Seattle Mariners: Draft Review

General Manager: Jack Zduriencik
Farm Director: Pedro Grifol
Scouting Director: Tom McNamara

2006-2009 Draft Results:
First three rounds included
x- over-slot signees ($200,000 or more)

2009 1st Round: Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, North Carolina
1. Nick Franklin, SS, Florida HS
1S. Steven Baron, C, Florida HS
2. Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
3. Kyle Seager, 2B, North Carolina
5x – Tyler Blandford, RHP, Oklahoma State [90-95 FB, SL, CH]

The organization scored a major victory with the best pure hitter in the draft in Ackley. He should move quickly in the system and could even be in the Majors by the end of the season, depending on the club’s needs. The outfielder had a nice debut in the Arizona Fall League where he hit .315/.412/.425. If we’re looking for negatives, he did strike out 19 times in 20 games. With just one homer, he also showed why his bat profiles better in center field than first base.

The club also nabbed prep shortstop Franklin in the first round and he showed some flashes of his potential in 16 pro games. He was aggressive at the plate but he also displayed some pop. Fellow prep draftee Baron did not have as much luck with the bat. He hit .279/.241/.292 in 106 rookie ball at-bats. The 35.8% strikeout rate is worrisome.

The club paid a little extra to lure Blandford to pro ball. He has an electric fastball/slider combination but his control is incredibly lacking. The right-hander has yet to make his debut and he’ll be a project.

The organization obviously felt Poythress had a pretty advanced bat as he spent the majority of his debut in double-A, where he hit .230/.337/.287 in 87 at-bats. His college power has yet to translate over to the minors but he did show some patience (14.4% walk rate). Fellow collegiate player Seager was given an easier assignment: low-A ball, and he hit .275/.360/.346 in 153 at-bats. He showed a good eye at the plate, too, with a walk rate of 12.4% and a strikeout rate of 13.1%.

2008 1st Round: Joshua Fields, RHP, Georgia
2. Dennis Raben, OF, Miami
3. Aaron Pribanic, RHP, Nebraska
14x – Luke Burnett, RHP, Louisiana Tech

This was not a strong draft for the organization. Already 24, Fields has just 31 pro games under his belt and he posted a 6.48 ERA in double-A last year. On the plus side, his FIP was just 3.89 and his strikeout rate showed promise (9.72 K/9). Pribanic showed some flashes of potential but he was dealt to Pittsburgh last season. Brett Lorin (5th round) also joined the right-hander in Pittsburgh’s organization.

Burnett, a hulking hurler at 6’8” 250 lbs, was given some extra dough to sign but he has yet to reward the club with his performance. The main culprit for his lack of success has been his lack of control (5.76 BB/9 in ’09). Raben’s intriguing debut in ’08 was ruined by injury in ’09 and he failed to make an appearance all season.

2007 1st Round: Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Quebec HS
1S. Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma State
2. Denny Almonte, OF, Florida HS
3. Danny Carroll, OF, California HS

Aumont certainly had his moments in the organization but he changed uniforms in the off-season during the Cliff Lee trade with Philly. Mangini has been a disappointment in pro ball. He had his best offensive season in ’09, though, by hitting .273/.339/.424 in 422 double-A at-bats.

The club nabbed a couple prep outfielders in the second and third round but neither has really seized the opportunity. Almonte has struggled with massive strikeouts (His 36.2 K% rate in ’09 was a career low). Carroll has also had significant trouble making contact, but he has flashed some strong stolen base totals.

Nick Hill (7th round) can be found on the club’s Top 10 list and could find a role in the big league bullpen at some point in 2010. Shawn Kelley (13th round) appeared in 41 games for the Mariners in 2009.

2006 1st Round: Brandon Morrow, RHP, California
2. Chris Tillman, RHP, California HS
3. Tony Butler, LHP, Wisconsin HS

Here we find some interest arms; unfortunately all three are pitching elsewhere with Morrow now in Toronto, as well as both Tillman and Butler in Baltimore.

In fact, this whole draft class has been traded pretty mercilessly. Nathan Adcock (5th round) was sent to Pittsburgh along with Pribanic and Lorin. Kam Mickolio (18th round) went to Baltimore along with Tillman and Butler. Fabian Williamson (22nd round) was traded to Boston for closer David Aardsma. Tyson Gillies (25th round) followed Aumont to Philadelphia.

Catcher Adam Moore (6th round) is one of the club’s best prospects and could be the No. 1 backstop in 2010. Right-hander Doug Fister (7th round) has a chance to help in ’10, as well. Southpaw Dan Runzler would have been a nice grab in the 17th round but he returned to UC Riverside and later signed with San Francisco.

Up Next: The Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects





Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Surprised you didn’t bring up James Jones for 2009.