The 2014 Major League Baseball Draft is just a week away and the Seattle Mariners will have their hands full with the sixth overall draft selection on June 5th. So far under GM Jack Zduriencik and scouting director Tom McNamara the Seattle Mariners have drafted fairly well.
CBS Seattle put together a list of guys who have been drafted under them that have been producing on the field include: starting third baseman Kyle Seager, regular left fielder Dustin Ackley, starting shortstop Brad Miller (No. 62, 2011) starting catcher Mike Zunino (No. 3, 2012), two frontline starting pitchers in James Paxton (Rd. 4, 2010) and Taijuan Walker (Comp A, No. 43, 2010), with Stefen Romero (Rd. 12, 2010) and Dominic Leone (Rd. 16, 2012) also seeing big-league time.
Jun 16, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers pitcher aaron Nola (10) pitcher throws against the UCLA Bruins during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Seattle is hoping to land a star in this year’s draft which they are in dyer need of. Since they do need a star that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to take a high school position player or even a position player with the sixth pick.
They definitely need a future number one starter and that’s what they should get. Here are three guys the Mariners should consider drafting with their first three picks in the MLB draft:
1. 6th Overall Pick: RHP Aaron Nola LSU 6’2 170
Nola finished among the NCAA Division I leaders in wins (12), ERA (1.57), strikeouts (122), K-BB ratio (6.8) and WHIP (0.80). He also helped the Tigers end a three-year absence from the College World Series and finished his sophomore season without allowing an earned run in his final 26 2/3 innings.
He extended that streak to 54 innings this spring, when he has been better than ever. He isn’t an intimidating presence on the mound, but he has great command on his three pitches.
Consistently hitting the 92-94 mph range on his fastball and adds a little sink with almost picture perfect accuracy. His change-up is his best secondary pitch which many scouts say has a grade-plus and he can throw his three-quarters breaking ball for strikes.
Arguably among all of the pitchers in the 2014 class, Nola appears to be the favorite to reach his full potential first and also may be the first pitcher to reach the big leagues (according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.)
2. 74th Overall Pick: SS Cole Tucker Mountain Pointe HS (Ariz.)
After winning the gold medal for the 18 and under USA National Team Tucker may be ready for the big stage. Tucker is an athletic shortstop and will likely stay at that position whichever levels he chooses to play at.
A strong performance at the National High School Invitational this past spring helped his draft stock significantly. The University of Arizona commit is a switch-hitter that makes consistent solid contact.
He’s a better hitter from the left side, and while he doesn’t have much power right now, he has plenty of time to add some strength and power to his game. Still, his best offensive tool will be his speed, which plays well on both sides of the ball.
His defense is ahead of his offense right now, but there is projection in his bat. If he chooses to follow his dreams early and play in the big leagues he will more than likely be a top-80 pick in the draft.
3. 80th Overall Pick: OF Greg Allen San Diego St. 6’4 170
If Allen is still available with this selection the Mariners need to at the very least consider him. In today’s game it is very difficult to find a true lead-off hitter. Being lean and athletic, Allen has all the makings of a top-of-the-order hitter.
As a switch-hitter, he doesn’t try to do too much at the plate. He has a short, quick swing and good plate discipline and once he’s on base, he’s a legitimate threat to steal. His speed works very well on the other side of the ball as well, where he covers a lot of ground in center field, with outstanding instincts and a solid arm.
He is a little more of a project than many of the other outfielders since he just broke out into the scene in 2013, he is still an intriguing prospect to consider.
Make sure to tune in not only to see who the Mariners select, but all of the other teams as well at the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft which takes place June 5th-7th. And be sure to keep it here at SodoMojo all weekend long for Mariners draft coverage, recaps and player profiles.