Tag Archives: MLB Draft

Notes and Links on a Few More Mariners’ Draft Picks

tyler smith

In the 2013 draft, the Mariners selected 12 high school players (most of them coming at the end of the draft, unlikely to sign), 11 college juniors, 10 college seniors, 1 fifth year senior, a college sophomore, 4 junior college players, and one player that I have no idea about (Guzman Michaelangelo).

Tyler Smith, a shortstop for Oregon State, is one of those seniors. He was used as a leadoff hitter by the team, at least when I saw him play against Kansas State.  It looked like he wanted to see a lot of pitches and has what looks like good plate discipline (he had decent walk rates and OBPs in college). He was ahead of a breaking ball and popped out, looking like he got out of his batting stance a little in his first at-bat. He has an uppercut swing but doesn’t look especially strong (and has hit for very little power in his college career). Smith seems to have some kind of hitch in his swing that delays it from getting going. It is not a quick swing, and he is probably an other way, groundball type hitter. Contact skills are solid, but it is not going to be hard contact. He is not real quick, probably an average runner. At short he has decent range. Arm is solid but not plus.

Lachlan Fontaine, out of high school in Canada, is one of the few 3rd day draft picks by the Mariners that actually have some videos on YouTube.

Via 6jordanwilson

The swing doesn’t look quick, and may have some kind of hitch in it, but but it is smooth and he keeps his hands back and has good bat control. The swing seems pretty flat, and it seems like he has an other way approach. Listed as a 3rd baseman, that is probably a good position for him, assuming he has the arm for it, as he will most likely grow into his lanky body (or at least that is what it looks like in the video).

Via Bob Fontaine

It certainly seems like he has a strong arm.

I talked to Chris Jackson, who is the beat writer for the Alburquerque Isotopes, but also covers the New Mexico Lobos on occasion, about Will Mathis, the left-handed pitcher from New Mexico. He told me that while Mathis has good velocity, he didn’t really have any secondary pitches that were workable and his command was awful. Scouts see him as a project type of pitcher, someone who will probably pitch in the Arizona Summer League in relief as they try to fix him. He pitched just as a reliever for New Mexico and had some pretty poor numbers in two seasons after success at a small college as a freshman. He’s a lottery ticket, older than high school pitchers with no polish, but a lefty with a good arm is worth a look.

I actually wrote about Tommy Burns on this site as the third part of my look at velocity and location.

I charted one of Rafael Pineda’s outings on my own blog.

Here is how the Mariners’ draft picks from Major college programs rank by Tool WAA, a little statistical measure I created to try to predict college players’ professional success, weighing power and speed statistically:

1. Austin Wilson

2. D.J. Peterson

3. Jeffery Zimmerman4.Jack Reinheimer)

5. Chantz Mack

6. Tyler Smith

7. Brett Thomas

8.Justin Seager

9. Lonnie Kauppila

Video Scouting Some Mariners’ Draft Picks


With two days of the draft down and the final (a busy one, with 30 selections) one coming today, I wanted to take a look at some of the players the Mariners have drafted. Instead of using notes from well known scouting sources that one could find in a simple Google search, I instead looked on Youtube for some video of some of the players. I put the videos in the post (gave the creators credit by putting their Youtube name before the video), so you can watch, if you want, and make your own conclusions. All thoughts following the videos are my own. You can read this article in several different ways, just watching the videos, ignoring my notes, just reading my notes, ignoring the videos, or watching the videos and reading my notes.

3rd Round: Tyler O’Neill, RF, C, SS

There seems to be some dispute as to what his position is, as he was a catcher, but got injured and moved to shortstop, but is also listed as a right-fielder.

Via Baseball America:

Visually, he looks much more like a catcher or a right-fielder than a shortstop. He doesn’t look like a guy who will get much bigger, so his present strength probably isn’t very far off from what his future or ideal strength will be like. He has a powerful uppercut swing that looks pretty quick to me. His approach, swing and size suggests that he is the kind of guy who will hit for power over average. As I think you can see in the video, his timing with the leg kick and stride was off. That isn’t a long term concern, most likely being a simple mechanical issue.

