The latest Mock Draft has Mariners taking the next Matt Brash

In the latest Mock Draft, done by Future Stars Series, they have the Mariners taking a pitcher in the mold of Matt Brash.
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Now that we are almost to Opening Day for Major League Baseball, it is time to check in on college and amateur baseball. Joe Doyle has a new Mock Draft over at Future Stars Series and it has a very interesting player being selected by the Seattle Mariners with their first-round pick. The Mariners hold the 15th overall selection in the upcoming draft and last year that slot value was just under $4.5 million, so it should be about the same this year, if not slightly higher.

Joe Doyle has the Mariners going back to the college pitching ranks to take Iowa right-hander Brody Brecht. He is a 6-foot-4 225-pound starting pitcher who has the frame of a prototypical front-of-the-rotation starter at the big league level. The exciting thing about this pick is that Brecht has some electric stuff and has drawn comparisons to current Mariners reliever Matt Brash.

The reason that a guy with stuff that is compared to Matt Brash is being mocked to the Mariners at 15 and not a team in the top five is because of his control and command concerns. He walked 61 batters in 77 innings last season which earned him a 7.1 walks per nine innings and an 18% walk rate. This year he is sitting at 7.6 BB/9 and has walked 17% of batters he has faced.

Compared to big leaguers, the pitcher with the highest walks per nine innings with at least 50 innings pitched last season was Michael Kopech who had a 6.3 BB/9 and was worth nearly one negative Win Above Replacement (WAR). Brecht will have to improve his walk numbers to make it to the big leagues as a starting pitcher. Matt Brash had a 5.86 BB/9 in 2022 but improved that mark to 3.69 in 2023, making him much more valuable.

Despite the concerns about the Iowa righty's command and control, there are some immense positives with his stuff which Doyle raved about in his player profile on Future Stars Series...

""If you were to build a Mount Rushmore for the best pure stuff college baseball has ever seen, there's a very real argument that Brecht would deserve to be on it. Most would agree Brecht has the most electric fastball in the 2024 class; at least at this early stage. He's been up to 101, sitting 97-99 in starts. It's a metric-monster and is only reinforced by the elite whiff rates he generates off the pitch. He'll mix in an absolutely disgusting slider with immense depth, inducing gaudy swing-and-miss numbers. He'll also throw a traditional curveball extremely hard in the mid-80s. Brecht has a chance to possess an elite fastball and two plus-or-better breaking balls.""

Joe Doyle, Future Stars Series

The Mariners got Brash to the big leagues as a flame-throwing, elite off-speed pitcher so perhaps the Mariners would know what to do with Brecht more than the average team. Brecht does have a 2.22 ERA in 28.1 innings in 2024 so far, which is better than his 2023 ERA. His strikeouts per nine innings have also taken a jump of 4.1, equating to a 38% strikeout rate.

Brecht would also fill the gap in starting pitching prospects near the big leagues for Seattle. Behind Emerson Hancock, the Mariners don't really have a prospect who profiles as anything more than a back-end-of-the-rotation starter, and Hancock might just be a number four or five starter anyway. Adding the upside of Brecht would be exciting for this farm system. Even if Brecht doesn't make it as a starter, he could be a high-end late-inning reliever for Seattle.

The Mariners have a loaded back end of the bullpen in 2024 when everyone is healthy, but in a couple years if Brecht doesn't work out in the rotation, he could join an electric bullpen. A bullpen of Andres Muñoz, Matt Brash, Gregory Santos, and Brody Brecht could mean good night to any team that falls behind to the Mariners after the sixth inning.

Not only is Brecht a good athlete on the mound, but he also played football for Iowa, something not many baseball players are capable of or can say they did.

Adding Brecht to the farm system would certainly be exciting and would give Seattle a high-upside pitcher who could be a part of the Mariners' winning window over the next few years. Brecht would have a greater potential of reaching the big leagues compared to a high school pitcher, and he would do it sooner also. Going back to the college pitching well in the first round would be fun since Seattle has been very successful with that under Jerry Dipoto and Scott Hunter.