The Seattle Mariners have the 6th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. In twelve different seasons, the Mariners have had a higher pick. But they have also picked 6th overall four times before.
How did the Mariners do with those four picks? Let’s take a quick look back at the previous 6th overall picks by the Mariners.
1978- Tito Nanni
Nanni was drafted with the 6th overall pick in 1978. He spent his entire career in the minors, never making it to Seattle or any other Major League club.
Nanni was listed by Alan Schwarz of ESPN.com as the 6th-worst baseball draft pick of all time. I’m sure that ranking is not only based on the fact that Nanni never made it to “The Show” but also because of who the Mariners skipped to pick him.
Jerry Krause – a scout for the Mariners at the time – insisted that the Mariners draft Kirk Gibson. In fact, Gibson, along with Dave Stieb, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryne Sandberg were all taken after Nanni.
1980- Darnell Coles
Coles was drafted by the Mariners with the 6th overall pick in 1980. He turned down a baseball AND a football scholarship to UCLA to sign with the Mariners.
Coles made his big league debut in 1983 and played through the 1985 season with Seattle. After spending time with the Tigers and Pirates, Coles came back to Seattle from 1998-2000.
In his 15-year career, Coles batted .245 with 75 homers (20 of which came in 1986). He is now the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers.
1982- Spike Owen
If you didn’t already know how bad the Mariners were in the 1980’s, Spike Owen was named the team Captain for the 1986 season, just three years after his MLB debut.
Owen is currently the interim manager of the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
1990- Marc Newfield
Do you know how many baseball cards I have of Marc Newfield? He was gonna be the next big thing. He played in 58 games between 1993 and 1995 with the Mariners. He hit .201 with five homers in that time.
In July of 1995, the Mariners traded Newfield and Ron Villone to the San Diego Padres for Greg Keagle and Andy Benes. Newfield and Villone would be a part of another trade exactly one year later that would send him to Milwaukie for Greg Vaughn.
He played his last game in the majors at the age of 25 in 1998.
So as you can see, the Mariners have not had a lot of success in picking from the number six spot. Since you cannot trade your draft picks in baseball, the Mariners just need to take their time and continue to work the draft as they have the past few years. Perhaps they can break this string of bad/unlucky picks.