I have found my newest crush. A young catcher. No, he’s not Steve Baron. I have another opinion about that whole situation. But, that will be put off to another day. No, despite spring training being kicked off my attention still lies with High School and College baseball. Which of course then leads to thoughts of the MLB Draft in June.
While digging through all the possible prospects, I’ve taken a particular interest with catchers since that is a particular weakness within the organization and it also seems to be a position of strength within the 2011. there are a few interesting names to write down and take note. Such as Elvin Soto, Brett Austin and Cameron Gallagher, who I feel all fit the organization stance on drafting catchers. They seem to like to use one of the top-10 rounds for a high school catcher.
But, there are also some interesting college catchers out there such as Andrew Susac, Pete O’Brien, CJ Cron ect… and who knows it’s possible that even one of those guys is still available at 63.
They’ve been pretty good about trying to inject some talent into the organization. Spending the past two drafts on 5 high school catchers (Baron, Tanabe, Phillips, Carmichael and Guarnaccia) and 4 college catchers (Coleman, Bantz, Giobbi, Marcoe), signing all but 2 (Guarnaccia and Marcoe).
With bringing in 7 catchers into the organization you would hope that someone would seemingly have a chance to work through the organization but all of them have serious short comings including Steve Baron. Though he still is the most likely out of all draftees to make the big leagues.
I believe the Mariners are going to use one of their first five picks (which come in the first 125 picks) to select a catcher. It would make the most sense to use the depth of the draft to pad a weakness within the organization.
Pratt Maynard is a guy I’m circling right now for a couple of reasons.
The Mariners are already sort of familiar with Maynard. As he was the primary catcher as a freshman for Mariners 2009 8th round pick Jimmy Gillheeney. I don’t know how much time they spent with the guy but the fact is they know where he works and you don’t draft pitcher without noticing the catcher. This was part of the point when they drafted Trevor Coleman out of the University of Missouri. Being the catcher for talents such as Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson.
Looking at Maynard’s line over the past three years with 2011 of course incomplete we can see one thing. This guy knows how to get one base.
He draws walks and was second in all of the NCAA in walks drawn last year and doesn’t look to be falling behind this season. He’s off to a good start and while we’re only 1/8 of the way through the season it’s encouraging enough to get me excited.
There is a cool video here of him facing off against one of the top-10 college arms this year Jed Bradley. Taken from 2010 it’s very interesting to see how he is in the box being it’s lefty vs. lefty situation.
44. PRATT MAYNARD, c, Harwich Mariners (North Carolina State/JR in 2011) Offensive catcher with + bat speed/power potential, ++ plate discipline (32 BB/21 SO); big arm, but needs to polish catching skills
Taken from Right Field Fog
Primarily a pitcher in high school, Maynard converted to catcher at NC State and became an intriguing prospect pretty quickly. After hitting .261 as a freshman, he blossomed in the Coastal Plain League, batting .318 with four home runs. Baseball America tabbed him as the league’s third-best prospect. This spring, Maynard has continued his ascendance, hitting .286 with 10 home runs, 11 doubles and 46 RBI.
Taken from Josh Fitzgerald’s blog
It was an impressive opening day for N.C. State and first baseman Pratt Maynard. Maynard led the Wolfpack as they stormed past in-state foe Elon 17-5. Maynard finished the contest 3-for-4 with a double, three runs and five RBIs. The Wolfpack couldn’t have asked for a better start to an important season.
Also a really well written and interesting take on Pratt Maynard during the 2010 Cape Cod season by Ms. Ashley Crosby. Check the blog out as well as her flickr page with some great action shots of possible first and early second day 2011 draftees.
Ultimately there isn’t a lot of reports on Maynard and outside the stats we don’t know much about him. Statistically he doesn’t even look too much different than Trevor Coleman coming out of college. What I have read scouts seem to like him and his potential and while he’s off to a hot start that appears to be something he’s known to do.
I’m not saying that this is the guy the Mariners are definitely looking at but I will say remember the name. I am interested in his reported defensive prowess and the fact he’s a lefty with decent power and the ability to get on base. I like his chances to work his way through the lower minors and possible be something beyond just minor league filler.
Just another name to put into your hat.