With the Seattle Mariners’ first pick of day two, Dipoto and Co. selected RHP Teddy McGraw out of Wake Forest. The first pitcher selected of the draft so far, McGraw continues the prototype we have seen thus far in this draft: Major, major, upside.
McGraw is a super fun player. With some of the best stuff in the entire draft, McGraw started the year as a potential first round talent with a complete 4 pitch arsenal. With both a two-seamer and four-seamer as well as a slider and a changeup, McGraw has a starter’s arsenal to accompany his 6’3 frame. He’s got fluid mechanics and is an athletic mover down the mound.
The fastball profiles really match what Seattle has tried to implement in their pitchers in the last few years. McGraw throws a lot of two seamers with serious armside run that induces a ton of groundballs. Sitting in the mid 90’s, both fastballs are good pitches, although I’ve personally seen him use a lot more two seamers than four seamers. The four seamer is used up in the zone, something I’m sure the M’s pitching lab will love. As for the slider, it’s an absolute banger. It’s got sharp movement and is his primary out pitch. There’s serious two plane movement and is a high spin pitch. There’s a changeup there as well, a pitch he’s shown good feel for and has some nice shape to it. Both of the offspeed pitches sit in the low to mid-80’s.
Wake Forest RHP Teddy McGraw had TJ this year and didn't pitch this spring, but flashes plus stuff at his best. Here's some clips from last summer. pic.twitter.com/VdP5V7MgPI— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) July 8, 2023
The reason McGraw went in the third round is pretty straight forward: injury concerns. McGraw has had Tommy John twice in the last four years. He didn’t pitch at all this season for Wake Forest and had to get TJ in his senior year of highschool. That’s obviously a scary thing to hear and absolutely caused him to slide in this year’s draft.
McGraw was seen as a potential riser in this year’s draft and some of his peers at the prestigious Wake Forest Pitching Lab saw him as the prospective “ace” of the staff for 2023 before the injury.
Before he got injured, some around the Wake Forest program thought RHP Teddy McGraw was on a path to be better than Rhett Lowder. Now, the @Mariners get him as a third-rounder. Circle that pick ....— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) July 10, 2023
This is a really nice pick for Seattle. For a college pitcher in the third round, the upside is about as high as it gets. If he stays healthy, the Mariners should have no trouble maximizing his output and could max out as an upper rotation arm at his peak. He’s obviously got a very long way to go before that point, and he’s approaching 22 years old with a significant acclimation process left, but I have full confidence in the Mariners ability to keep him healthy and successful. He’s probably not going to be a fast mover due to the injury concerns, but the potential is truly tremendous.