The Seattle Mariners are in a very advantageous position in the upcoming amateur draft set to take place at All-Star Weekend in Seattle. The Mariners organization holds the 22nd, 29th, and 30th overall selections on day one. There are endless numbers of possibilities of players for the Mariners to draft based on who might be available. Yes, drafting Dylan Crews, Paul Skenes, and Wyatt Langford would be the best-case scenario, but what might be the most realistic best-case scenario?
In my opinion, the best-case scenario for Seattle at pick 22 is to get Tommy Troy out of Stanford. He has mostly played third base this year for the Cardinal, but he has also played some second base. Regardless of whether or not Troy plays second or third base, he should provide his power in the batter's box. This year at Stanford he is slashing .411/.489/.738 with 37 extra-base hits, 17 of which are home runs, 17 stolen bases on 20 attempts, and nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
Joe Doyle of Future Stars Series has the righty ranked as his 14th-best prospect on his draft board. when looking at Troy's whole package, he says, "The whole thing could look something akin to Bret Boone when all is said and done." Drafting a career .266/.325/.442 hitter with some elite years would be great for the Mariners, especially in the infield where the organization doesn't have many great long-term options near the big leagues.
Bret Boone had his best years in Seattle where he slashed .277/.336/.442 and had a 116 OPS+. That would be a great draft pick for the Mariners. I think that Troy could end up producing like that at some point down the line. In my opinion, based on what I have read and heard, he can go through the minors rather quickly and be ready to help the Mariners in the infield in just a few years.
The Mariners don't have a ton of infield prospects that are going to be ready to contribute in the big leagues in the next couple of years and I believe Troy could be exactly what Seattle needs. This team is currently missing a productive infield bat at either second or third base, and in a couple of years I believe Troy can be that type of player. An infield of Tyler Locklear, Cole Young, JP Crawford, and Tommy Troy in 2026 would be very exciting and be an infield that can stick around for a long time.
While Troy is my number one best case scenario, he has been rising up prospect rankings recently because others are seeing how well he is hitting this year for Stanford. So while it is still the best case scenario, realistically he might just be drafted before Seattle gets on the clock. If that is the case, I would like to see the M's draft a player similar to Troy and that is Matt Shaw.
Matt Shaw is a shortstop for Maryland, but most scouts think that he probably moves to second or third base. Joe Doyle of Future Stars Series had this to say about his 15th-ranked prospect.
""He's a thick, twitchy middle-infielder who could certainly stick at shortstop, though some believe he could end up at second base or third base because of his shorter strides and muscular frame. Featuring above average power and a potential solid average hit tool, Shaw has impact in his bat and a mature approach. An above runner, maybe a tick more, he's got the potential to net double digit homers and stolen bases at his peak whilst developing into a Kike Hernandez type pro.""- Joe Doyle
Kike Hernandez is now 31, but he has been a productive player throughout his career. He is a career .239/.313/.413 hitter with about 16 career Wins Above Replacement. If Shaw can be a similar version of Hernandez and hit .240 to .250 with good on base and hit 10-20 homers, and be a 2 WAR player most years with a few years closer to 4 WAR that would be very valuable.
Last year only 10 qualified second basemen were worth more than 1.7 Wins Above Replacement according to Fangraphs. Having a 2 WAR second baseman squarely gives the Mariners a top-half-of-the-league second baseman, something that would be very nice to have in a couple of years.
So if the Mariners can add either Tommy Troy or Matt Shaw to their farm system, I think it would be very beneficial because I would like to see more minor-league depth at the infield positions. It is incredibly hard to predict who Seattle will pick, but I would be very happy with either of these selections come draft day.