The 2011 Draft: Many Names, One Pick

Jay Yencich · May 31, 2011 at 11:11 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Next Monday, around four o’clock, the Mariners are going to select the player that will likely finish the season as their number one prospect. It’s very cool for us, but also kind of scary. Coming into the season, we were pretty confident that the Pirates would likely take Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and we’d then have our choice of UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole or TCU LHP Matt Purke or maybe a college hitter. Purke slipped off the radar, Cole has been good at times and mediocre at others, the college hitters haven’t broken away, and Rendon has simply been injured. In the meantime, various other names have clawed their way into the discussion and the whole thing has become nebulous as the “what have you done for me lately?” scouting crowd starts to make their vocal presence known. There’s a phrase my father used to use for situations like these, but it’s unrepeatable in polite company.

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard about seven different names linked in discussions for picks one through three of the first round. At this stage, the hope still seems to be that we get Rendon, but no one knows what the Pirates are going to do. If Rendon is off the board, it could go in any number of directions. What follows is seven capsules on the players we’re likely looking at. The information is largely culled from various internet sources and synthesized/spun in some small way. I’m not playing armchair scout yet because that’s something I reserve for draft day and players that I know to be in the system. College data is taken from, prep data is pilfered from BA’s Top 200 Prospects list.

3B Anthony Rendon, R/R, 6’0″, 190 lbs
60 G, 202 AB, 57 R, 66 H, 20 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 12 SB, 5 CS, 32/78 K/BB, .327/.523/.535

Coming into the year, Rendon had more or less the same status as Harper and Strasburg did before him as the clear number one. He’d had a few ankle injuries in the past, but both came under such unusual circumstances (slides, poor field conditions) that it didn’t really seem like an “injury-prone” label was warranted. He had an elite level of plate discipline, the wrists and the bat speed to generate power, and a defensive reputation that puts him in the same class as a lot of the gold glovers of recent memory (think David Wright in his better years as a broad comparison). What’s not to like?

Well, in the second week of the season he strained his shoulder on his throwing arm and it’s been mostly downhill from there. Early projections were that he’d be okay in a few weeks, but as the season has progressed, he’s spent most of his time at designated hitter and got a couple of games in as a second baseman a short time ago (leading some to claim he should stay there). Matters are further muddied by the fact that he’s not releasing his medical reports to anyone, and while he is being pitched around, there’s a general belief that the strain has affected both the swing and the bat speed.

This too is subject to some variation, the NCAA is also using a new set of bats designed to replicate the wood bats used in the pros, resulting in depressed offensive numbers throughout collegiate baseball, but even accounting for this, Rendon’s game has probably slipped a bit. Any team that wanted to pop him as their number one pick would either have to be confident in his medicals or willing to roll the dice, because serious shoulder injuries can be every bit as damaging to hitters as they are to pitchers. This guy got Troy Glaus comps back in the day before he ruined his shoulder, and you can see how that turned out for him.

Certainly, part of the concern that has allowed Rendon to drop on some boards is warranted, but you also have to consider that things tend to go bananas as we get closer and closer to the draft and many evaluators, professional and amateur, begin to formulate their responses based off the most recent thing they’ve seen, something that could be unnecessarily damaging for him. If the shoulder is no issue at all, Rendon is clearly better in all areas than our various intriguing, though flawed third base prospects. If the shoulder is a problem, safer options exist out there.

RHP Gerrit Cole, 6’4″, 200 lbs
6-7, 15 GS, 3.28 ERA in 108.0 IP, 92 H (8 HR), 43 R (39 ER), 108/23 K/BB

Cole was a big deal back in 2008 when he was drafted the first time, but he spurned the advances of his favorite team (yes, THAT team) in order to go to college at UCLA and get himself edumacated and probably a higher slot/bonus. This stuff is good enough to justify going first overall, because he’ll sit in the mid-to-high 90s with his four-seam and he’ll offset it with a power slider and a change-up that’s shown as a plus pitch on occasion. There were initially some concerns about him throwing with too much strain, but those have quieted down over time and as a college pitcher, he seems to have pitched through the more risky age range with no perceived damage. He’s also a bit more mature than he used to be, which is generally a good thing.

