The 2017 Draft: Days Two and Three, Open Thread

Jay Yencich · June 13, 2017 at 9:00 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Since interest tends to dwindle as the draft goes on, I figured I would condense these and we’ll see if interested parties still post come Wednesday, when I fully expect the Mariners to select Gunnar Buhner in the 19th round.

Gosh, what will happen today? It’s difficult to guess at although one mode behind the Mariners drafts of late has been to go hard on the Day One picks and from there take signability selections that might help gain some maneuvering room on the bonus pool. Given that Carlson was projected as a first-rounder, it wouldn’t be a shock to me to see some of the same now, and I’m okay with that. To get those two nominally in system (we’ll wait for the signing) is a big deal and helps us both now and later. Whatever happens beyond this is gravy, although it bears mentioning that the Mariners have had successes on what is now the draft’s second day, and under McNamara’s guidance as well (Yes, I know Scott Hunter is the guy now, but Mac remains around). To name a few, we’ve had Kyle Seager, James Paxton, Carter Capps, Carson Smith, Edwin Diaz, Chris Taylor, Emilio Pagan, and Dan Altavilla. All were day two selections and some were merely expected to take the contract and get to work. They’ve worked out okay for us.

If you’re looking for local connections, Washington catcher Joey Morgan is still available as is Seattle U LHP Tarik Skubal. I have some faith in the Zunino turnaround and have had moments watching games recently that have made me think “whoa, that was Edgar-like,” but I think that catcher is a position that perhaps ought to be addressed with one of our first ten picks here. Of course, we haven’t done our mid-Atlantic thing yet so for all I know we’ll kick the tires on Maryland SS Kevin Smith, or South Carolina RHP Tyler Johnson, or Old Dominion SS Zach Rutherford, or Virginia CF/SS Ernie Clement. Or maybe we’ll just go guns ablazin’ into the D-II ranks again and see what we uncover there. I’m not too picky and scouting is about as inexact a science as we have, so let’s see what happens and move from there.

Day Two Review:
Round 3: RHP Wyatt Mills, Gonzaga, 6’4″, 185 lbs, 1/25/95
Round 4: RHP Seth Elledge, Dallas Baptist, 6’3″, 230 lbs, 5/20/96
Round 5: C David Banuelos, Long Beach, R/R, 6’0″, 205 lbs, 10/1/96
Round 6: LHP Oliver Jaskie, Michigan, 6’4″, 215 lbs, 11/17/95
Round 7: LHP Max Roberts, Wabash Valley CC, 6’5″, 160 lbs, 7/23/97
Round 8: CF Billy Cooke, Coastal Carolina, R/R, 5’10”, 175 lbs, 9/26/95
Round 9: LHP Jorge Benitez, Leadership Christian Academy, 6’3″, 155 lbs, 6/1/99
Round 10: RHP Randy Bell, South Alabama, 5’10”, 190 lbs, 2/11/95

As we get into Day Three, one thing to keep in mind is that teams can sign any players beyond the 11th round for $100k without being penalized. If they do exceed that marker, then the penalty goes against their pool for the first ten rounds, so any money saved early on can effectively be re-allocated to later rounds if the need arises. It’s one reason why you sometimes see more preps later on and a lot of senior signings in rounds 3-10. For added flavor, since I listed notable picks of Day Two, here are picks in Day Three that have been worthwhile: Keone Kela (who ended up with the Rangers, as we know), Dominic Leone, and a host of guys still in the minors who remain interesting like Zach Littell, whom we traded to the Yankees, and Ian Miller, who is probably a future fourth OF at the very least.

Also, as one final caveat, the Everett Aquasox open this Thursday, but I’ve seen the opening day roster and it is presently more than half recent DSL prospects. I think that waiting a little bit before trying to break out a team preview would be a good idea.

