across the plate to go golf balls, because I don't think it'll work as well with wood bats. That said he works the ball to all fields and just tries to take what he is given.  His batting eye is not exceptional but he's also not a strikeout guy.  He's... good.

My issue with him is that he's an Ackley type who might get moved to the OF.  I'm glad we have Kyle Lewis, the heir apparent in CF, who should forestall that nonsense.  Don't make him learn a new position on the hope that he can play center.  The Mariners listed him as a first baseman when they drafted him and I hope they stick to that.  He's a GREAT defender and I'm fine with a defender at first who can hit .300 with 15-20 homers.  Get him in the system and see what he can do out there.

I would have preferred an arm but the Mariners had their pick of several college ones and went with the bat instead.  We'll see if they can under-slot him and maybe get a good 2nd round teen as well. My feeling on the pick would be warm, at this point.  I don't hate it, and I don't think he's a bad player, but he's a player who has some things to prove as far as position and power.


...Must feel he's going to become a .290-ish (or better) type of guy, if he's not bshing a bunch of homers, and doesn't walk like an Olerud.


You're hoping for .290/.360/.450 or thereabouts, IMO.  His home run power, from what I've noticed, all comes from the same spot.  If you throw it down and in he will golf the ball out of the park. Just look at a highlight reel from him - it's all from EXACTLY the same spot.  If that power is enough to golf it out to LF in Safeco, all well and good.  If it dies out there like it did for Beltre, then you're in trouble. Gar was successful because he hit with power to all fields.  Not necessarily HR power, but power.  He would pepper the opposite field wall. I'm not sure that White has that same skill.

Of course, White is 34.8 times faster than Edgar and can leg out a few more doubles to make up for it.  But you're really looking for 40 doubles and 15 homers. Again, the Mark Grace profile (which was really 37 and 12 per 162 but who's counting). Of course, Grace was a lefty and had an eye way more like Pavin than White.  Trying to think of a light-hitting righty 1B with that template. Gimme a minute. ;)  


A guy who should by all accounts have had a better career but still is a decent-hitting 1B with good defense - but who will have trouble driving an offensive machine.  People LOVE Evan White's makeup though. Because he can play the OF he could go out there if Vogue really does somehow work out at 1st (or the Ms find some other 1B) but I'm really curious to see him swing the wood bat.  I've seen the clips of him at the Team USA trials and his bat is not the quickest with wood, but again neither was Olerud's.

I'm less worried about how fast his bat is and more interested in his pitch recognition.  That's what is hard to tell in college; not enough players have nasty stuff, and it's easier to hit college mush with composite bats.


As I said in my teen notes from the main post, I like Carlson.  He throws 90-94 with sinking movement, and has a changeup, a pretty strong slider, and quite a bit of polish for being a cold weather teen. I could have lived with this pick in the first.  In the second? Love it. He can be absolutely dominant and has a pretty strong frame already.

I'm not the only one who thought he was a first-round talent. Now my only concern is whether the Mariners can buy him out of his Florida commitment. As far as talent, though, he might jump to the #1 pitching prospect in our system. He's a talented kid.


His breaking stuff is SHARP for a teen and his fastball is heavy.  We literally could have taken him at 17 and my only gripe would have been that he's a few years away from the bigs.  The number of draftniks congratulating the Ms on twitter for taking Carlson in the 50s because they had him in their top-20 is funny to me. Like it was slanderous for Carlson to slide that far. Reminds me a bit of getting Tillman in the 2nd and how that was viewed as a steal. Hopefully Sam can maximize those raw talents.

And Carlson himself says he can't wait to get started with the Mariners, which hopefully means they know they have the money to sign him.  White and Carlson together is a very good first day, IMO. White is a bit of power from being a huge asset, and Carlson just needs to stay healthy *knock on everything*. Not bad, Jerry.  Some stuff had to fall your way, but hey - better lucky than good sometimes.


Hunter says Carlson's commitment to Florida might have scared some teams away, but says he's ready to sign and be in mini-camp next week.


