Quick note — interested parties should check out this link for a list of which players the M’s have drafted so far.
Mariners Draft Recap: Rounds 1-5
Supplemental First Round (#37): Adam Jones, SS, Morse HS (San Diego, California)
Jones made waves as one of the best two-way players in southern California, but the consensus heading into the draft was that he had a brighter future on the mound. At 6â€™3 and able to hit 94 MPH with his fastball, Jones was the classic projectable right-handed pitching prospect. However, the Mariners preferred his abilities with the bat and glove and selected him as a shortstop. His actions in the field are good and he has a chance to remain at the position despite his size. The questions surround his bat, however. He wasnâ€™t a dominating hitter with aluminum and there are concerns that his power wonâ€™t translate well to wood. He was projected as a 3rd round pick as a position player and should settle for slot money to sign.
Second Round (#56): Jeff Flaig, SS, El Dorado HS (Placentia, California)
The Mariners drafted Flaig as a shortstop, but itâ€™s a given that he wonâ€™t play the position in the big leagues. He is still recovering from a particularly nasty rotator cuff tear that hurt his value going into the draft. Before the injury, he was viewed as one of the premier high school hitters in the country with exceptional power potential. However, the damage to his shoulder not only robbed him of his development, but is severe enough to be a long term question. If his arm strength doesnâ€™t recover, he will likely have to shift to left field instead of third base, and its unknown how his power will recover from such a serious injury. Flaig shouldnâ€™t be a terribly difficult sign, but his pro debut will likely wait until 2004.
Third Round (#86): Ryan Feirabend, LHP, Midview HS (Grafton, Ohio)
Seattle adds another tall southpaw to the mix, snagging the 6â€™3 prep left-hander who was projected as a supplemental first round pick. Like most high school pitchers, heâ€™s a work in project and will require some patience before he develops a workable off-speed pitch and command of his fastball. However, with his size and solid mechanics, he defines the world projectable. He could be the toughest sign of the draft for the Mâ€™s, as heâ€™ll likely be looking for closer to the $1 million bonus for where he was projected than the $250,000 that will slotted for the 86th pick in the draft.
Fourth Round (#116): Paul Fagan, LHP, Bartram Trail HS (Jacksonville, Florida)
Continuing with the tall left-hander theme, Paul Fagan is selected about two rounds later than expected. Fagan was considered one of the better southpaw pitchers in the country, with an ability to control four pitches and throw strikes. His velocity is 88-90 now, but with a 6â€™5 frame, it isnâ€™t hard to imagine him adding a few ticks to that fastball in a few years. Like Freirabend, Fagan will likely seek more than his allotted slot bonus and could be a somewhat difficult sign. The Mariners may end up choosing between the two of them and letting the other attend school. If they get them both under contract, theyâ€™ll have done well in the third and fourth rounds.
Fifth Round (#146): Casey Abrams, LHP, Wright State University
The string of tall southpaws continues, but the Mâ€™s move away from the prep ranks for the first time with Abrams. Abrams is a project, to put it nicely. He racked up tremendous strikeout numbers while working a pretty heavy workload last year, but his mechanics need quite a bit of work. He puts far too much pressure on his arm, and may have problems staying healthy as a professional. Most teams projected him as a reliever in the major leagues, and he has an intense persona that profiles as a typical closer. He doesnâ€™t throw as hard as your typical relief ace, but his arms and elbows delivery provides quite a bit of deception. At worst, he should be murder on left-handed hitters. If he can find some command and develop a more consistent delivery, thereâ€™s potential for more.
As usual, the M’s throw everyone a curveball and select Adam Jones as a 6’3 shortstop from high school in San Diego. Most teams preferred him as a pitcher after he touched 95 this spring, but the Mariners are banking on his offensive game coming around. He’s a pretty clear overdraft, as most teams had him in the third round area. There’s a decent chance the M’s got him to reach a predraft deal in order to be selected this high. More analysis to come after the first five rounds.
Minor League Highlights for Monday, June 2
Tacoma 7, Sacramento 5. The Rainiers used a six-run 4th inning beat Sacramento starter Erik Hiljus and help RHP Jeff Heaverlo (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) to his 4th win of the year. Tacoma pounded out ten hits in the game, as C Julio Mosquera and 3B Luis Figueroa led the way with two each, including a double for Mosquera. CF Adrian Myers, 1B Chad Meyers (yes, he played 1B last night) and Mosquera each drove in two runs and Figueroa scored twice. RHP Aaron Taylor wasn’t perfect (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) but did record his 13th save of the season.
San Antonio 3, Arkansas 1. LHP Travis Blackley (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K) allowed a leadoff homer to start the game, but was more or less untouchable after that in running his record to 7-2 on the season. Blackley now sports a 2.06 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings, with only three homers allowed. The Missions managed only six hits in the game, but they proved to be more than enough. LF Jaime Bubela was 2-4 with a double and a steal, and 3B Justin Leone hit his 20th double of the year and scored twice. Speedster CF Michael Curry, who has been quiet on the basepaths lately after a blistering start, swiped his 22nd base of the year.
As I mentioned yesterday, Inland Empire had a much needed day off yesterday after their 14-inning, seven-pitcher win on Sunday. The 66ers have yet to name a starting pitcher for today’s game, but both Kevin Olore and Enmanuel Ulloa are available to start on full rest.
Wisconsin 8, West Michigan 4. RF T.J. Bohn nearly beat West Michigan all by himself Monday, driving in five runs on a three-run homer, an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to lead Wisconsin to their 5th straight win. All that offense was more than enough for LHP Cesar Jimenez (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), who moved to 4-3 on the year with a sparkling 1.85 ERA. CF Gary Harris, moved down to 3rd in the batting order, added three hits, two steals, three runs scored and an RBI. DH Blake Bone, who really shouldn’t be at this level, went 2-4 and is now 4-10 with two doubles since being activated.
While I’ve got you here, just a quick note to let you know these will be my last Minor League Highlights for a few days. I’m off to San Antonio late tonight, courtesy of the Grand Salami, to cover the Missions for a few days (and maybe squeeze in an NBA finals game if I can find the time). Watch this space upon my return for some in-depth coverage of the most prospect-laden team in the system… Clint Nageotte and Chris Snelling and Jose Lopez — oh my! Not to mention Rett Johnson and Travis Blackley.