Sure, it’s just January, but it’s time to start looking ahead towards the 2013 MLB draft which will take place June 6th-8th. Assuming that the Mariners don’t sign a class A free agent like Michael Bourn before the offseason ends, Seattle will have the twelfth overall pick in the draft.
Before I launch into players the Mariners may look at, let me remind you that the draft can be extremely unpredictable. The stock of these high school and college baseball players, many of whom are still teenagers, can rise and fall quickly over the course of their spring baseball seasons.
Last year at this time, it was generally agreed that the first overall pick would be Stanford pitcher Mark Appel and the second pick would be high school pitcher Lucas Giolito. However, inconsistency from Appel coupled with questions in signability led to him falling to eighth in the draft and he subsequently decided go back to college instead of signing. Giolito hurt his UCL in high school and fell to sixteenth overall. There is a propensity for this kind of volatility in every year of the draft.
That being said, let’s look at some possibilities. Considering Seattle’s farm system’s need for bats in the outfield, it seems reasonable to guess that the Mariners will be looking for an outfielder in the draft. Looking back at Jack Z’s drafts, his early first round picks have all been college players: Dustin Ackley, Danny Hultzen, and Mike Zunino. Let’s narrow the field down to college outfielders. Collegiate outfielders that will likely go in the top half of the draft are Austin Wilson, Aaron Judge, and Michael Lorenzen.
Wilson is a Stanford Junior standing 6’5” and weighing in at 245 pounds. His size provides good power, but he also has good athleticism and possesses nice speed. With solid fielding and arm strength, Wilson has five-tool potential, but he will probably be limited to corner outfield. His stock could really rise or really fall during the college season, as his production in past years has been inconsistent. I got to see Wilson play in person last year, and I was impressed by his physique and tools, but unsure of his refinement.
Continuing along the line of physically imposing outfielders is Aaron Judge of Fresno State who stands at 6’7”. His powerful frame implies power, which he has demonstrated at times, but he hasn’t shown that in games on a consistent basis. In two years at Fresno State, he has averaged a homerun every 65 at-bats. Like Wilson, he has good speed and tools in the outfield and he will profile in right field down the road. If his power appears in games this year at Fresno State, he will probably become a top ten pick.
Michael Lorenzen is the last college name in the outfield to watch going into the season. Unlike Wilson or Judge, Lorenzen doesn’t have big time power, but he is very good in the outfield. His speed gives him excellent range and he compliments it with a good arm. Although he doesn’t have great power, he still has the ability to drive the ball to the gaps and hit extra base hits, but he struggles to draw walks which jeopardizes his ability to hit leadoff. Despite his unrefined plate approach, his leadoff man tools are needed in the Mariner organization. Outside of Leon Laundry, who spent last year in High A, the top of the Seattle farm system is nearly desolate of young speedy outfielders.
Although he’s not an outfielder, North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran is another player to watch. At 6’3”, he has good lift from the left side of the plate and should gain enough power down the road for him to profile well at third base. He is one of the more polished hitters in the draft. On defense, he has some work to do, but will probably be able to stick at third base. If not, his body will allow him to transition to first base, or maybe even a corner outfield spot. If Mike Carp can handle left field, anyone can. He had some minor injury concerns last year during the college season, but stayed healthy over the summer. His durability should be something to keep in mind, however.
Kris Bryant is the last player I’ll touch on. This third baseman from the University of San Diego probably has more power than anyone else in the draft, and unlike some of the other players mentioned in this article, he has showed his pop in games. His swing and miss tendencies are problematic, but he also has excellent plate discipline and draws lots of walks. The power is undeniable, but his defense is a question mark. At 6’5”, Bryant is large for the hot corner, but he has a good arm and decent actions at the present time, so he may be able to stay at third. If his size forces a position change, there is no doubt he will profile well at first base or even in a corner outfield position. His decent speed and plus arm may fit well in right field. If nothing changes between now and the draft, Bryant will probably be snatched up before the twelfth spot in the draft, but history tells us that a lot will happen between now and June, so don’t rule out the possibility of Bryant coming to Seattle just yet.
Keep these five names in mind as we get nearer to the draft. I will give you updates on these players as their seasons progress as well as keep you up to date on other draft developments.
When a big-ticket deal happens in baseball, it can’t stay quiet for long. Pitcher Zack Greinke officially signed with the L.A. Dodgers, creating a ruckus. The Dodgers signed him for six years and 147 million dollars.
That’s right, $147 million.
What this means for the Mariners is that the Texas Rangers suddenly have a lot of bargaining power to snatch up Josh Hamilton for a larger contract. It also means that “King” Felix Hernandez may have his eye on a much higher price tag to renew his contract.
Greinke’s record-setting deal is the second largest only to Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia at $161 million. Greinke had a stellar 2012 season, posting a 3.48 ERA in 212 1/3 innings for the Brewers and Dodgers. He won the AL Cy Young Award, an honor reserved for the two best pitchers (one AL one NL) in baseball, in 2009. He has a career ERA of 3.51, ninth of all active pitchers.
The Grienke deal is pending a physical. Should he pass and join the Dodgers, it will make the Dodgers 2013 payroll (already $210.68 million) the largest in Major League Baseball history.
