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2018 MLB Draft: Mariners Draft Day Tracker and Open Thread - Day Three

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Let’s finish this thing strong

MLB: Game One-Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If Day One of the draft is the radio hit and Day Two of the draft is the lesser-known sophomore album, Day Three is the weird side project where the lead singer of the group goes into the Smoky Mountains and records two hours of the Acadian Flycatcher’s song on a Victrola accompanied by a harpsichord. It’s a niche event, is what I’m saying. This is where organizations stock up on talent to fill out their organizations with the hope of landing one or two breakout players. Not that there isn’t significant talent to be found in the later rounds of the draft: Dexter Fowler was a 14th-round pick, Cody Allen a 23rd-rounder, and, as he’s quick to remind people, Kevin Kiermaier was taken in the 31st round.

A reminder on the dates and times for the draft, as well as how to watch, is here. Note that the final two days of the draft are online only, and really, mostly audio only. There’s some MLBN coverage early on but eventually it just becomes a still camera where you essentially listen in on a phone call. Not that that’s a bad thing—sometimes teams have veteran scouts or front office people who are retiring call in to make their picks and they get all choked up and it’s a little heart-squeezy.

If you missed the first day of the draft, catch up with the thread here. The Mariners had two picks on Day One: you can read our blurbs on first-rounder RHP Logan Gilbert from Stetson here, and Louisville OFer Josh Stowers here. Day Two is here. Read about third-round pick Cal Raleigh here and fourth-rounder Michael Plassmeyer here. Tim also did a general summary of Mariners draft trends here.

There are still some players available from our wish list for the later rounds, and many more from this list where Ben and I profiled some of the players available in Division II schools. There’s plenty more draft coverage under the “MLB Drafttag on the site, including overviews of draftable talent in the major conferences, a review of the Mariners’ past drafts, and a general overview of the depth in the system at each position.

We’ll be updating this post with the latest news and listing the Mariners’ picks here, in addition to providing you in-depth writeups on the newest Mariners in later posts.

Thanks to everyone for following along with us the past few days. Let’s bring this thing home strong (translation: draft Giovanni Dingcong).

UPDATES:

11th round: The Mariners select their first highschooler of the draft with local kid Damon Casetta-Stubbs from Kings Way Christian HS, a RHP committed to Seattle U. 6’4” with a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90s, a changeup, and a slider.

The Mariners could potentially go over-slot to try to convince DCS to sign, and should have some money saved from yesterday when they went heavy on college seniors.

12th round: The Mariners go back to the alma mater of Nick Zammarelli (aka “Nicky Three Sticks”) to take Ryne Ogren. He’s listed as a 2B but was announced as a shortstop. Ogren had a decent performance on the Cape this summer and was named to the Brooks Wallace Award watchlist this year, as well as First Team All-CAA after batting .388 this year. Ogren brings some big power but he also doesn’t strike out a lot and takes plenty of walks:

13th round: College again, with OF Charlie McConnell from Northeastern University. McConnell’s elite skill might be base stealing: he set the record for career stolen bases at his high school (60), and went 37-for-42 this season. He profiles as a solid leadoff option with good on-base skills.

14th round: The Mariners get in on some of that sweet late-round name action with JUCO RHP Tyler Suellentrop (Sue-len-trop). Suellentrop’s ERA numbers from Indian River State College (a place!) do not overwhelm, or even whelm, but the Mariners must see some projectable power in his 6’4”/230 frame. The big sell here, though, is his outstanding K numbers: 74 in just 49 innings this year, due in large part to his mid-90s fastball.

15th round: Another JUCO pitcher, Matthew Willrodt (pronounced, troublingly, WILL-ROT), a RHP from Cisco JC in Texas.

16th round: The second prep pitcher of the day! LHP Holden Laws is from South Granville HS (NC), and throws in the high-80s with a hard-breaking curve. He’s been on the showcase circuit and appears to be a fairly well-known recruit; you can see an interview with him here. At 6’2” and weighing less than a bucket of balls, there’s time for him to develop. He’s committed to NCSU, but maybe the Mariners will be able to slide some money his way.

17th round: Cesar Trejo is a SS from UNC-Greensboro. Trejo, born in Venezuela, collected a pile of accolades as a freshman, including being named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. As a sophomore, he clubbed double-digit homers, but saw his average fall off significantly. He rebounded in a big way this year, though, putting up numbers much closer to his freshman campaign.

