The Mariners hold the 20th overall selection of the fast-approaching MLB draft, which begins Monday. But what they do with their next three could matter even more — Seattle holds four picks in the top 100.
Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, there is no wall-to-wall coverage or endless mock drafts in the lead-up to it. Even the fastest-rising prospects are unlikely to see the big leagues until at least 2021.
Here is a brief round-up of who the experts are projecting to Seattle in their latest mock drafts:
Keith Law, ESPN: Tyler Callihan, IF/C, Providence HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
“I believe Seattle would prefer a college player here, but the way this scenario unfolds, I don’t think the right name gets here. Callihan is one of the most advanced pure bats in the class, even though he lacks a clear position.”
Eric Longenhagen/Kiley McDaniels, Fangraphs: Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
“Some teams are scared of Volpe’s number, but there’s an awful lot of smoke surrounding him and the Mariners here. Cavaco and Goss are sleepers, and Carroll would be a coup if he fell this far. Slick-fielding shortstop Nasim Nunez has also been mentioned, as he’s a similar player to Volpe, but more explosive.”
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: George Kirby, RHP, Elon
“Kirby has put up some ridiculous numbers at Elon, with a 2.07 ERA and an obscene 105/6 K/BB ratio. Teams looking for a college arm above could take him and the Mariners, who are likely looking for pitching here, could turn their sights to Seth Johnson at Campbell or high schooler JJ Goss.”
Jim Callis, MLB.com: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis HS (Austin, Texas)
“There are teams that love Baty’s bat and others that aren’t interested at all because he’ll be 19 1/2 on Draft Day. Those in the first group think he’ll go closer to 10 than 20.”
Joel Reuter, Bleacher Report: Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech
“The Mariners have gone the college route with six of their last seven first-round picks, including outfielder Kyle Lewis (Mercer, 2016), first baseman Evan White (Kentucky, 2017) and right-hander Logan Gilbert (Stetson, 2018) with their last three. Jung is the best college player left on the board, and there’s a good chance this is his floor. With a smooth swing and advanced approach, he has hit .346/.452/.562 with more walks (121) than strikeouts (111) in his three years at Texas Tech. He still needs to work on making better use of his raw power.”
Corey Brock, The Athletic: Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
“Scouting director Scott Hunter is presiding over his third draft, and if past history is any indication, the Mariners — in the early phases of their rebuilding project — will jump on a polished college player, particularly a hitter who can move fast through the system. Hoese, a third baseman at Tulane, fits the bill. His stock has taken a big jump this spring (.388 BA, 23 home runs). He’s got a good feel for the strike zone, which the Mariners covet in their players with their “control the zone” mantra.”