After selecting three college catchers in last year’s draft, the Mariners waited until the 11th round of the 2019 Draft to select a backstop from this year’s crop of draftable talent, selecting C Carter Bins out of Fresno State University. Bins has been drafted before, back in 2016 when the Phillies used a 35th-round pick on him when he was coming out of high school.
A defensive-minded catcher, Bins’ defensive abilities reportedly rival those of any other receiver in this draft class with his bat being the only thing preventing him from having a productive professional career. Rated the #134 prospect by MLB.com, the Fresno native was the highest-ranked player selected by any team since the tail-end of the seventh round. Baseball America and Fangraphs thought highly of him as well, ranking him #92 and #84 respectively with Fangraphs giving him a future value of 40. Some scouts suggested he could have gone as high as the third round if a team was particularly bought-in on his bat. Through three seasons serving as the Bulldogs’ primary backstop, he’s gunned down 42 of 69 (61.0%) would-be base-stealers.
He took a step backwards from his sophomore season in 2018 to his junior year this season in regards to driving the ball—he slugged just .403 after slugging .526 as a sophomore—but his plate discipline improved substantially. His 12.3 BB% and 17.2 SO% were both career bests, as was his seven stolen bases.
Like Cal Raleigh last season, Bins is a college catcher who has a year of eligibility remaining, so he does hold some leverage in bonus negotiations. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him return for a senior season considering how far behind projections he was selected; however the M’s should have a little extra money to throw his way should it be necessary.