That's unbelievable.  Him still being there is exactly the kind of pie-in-the-sky stuff you can't even get away with in a homer mock.  Feel free to get excited. Carlson might be the best arm to hit the system since Taijuan and Paxton jumped in with both feet.

Assuming you consider Diaz a closer, anyway. ;)

With two legit talents added, the farm looks better today than yesterday. In what was considered a somewhat weak draft, Seattle getting two players who were both considered top-15 picks at one point at 17 and 55 is a pretty sweet boon.


But White was BA's #12 player, ahead of Pavin Smith by a couple of slots which is insane to me. He's not my preferred corner power pick, but if the bet is that he hits .300 then that makes him very playable if he hits the mark.  .300 / .360 / .450 is so much better than most of the slag that has sloshed through first base for us.  Not clogging the basepaths like Smoak is nice too.  I'm just glad we'll get a decent look at him in the minors this year.

Snagging Carlson (BA's #21 player, ranked even higher by several others) at #55 is terrific, though.  If I'm giving White a B- at #17, then Carlson at #55 has to be an A, A+ if Hunter already knew the kid would sign immediately (which he seems to have known while no one else was sure he could be bought out of his Florida commitment).

I'd have been fine with Carlson at 17 and White at 55, so doing it backwards doesn't hurt anything.  Getting prep arms through to the league healthy and intact at their top form is a challenge, but the farm needs some risks if it's going to add talent back in.  Today helps.


...that from the moment he signs, he's in the conversation for best defensive 1B in pro ball.

Not in the majors. In professional baseball.

Pair that with a .290+ AVG and 15+ HR power, and suddenly I am VERY interested. Olerud comps abound, and I was a fan. Oh, and let's snag Taijuan 2.0 in the second while we're at it?


Converted from 1B to CF and then back to 1B. Was +++ at 1B, and + in CF. 10-15 HR power, generally, good wheels, and a high average. I don't see massive Olerud-style walks, but Erstad was pretty valuable.


I almost brought it up, but then I went back and looked at Erstad.  I forgot how many sub-.700 OPS seasons he had in his prime, in the middle of the steroid era.  Like you said though, he still had value even then for his defense and baserunning.

So yeah: Evan White is an Erstad template, could hit 2nd in the order, and by all accounts is a Seager-level dirt dog and teammate.


That Erstad was a +OF defender in his prime ('99-'03) and three of those seasons were in CF.  But it is easy to forget (I know that I did until I just looked it up) just how mediocre with the bat (or worse) that Erstad was, following his one great season in 2000.  Something was in the water that year.  I'm not speculating on what it was. 

If you're a .280-.350 guy with 15 homers and 30 2B, then you're Brandon Belt (who G mentioned above).  And Brandon Belt is a heck of a player.  White as Belt would tickle me to no end.  And if you thnk about it, we would all do happy jigs if Vogs turns out to be .280-.350 with 15 next season.

It's the kind of player I once hoped that Dario Pizzano would turn out to be.  As a matter of fact, I still do.  If you take away Pizzano's dismal 2-26 start, then he's a .308-.370 hitter this year with 13 2B and 8 HR (with a 14/16 Eye).  It seems like he's revamped his swing/approach some to BB less and HR more.  I know that part of that was back in AA, but he had starting hitting like that in Tacoma, too.  He'll be back up.  Aplin, Bleh!

Update:  Pizzano was 4-5 last night, now 11 for his last 18.  Get him back to Tacoma!!!  .362-.421-.580 in AA.


And scouts say he's only gotten more athletic since then.  He says he'd rather play 1B (his main position in HS and college) and the Mariners drafted him as a 1B, but it's good to have the option of someone who can play a Saunders-like center field. Some thought he had the flexibility to play third too - he just gloves with the wrong hand for their liking at the hot corner.

His ability to play any of the OF spots in addition to 1B is nice flexibility to have.  My money's still on Lewis in CF, but being able to fit White in around the rest of the roster - or get value for his defense even if his bat doesn't come along to that Belt / Yelich level - is excellent.


1B/OF and + at both (or even not - in the COF) is a fine combo.  I love flexible players.