Via LangleyBlazeBaseball:

This one is from 2012 and he looks smaller, so perhaps he did most of his growing from 2012 to 2013. He has also significantly changed his timing and stance since that time.

Ryan Horstman: 4th Round, LHP

Via Astrid Elizabeth:

Editors Note: Video’s removed due to low quality.

Jack Reinheimer: 5th Round, SS

Via capeprospectvids:

Clearly he is the kind of hitter that is willing to sacrifice power for contact, and looks like he is going to chase pitches out of the zone. He looks a little tall and lanky in the video, so one wonders if he will grow more out and have to move off the position. The swing isn’t entirely pretty, and I would bet that he is a groundball hitter. He seems to drop his shoulder and body, which is not a good power position for hitting. His running looks a little strange, but on the dig to first base (where he did lean over, which helps his time), I got him at about 4 seconds, which is really good speed.

Via E.Tyler Bullock:

You aren’t going to get too much out of warmup videos, but I wasn’t impressed with his arm angle or his throwing velocity. In batting practice, there isn’t a lot of strength or speed behind it, but the swing looks pretty smooth. His size compared to other players is clear, as he seems to be bigger than the opposing catcher (at least taller). He is much more patient in this video. He also has a little better line drive stroke.

Corey Simpson: 6th round, 1B, RF

Via Steve Fiorindo

He is playing first here, and you can tell, he looks like a first baseman. He is a big guy, and without some unanticipated athleticism, first base is probably his long term position (and he doesn’t provide any projection, his present strength is his future strength). At least in the video, he moves around okay, but struggled defensively. At the plate, he has a clear power type stroke, one that looks like a pull uppercut swing. I am afraid that he opens up a little bit too early, which wouldn’t allow him to adjust to breaking balls.

Jacob Zokan: 9th Round, LHP

Via cofcsports

Arm side fastball and what looks like a slider into righties (it doesn’t look like a change from this angle, though slider against opposite platoon is unusual and usually not advised, though 47 seconds in looks like a change). His arm angle seems to be a little higher and closer to the center of the rubber than a 3/4ths delivery, more of a short arm over the top motion. The fastball seems to be a 4-seamer that he can throw high.

Seattle University Baseball Scouting Reports Part 2

seattle u

I was able to see Seattle University’s baseball team for the second time this year, this time, against Dallas Baptist in WAC conference play.

The starting pitcher was Skyler Genger, a freshman right-hander. He doesn’t have a real fluid delivery, with some real jerk in it.

He gets on top of the ball well, and knows he has to keep it low. His fastball doesn’t look hard and has a little bit of two seam run. He gave up a homer to leadoff hitter Boomer Collins when Genger had the platoon advantage. Collins would clobber another ball the wall later in the game. Overall, he was hit hard and didn’t miss bats, and these problems just continued as the game went along. His off-speed doesn’t have a ton of movement, and he was mainly just relying on speed differential. He could occasionally throw the fastball high just to keep hitters off balance, but he probably should have done it more. It seems like he has a lot of effort in his delivery, with a lot of grunting, especially on his curveball.

Landon Cray showed a little bit with the bat in this game, hitting a fly-ball to the right field wall (4.44 second fly-out) on an off-speed pitch with the platoon advantage. He also hit a 5.97 second infield fly-ball. He doesn’t have a real strong arm in right-field, but I pulled a 4.09 second time to first from him, which is blazing speed from the right side (so much that I think it might be wrong).

Nate Roberts once again showed nice range and defensive skills at shortstop, despite having below average athleticism and well below average speed. He also hit a surprising 6.22 infield fly-ball.

Ryan Somers yanked a ball hard pull side foul with the platoon advantage. He also hit a 5.69 infield fly-ball, and creamed another ball to the wall the other way. There were some things to like about his bat in the game. Cash Mcquire, who I liked last time, had a 4.56 fly-ball to right, which is the other way for him. Other than that, he didn’t do really anything notable.

