It is not as exciting as the NFL draft because there is no immediate impact for a team. College baseball players and certainly high school players can not step right into the big leagues as in football and basketball. There is just more to learn, more skills to be refined and developed.
College baseball does not get the coverage of college football, so baseball fans are not as familiar with the names of college or high school players.
The Pittsburgh Pirates draft first and the Mariners draft second.
Mock drafts are just that, a ‘mock’ as in mockery. But those in the ‘know’-whoever they are- say the Pirates are likely to draft UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole.
The Mariners have some different interesting choices. One is Anthony Reddon.
The third baseman from Rice is said to be the best college hitter since Evan Longoria. The problem is his medical issues. He has had shoulder and ankle problems and has been used at second base this season. The Mariners future second sacker is Dustin Ackley. So if the Mariners have Reddon’s medical records and if they feel there is no long-term problems then he might be the likely pick. It is a risk, but so is the entire draft.
Another choice could be Bubba Starling.
He is a centerfielder from a high school in Kansas. The upside is he has all the tools. The problem is his agent, like most of the high drafts picks is Scott Boros and the rumors are his signing will cost around $10 million. It is harder to negotiate when the player is in high school, because he has more option; sit out for a year, go to college, play independent ball. It becomes a question of ‘signability’. If the Mariners feel they can sign him, he could be the pick, if not, then they will surely pass.
Another choice could be Francisco Lindor.
Another high school player, Lindor is a switch hitting shortstop with a plus arm, an average runner, who it is said by ‘they’- to have major league all-star potential.
They could also go for left-handed pitcher from Virginia, Danny Hultzen, or just about any one. The Mariners are adept at keeping quiet, not tipping their hand.
But they are sure to Shanghai some prospect for servitude in their minor league fleet, teaching them the ways of the seas before they become a full-fledged Mariner.