Day One and Two Draft recap
Lazy-style, cuz Day Two just wasn't that interesting
This is a summary thread for the first two days of the draft.  I'm basically just gonna ramble a bit, since the shout box is down so I can't be even MORE lazy and just cut and paste from some of the good discussion we had on a day that probably wasn't worth the time we devoted to it.  Day Two wasn't some thrillfest, so let's not go crazy about it, hmm? :-)
1st - Alex Jackson, RH prep OF/C.  Summary of my feelings on him: Ryan Klesko level bat.  P-I has used Matt Holliday as a comp, while I'm not going there yet, but he's got size and power, and an all-fields approach that's pretty nice.  Looks like 25 HR / 35 doubles to me, but maybe it's more.  Boomer of an arm (set the Perfect Game record with arm velocity behind the plate, IIRC) and has all the tools to be a plus RH hitter.  I'm hoping for a .260/.340/.470 hitter in Safeco, and more would be exquisite.  Several years away obviously, but as the best power prep bat who can ALSO hit for some average in a normal park, I'm pretty thrilled to get him. 
Feeling: hot
2nd (comp) - Gareth Morgan, RH prep OF (Canada).  More power potential than Jackson, if you can believe it.  Tall, powerful kid, easy RH thump to pull the ball out of any park in the land.  Runs upright but fast, has a good OF arm... I'm just not sold on his hit tool yet.  If he can actually hit in games and not just BP, he's gonna be terrific.  I think it was Spec who said he was like a Good Upton, and I can see the Justin Upton comps for sure.  That'll work for me too.  Hopefully he hits more than BJ, cuz we basically sacrificed Day Two of the draft in order to buy him out of NC State.  When a guy has 35 HR power as a righty and is both extremely raw and internationally experienced, though, I can see why we decided to make the sacrifice once he got to us.
Feeling: very warm
3rd - Austin Cousino, LH college CF (University of Kentucky) - I feel like somebody at Ms headquarters thinks they know how to put the wheels back on the Cousino train.  He was going like gangbusters as a Freshman, hitting to all fields, swiping bags, playing great D, playing well internationally for Team USA... and then something happened.  He started messing with his plate approach, his batting eye got worse, his average went down.  I never like to see a player regress a couple years in a row - not when I'm taking him in the third round as a Junior (so he won't even be that cheap).  So the Mariners must know something.  He's a steals maven and a defensive CF, and his OBP is raised by getting plunked by 15 pitches a year in college, but that's not enough.  He's gotta hit, and get on base to be any use. Look, Cole Gillespie was a .375/.500/.675 hitter (with the old aluminum bats) as a junior who walked more than he K'ed and could swipe some bags.  Cousino is a .310/.365/.440 CF with a .3 batting eye his Junior year and the same # of HBP as BB (13). He's gonna have to hit like Gillespie even in CF to get a look, right?  I really DO hope somebody at Ms headquarters can fix Cousino and make him a 4-tool pest again. He's a junior so we're gonna pay to find out either way.
Feeling: lukewarm
4th - Ryan Yarbrough, LH college pitcher (Old Dominion). He's a senior (even tho some places list him as a junior, he's a senior) and so is part of our effort to make sure we have enough money to pay Gareth Morgan to skip out on NC State.  He started his college career at a community college and worked his way up to being one of the better pitchers on his non-baseball-school NCAA college team. I'm not thrilled.  Throws about 86, has a decent changeup it seems, is accurate... but man he's a disappointing 4th rounder. His motion's not terrible, there's just nothing to it.  I really hope they can find him a few more feet on his fastball. Right now he looks like Tyler Olson minus a bit - tho Tyler has done decently since coming out of Gonzaga as another senior cheapo sign. Fingers crossed for more decent-ness.
Feeling: cool
5th - Dan Altavilla, RH college pitcher (Mercyhurst College). Dan was the 2014 Division II pitcher of the year for a little liberal arts college in PA. Nobody could hit him, or threaten him. 9-1, 1.23 ERA in 80.1 IP, 48 hits, 129K / 25BB with a .167 BAA. Against inferior competition he was just tremendous.  The Ms have gone this way before, drafting Grady Wood a couple years ago as the Division III POY and he's doing just fine as a side-arming righty reliever currently killing the Cal League (which is not easy to do playing in High Desert). It looks like Dan and his 93 MPH 2-seam fastball, slider and change approach are headed for a similar deployment, but it's always possible the Ms would surprise us and keep him starting for a bit.  Doubt it... but it could happen.  He's got effort in his motion as a stocky little guy to run it up there at up to 95.  Still looks to me like Dan is the best arm we drafted today (unless Ratliff is raw greatness, below, and how would I know that?).
Feeling: warm