Brian Olson played catcher and looked like a nice receiver behind the plate. His pop times in warm ups, at least the ones I got, were: 1.91, 1.88, 1.94, 1.94. Those are major league times. He showed a quick bat as a hitter, pulling one hard foul without the platoon advantage and also hitting a 4.59 second fly-ball to center.

Eric Yardley is a sidearming righty that was initially brought in to face another righty. He jammed him on the first pitch and got out of the inning. Unfortunately, he was left in to pitch the next inning and had to face some lefties. He gave up a homer and then absolutely came unraveled, giving up 5 runs before he was finally pulled.

Kyle Doyle is a lefty with an arm angle that doesn’t come out from his body until very late, really until he finishes his stride. It may be difficult to repeat that, but it probably makes him a little harder for righties to see. He gets sweeping action on his breaking ball and has the ability to go glove side on his fastball. This made him really tough on lefties.

Zach Aaker hit a 3.88 fly-ball to left, while Chase Fields hit a 5.06 infield fly-ball on a bad swing. Sean Narby has a clear upper cut swing that was a little slow at times. He hit a 5.46 fly-ball to right, and hit some other balls well. Nick Latta hit at the bottom of the lineup, but he pulled a homer without the platoon advantage (versus former Astros’ draft pick Joseph Shaw). He also showed good plate discipline.

Seattle University Baseball Scouting Reports


Thanks to their addition to the WAC this season (along with the additions of Texas State and Dallas Baptist), Seattle University’s baseball team played against Texas State, which was a day trip for me, but close enough that I wanted to go see them.

Garrett Anderson is a sophomore left-handed pitcher with good size (6-3 210), but a weird delivery. He has an awkward hip turn where he brings his leg back sort of like we often see in Japan.

He is not real athletic looking but was a solid fielder on the mound. He threw a lot of low breaking balls that put a lot of strain on the catcher. He gave up a lot of contact with his 84 to 86 MPH fastball and was an extreme low ball pitcher. He was really hit hard the 2nd time around the order. Here is him giving up the homer that kind of broke his outing, even though he had the platoon advantage.

Chase Fields is a small (5-8 150) junior centerfielder that took good routes to the ball and showed solid range. The arm isn’t strong, but he runs a 4.19 from the right side, which is very nice.

Ryan Somers hit a ball to the track that stayed in the air for 4.31 seconds with the platoon advantage. He keeps his hands really low, and while the bat looks quick enough, it is really tough for him to get it started. This could be one of the reasons he chased low. He played left-field, and didn’t show a lot of athleticism, but had a good to solid arm.

Nate Roberts is a small looking senior shortstop, and while the range looked good, his arm is not real strong. He isn’t really fast or athletic either, with a 4.12 on a bunt, which is really slow.

Cash Mcquire played 2nd and showed off a strong arm. He isn’t real athletic, but the range played fine. At the plate, he hit a 4.81 second flyball to centerfield, and a homer that left in 4.62 seconds. He has a really sweet and easy swing with unexpected power. He even drilled the ball to the wall without the platoon advantage, but him running on the bases showed his lack of athleticism.

Grant Newton played catcher and was a solid receiver and framing. I got a 2.1 pop time in warmups, but I wasn’t really impressed with the arm action. He runs slow of course, with a 4.54 to first base. He pulled the ball well with the platoon advantage, but his approach throughout the game seemed to show that he was a dead pull hitter.

Nick Latta doesn’t look like a first baseman, but that is what he plays. In fact, with his frame, he could definitely add some weight. He was an awkward runner, perhaps because of the weird size, and ran two 4.31 seconds from home to first, and another 4.35 as a right-handed batter, which is okay speed, almost MLB average. At the plate, he has a big leg split that puts him in a weird position to swing. He has a slow and uppercut swing that put him behind fastballs.

Ben Ruff doesn’t really have 3rd base build, but seemed to field the ball well. He isn’t real athletic and looked almost hurt at times, but did run an okay 4.31 to first base. He got around on one ball well, but was behind the better fastballs he saw in the game late. It seemed that he needed a lot of body movement to get his swing going.