While he started the year hot out of the gate and looked like he could be the #1b to Rendon’s #1a, if not take a hold on the #1 slot all to himself (Strasburg comps were thrown around), in the latter portion of the college season he was having a lot of difficulty spotting his pitches to where he wanted to and the overall numbers turned out to be less special than some might have liked. Given his stuff, it really seemed like he should have ended up with more strikeouts than he did. Before, we might have easily said that he’d be the fastest pitcher to get to the big leagues from this draft, and maybe the fastest player overall, but that loss of command is a little concerning and it’s hard to figure out what the root cause of it is.

In any case, were the Mariners to draft him, he’d fit nicely in the rotation behind the top two guys and we could talk about how many aces we had again. He was also a high school teammate of current High Desert Maverick Brandon Maurer, so you know that the M’s have at least had an eye on him for some time now. The downside is that pitching, while still needing some replenishment at the lower levels, is probably less valuable to us than hitting at the moment, and I honestly don’t want to have to endure six or so years of team control in which everyone in the tri-state area is trying to figure out how they can get him to come to the Yankees without giving up any of their top five prospects.

RHP Dylan Bundy, 6’1″, 200 lbs
11-0, 0.20 ERA in 71.0 IP, 20 H, 158/5 K/BB

If one is looking at velocity and stuff, Bundy plays with the biggest arms in this draft, or really any other draft. He sits in the mid-90s (and has touched 100), commands a curve, cutter, and change, and has a good grasp of how to pitch and no major mechanical flaws, unlike a lot of high school flamethrowers. A lot of guys who have these kinds of talents can come off poorly in other areas, either taking their abilities for granted or coming off as a bit cocky, but Bundy has no such issues. He knows what kind of position he’s put himself in and the amount of work required to get and stay there, and his commitment can’t really be questioned, just read an interview a Royals minor league blog had with Bundy a few days ago and you’ll get the idea.

As draft day approaches, some of the higher end prospects are known to shy away from certain teams and Bundy is no different, but in his case he’s asked the Pirates and the Royals not to draft him reportedly for fears that they’ll try to change his long toss program (Bauer shares this concern), so the M’s are in the clear. The biggest concern would be the paycheck, as he was reportedly asking for a six-year, $30 million dollar deal, which would be about double what Strasburg got previously.

The new front office loves the self-motivated, high character guys, and Bundy certainly seems like the type of player that they’d fall in love with and hard, but the risks accompanying high school pitchers of all sorts are well known and it’s generally believed that the M’s are targeting hitters, knowing that a near-term contributor could help fix the lineup in a hurry. If they were picking a little later, I’d be all over this, but it’s hard for me to see it happening. He could be the best player in this draft, or he could get injured and never be the same afterward.

SS Francisco Lindor, S/R, 5’11”, 175 lbs
53 AB, 31 R, 28 H, 7 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, .528/.???/1.075

Shortly after the 2010 draft concluded, Lindor started getting linked with the M’s for their first-round pick in 2011. We’re aware by now of certain preferences that McNamara has shown in the first two drafts: he likes switch-hitters and left-handed bats, he likes athleticism coupled with high character (the “baseball rats” and guys who have starred on national teams), and he likes guys who seem as though their whole exceeds the sum of their parts. Lindor is all of these things, and has gone from somewhere in the teens in pre-draft rankings to easily in the top ten.

Back when he was captaining USA Baseball’s U16 team which won the gold against Cuba, he was on the radar mostly for his defensive reputation. High school shortstops move off, it’s just a thing that happens (Jim Thome used to play shortstop, you know), but between the speed, the hands, the instincts, and the arm, there’s no real question as to whether or not he’ll be capable of playing in the six hole in the major leagues. The question has really been what kind of offensive production you can expect out of him. Some of that has been answered in the past year: he won the Aflac All-American Home Run Derby last year, at Petco Park of all places, but realistically, he’s probably as much of a home run hitter after that as Nick Franklin was after his Clinton campaign, which would place him somewhere in the teens overall with a good amount of gap power.

Everyone that’s seen Lindor play has liked him, and there are some that think that Lindor could be a sleeper for number one, with comparisons that include Jimmy Rollins and Omar Vizquel. That he’s the exact type of player that the Mariners have tended to target makes him easier to imagine as the number two pick if he’s still available. Lindor can contribute in all areas of the game and seems to be the type of guy that’s going to make everyone around him better by smart use of his own talents. Though he’s still only seventeen, and doesn’t turn eighteen until November, consensus has developed that he’d either be the first prep player from the draft to reach the big leagues or the second just after Bundy.

