If the MLB Draft “experts” are all correct, the drafting of Sam Carlson in the second round by the Seattle Mariners could be a game changer. What is so special about an 18 year old to make him the third best prospect in the improving farm system of the Mariners?
Sam Carlson was considered a blue chip prospect in a mediocre draft class of 2017. But signability concerns forced him to drop to pick 55, where the Mariners scooped him up. They paid him $1.2 million, a first round price. Why?
Simple answer; Sam Carlson has a chance to be something special. He already poses 3 above average pitches, each of which has shown improvement in the past year. The fastball sat in the high 80’s for most of last season, but jumped into the 94-97 mph range this year. He sits comfortably at 92, but the hard sink and run allows the fastball to play up.
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Carlson, still has room to add good weight, which could help him hit 97 with more regularity. At 6’4″, 185 lbs, there is still some projection left in Carlson. He is a good athlete, which allows him to repeat his delivery with relative ease.
The slider, Carlson’s breaking ball, comes in two forms. A harder, sharper pitch that sits in the mid-80s and a slower, sweeping slider. Unlike most prep pitchers, Carlson already has an above average changeup, and is unafraid to throw it in any count.
Perhaps the most exciting trait shown by Carlson is his excellent command. He can throw all 3 pitches in any count for strikes, a rare feat for any 18 year old. He also show advanced knowledge of hitters and can read swings on the fly. Scouts raved about his pitchability even before the velocity jump, moved him up draft boards.
Sam Carlson posses front of the rotation potential, who could be up quicker than most high school arms, thanks to his stuff and pitchability. The Mariners may have hit a potential home run with this second round pick.