M’s Grab Catchers in Back-to-Back Rounds, Tyler Marlette at #153
Some people are inevitably going to say, “why a catcher in back-to-back rounds?” Marlette is actually a better prospect than Hicks, in all likelihood, and did well this season when people were starting to watch him. Part of that is the offense. Good bat speed, pretty level through the zone, and it just sounds good coming off the bat. Word is that he has power to all fields, which is another thing that the M’s have tried to target with their RH hitters of late. He’s also reportedly more athletic behind the plate, not slow as catchers traditionally are, but active and showing a strong arm, and he’s supposed to be a team leader. He seems to be quick to pop out the crouch too, even if his movements aren’t as fluid as Baron’s were when he was drafted (to be fair, a guy with Baron’s receiving abilities doesn’t come around every day). If he doesn’t stick there, and the rumors there seem to be more grounded in his size than anything else, there’s a chance that he’ll move off to third base, but it’s one of those situations where he probably doesn’t have enough of a bat to be great there.
Marlette is supposed to be going to Central Florida and was thought to need to go early in order to steer him away from that commitment. He’s still not going late, per se, but he’ll almost certainly take overslot money in order to sign with us. There’s a risk here because there is no compensation pick if we don’t get him, so I’m thinking that the Mariners have to be fairly confident that he’ll ink in order to try him this early.