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Mariners’ Draft Selections, Rounds 11-20

Cheap David Peterson, a true two-way player, and all the catchers

There’s no more analysis of the picks, just a rapid-fire reading of names. All pitchers.

11th round - JP Sears, LHP, The Citadel

Sears is the national DI leader in strikeouts and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes award. He had a 20-strikeout performance against VMI this year. At 5’11”/180 with a fastball that barely scrapes 90, he’s not overpowering, but he has pinpoint command on the fastball and is able to throw his wipeout slider as a putaway pitch. He has a developing changeup as well. If you smush together David Peterson and Andrew Moore, you have something approaching Sears.

12th round - Darren McCaughan, RHP, Cal State Long Beach

The 6’1” McCaughan carried a 2.50 ERA in 17 appearances this year for the Dirtbags with 4 complete games, two of those being CGSOs. McCaughan’s strength is he does not walk anyone: this year he issued just 20 BBs; in his college career he’s only given up 49 in 280 IP. He hasn’t exactly been playing against cupcakes, either; in a game this season against top-ten draft choice Keston Hiura, McCaughan held him 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He can command his fastball to both sides of the plate; it only sits in the mid-to-high 80s, but plays up thanks to heavy sinking action. He also throws a changeup at 80-83 mph and is working on a slider that’s even slower than that, landing in the high 70s. Clearly, McCaughan’s stuff isn’t overwhelming, but he’s smart about sequencing and mixing his pitches and has a high baseball IQ.

13th round - Luis Alvarado, RHP, University of Nebraska

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Alvarado turned down the Red Sox when they drafted him in the 33rd round out of high school in order to get an education at Nebraska. Alvarado is a two-way player who was initially more known for his bat than his mound presence, but at the end of 2016, he approached his coaches and asked to be given the opportunity to pitch in a relief role. They agreed, and were pleasantly surprised with the results; his fastball sits in the low 90s, he has a changeup, and he taught himself a slurve this year. Alvarado is a character whose dad is a boxer, and thinks he wants to run a restaurant one day. At the very least, he’ll be fun to follow through the system.

14th round - Trevor Casanova, Catcher, El Camino College

Trevor Casanova is going to have to put off his lifelong dream of working for the LAPD for a little while, at least. While announced as a catcher, Casanova is able to play all over the field (which is perfect because Casanova, get it?). There’s some pop in the bat but he’s twitchy at the plate and could use some smoothing out of his swing mechanics.

15th round - Tommy Romero, RHP, Eastern Florida State College

Romero led NJCAA Division I baseball in strikeouts and was fifth in ERA with a 1.13. His K/9 was practically 14 for the year. He had interest from a few major league teams, working out for both the Mets and the Rays:

16th round - Orlando Razo, LHP, UC Davis

Razo came out of baseball factory Serra High in San Diego, but wasn’t heavily recruited and went to UC Davis. Working in a relief role as a freshman in 2014, Razo was lights-out and promoted to a starter as a sophomore. He was well on his way to turning in a strong 2015 season: in his first 41 innings, he struck out 29 batters and put up a 3.27. However, he was forced to undergo TJ surgery and missed the rest of 2015 and all of 2016. Working his way back from the injury in 2017, Razo has struggled some, with an ERA in the 4s, but he was able to pitch 92 innings, striking out 82 batters, but hidden in those seemingly unimpressive numbers are a couple of lights-out starts, like when he set a school record with a 13 strikeout performance on February 25, or on April 14, when Razo threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout against Cal Poly.

17th round - Jamal Wade, RHP, University of Maryland

Wade is listed as an OF on the Maryland website, and it’s difficult to find information about him as a pitcher. But after making several appearances out of the Terps bullpen and posting a K/9 of almost 15, which would be second in the nation if he had enough innings to qualify, it’s understandable why Wade would catch the Mariners’ attention as a pitcher. Wade came to pitching by accident—while playing summer ball for the Keene Swamp Bats of the NECBL, his team was being blown out and was out of pitchers. Wade’s coach asked for a volunteer, and the former high school pitcher embraced the opportunity. He blew everyone away with his low-to-mid 90s fastball and power curve, and returned to Maryland as a true two-way player.

18th round - Myles Christian, CF, Olive Branch HS

Christian is 6’2” and 180 with a good, projectable frame. He has an accurate, strong arm in the outfield, and per Perfect Game, also plays 2B. The left-hander features a nice, compact swing with some real pop in his bat. The quality of this video is terrible, but you can see examples of his swing here.

19th round - Kevin Santa, SS, University of Tampa

There’s nothing I can say that this video doesn’t say better. Here’s a nice profile about him that will make you a Santa fan. His ceiling is probably utilityman, but he will fit right in with our tradition of beloved utilitymen.

20th round - Troy Dixon, Catcher, St. John’s

Dixon had a nice summer for himself in the NECBL, where he won the batting title and was named MVP after hitting .371/.432/.530. Dixon is a leader on the field and a solid catcher who slashed .394/.473/.525 with three home runs for the Red Storm this season.