The Seattle Mariners 2017 second-round draft pick Sam Carlson threw in a game for the first time since 2017 during the Instructional League
The Seattle Mariners drafted Sam Carlson in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft out of Burnsville High School in Minnesota. After being drafted, he only threw three innings during rookie ball because he required Tommy John surgery on his elbow. After 32 months of recovery, Carlson was finally ready to pitch to participate in the Minor League camp. But with the pandemic shutting the Minor League season down, Carlson had to wait until Arizona Instructional League this past month.
Carlson was able to pitch a good amount in Arizona for the Mariners Instructional League team. The numbers I share are subject to discrepancies because of the limited amount of sources that publish the Instructional League stats, so they should be all considered approximations. He threw 8.2 innings in Arizona and threw about 134 total pitches and faced 33 batters. Carlson struck out 12 batters, walked only three, and allowed nine hits.
Based on my approximations, his average fastball velocity was around 91.68mph. The Mariners publish the fastball velocity range of each pitcher, so I just guessed what the average was each game and calculated it.
91.68mph is not impressive for the former second-round pick who was throwing 93-97mph as a senior in high school. But again, Carlson has not pitched in games since 2017 so just the fact that he is able to throw off a mound is good progress for the Seattle Mariners coaching staff. Before his injury, Carlson also had a three-pitch mix with a good changeup that drops off the table. Carlson’s third pitch is a slider, and it is something he will continue to improve.
From the Instructional League, we also saw that he did not allow a home run to opposing batters, and his strikeout per nine innings was pretty good. This is a great start to his full recovery and I am wishing all the best.
Sam Carlson is only 21-years-old and still has a long future ahead of him, and the Seattle Mariners cannot wait to see where he goes in a couple of years. The Mariners drafted him in the second round for a reason, and we all hope he can make a positive impact on the big league team.