Major League Baseball’s draft is just 3 weeks away and the focus for most Mariners fans is what they will do with the sixth overall selection. But there will be some interesting options in round two, including today’s profile.
The Seattle Mariners pick at number six likely won’t be much of a surprise. With a seven-man top tier, Seattle will get the opportunity to choose one of the best prospects in the draft. GM Jerry Dipoto has made his public announcement that the team would like the opportunity to select an “up-the-middle offensive player” with their first pick. The problem is, only two of the seven players in Tier one play either catcher, second base, shortstop, or centerfield: Austin Martin and Nick Gonzales.
Martin is almost surely going in the Top 5 and has next to no chance to slide to Seattle. Gonzales has a better chance to be available, but if he isn’t, the Mariners may need to fill this desire later in the draft. Thankfully, Seattle has six picks to do so, and there are some decent talents available later in the draft.
One of these talents might by Jordan Westburg, a 6’3″, 195 lbs shortstop who plays for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The 21-year-old has an interesting toolset that could push him into the comp round, but if he is sitting at 43, the Mariners will consider him.
Westburg has above-average raw power that he carries into games fairly well. The right-handed swing produces enough backspin and bat speed to produce 20 home runs in the pros, but the hit tool lags behind the power. Westburg is an aggressive hitter who wants to swing the bat, a profile that might ultimately dissuade Seattle from taking him.
But Westburg does have above-average speed and a good arm, so if they think they can teach him to draw more walks and be more patient at the plate, he may be worth the investment. Westburg is an average shortstop, but is big for the position and will add weight as he matures but he has the arm and offensive profile to settle at third base if necessary.
Westburg is a project and not the type of player Dipoto typically spends a high pick on. Westburg’s aggressive and pull-heavy approach isn’t typically what the Mariners look for, but the upside on Westburg may require some bending of the rules.