CF Dustin Ackley from UNC

Day One Draft Review

The 2009 first year player draft is no doubt a big one for the Seattle Mariners. With the second overall pick and two picks in the first round, there was a lot riding on this first day.

I thought, all things considered, the front office did a pretty good job today. It’s tough to get every pick perfectly correct, and I wouldn’t say that the Mariners did that, but they certainly could have done a lot worse, and they didn’t make a single pick that I would consider a bad one.

Round One, Second Pick – Dustin Ackley, 1B/CF, UNC

This pick was pretty much a no-brainer, and they certainly got it right. There just wasn’t any way to justify drafting anyone else here other than Ackley. Ackley is the best pure hitter in the draft, and other than Strasburg of course, is by far the best player in general.

Ackley is a great contact hitter, with average power that has the potential to become slightly above average. Ackley is a good defensive outfielder, and hopefully that’s where he’ll play as we really don’t need any more first base prospects. His arm may be a minor concern, but it appears that he has fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery last year and is at full strength.

Round One, Twenty-Seventh Pick – Nick Franklin, SS, Lake Brantley High School

I really liked this pick. It might be mainly because as a Mariners fan the idea of a switch hitting shortstop with range is very tempting to me, but Nick Franklin is a guy that should be tempting to most people.

He’s not an overpowering hitter, but he is solid at the plate and has the potential to hit for average power. He really doesn’t have any weaknesses, nor does he have any tools that really jump off the page at you. He’s very young, so don’t expect him to break into the big leagues for at least a few years, but he’s a guy who could very well have a bright future in the Mariners organization.

Compensation Round A, Thirty-Third Pick – Steven Baron, C, John A. Ferguson High School

This was probably the Mariners least exciting pick on the first day of the draft, but it’s something we knew was going to happen and shouldn’t be too disappointed in. Budget was a factor here and it definitely played a role in this pick.

The most attractive thing about Baron is his defense. He is a great defensive catcher and is probably almost ready to play the position at a Major League level already.

He’s an average hitter, with average power and a tendency to strike out a bit. I’m not ecstatic about this pick, but I’m not overly disappointed and I can definitely live with it.

Round Two, Fifty-First Pick – Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia

This pick was the only case of the day in which the Mariners went strictly for power. Poythress put up some ridiculous numbers this year and has 30+ home run potential.

There’s not that much else to say about Rich.

With all of the first base prospects we already have, Seattle may not be the place for him in the long run, but he certainly has the potential to fetch us something that we do need.

Round Three, Eighty-Second Pick – Kyle Seager, 2B, UNC

It’s nice that Dustin Ackley will have a friend with him while coming up in the organization. I’m sure that wasn’t a factor in this draft choice, but I’m sure it will help in making our first round pick more comfortable.

Anyway, Kyle Seager. Kyle Seager is a solid defensive second base man who hits left handed, and hits pretty well. I don’t like the idea of drafting for needs, but Kyle Seager could certainly fit two of this organizations biggest needs.

All in all, Jack Zdurenciek did a nice job today, and I’m excited to see how things go tomorrow.

My day one grade for the Mariners – B+

In other news:

The M’s lost to the Orioles today, 3-1.

Ichiro’s current hit streak is at: 3 games.

Brandon Morrow is going to be back in Tacoma in the very near future to work on becoming a starter again. This guy can’t seem to make up his mind, but I don’t see any way that this could be bad news.

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