Over the next six weeks, MLB-DI will take a look at each teams draft class, breaking down the best — and most questionable — over the past week.
Next up: The Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have drafted very well over the last few years, was this another process win for Seattle?
To the jump!
The Decision Makers
General Manager: Jack Zduriencik
Director, Scouting: Tom McNamara
Position Players: 21
Corner infielders: 04
Middle infielders: 09
The First Ten Rounds
Steal: Player was selected several rounds — or in the case of the first-round, several picks — earlier than his value indicated.
Solid: Player was taken later than his value indicated.
Average: Player was selected where his value indicated.
Slight-reach: Player was taken slightly earlier than his value indicated.
Reach: Player was drafted several rounds or picks earlier than his value indicated.
|02.64||Joe DeCarlo||SS||Garnet Valley HS (PA)||Reach|
|03.98||Edwin Diaz||RHP||Gaguas Military Academy (PR)||Average|
|03.126||Tyler Pike||LHP||Winter Haven HS (FL)||Solid|
|06.191||Timmy Lopes||RHP||Edison HS (CA)||Average|
|07.221||Taylor Ard||1B||Washington State||Reach|
|08.251||Nick Halandaris||1B||Stevenson School (CA)||Average|
|09.281||Jamodrick McGruder||2B||Texas Tech||Average|
|10.311||Grady Wood||RHP||Western Oregon||Average|
Mike Zunino to the Mariners was about as shocking as…something not shocking. I believe I mocked it 8,642 times, and I think at the end of the day, it was the right pick. He doesn’t have a standout tool, but he might be above average across the board, and when you add that to above-average defense behind the plate, you get a very good player.
The DeCarlo pick didn’t necessarily surprise me — him getting 500,000 over slot did — but I don’t think it was a great value pick money or not. I didn’t get to see him live, but he’s almost assuredly a third-baseman, and the power isn’t plus. He might get stronger — and the Mariners have done very well with questionable shortstop picks over the past few years — but this one wasn’t great value, in my opinion.
Diaz needs to gain a pound or ninety — slight hyperbole — but the fastball has gotten as high as 97 and the slider has bite when he finishes it. He might be a reliever long term, but he’s a very intriguing arm.
I am a big Tyler Pike fan. The fastball isn’t elite — sitting in the 88-91 range — but he commands it well, and his change up is pretty close to being a major-league out pitch now. I wish the breaking-ball had a bit more firmness to it, but it’s a pitch that will give left-handed hitters fits, and I absolutely get the Barry Zito picks. Not an ace, but a solid No.2 is well within his grasp.
It’s weird to say a guy who will be 23 in December has upside, but Kivlehan fits that description. He’s got above-average power, and his approach really improved as the season went on. He’s likely an outfielder, but I could see him being a lefty-killer who can handle left field.
I got the opportunity to see Taylor play a lot, and while there’s limitation with the bat, I think he can be an everyday shortstop. He’s got good hand-eye coordination, but the swing needs to be retooled if he’s ever going to be even below-average offensively. The glove should be able to carry him to at least a utility role, however.
This draft certainly didn’t have the sexiness of the Rangers draft, but I do think it was a pretty solid effort again from Seattle. The only picks I really question are DeCarlo and Ard, and coming away with Zunino, Diaz, Pike and Lopes was really well done. There’s a lot of things to question about the Mariner organization, but right now, the draft is not one of them.