6th - Lane Ratliff, LH JuCo pitcher (Jones County Junior College).  I don't know how to feel about Lane.  He was 4th in K/9 in all the JuCo ranks (89 K in 64.1 IP, 35 walks and 8 homers allowed). But there's no footage of him, I have no idea how hard he throws or even really what he throws. I know he's 6'3 and skinny, and that we liked him enough to pick him even though he's just 19 (obviously not a senior) and could cost us a little bit to sign. Feels kinda like the old draft-and-follow bit with us keeping tabs on him at the JuCo level to bring him into the fold after we like what we see. But that's all I know.  We'll have to wait and see what he brings to the table.
Feeling: incomplete
7th - Taylor Byrd, LH college pitcher (Nicholls State).  Another skinny guy (6'2, 175) and previously a community college pitcher (the Ms LOVE these obscure dudes from nowhere).  Byrd struck out 80 and walked 27 in 89 IP, but got himself academically ineligible for the Southland Conference tourney (and this is with him being the Southland Conference pitcher of the year).  Oops.  Fastball/curve guy, with his curve as his out pitch.  He's a pretty accurate dude for relying on the curve that way, and cut his walks in half from last season while improving fastball accuracy.  Decent stuff to work with, and because he's a lefty he doesn't HAVE to throw low-90s (which is good because he doesn't yet).  But coming up from the community college ranks, we'll see what pro instruction can give him.
Feeling: warmish-lukewarm? I dunno.
8th - Kody Kerski, RH college pitcher (Sacred Heart University). He's 5'10, a buck eighty five.  74 Ks in 85.2 IP with just 15 walks.  He stopped nibbling at the plate over the last season or two and finally started striking a few dudes out with his stuff. He throws 90-92, did well as a reliever in the Cape Cod league last summer, and is working with a slider as well as his curve and change.  He got better once he took baseball seriously, it looks like, and I hope he continues to get better yet.  Pure reliever tho, and a senior sign to boot.
Feeling: lukewarm 
9th - Peter Miller, RH college pitcher (Florida State). Terrible year for Miller after he came back to college.  He spent time in both the rotation and the pen, and was pretty useless in either.  He started striking out a lot of guys but lost his release point and walked a bunch too.  Smart kid, made the ACC Academic Honor roll 3 years running, but I don't draft players for their smarts unless it helps their game. Fastball/slider/change guy, but you can't walk 6+ per nine without electric stuff, and I don't think his stuff is electric - just random.  He was the FSU 4th starter even coming back for his senior year - not real thrilled with him, but again as a senior he's here first and foremost to give his signing bonus over to Gareth and genuflect.
Feeling: cool 
10th - Adam Martin, RH college C (Western Carolina).  Hey, a hitter! He made the Johnny Bench Award watch list as a senior, and promptly swatted 14 HRs at 6'2, 230 pounds.  He reminds me of another Adam, our own Adam Moore - another big dude who was nimble enough to catch (and be a good receiver, not just a stiff) with a good hitting approach.  Martin strikes out a bunch, but has good power to do it with.  Not the worst thing, and you always need catchers to help your minor league pitching staffs.  Catchers with a little thump? Even better.
Feeling: lukewarm
Overall: Gareth and Alex need to carry this class, and it wouldn't hurt if Ratliff was a neophyte with uber-talent like Diaz was a couple years ago for us.  If Cousino wants to find his stroke and approach, that's all well and good too, but basically it looks like we added a buncha junk and relievers in order to afford Gareth. No problem with that if it works out, but most of the guys we picked sure seem like filler at first glance.
Still, we usually get good early returns out of our 2nd-day relief arms (Capps, Pryor, Smith, Wood, etc) so I expect a couple of these relief arms to do similarly.  I hope Byrd can start.  I hope Ratliff can excel.  I expect Altavilla to be the only arm on this list we're hearing from in a couple years, though, so hopefully the Ms will surprise me with their small-school, obscure player brilliance.  I don't live my life off the top-500 lists from Baseball America or anything (in fact, I don't even have access to such a list) but I dislike limited upside for simple monetary reasons.
Last year I said we needed to sign the teenagers to make the draft worth it.  Well, we signed the teenagers and O'Neill was good out of the chute (stupid injury slowing him down).  Several of the other teens are in short-season ball this year and we'll see how they do.  We only drafted one teen on this second day, and he's the JuCo kid - not a lot of upside to invest in and locate a good player if the top-two fall apart for some reason.  We took a ton of arms with limited upside and cheap signing bonuses, so I hope the two teens at the top really DO come through - because right now it looks like a pretty thin place-holder draft.
Let's coach up some kids, shall we?  And sign everybody.  Bring on Day Three.



