Mariners scouting director Scott Hunter: "I don’t think as an organization we could have done better than we did today."

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The Seattle Mariners selected 18-year-old right-hander Sam Carlson out of Burnsville (Minn.) High School with their second-round pick (No. 55 overall) on Monday evening.

Baseball America had Carlson rated as the No. 15 overall prospect in this draft, and Mariners director of scouting Scott Hunter said there was a possibility that the Mariners could have drafted Carlson with their first-round pick (if Kentucky’s Evan White hadn’t been there).

“This is a kid that we’re extremely surprised was there at 55,” Hunter said, adding: “I don’t think as an organization we could have done better than we did today.”

Carlson, 6-feet-4 and 215 pounds, has a fastball that touches 96 mph, with the potential for two more “plus” pitches, Hunter said. Carlson is committed to attend the University of Florida, but Hunter is optimistic the pitcher will sign with the Mariners — and the club is willing to go above the $1.2 million slot designated for the 55th pick to do so.

“I know high-school pitching isn’t the best demographic in regards to the history of the draft,” Hunter said, “but this is one that Jerry (Dipoto) might have been more excited (about) when we pulled the name.”

During his senior season at Burnsville, Carlson had a 0.53 ERA — two earned runs in 34 innings — with 16 walks and 53 strikeouts. In the section playoffs, Carlson was 1-0 in three games, picking up one save. He allowed one run in 11 innings during those playoffs, striking out 15 while walking none.

SAM CARLSON
Age: 18
Height: 6-4
Weight: 215
Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.
Noteworthy: Named the Minnesota Gatorate Player of the Year.