On Thursday, the Seattle Mariners made official the signing of three of it’s six draft picks from the 2020 MLB Draft. Bluechip first round hurler Emerson Hancock, as well as second round outfielder Zach DeLoach and fifth round RHP Taylor Dollard all threw ink to canvas to lock themselves and their futures in with Seattle.
M's just sent out a press release announcing the signing of first-rounder Emerson Hancock, second-rounder Zach DeLoach and fifth-round pick Taylor Dollard.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 25, 2020
Hancock, the 6th overall pick in the draft, is the headliner of the group. The value of the pick is $5,742,900 and the Georgia Bulldog came in just a shade under that number at $5.7 million on the dot. Hancock has frontline stuff and represented the best combination of polish & stuff in the entire draft. The fastball can approach triple digits with tail. It is accompanied by an above average slider, a plus changeup and a curveball that has flashed potential for the future. If Logan Gilbert is any indication of what Seattle is capable of in developing starting pitching, Hancock is some pretty exciting clay to mold.
DeLoach, a personal favorite, was the 43rd overall pick in the draft after really surging the last calendar year in the Cape Cod League and at Texas A&M. DeLoach ended up signing for the full slot bonus of $1,729,800. It’s a sweet left-handed swing that has flashed more than capable of slugging with a wooden bat. DeLoach projects above average with the hit and power tools, and owns a run tool that may be above average as well. He’s a corner outfielder that should move quickly through the system.
2nd-rder Zach DeLoach signs with @Mariners for $1,729,800 (slot 43 full value). Texas A&M OF, Cape Cod Lg batting champion, better track record with wood bats than medal, flashes plus run times this spring. @MLBDraft— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 25, 2020
Dollard, Seattle’s 5th round pick, is a bit more of a soft-tosser, mostly 88-91. His command is plus as the Cal Poly product just doesn’t walk batters. As a ‘Stang, he walked just 21 hitters in 111.1 innings of work. He’s not overpowering, and shouldn’t be expected to punch out a ton of batters at the next level. Dollard has a good slider and an enticing fastball plane that could ultimately play up in the bullpen should Seattle send him that direction. Dollard also signed for the full pick slot value of $406,000.
It’s important to note, all of these players and their advisors have a number that is required to get them to sign. Additionally, every team has a value figure on each player in the draft. DeLoach, for example, may not have been rated as one of the top 45 players in the draft by independent publications, but if Dipoto and Co. had him valued as a $1.7 million man, then he’s worth that figure. Especially if Dipoto knew of other clubs that had similar valuations on the guys they wanted. Scouts scout and evaluate. In turn, a big board is made. Seattle got the guy they wanted in this scenario. Players have asks and teams have values attributed. A good draft pick, in the eyes of a scouting department, is when those two figures align.
The question now is what’s next? With a 30-man taxi squad in play, the opportunity for Jerry Dipoto to send his premier prospects into a highly competitive environment against more advanced players is going to be a topic of conversation. Hancock will likely be added to the taxi squad in an effort to see how his stuff and polish play against advanced hitters. That being said, it by no means suggests he’ll be added to the big league 30-man roster at any point in 2020.
As for DeLoach and Dollard, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to stuff the taxi squad with players the team has no interest in promoting at any point in 2020. It has to be flush with guys that can step in for emergencies. That’s not Hancock, and it’s certainly not DeLoach or Dollard. Keeping the taxi squad full of guys that are in a position to play in Seattle is paramount too. We can presume the likes of Gilbert, Kelenic, Rodriguez, Kirby, Hancock and Raleigh will on the taxi squad. How many more guys that you chalk as hopefully non-contributors can you weigh that club down with? We shall see...