Look, today sure seemed like a snorefest from an impact-player POV.  None of the guys we drafted look like TOR arms or MOTO bats, and it's hard to project some of em to ever get past AA.  But this front office has been running drafts for a few years now, so we can look back at their templates from previous seasons and see how they operate, and what they're looking for from these picks.  
#1) defensive-position college player early on Day Two.  In 2009 we took infielder Seager and CF James Jones in rounds 3-4.  Seager was a pretty good offensive college player, Jones... was not.  In 2011 they took catcher John Hicks in the 4th.  In '12 it was Chris Taylor, SS, in the 5th, and in '13 it was Reinheimer, also a SS, in the 5th. So far, Seager and Jones have made the bigs (Seager in kind of a big way), Hicks is holding down the fort in AA with that staff, Taylor is one of our top prospects and was playing VERY well in Tacoma before an injury, and Reinheimer is in the MWL with no power but a decent glove.  We've been pretty good at this defensive-college-dude thing. Chris Taylor had a better eye than Cousino but looked pretty plain.  He's been better with wood than composite.  Taylor? .297/.394/.419 in college.  His OPS is significantly higher in pro ball.  Cousino? .295/.386/.456 in college. If he turns into Chris Taylor in CF, then he's more than fine at the position.  Yeesh.  So I'm not more down on the Cousino selection because this is exactly this kind of player we seem to do well with - at least so far.  Hopefully he's more Taylor than Reinheimer. And they don't just invite anybody to play for Team USA on multiple occasions - we're NOT the only ones who see a lot of talent in the kid.  C'mon Cousino, prove em right...
#2) Relief arms. 2009: Brian Moran, 7th round. 2010: Stephen Pryor, 5th.  2011: Carter Capps, 3rd and Carson Smith, 8th. 2012: Grady Wood, 10th.  2013: Emiliano Pagan, 10th.  Moran blew his arm out.  Pryor ripped his back up.  Capps is suffering through an elbow injury.  I was going somewhere with this... Oh, right - we have drafted a steady stream of relief arms that have either made the bigs, are on the cusp of the bigs, or are tearing up the minors in relief currently.  Sure, most of em haven't stayed healthy, but it's pitching - whatcha gonna do?  They're relievers for a reason.  If their motions were beautiful, they'd be starters.  We certainly have an eye for relief talent, if not for keeping it on the mound.  So when we draft short, hard-throwing RH relievers I immediately think of our next potential bullpenner.  We're good at fast-tracked relief arms. Now if they could just contribute...
We also do okay with raw, toolsy pitchers (Walker, Diaz, Pike, etc) - but haven't done it enough for me to really put a #3 in front of this.  I'm hoping Ratliff is in this group, and that Littell is from last year as well (should see him in Everett this year, certainly Pulaski).  Lane Ratliff struck out 133 dudes in 75 high school innings, and K'ed 89 more in 64 JuCo innings as a frosh.  There's SOMEthing there to work with.  I certainly hope we can straighten him out, but the good work we've done with Diaz makes me feel like this is something we are capable of.
Fingers crossed that we can drag more out of these 2nd day picks than is immediately apparent in their bios. I'd hate for it just to be a two-horse race, especially since at least one of those horses is a highwire act.  Make no mistake, though: Jack and Tom have made their mark, both in Milwaukee and here, via the first few rounds.  Jack's talent seems to be saying "that one" in the first round, and on the rare occasion he's wrong he makes it up in the second round (third in Seager's case).
Jack is a lead horse kinda drafter.  Corey Hart was an 11th rounder, but otherwise it was Sheets (1st), Hardy (2nd), Fielder (1st), Weeks (1st), Gallardo (2nd), Braun (1st, along with Brantley in the 7th that year), LuCroy (3rd) and Lawrie (1st) before he got here.  Since then it's all 1st-4th rounds here as well, including Paxton and Jones.  
Second-day players are icing for Jack.  He makes his bones on Day One or out of the gate on Day Two, and everything else is relievers or backups, and he seems to emphasize the draft that way to boot.  That bodes very well for DJ Peterson, Austin Wilson, maybe Tank O'Neill, and this year's Jackson and Morgan.  Not so well for everyone else. ;-) 


