The 2018 Draft: Days Two and Three, Open Thread

Jay Yencich · June 5, 2018 at 9:00 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

As with last year, since the third day of the draft goes fast and is at times inscrutable, it makes more sense to lump it together with the second day when we have more to talk about. Not that we didn’t have enough to talk about on day one, boy howdy. It’s all fun in its own way, but your best approach is to be receptive and not too invested in any one player or group of players. Other sports can project full drafts whereas baseball can’t seem to get through fifteen selections before something bonkers happens (I did not have the A’s selecting Kyler Murray). There also appears to be a clearer sense of who can play where and when and why elsewhere, whereas baseball demands further skill development and all the variables and PB&J sandwiches therein.

One consideration I had coming out of Day One was the use of picks and money. Logan Gilbert has been spoken of as having a verbal agreement, and given his analytics background and humility in interviews, I’d be hard pressed to see him exceeding his bonus, given that he seems deferential to the team as a whole. Stowers, I know less of on a personal level, but he wasn’t expected to land here and was projected maybe more in the fourth or fifth round, at least from the earlier prognosticating, and moreover, later reports in the evening suggest that he also is in the same “verbal commitment” territory as Gilbert. Does this mean that both will come in under-slot, giving us more money to spread around among high schoolers on Day Two? It certainly seems possible, but it’s not something that we’ve done previously, so we’re in uncharted territory right now and waiting to see what happens. The Day One selection suggests the same college bias as other years, but SSS caveats still apply.

Such factors are not necessarily a given. We’ve been burned in past drafts by selecting guys who bonus demands we thought we had a handle on and turned out to be wrong about, such as Steve Baron. Yet, the general perception I’ve left with is that there’s a possibility here to spread around some money, if not in the third round then maybe in the fourth through sixth, among high school picks who may have interesting tools in their own rights but will take a longer development track. Whether that comes to pass immediately as selection #90 comes our way or in the longer term as we get beyond that remains a question. I’ll be disappointed if we appear to go more with perceived cost-saving picks on Day Two, and intend to remain quite pissed at the Astros for taking Jayson Schroeder in the second round. I’ve had enough of the Rays encroaching on our home territory but the Houston Astros? That’s just taking things too far.

Day Two:
Round Three: C Cal Raleigh, S/R, 6’3″, 215 lbs, 11/26/96, Florida State
Round Four: LHP Michael Plassmeyer, 6’2″, 200 lbs, 11/5/96, Missouri Columbia
Round Five: RHP Nolan Hoffman, 6’4″, 190 lbs, 8/9/97, Texas A&M
Round Six: RHP Joey O’Brien, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 11/28/97, Southern Nevada
Round Seven: C Jake Anchia, R/R, 6’1″, 205 lbs, 3/5/97, Nova Southeastern
Round Eight: RHP Joey Gerber, 6’4″, 215 lbs, 5/3/97, Illinois
Round Nine: LF Keegan McGovern, L/R, 6’3″, 200 lbs, 9/3/95, Georgia
Round Ten: SS Matt Sanders, R/R, 5’8″, 175 lbs, 6/7/96, Troy

Some time immediately after last year’s draft, I remember some talk from FO higher-ups about how we were now at a good place now and could now finally focus on rebuilding and longer development projects. I have been betrayed on a deep, deep level and will not soon forget it.

I mean, someone surely looked at the low minors and went “ew,” but what we got predominantly were guys who will be at Everett and higher and no one really who would solve the issue of running out of pitchers in extended. I can see some of these fellows like Gerber, a closer for the Illini, and Hoffman, who’s a quirk guy, moving quickly as bullpen arms, but this isn’t necessarily a spot of need anymore. We did well to grab a few catchers as well, which may put an end to the need to grab them wildly in the Minor League Rule 5 or convert any willing infielder. It’s hard to know which one to prefer, as both appear competent and more geared towards offensive production, although not with major concerns as to whether or not they can stick. Some of these dudes have interesting backgrounds or individual abilities. McGovern appears to have recently found his power stroke, and is a native of Willachoochee, Georgia, which I won’t soon tire of. Sanders can run and work a count. O’Brien is a sneaky fave as a fresh arm who can run it up there, was formerly a prep in Japan (and is eligible for the NPB draft), and was playing centerfield on his offdays. It’s cold comfort for those of us who wanted Ohtani, but he’s fun conceptually as a player. Otherwise, while the college guys picked weren’t all “okay, he’s maxed out, you know what you’re getting here,” there wasn’t really a starter among the pitchers outside of Plassmeyer and maaaaaybe O’Brien, who is a wild card here. What this draft looks like so far is yet one more attempt to restock low-to-mid minors ranks to fill in what we’ve traded away, which doesn’t inspire confidence as a long-term plan. We’ll see what Day Three brings, where we can toss around $125k bonuses without being penalized.

