After selecting an offensive player with their last five first round picks, the Mariners used this year’s 1st round selection—14th overall—on Stetson University right hander Logan Gilbert.
The Mariners’ lack of top flight pitching prospects was magnified with the recent departures of RHP Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero, so re-stocking the system with arms was thought to be a priority headed into the draft.
Gilbert, who stands 6’5” 195 lbs, put an exclamation point on an already impressive 2018 campaign on Saturday, striking out 14 through 7.0 innings against Oklahoma State in the NCAA Regionals. M’s fans can get a look at their future top pitching prospect this weekend when Stetson takes on UNC.
In addition to established major leaguers RHP Corey Kluber and RHP Jacob deGrom, Stetson has also produced Mariners farmhand RHP Lindsay Caughel in recent years.
The Mariners selected Gilbert over several projected early picks, including college RHP Brady Singer who was expected to be the first college arm off the board following #1 pick Casey Mize, as well as prep LHP Matthew Liberatore and 3B Nolan Gorman.
Gilbert uses an advanced four pitch arsenal that consists of a fastball that touches 97mph, slider, curve, and change, none of which grade lower than 50. The Florida-native threw up a 0.80 WHIP this past season en route to winning the Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year Award, cutting his walk rate down 1.8 K/9 and seeing his strikeout rate jump up to 12.9 K/9. He was equally impressive last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he posted a 1.72 ERA and 0.90 WHIP against the game’s top prospects.
While there were a few good options available for Seattle at this point, Gilbert is pretty universally viewed as one of the better arms in the draft, and immediately slots in as Seattle’s top pitching prospect.