Lead horse drafter. Never heard that before but I makes sense, especially with the way MLB dictates the draft budget.

Anonymous's picture

1) Thanks for this analysis--better than I've found anywhere else.
2) The right hand power focus the last two years has been commented on repeatedly. But it possible that Jack and Tom are sitting alone in a room somewhere chanting, "market inefficiencies? There's your market inefficiencies, Beane!. Mwaaa--ha-ha!"
3) Seems like I saw more than one national 'expert' predicting that Z had no choice but to go for the talent that would get to the majors fastest (established college guys) since he was fighting for his life. Somehow that doesn't seem to have panned out...are you telling me I shouldn't trust the 'experts'?


I did the work so you don't have to. Unless you're really bored, I guess.  We drafted a LOT of Juniors today, which is interesting. Not gonna sign em all, but we definitely wanted to restock the pitching in some fashion.  
Colored picks I like a lot, bold might be interesting, unchanged means I don't care about em at all on first impression. 
11 - Jay Muhammad, prep RH pitcher - 6'2, projectable, throws about 87 right now and his motion is a bit off (not synched).  Pulls over the top when he throws.  Clean him up and he could be nice.
12 - Nathan Ward, college junior LH SS/2B (Georgia) - bigger conference guy, more walks than Ks this year, no pop but a decent doubles stroke. Competitive leadoff dude. Nothing wrong with that type (Brock Hebert is like that).
13 - Marvin Gorgas, prep RH pitcher - 5'9, already throws 93 pretty easily, future reliever build unless he hits a decent late growth spurt, but solidly built already as well.  Not bad. Plus he has the good makings of a pro wrestler name already.
14 - Chris Mariscal, college junior RH SS (Fresno St) - wood-chopping stroke built to spray to all fields, bad eye for college though (.5 in his best year).
15 - Lukas Schiraldi, college RH pitcher - 6'4, more walks than Ks, Ks under 5.  Another former CC guy with just one year at the NCAA level.  Blech.
16 - Wayne Taylor, Stanford LH C - terrible at hitting, awful eye, must be a great receiver behind the plate.  Just a junior, doubt he signs (might as well finish getting that Stanford degree before earning 20k a year playing baseball). Don't care either way.
17 - Trey Cochran-Gill, college junior RH pitcher (Auburn) - short (of course, the Ms love drafting short dudes this year), already a bullpenner, strikes out about 5 guys per and walks half that. Wasn't especially good in the Cape Cod either, so I dunno what they're looking for outta him. He does throw 92 -93, and has a nice slider... but nobody in college is missing either offering.
18 - Nick Kiel, LH college junior pitcher (Bellevue CC) - hometown kid, short (#alltheshortdudes), terrific stats for one of the better CC programs in the country (for what that's worth).  1.81 ERA in 74.1 IP, 63 hits, 95K / 16 BB. Got way better as a junior. Northwest kid with a face like a trucker, signed to play with the Missouri Tigers next year if he doesn't take our offer.  Interesting.
19 - Rohn Pierce, junior RH pitcher (Canisius College) - another small school dude. Finally NOT short or skinny (6'2, good weight), very accurate, not a lot of Ks (5K / 1.3 BB per 9). Got more accurate this year, diced his ERA down in the process, didn't give up much in the way of hits.  Fastball in the 90-93 range, sweeping slider, good change.  Seems to have nice pieces.
20 - Hawtin Buchanan, junior RH college pitcher (Ole Miss) - Hello Giant Man, did you come in from some other draft?  6'8, 245. Pure bullpenner, ERA over EIGHT this year, K's 13 per for his college career but walks more than 5. His motion is soooo ugly. Leg up, lurch over, try to fling his head into the 1B stands, aim the ball somewhere near home plate. FB is 91-94, low 80s slider, and if you can smooth out his motion there's some hope for him I guess.  But yeeesh...
21 - Jay Baum, RH college junior SS (Clemson). Back to the south. Waterbug guy, even batting eye, just found out about doubles this year, will never hit for anything resembling power (iso at 83 points for his college career). 
22 - Jarrett Brown, LH college junior pitcher (Georgia). Skinny dude, bullpenner, terrible ERA, even walks to Ks for his career (Ks under FOUR this year).  Maybe he's pretty.