Day Three:
Round 11: RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs, 6’4″, 200 lbs, 7/22/99, Kings Way Christian (WA)
Round 12: 2B Ryne Ogren, R/R, 6’1″, 180 lbs, 4/11/97, Elon
Round 13: OF Charlie McConnel, L/R, 6’2″, 195 lbs, 1/7/96, Northeastern
Round 14: RHP Tyler Suellentrop, 6’3″, 215 lbs, 1/22/97, Indian River State
Round 15: RHP Matthew Willrodt, 6’4″, 220 lbs, 10/19/97, Cisco JC
Round 16: LHP Holden Laws, 6’2″, 165 lbs, 12/8/99, South Granville (NC)
Round 17: CF/SS Cesar Trejo, R/R, 6’2″, 200 lbs, 5/15/97, UNC Greensboro
Round 18: RHP Noah Zavolas, 6’1″, 190 lbs, 5/11/96, Harvard
Round 19: C Dean Naveraz, R/R, 6’0″, 220 lbs, 1/4/97 San Diego St
Round 20: RHP JT Salter, 6’8″, 285 lbs, 6/10/96, U West Alabama
Round 21: RHP Grant Anderson, 6’0″, 180 lbs, 6/21/97, McNeese St
Round 22: SS Nicholas Rodriguez, R/R, 6’2″, 170 lbs, 6/28/96, UNLV
Round 23: CF Ryan Ramiz, L/L 6’1″, 185 lbs, 1/13/96, Seton Hall
Round 24: LHP Benjamin Onyshko, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 10/18/96, Stetson
Round 25: 2B Connor Kopach, R/R, 6’0″, 170 lbs, 8/4/94, Southern Il Carbondale
Round 26: 3B Cal Hernandez, S/R, 6’0″, 185 lbs, 1/9/96, Oral Roberts
Round 27: 2B Cash Gladfelter, L/R, 6’4″, 200 lbs, 11/9/96, Shippensburg
Round 28: 2B Beau Branton, R/R, 5’7″, 175 lbs, 9/4/95, Stanford
Round 29: 3B Bobby Honeyman, L/R, 6’1″, 185 lbs, 5/25/96, SUNY Stony Brook
Round 30: LF Cody Staab, L/L, 5’10”, 170 lbs, 7/3/96, Rice
Round 31: LHP Rigo Beltran, 5’11”, 185 lbs, 9/1/94, Lynn
Round 32: 2B Zach Scott, L/R, 6’0″, 185 lbs, 4/27/95, St. Leo
Round 33: RHP Penn Murfee, 6’2″, 195 lbs, 5/2/94, Santa Clara
Round 34: LHP Nick Wegmann, 6’1″, 195 lbs, 4/26/96, Binghamton
Round 35: RHP Will Gambino, 6’2″, 205 lbs, 10/2/99, Paul VI (NJ)
Round 36: LHP Justin Wrobleski, 6’2″, 180 lbs, 7/14/00 Sequoyah (GA)
Round 37: RHP Parker Towns, 6’4″, 255 lbs, 11/8/96, Dallas Baptist
Round 38: 2B Jack Montgomery, L/R, 6’0″, 175 lbs, 8/28/00, Simsbury (CT)
Round 39: RHP Jacob Maton, 6’2″, 175 lbs, 9/22/99, Glenwood (IL)
Round 40: RHP David Rhodes, 6’2″, 180 lbs, 2/15/00, Langley (BC)

It’s nearly impossible to come up with smart things to say in the short-term about Day Three of the draft as it all goes on so rapidly. There are any number of prospects whom we’ve said “okay, who’s that?” in this period who have gone on to be just fine major and minor league players thanks to the efforts of scouting and player development. I’m not going to pretend here that I have anything profound to say about this draft class, but instead I’m going to make a couple of notes based off whatever interests me.

