Mariners pick up eight more players in the MLB draft, all college players, as they begin to position themselves to sign their first-day picks, Kyle Lewis and Joe Rizzo.
As the Mariners wrapped up Day 2 of the Major League Baseball draft on Friday, making eight selections — all college players — the bigger news was that first-round draft pick Kyle Lewis was en route to Seattle.
The Mariners selected Lewis with the No. 11 overall pick on Thursday out of Mercer University.
“He’s coming today to take his physical,” Mariners director of scouting Tom McNamara said. “He’s in today and he’ll be around tomorrow.”
The plan would be for a news conference to announce the signing and then have Lewis take batting practice on the field with the Mariners before Saturday night’s game.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Analysis: What the latest Russell Wilson report means for the Seahawks
- Former Kennedy Catholic WR standout Lonyatta 'Junior' Alexander announces transfer from ASU to Washington
- Analysis: Here are 12 items that should be on the Seahawks' offseason to-do list
- Even the Sounders can't believe they landed Albert Rusnak. Here's why the star midfielder chose Seattle.
- 'We are more than just athletes': Bobby Wagner showed deeper side in thought-provoking media sessions
“We won’t let him take BP unless he’s signed,” McNamara said. “We feel good about it.”
Lewis is expected to accept the slot value bonus of $3,286,700. With most top draft picks, MLB teams reach an understanding or some type of agreement on what a player would expect in a bonus before selecting them.
Per the last collective bargaining agreement, MLB assigns a slot value to every pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft. That value of a team’s picks in those 10 rounds is then totaled into pool money allotted to a team. For the Mariners, the total of bonus pool money is $7,136,000.
A good portion of that money could be going to the Mariners’ second-round pick — high school infielder Joe Rizzo — and their first pick on Friday, University of San Diego shortstop Bryson Brigman in the third round.
Rizzo is committed to the University of South Carolina and could eschew the Mariners’ offer for college. Brigman is a draft-eligible sophomore and could also return to USD for another season. The Mariners may to have pay more than the slot value of $1,252,100 to Rizzo and the $708,200 slot value for Brigman to get them.
To offset that expected expense, Seattle selected three college seniors — Oklahoma State infielder Donnie Walton (fifth round), East Stroudsburg right-handed pitcher Matt Festa (seventh round) and Illinois catcher Jason Goldstein (ninth round), who they will sign for below slot value.
“We knew we were getting close to that area and we had to balance it out,” McNamara said.
Brigman hit .372 with eight doubles, a triple, 22 RBI and 17 stolen bases for San Diego this past year.
Seattle’s first pitcher selected was left-handed reliever Thomas Burrows out of the University of Alabama. Burrows is the Tide’s all-time saves leader with 30. This past season, he went 2-1 with an 0.95 ERA and 12 saves. He has a fastball that sits from 92-95 mph.
Walton was a three-time All-Big 12 infielder for Oklahoma State — the first player to accomplish the feat in school history. He hit .350 with 13 doubles, a triple, three homers, 43 RBI and 13 stolen bases in a senior season that isn’t finished. OSU is facing South Carolina in an NCAA super regional.
With their sixth- and seventh-round selections, Seattle took a pair of NCAA Division II pitchers that competed against each other in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Right-hander Brandon Miller was taken in the sixth round out of Millersville University. Miller posted a 12-2 record with a 1.42 ERA and eight complete games, including three shutouts, in his junior season.
Festa, a redshirt senior out of East Stroudsburg University, went in the following round. The right-hander posted an 11-2 record with a 2.35 ERA with nine complete games and two shutouts. Festa has a fastball that touches 95 mph.
Both Miller and Festa are finalists for the Brett Tomko Award, which is given to the pitcher in NCAA Division II.
Seattle picked up utility infielder types in the eighth round with Elon University’s Nick Zammarelli and Arizona State’s David Greer. Zammarelli hit .342 with 24 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 51 RBI this past season. He also played on the same Cape Cod League team as Lewis and was named to the Cape’s all-star team.
Greer hitter .344 with 23 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 43 RBI for the Sun Devils this past season, earning first-team All-Pac 12 honors.
Goldstein was the first catcher taken by the Mariners. He hit .312 with a five doubles, four homers and 29 RBI for the University of Illinois this season. He was rated as the tope defensive catcher in the Big Ten.