23 - Pat Peterson, LH college junior pitcher (NC State).  Good Ks (over 8), decent walks, gets hit maybe a little too much, working mostly as a starter. Throws 87-90 (okay for a lefty), with a good change and improving curve.
24 - Sheehan Planas-Arteaga, LH Junior 1B (Barry University). A hitter? Say whaaaa?  I couldn't have told you where Barry U is (Florida, apparently), but .388/.507/.600 is a decent slash line (41 BB / 24K). Played in the Cape Cod too.  Not a HR hitter, but interesting system filler. 10-for-12 in steals even. Knock-kneed caveman stance, flat swing, decent action, long finish. Wood bats should be interesting.
25 - Vinny Nittoli, RH senior pitcher (Xavier).  5th year senior, so he's already 24. Two way player who was a good hitter, a la Danny Hultzen.  Took a little off his pitches this year and got better (finally managed to control his stuff and make his 6-7 K stuff work for him). Fastball/slider guy, another bullpen option.
26 - Taylor Smart, RH senior college SS (Tennessee). Back to the South. See: Nathan Ward, except with less responsibility for his team and hits righty. Nice little swing, though.
27 - Andy Peterson, RH Senior college 2B (Oregon St).  Okay, where's OBF?  Seems pretty unimpressive from an average, OBP or power perspective as he's gotten worse from a stats perspective every year.  Probly a "gamer."
28 - Dominic Blanco, LH prep C.  Another high school player?  I thought that was illegal on Day Three. 6'3, 215 pounds - he's a big teen. Also plays 3B and pitches but doesn't look especially natural at either.  Good arm tho, especially from 3rd.  His swing is loose and short to the ball, some nice pop - another rotational hitter. Be very surprised if he signs.
29 - Tyler Herb, RH senior college pitcher (Coastal Carolina).  Just a guy. 7K / 4 BB per 9 career, 9 hits. Had some injury issues last year, righted the ship this one.  Coastal Carolina is a good baseball school, though, so he should have a solid base.
30 - James Alfonso, RH senior college C (Hartford). Decent hitter for a C, still not a great eye, lotta HBPs helping his OBP early in his career.  Once again, we're looking for someone to handle the minor league staffs, not really be a major-league player with this kind of selection.
31 - DeAires Moses, LH prep CF.  Not the biggest dude at 5'9, but a leadoff guy who made a big impression as a wood-bat fill-in and we spent a lot of time looking at him. He's signed to play for Tennessee, but would be interesting to get out of there. Nice plate discipline, good actions, lots of speed. And he has a great name.
32 - Jonathan Nyman, LH Juco 2B.  I got nuthin.
33 - Tom Verdi, RH senior SS (Connecticut). We want all the scrappy college SS, apparently. This one can't hit, and getting HBP 28 times a year won't work in the pros if you can't hit.
34 - Andrew Summerville, LH prep pitcher. Andrew is a Real Prospect.  Local kid out of Seattle, so I don't think we're gonna sign him. His head coach is a Mariners scout, so this is just a respect-draft kind of thing before he runs off to Stanford. Throws 4 pitches, preperation freak, threw at the Area Code games against the best high schoolers in the nation.  Love to sign him, but we won't.  Probably can't.
35 - Chris McGrath, LH prep pitcher.  Very similar to Summerville.  He's a Duke commit and one of the better pitchers in Georgia, so unless we find a huge stash of money someplace he's not coming to us.
36 - Spencer Hermann, LH college pitcher (Fisher College).  He was a decent bullpenner last year at North Florida, but I can't find stats on him this year at Fisher.  No idea what's up with him.
37 - Sam Lindquist, RH college pitcher (Stanford). Very truncated year this year (looks like an injury) but was getting 11th round interest last year as a bullpen arm.  From Mercer Island, so we know him locally. Somebody's throwing him a pick.
38 - Taylor Zeutenhorst, LH senior college OF (Iowa). Basically useless til this year, when his batting eye climbed all the way up to .5 (still bad for college) and he hit a few HR for the first time in his career. 
39 - Kavin Keyes, SH senior college 3B (Oregon St). Another no-power, low-walk small infielder.  How many of these dudes do we need, exactly?
40 - Scott Manea, RH prep C.  NC State commit, another Area Codes and East Coast Pro guy, and since he's on scholarship there we're not signing him either.