Day Three Review:
Round 11: LHP JP Sears, The Citadel, 5’11”, 180 lbs, 2/19/96
Round 12: RHP Darren McCaughan, Long Beach, 6’1″, 200 lbs, 3/18/96
Round 13: RHP Luis Alvarado, Nebraska, 6’4″, 180 lbs, 1/5/97
Round 14: C Trevor Casanova, El Camino CC, L/R, 6’0″, 200 lbs, 6/22/96
Round 15: RHP Tommy Romero, Eastern Florida State CC, 6’2″, 225 lbs, 7/8/97
Round 16: LHP Orlando Razo, UC Davis, 5’11”, 185 lbs, 2/7/95
Round 17: RHP Jamal Wade, Maryland, 6’0″, 205 lbs, 2/8/96
Round 18: CF Myles Christian, Olive Branch HS, L/R, 6’2″, 180 lbs, 2/26/98
Round 19: SS Kevin Santa, Tampa, L/R, 5’10”, 180 lbs, 3/9/95
Round 20: C Troy Dixon, St Johns, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 4/26/95
Round 21: SS Connor Hoover, North Georgia, L/R, 5’10”, 185 lbs, 7/18/96
Round 22: SS Johnny Adams, Boston College, R/R, 6’0″, 200 lbs, 9/2/94
Round 23: RHP Sam Delaplane, Eastern Michigan, 5’11”, 175 lbs, 3/27/95
Round 24: SS Louis Boyd, Arizona, R/R, 5’10”, 170 lbs, 5/4/94
Round 25: RHP Bryan Pall, Michigan, 6’1″, 215 lbs, 10/28/95
Round 26: RHP Austin Hutchison, U Mt Olive, 6’1″, 205 lbs, 4/9/95
Round 27: RHP Collin Kober, McNeese St., 6’1″, 185 lbs, 9/8/94
Round 28: CF Johnny Slater, Michigan, 6’1″, 185 lbs, 8/9/95
Round 29: RHP David Gerber, Creighton, 6’1″, 200 lbs, 9/24/94
Round 30: RHP Scott Boches, Marist, 6’5″, 205 lbs, 10/17/94
Round 31: 3B Ryan Costello, Central Connecticut St., L/R, 6’2″, 200 lbs, 6/13/96
Round 32: 1B Ryan Garcia, Point Loma Nazarene, L/L, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 7/8/95
Round 33: LHP Chris Castellanos, Stanford, 5’10”, 185 lbs, 5/8/95
Round 34: LHP David Hesslink, MIT, 6’2″, 165 lbs, 4/12/95
Round 35: RHP Hunter Lonigro, Connelsville Area School, 6’3″, 190 lbs, 10/29/98
Round 36: CF Heston Kjerstad, Canyon Randall HS, S/R, 6’3″, 180 lbs, 2/12/99
Round 37: CF Jesse Franklin, Seattle Prep, L/L, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 12/1/98
Round 38: LHP Kolby Somers, Century HS, 6’1″, 195 lbs, 6/3/99
Round 39: SS Jack Smith, Mercer Island HS, R/R, 6’2″, 185 lbs, 7/26/99
Round 40: 3B Zach Needham, Edmonds CC, S/R, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 6/7/97

Even in the best of years, even when it was fifty rounds loaded into a single day, the conclusion of the draft can be best described as putting me into a kind of stupor, which is no slight to any of the personnel or players involved, but rather an acknowledgement of the mass of information one is expected to absorb in a small span of time. It’s also too large a data pool to be able to craft a narrative from so instead I’ll leave with these parting remarks.

* I previously presented the organization as being at a crossroads where they would do well to decide whether or not they were going to invest heavily in the high school ranks and more long-range projects or whether they would continue to buoy themselves on college players who more readily provide organization depth. This draft really looks to be more of the latter, although there are a few interesting spots here and there like Jamal Wade being a recent outfielder, Alvarado being a recent infielder, and Max Roberts from the second day of the draft being just nineteen. You might also note that Roberts and Carlson are both Driveline guys, joining Andrew Moore in system, and that amidst the velocity renaissance the league is having, it’s possible that what works for some will catch on further. The Mariners didn’t spend much time in the prep ranks, but neither are all of their college selections “finished products.” Although a lot of them are.

* McNamara drafts were heavy on D-II and mid-Atlantic schools, whereas if there’s one thing that you’re likely to notice, glancing over this list for Scott Hunter, it’s that there are an awful lot of selections out of the state of Michigan, much like Tampa used to continually raid Washington state in the MLB draft. I don’t get it precisely, but I speculated that it could be a Madeja thing and I’ll stick to that notion. For whatever else can be said, the fact that the organization is drafting so many players from one particular college would seem to suggest that they saw a lot of them, enough to get to know them and have that familiarity with them edge out other considerations.

