The Mariners Bolstered their Farm System with a Strong Day 2 at the 2023 MLB Draft

2023 MLB Draft presented by Nike
2023 MLB Draft presented by Nike / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

With the Mariners going YOUNG in Round 1 with their three picks, a lot of fans expected the Mariners to switch direction and start taking older players. The reason for that is two-fold. One, you want to have a nice balance to bolster your farm system, obtaining players who will potentially graduate over the next 2-6 years, and keeping the system stronger for a longer period of time. Second, and possibly more important, it allows for under slot signings to potentially overpay those aforementioned youngsters.

We've already written on Colt Emerson and Jonny Farmelo and will try and have something up on Tai Peete soon. The Mariners then took 4 YR Senior Ben Williamson in Round 2, and will likely try to sign him a bit under slot. It's reportedly and seemingly common to get players like Williamson cheaper, as they are out of college eligibility (If I understand correctly).

So, who did they end up taking on Day Two? Let's dive in and learn a bit more about each of the Mariners draft picks from Rounds 3-10.

3rd Round, Pick 92: Teddy McGraw - Wake Forest - RHP (Age 21)

McGraw is arguably the highest risk/reward pick in the draft. He was a first round talent before injuring his elbow prior to the season. Massive upside due to a mid 90s fastball that can touch 98, and that's his second best pitch. He is armed with a plus (or better) slider that has great depth and break. The Mariners found success in 2022 drafting a pitch with an elbow issue in Bryan Woo... could they do it again here?

4th Round, Pick 124: Aidan Smith - Lovejoy HS (TX) - RH OF (Age 18)

Smith is "old" for his age, and will turn 19 this month. That could be part of the reason he was one of the best hitters in the state of Texas. The bat is real, here, as he focuses on solid contact and his hit tool, but there is a lot of potential power there that could bleed into the 20s for homers. Could fit in any spot in the OF due to his combination of arm strength and athleticism. Smith was the only non-college player taken by the Mariners on Day Two.

5th Round, Pick 160: Brock Rodden - Wichita State - SS (Age 23)

A switch hitter thats on the older side, he is a bit small and likely will see a move to 2B. However, the bat plays from both sides, and it wouldn't have been a surprise to see him go a round earlier. Expect to see him higher up in the farm system early with his age. He had a great eye with 39/26 BB/K in 221 AB, and that could lead to early action for Rodden in 2023 in the minors.

6th Round, Pick 187: Brody Hopkins - Winthrop - RHP (Age 21)

Potential to be a two-way player, but with the arm action and MPH he can reach, that's the likely path. He touches 98 and pairs it with a sweeper, and sprinkles in a change. The heater isn't just straight either, as it has some nice sinking two-seam movement on it. One of those guys that is so athletic you have to take him, he might be the most exciting guy to keep an eye on outside of day 1.

7th Round, Pick 217: Ty Cummings - Campbell University - RHP (Age 21)

Likely a reliever, all but 3 of his apperances this year were out of the pen. Around a strikeout an inning while holding hitters to just a .212 BAA. However, he did hit a lot of guys, tagging 11 hitters in just 54 innings. Mostly a two-pitch mix, going sinker/slider. He can bring it in relief, touching 98 (seems like a lot of guys can get to that number), while the slider really can move getting to 2,800 rpm and sitting in the low/mid 80s.

8th Round, Pick 247: Ryan Hawks - Louisville - RHP (Age 22)

He transitioned to starter nicely in large part to his fastball. He throws a good 4-seamer, mixing in a sinking fastball as well. He has a large variety, as he will mix in a curve and change, but it's the slider that stands out. Watch to see how his stamina holds up, or else he is likely destined for the pen where he can use his arsenal to keep hitters off balance for the sole time that game they'll see him.

9th Round, Pick 277: RJ Schrek - Vanderbilt - LHB OF (Age 22)

Hey, its RJ's Birthday on July 12th. Happy Birthday! He transferred to Vandy to play his final year of eligibility there, and delivered with an OPS just over 1000. Good pop due to the 14 HR, and a reliable corner OF. Look for him to sign early and underslot (just a personal prediction) and head to Everett fairly soon. Anyone who can do well at Vandy always seems like a good choice to me.

10th Round, Pick 307: Jared Sundstrom - UC Santa Barbara - RHB OF (Age 22)

Let's go ahead and call him a linebacker. Dude is thick and can still move. He hit 15 HR while slugging .672, but still managed 11 steals. Not only can he hit and run, but he can play a good corner OF too. He hits the ball super hard, with a couple hoemrs over 430 this season. Like Schrek, he should be in Everett soon, and it will be interesting to see how he does against a higher level of competition.