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MLB Draft 2017: Mariners’ fourth - seventh round selections

Mariners go with another three arms and a catcher

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Long Beach Press Telegram

Fourth round: Seth Elledge, RHP, Dallas Baptist University

Elledge has been a reliever throughout his college career, posting a 2.70 ERA in ten innings his freshman year. He played in both the Florida League and the Cape Cod League in his summers, but it was his performance at the Cape that really caught scouts’ attention. He’s drawn praise for his quick arm action since high school, but weighted ball training really improved the velocity on his fastball, which sits 93-95 with heavy sink. He also features a low-80s slider, and has a changeup, although he doesn’t really have to use it in a relief role. In high school he also threw a curveball, although I don’t see that mentioned in any recent scouting reports on him. Elledge has great command, a pitcher rather than a thrower despite his plus velocity, and can locate his pitches on both sides of the plate. He’s a big boy, at 6’3”/230, with a strong, durable body that makes some scouts think he could possibly move into the rotation. More likely, I see the possibility to be a power long reliever in the Devinski mold.

Fifth round: David Banuelos, Catcher, LBSU

David Banuelos is a GRIT LORD catcher for the Dirtbags who literally ran into a cement wall to help LBSU get to their first Super Regional since 2004. He’s known for his strong, accurate arm behind the plate; opposing base-stealers only ran a 38.7% success rate against him. He was one of just fifteen finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, the award given to the top catcher in college baseball, and is considered a team leader. There’s no question about his ability to stick behind the dish, as Banuelos has been playing catcher since he was five years old, a position he says he loves because “you’re you’re in on every pitch and it doesn’t start without you. You’re the quarterback.”

The bat isn’t as advanced as his defensive chops, but there’s possibility there. After struggling in his freshman year, Banuelos had a breakout as a sophomore, blasting his batting average from .118 to .299. He continued to build on that success as a junior, adding some power to his bat—his seven home runs were more than double his previous season-high of three, and he added 30 points on to his slugging percentage while continuing to hit for average and get on base.

Sixth round: Oliver Jaskie, LHP, Michigan

After a strong performance on the Cape this past summer, the 6’3” Jaskie was predicted to go anywhere from rounds four to six, so the Mariners are picking him up as a bit of a steal here. His 3.77 ERA is fine if not stellar, but Jaskie’s real skill is in missing bats: in 93 innings he had 119 strikeouts, a program record. Part of what makes Jaskie so hard for hitters to pick up is his height and handedness, but he also has a self-described “funky” delivery that he developed in an attempt to gain more velocity. The velo never showed up, but the delivery stuck and has helped his high 80s/low 90s fastball play up. He also features a tricky changeup and slider that he can throw for strikes. Jaskie is a high-character kid with solid makeup, beloved by coaches and inspired by his sister, who has special needs.

Seventh round: Max Roberts, LHP, Wabash County Community College

The 6’5” Roberts is one of the top JUCO pitchers in the nation. He’s a long-standing member of the Driveline club, and attended a predraft workout with the Mariners. It’s tricky to find information on him, but Kyle Boddy from Driveline tells me he’s a solid dude with a fastball that hangs out around 92, plus a curve and a change.