* After not spending a single pick in the high school ranks, the Mariners selected seven of them in the final thirty rounds. What I can tell you right away is that 11th round local guy Damon Casetta-Stubbs was a late riser talked about in the third to the eighth rounds who the Mariners bought out of a commitment to Seattle U. We also appear to have gotten 17th rounder Holden Laws, adding another prep pitcher. This carried on a sort of theme, insofar as six of the seven prep selections were pitchers. Gambino, Wrobleski, and Maton would be pretty big gets if possible, but seem less likely. Rhodes, who was also recognized as one of the better Canadian preps (he has a commitment to UW), could end up as a guy they do pursue, partly for the local interest and partly because the pick was dedicated to long-time Canadian scout, Wayne Norton, who passed away within the last year. We’ll see where that goes. I also suspect that Norton may have been on 24th-rounder Ben Onyshko, who was at Stetson, same as Logan Gilbert, but pitched for Vauxhall as a prep. Oh, and we had three fifth-year seniors, although for a while had more of them than we did preps.

* As far as the positional splits, sixteen picks on Day Three were pitching, ~four outfielders, one catcher, ~eight middle infielders (Trejo was listed at two spots), and two third basemen. Splits on S / L / R were 1 / 7 / 6, so, left-handed preference again.

* Two more guys named “Cal” after having no guys named “Cal,” one more “Ryne” who may soon play alongside the other “Ryne” we already have who was named a MWL All-Star today along with OF Jack Larsen, RHP Collin Kober, and 1B Ryan Costello.

* JT Salter is a large human being, and I hope we sign him.


37 Responses to “The 2018 Draft: Days Two and Three, Open Thread”

  1. marc w on June 5th, 2018 10:25 am

    In 3rd round, M’s take Cal Raleigh, Catcher, out of FSU. Another slight reach…we’ll see if they make a run at someone who’s falling (Kumar Rocker?).

  2. marc w on June 5th, 2018 10:26 am

    Would’ve been cool to see the M’s get Spillane, but he went a few picks earlier to Cincy. I know he wasn’t seen as a top-100 guy, but….900+ SLG%. We need a pure bat in the system, though I know it conflicts with the FO’s focus on athleticism.

  3. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 10:30 am

    I know the need for catching internally is beyond dire, but it seems like Raleigh was rallying (pause), yes, thank you, late in the season and may not have been so much of a reach. MLB has him at 150, but BA has him at 78

  4. marc w on June 5th, 2018 10:45 am

    Switch-hitting Cs are cool. I’ll take it.

    LOT of top 50-ish guys still left.

  5. marc w on June 5th, 2018 11:03 am

    4th Round – Michael Plassmeyer, LHP, Mizzou.

  6. marc w on June 5th, 2018 11:05 am

    Plassmeyer was a high-riser this year, and trained at the facility owned by M’s bullpen coach Brian DeLuna. Great K:BB numbers.

  7. bookbook on June 5th, 2018 11:22 am

    Sickels shadow drafted Raleigh for the Twins second round, so he likes the pick. (Plassmeyer not so much)

  8. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 11:42 am

    This has sometimes been around the time we’ve started to draft more interesting JuCo guys or maybe D-II starters in Pennsylvania, take your pick.

  9. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 12:02 pm

    No one’s chiming in on Hoffman but I was listening to Callis or Mayo (I think it was Callis) and they said Hoffman’s a multi-inning sidearm reliever who pitched 86-92 mph so yeah

  10. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 12:41 pm

    O’Brien apparently is also eligible for the NPB draft (dad’s a Marine, mom’s from Okinawa), low-to-mid-90s, hasn’t pitched much, played CF when he wasn’t pitching so he was a two-way guy

  11. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 12:44 pm
  12. marc w on June 5th, 2018 12:58 pm

    Whitworth’s Hugh Smith went w/the first pick of the 6th. Tarik Skubal’s still around. The Seattle U lefty has had an up-and-down (and injury-plagued) time of it in college, but he throws harder than he used to and could be good value. Prob. would’ve gone by now if he hadn’t had TJ surgery

  13. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 1:15 pm

    Not gonna lie, wanted Hugh Smith pretty bad

  14. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 1:22 pm

    If nothing else, you gotta say that this draft has to be a relief to all the infielders in system who might otherwise risk being shifted to backstop.

