The 2008 Draft

Dave · June 5, 2008 at 9:35 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The 2008 draft kicks off in just under two hours, with the M’s having the 20th selection in the first round. Despite the fact that it isn’t as glitzy as its NFL and NBA counterparts, the draft is still an important day for every franchise. Teams that draft well can stock their organization with a pipeline of cheap, young talent that can be the foundation of championship runs.

I know we all are very frustrated with the Mariners front office and the job they’ve done assembling the major league roster. But, do not let that frustration seep into your idea of the quality of this organization’s scouting department. Led by scouting director Bob Fontaine, the Mariners do an excellent job of finding guys that other teams miss on, and Fontaine is legendary for grabbing valuable players in the middle rounds of the draft when most teams aren’t expecting to get any real value. Fontaine knows what he’s doing, and really, our reaction after this draft should probably just be “we trust Bob.”

However, with that said, there are a couple of player types that I think history has shown that it generally doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a first round selection on; relief pitchers and ultra-raw two sport athletes. As we’ve talked about before, it’s just really easy to build a bullpen with spare parts and minor league castoffs, and using a resource such as a first round selection on a guy whose ultimate upside is pitching in the 8th or 9th inning is a waste. The reward just isn’t justifiable. On the flip side, the risk is simply too high with the kids who haven’t dedicated themselves to baseball and have lost valuable development time becoming stars in other sports.

I think the history of previous drafts bear these generalizations out. Take shots on the raw athletes in the second or third round and grab a couple relievers in the fifth round and on, but let the first round be for guys who can play everyday or be part of your future rotation.

So, with that said, there’s a pretty decent chance that I’m going to groan when the Mariners selection is made in a few hours. Pretty much all the talk the last few days has linked them to a quartet of college relievers. The combination of the desire to move Morrow to the rotation and the perceived lack of a successor to J.J. Putz if they do that is driving the idea that a polished reliever who could get to the majors quickly is the way to go. It looks, right now, like the M’s will be selecting one of Andrew Cashner (Texas Christian), Josh Fields (Georgia), Ryan Perry (Arizona), and Daniel Schlereth (Arizona). Cashner’s the best of the bunch, while Fields is a step below, and Perry and Schlereth are velocity guys who light up the radar and that’s about it.

I hated the fact that the M’s were going after Casey Weathers at #11 last year, but they were saved by the fact that the Rockies took him at #8 and Phillippe Aumont fell into their laps. Let’s hope the same happens this year, but it’s a lot more to ask for four college relievers to all be off the board by #19. Odds are that at least one of them will be available, and the M”s will take the one furthest up their board. And it will be simply be the latest reason to loathe the 2008 season.

In Fontaine I trust, but please, Bob, avoid the college relievers.


122 Responses to “The 2008 Draft”

  1. Dave on June 5th, 2008 12:20 pm

    Root for Aaron Hicks, Brett Lawrie, or Zach Collier.

  2. marinersfan33 on June 5th, 2008 12:22 pm

    Okay, who can we hope to fall now?

    AARon Hicks… a left handed outfielder with power, also could be moved to 1st base

  3. irish on June 5th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Dave: How do you feel about Brett Wallace?

  4. MedicineHat on June 5th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Dave…how about Ike Davis?

  5. Dave on June 5th, 2008 12:24 pm

    You don’t move an athlete like Hicks to first base.

  6. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 12:24 pm

    Root for Aaron Hicks, Brett Lawrie, or Zach Collier.

    Cool. Done.

    When the Ms get on the clock, could you throw out who you would take?

    Yeah, how about that pick?

    Keith Law’s mock on espn is pretty dang accurate. He had the As taking Weeks.

  7. Dave on June 5th, 2008 12:24 pm

    Brett Wallace is the ’08 Matt LaPorta. Not a good fit for an NL club that already has Pujols.

  8. irish on June 5th, 2008 12:24 pm

    Dave: How do you feel about Brett Wallace?

    Well, I posted that right before he got picked by the Cards. Looks like the college sluggers aren’t falling today.

  9. Dave on June 5th, 2008 12:38 pm

    Gordon Beckham borrowed Donald Trump’s hair.

  10. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 12:39 pm

    Boy, that Hicks pick hurt twice.

    First, when the Twins picked him.

    Second when, after two minutes of praising him, they compared him to “Adam Jones, the new star in Baltimore.”

  11. Dave on June 5th, 2008 12:40 pm

    If the Brewers really use Lawrie at catcher, they could field the worst defensive team ever: Lawrie, Fielder, Weeks, Braun, and LaPorta…

  12. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 12:42 pm

    Gordon Beckham borrowed Donald Trump’s hair.

    Yeah, it was like Donald Trump’s and Jimmy Johnson’s barbers had a kid.

    And… poop. There goes #2 on your list of three, Dave.

  13. irish on June 5th, 2008 1:04 pm

    It’s hard being an M’s fan.

  14. msb on June 5th, 2008 1:08 pm

    so who was that with the apple-polishing response to the Seattle pick, after Law trashed it?

  15. Jay R. on June 5th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Clownshoes. The official footwear of the Seattle Mariners.

  16. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 1:28 pm

    Oh my god! Our future is so bright! In a year or so we might have a new RELIEVER! The rest of the AL West trembles at the echo of our momentous first round pick.

    We are the Mariners.

    Fear us.

  17. jouish on June 5th, 2008 2:28 pm

    Really the cherry on top of the metaphorical guano sundae that is this year for the Mariners.

    So… what’s the next step for the Mariners? Do they try to restart and build around Felix? Do they try to go for it again next year? I’m so confused about this team.

  18. Jeff Nye on June 5th, 2008 2:35 pm

    As much as I don’t like this pick, we probably should wait until we see how Fontaine does in the later rounds before we start with the hand-wringing.

  19. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 3:00 pm

    Jeff Nye… overall, sure.

    But he could draft brilliantly the rest of the way, and it doesn’t mean he couldn’t have also drafted brilliantly at the top.

    However good he does, it will always be -1. The biggest “1”, too.

    And I wouldn’t be nearly as upset if it wasn’t clear that the Ms were targeting him because he was a reliever.

    And this team has made enough inexcusable moves for me to judge them harshly for another desperate move to save the careers of men who don’t deserve it. It is depressing.

  20. Jeff Nye on June 5th, 2008 3:07 pm

    Right, and believe me, I agree with you; but Fontaine is really, really good at finding value in the later rounds (by all accounts); so whatever the agenda was that ended up with him picking Fields, I still have faith that this could turn out be a decent draft based on what happens later on.

    Not great, but decent.

  21. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 3:24 pm

    You’re right, Jeff.

    I’m excited to see what he does.

    Therein may lie hope.

  22. crcurtis7 on June 21st, 2008 6:20 am

    yeah, luke burnett could be a late round steal in the 14th round. last summer after the cape league he was pegged as a first rounder, but slid cause he had a bad spring.

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