RHP Trevor Bauer, 6’2″, 185 lbs
12-2, 15 GS, 1.27 ERA in 127.2 IP, 67 H (6 HR), 21 R (18 ER), 189/34 K/BB

Bauer is a walking science project, which is a huge part of what makes him so cool. He’s a brainy type, graduating from high school a year early, who engineered his own motion through studies of biomechanics and what they’ve done for Tim Lincecum, etc. As a result, he has one of the more unconventional deliveries (by which I mean going against convention) you’ll see and a regimen to match, but he manages to throw harder than it seems like he should be able to.

He doesn’t have the velocity Lincecum had back in the day, but low-to-mid-90s is pretty standard for him. Since he’s a tinkerer by nature, it’s not surprising to discover that he also throws nearly every other pitch in the book save the knuckler, and they’re all good on their own merits. He may even have a pitch or two that hasn’t been properly categorized yet, as I hear about a slider that’s effective against left-handers. One could imagine him throwing a completely random pitch selection and succeed with it, which would be hilarious and yet frightening for the competition.

His issues are that because so few teams are accustomed to seeing this type of pitcher, no one rightly knows how to evaluate him. He throws a lot, notching five complete games in a row at one point this year, and the super high K totals mean that he’s also throwing a lot of pitches. I’ve heard he was around 130 a few times already this year. Since his mechanics split the crowd, some think he’s trouble waiting to happen and others accept the fact that he probably knows what he’s doing and don’t worry about it. In any case, whatever team does decide to pick him has to accept the fact that they’ll need to back off when it comes to any matters regarding his mechanics or his routine, which means they’ll have to trust him to right himself in the event that things do go awry. I’m more confident that the Mariners would be open to such an idea than they used to be, but they still might opt to go with safer, more conventional options available to them, or simply back away from pitching entirely and stick to the hitters.

CF Bubba Starling, R/R, 6’4″, 180 lbs
27 AB, 18 R, 13 H, 3 2B, 3B, 4 HR, .481/.???/1.111

Every few years, a big time two-sport player comes along and shakes up all the draft discussions. Scouts in the stands start to let their minds wander. They daydream, thinking “what would he be like if he only played baseball?”, unaware that a few months earlier, the football or basketball folks were doing the same thing. Starling is that player this year. He has a scholarship to Nebraska as a quarterback and is by all accounts a fine player (not too bad at basketball either), but the baseball people tend to like him better for baseball and so that’s what we’ll focus on.

Starling would be a fun player to draft if only because the best-case scenario would allow us to thumb our noses at Angels fans and their Mike Trout. His arm is so good that if he lacked offensive tools, he’d probably be in the discussion as a first-round pitcher. Since he does have above-average power and plus speed, we’re talking solid right fielder as the floor and star center fielder as the ceiling, with the occasional Josh Hamilton comp thrown out there just to stir things up.

In recent reports, he’s been on the record as saying “My next step is college,” where the Cornhuskers would allow him to play both baseball and football, but having Boras as an advisor makes the football commitment less solid. As an added variable, a feature a few months ago mentioned that his family has had some financial struggles, and while I don’t know that it’s still the case (I have only seen more talk of the college commitment lately), it could be a factor.

Though Starling would obviously prefer to go to the hometown Royals, the M’s could end up as an appealing destination because he seems to want an education and we’ve been known to fund the prep players we’ve drafted after they’re done with the game. That’s how Ryan Anderson got through cooking school. My own opinion, however warranted, is that I’ve seen too many Jeff Samardzijas and Drew Hensons and countless other players actually drafted by the M’s to really get excited about multi-sport players anymore. Bubba seems like a good kid, and if he’s our guy, I could learn to like it as I’ve learned to like Taijuan Walker being around, but I still get a little gun-shy in these cases.

LHP Danny Hultzen, 6’3″, 200 lbs
10-3, 14 GS, 1.59 ERA in 96.1 IP, 66 H (3 HR), 25 R (17 ER), 136/13 K/BB

Like Lindor, Hultzen was always in the discussion for the first-round, but it’s only been lately that he’s started to get talked up as going somewhere in the top five. Since the Diamondbacks picked him in the tenth-round a few years ago, most are projecting him to land there at #3.