Glad you enjoyed the read.  
I agree with you, the Ms are absolutely looking for RH power in a way that can be controlled.  If we can't trade for or sign RH bats, then we'd better draft em - and the drafts have fallen in such a way the last couple years that we could.  It's not like we're reaching on it, either - Peterson was appropriate (and I called that one), Wilson fell in the draft and was very much worth the risk where we took him, Jackson might have gone #2 so unlike with Buxton a very talented high schooler DID fall to us, and Morgan fell over the course of the season but wound up about where people thought he'd be.
I'm glad to have hitters with a HR potential of more than 15 in the system again.  It's a good feeling.  There's risk involved, obviously, but no more than in drafting arms or going for 4-tool players at defensive positions.  If RH power is a scarce commodity then it's a commodity you'd like to add when available, and we did.
As for Z being in trouble... Until we sell the team or unless they go on another 18-game losing jag, I'm not feeling it.  If either Paxton or Walker can make it up here in the next month to help our starting staff win more games, he should be fine.  They might even let him make a trade for a bat at the deadline, who knows?
The Mariners might get a little crazy.  Fingers crossed, I guess.


And he's pitching quite effectively for Tacoma, sporting an ERA under 3.00 in the offensive minded PCL as a starter. Just a reminder that there are hidden gems in there. Just gotta find them, and shine them up.


Pries is a good pitcher.  He was a good pitcher in college, but not a great one.  He made a nice leap with his breaking ball as a junior, IIRC, had an improved K/BB ratio, had some nice late life on his very-low-90s fastball, but with the swinging bunts and pepper stuff in college it's hard to tell when one guy can control the zone against wood and whether a small plateau jump at any time might make somebody into a much-improved pitcher.
Pries wasn't that good in the Cape Cod either, so he's hard to pick out.  But he was immediately VERY hard to hit the second he got into pro ball.  He's equally good against righties and lefties (works his curve for that) and has become a pretty decent arm.  You draft guys who are either projectable or have hidden talents.  Dominic Leone taught himself a cutter watching Youtube videos, got much better control once he got OUT of the starting rotation, but as a short 16th rounder that's what you're hoping for.  You WANT a guy who is teachable, who has a couple of tools, and who can be converted to some sort of usefulness.
200 inning starters are hard to come by. But if you can piece-meal a couple of plus bullpenners out of every draft you can keep the in-house options open for the inevitable bullpen struggles and injury woes, and stay flexible.
Day Three guys are for flexibility.  If you land on one who is a great starter, even better! Sometimes you get a good hitter (Matt Carpenter was a day 3 guy, though the draft wasn't structured the same way then). Or an arm surprises you or comes through on young talent.  Toronto added Drew Hutchinson back in 2009 (out of high school) and he's matured well.  But late-round college arms are rarely where you'll get your starters.
Doesn't mean you can't get SOMEthing though.
I hope we sign a few of the teens somehow, to get some extra upside, and I do think we got a couple of relievers and maybe a swing-man/5th starter type amongst all our dudes.  Those first-day hitters are the meat and bones of this draft, though.

