Seattle Mariners MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Seattle Mariners:
General Manager: Jerry Dipoto (Since 2016)
Scouting Director: Scott Hunter (Since 2017)
2018 Bonus Pool: $7,555,200 (20th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 14th
2nd Round: 54th
3rd Round: 90th
4th-40: 14th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2017: Evan White (17th)
2016: Kyle Lewis (11th)
2014: Alex Jackson (6th)
2013: D.J. Peterson (12th)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
LHP James Paxton signed with the Mariners after the team drafted him in the fourth round out of Kentucky in 2010. Paxton has been one of the team’s most valuable players drafted since 2010 per Baseball-Reference WAR and this season also threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays on May 8. From Paxton’s major league debut in 2013 through his full 2017 season, Paxton posted a 3.28 ERA in 74 starts with 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.7 walks per nine.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The Mariners have been one of the most college-heavy teams in the last five years at the top of the draft, selecting players out of four-year universities with 72 percent of their selections. That’s the fifth-most in this span, with the White Sox, Tigers, Cubs and Athletics the only teams who select a higher percentage.
Additionally, Seattle has gone for position players more often than pitchers, selecting 60 percent arms in this range. That’s good for the third-highest percentage of all clubs, behind only the Mets and the Pirates.
Former Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara used 13 of his 20 top-five round selections from 2013-2016 on hitters (65 percent), while Scott Hunter’s first draft as scouting director last year saw three pitchers selected and just two hitters in the top five rounds.
Core Mariners Prospects Travel In A Pack
The Mariners stationed most of their top prospects at Double-A Arkansas in 2019 so they could grow together as a group.
Potential Draft Targets:
3B Jonathan India — One of college baseball's most impressive performers, India is solid across the board and is tapping into unprecedented power this spring
LHP Shane McClanahan — An electrifying, albeit sporadic, lefthander with some of the best pure stuff in the class, McClanahan has a fastball that tickles 100 mph
OF Travis Swaggerty — Swaggerty is a potential five-tool talent with a real shot to stick in center field who showed increased power this spring
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension and more projection remaining than other college arms
LHP Ryan Rolison — A high-floor college lefthander, Rolison shows a three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 96 mph with good life
SS Jeremy Eierman — A tooled-up college shortstop with a plus arm, Eierman also possesses plus speed and plus power
OF Trevor Larnach — A powerful corner outfielder, Larnach has finally started tapping into his juice more regularly this spring