18th round: Columbia grad Dario Pizzano has company for players from Ivies in the Mariners’ system, as the Mariners take Harvard’s Noah Zavolas. Zavolas threw the first no-hitter in program history in over a decade this year and earned the conference’s Pitcher of the Year award. Following a strong summer on the Cape (28.1 IP, 31 SO, 4 BB, 0.63 ERA), Zavvy—this is what I’ve nicknamed him now, go with it—the righty posted his best season numbers to date, posting a 2.96 ERA and 77 K in 70 IP.

19th round: Dean Nevarez is a catcher from San Diego State with some pop:

Born in Tijuana, Nevarez lists Bryce Harper as his favorite MLBer, and has a special bond with his father. I have no idea how he is as a catcher, but look at these Zunino-esque arms!

20th round: Back to the D-II pitching ranks for JT (or “James”) Salter, RHP from West Alabama. Salter was a strikeout machine this year, collecting 118 in just over 88 innings, a school record. He’s also an exceptionally large lad, at 6’8”/285, so he might be striking all those people out by just glowering at them off the mound. As you can tell, we were extremely excited about this in the slack:

Round #21: Grant Anderson, RHP, McNeese State University - a sidearming bullpen arm, he pitched with his twin, Aldan, on the McNeese staff this year. This could lead to some fun sitcom-esque twin tricks, baseball edition:

Round #22: After a weird glitchy pause, the Mariners select Nicholas Rodriguez, a senior SS from UNLV. He won Mountain West Player of the Week honors this year after batting .471 over the week.

Round #23: Ryan Ramiz is an All-Big-East outfielder from Seton Hall. Plays with speed and hustle. Reminds me of Ian Miller with this swing and hustle out of the box:

Round #24: The Mariners go back to the Stetson well to select LHP Benjamin Onyshko, a reliever from the Hatters’ pen. Onyshko (who is from Winnipeg originally and played baseball in the NECBL each of the past two summers, so a well-traveled fellow) struck out 45 in 31.2 IP this year while walking just 20.

Round #25: Continuing the trend of taking players who had breakout seasons, the Mariners select Southern Illinois’s SS Connor Kopach, whose batting average goes from .222 as a freshman, to .287 as a redshirt sophomore after missing a year with a broken hand, to .336 in his senior season. The Saluki (which judging from the logo seems to be some kind of...long-haired goat?) is also a plus defender, named to the MVC All-Defensive team.

Round #26: The Mariners get a much-needed third base prospect with Cal Hernandez, a junior from Oral Roberts University. Hernandez was All-Summit First Team last year after leading the conference in doubles and improved on his numbers over this season; this year, he helped lead the Golden Eagles to a conference championship and was named tournament MVP. A quick scan of his twitter shows he’s deeply ensconced in #HittingTwitter, and tweets a positive affirmation every day, so he should fit right in with Andy McKay’s farm.

Round #27: Another infielder, another one for the All-Name team with Cash Gladfelter. At D-II Shippensburg, Gladfelter didn’t post big power numbers but shows good bat-to-ball skills and an ability to get on base.

Round #28: Continuing the run on college infielders, but with a slightly more common name, is Beau Branton, 2B from Stanford. Branton, standing just 5’7”, is an interesting story: a career backup and utility player over his first few years at Stanford, an injury to Duke Kinamon, the starting 2B, thrust Branton into the starting lineup. Since assuming the leadoff duties, he’s been on a tear for the Cardinal, batting almost .350 with a .432 on-base percentage. It looks like his job at Disney is going to have to wait for now.

Round #29: ALLLLL the infielders. This time it’s adorably-named 3B Bobby Honeyman from SUNY Stony Brook, and you’re not going to believe this, but he had a breakout season this year, posting almost a .300/.400/.500 slash line. He’s not a power hitter, although he did scrape double-digit doubles this year; his high OBP numbers are thanks to excellent plate discipline (7 Ks to 17 BBs) and contact skills.

Round #30: MY PET NOOOOO. Giovanni Dingcong went four picks before this, to the A’s of all places. Sorry CF Cody Staab, son of a White Sox scout, I’m sure you’re very nice and talented, but I am furious/extremely sad. The Twins took other LL pet Albee Weiss earlier, so just, forget it, draft canceled.