OBF's picture

A quick word on Kavin Keyes...
Kavin graduated early from High School to come to OSU, and falls out of bed hitting .300. So essentially he hit .300 (.316 to be exact) in the Pac-12 as a High School senior... The guy just hits. Not a lot of HR power (well ok, no HR power...) but plenty of doubles and a good eye, so he will mostly be and Avg/OBP hitter. His best defensive position is probably... um... well DH, but he can hack it a 1st and if you squint REALLY hard 3rd base...
He seems to me to be that classic A's pick that doesn't really look all that sexy (Face like a trucker... great description :) ), doesn't really have a position, hits ok, but nothing stands out, and then whoopsie doodle here he is batting 6th for the MLB team and look at that he just stroked another 2-out double, or walked in the winning run... and you are left scratching your head saying, "Wait, what, who is that guy again???"
IOW, it wouldn't surprise me to see Kavin just cruise along, hitting .300 slowly bumping his way up the system with no acclaim until someday we find him hitting .300 for the M's (or more likely) the A's when they scoop him up off the waiver wire because we threw a .300/.380 hitter away for some reason in a few years... :)


Sounds a bit like Ty Kelly is in AAA for us right now - no power, but a .300/.380 hitter.  He can play some other infield positions, though. We'll see if Keyes can be an Oakland type player.  Nothing wrong with having options around.
Appreciate the thumbnail sketch!


The Ms obviously knew two things: exactly how much Morgan was gonna cost, and how to get to that figure if they could get him with their second pick. They salvaged exactly what we overpaid him on their round 4-10 signings.
Gareth's $2 million bonus was 1.24 million over slot.  The slot for the #20 pick in the draft (which turned out to be Wichita St 1B Casey Gillaspie) was $2.035 mill. So basically we thought Morgan was an under-rated back-half-of-the-first-round talent and found a way to pay him accordingly. The Rangers did this a couple years ago with Joey Gallo, who got 2.2+ million for the #39 spot, and has gone on to tear up the lower minors power-wise while learning how to control the plate more.
If you're asking me who has more upside, Morgan or Gillaspie, I would have to go with Morgan.  But Gillaspie, a switch-hitting 1B with a 2:1 eye in the Mountain Valley this year and a 1.200 OPS, has a higher floor.  At first base though, there's no such thing as a good floor really, so he's as much of a $2 million risk as Morgan in his own way.
Morgan is a bomber.  A straight-up bomber.  His power tool would get him a 40-HR rating if he could put solid wood to bat in games. But he's so very raw as a traveling squad guy, even if he has been on the Canadian National radar since he was 14.
Gallo is the sort of comp I look at for Morgan.  Both guys are 6'4+, 220+, 400-foot-crushers who came out at teens so raw they wouldn't show everything they can do in games. If Morgan puts it together he can be Mike Stanton. Most people seem to feel like he's not gonna put bat-to-ball like Stanton and will simply be prodigious in Ks.
The jury's still out on Gallo.  He's 20, just got promoted to AA, hit 40 bombs last year in 400 PAs (!) and struck out in 42% of those PAs (!!).  This year he's cut that allll the way down to 34% Ks, has walked 50 times (already more than last year), and OPSed 1.200 in the Carolina League. 
I don't know whether Gallo (or Morgan, for that matter) is just gonna be another Dallas McPherson / Greg Halman type, but I do know that watching Gareth Morgan is gonna be prime-time viewing for the next couple of years.   Morgan probably has the best power tool in the draft, and his Stanton/ Upton potential is just too intriguing. I don't expect him to rush up the ladder but the Mariners obviously expect VERY big things from him, and paid handsomely to find out if they could get em out of the kid.
We drafted two first-round picks in the Ms estimation, and turned Day Two of the draft into random-player-picks-with-some-future-usefulness in order to make sure we could sign em. Hopefully some of our relievers on Day Two work out as well, but if you're gonna go with a two-horse draft make em the strongest two horses you can find.
Seems we did.


