With Pick 79(ish), the Mariners select RHP Kyle Hurt, USC
For the last pick of our mock draft, we have the Mariners staying on the west coast and snagging another college arm. Kyle Hurt, who was a heavily scouted prep arm back in 2017, decided to hold off on starting his pro career to pitch at USC.
Things haven’t gone great for Hurt at Southern California, but his promising stuff and pedigree make him an intriguing option for teams. The 6’3″ righty has a fastball that sits 93 but has been reported to be up to 97 MPH at times.
Hurt backs up the promising heater with a good changeup that he throws with good arm speed and can have a tumbling effect when he is on. The slider should be a third average or better offering down the line. The curveball needs work, but it does occasionally settle in as an average offering.
Hurt has struggled to throw strikes and often struggles to get through a lineup more than 1.5 times before he begins to tire out. Hurt will need to show improved athleticism and endurance to have a chance to be drafted as a starting pitcher. A reliever tag could drop his stock significantly, so Hurt has plenty of motivation this spring.
Hurt pitched well towards the end of his sophomore season, wrestling away the Friday Night Starter role (the college phrasing for a staff ace) at USC. Like Mace, Hurt is more of a project than a fast riser, but the reward of a solid #4 starter is worth a risk.
So there we have it. An MLB Mock Draft in late December. Now, if you guys wouldn’t mind, perhaps Jerry can make a deal or at least whisper sweet somethings into a reporter’s ear so I don’t have to do this again for a few months.