After thrilling us with a couple position players, the Mariners returned to their OTP with college pitching by taking righty Taylor Dollard out of Cal Poly—alma mater of one Mitch Haniger. Dollard is a by-now familiar archetype for Mariners fans: a 6’3” righty who doesn’t throw overly hard but doesn’t walk anyone. I mean a-ny-one; in 111.1 career innings at Cal Poly, Dollard has walked 27 batters while striking out 121. Dollard also fits the Mariners’ love of Cape Cod performers; in 2019 for the Y-D Red Sox he posted a 1.55 ERA over 17.1 innings with 27 strikeouts and just one walk. While working out of the bullpen for his first two seasons at Cal Poly, Dollard had transitioned to the starting rotation for his junior year in the virus-shortened season.
The first game of this year’s #MLB4 tourney was also the first college start for @calpolystangs pitcher Taylor Dollard (@T_Dollard). It sure didn’t look like it.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 14, 2020
The 20-year-old righty struck out 10 over 7 innings to lead a 2-hit shutout vs. @UConnBSB, as the Mustangs won, 5-0. pic.twitter.com/1f2KuuhiZd
Dollard’s fastball isn’t overwhelming—89-92 with sink—but plays up with command and deception, along with his four-pitch mix that also includes a fringe-average curve and change and an above-average slider he can throw for strikes. That’s a starter’s arsenal, especially if the Mariners can send him to Gas Camp and/or High Performance Camp and maybe hang some extra muscle on his slender frame in addition to maximizing his secondaries. Alternatively, the Mariners could have Dollard focus on a bullpen role primarily, focusing in on the swing-and-miss slider and maximizing the fastball’s analytics-friendly qualities.
While at first glance seeming somewhat vanilla, the Sherman Oaks native has a...wide ranging fanbase, starting with Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty:
All i care about tomorrow is @T_Dollard— Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) June 11, 2020
and some answers
to Hollywood luminaries (who are seemingly unimpressed by the fact that it’s the MAHR-ih-NURS):
to his very own roommate, who offers maybe the most complete picture of Dollard:
And he even comes with his own nickname!
Dollard is the Mariners’ last pick of the draft; now the free agency period begins.