The Mariners’ 2023 Major League Baseball Draft strategy took an exciting turn when most high-profile college bats were off the board early. Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Hunter moved to a prep-heavy approach grabbing high-upside teens with the team’s first three picks (22, 29, and 30). This approach always has some inherent risk because most top prep players have college commitments. That was the case with Colt Emerson, Jonny Farmelo, and Tai Peete; each initially locked into Division I programs.
Emerson, Farmelo, and Peete drive the Mariners’ draft class up the leaderboards, with Future Star Series’ Joe Doyle giving the team the #8 spot in his post-draft ratings. However, the questions always surrounded the selections because scouts cited possible signability concerns.
Well, the Mariners saved a ton of cash by grabbing 14 college seniors, a few hidden gems, and signing many of those players to under-slot deals. Those cost savings allowed the team to back up the Brinks truck to the three prepsters, and according to MLB reporter Daniel Kramer, it worked.
This is welcomed news for the Mariners, who continue to infuse the lower minors with some interesting bats. We might see the first-rounders join the Arizona Complex League Mariners for a handful of games, but the team should slow play these youngsters with an eye on 2024 being their first official minor league action. That alone is another reason to head down to Arizona this summer.