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 the board when the Mariners get the fourth pick of the second round.
Since we took a catcher in the first round, I would be surprised if we took a backstop in the second round. However, both Tom Murphy and Pete O’Brien, as well as a few other catchers, are all on the board if the Mariners decide to take two catchers in the first two rounds.
Five-tool outfielder, Anthony Alford, is also on the board, but he will be nearly impossible to sign due to his football commitment, so don’t expect any team to take him. Fellow two sport athlete, Jameis Winston, will likely be available as well. Winson, a switch hitter, doesn’t possess nearly the tools or potential of Alford, but he will be much easier to sign away from his football scholarship to Florida State.
A couple of infielders will be on the board tomorrow as well. Tanner Rahier is the most notable of these available infielders and bring plus power and decent defensive ability. The future position of Rahier is a question. He is currently a shortstop, but will likely be moved to third or second, both of which would fit better in the Mariner’s future.
Other infielders available include powerful Northwest third baseman, Carson Kelly, utility infielder, Nolan Fontana, and
C.J. Hinojosa whose plus bat will be difficult to sign. Another name to remember is first baseman/corner outfielder Adam Brett Walker. Walker has one of the most powerful bats in the draft, but his plate discipline is lacking and future position unsure. The impressive power could be worth the risk.
Rio Ruiz is another infielder that remains on the board, and is a guy that I really like personally. Although he has been sidelined by a football injury and blood clot, there aren’t many things not to like in his game. The left-handed batter consistently hits the ball hard and has good power which will project well at the hot corner. Ruiz also brings an excellent glove making him a good all around prospect for the hot corner.
Beyond position players, there are lots of good pitchers remaining on the board. Ty Buttrey is the only one that I will mention due to the fact that he was expected to be picked in the late first round to early compensation round. The 6’5” righty throws in the mid 90’s and could have two good off-speed pitches with a bit of work.
Tomorrow will bring fourteen more rounds of the draft. Hopefully they can add one or two more impact players tomorrow as well as some nice depth in the farm system.