One Possible 2016 Mariners Draft Wrap
That was fun, wasn’t it? Being Mariners fans, we’re never spared anxiety even when getting what we thought we wanted (Ackley, the recently-retired Phillippe Aumont, Alex Jackson so far), but not picking until #11 and landing a consensus top five talent is usually the type of boon that we see other teams getting. I don’t know that I have the same level of investment with the rest of the picks, but I will be excited to see Kyle Lewis in Everett once I get an opportunity to drive up there.
But let’s talk about the draft as a whole. All told, the Mariners selected forty players and only eleven of those were high schoolers, most of which appeared to be flier picks after round thirty. The team went slightly off radar a few times in their selections, but the general trend was to take advantage of the strengths of the draft, which were pitching and outfielders. The team drafted fifteen right-handers (plus a two-way guy), four left-handers, and nine total outfielders. That’s most of your picks right there.
Beyond that, it was intriguing to see what Tom McNamara was up to under the new front office, particularly as one of the few guys who was retained. My guess is that DiPoto’s thinking was that the farm system’s results were less based in identifying the wrong guys as failing to develop them. Whatever the case, DiPoto probably encouraged college drafting, as was his earlier preference, as one means of restocking and the Mariners came away with a draft that incidentally addressed a number of their weakness. We’re still looking for viable corner infielders and the draft didn’t do much to address catching depth, but there’s always NDFAs I guess.
You’re going to see quite a few “best tools” lists for the draft coming out sooner or later, but I think that sometimes those lists don’t tend to yield much in the way of surprises. Lewis has the best raw power. Astonishing. Rizzo is probably the most polished hitter. Do tell! Burrows and Festa have good fastballs! Wow! I feel like I have an okay grasp on a lot of the basics listed, but that’s not often where the interest resides for me, so with that in mind, I’m going to give out a few “awards” here and maybe hang out in the comments section after and we’ll see what happens. You can talk draft stuff some more with me, if you so choose, on this merciful off-day.
Most Intriguing Selection, Day Two:
3B David Greer, R/R, 6’1”, 205 lbs, 7/4/95, Arizona St., 10th round
Take a glance at the Pac-12 leaderboards and you’re going to find Greer in the top ten in just about every category that doesn’t involve using his legs. Greer can hit. This much is not in question. Where he plays is. He’s played the corners, he’s played second, he’s even pitched a little, but he has no true defensive home and his lack of speed makes you wonder where you want to put him. Then again, he has pitched, so maybe the arm strength is good enough to compensate if he improves his hands and routes a bit.
3B Nick Zamarelli, L/R, 6’1”, 195 lbs, 7/30/94, Elon, 8th round
Could be a Nate Tenbrink type.
Most Intriguing Selection, Day Three:
RHP Will Ethridge, 6’5”, 190 lbs, 12/20/97, Parkview HS (GA), 35th round
Ethridge has a commitment to Mississippi and is probably unsignable for other teams. It seems justifiable as he’s a physical specimen and has yet to develop matching velocity. Good feel for pitching, good sink, not good velocity. So why do I think the Mariners have a chance? Last year, they went deep into the Georgia pitching ranks. Ethridge was a teammate of the 2015 15th round pick in Ryne Inman, who in turn was a former teammate of Nick Neidert, the second round pick. If those two can convince him that our org is a good place to be, that’s a hell of a steal.
RHP Kenyon Yovan, 6’2”, 220 lbs, 12/28/97, Westview HS (OR), 32nd round
Opposite of Ethridge, Yovan has little projection, but he can hit the mid-90s on the gun and seems like a good fit for us given he’s local and hasn’t quite defined his breaking ball yet.
Quickest to Majors:
LHP Thomas Burrows, 6’1”, 225 lbs, 9/14/94, Alabama, 4th round
Instead of drafting a guy who was projected to move to the ‘pen like Carter Capps or Carson Smith (or Mark Lowe or Stephen Kahn or Stephen Pryor), they just drafted a closer this time. Burrows lights it up in the low-to-mid-90s at an unpleasant angle. Slider works to both sides of the plate. They could have him start a little this summer to see if he can get a third pitch and better command, but I don’t see that being a permanent thing.
RHP Matt Festa, 6’1”, 190, 3/11/93, East Stroudburg, 7th round
Hit 95 on the gun before, so if they weren’t interested in him as a starter, he could be a fast track relief arm.
Most Obvious Nickname:
3B Joe Rizzo, L/R, 5’9”, 195 lbs, 3/31/98, Oakton HS (VA), 2nd round
Rizzo the Baseball Rat. Dirty uniform type. Spends time in the cage daily. Worked hard enough on his glovework and transfers that the Mariners think that third base is a viable position for him. Smooth swing that hits just about everything. At the same time, he’s not robotic in the way that Ackley was, having been accused of sending JV players on a quest for left-handed curveballs as a prank. Seems pretty grounded as an individual to boot. The nickname seems obvious enough.
CF Tyler Duncan, L/R, 6’4”, 190 lbs, 8/26/98, Edward Milne SS (BC), 30th round
I’m a fan of any B.C.-based, 6’4”, L/R outfielder (miss u condor), but the Edward Milne caught my eye for his work on astrophysics and mathematics. “Rising star” monikers would appear to be a given.
Most Visited State (Non-TX/CA/FL Division):
This is just something I get hung up on because I noticed early on that we tended to draft from the same region as our expected #1 target, but the Mariners went to Pennsylvania four times and hit adjacent states in New Jersey and New York once each. My guess is that the Mariners may have anticipated that they were going to get their pick of someone like SS Nolan Jones, CF Alex Kirilloff, or Pittsburgh right-hander T.J. Zeuch.
Austin Grebeck, Kenyon Yovan, and Adley Rutschman were all selected by the team, and you had two Seattle area selections on top of that. After years of having the Rays kick our asses in PNW scouting, going to local ranks now and then is fun, if ultimately meaningless.
“Don’t I Know You From Somewhere?”
CF Trey Griffey, L/L, 6’3” 220 lbs, 9/17/92, Arizona, 24th round
C Eli Wilson, R/R, 6’2”, 190 lbs, 7/6/98, Garfield HS (WA), 37th round
On one hand, this draft saw the selection of two sons of Mariners Hall of Famers, but on the other, neither of them were born in 1995, so how am I expected to care?
CF DeAires Moses, L/L, 5’9”, 170 lbs, 11/30/95, Volunteer State CC, 19th round
Now HERE’s a guy who was born in ’95. Also we drafted him out of HS. Good speed as I remember.
“Huh. That’s Interesting?” Award (tie)
C Lyle Lin, R/R, 6’1”, 200 lbs, 6/26/97, Junipero Serra Catholic HS (CA), 16th round
CF Jansiel Rivera, L/L, 6’1”, 205 lbs, 8/28/98, Methuen HS (MA), 22nd round
Lyle Lin is the first player in major league draft history to have been born in Taiwan. Rivera went the opposite track and spent two years playing in the Dominican Republic before returning to crash his high school prom and get drafted, I guess.
Hon. Mention (tie):
CF Austin Grebeck, R/R, 5’8”, 155 lbs, 8/8/94, Oregon, 21st round
SS Camryn Williams, S/R, 6’2”, 190 lbs, 2/7/98, Gathier HS (FL), 39th round
Someone out there went “Oh yeah, that’s the son of former major leaguer Craig Grebeck.” That person pays more attention to baseball than I do. If you, however, correctly identified Camryn Williams as the son of former Angels outfielder Reggie Williams (not the one with the Dodgers!), you are a wizard.