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They Might Be Mariners Ep. 7: M’s farm & MLB Draft hopes w/Jonathan Mayo

The longtime MLB Pipeline reporter and expert joins the podcast to discuss Seattle’s prospects, and what to expect from a shortened draft.

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This is Ken Griffey Jr.
Photo by DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images

Joe and John are thrilled to be joined by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and MLB Pipeline, who has covered prospects, the minor leagues, and the MLB Draft there since 1999.

0:00 - 14:00 - How does a prospects writer’s role change when suddenly the baseball has all disappeared? Mayo details how his work has changed (and how it hasn’t) during the COVID-19 shutdown. We also go into the ways that prospect coverage has changed since he began, dating back to the earliest drafts Mayo covered. Conference calls have given way to online drafts, and now a fully televised event that demands live coverage and analysis. Mayo also discusses how the growth of visibility for, and fan interest in, prospects has altered and impacted his work.

14:00 - 40:00 - The discussion turns to the Mariners in particular. What does the progression of prospects like Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert, and Evan White look like for someone who has spent decades seeing top prospects come and go? Expanding on a series the MLB Pipeline team has been undertaking looking for the most hyped prospects at shortstop this century, and discussing whether some of the current top prospects could become their team’s best player at that position, John and Joe quiz Mayo on if the best player in franchise history at any position could be in Seattle’s farm right now. While we had to really rack our brains for the best players in CF and RF in organizational history, there was plenty of interest as to if Evan White or Cal Raleigh might clear the (rather low) bar ahead of them. Mayo also offers an evenhanded assessment as to why Mariners fans might reasonably be gun-shy of prospects, but still believe enough to buy in on the current crop of players and player development.

40:00 - End - We finish off with draft talk, as the biggest milestone for the game inches closer. While it’s unclear still if the draft will feature five or 10 rounds, Mayo outlines how teams and prospective draftees may be inclined to approach it. Leaning on MLB Pipeline’s newly released Top 150 draft prospect list, Mayo talks through some players he’s been particularly impressed by, including a few who Seattle could target at No. 6 overall. While the class is generally viewed as one of the stronger in recent memory, Mayo notes it leans college-heavy, and doesn’t have the same quality depth at every position. Last but not least, we put him on the clock: who is he taking first if he’s got Seattle’s draft card this summer?

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Music: Kin II - Midnight Survivor / CHANCES - KAYTRANADA

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