Last year in 2011, the Seattle Mariners had a draft. This is a time of year when the general managers of baseball get together and go into the draft pool to select players that are not yet professionals. This is a literal pool, in the center of Bud Selig's house, and the old men jump in and have chicken fights over who gets to pick who. It's quite fun and the number rated baseball telecast of the year!
At least it would be if that's what actually happened.
In reality, the baseball draft is terrible and you're a bad person if you watch it. You haven't heard of 99.9% of the players being drafted because A.) Nobody cares about college or high school baseball* B) There are more players drafted in a single year than there are stars in the Universe and C) Even if you drafted a player that you really liked, you better wait nine years until he debuts in the bigs and then there's only a .0004% chance of that actually happening. The baseball draft is dumb and it sucks to watch or put any hope into, but it's necessary and it's where most of the good players come from.
*Oh, you care about college and high school baseball? Good for you, Chip.
Luckily, the Mariners are the best drafting team in baseball under Jack Zduriencik. I feel confident to say that after only a few short years. Yes, they've had a few high picks, but they've also struck gold after the first round, which is nearly impossible to do and yet they've done it several times over.
For all I know, the 2011 MLB Amateur Rule 4 Draft (not to be confused with any other rule of draft, which rarely means a thing) is still going on. But for now, I'll give a quick update on the players that the Mariners drafted, signed, and are playing baseball. Oh yeah, D) They don't even sign all of the guys that you like, even if it's a really high pick.
Good job, Baseball!
Danny Hultzen, LHP (Round 1, pick 2)
He's good. I update you on him like three times per week though.
Brad Miller, SS/2B (Round 2, pick 62)
Miller is loving High Desert like most players, but Miller is also a shortstop and was expected to be a good hitter. However, was he supposed to be this good: .344/.417/.534, 10 HR, 31 doubles, 4 triples, 16 SB, 46 BB/69 K in 86 games. That is a stupid amount of doubles. He may not stick at short and he's committed 30 errors, but what's important is that he's a middle infielder that can hit. We'll need to see how he does after a promotion.
Kevin Cron, 1B (Round 3, Pick 92)
Did not sign. He was a tough pick to sign and went to TCU.
Carter Capps, RP (Round 3, pick 121)
One of the most dominating relief pitchers in the minors, 43 innings, 63 K/12 BB, 1.47 ERA. Relief pitchers have limited value, but the M's got a guy that looks like a surefire major league pitcher in the end sandwich portion of the third round. Not terrible.
John Hicks, C (Round 4, pick 123)
Teammate of Hultzen at Virginia, Hicks is hitting .298/.341/.484, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 10 SB, 23 doubles, 55 K/19 BB in 80 games for High Desert. He has caught 46% of attempted base-stealers.
Tyler Marlette, C (Round 5, pick 153)
The M's took another catcher, this one in high school and thought to be a tough sign but they were able to trick him into becoming a Mariner. Marlette has played in 29 games for the rookie league Pulaski Mariners between last year and this year and is hitting .250/.277/.460 in those games. He's hitting .317/.358/.460 in 17 games this year. Marlette is 19, and this is normal progression but a good opportunity to remind you that TAIJUAN WALKER IS 19, TOO!!!
Steven Proscia, 1B/3B (Round 7, pick 213)
Proscia hit .324/.362/.521 in 63 games for High Desert and is hitting .211/.259/.395 in 21 games for Jackson, but with 4 HR, which is better than hitting .211 with no home runs.
Carson Smith, RP (Round 8, pick 243)
In 30 games, Smith has gone 40.2 innings, 45 K/17 BB, 43 hits, 4 saves, 3.98 ERA at HIGH DESERT! Reduce the walks and we got a pretty good relief pitcher here.
Cavan Cohoes, SS (Round 9, pick 273)
The ninth round is a pretty high place for a basically unknown high school player out of Germany. I have nothing to add, but Cohoes has debuted this year with the AZL Mariners and is 0-for-4 with 2 Ks. Panic! Panic at das disco!
Jamal Austin, CF (Round 13, pick 393)
He has speed (27 SB in 79 games) but not much else in the way of power or the gift of walks. Austin is hitting .297/.334/.368 at Clinton.
Mike McGee, CF (Round 15, pick 453)
Another lover of the High Desert, McGee is hitting .297/.374/.503 with the Mavericks, 11 HR in 77 games.
Jack Marder, C (Round 16, pick 483)
Marder has gotten some time at catcher in HD, but moved around to 2B, LF, and DH as well. He's hitting .365/.410/.569 with 10 SB. Will be interesting to see if he can hit at Jackson.
The Mariners also drafted other players.
Only a little over a year after the draft, the Mariners are already looking pretty good with this class. Hultzen is listed by most as a top 10 prospect and the best left-handed prospect in baseball despite the shock and awe people displayed when Seattle took him 2nd overall.
Millers success with the bat could make him a top 100 prospect going into next season and Capps would rate as one of the top relief pitching prospects in the game. If you get three major league players in a draft, you're so money and you probably know it, and it looks right now that the M's have a very good chance at doing that with those three. But after those three, you still have some really interesting players with Marlette, Hicks, Marder, and Smith, and who knows what you've got with Cohoes.
At the very least, the Mariners should be commended on having sat through an entire MLB draft.