You guys see that Gamel has been practicing at 1B for a couple of weeks?  He's smart to do it.



"He has a very compact, short swing. The power is in there. He scores in the upper echelon in exit velocity in all of college baseball in terms of players who went higher in this Draft. We believe a minor adjustment will tap into that power because the bat speed, the knowledge of the strike zone, a lot of those things are in place. Now it's just a matter of getting into his legs a little more and making a couple minor adjustments."

White is athletic enough to have played some outfield in his past, but Hunter says his defensive prowess at first base is a potential difference maker and he'll start his pro career there, likely at Short Season Class A Everett after meeting with the Mariners and taking batting practice at Safeco Field when the team returns home next week.

If the developmental guys / Edgar think they already know how to get him even a little more power... Could be a really good pick.


Mills was the closer for Gonzaga and was far more accurate than he was in years past. He's a sidearmer who can do some submarine-style throwing and a legit bullpen arm now that he's got his control, which is pretty nice to get for the cheap price of a senior. He's thrown low-90s from that arm slot and his slider from that slot is obviously a bear on righties.

It's actually a decent pick talentwise and not just a cheap one, IMO. Better to get both.


Seth Elledge, RHP: 92-95 sinker/slurve guy, improving change. REALLY solid build (6'3, 230).  He's a junior so Seattle will have to pay him a bit more to forego his senior season. I don't know if he'll come in under slot but he's not gonna be a $10K-type senior sign.  He blitzed the Cape Cod last year (19K/2BB in 13.2 IP) and was a tough pitcher at Dallas Baptist all three years. Not sure if he's a closer-type but he is a versatile and power-throwing righty - his power just moves within the zone, as he's another guy like our high school pick Carlson who throws a heavy ball.  Jim Callis mentioned that it might be worth a shot to get him out of the pen and start him, considering the Yankees did that with their last reliever from Dallas Baptist. He'll be interesting to watch.  


5th - David Banuelos, RH catcher. More of a Steve Baron than an Adam Moore. I’m allowed to hate drafting system catchers in the 5th who are trying to get their offense up to barely passable, right? David Banuelos is a Junior, too, so he doesn’t even come senior cheap. He's a very good defensive catcher with a strong arm, and apparently works with his pitching staff well (although if the was a good defensive catcher that did not work with them well it would be earth-shaking news that anyone admitted it). I'm gonna go with MLB.com's statement about him as a potential "high-OBP catcher with power" being a rather hyperbolic statement. He has a really good arm, built heavy. Swing is flat and fine, but... I dunno, I think Callis had a Rene Rivera comp and that sounds about right. Now Rivera has spent a lot of time as a pro, and Banuelos may too. Most of the system catchers are aging out, though, with some of them being positional conversions like Littlewood. Gotta get catchers who can help grow the young pitchers on the farm.

I just don't like doing it with 5th round picks that are probably priced higher than they're worth. Maybe he turns into Dan Wilson in a few years and we're crowing about this pick. With Seattle's catching luck, though, I'm having trouble seeing it even with teal-colored glasses.


These are the most helpful capsules I've come across, by far. Thank you a ton. Even if you're dashing my hopes in Banuelos' case.

(After Rounds 1-2, I'll take whatever we can get! =D) What a steal!)


6th - Oliver Jaskie, LHP. A legit starter! Changeup artist, very-low-90s fastball, trying to get his slider polished up. His motion is a bit jerky (the knee-to-drive is sort of smashed together like he's doing a crunch) but it helps hide the ball and make it hard on lefties with that plus change. And a junior with some talent too. Good. I like lefty changeup guys who can throw (low) 90s heat. He's going to be impossible to judge til he gets to at least AA in the system (most guys at lower levels either don't see good offspeed pitches or can't hit them, so he should run good numbers until then) but Jaskie is a nice selection - and an indication that Seattle's not just junking the rest of its top-10 to save money for its first two expensive picks.

I like him at least as much as I liked Brandon Miller last year. The benefit Jaskie has over Miller is that he can get converted to a LOOGY out of the pen if starting isn't his gig.