Hultzen is a big fellow, and where he sat in the high-80s as a freshman and sophomore, he’s now low-90s touching in the mid-range. Like a lot of the better southpaws, he also commands a quality change-up that gives him something to work with against right-handed hitters, and the left-handers get their own change of eye level with a slider that’s improving all the time. About the only flaw he has is that his arm slot has been inconsistent throughout his career, more low 3/4ths his first two years in college and higher this year and when he was a prep player.

He’s also unusually committed to what he does, remaining humble, quiet, and rarely talking about anything else than helping the UVa baseball team. He reportedly won’t even entertain questions about where he might be drafted, having enough of a time dealing with questions of how it feels to break the various UVa baseball records or who he’d compare himself to. That he’s been a two-way player for much of his college career, moonlighting at first base and DH, says there’s a school of thought out there that predicts he’ll only get better once he focuses on just one thing.

Pitchers aren’t always regarded as “safe picks” in this day and age, but Hultzen gets that tag probably more than anyone on this list. He’s not likely to be an ace or anything, but projections of him as a #2 seem as reasonable as anything else you’re going to hear. For a lot of people though, spending the second overall pick in this draft on him would be a pretty sizeable disappointment, and given what we’ve been hearing about his abilities and how other teams view him (he’s also been linked with the Pirates the past few weeks), he’s probably the least likely of the field of seven to get selected.


50 Responses to “The 2011 Draft: Many Names, One Pick”

  1. BillH on May 31st, 2011 11:35 am

    Jay, I had heard that Rendon’s medical reports would be released to MLB teams. Is that wrong?

  2. beastwarking on May 31st, 2011 11:44 am

    Great stuff here Jay, a very fine read.

    Personally, I think I am most intrigued by Bauer, if only because he has a quirky delivery and can throw everything plus the kitchen sink. This guy almost sounds like a super nerd: outwit the opponent with everything under the sun and oh yeah, he can also throw in the mid 90’s.

    The big concern is Rendon though. Someone is going to get burned on this one I think because I really believe that by not giving out his medical history, he is sending up more red flags than necessary.

    Again, great read Jay

  3. Jay Yencich on May 31st, 2011 11:47 am

    Rendon’s medicals will be released to teams which seem serious about drafting him, but this strikes me as dumb.

  4. paracorto on May 31st, 2011 11:49 am

    I want Rendon. The M’s deserve him.

  5. Ibuprofen on May 31st, 2011 12:14 pm

    Well now I don’t know what I want. Bauer sounds awesome, but we desperately need a long term future 3B. Choices, choices. June 6th shall be an interesting day for sure.

  6. tylerv on May 31st, 2011 12:26 pm

    [Yes, that’s the word!]

  7. dchappelle on May 31st, 2011 12:31 pm

    I’m so jealous of the Rays. Even if their picks are in the 30s this looks like a very deep draft.

  8. Typical Idiot Fan on May 31st, 2011 12:36 pm

    Here’s how I’d go, based on what I’ve seen:

    Rendon -> Lindor -> Bauer -> Cole -> Bundy -> Starling -> Hultzen.

    I’m not sure I’d care even if there was damage to Rendon’s shoulder (labrum, rotater cuff, etc). The advanced plate discipline and bat speed is still there. We heard rumblings about Justin Upton’s shoulder before Spring Training and he seems fine to me.

    Lindor’s defense alone makes him way too sexy to ignore, but if you could get a short stop prospect with a potentially good bat? Sign me up.

    Bauer is just too white and nerdy to ignore. It’s like combining Lincecum with Brian Bannister. Just keep him away from any narcotics and see what happens.

    Cole may be inconsistent but there’s still some very exciting parts to his game, more than Bundy or Hultzen in my opinion. Then again, I don’t trust high school pitchers much and pre-Kevin Towers Diamondback scouting.

    Starling is interesting and someone I would take but the possibility of being a signing problem puts him near the bottom. It might be expensive to keep him from going to Nebraska. I mean, a good Cornhusker quarterback can be a local deity. It’s also not like the NCAA hasn’t found ways to supply their athletes with money…

  9. Ibuprofen on May 31st, 2011 12:38 pm

    I’m so jealous of the Rays. Even if their picks are in the 30s this looks like a very deep draft.

