I started writing about the Mariners history of first-round draft picks the other day, and it got me started down a draft path. Today, I wanted to take a look at that list and see if i could figure out the 5 worst picks that the Mariners made. No, not because of how they played, but because of the missed opportunity that they let slip by.
Which picks were the most ill-advised? Which ones had no reason to happen? Or, which guy did they let slip by that could've been drafted in their range and ended up being a star?
No, no Mike Trout in this piece. Don't be dumb and say that one. He went 25th and we had the 2nd pick. It wasn't happening. If he was supposed to be a top 7 pick, then yeah, I'd be mad. Not at 25 though.
Instead, I'll go back and find the ones that actually make sense. There are some notables that I almost picked. Within a ten-year stretch, the Mariners had a chance at Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, or Troy Tulowitzki in 2005. Then, Trevor Bauer (dodged a bullet), Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, or George Springer in 2011, and finally Aaron Nola, Michael Conforto, or Trea Turner in 2014. I almost took that 2014 one, but it was barely edged out.
Here's what the Mariners missed out on with their five biggest busts in the history of their first-round picks. Nothing scientific about this, just a mix of "man, that would've been nice to have that player", some personal preference, and getting rid of massive Ls from the Mariners draft history. And for fun, we will go from oldest to newest. These are all obviously conjecture, and more a fun exercise to see what could've been.
Then, you get sad. As is the life of a Mariners fan most seasons pre-2021. Here we go.