The Mainers had picks 29 and 30 in tonight’s MLB Draft, and they used them on two more prep players, giving the Mariners three high school choices with their first three choices.
Outfielder Jonny Farmelo, out of Westfield HS in Northern Virginia, has a sweet lefty swing that produces a ton of hard contact, mostly in the form of gap-to-gap doubles currently. Like earlier pick Colt Emerson, he’s drawn praise for his bat-to-ball skills and barrel control; he possesses plus bat speed and is is quick to the ball with a short, powerful stroke. Farmelo has been on an upswing leading up to the draft, shooting up boards as he’s gotten more opportunities to show off his toolkit.
Farmelo’s current standout tool is that he’s a double-plus runner; he recorded one of the fastest 30-yard dashes at the Draft Combine this year. That speed helps him in the outfield, where he’s recently moved after coming up as a shortstop.
In our draft chat published this morning on @LookoutLanding, I had comped one of my favorite players in the draft, Jonny Farmelo, to Christian Yelich. Farmelo is more power over hit right now which Yelich isn’t, but the loads, frame, etc. are strikingly similar. pic.twitter.com/STmt3ow6XP— Max Ellingsen (@EllingsenMax18) July 9, 2023
Farmelo tried out for Team USA and didn’t make it, and has played with a chip on his shoulder after that. He’ll put up a long, tough at-bat and draws praise from all corners for his work ethic.
Tai Peete, a shorstop from Trinity Christian HS in Georgia, represents a slight departure from the earlier two picks, as he’s generally regarded as more toolsy than Emerson or Farmelo, but lacking some of the polish those two possess. Peete, who isn’t even 18 years old yet, has shown off a rocket of an arm on the mound, and was a standout at the MLB Draft Combine, showing big exit velocities and a dynamic set of tools. If you had dreams of the Mariners having drafted a two-way player, though, you must gently set those aside; Peete says he never actually liked pitching that much but would do it if it was necessary to help his team win, as he loves winning much more than he dislikes pitching. “I’m a hitter,” he says, and talks about plate discipline as being one of his favorite things to focus on—making him not just a hitter, but a very Mariners hitter.
In a postdraft meeting, Peete said one thing he appreciated was the Mariners’ authentic, “down to earth” approach, calling the meetings he had with the area scout “some of the most real meetings I had” as far as a genuine conversation about what Peete does well and where he might improve. Peete is a student of the game who studies other lefty swingers like Harper and Seager the Younger, but says he’s also a big fan of the Marlins’ lefty hitters Jesus Sanchez and Jazz Chisholm. His favorite player, and someone he tries to model himself after on and off the field, is Francisco Lindor, and it’s not hard to see a little Lindor-like finish on his swing:
The Seattle Mariners (30th overall) have selected SS Tai Peete. Outstanding athlete at 6’3” with plenty of room to fill out. Thunderous bat speed who really got into his power this spring. Between his athleticism and plus arm, he could even hold down CF. Extremely high ceiling. pic.twitter.com/OBHezdyPhe— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) July 10, 2023
That smile (Tai’s on the right here) also looks fairly Lindor-like: