Another failed MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners
2012 was another rough draft when you look back. The Seattle Mariners had another top-five pick but were unable to capitalize. In the previous year, the Mariners had the second-overall pick and went with Danny Hultzen. With the third overall pick in 2012, Jack Zduriencik chose a catcher out of Florida.
The Seattle Mariners select Mike Zunino third overall
With the third overall pick, the Mariners chose Mike Zunino, a catcher out of the University of Florida. He just came off his Louisville Slugger All-American, was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, the Dick Howser Trophy, and Golden Spikes Award. Zunino was an outstanding college ballplayer so he was a solid pick at the time.
The pick also made a lot of sense because Jack Zduriencik was attempting to build a big three: Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton. And to work with that group of young pitchers, drafting a top college catcher would have been the ultimate combo.
The organization had a lot of belief in him and was patient even with his offensive struggles. He hit .251 in 2017, but besides that, he was barely hitting .200 for most seasons. Mike Zunino is amongst the several busts the former general manager Jack Zduriencik drafted. It started with Dustin Ackley in 2009, and it just continued year after year.
The Seattle Mariners chose Joe DeCarlo in the second round
Joe DeCarlo was a shortstop out of Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania. Because he was a high school draftee, he took a lot of time to develop as you would expect and has not made an MLB debut yet.
DeCarlo has not performed in the minor leagues and that is probably why you have never heard of him. He was actually with the Mariners until 2019. He is another classic bust for the Mariners after being selected 64th overall by Jack Zduriencik. DeCarlo is 27-years-old and may be seeking minor league offers from other teams this offseason.
The Seattle Mariners magically win in the third round
With the 98th overall pick, Jack Zduriencik finally won the lottery. With that pick, the Seattle Mariners chose a pitcher out of the Caguas Military Academy in Puerto Rico. This young stud was Edwin Diaz.
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As Edwin Diaz rose up through the minor league system, he quickly became one of the favorites in the farm system. After converting to a relief pitcher during his minor league career, it paid huge dividends and led him to become an elite closer.
He was an instant fan favorite and fans hoped he would be the Mariners closer for years to come, but that quickly came to a close. The loss of Diaz was definitely heartbreaking for Seattle Mariners fans, but the team got a huge return that might just be worth it.
The other draft picks
As you might expect, the other draftees from 2012 became non-impact players. It just seems like the Seattle Mariners can only win once in every draft, and they used that card on Edwin Diaz.
The Mariners selected Tyler Pike 126nd overall from Winter Haven High School in Florida.
With the 131st pick, the Mariners chose Patrick Kivlehan, the third baseman out of Rutgers University.
With the 161st, the Mariners chose Chris Taylor, which was a decent late-round pick.
The same could be said for Tim Lopes who was the sixth-round pick (191st overall).
The next familiar name does not show up until the 491st pick, Dominic Leone.
I will also add that the Mariners chose Mike Yastrzemski with the 911th pick, but he did not sign with the team.
There are a couple of ways to think about the Mariners’ draft history. Either Jack Zduriencik and the scouting department were really bad at seeking talent, the Mariners were cursed, or the MLB Draft is really hard to succeed in.
I think it is a mix of all of them. Zduriencik had the right idea of building a trio of starting pitchers, but injuries defeated that plan. The Mariners have failed to draft quality position players outside of Kyle Seager.
So, fans should be extremely thankful for the success that we have seen thus far from recent draft picks by Jerry Dipoto. Kyle Lewis is the latest example and fans are hoping Evan White does not become another Mike Zunino.