21st round - Connor Hoover, SS, University of North Georgia
A shortstop named Hoover just seems too good to be true. Hoover is out of DII’s North Georgia, which makes me happy because I love a DII baseball player, but sad because I neglected to cover him in my preview, despite the fact that he is a finalist for the Tino Martinez award. Hoover hit 16 doubles and 18 home runs this year for the Nighthawks. Interesting fact about Hoover: he lists Martin Prado as his favorite player, which I think is a cool and under-the-radar choice to have as a favorite if you’re a college shortstop.
22nd round - Johnny Adams, SS, Boston College
The number 8 is a special number at Boston College; it was worn by Peter "Sonny" Nictakis, a 1999 graduate who passed away from Hodgkin’s disease shortly after graduating. Head coach Mike Gambino gives the prized #8 jersey to a student each year who best embodies “Sonny’s” characteristics of selfless leadership, stong work ethic, and determination to overcome adversity. This year, Johnny Adams was tabbed to wear the jersey, the first junior to earn that honor. Adams may be a glove-first infielder, but coaches laud his leadership and dedication to his teammates.
23rd round - Samuel Delaplane, RHP, Eastern Michigan
Team captain for the Eagles this year, Deplane recorded 92 strikeouts in 85 innings against just 32 walks. Pitches to contact and allows hits, but is able to limit damage, only giving up 18 extra base hits and 8 home runs. Delaplane was named NECBL Reliever of the Year as the closer on the NECBL’s champion team, the Vermont Mountaineers, in 2015, and in 2016, played with the champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox for the Cape Cod League. A Dean’s List student and all-academic team member, Delaplane isn’t the tallest kid at 5’11”, but can crank his heater up to 94 and features a good hard slider.
24th round - Louis Boyd, SS, Arizona
“Scrappy” infielder who just hit his first career home run in his final game as a Wildcat. Glove-first but can make dazzling plays like this:
He also has a pretty epic mustache:
25th round - Bryan Pall, RHP, Michigan
Pall, who has been used exclusively as a reliever at Michigan, had an injury-shortened season this year, but he had an impressive freshman campaign, being named to the 2015 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team and the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
26th round - Austin Hutchison, RHP, University of Mount Olive
Another DII prospect I neglected to write up, although I remember looking at his college page because under “fun facts” is this gem: “If I could have dinner with three people, they would be Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Aniston, and Jim Carrey.” The 6’2” Hutchison was very good this year; over 94 innings, he ran a K/9 of 9.29 with an ERA of just 1.82. He struck out 97 batters and walked just 33. He was named First Team All-Region and also the ABCA/Rawlings Southeast Region Pitcher of the Year.
27th round - Collin Kober, RHP, McNeese State University (LA)
Kober has worked exclusively in relief for the Cowboys. He’s...fine I guess? His numbers are thrown this year because he was pitching with a shoulder impingement and missed time with that. He also has good hair. This is all I know of him.
28th round - Johnny Slater, CF, Michigan
Whoever the Mariners’ midwest scout is must have a lot of pull in the organization, as Slater became the third player drafted from Michigan this year. Slater is described by his coach as a true five-tool player; he has a strong and accurate arm, and this year his bat improved as he started to hit to all parts of the field. Even if he struggles offensively in getting acclimated to professional pitching, Slater will still bring value with his plus defense:
29th round - David Gerber, RHP Creighton University
Gerber is the closer at Creighton, which I cannot find on a map (UPDATE: apparently it is in Omaha. I apologize for my geographic ignorance). He’s a sidearmer who struck out 31 in 36 innings this year with an ERA of 1.50, and became the all-time leader in saves at Creighton this year, with 25. Also at Creighton he played briefly with his brother, Michael (named after their late father), who is now in the Detroit farm system.
30th round - Scott Boches, RHP, Marist College
An alum of mighty Marist College, which also gave us Mr. Junior Mariner Zach Shank, the 6’4” Boches sat out his sophomore year after getting TJ. And my computer just ate the paragraph I had written about him so let’s just reconstruct really quickly: promising freshman season, sidelined by an injury as a sophomore for all of 2015, stumbled a little in coming back in 2016, then had a breakout performance this year (86 innings, 85 strikeouts to just 28 walks) which got him nominated as a finalist for the Gregg Olson award. Boches has a big body and provided his injury woes are behind him should profile as a solid back-end starter.
31st round - Ryan Costello, Central Connecticut State University
Costello is a 6’2” infielder who slashed .290/.390/.465 over his career at CCSU. His tweets are protected and he shares a name with a senator so I am afraid I can’t give you more than that at this time. Cute dog in the avi photo, though.
32nd round - Ryan Garcia, 1B, Point Loma Nazarene University
Point Loma Nazarene University sounds like it came out of a DII school name generator, but unless this is a very sophisticated catfish I must assume this 6’2” first baseman is a real person. If you want a big, mashing first baseman who also knows how to control the zone, Garcia is it; he hit 10 doubles and 14 home runs this year while collecting 44 walks and striking out just 20 times in 157 at-bats. This is possibly my favorite under-the-radar pick.
#Mariners go back to SoCal and grab PLNU 1B Ryan Garcia. Slick defender, good contact bat. One of the better DII prospects this year— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) June 14, 2017
33rd round - Chris Castellanos, LHP, Stanford
You all know I love a “short” pitcher but Castellanos is really short, at 5’10”. He’s a lefty, though, so there’s that. He doesn’t strike out batters but he also doesn’t walk anyone, with the second-fewest walks allowed in the Pac-12
34th round - David Hesslink, LHP, MIT
Hesslink has already been hired to work in baseball operations for the Mariners, per this article, so this is probably an honorary selection. I hate those. You should read the article, though—it’s pretty cool.
35th round - Hunter Lonigro, RHP, Connellsville Area HS
I got nothing. Sorry.
36th round - Heston Kjerstad, CF, Canyon Randall HS
Committed to the University of Arkansas.
37th round - Jesse Franklin, CF, Seattle Prep
Gatorade top player in the state. Committed to Michigan and going there and will probably be a first-round draft choice when he’s eligible again.
38th round - Colby Summers, LHP, Century HS (Ore.)
Committed to U of O and has the Oregon logo as his twitter avatar.
39th round - Jack Smith, SS, Mercer Island HS
40th round - Zachary Needham, Edmonds Community College
Committed to the University of Houston.
Definitely glad we blew all those late-round picks on HS guys who will never sign when we could have had OSU closer Max Engelbrekt (drafted by the Nationals a few picks later). I will never understand punting draft picks towards the end with “honor choices” like Trey Griffey or whoever. Why not keep trying for a diamond in the rough?