The MLB Draft is nearly upon us! On day 1 of the draft, the Mariners will have two draft picks: 12th overall and 49th overall.
A lot has changed since my pre-season draft preview, so here is a look at how some of the players I highlighted then have done this season. In that article, I pointed out three college outfielders in Aaron Judge, Austin Wilson, and Michael Lorenzen. However, all three of these prospects have seen their stock drop over the course of the season.
Wilson, a Stanford outfielder, had injury setbacks and only started 28 games this season in which his numbers were good, but unimpressive.
Judge actually had a great year but has a lot of uncertainty concerning where he will be drafted. With Fresno State, he posted a line of .369/.461/.655 while hitting 12 homeruns and 15 doubles. In some mock drafts, he is seen in the top 15, but in some he barely sneaks into the first round. A team that thinks the 6’7” outfielder will hit for enough contact to tap into his undeniable power probably won’t pass him up after the first 12 picks. He is a possibility for the Mariner’s first round selection, although taking him 12th may be a bit of a stretch.
Fullerton outfielder, Michael Lorenzen, also had a decent year as he stole 12 bases and had a triple slash of .335/.415/.523. He also served as closer for Fullerton and, in 22.2 innings of work, struck out 20 batters while walking just 4 and posted a 1.99 ERA. Subsequently, some scouts have stated that he will be a better pitcher than hitter down the road. Either way, he will be taken long after Seattle’s first round pick.
In my previous article, I brought up the names Colin Moran and Kris Bryant. Both of these college third basemen had stellar years, and are almost guaranteed to be taken before the twelfth spot in the draft. It is generally agreed that Bryant will be the first position player off the board tomorrow.
Because the Mariners have the twelfth pick, it is far too difficult to walk through all the possible scenarios and possibilities for who they will pick. Instead, I will opt to look at some mock drafts to see who the Mariners were projected to select.
In a mock draft done by MLB.com, the Mariners selected New Mexico corner infielder, D.J. Peterson. His season was incredible, posting a triple slash of .408/.520/.807. I’ll save you time and tell you that that’s an OPS of 1.327. He also walked 46 times compared to 35 strikeouts In addition, he averaged an extra-base hit every 4.6 at bats. Although his defensive home is uncertain, Peterson appears to have potential to have above average power and hitting tools. Interestingly enough, Seattle picked Peterson out of high school in the 33rd round, but he opted to go to college.
Another mock draft had the Mariners picking Ryan Stanek; a pitcher from Arkansas. Stanek was drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 2010 draft, but made a surprising decision to play SEC ball instead. Prior to the season, Stanek appeared to be a top 5 caliber pick, but inconsistency has pushed him into the 10-15 range. The stuff is undeniable. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s with good movements, and he has the potential to have up to four major league quality pitches. The command is the question. When the command is there, Stanek is a dominant arm that profiles in the top of a major league rotation.
The last mock draft I will mention had Seattle selecting Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Nearly any scouting report you find on this kid will use the word “toolsy.” Although saying that Renfroe will be a five-tool guy is a bit of a stretch, if he reaches full potential, he could be a boarder-line five-tool player. He is physically impressive and the arm strength and speed are there, but the bat has been inconsistent. Whether or not his hitting tool will allow him to reach his impressive power potential is a huge question mark. Scouts who foresee Renfroe achieving his potential view him as a 10-15 pick, but those who don’t have him in the back of the first round.
Another guy to keep an eye on is high school catcher, Reese McGuire. He will probably go in the 8-15 range depending on how teams value his bat, so the Mariners may get a look at him. McGuire is especially intriguing because he is a native of Kent, Washington; a city less than a 30 minutes from Safeco Field. McGuire’s defense is unanimously agreed to be the best at the catcher position in this draft, and his bat, although a bit unconvincing, has the potential to profile very well at his position. High school catchers have not experienced tons of success in the past, but McGuire has all the tools to change that trend.
You can watch the MLB Draft live on the MLB Network or at MLB.com tomorrow at 3 PM on Pacific Standard Time.