7th - Max Roberts. 98Ks in 94 IP against just 28 walks for his Wabash Valley community college. He's a 6'6 beanpole lefty, hard to hit. His Ks and innings were both very high nationally among jucos, and took his team to the Juco World Series.  He's a starter with what we hope is "projectability" but I don't know what he throws.  The Mariners went and got Paul Fry with a similar profile (if half a foot shorter) and used him in relief.  It's always possible they do that with Roberts too, but I'm hoping Max's height gives him a start in the rotation rather than relief once he hits full-season ball.


8th - Billy Cook, RH CF from Coastal Carolina.  Saw a lot of him during Coastal's run through the College World Series. He's a junior so he might take a few extra bucks to sign considering the serious upswing in his 2 real years of playing college ball. Short OBP guy with some base speed and steals to go with some highlight-reel defense in center. He controls the zone really well and can handle the bat. I liked him in college more than I liked Braden Bishop in college, for what that's worth.  Bishop is soaring the minors right now, so maybe Cook has the same chance.  His swing is short and aggressive, much like his play in center field.  He covers a lot of ground as a little guy with good jumps and a sure glove, putting that speed to good use. He's a real player too, not just a slot fill. He's a pretty great small-ball selection for the round.  We'll see if his bunt / slash / get on base game works in the pros or if he's just a defensive replacement.


If you google Billy Cooke looking for more info, you find that he and Stetson University catcher Austin Hale are longtime friends. Looking at Hale, it seems he might be worth a lower-round selection. Honor Student (as is Cooke) and apparently a pretty good defensive catcher, and a middling hitter (.270 BA or so, .700 OPS). As G has noted, there is always a need for catchers. This one looks to me like a guy that could grow if he gets drafted and signed.


9 - Jorge Benitez, LHP from Puerto Rico. Call this the Diaz hope. Another skinny guy, this one a lefty. Inconsistent as you might expect from a teen, all leg and arm like Diaz. Good arm speed, makings of a good breaking ball that he does not control in the zone but man it's tight with nice late break for his being so raw. Nice knee raise for drive-and-drop delivery but trails his arm a lot which might overly stress his shoulder long term.  I expect the Mariners to get him to extended Spring Training asap and get to work on giving him the best instruction of his career.

He doesn't throw nearly as hard as Diaz did (I don't have a radar gun but he looks high-80s max) but as a lefty he does not have to.  I expect them to clean up his motion and find him some extra mph as he puts muscles on that skinny frame.  Another really interesting prospect.  Mariners going with upside guys and I have to say I'm liking it, even if some of them are half a decade away from the bigs.


10 - Randy Bell, RHP. He's short for a pitcher at 5'10 but he was a full-time starter for South Alabama and their ace.  His strikeout stuff ticked up a notch this year and his control remained stellar (career 3.5 K:BB, this year closer to 5). He works off his fastball and curve with a changeup held in reserve.  USA was a top-25 team this year, so this wasn't some random school.  Bell can actually pitch - but because he's a senior he's going to get shorted on his draft slot money (with most of it probably going to Billy Cook). He throws 89-92, but with his stature the Ms might bullpen him and see whether he can find a couple extra mph if he only has to throw for an inning. He might be a senior, but he's still interesting. The Ms did a better job of getting upside players in the first 10 rounds than they have been recently, at least at first blush.


The Mariners picked up elite level defenders every time they drafted a bat (1B, C, CF) that all C the Z at above average rates, and found a bunch of projection / funky delivery signability pitchers with good to excellent control after they got a high dollar steal in the second round.  Is that about right?  Seems like the Mariners have an organizational philosphy locked in now


It wasn't a good draft for serious college bats, by the Ms own admission, so apparently they looked for defenders whose offense might be coached up - but who could provide value if the offense doesn't really spike. From there they added those arms.  Since this is basically how I'd prefer to run a draft it meets with my approval, which no doubt comforts Dipoto in his moments of weakness.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

...your entree's are gooder than Gordon Bleu.

Thank you for putting some condiments on the names.

Most other joints offered names on a menu without sauce or side dishes.



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