It is the time of the year where everybody is publishing mock drafts for the upcoming MLB Draft. CBSSports.com is the latest and has the Mariners reaching for a low-ceiling arm with their first pick.
One of the fun things about the MLB Draft season is that you often have people taking random stabs at each selection with one of two objectives in mind: either to manipulate the board in favor of one’s favorite team or to make sure your favorite player goes to a good team. For fans of the Mariners, they should be accustomed to this.
That and a less than favorable draft past are reasons people wildly swing and miss with the sixth pick, but neither is grounded in reality. In fact, Jerry Dipoto has been involved in four drafts and Scott Hunter for three, and the results have all been encouraging. Seattle typically hits early. Dipoto’s first picks have resulted in Kyle Lewis, Evan White, Logan Gilbert, and George Kirby, and none of those picks have come in the Top 10.
So it is easy to look at these four names and assume that Dipoto only cares about a prospect’s floor. It is true that all four of these prospects have high-floors, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have significant upside, or that Dipoto places the most value on a player’s floor.
Enter the CBSSports.com mock draft. Mike Axisa has Seattle selecting Reid Detmers, a prospect we have discussed on many occasions. The lefty from Louisville carries a very high #4 starter floor, but his ceiling is unlikely to extend being a solid #3 starter. Detmers is a safe pick, but by no means is it the best pick.
What is more disturbing about this selection is that Axisa has the Mariners selecting Detmers over both Nick Gonzales and Zac Veen. At this stage of the game, most of us expect Gonzales to be the pick if he is indeed on the board. Both Gonzales and Veen carry high floors but also possess a much higher upside than Detmers, making both of them significantly better picks.
In what will be a common theme until the Mariners make their selection on June 10, Seattle should not forgo the upside to chase safety. There are six or seven legitimate difference makers in this class and if they took Detemers, they would forgo one of those options for a player with modest upside.
We know the Dipoto has stated his preference to select and “up-the-middle offensive player” something Mr. Axisa probably doesn’t know (and why would he). You’ll continue to see Detmers mocked to the Mariners and every time, you’ll get the same response from me: it would be a bad pick. Only time will tell what the Mariners will eventually do, but if the draft shapes up like Axisa is projecting, it will be one of the biggest blunders in Dipoto’s regime.