Landon Cray showed good speed, about a 4.1 to first from the left side. Brian Olson has a quick bat, but is not very big. He has an uppercut sort of uncontrolled swing and is mostly an aggressive hitter.

Olson was taken out after only a couple of at-bats. Seattle U used several pinch hitters, so very limited notes on them (and I think no notes on one or two of them):

Austen Brand has a big violent swing and is a well below average runner. Steven Kirbach has a quick and hard swing from the left side. He is a redshirt junior who can catch.

Skyler Genger is a right-handed pitcher with another sort of quirky delivery, except in a different way than Anderson (other than the obvious handness difference). His leg kick doesn’t help with the fluidity of his delivery. Runners would get easy jumps on the freshman. He was athletic off the mound and got good plane on the ball, but he threw a lot of 84-87 MPH fastballs and was really hittable with too many balls over the middle of the plate. The problem wasn’t really throwing strikes, but his command and control left a lot to be desired.

Connor Moore is a small lefty freshman that is actually listed as a utility player. He uses a high leg kick to hide the ball. He threw a 87-89 MPH fastball and a soft breaking ball that got some whiffs, but he also spiked it before it got to the plate a lot.

Jake Chutney is a big looking lefty with a slight pause in his leg kick. He comes over the top (without a real high release point) and throws 83-85 MPH with some sink on the ball. He also had a pretty good looking breaking ball when he could get it over. It wasn’t real hard, but had solid movement.

Evan Ewing is a long and lanky right-handed pitcher. He usually throws in the mid 80s, and deceptively moves his arm up in his delivery. He threw a slow breaking pitch for a lot of strikes but they were not really quality strikes.

I should get to see Seattle U at least one more time this year, and will post some further thoughts then.

Stephen Kohlscheen Scouting Report


In one of the televised Cactus League outings this spring training, we got to see Stephen Kohlscheen, a 24 year old right-handed reliever that pitched in Clinton (A), High Desert (A+), and one outing in Jackson (AA) in 2012. Kohlscheen is obviously not much of a prospect in the Mariners’ solid system, considering the age, and the fact that he was drafted in the 45th round out of Auburn by the Mariners in 2012. He started games early on in his minor league career, but is now a full time bullpen pitcher. Minor league numbers for pitchers mean basically nothing, especially below AA, but he has had some success, with a career 3.61 kwERA (and 3.6 career ERA).

The first thing you notice about Kohlscheen is his size. At 6-6, he brings quite a bit of size to the mound. His delivery starts with a high leg kick that he brings down before moving his body to the plate. This must work as just a timing mechanism, and perhaps giving him a little deception. With runners on base, his delivery is a little more standard, ditching the leg kick for the most part (though I saw it again). He still has a non fluid delivery where his body does more rocking than actually fluidly getting to the plate. This seems like it might be difficult to repeat, but gives him a high release point.

The fastball got good movement glove side, horizontally, but not really vertical. Most of his pitches seemed to move that way, other than a couple straight high fastballs. This graph confirms the visual observations:

glove side movement

His fastball averaged 93.07 MPH, and got extreme vertical movement. For right-handed relievers, that velocity is a little bit below average, between two filler/replacement type arms in Esmailin Caridad and Jairo Asencio. The horizontal movement on the fastball is a lot like two solid pitchers with below average velocity in Brandon Lyon and George Kontos.

I personally thought the 83-84 MPH changeup/vertical slider (it was tough to tell to me) looked pretty unimpressive live. He had problems getting it down, and it didn’t move real well. It was called a slider by the manual tags, but the MLBAM tags split the pitches, calling 2 changeups and 3 sliders. The two changeups had no horizontal movement, while the sliders had horizontal movement, but well below average for sliders. However, it is really hard to classify them as two different pitches because they get such similar spin:

spin kohlseen

So if we call them all sliders like the spin data suggests we should, we see that it is a tick above average velocity wise, between Josh Rupe and Daniel Bard. He obviously gets well below average horizontal movement, but he gets very good vertical tilt on the ball, just like with his fastball.

