Analyzing Prospects Live’s Mock Draft 4.0 for the Mariners
Prospects Live is one of the best sites out there for draft content, and they just released their 4th Mock Draft, and it includes the Seattle Mariners first three picks. Those picks are 21, 58, and 74. The Mariners will have some really interesting decisions with these picks. Whether or not to draft a hitter at 21, whether or not to to take a shot on Kumar Rocker, among others. Lets take a look at who they had the M’s taking at these spots, and some players who went close by.
Mariners pick at #21 – Cooper Hjerpe – LHP Oregon State
Prospects Live has the Mariners taking left handed starting pitcher Cooper Hjerpe from Oregon State University, and while I would prefer the Mariners to take a hitter at 21, I would not complain at all if the M’s took Hjerpe. He is coming off of a strong career at OSU where he was certainly their ace, and led them on a deep postseason run this year. He is not an overpowering pitcher, but he knows how to get guys out.
MLB Pipeline does not give him any 60 grades on his stuff, but projects him to have an average fastball, slightly above average curveball, and an average changeup. They also give him just above average control, but overall he looks like a solid prospect. He does not have the highest upside, but having a ceiling as a mid rotation starter is good. At the worst, maybe he is another Ryan Borucki type reliever who dominates lefties.
Taking Hjerpe would show that the Mariners are leaning into what they are good at, developing pitchers. I would like to have a hitter, but some of the hitters in the 21 range are risky since they have some swing and strikeout concerns. If the Mariners went with a college pitcher at 21, I would prefer they take Oklahoma State righty Justin Campbell who is 6’7″ and has a similar build to Logan Gilbert, and could go on a similar development path with Seattle.
Mariners pick at #58 – Mikey Romero – SS Orange Lutheran HS
This mock shows the M’s taking a prep shortstop in the second round by taking Mikey Romero from a California high school. As of now, Romero looks and projects to be a good hitter, and Prospects Live says, “He can really hit”. He doesn’t have much power now, and probably has power similar to J.P. Crawford in the future. That isn’t a huge problem if he can hit .270 that would certainly play.
Romero also has a slightly above average arm and slightly above average fielding grades from MLB Pipeline. He is a lefty hitter, even though he is listed as a righty. He could really be an interesting prospect for Seattle to target in the draft. They would probably have to pay him a little more than the slot value here, but he could be a nice young shortstop like Edwin Arroyo, who the M’s also took in the second round.
I personally really like the Mariners to take at least one college hitter in the first few rounds, and Cade Doughty is someone I like. He is a second baseman/third baseman from LSU and has 50 grades across the board. The M’s need infielders in the upper levels of their system. The only top 30 infield prospect that is at AA is Kaden Polcovich, who is ranked 22nd. Yes Marte, Arroyo, and potentially Romero have potential, but Doughty would have a solid floor I think.
Mariners pick at #74 – Nate Savino – LHP Virginia
The 74th pick is the final pick in the Prospects Live mock draft, and this pick is my least favorite of the three. Pipeline gives him an average fastball, curveball, and changeup with average command. Taking another lefty here seems boring, but if there was a team that could make him interesting, it would be the Mariners.
If the Mariners were to take two lefties in the top 75, it would certainly bolster their pitching depth in the minors. I think that having bats would be better, but we have seen the Mariners struggle to develop their offensive prospects like Evan White, Jarred Kelenic, and others. They have succeeded with pitchers like Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, and many more. If they draft pitchers because they trust their process more, then M’s fans should not complain because they have earned our trust.
All in all, the Mariners have some really important picks coming up in the top 75 in the draft that is coming up on Sunday July 17. Hopefully we see some really good prospects selected who will help be the future in Seattle and help the Mariners build a consistent winner. This draft matters a lot because now that the M’s are entering a contention window, they have to continue to supplement the organization with players that keep the machine churning and winning ball games.