Bob Dutton at TNT did the actually math instead of the thumbnail math I've been doing, and wrote that we can pay Alex Jackson $4,221,295 without losing a draftpick for going more than 5% over budget (slot for the pick is 3,575,900).  
I expect 4 million since it's a nice number, but we'll see.  Hope Jackson signs soon and gets to the system - I think the Ms spent all their cash early in order to make sure Boras doesn't have a reason to take it to the July 18th deadline. We know what we have to spend and so does he.
What did all the guys sign for?
2s - Gareth Morgan, $2 million (overslot by $1.24 mill) Draft feeling: very warm
3 - Austin Cousino, $400k (underslot by $293 K) Draft feeling: lukewarm
4 - Ryan Yarbrough, $40k ($431k under) Draft feeling: cool
5 - Dan Altavila, $250k ($103k under) Draft feeling: warm
6 - Lane Ratliff, $150k ($114k under) Draft feeling: incomplete but hopeful (since he's a teen)
7 - Taylor Byrd, $5k (ouch, $193k under) Draft feeling: warmish-lukewarm
8 - Kody Kerski, $30k ($131k under) Draft feeling: lukewarm
9 - Pete Miller, $5k (also ouch, $145k under) Draft feeling: cool
10 - Adam Martin, $5k (ouch trifecta, $135k under) Draft feeling: lukewarm
And based on that payment breakdown, the Ms mostly agree with me. ;-) Morgan got a ton of cash, Cousino got a chunk but also 40% less than slot, Altavilla got a quarter mill, the JuCo teen got $150 K, and nobody else got anything.  As always, indifferent seniors get jobbed on the bonus. I'm with Matt, it sucks, but it was the system before this draft revision was put into place.
Still intrigued to see Cousino in the minors. Boy do I hope somebody has a fix for his plate approach. But the 2nd day was about being able to lock in Jackson and Morgan, and we've done enough to do that (Jackson's not gonna pass us up).  I'm hoping that we don't have to give Jackson everything and we can buy out a couple of the teens we took on day 3, but not counting on it.
Best of luck to all these players. Welcome to the Mariners.


Looks like it's over $4 mil, but we had the $4.2 to give, so I'm guessing we gave it all.  Works for me. Thanks to Lonnie over at Mariner Central for the heads up. :-)
We've also been signing a few more of our Day 3 picks, as illustrated at M-C as well.  Of the guys I was interested in, we snagged teen RHPs Muhammad and Gorgas, college SS Ward, college arms Cochran-Gill, Kiel, Pierce, and one-half of the Peterson Twins (Pat, in this case). Nittoli and Herb too - gonna have a lot of new college pitching in short-season this year. 
We didn't sign giant-man Buchanan yet (and likely won't), and now that Jackson ate every cent of our available cap space I can't see us getting any of the 4 teens at the back end of the draft (Summerville, McGrath, Moses and Manea). Which is a shame, but not unexpected. I thought they were basically courtesy drafts at the time, and with no large-six or low-seven figures to offer at this point, they're all college-bound no doubt.
Still, we added a couple of teen arms to go with our strange assortment of small-school and JuCo/Community College pitchers, and we'll see if any of em can pull a Leone / Elias. I wish em all the best.
Especially Jackson. Go kill some fool, Alex.  We need it.

Johna603's picture

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