* Taking stock of the trends that emerged: Pitchers who know the strike zone, outfield playmakers, athleticism at positions that don’t always demand it.

* Probably the most interesting player brought to us by the D-II ranks is Ryan Garcia, who like Evan White, is a slick defender at first who is likely to save you some runs on the infield. It should be noted that Hutchison is also from the same school that formerly brought us Carter Capps.

* The answer to the odd question of “what are we doing drafting a guy out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?” is that he’s already on payroll, or rather, he loved Randy Johnson and spent some time working on stuff like 3D-mapping of pitch planes, run projections, and computer-aided shifting, and so now he’s part of our analytics department. Cool beans.

* As the Mariners have been wont to do of late, the mid-to-late-30s contained a run on prep prospects, largely local ones, on the off-chance that they can be signed out of whatever other college they were committed to. Don’t read too much into it, nor should you expect much to come out of it, but sometimes they do play.


29 Responses to “The 2017 Draft: Days Two and Three, Open Thread”

  1. Westside guy on June 13th, 2017 9:48 am

    I have some faith in the Zunino turnaround and have had moments watching games recently that have made me think “whoa, that was Edgar-like,” but I think that catcher is a position that perhaps ought to be addressed with one of our first ten picks here.

    Wouldn’t that be considered “drafting for need”? 😉

    Thank you for the summaries and your thoughts, Jay!

  2. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 10:26 am

    It technically qualifies as drafting for need but you can look down our depth at every level and when you’re converting former SS/3B Joe DeCarlo to backstop for want of something to do…. Catcher’s been a position we’ve neglected via the draft for a while.

  3. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 10:42 am

    Hmm, there were lots of guys left in the top 200. What do you think of the pick Jay?

    Solid reliever for Gonzaga, but I am wondering what value he has at the 93 slot.

  4. marc w on June 13th, 2017 10:54 am

    And the M’s go right for a senior-sign, Wyatt Mills a pitcher out of Gonzaga. I’ve been wondering when they would start to save money in order to sign Sam Carlson. Looks like the answer is: immediately.

  5. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 10:58 am

    Marc, don’t you feel like this is a little earlier to save the money? Man I feel like we need to replenish the ranks of our minor league system. I want Sam to sign with us too, but not at the expense of the rest of our top 10. Or maybe I am not seeing the forest for the trees?

  6. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 10:59 am

    Well, the slot values are assigned based on when a player is drafted, so if you really need to save money to expand the overall pool and think that you can get a dude to sign for a pittance, trying this stuff out in the third round is as good a time as any given that slot in this case was $579.8K

  7. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 11:09 am

    So, Wyatt Mills, brief scouting report: Submarine righty, around 90 mph, good slider, command and control numbers increased by leaps and bounds this season, late bloomer

  8. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 11:15 am

    RHP Seth Elledge, Dallas Baptist, their saves leader, low-to-mid-90s FB, good curve, moves fast if he’s a reliever

  9. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 11:19 am

    Jay I know you are a busy guy, but I am gonna be around uss all day, hoping you will give us thoughts on all the picks. Thanks for your hard work.

    Another reliever.

  10. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 11:22 am

    They were talking about the possibility of him becoming a starter. Unlike other relievers we’ve picked around here, the delivery is clean enough to make it work, they just would need to get him to add a change-up.

  11. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 11:57 am

    I got my catcher, Long Beach State Dirtbag David Banuelos.

    Reported to be a great leader and defender behind the plate. Long-time backstop. BA’s scouting report notes patience at the plate, so I guess C the Z and all that.

  12. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 12:01 pm

    He seems to have improved pretty dramatically every year, at least offensively. Nice to start restocking that position.

  13. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 12:55 pm

    6th rounder is LHP Oliver Jaskie out of Michigan. Sounds like a late bloomer who gained about 10 mph in college, one reason why I think the draft will always be split between prep and college ranks even though NCAA Baseball isn’t a huge draw.

