With the 118th Pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners Select:
I wrote about Nick Sandlin a while ago, and I absolutely love him. I love his arsenal and I love his numbers. Oh, and I also love his versatility. After dominating out of the pen as a freshman and sophomore, he moved to the rotation this year and the results were more or less the same.
In 95 innings in 2018, Sandlin has struck out 134 batters. Yeah, you read that right, 134. Throw in a 0.69 WHIP, and only 15 walks this season, and you have a Jerry Dipoto target.
Sandlin has 4 pitches all average or better, with good control to boot. His pitching motion leaves some to believe he is destined to work out of the pen. The drafting team would be fools to not give him a shot in the rotation though.
With the 148th Pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners select:
Keirsey is a guy with a lot of helium and could be long gone by the 148th pick. If not, you better jump on him quick, because it could be an absolute steal. His best tool is his speed, which he is still regaining after surgery to repair a significant hip injury.
He is currently a plus runner and should return to his double-plus runner. He has a surprising amount of pop, as you can see in the video below where he blasts 2 dingers.
As he continues to regain his speed, his defense has improved as well. He should be able to handle center in pro ball but might be a gold glover in the corner. His arm plays better in left than right but is still good enough to handle all 3 spots.
Keirsey’s incredible .386/.440/.609 slash is impressive, his hand-eye coordination allows him to avoid strikeouts at a good rate.
Scouting Grades- Hit: 50 Power: 45 Run: 70 (when healthy, 60 now) Field: 55 Arm: 50 Overall: 50
So far, we have a draft that includes 3 bats and 2 arms, giving us the balance the Mariners seem to covet. But in order to achieve perfect balance, we dip back into the pitching pool.
With the 178th Pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners select:
If Rasmussen’s name sounds familiar, it may be because he was the 31st overall pick in last seasons draft. But after a post-draft physical discovered an elbow in need of Tommy John, the Rays opted not to sign the Oregon State stud.
The drawbacks are obvious, and center largely around the 2 Tommy John surgery’s Rasmussen has required in just 3 years. When healthy, Rasmussen has a true starter’s mix, including his 95 MPH heater. The slider and changeup showed growth, but are currently average at best.
The team taking Rasmussen will need to be patient, but if you’re willing to wait, you might be rewarded with a steal in the 6th round. His stuff will play up in the bullpen and could be an effective late-inning option if he cannot sustain as a starter.