    This is the year that the Rays ruin baseball.

  10. Jay Yencich on May 31st, 2011 12:39 pm

    That’s roughly how I’d go at it, except I might have Lindor a little lower and Bundy higher.

    I’m willing to accept any of these, though. Some just align better with certain preferences than others.

  11. HighBrie on May 31st, 2011 12:42 pm

    Cool Jay. Supposing Rendon isn’t available, I’m curious about how the Mariners are expected to err: are they more likely to take a very high upside-high volatility player (maybe Bundy or Starling) or one (health permitting) likely to high “a high floor” (presumably Cole, Bauer, Lindor*, Hultzen)?

  12. Alec on May 31st, 2011 12:43 pm

    After two years of watching Cole and Bauer while at UCLA, I’ll take Cole. Bauer has been successful, and I like him, but watching Cole in his dominant starts is unreal.

  13. Breadbaker on May 31st, 2011 1:02 pm

    Starling scares me. I hate the idea of Boras as an “adviser”. Sure, he’s always advising random guys from Kansas on their career choices for free. But the M’s have had such good experiences with Kenny Kelly and Tui they can hardly miss here, right?

  14. Westside guy on May 31st, 2011 1:02 pm

    RHP Dylan Bundy, 6?1?, 200 lbs
    11-0, 0.20 ERA in 71.0 IP, 20 H, 158/5 K/BB

    158/5 K/BB??? Is that a typo? If not, it sounds phenomenal – at least to this guy who isn’t really familiar with HS pitchers!

  15. Klatz on May 31st, 2011 1:06 pm

    While the parallels to the draft where we took Morrow over Lincecum because of tools/injury concerns are a bit unsettling, I think you still need to go with overall tools. In that same draft, Clayton Kershaw was picked over Lincecum because of better projection (if I remember correctly).

    There’s just more uncertainty with Bauer. The lack of current production from Cole could just be small sample size. For the most part, the way people seem to overvalue recent performance seems shortsighted.

    I’d be happy with either Cole or Rendon, even if Bauer does turn into the second coming of Lincecum. It’s just less risk with either Cole or Rendon of failing to meet their potential. Assuming of course, there’s no long term injury concerns.

  16. spankystout on May 31st, 2011 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the rundown JY.

    How clean is Gerrit Cole’s delivery?

  17. paracorto on May 31st, 2011 1:17 pm

    Take Rendon and pay Boras a ton of money, thus keeping on with the M’s history of great drafting.

  18. MrZDevotee on May 31st, 2011 1:34 pm

    I know there’s no chance of us choosing him that high, but how do you rate Blake Swihart, and how high do you see him going?

    Kid looks great as far as technical skills for a high schooler. And (so far at least) he’s projected as a catcher in the pros.

    Switch hits, 95mph arm, excellent bat…

    Batted .448/.492/.845 for Team USA last year, with six doubles and five home runs.

    He just looks like he gets it, at a young age, and I almost wish we were lower in the draft, so it would make picking him feasible…

  19. B13a on May 31st, 2011 2:00 pm

    This is really tough. Months ago the M’s seemed like they were going to have it easy (No Rendon? Cole then. No Cole? Rendon then), but now it’s all so muddled.

    I still believe that they’ll go with Cole or Rendon, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they pick Lindor or Bauer. Starling would be great from what I’ve been reading, but he seems pretty committed to go to college (unless this is all a ruse to up his bonus demands).

  20. just a fan on May 31st, 2011 2:02 pm

    I’m scared to death of Rendon. He hasn’t released his medical records, and the draft is less than a week away? If it’s not serious, you’d think he’d want to clear up his shoulder situation.

    Combine that with two ankle injuries in previous years, and I’d rather the M’s just take one of the high schoolers. But I want to see the M’s get the player with the highest ceiling, minus the worries associated with Rendon’s injuries.

    But what do I know? I’m a idiot.

    Mostly uninformed pick: Starling.

  21. Jay Yencich on May 31st, 2011 2:12 pm

    158/5 K/BB??? Is that a typo? If not, it sounds phenomenal – at least to this guy who isn’t really familiar with HS pitchers!

    High school numbers are generally silly because the competition is soooooo baaaaad.

