M’s Nab LHP James Paxton at #132

Jay Yencich · June 8, 2010 at 10:42 am · Filed Under Mariners 


Paxton was a supplemental rounder for the Jays last year, but failed to come to terms. Because the Jays ended up negotiating with Scott Boras, Paxton was ruled ineligible for the NCAA season with U Kentucky bailed for the Grand Prairie Air Hogs in Texas. Last year, he was 93-4 touching 97, but this year he was down a bit, 88-93 with the fastball generally, and his curve wasn’t biting quite as much as it did in the past.

Other teams were probably scared off from Paxton both because he’s had nagging injuries over the years, elbow issues as a prep, back issues two years ago, knee problems recently, but I see a couple of reasons to be positive about the M’s taking him. For one, our Canadian scouting is pretty good, so you have to believe that they’ve had their eyes on him forever, and for another, we have a pretty solid minor league training and conditioning program now and are more than willing to sit guys with slightest hint of arm trouble. It seems weird to think that the M’s are now and organization that may be more capable than others of keeping a pitcher healthy, but I’d say we have a shot here. It’s a gamble. It could pay off extraordinarily well.


18 Responses to “M’s Nab LHP James Paxton at #132”

  1. MarinerDan on June 8th, 2010 10:45 am

    Thanks for these great summaries, Jay. Keep them coming!

    M’s going after pitchers early in the draft – certainly no immediate help from this draft to solve our offensive woes.

  2. Pete Livengood on June 8th, 2010 10:52 am

    MarinerDan, I am CERTAINLY no expert, but even from just watching the last few drafts, it seems to me that unless you get an offensive player very high, these middle-high rounds tend to be dominated by pitching picks, and offensive guys picked from 5-12th rounds have still progressed well. I’d bet the M’s will start going to the offensive side within the next few picks, unless there is a pitcher they really like who slides further to them than they expect.

    Agree or disagree, Jay?

  3. KaminaAyato on June 8th, 2010 10:53 am

    Even if you drafted hitters early, it’s not going to be an immediate impact (Harper isn’t a straight shot either).

    Plus, there are some players heading into FA this year that might be serviceable such as Jorge Cantu, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn and Michael Cuddyer.

    It’s just harder for us to make trades because we don’t have a whole lot in the farm system that Z is trying to rebuild through the draft.

  4. dnc on June 8th, 2010 10:53 am

    There wasn’t going to be immediate help for the offense even if we had the #1 pick. On the farm, our offensive prospects are much more to be excited about than the arms. I, for one, am THRILLED that the M’s are going after pitchers, especially these pitchers. If we can sign the three we’ve picked already that’s a fantastic haul.

  5. Jay Yencich on June 8th, 2010 10:55 am

    I wouldn’t be hurt if they continued drafting all these fantastic pitchers. They’ll go with what’s around, and if there’s a hitter that appeals to them, they’ll go for it. As I said though, don’t expect catchers.

  6. Gomez on June 8th, 2010 10:58 am

    So far I’m liking these picks. A bit risky in each case for their respective reasons, but you’re looking at great upside given the slots should any of them pan out.

  7. Pete Livengood on June 8th, 2010 11:01 am

    Agree completely, Gomez. And I think that’s exactly what they should be doing, when their first pick wasn’t until 43. If one of these picks pans out, you’ve more than compensated for booting the compensatory picks for Figgins.

  8. argh on June 8th, 2010 11:04 am

    he’s had nagging injuries over the years, elbow issues as a prep, back issues two years ago, knee problems recently

    [looking at the current DL and thinking, ‘The kid’s a perfect fit.’]

  9. GoldenGutz on June 8th, 2010 11:11 am

    Arms are always more valuable so I’m happy we are going after high reward arms. Can’t wait to see how our Farm looks after a possibleLee trade and this draft.

  10. charliebrown on June 8th, 2010 11:16 am

    While I definitely agree that taking pitching in the first few rounds is the way to go, the M’s definitely need to upgrade their offense via this draft too.

    Eventually the M’s are going to have to use resources to up grade the offense instead of using the “Large Item Pickup Day” method so much.

  11. GoldenGutz on June 8th, 2010 11:16 am

    Another P. Only 1 position player in 5 picks.

  12. Pete Livengood on June 8th, 2010 11:18 am

    Mac “thinks the next kid is a redraft” (he is – 42nd round in 2008 by Texas), 6-4 230lb RHP Stephen Pryor is the M’s next pick, out of Tennessee Tech by way of Cleveland State Community College. From the TTU site:

    “We have had our eye on Stephen for quite some time, and we are so excited to have him join our baseball team. Stephen has an electric fastball that can be absolutely dominating at times, and a couple different breaking pitches that are special as well and many other people see the same thing we do, as he was drafted by the Texas Rangers last June. Stephen will make an immediate impact on the mound for our TTU Golden Eagles.”

  13. wrob4343 on June 8th, 2010 2:36 pm

    Jay, if you ever have to write about the University of Kentucky again, just know its UK… I go there, and people will get very upset if the name is incorrect. Paxton has a lot of upside, but I’m like you mentioned, injuries and to a degree mental toughness will be issues.

  14. Jay Yencich on June 8th, 2010 2:39 pm

    Can I ask why without incurring wrath?

    I typed UK originally but figured someone was going to get confused.

  15. joser on June 8th, 2010 3:33 pm

    If I saw UK my first thought would be United Kingdom; once I got past that I’d think Kansas before Kentucky. So for the vast julepless majority, I think you did fine.

  16. Jay Yencich on June 8th, 2010 3:52 pm

    It is an unfortunate thing that the masses lack sufficient juleps.

  17. wrob4343 on June 9th, 2010 6:11 am

    Kansas is KU, Kentucky is UK… it’s just one of those things. Kentucky doesn’t have much so UK has to mean something. I don’t quite get it myself and it’s quite the contrast from Western Washington, but hey, not for me to judge.

  18. wrob4343 on June 9th, 2010 6:35 am

    I will also add that if you watch ESPN and listen closely, they don’t call the University of Kentucky, just Kentucky. Most of the time it’s called UK because they know.

    But I’m a Washington-born kid so I don’t care… somebody else may though.

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