The 10 Best Draft Picks the Mariners have ever made in the MLB Draft

Ken Griffey Jr. Mari
Ken Griffey Jr. Mari / Otto Greule Jr/GettyImages
5 of 11

Tino Martinez: 1988: Round 1, Pick 14, 7.7 (29.0) WAR

The 90's were an odd time for Mariners first baseman. It seemed like we had a lot of pretty good ones, but we could never keep them around. I was a young kid at the time, so maybe my perception was skewed. It did seem like Tino/Sorrento/Segui were a nice trifecta of first baseman though.

My memory served decent, as their stats were good. Nothing special, but if you can get an average of about 2.0 WAR per season from that spot, i'll take it. Especially when you don't need them to be a top 3 player on the team.

The Mariners had a chance for more though if they would've been able to keep Tino around. He shined in 1995, making the All-Star game with a slash line of .293/.369/.551 and an OPS+ of 135. Unfortunately, the Mariners traded him to the evil empire. Making around $4.5M a year there for the next six seasons, he would put up a WAR of 15.2, actually finishing second in the MVP race in 1997 (behind some Kid), and giving the Bronx Bombers a nice piece at first.

Tino was a bit better than the Mariners first baseman while at the Kingdome, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise as the Mariners ended up with John Olerud in 2000 to start his five year run here in Seattle. Would it have been better to have Tino, or did they make the right choice with Sorrento, Segui, and Olerud?

Tino: 96-01: 15.2 WAR. .279/.348/.488
M's: 96-01: 16.2 WAR. .291/.373/.483

Look at that. Sure, it's a bit skewed by Olerud having an 8.9 WAR, but Tino also had an 8.3 WAR stretch over two years in NY. Looking back at it, even though the Mariners lost the trade when they sent him to the Yankees, it ended up working out in the long run for the M's.