28. Darren McCaughan, RHP
Finally, a prospect who isn’t a reliever… for now. No, instead we will discuss the 2017 12th round pick, Darren McCaughan. The 22-year-old righty from Long Beach State is very much a Jerry Dipoto special.
At 6’1″, 195 lbs, McCaughan was overlooked in the draft process because of his frame and profile. He didn’t light up the radar gun at Long Beach State and didn’t dazzle scouts with an array of funky breaking balls. He just quietly got guys out.
In his 3 years at LBS, McCaughan posted a 2.30 ERA in the much respected Big West Conference with a 0.89 WHIP. What led the Mariners to draft McCaughan isn’t hard to see. At LBS, he posted 229 strikeouts to 48 walks. Can you say “control the zone”?
After 12 quick innings in the Arizona Rookie League in 2017, the Mariners threw McCaughan straight into the High-A Modesto rotation, skipping A ball in Clinton all together. A bit of a jump for a player in his first full season of pro ball, McCaughan more than held his own in the hitter-friendly California League.
In 25 starts spanning 132.2 innings, McCaughan posted a 3.05 ERA, struck out 121 batters, and walked just 30 men. McCaughan even got a couple of emergency appearances for the Tacoma Rainiers. McCaughan will fight to earn a spot in AA Arkansas rotation.
McCaughan relies on deception and command to get outs and generates a lot of weak contact with his low 3/4 arm slot.