2012 MLB Draft Talk


I love talking draft and as Jason Churchill pointed out the Mariners are all but one loss away from clinching the #3 draft pick.  This would be the fourth time in team history that the organization held that #3 pick and it’s been met with mixed results.

Most recently in 2005 the team chose Jeff Clement over the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman and Ricky Romero. Prior to that the team held it in 1995 and used it to draft Jose Cruz jr –the son of former organizational great Jose Cruz–passing on Kerry Wood (drafted #4), Todd Helton (#8) and Geoff Jenkins (#9).

The least recent example was Roger Salkeld, taken in 1989 ahead of the likes of Frank Thomas (#7), Charles Johnson (#10) and Cal Eldred (#17).

But with all the talk of this #3 pick. The question of course arises what is the difference between having #3 and the #4 seed? Let’s take a look at the last 8 years and the following draft picks.

 #3#4Who’s better?
2011Trevor BauerDylan Bundy???
2010Manny MachadoChristian ColonMachado(3)
2009Donavan TateTony SanchezSanchez(4)
2008Eric HosmerBrian MatuszHosmer(3)
2007Josh VittersDanny MoskosVitters(3)
2006Evan LongoriaBrad LincolnLongoria(3)
2005Jeff ClementRyan ZimmermanZimmerman(3)
2004Phillip HumberJeff NiemannNiemann(4)

While it’s not nesscarily a guarentee that the #3 pick is going to be a better overall player than the #4 it’s a guarentee that A) you get a better chance at selecting the player you want and B) you have a better opportunity at a “star” type player and that’s the most important thing to me.

I’ve had many talks with Lonnie from Mariners Central and guaging from his podcasts and general forums discussion the biggest thing that I think we can all agree that is missing in the Mariners farm system is star power. A guy that could turn into not just a good player but a GREAT player. There is a slight possibility Taijuan Walker, Vinny Catricala or maybe even Nick Franklin become that but none are what I’d call elite at this time. Guillermo Pimentel is another but he’s so far away and has clear defects in his game, that one could hardly look at him in that manner.

The Mariners have been careful with their draft picks. Making sure to get value out of each pick rather and putting an emphasis on not just high character but also a solid floor. This has been partly out of nescecity simply because of where this system was at only 3 years ago. Now is the year we slightly break that mold. We bring in a few players that have some risk to them but more importantly they have upside.

I’m not trying to take a shot at the Mariners minor league front office crew. I have great respect for all of them and while there are things I wish they would have done slightly differently they obviously have a very specific and dedicated plan going forward– and I certainly appreciate what they have done so far with the farm system. Now, with another year and another high draft pick coming I want to see the Mariners bring in some star potential. Whether that early in the game or it’s catching a falling high school guy in the 10th or 11th rounds. The Mariners need to start taking risks this coming year. Yes, they took some 2010 with all the prep prospects they took. Yes, they took some more with a few prep bats (Cron, Marlette, Zamarippa and Cohoes). And while it certainly procured some interesting talent, none of them could be classified as impact.

The Mariners have shown success in the early rounds of 2009. Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and even Anthony Vasquez to an extent has brought value to the organization. There is still plenty of time to get more out of the draft class with Nick Franklin, Rich Poythress, James Jones, Brian Moran, James Gillheeney, Vinny Catricala and Andrew Carraway all in the minor leagues and showing the potential to be big leaguers. This isn’t even looking at the 2010 draft that is quickly coming behind 2009.

Obviously the scouting department has reloaded this organization with some major league ball players. Now is the time to start taking a risk or two on players that can do some exicting things and have exciting tools. Just my opinion.