Despite this, he seemed to have a lot of problems getting the ball down. This is perhaps because of his high release point. He releases the ball, or at least released his fastball in his outing, at 6.75 feet. That is an extremely high release point, but it was relatively consistent:

kohlsheen release

Certainly no red flags here, and pretty solid for a young reliever. Control was a problem for Kohlscheen last year, with a 11.2 BB %, but you see that, even with the difficulty that sometimes comes with someone so tall, he has shown that he can repeat his delivery.

We didn’t see him pitch against lefties, and, at least statistically in the minors, he doesn’t strikeout nearly as many lefties as he does righties. Since he isn’t a big prospect, it is hard to find scouting reports on him, so I don’t know if he throws a changeup or not. If he doesn’t, he is a big 2 pitch reliever, with pretty average stuff, some command issues, but the tools to fix them. One can picture him being a fringe reliever in the big leagues if all goes well. Still has to conquer at least AA, and the age is working against him, he isn’t an impact guy by any means, but you probably don’t have to squint too hard to see a big leaguer at some point, even if it isn’t with the Mariners.

Setting Odds on the Mariners Prospects


In a recent post on another website, I designed a simple odd system based on some simple statistics that showed correlation between the minors and the Majors. I only looked at first baseman in the post, but I decided it might be a good idea to look at the Mariners’ prospects. The standard was 107 wRC +, so we are talking about the odds of them being legitimate big league hitters. It only “works” for hitters in AA and AAA, so I looked at the Mariners’ hitters that are still in the organization that played some in either AA or AAA (both for some) in 2012. I didn’t include any that have played in the Majors, but I did include Carlos Triunfel, just because his plate appearances in the Majors are minimal.

Since there was somewhat of a flaw in the original scale, I also created “adjusted odds”. For adjusted odds, since the median possibility was 39.08% in the original version of odds, any prospects that were at or above this I multiplied by 25.5 % (since that was the range in odds in the original version) and added the answer to the original odds number (so 39.08 x 25.5 % is ~ 9.96 %, the adjusted odds for the median player would be 49 %). For players under the median in odds, I did the same thing except I subtracted the 25.5%, making the adjusted total lower. I don’t necessarily like this scale more than the original, but it fixes the range, so I included both. Anyway, this is a short post, and if you would like to download the spreadsheet, click here. If not, here is a screenshot, sorted by regular odds:

mariners prospects

The Zunino projection could be even better, as he has had no chance yet to be in the BA’s top 100, and he will most likely be in the one that comes out before the end of the year. Assuming he does, that would change his odds of success to 47% and adjusted odds to 59 %. Of course, with the Zunino projections, we are working with small samples, and him playing in a league that he was obviously too advanced for in Everett, so, like all the other odds, they should be taken with a grain of salt.

Mariners Release More Minor Leaguers


According to Baseball America’s latest update, the Mariners have released six more minor leaguers: Angel Raga, Ernesto Zaragoza, Ivan Brea, Ivan Ramirez, Felipe Burin, and Jose Martinez.

Felipe Burin

Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout notes that Burin was a bit of a prospect a couple of years ago. However, the 20 year old never even made it to full-season ball, hitting .214/.320/.255 in Pulaski in 2012. He began his Mariner career in 2009 in the Venezuelan Summer League. He followed a big 2010, with a .904 OPS with a 2011 that was dominant enough in the Venezuelan League (.998 OPS) that he was brought up to the Arizona League. He hit reasonably well there in 41 games, but was unable to repeat the success in 2012. While he was mainly a 2nd baseman (with some 3rd base) before 2012, he split the year between the outfield and the infield, perhaps suggesting that the Mariners didn’t see him sticking at 2nd.

Ernesto Zaragoza

Ernesto, or Ernie, was probably more known (at least by me) for his somewhat entertaining Twitter feed (he hasn’t tweeted since December the 13th, and it read “I’m hurt dawg”) than his pitching. He was injured to begin the year and threw just 9.2 innings, all with Pulaski. This followed him throwing just 5.2 innings in 2011 after being drafted in the 25th round. Still just 20, the right-handed pitcher may catch on somewhere, but obviously he has to pitch and stay healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do.


