Seattle Mariners MLB draft 2020: M’s get their top choice in the 1st round

GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Seattle Mariners make six selections at 2020 MLB draft

This year the major league draft only went five rounds because of the Covid-19 shutting down teams seasons. The Seattle Mariners added another draft pick with the trading of catcher Omar Narvaez to the Milwaukee Brewers. So here we go.

Mariners’ Round 1 pick: Emerson Hancock, right-handed pitcher, Georgia

The Seattle Mariners had the sixth overall pick in the draft. Emerson Hancock was the third pitcher taken in the draft. Max Meyer out of the University of Minnesota was selected third overall by the Miami Marlins and he was followed by Asa Lacy selected by the Kansas City Royals out of Texas A&M.

Though they were not sure he would still be available at No. 6,  Hancock was who they targeted all along so they got their pitcher. Logan Gilbert is the Mariners’ No. 3 prospect behind Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez. Hancock should be in the top four prospects when the next one comes out.

Hancock has a solid fastball averaging in the mid-90s. He has a good slider as well. According to the Mariners scouting department, he has the best changeup in college pitching. He can throw the curveball as well.

Mariners’ Round 2 pick: Zach DeLoach, outfielder, Texas A&M

The scouting report thought Zach  DeLoach may go in the second round. He has a solid arm where he could play any of the three outfield positions. In college he played center field, however, his speed which has improved might not be good enough on the major league level. Depending on where he begins his career playing at the Mariners will likely see how he does in center field.

DeLoach is considered a streaky hitter. At Texas A&M he had some trouble hitting his first two seasons with using a metal bat, however, in the Cap Code League in the summers of 2018 and 2019 using a wood bat he hit .353. This spring though he was hitting .421 with six home runs in 18 games before the season was suspended.

According to the scouts as well DeLoach has always been good at controlling the zone. I am sure a good reason the Mariners drafted him since Jerry Dipoto has been general manager is they like hitters who can control the zone. His quick start this season shows he has matured over the last two years. Where he begins his career for the Mariners we will see, however, as a second-rounder the Mariners will like him moving up the system as quickly as possible but will allow him to go on his own schedule. Certainly adds more depth to an already crowded outfield.

Mariners’ Competetive Balance B pick: Connor Phillips, RHP, McLennan Community College

Connor Phillips is another right-handed pitcher the Mariners had their eye on as well. His fastball right now goes from the low to mid-90s, however, scouts feel he can throw it into the high 90s as well. They feel he has a lot of upside with his best pitching ahead of him. He pitched last year at a junior college in Texas so he will be eligible for this year’s draft.

Phillips throws a pretty good curveball in the mid-70s, however, he needs to improve on his changeup for sure. There is a good chance the Mariners will look at changing his delivery since the scouts say throwing at three-quarters hitters can see his pitches well.

Mariners’ Round 3 pick: Kaden Polcovich, second base, Oklahoma State

Though Kaden Polcovich is listed playing college ball at Oklahoma State. He played two years of ball at North Florida State, a junior college. He transferred over this season playing 18 games before games were suspended. His batting average was .344 with two home runs and 19 RBI.

General manager Jerry Dipoto is hoping Polcovich will end up being a superutility player for the Mariners. His father Kevin played two seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates so I am sure the Mariners want to find a way for Kaden’s athletic talent to Seattle.

Mariners’ Round 4 pick: Tyler Keenan, third base, Ole Miss

Tyler Keenan is a big guy at 6-foot-4 240 pounds. He bats left-handed. Last year as a sophomore he batted .285, leading Ole Miss with 15 homes. He has the power to play third base, however, his defense is questionable so he could end up at first base in the major leagues.

The Mariners have Evan White as the first baseman right now, so Keenan could end up being the team’s designated hitter while playing some third base and first base.

I am sure the Mariners will have their infield coaches seeing if they can improve his fielding. Being a DH will depend on how Daniel Vogelbach’s future works out in Seattle as well.

Last year Vogelbach in his first full year in the major leagues hit 30 home runs. He was the Mariners representative in the all-star game, however, the second half of the season he had a hard time hitting off lefties ending the season with a .208 batting average.

Mariners’ Round 5 pick: Taylor Dollard, RHP, Cal Poly

Taylor Dollard his first two years at Cal Poly he pitched out of the bullpen. He made 19 appearances in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He averaged over two innings per appearance as he logged 40 and 43 innings. His era was 2.43 in 2018 then went 2.89 in 2019. His strikes though went from 37 as a freshman to 48 as a sophomore last year.

This year Dollard was converted to being a starter. He started four games before the season was suspended. Being a starter was to his liking for sure. He had an era of 1.67 over 27 innings, giving up 20 hits, walking only 4 batters while striking out 36. It looks like dominance.

Taylor Dollard doesn’t throw the ball hard like Hancock or Phillips. In his case, he is a command pitcher. His fastball reaches the low 90s. He throws a slider and changeup as well. He does throw a curveball too but has work to do improving on it. To be a starter he will need all four pitchers. As a reliever, he likely goes with the fastball and slider throwing the changeup on occasion.

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It is hard to know how the Mariners plan to use Dollard to begin his career. Emerson Hancock and Connor Phillips will both be starters. Depending on where the Mariners decide to send the three pitchers Dollard could end up starting or relieving. With the abundance of starters on the major league team plus what they have drafted over the last several years, Dollard will probably be a reliever for the Mariners.

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