The Seattle Mariners will have a lot of options to consider regarding their selection with the sixth overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft. But there are some names linked to Seattle who wouldn’t make sense.
If you’ve read our draft content this month, you probably know how we feel about the options available to the Mariners with the sixth pick. The basic theory we have been working with is that there are seven to eight legitimate, difference makers at the top of the draft. Since the Mariners have the sixth pick, they will have the opportunity to get one of them.
The seven names we have placed in the “legitimate difference-maker” tier are Emerson Hancock, Asa Lacy, Spencer Torkelson, Max Meyer, Austin Martin, Nick Gonzales, and Zac Veen. The Mariners should take one of them, so anybody not mentioned above would be, in my opinion, players to not consider at number six. But there are a few names being thrown Seattle in mock drafts so let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Reid Detmers, LHP Louisville
Reid Detmers is perhaps the most common name outside of our top seven to be linked to Seattle. Keith Law of The Athletic even mocked Detmers to Seattle in his latest mock draft. Detmers is a 6’2″ LHP with a fastball that sits in the low-90s and a good curveball. He also features above-average command of all three pitches and has posted some serious numbers pitching for the Cardinals.
Detmers will likely be in a big-league rotation by 2023 and will carry the mail as a solid #4 starter. So what is the issue? There isn’t much more ceiling to Detmers than his floor. He’s going to be a starter, barring injuries, but he is highly unlikely to climb above the #3 spot in a good rotation. The three pitchers ahead of him; Hancock, Lacy, and Meyers, all carry #1 upside as do prep pitchers like Jared Kelly and Mick Abel.
Selecting Detmers with at least two of the seven names we mentioned above is like taking a $5 buyout on a bet that has good odds to get you $50. It just doesn’t make sense. Detmers is a fine prospect and outside of the top seven selections, he would be worthy of serious discussion. But he isn’t one of the seven best players, or even close to it, so Seattle would be wise to stay away.
2. Garrett Mitchell, OF UCLA
Garrett Mitchell might be the offensive equivalent of Detmers. He is a good prospect, and anybody who has the eighth pick or later should consider drafting him. But once again, this doesn’t apply to the Mariners. The issue with Mitchell is the lack of in-game power and a swing that is not currently optimized to add any power.
Of course, you can be a good player without hitting for power. But how many great players can you think of who struggle to hit 15 home runs a year in the current offensive environment? Mitchell is one of the fastest players in the draft and should hit for enough average and draw enough walks to hit at the top of a lineup. He’ll give you solid defense in centerfield as well.
If Seattle believes that Mitchell can hit for 20 or more home runs inside of 2 years, he could be the pick. But unless the Mariners feel like they know exactly the fixes Mitchell needs to make without losing too much of his bat-to-ball skills, he just isn’t worth the sixth pick.
3. Patrick Bailey, C North Carolina State
Finding everyday catchers is hard. Finding one that can potentially help you both offensively and defensively is even harder. Some teams believe that is exactly what they’ll get from NC State backstop Patrick Bailey, but there are enough questions about his hit and power tools that Seattle shouldn’t give him much thought with the sixth pick.
While you can never have enough catching depth in your organization, the Mariners already have Tom Murphy, Austin Nola, and Cal Raleigh in the organization and all three have four or more seasons of club control. While you don’t draft for need in Round 1, you also don’t reach for inferior talents because you are hoping to land a good prospect in the second round. Hope is not a plan.
If Seattle were to select Bailey, it would need to backed by some pretty substantial bonus pool savings and the knowledge that they will be able to select a first-round talent with the 43rd pick, such as Nick Bitsko or JT Ginn. The risk is just too great to run as Bailey may very well not hit enough to be an All-Star, a mark he’d need to hit in order to pay off the reach the Mariners would be making.
There you have it. Three, well known MLB Draft prospects the Mariners shouldn’t consider with the sixth pick. None are bad prospects. All are probable big league contributors. But in a draft where you are guaranteed one of seven potential superstars, Seattle shouldn’t take that risk. Take the best player available and don’t get too cute with it.