Three years ago, the Mariners drafted a young righthander out of Cal Poly University who was about to go under the knife. The electric hurler had a dynamic repertoire, including a high 90s fastball and a sharp-breaking slider. Jerry Dipoto and the crew took a chance on the injured pitcher, knowing he'd be out of commission for at least a year and needed another year to get back up to full speed. That draft pick was Bryan Woo.
Fast forward to 2023, where the Mariners again took the same gamble, selecting Wake Forest righty Teddy McGraw in the third round (92nd overall). Drafting McGraw is your typical high-risk, high-reward type of move, mainly because this is his second Tommy John surgery (2019). If you look at his highlights, you can easily see why the team jumped at the chance to select him.
The fastball has late life and sits in the mid-90s, but McGraw can ratchet it up to 98 routinely. His top option is the slider, a plus pitch in the mid-80s. Lastly, he has an above-average changeup to neutralize lefty bats. Scouts graded McGraw's offerings at 55 on the scale, with command and control coming in at 45, underscoring his need to hone those two skills to realize his true potential.
In a draft with high octane arms, such as Paul Skenes and Chase Dollander, McGraw was often the forgotten man due to his injury concerns. However, most scouts and executives believe 'when healthy' he could be the second-best arm in the 2023 draft class. Look for the Mariners to slow roll him in 2024 with a short stint in the Arizona Complex League to get his feet wet.