The other day, we started discussing the upcoming MLB Draft and how it could be a potentially massive boon for the Mariners this year. The MLB Draft is completely different than the NBA and NFL Drafts, as you can only trade certain picks later on. Restrictions have loosened up a bit in recent years, but the standard first-round picks are all still locked in place. It's why the Mariners having three of the top 30 picks is a historical event.
The 22nd pick comes from their finish in 2022. The 29th pick comes from Julio, a top-100 prospect, winning ROY after being on the opening-day roster. The 30th pick comes from being one of the small market/small revenue pool teams. Also, those picks bumped up a couple of spots thanks to the Dodgers and Mets exceeding the tax threshold by $40 million and dropping 10 spots in the draft.
Who do the experts have the Mariners taking in the 2023 MLB Draft?
Let's get to it and see who a handful of different experts have the Mariners selecting in the upcoming draft.
They only have the first selection for the Mariners here, as this is the oldest article we're featuring. At the time, the ROY pick and compensatory pick weren't announced, so they didn't include them. That means at #22, the Mariners select Travis Honeyman, OF, Boston College. He's a twitchy athlete with a quick bat, makes great and consistent contact, is well-rounded, and might just end up in centerfield, doing everything well without doing anything great.
Baseball Prospect Journal
They end up going with two picks here, as the compensatory picks weren't announced yet at the time of publishing. They have the Mariners selecting Cade Kuehler, RHP, Campbell at #22, and then they have the Mariners taking Colin Houck, SS, Parkview (GA) HS at #29. Kuehler is bordering on three plus pitches, with a sharp slider and a great fastball that sits mid 90s and can touch 98. Ineffective location is his downfall. In Houck, they would shore up their weakest section of the Minors, one that has been a focus over the last 12 months. He's another young SS, which would give the Mariners Young, Houck, and Celesten.
Ah, now we are there. Baseball America (it is a paywall) has all three picks in their mock draft.
UTIL - C/SS/OF
San Diego St.
Maui Ahuna hit and hit and hit at Kansas, turning in a .396/.479/.634 line before transferring to Tennessee for 2023. With a bit of pop and speed, he could be a version of prime Kolten Wong, but at the SS position. Cole Carigg is like Harry Ford, to keep it simple. Good pop, good speed, uber-athletic, and can play all over the field. Juaron Watts-Brown has a lot of potential if he can add 3-4 mph to his fastball. A plus slider keeps hitters guessing, and building stamina after some odd injury history (football related) is a focal point.
I'm trying not to be a shill here, but I really like the article that Prospects Live put up about the Mariners. They provided two possible scenarios for the Mariners over their three picks in the first round.
Option 1 - Player
Option 2 - Player
C - Sinton
SS - Stanford
OF - Mississippi St.
3B - JW Mitchell
RHP - Oklahoma St.
LHP - Alabama
Blake Mitchell is a high school catcher with a gun behind the plate. That's his standout tool, but he is still and above-average bat in both contact and power, blending patience with a solid hit tool. Colton Ledbetter would be money saver here, trying to sneak Mitchell in overslot to get him to the Mariners, saving that money by taking Ledbetter. He's been a great hitter at Miss St, with double-digit HR/SB in every season so far. We talked about Juaron Watts-Brown already above.
In the second scenario, we again see them trying to shore up SS, but in a quicker manner by taking Tommy Troy out of Stanford. He rarely strikes out, can play SS, but the rumor is he could move to either second or center, so this would be another athletic pick. Aidan Miller is a high schooler who has missed time with injury, but a higher slot value could entice the former top-10 prospect to Seattle. Lastly, Grayson Hitt struggles with control, but has a five pitch arsenal that features a plus fastball, plus cutter, above average slider, average curve, and rarely used changeup.
We will keep an eye on Mock Drafts as they come out, and will even give it our best to have some Mock Drafts of our own here at Sodo Mojo!