Angel Raga

Raga spent the whole year in High Desert, and the 23 year old right-hander threw 58 innings, mainly as a reliever (with 7 starts). He wasn’t horrible, with a 4.53 FIP and 4.38 SIERA. It was worse than league average, and he did struggle with walks, which, considering that he is at an advanced age, really hurt him. He was pretty similar against both lefties and righties, and predictably worse at home in 2012, struggling with homers in High Desert. Raga was signed out of Venezuela, starting in the Summer League in 2008. He spent 3 years there, getting better each year, until coming to the States for the 2011 season. In Pulaski, he put up some great defensive independent numbers. Raga may get another chance in the minors with someone else, just because of some decent numbers (especially if there is an organization that believes he can throw more strikes).

Ivan Brea

Brea is a Dominican native that has spent all 4 years of his career in the Mariners’ Summer League team there. The right-handed hitting catcher was just a dreadful hitter, and played as the team’s backup, never playing in more than 47 games and just 26 in 2012. He did have a 41 CS%, which is probably one of the biggest reasons he stayed with the organization for so long.

Ivan Ramirez

Ramirez is sort of a weird story. He is just 20, and spent the first two years in Venezuela. He hit reasonably well, splitting time between the corner infield positions and catcher. In 2010, he walked more than he struck out. In 2011, he moved up to Arizona, but played 3 games all year. In 2012, he was back in Venezuela, and played some catcher and some corner outfield. However, he mostly DH’ed. He hit well, walking more than he struck out again, but the positional value loss, and whatever caused him going back a level, were too much for Ramirez’ Mariner career.

Jose Martinez

Martinez, 20 year old right-handed hitter, was signed out of Venezuela, but began his career in the Dominican Summer League. He actually didn’t hit all that well in 2009, with no real power and a bad K/BB. He stole 8 bases and played a lot of 3rd base, and evidently that was enough to get him promoted to Arizona to start 2010. The problem is, he never advanced past Arizona. In 3 years, he played 101 games (just 8 this year), mainly at 3rd (with some first), and hit .211/.280/.284.

Nick Swisher and the 12th Pick

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles April 24,  2011

According to Jon Heyman, while the Mariners would be willing to forfeit their 1st round pick for one of the elite free agents that declined a qualifying offer, Nick Swisher is not one of the players the Mariners would be willing to give up their 1st round pick to sign. The Mariners pick 12th overall in the 2012 draft.

According to normal aging curves, Swisher should have just started his decline.We aren’t in the negotiation room, but let’s say that 5 years 90 million dollars will land Swisher. According to the aging curves above, by the end of the contract, Swisher will be minus 30 runs, 3 wins, from what he is now. In fact, the breakdown should go like this (rounding for ease, and we are just looking for estimates):


2014= -10

2015: -15

2016: -20

2017: -30

So I used the average WAR out of the 3 major WARs over Swisher’s last 3 previous seasons (so 2012 rWAR+2011 rWAR+2010 rWAR+2012 WARP + 2011 WARP + 2010 WARP+2012 fWAR+2011 fWAR+2010 fWAR, the divide the sum by 9), to get a bigger sample size. This will be the 2013 (the first year of the contract, where we are rounding down to 0 runs lost for the age 32 season) projection and we will use the regression curves against this projection.

2013: 3.5 WAR

2014: 2.5 WAR

2015: 2 WAR

2016: 1.5 WAR

2017: .5 WAR

This is a projected 10 WAR over the 5 year contract, worth just about 50 million dollars according to the general rule that 5 million dollars equal 1 win over replacement (there have been some suggestions that this year’s free agency is breaking these rules/methods, but there have still be some really team friendly deals in free agency this year. There have been a few odd contracts, but there is every off-season. While the Dodgers are certainly going big, I don’t think it is impacting the free agent market as much as many are saying, especially since the Yankees have been relatively conservative. So perhaps the average WAR $ is going up a little, but there is still reason to act somewhat rationally in free agency). One could say that this aging curve is aggressive, and that since research seems to suggest that patient hitters age a little better. However, Swisher is already struggling defensively, and will need a permanent switch to 1st within the next couple of years. So it looks like the suggested contract would be an “overpay”, though the Mariners really need a corner outfielder/1st baseman. The Mariners have shown that they are usually willing to spend, but they also operate on a limited budget with dwindling attendance. I don’t care whether or not the Mariners’ front office makes money or not, but they do. The owners will give a limited payroll to the front office, and the front office has to spend it wisely.