    Sounds like he has a weird delivery that makes it hard to pick up on his offerings. He’s topping out in the low-90s now, but I guess one question about him as a pro would be, if his secondary offerings aren’t really cutting it, is it a problem with grip or is it a problem with delivery? Do you necessarily need to change the delivery if you like the deception it brings? And furthermore, starting or relief? It’s another set of questions that I think will be interesting to see how they resolve. Past regimes would either force a new delivery or pigeonhole him into a relief role.

  14. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 1:08 pm

    Looks like some good upside. Hoping for a position player in the next couple of picks. BPA of course, but would be nice to restock some of the other spots too.

  15. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 1:30 pm

    LHP Max Roberts, Wabash CC in Illinois.

    We know he has strikeouts? No one seems to know anything else. Doesn’t even have much of a PG profile. Seems projectible?

  16. Westside guy on June 13th, 2017 1:33 pm

    Hahaha, I thought at first Jay was editorializing on David Banuelos the human being… but it really is the “Long Beach State Dirtbags”!

    How did I not know that?

  17. Westside guy on June 13th, 2017 1:36 pm

    (Ref: Oliver Jackie)

    Well, the thing about weird deliveries that seemed to hold true in the past (back when that seemed to be the hallmark of pitchers coming out of Japan, as far as I can tell), is – the league eventually figures them out.

    Sorry that I’m lagging behind…

  18. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 1:37 pm

    Until you said that I just assumed that Jay went to Long Beach State’s rival or something. I had no idea either. Dirtbags, Banana Slugs, Keggie, and Scrotie have to be like the mascot Rushmore.

  19. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 1:41 pm

    No, I went to Dario Pizzano’s alma mater.

  20. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 1:46 pm

    After googling a bit I have discovered that Max Roberts is a music major who likes Childish Gambino.

    Also there’s this:

    And he’s a Driveline guy?

  21. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 1:57 pm

    Who doesn’t like Childish Gambino?

    Wait Jay, you went to Columbia? Google told me that.

    So do you think Jackie will need to change his delivery?

  22. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 2:08 pm

    I don’t mention it a whole lot because I don’t like bragging about stuff but I definitely have a degree with honors from Columbia.

    I’m a sucker for weird deliveries and it’s part of what makes baseball fun to me, so I’d say don’t change anything with Jaskie. Heck, we just had Austin Bibens-Dirkx make the major leagues with the Rangers and a lot of his minor league issues resulted from the Mariners trying to change his delivery into something it wasn’t.

  23. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 2:15 pm

    CF Billy Cooke out of Coastal Carolina. He ys a Chanticleer, for the Chaucer fans out there.

    Sophomore and junior combined numbers, 68/68 K/BB, 48 SB, good ability to hit for average and a solid defender, lacks power.

  24. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 2:58 pm

    LHP Jorge Benitez, 6’3″, 155 lbs or so. Seems to be an interesting little project since he’s sitting in the mid-80s right now and could fill out and add more. He’s a high-effort guy right now. Good curve.

  25. EdgarIsAHOFer on June 13th, 2017 3:02 pm

    Just turned 18 a week or so ago, so I imagine he could fill out a bit in the next few years and add to that velocity?

  26. Jay Yencich on June 13th, 2017 3:36 pm

    So, Randy Bell, undersized RHP from South Alabama, pitched two years in CC first, so he’s a senior signing. He was known in HS for being an outfielder and a third baseman, so it’s possible that he hasn’t been pitching for too long and doesn’t have mileage on the arm. Was 84 mph in HS.

  27. bookbook on June 14th, 2017 7:09 pm

    Personally, I hate to see any pattern become so pronounced it feels like a rut. Athletic outfielders who have no power doesn’t bother me as much as college relievers without (much) stuff. I would say these guys are all such long shots that you might as well scout the list for any bizarre sources of upside. Pitcher who just put on a catcher’smitt? Check. 18 year old who went on a late, unexpected growth spurt? Gimme! Alaskan pitcher? Yup.

  28. Jay Yencich on June 14th, 2017 7:17 pm

    Bob Fontaine’s favorite bizarre source of potential upside was multiple transfers between colleges! Frank Mattox’s favorite bizarre source of potential was that they had never played baseball!

  29. bookbook on June 15th, 2017 4:13 am

    I love it. Draft track stars and video game champions in the last several rounds. Hand-Eye coordination’s gotta translate, right?. Good thing I’m not allowed in the Mariners FO!

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