    I know there’s no chance of us choosing him that high, but how do you rate Blake Swihart, and how high do you see him going?

    All other factors being equal, he’ll probably go in the teens somewhere. Were we picking around then, we’d probably be all over him as I know that New Mexico is an area where we have a visible scouting presence, but high school catchers are about as risky as high school pitchers anyway.

  22. Ibuprofen on May 31st, 2011 2:19 pm

    High school numbers are generally silly because the competition is soooooo baaaaad.

    That’s a drastic understatement in some places.

  23. dnc on May 31st, 2011 2:27 pm

    While the parallels to the draft where we took Morrow over Lincecum

    There is at least one major difference, and that is stuff. Bauer has very good stuff, Lincecum had absolutely electric stuff. Lincecum had a plus-plus fastball and a plus to plus-plus curve.

    Bauer may end up being Lincecum version 2.0 (as Lincecum’s stuff has settled down a notch and his change has emerged as a devastating offering), but, results aside, Bauer now is not analogous to Lincecum in his junior year, in my opinion, at least not from the scouting standpoint.

  24. Des71 on May 31st, 2011 2:29 pm

    justafan, I believe you are not an idiot, and have valid concerns regarding Rendon. Rendon’s injury issues, little power with the “wood like” aluminum bats, and that he is smaller in stature than most third baseman, make me throw up the red flag. I’m a Portland Trail Blazer fan, and drafting college players with injury issues has haunted the franchise. See Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. I want Gerrit Cole, despite the control issues which I believe can be fixed. I envision the Mariners winning a World Series in the same fashion as the 2010 San Francisco Giants, with dominant pitching, and enough offense to hoist their first trophy.

  25. DarkKnight1680 on May 31st, 2011 2:34 pm

    1. Rendon – With felix, pineda, walker, paxton, ramirez et al there are enough talented young arms that adding another one isn’t as important as a bat that is close to the majors. Shoulder must be checked out of course.

    2. Bauer – Kid is head and shoulders the best pitcher in college right now. I’ve seen nothing that shows that smaller pitcjers are more injury prone than larger ones and he’s a VERY smart kid with a background in biomechanics. He’s got a Felix type (4 seamer, 2 seamer, slider, curve, change all average or plus or plusplus) arsenal and can probably learn a lot from the king, and he’s a sponge. GEt him in and get his PCs donw a bit and you’ve got Lincecum 2.0. Cole, in this case, is the Brandon Morrow of the situation.

    Thats it. When you pick 2nd you only need a 2 man board.

  26. Ibuprofen on May 31st, 2011 3:00 pm

    DarkKnight we seem to think alike. I’d definitely take Bauer if Rendon is gone or is too injured.

  27. jordan on May 31st, 2011 3:16 pm

    If he is there, take Rendon… and don’t look back. That man can straight hit and has above average D at third. Just go for it. A muscle strain isn’t a big enough deal to pass on a talent like that.

  28. SonOfZavaras on May 31st, 2011 3:36 pm

    Re: Dylan Bundy.

    I haven’t heard an amateur pitcher sound that driven and composed, and so sure of what he’s doing since Mike Mussina was at Stanford.

    You just don’t see that level of preparation in the high school ranks.


  29. joser on May 31st, 2011 3:42 pm

    Nice piece, Jay. You went way deeper than I expected; not only does the lessening consensus make for more stress and headaches at Mariner Draft Central, it makes for more work for you. But hey, it also makes Monday more fun.

    Now, is there a part II coming with speculation about pick #63? 😉

  30. shortbus on May 31st, 2011 3:46 pm

    Is there anything suspicious about the delay in release of Rendon’s records? Does it limit the amount of time teams have to review them, or to request further examinations be done? As good a fit as he would be it’s starting to give me the willies.

  31. SonOfZavaras on May 31st, 2011 3:47 pm

    But my personal choice has never really wavered. Rendon. I don’t care if he’s a gap hitter, ultimately. And if the one major flag is a lack of power? There are plenty of third basemen around the majors who don’t have ideal power for the position.

    I like the idea of Rendon being our 3B far moreso than Liddi or Figgins. So long as he can throw, anyway.

