Reviewing the 2014 Seattle Mariners Draft Picks by Jack Zduriencik

NORTH PORT, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Alex Jackson of the Atlanta Braves looks on. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
NORTH PORT, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Alex Jackson of the Atlanta Braves looks on. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
Alex Jackson, former Seattle Mariners draftee looks on.
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 23: Seattle Mariners’ first-round draft pick Alex Jackson chats with GM Jack Zduriencik. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

2014 might have been the worst Seattle Mariners draft class

I have been reviewing the Seattle Mariners draft picks since Jack Zduriencik started his role as general manager in 2009. They have been brutal, to say the least, but 2014 might have been the worst out of all of them.

The Seattle Mariners had a highly respected farm system in 2013, but with several players graduating from the list or getting injured, the Mariners moved down. So, the 2014 MLB Draft was a crucial one for the Mariners since prospects graduated and were showing signs of failure.

With the 6th overall selection, the Seattle Mariners select Alex Jackson

Alex Jackson made a lot of sense for the Seattle Mariners, which was also said about Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino and etc. Jackson was one of the best high school hitters in the nation out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, CA.

The catcher/outfielder drew comparisons to Wil Myers who also began behind the dish and moved to a corner outfield spot. The story didn’t go as planned for Jackson, and was traded in 2016 to the Atlanta Braves.

Jackson played well in his first short season in professional baseball but was unable to excel in Single-A. He put together a .207/.318/.365 line in 2015 and .243/.332/.408 line in 2016. That was enough for the new general manager at the time, Jerry Dipoto, so he was sent away after the 2016 season.

Unfortunately, Alex Jackson will be remembered as another Seattle Mariners failure. Luckily for him, he still has a chance to turn his career around.

Jackson is only 25-years old. It reminds you how long it can take for draftees to make the big leagues…

Alex Jackson actually made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Braves, and played in four games. This past season, the Braves had an unprecedented catching situation to start the shortened season so Jackson was forced to start some games. He played in 5 games and batted .286.

I am not one to wish bad things on a person, so I hope Jackson can find his footing in the big leagues. Although I would rather not have him turn into an MVP caliber player because it makes Seattle look bad for trading him in 2016.

“Notable” Seattle Mariners draftees

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As I said earlier, 2014 might have been one of the worst drafts by the infamous Jack Zduriencik. To be fair, I have not heard of anybody on the Mariners draft list besides a few. Does that mean I don’t know much about the Seattle Mariners, or did Zduriencik really strike out again?

The Mariners selected Gareth Morgan 74th overall out of Blyth Academy and was in the Mariners organization until 2019. Morgan was one of the best prospects out of Canada in 2014 and according to an old article, he was special Had Edwin Encarnacion’s power and Jose Bautista’s outfield tools. 

Morgan is 24-years-old now and has yet to play in the MLB. I think he is still with the Los Angeles Angels, but I am not 100% sure about that.

In the next round, the Seattle Mariners went with Austin Cousino out of the University of Kentucky. Cousino was a left-handed outfielder and played professional baseball until 2016.

The next two players should be familiar. Ryan Yarbrough was the fourth-round pick, and Dan Altavilla was the fifth-round pick. Yarbrough ended up being a pretty good pick for the Seattle Mariners but he has been making an impact in the MLB for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a part of the Mallex Smith trade.

I feel like Seattle Mariners fans have had a bittersweet relationship with Dan Altavilla. The hard-throwing reliever impressed every once in a while, but for the most part, he struggled out of the pen. Altavilla was sent to San Diego alongside Austin Nola and he has a great chance of winning a ring in 2021.

Missed opportunities in 2014

More from Seattle Mariners History

Now the most painful part… looking at who the Seattle Mariners could have drafted. Surprisingly, the first round of the 2014 draft was not all that impressive. The only current big leaguers selected before Alex Jackson were Carlos Rodon and Kyle Schwarber.

But after Alex Jackson was selected, there were some familiar names. Aaron Nola was selected right after Jackson 7th overall by the Phillies. The local kid, Michael Conforto went 10th overall out of OSU.

Trea Turner was the 13th overall selection… if only. Matt Chapman was selected all the way in the 25th round… a lot of teams missed him.

Michael Kopech and Jack Flaherty were also picked in the compensatory round.

Further in the draft, the Seattle Mariners missed on Rhys Hoskins who was selected right after Altavilla. Jack Zduriencik also had a shot at Ramon Laureano who was selected 466th overall.

2014 raises a lot of questions again. That just seems to be the story with Jack Zduriencik’s draft selections as the Seattle Mariners GM. Luckily, 2014 was the second to last year for Zduriencik. Only one more draft class to look at, in pain.

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