Mariners and 92

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We already talked about what is going on with 62 and some of the names that I threw out of who I thought that the Mariners might be or rather should be interested in going forward.  Also, if you check our Conor Dowley and Mariner Farm Review there was a guest post yesterday by non other than Chris Crawford who runs MLBDraftInsider.com. He threw out some more great names and a brief scouting report. CHECK IT OUT NOW!

Back to the beaten path, I didn’t throw out any catchers names back at 62 (and neither did Chris) and so a few people have kind of raised the “we need a catcher soon” flag. Not that I’m surprised, it’s a great need within our system but as previously discussed you have to weight the difference of drafting a high end talent vs. a position of need. Most of the time the talent of a specific player regardless of position is of better value than drafting purely out of need. This is no more true than with the MLB Draft.

While you have to weight need vs available talent it just so happens that here at 92 we have that. A long with a few more name and talents that could be solid options. Again I don’t think in any way that I’m making some crazy

B.A. Vollmuth, 3BSouthern Mississippi

Major League Comparison: Travis Fryman

Vollmuth is a shortstop for Southern Mississippi and one of the best hitting college infielders of the draft. While he was a shortstop he has since moved to third there is no doubt that he will have to stay at a corner at the next level. But, most scouts see him being a fine third basemen at the major league level. Though some have even gone as far to say that he would be a good fit for right field with his arm which is a plus tool.

While his arm is a plus tool, he just doesn’t have the range to stick at short and some of his actions are a bit slow. He’s filling out physically and a few people have commented about a possible move to first base if he continues to fill out and lose more foot speed. However, he has good reaction and quick   for now I think he’s fine for now and I like him at third base in the long range.

Of course I don’t see him being an option should we get Rendon in the first round, but for whatever reason we don’t he’d be a safe 3rd round pick in my opinion.

Most people have Vollmuth going in the late second round to early fourth round so he may be available and he may not. But looking at how much money the Mariners are going to spend early on the #2 overall pick you know that they are going to go signable and I like Vollmuth as an under rated guy in this very thick draft. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him.

Charlie Lowell, LHP – Wichita State

Major League Comparison: Jonathan Sanchez

Jason Churchill mentioned him in the latest draft chat. He’s a guy that I thought about mentioning in the previous post with the 62nd pick but I feel that is a bit of over draft. But, I wouldn’t mind the Mariners pulling the trigger on him at 92.

He has a high floor and the potential to be a pretty decent back of the rotation option. His ceiling could even be a middle of the rotation pitcher using a fastball/slider/change-up repit works in the low 90s touches 95.

In just about any draft class Lowell gets a long look as a college lefty with great velocity but considering all of those that he’s behind right now and from a smaller school.

Carson Smith, RHP – Texas State

Major League Comparison: Brandon Webb

I’ve seen a few videos of Carson Smith and let me say a long with his stats and scouting reports I’m pretty impressed.  He does has some injury baggage and it’s specifically related to his throwing shoulder which is why he isn’t as touted as he normally should be.

Now I’m not sure of all the details but what I do know is that it’s got scouts worried enough that the current talk is he may drop out of the top 3 rounds. However, it only takes one team and I think he’s a solid piece that could be of value starting here.

But for what he could potentially provide in the third round is quiet interesting. He has a great four seamer/two seamerl/sinker combo that at times can be over powering coupled with a power slider. He also has a change up in the mix too, but I haven’t seen much on it. I’d consider it rather raw.

Not only does he miss bats but he gets a TON of ground balls. Currently one of the leaders as far as what I’ve heard though I am not privy to all the statistical data.

SEE ALSO: Erik Johnson, RHP – California

Brett Austin, C – High School

Major League Comparison: Jason Varitek

I like Brett Austin and I like him a lot. He has made a lot of progress over the last few months behind the plate and I think he can stay there. He was a guaranteed top 5 round draftee but has been moving more and more towards the front of the draft in the past weeks. I think right now he goes in the first two rounds but if not this should be a guy the Mariners pull the trigger on.

A great line drive hitter with above average raw power. He has a solid eye at the plate and makes good contact. In the few live videos I saw he hit against some quality pitches he was never beat on a good breaking ball and he made adjustments which to me is important.

He is a risk just like any high schooler who plays a premium position and whether or not he can stick there. Some have mention that he’s undersized and with only average throwing strength should move to second base (ala Craig Biggio). While it’s obviously not a strength I am not to the point that I think he should have to move off just yet. His bat is a serious plus and if it could play behind the plate he could easily be in the top-100.

Pratt Maynard, C – University North Carolina State

Major League Comparison: Dave Nilsson

I’ve been preaching about Maynard for about three months and finally Keith Law started drinking the kool-aid. Well… okay he probably was in on him too. I just like to think I’m the first on something, I’ve been a huge fan of his for some time and in my mind he is the second or third best catcher coming out of the college ranks tied right up with Peter O’Brien and behind Oregon State’s own Andrew Susac.

Most assuredly O’Brien will be off the board at this point and I seriously doubt that Maynard is going to be available, as I’ve seen him as early as the Compensation round, but if he’s still wondering around without a team this is an instant dream pick.

He has serious on base skills and a sold left handed swing which can bring power. He works well with pitchers and will stick behind the plate. He will never hit for a high average but he takes pitches, works counts and has some pop in his bat. I really like him a lot and it would… perhaps make my day if he fell this far.

James McCann, C – Arkansas

Major League Comparison: Jason Kendall

McCann, doesn’t wow me. He is about average with everything. He doesn’t do one thing exceptional but he doesn’t do anything bad either. I think that’s kind of what you can expect with him. He’s going to be consistent. Day in, day out.

He is a switch hitter that has a little bit of power. He most likely won’t hit for much average but he’ll make solid and consistent contact. He won’t strike out a lot and doesn’t take a lot of pitches. That said he understands how to work a count a look for a pitch to drive.

The one thing that McCann seemingly has is above average speed. While it hasn’t shown on the base paths I’ve seen several sites “rave” about it. He also is a tremendous athlete with “plus” athleticism and it could lead to an early sandwich pick. However, I think teams are seeing that while he has tools, a good floor and isn’t a bad player his ceiling isn’t as high as many of his peers.

Behind the plate he’s smart and has a solid arm. His foot work is good and he profiles at least average defensively at the big league level. A few have mentioned that with the speed and athleticism it may behoove a team to move him off to second base but I don’t see that. I’d use his skills behind the plate.

In Sumation:

Nothing I say or do will really sway the Mariners pick at 92, one way or another. I throw these things together for fans so they have a vague unprofessional scouting report about some of these guys that are available. I hope it helps come next week.

You’ll see again that my emphasis is on college talent. I’m a big high school fan and if there is high school talent I like I’ll sit and talk about them all day long (Brett Austin, Elvin Soto, Dylan Bundy, Jake Cave, ect…) But what I’d like to see out of the Mariner is an emphsis on good college talent that is closer to the “show” than a raw high school talent. The Mariners “win window” is quickly approach and it’s dependent upon what they do here for how long it truly lasts.

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