  32. sexymarinersfan on May 31st, 2011 4:18 pm

    I wouldn’t be mad if we drafted Bubba Starling. I ultimately think he will choose baseball, especially if he ends up being selected by the Royals. He would be a huge boost for this organization and someone to take over for Ichiro in RF once the mighty 51 has moved on.

    I would also be happy with Rendon. He’s the best overall talent on the board, especially when he’s 100% healthy. I think the wood bats and the fact that he’s had no protection and being pitched around have been reasons for his decline in numbers.

    Gerrit Cole has the best stuff in this draft and would be another awesome Ace to pair with Felix and Pineda and could reach the major’s the quickest out of anyone in the draft. So I’d be happy with him as well.

    Dylan Bundy, Trevor Bauer, and Francisco Lindor all would be huge pieces to this organization, and each one I could envision very easily being big contributors to this team in the future, AND I WOULDN’T BE DISAPPOINTED IF WE SELECTED ANYONE OF THEM!!!!

    So with that being said, do your worst Zduriencek!! Lol!

  33. Chris_From_Bothell on May 31st, 2011 4:28 pm

    The video of Bauer is wild, it looks like a sped-up oldey-timey photo of some early 1900s pitchers.

    Is his delivery so eccentric he’d be in danger of balking a little more than usual? And how might he do an effective pickoff move with that rocking setup thing he does with the left leg?

    Interesting fella. Also, I’m guessing the choice word starts with “cluster”…

  34. diderot on May 31st, 2011 4:28 pm

    My sense is that if Rendon is available, the M’s will take him–but only if they’re 100% comfortable with his medical situation. If not, they’re not going to risk that huge amount of money.

    The guy who concerns me most is Cole. In a ridiculously small sample size observation, I tuned in to watch him face Arizona State last week. Yes, they are a very good college team. But I wasn’t expecting the first five guys to hit the ball hard–and the fifth one to deposit it over the left field wall. Maybe it’s just a tired arm after a long season, but beyond strikeouts, his numbers just don’t impress me. His career college record is 21-19, and he’s never posted an ERA under 3. He’ no Strasburg.

    So, my guess on the M’s board:
    1- Rendon (if healthy)
    2- Lindor
    3- Bauer

  35. OffensivelyChallenged on May 31st, 2011 4:39 pm

    Rendon would be the best pick imo. I just hope the guy isn’t injury prone. I just don’t want to be looking back 2 years from now wondering what if.

  36. Sports on a Schtick on May 31st, 2011 5:37 pm

    Cole has pitched downright awful in half his starts this season. The stuff is there but the command… ugh.

  37. tylerv on May 31st, 2011 10:35 pm

    Great preview, thank you.

  38. Marinerman1979 on June 1st, 2011 1:16 am

    I really hope we get Rendon…

  39. maqman on June 1st, 2011 4:17 am

    Bundy or Rendon with health assurance. Bundy has the highest upside potential and would probably be in the show within two years.

  40. justinh on June 1st, 2011 7:13 am

    The Mariners received Rendon’s medical records, and he has been cleared. However, because the Mariners do not know what the Pirates will do at #1, Lindor is in for a workout this week. That being said, JZ and company love Bubba Starling andd he appears to be number 2 on the list for the M’s.

    Alll in all, if Rendon is on the board, he is the next 3B for the Mariners. He will not stick at second base as that is just about the worst position for a guy who has had 2 ankle injuries. Freak injuries happen in baseball, and especially when you do not have millions of dollars invested in training and injury prevention. Rendon fell in a whole injuring one ankle, and his shoulder injury was done stretching on his own. These injuries do not happen in pro ball with fields that are manicured to perfection, yes even in the minors. And Rendon will not be performing his own stretching routines anymore.

    75% Rendon, 10% Starling, 10% Lindor, 5% Cole/Hultzen/Bundy

  41. greentunic on June 1st, 2011 8:52 am

    The Mariners received Rendon’s medical records, and he has been cleared.

    Can we have a link? Would love to read that story!

  42. Jay Yencich on June 1st, 2011 11:16 am

    The Mariners received Rendon’s medical records, and he has been cleared. However, because the Mariners do not know what the Pirates will do at #1, Lindor is in for a workout this week. That being said, JZ and company love Bubba Starling andd he appears to be number 2 on the list for the M’s.

    Unless you know something that has changed in the past twelve hours, no. Hit it, Larry Stone.

