After taking right-hander Emerson Hancock with the No. 6 overall pick on Day 1 of the 2020 Major League Baseball amateur draft, the Mariners made five picks, including a competitive balance round B pick, to close out the truncated draft. All five players selected on Thursday were from the college ranks, including three position players — an outfielder and two infielders — and two right-handed pitchers.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s picks and a comment from Scott Hunter, the Mariners director of amateur scouting:
Round 2: Pick No. 43rd overall
- Name: Zach DeLoach
- Position: OF
- School: Texas A&M
- Age: 21
- Ht: 6-1
- Wt: 210
The Skinny: After two unimpressive seasons for the Aggies, posting a .264/.355/.374 slash line as a freshman and .200/.318/.294 as a sophomore, he changed his approach and refined his swing last summer. It resulted in a breakout campaign in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League. With a wood bat, DeLoach slashed .353/.428/.541 with eight doubles, a triple, five homers, 23 RBI and eight stolen bases in 37 games.
Hunter on DeLoach: “We felt he was one of the best hitters coming into the draft after a stellar Cape Cod season. He’s a guy that’s always controlled the zone. He’s got a pure left-handed swing and he’s started to tap into his power.”
Competitive Balance B: Pick No. 64
- Name: Connor Phillips
- Position: RHP
- School: McClennan Junior College
- Age: 19
- Ht: 6-2
- Wt: 190
The Skinny: He turned down third-round signing bonus money last year coming out of high school and wasn’t drafted till the 35th round. Phillips eschewed his LSU commitment to go to junior college, so he could be draft eligible after one season. He has a fastball that touches 98 mph and improving off-speed pitches.
Hunter on Phillips: “He’s still learning how to harness this stuff. But a lot of comparisons to Trevor Bauer in the way he walks into the ballpark, his throwing program, even his delivery kind of looks like Trevor Bauer, and this is a guy that we really targeted once the day two of the draft came in.”
Round 3: Pick No. 64
- Name: Kaden Polcovich
- Position: 2B/3B
- School: Oklahoma State University
- Age: 21
- Ht: 5-8
- Wt: 180
The Skinny: A switch-hitter, Polcovich had a breakout showing at the Cape Cod Summer League, posting a .305/.426/.473 slash line in 40 games with eight doubles, a triple, four homers, 28 RBI, six stolen bases, 27 walks and 29 strikeouts. He played second and third base for OSU and was drafted as a second baseman. He also played some outfield in the Cape. He could project as a more of a hit-first utility player.
Hunter on Polcovich: “He may hit the ball just as hard as some of our big power hitters that we’ve taken like Tyler Keenan. Some of the things that this kid was able to do at a smaller stature and just what he’s done across his career in his life, he’s hit everywhere he’s been. And we do think there’s some real power in there for a smaller guy.”
Round 4: Pick No. 107
- Name: Tyler Keenan
- Position: Third base
- School: Mississippi
- Age: 21
- Ht: 6-4
- Wt: 240
The Skinny: A big man who hits with big power, Keenan slashed .403/.488/.791 with five doubles, seven homers with 33 RBI in just 17 games for the Rebels. A year ago, he bashed 15 homers and drove in 66 runs and also walked 48 times with just 51 strikeouts. At his size, the expectation is that he’ll move across the diamond to first base where his soft hands will play well. But the Mariners are expected to play him at both positions early on.
Hunter on Keenan: “Big power, left-handed hitter. The trend of what we look for in players really fell into play. He’s a third baseman and he’s a big man and we’re hoping he can stay there, but if he doesn’t he profiles as a first baseman. He’s terrorized the SEC over the last few years and he has power to all fields.”
Round 5: Pick No. 137
- Name: Taylor Dollard
- Position: RHP
- School: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
- Age: 21
- Ht: 6-3
- Wt: 195
The Skinny: After excelling as a reliever his first two seasons, Dollard converted to a starter this season. He made four starts, posting a 1-0 record with a 1.67 ERA. In 27 innings pitched, he struck out 36 batters and walked just four. Like several other M’s picks, he excelled in the Cape Cod League last year, posting a 1.56 ERA with five saves in 11 relief appearances, including 27 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. He has a deceptive fastball that tops out at 93 mph and three solid off-speed pitches.
Hunter on Dollard: “We’re gonna send him out as a starter because it was really amazing what he did in Cape Cod last year. He pitched two and three inning stints and sat 90-93 mph and continued to strike everybody out. And it’s amazing you see his strikeout-to-walk ratio. He went into this season and the same thing happened even as a starter.