What do you think the Grienke deal will mean for the Mariners, who are trying valiantly to scoop up key offensive players for their 2013 season? Will King Felix try to negotiate a larger deal? Will they be able to compete for Josh Hamilton against the larger-budget Rangers? Post your thoughts in the comments section.
As Bud Selig reached into his 1970′s style desert brown jacket, reaching for the high grade fountain pen that would eventually mark upon baseball’s new CBA, he was unknowingly altering the methods of numerous organizations and how they go about … [visit site to read more]
Don’t be fooled by that Football photo, you’re still on Sodo Mojo.
Before the draft coverage here at Sodo Mojo, many of you may not have recognized the name above. Some of you still be a little fuzzy on the name. But I challenge you to remember … [visit site to read more]
Shortstop from The University of Virginia.
6’1” 180 pounds
College stats: .284 AVG, .383 OBP, 5 HR, 47 RBI
I’ve heard people compare Taylor to Devon Marrero. I … [visit site to read more]
The Mariners had a regular third round pick, a third round compensation pick, and a fourth round pick.
Pitcher from Naguabo High School (Puerto Rico).
6’3” 163 pounds
This … [visit site to read more]
Shortstop/Third Baseman from Garnett Valley High School (PA).
Bats/ Throws R/R
6’0” 205 pounds
Although a shortstop, DeCarlo will have to make a move to third base if he wants to be a … [visit site to read more]
The first round is over, and I think it was quite productive. Despite the successes of the first round of the draft, it is time to focus on the second round. Now that the first round has been completed, we have a much better sense of who will be on … [visit site to read more]
Tags: 2012 MLB Draft, Adam Brett Walker, Anthony Alford, C.J. Hinojosa, Carson Kelly, draft, featured, Jameis Winston, Mariners General, MLB Draft, MLB Draft 2012, Nolan Fontana, Pete O'Brien, Popular, prospects, Rio Ruiz, Tanner Rahier, Tom Murphy, Ty Buttrey
Catcher from the University of Florida
21 years old
Bats/ Throws R/R
6’1” 215 pounds
College Stats: .316 batting average, .388 OBP, 18 homeruns, 60 ribs
Sodo Mojo Scouting Report visit site to read more]
Earlier this week, I gave a look at what to expect from the Mariners in the first round of the draft. Here are some names to remember in the second round.
Seattle doesn’t have a first round compensation pick, so their second pick in the draft … [visit site to read more]
The MLB Draft is less than a week away. There are a lot of different opinions floating around, especially on this blog, concerning what the Mariners should do, but here is my … [visit site to read more]
Tags: 2012 MLB Draft, Albert Almora, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, David Dahl, Deven Marrero, featured, Gavin Cecchini, Kevin Gausman, Lance McCullers, Lucas Giolito, Mariners General, Mark Appel, Max Fried, Mike Zunino, MLB Draft, MLB Draft 2012, Popular
Although we are still three months away from the MLB draft, which begins on June 4th, I would like to introduce you to a couple of draft prospects that could be selected by the Mariners. The Mariners have the third overall pick, only … [visit site to read more]
Last weekend I got a chance to see Arizona State play two games against Western Michigan. As Mariner fans, this seems pretty irrelevant, but it’s actually extremely important to the Mariners. The Arizona State Sun Devils have three high level MLB … [visit site to read more]
Okay we’ve already talked enough about MLB Draft to acknowledge it’s far too early to establish which teams might be interested in specific players and why. Again, a player such as Jesus Montero and is not going to change the feeling of the front office or scouting department on one specific player. Just like Felix Hernandez or Taijuan Walker isn’t going to change their minds about drafting Lucas Giolito or Kevin Gausman. The depth of the system in place obviously helps push them in the direction of certain players such as having the need for catching depth last year.
Though we should at least acknowledge that there there has been a few moves that will shake things up for the coming draft. Such as the Mariners appointing a new national cross checker in, Mark Lummus, former Midwest area supervisor and a member of the organization since 1999 as a local area scout (and per Jason Churchill one key scouts involved in signing Adam Moore). I can’t find out what exactly happened to Mike Cadahia the former national cross checker, but he was referenced by Keith Law in a response to an e-mail from The Common Man and was said to have been recently let go. Which is mildly surprising but it does make you wonder how much had to do with what happened back in June with the draftroom debate of Danny Hultzen vs. Francisco Lindor. But I really don’t like coming back to that situation for every time a scout leaves or someone gets fired.
Anyways, it’s just an example of the changes that have happened and the likelyhood that we might see a few surprises this draft. Not just at the top of the draft but more over the draft as a whole. One example might be how when the new scouting department which came from the northeast and used quite a few picks in the late draft to select a few of their favorites out from under the radar. Likewise while the scouting department has leaned on the east coast for quite a few selections over the last few years we might see them go with a few more Midwest selections. That’s hardly a fact, pure speculation, it probably not happen, but it’s something to watch for as we march towards June.
Last week I talked a lot about catcher Mike Zunino. But I wanted to give my personal Top-5 guys I’m watching going into the spring and then my Top-5 guys to actually watchout, as in guys that I worry about in general. We’ll have some watches going on during the season. But until then here is a little Top-5 to tie you over