    All things being equal, I’d like to see the Mariners take Rendon, a potential impact bat who can reach the majors quickly.

    That’s provided, of course, that everything checks out with the shoulder strain that has hampered him this season. Considerable intrigue is building over whether the Rendon camp will release his medical records before the draft.

    Stone: Mariners’ No. 2 draft pick not so clear this year

    Much could depend on whether or not the Rendon camp (he’s “advised” by Scott Boras) releases his medical records. As Zduriencik said, “If a player has a chance to go very high, it makes sense if you feel very good about your medical history, why not release it? Disclose it. It could benefit the player. If you don’t get (the medical history), for whatever reason, you might have to ask why.”

    Stone: Tough Choice Looming for Mariners

  43. justinh on June 1st, 2011 1:14 pm


    Larry Stone’s article is from a few days ago, at least his information is. The Mariners, as of yesterday received the medicals on Rendon and all checked out. Two sources both have confirmed.

    Rendon is the choice, and true insiders such as Keith Law and Heyman of SI have just written stories about Rendon to the M’s. They have the same info, though the Pirates are playing a pretty good hand of poker.

    Lindor at the Safe this week and if the Pirates take Rendon, we may see Starling, Lindor, or Cole.

  44. akampfer on June 1st, 2011 9:49 pm

    Why are they considering a pitcher when their offense is so bad? They need a power hitter, period.

  45. Jay Yencich on June 2nd, 2011 10:58 am

    Why are they considering a pitcher when their offense is so bad? They need a power hitter, period.

    Well folks, he said “period.” The discussion is over, everyone go on with your lives.

  46. Liam on June 2nd, 2011 11:37 am

    Why are they considering a pitcher when their offense is so bad? They need a power hitter, period.

    Think back to the 2000s, remember when Dan Wilson was on his way out, Ben Davis and Miguel Olivo flopped, Pat Borders was 40 years old and the team desperately needed a catcher as Rene Rivera, Yorvit Torrealba and Wiki Gonzalez also weren’t the answer?

    That got us to draft Jeff Clement with the 3rd pick in the 2005 draft over Ryan Zimmerman (4th), Ryan Braun (5th) and Troy Tulowitzki (7th).

    Then the Mariner’s signed Kenji Johjima (Twice) and later Adam Moore was working his way through the system. This is why drafting should be based on talent, not need.

  47. tres_arboles on June 2nd, 2011 12:10 pm

    You just don’t see that level of preparation in the high school ranks

    You see it more than you’d think, but it’s not prevalent once the talent level drops below pre-pro-prospects. As to Bundy, I talked to a guy who had him at Area Codes and said he was exceptionally composed, tough as nails, and clearly a first rounder back then. He also apparently talked a lot of sh!t and backed up everything he said.

  48. Jay Yencich on June 2nd, 2011 2:39 pm

    As to Bundy, I talked to a guy who had him at Area Codes and said he was exceptionally composed, tough as nails, and clearly a first rounder back then. He also apparently talked a lot of sh!t and backed up everything he said.

    Actual shit-talking or like what Nick Franklin does acting super confident all the time?

    This is why drafting should be based on talent, not need.

    Right. Prospects broadly take so much time to develop that it’s hard to see the guy you draft today definitely filling that need four years down the road. You may have patched that up via free agency. You may end up in a situation where you have Shin-soo Choo blocked by Raul Ibanez and make terrible decisions as a result. But I’m getting sidetracked…

  49. Dogham on June 3rd, 2011 7:42 pm

    I think Bubba Starling is the right choice. He’s got tape measure power, quick and a great arm. Seattle continues to need the bats in their lineup. We have Felix, Pineda, Vargas, etc…3B can be played by Alex Liddi. Griffey spent how many years with a revolving door in Left Field? When you have the chance to get a great player you get him even if 3B is a big need. The M’s can meet the bonus $$ and add if needed. Need a new superstar in Seattle and put some butts in the seats. Jack Z drafts Starling and the M’s future looks bright. If not, it’s a roll of the dice.

  50. gerrythek on June 5th, 2011 7:45 pm

    Just a guess but I thing Lindor is the most likely pick. I see Pit taking Cole and at this point I think we would prefer to avoid risks – be it Rendon’s shoulder/ankle or Bubba’s Nebraska option.

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