So what about the value of the 12th overall pick? Thanks to Baseball Reference, of the 48 players in history drafted in that selection, 31 have made the Majors. Of course, since below replacement is extremely poor, I usually count those players as “not MLB players” and remove them. There have been 9 players drafted 12th overall that made the Majors, but did not play at a Major League level (at least according to Baseball Reference’s WAR). This makes it 22 of 48 players that were actual MLB players, or about 46%. Of course, the general rule is that you should not judge a draft (unless you do it immediately of course) until 5 years afterwards. The last two 12th overall picks have not made the Majors, but the 3 previous have, and have all played at an above replacement level. We are projecting Swisher to have about 10 WAR over the 5 year period (so basically, play like a MLB regular), and only eight of the 48 picks, or 16.66 % of them, have more than a 10 WAR for their career (with Nomar Garciaparra, with his 42 career WAR, 33.8 WAR in his first 6 years of service). I would say that the percentage of Swisher having a 10 WAR over the next 5 years is much more than 16.66%. So from a non dollars standpoint, Swisher, assuming he wanted to sign with Seattle, which reports say he might not be able to, is the safer choice, though the draft pick has the higher ceiling. How about from a dollars standpoint?

Gavin Cecchini, last year’s 12th overall pick, signed for 2.3 million dollars, obviously a big drop from the projected 90 million dollars for 5 years of control for Nick Swisher. Even with arbitration salaries in years 4 through 6 in the Majors, the drafted player will be much cheaper than Swisher. The conservative, or move with the highest likelihood of success, is keeping the draft pick.

It is too early for mock drafts in all likelihood as the 2013 spring season hasn’t been played, but that isn’t stopping some from doing mock drafts (if you want to see even more mocks, check this site out). Here, we will look at who three mocks have the Mariners selecting. I have seen the first two extensively, and even wrote a little about the first one. I found a little video on YouTube for the first and third as well.

MyMLBDraft: Bobby Wahl

I think Wahl is widely seen as a reliever int he scouting community, but he has a good fastball and curve to go with his high effort delivery.

Jonathan Crawford

Florida just seems to grow pro prospects on trees these days. Crawford has an elite fastball that gets up to 96 MPH and higher.

 3B Kris Bryant San Diego

Bryant is already a corner player, but he is considered to be a guy that could hit for some elite power.

What is the likelihood of any of these three players being as good as Nick Swisher, even through just his 2013 to 2017 seasons? Not good. Even though Swisher was picked 16th overall, only 6 of the 12th overall picks have even been better than Swisher over their careers according to rWAR. Something else that has to be considered is the current front office. Jack Z can be fired. Picking the draft choice over Swisher (again, assuming that the Mariners are actually faced with such a choice and Swisher is interested in coming here on a 5 year/90 million dollar deal) would delay success. Even if one of those players (or another one not listed above) turns out to be better than what Swisher will be over the next 5 years, it will be delayed. Even an advanced college pitcher would take at least a couple of years to even reach the Majors. More so than Jack Z trying to save his job, King Felix has an expiration date. It may be after 2014 when his contract is up. He may leave Seattle. He may stay and sign an extension, but eventually he won’t be an ace anymore. The Mariners’ 2013 first round pick may be ready by then, but he may not be. It usually isn’t wise to build a team around one player, as the Mariners themselves have seen, even King Felix hasn’t been able to make them a true competitor. However, it would be quite a shame to have one of the best pitchers in baseball for an extended amount of time, and somehow not be able to build a winner around him. This may be the strongest argument for signing a free agent like Swisher that would cost a draft pick (the same applies to Michael Bourn obviously), even though 3.5 wins in 2013 probably wouldn’t put you over the top in the tough AL West.

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