Remember earlier in the article, when I talked about the dark horse player who might be the pick at 14? Well, the Mariners are giving the teams the impression that they love this player. So much so that they might try to cut a deal to save money for later picks and shock everybody with selecting this player at 14.
However, we are being told that we can still expect the Mariners to go with a college player at 14, and they’ll pray that this player falls to them at 54. There is a decent chance it happens, so who is this “mystery player”? Let’s find out.
With the 54th pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners:
The Mariners have a habit of going college player in the first, and high upside prep player in the second. In Dipoto’s first two draft classes, these players were Joe Rizzo and Sam Carlson. This year, it very well could be Jackson.
In addition to the pattern of prep players in Round 2, the Mariners also love a balanced approach to their draft. Adding a pitcher in Round 1, and a bat in the second keeps Seattle where they want to be.
Jackson himself is a nice prospect, who has average to slightly above-average tools across the board. Jackson is a good athlete but doesn’t have the quick burst to stick long term. He will likely find his long-term home at second, where he should be a plus defender.
Jackson is still growing at 6’1, 170 lbs but has a quick bat and surprising strength, that could generate 12-15 home runs when he develops. The comp I have landed on is Howie Kendrick.
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 Power: 45 Run: 50 Field: 50 Arm: 55 Overall: 50
Prep players are always risky, but the Mariners love Jackson enough to consider him in the first. They’ll just have to hope he falls to them at 54.