Round #31: Rigo Beltrán Jr is the son of former MLB pitcher and current Cleveland affiliate pitching coach Rigo Beltrán. He battled injuries last year but this year ran a 3.18 ERA over 88 innings with almost a 3:1 K:BB rate. He also threw a no-hitter this year in the Northwoods League, the first-ever for the Kenosha Kingfishers:

Round #32: Aaaaand we’re deep into the “so and so is the son of so and so” picks. Zach Scott is the son of current director of player development for the Marlins, Dick Scott. He’s a 2B at St. Leo in Florida where he’s been...fine, I guess? His goal is to eventually be a coach one day, so maybe he was chosen more for his intangibles than his bat.

Round #33: Penn Murfee, RHP from Santa Clara, posted a 7.70 K/9 over 66 innings but also a troubling 31 walks. Played two seasons as an infielder at Vanderbilt before transferring to both a bullpen role and Santa Clara so maybe he’s still ironing out the wrinkles as a pitcher, but at 6’2”/200, he has the prototypical pitcher’s frame.

Round #34: LHP Nick Wegmann from Binghamton, where he played with his brother, TJ. He actually signed a pro contract with the Frontier League after graduating like a week ago, so now instead of just signing guys out of the indy leagues, the Mariners are snatching them away before they can even get there.

Round #35: A prep prospect, in this economy? Will Gambino attends Paul VI (that’s “the sixth,” as in...a pope? I guess?) HS in New Jersey, and is 6’2” and big and strong already with a fastball that sits low-90s but can touch mid-90s paired with a mid-70s hard curve. He has a college commitment to Kentucky, but is believed to be signable at the right price. However, he was also projected to go somewhere in the first ten rounds. It’s possible this is a flier to see if they can agree on a price if Child Gambino wants to start his pro career ASAP.

Round #36: After taking almost no prep prospects throughout the entire draft, we suddenly have them back-to-back, with the Mariners tabbing Justin Wrobleski, RHP from Georgia, here. This might be a shot in the dark to see if they can get either Gambino or Wrobleski with some of their draft savings, or a back-up plan in case something goes terribly wrong. Wrobleski is committed to Clemson. He has a low-90s fastball with good movement that he commands well, a changeup, and a particularly good sharp slider he can use as an out pitch.

Round #37: Okay, enough dreaming, back to reality. The Mariners go back to Dallas Baptist, where they got power reliever Seth Elledge, for reliever Parker Towns, who I neglected to mention in my writeup. The righty posted a 4.08 ERA in 28 IP this year for DBU, but collected 27 strikeouts while walking just 12.

Round #38: Back to the relation picks: Jack Montgomery, a HS 2B from Connecticut, who is the son of...uhhh...I think they said the Brewers director of development? Anyway, I sort of wonder what prospects who don’t have a baseball bloodline feel like at this part of the draft. It must be frustrating for them.

Round #39: Back to dreaming! Jacob Maton, RHP from Glenwood HS in IL. Last year he pitched a game where in five innings he retired fifteen straight batters, all by strikeout. He’s a Coastal Carolina commit. Currently, Maton’s fastball is in the low 90s with a sharp breaking ball and like most prep arms, he can struggle to control the zone. He’s got a projectable frame with long levers and a nice clean delivery, though, so there’s a lot to like.

Maton has two brothers who play in pro ball: Phil with the Padres, and Nick, who is in the Phillies’ system.

Round #40: As much as I dislike honorary picks, this one melted my heart: the Mariners dedicated their last pick, a Canadian RHP from Langley Secondary School named David Rhodes, to longtime scout Wayne Norton, who was instrumental in scouting much of the Canadian talent that has come through the Mariners’ system: James Paxton, Michael Saunders, Tyler O’Neill, and Gareth Morgan, among others. Norton passed away from complications related to ALS this year.

Rhodes is a lanky righty who’s committed to Washington; he has a low 90s fastball and a plus changeup and will almost certainly be wearing Husky purple this fall, so local Mariners fans will have a chance to check him out no matter what.

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And with that, the Mariners’ draft is done. Thank you everyone who followed along, read, and commented on the draft coverage this year. It’s a ton of work, but you all make it worth it. Here’s to the 2018 draft class, may their bats be noisy and their pitches be strikey and—most importantly—their bodies be healthy.