  15. Westside guy on June 5th, 2018 1:42 pm

    I know it seems like Marc and Jay are mostly talking to each other (hi there, bookbook!), but I’m enjoying it – please keep it up!

  16. bookbook on June 5th, 2018 1:49 pm

    I’m looking forward to the raft of mid-80’s starting pitchers coming in rounds 21-40. Unless the middle infielders want to have a go on the bump?

  17. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 1:54 pm

    Well, if you’re into the banter, here are some other comments I have lying around:

    * TIFO that Tarik Skubal is in the “Khalil Greene / Ljay Newsome” family of named baseball players
    * Jake Anchia
    * Marlins all drafting dudes out of Mercyhurst, copping on our style
    * “it was a down year for Puerto Rico overall…” “Overall,” you guys.

  18. Adam B. on June 5th, 2018 2:16 pm

    Those of us who looked at system need are smiling as this draft goes pitcher/catcher all the way down…

  19. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 2:48 pm

    Keegan McGovern could be more interesting than your average senior sign since he’s just recently tapped into his power.

  20. Stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2018 2:49 pm

    I was anticipating a focus on college players, but wow, nothing but college players through 9?

  21. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 2:50 pm

    I wasn’t. Jerry promised me otherwise.

  22. Stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2018 2:50 pm

    Favorite Day-2 pick so far Jay?

  23. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 2:57 pm

    I dig O’Brien. I wasn’t enthused about rounds four or five but they’ve rebounded a bit, it’s just what we’re seeing seems to be limited upside

  24. Jay Yencich on June 5th, 2018 2:59 pm

    Hat tip to Brock Deatherage for having the most metal name in the draft.

  25. Stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2018 3:12 pm

    Would be something if the Mariners let O’Brien pitch and hit.

  26. Stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2018 3:15 pm

    And yet another college player.

  27. marc w on June 5th, 2018 3:15 pm

    I really hope they do, Steve, but I doubt it. Brendan McKay’s the best two-way player out of college in years, and I bet people will say his hitting’s slower in coming around because he’s spending so much time on the mound.

  28. marc w on June 5th, 2018 3:17 pm

    Skubal went in the 9th round to Detroit, a few picks ahead of UW catcher Willie MacIver.

  29. Stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2018 3:23 pm

    Does the Stowers selection make even less sense for everyone else now?

  30. Jay Yencich on June 6th, 2018 11:22 am

    Stowers makes some sense in that he did well in the regionals and may have unlocked some power.

    Anyway, uh, we’re signing our baby hyphen for $325k, here’s a link

    Salter is also a very large human

  31. dnc on June 6th, 2018 11:41 am

    So that’s 200K of bonus pool money going to Casetta Stubbs, right Jay?

    Worth it IMO just to see a HS kid (though of course we draft the 19 year old high schooler).

  32. Jay Yencich on June 6th, 2018 11:55 am

    I’m sure we’ll be able to round up the cash. The article via the Columbian suggested that he touched 97 a few times later in the season and was talked about rounds three through eight. Could end up being an under-the-radar pick that works out well for us.

  33. Jay Yencich on June 6th, 2018 12:10 pm

    Just drafted another Stetson guy

  34. dnc on June 6th, 2018 12:28 pm

    25th rounder’s a 5th year senior who is old for his class – turns 24 in a few weeks.

  35. Jay Yencich on June 6th, 2018 1:24 pm

    lol 30 rounds 2 prep players

  36. Stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2018 4:20 am

    Last year’s selections were more interesting, at least for me, but I’ve enjoyed the writeup by Jay and comments by both Jay and Marc, walking us through this. Hopefully we’ll see some breakouts with this class.

  37. Jay Yencich on June 7th, 2018 12:03 pm

    Casetta-Stubbs would be the easy pick for “potential steal of the draft,” since he was being talked about as having hit mid-90s and topped at 97 late in the season. Big fan….

    Anyway, friend challenged me to write a two-to-three sentence summary not realizing I would go heavy on dependent and subordinate clauses so might as well C + P that as well…

    “Beyond the obvious college preference, the Mariners drafted a lot of left-handed middle infielders and outfielders who can work counts. There were a fair number of college relievers who look like they could move quickly, but my main attention is on the HS starting pitchers and if we manage to sign more than just the two (+ O’Brien), it’s a coup. We’ve done some good work addressing our pitching depth, though I’m still hoping this is the last of the tread-water college-heavy drafts.”

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