The Seattle Mariners made a few interesting picks early in the second day of the 2011 MLB Draft, picking a hulking catcher out of high school and another catcher with a connection to a previous pick. Kevin Cron and John Hicks were the Mariners' third and fifth picks, and though each is listed as a catcher, only one is likely to actually fill that role in the system.
Kevin Cron is a man-child in every sense of the world. At 18-years-old, he's got the build of a season vet, standing 6-foot-4 and tipping the scales at 240 pounds. He's big, he's beefy and, right now, he's a catcher. But nobody expects that to last. He hits the ball hard and has a fun pedigree, which makes him an intriguing prospect.
John Hicks, on the other hand, is a catcher that appears to be a catcher. Oh, and he was also the battery-mate of Danny Hultzen, the Mariners' first pick in the draft. So, if nothing else, there's a familiarity there that won't matter at all as they come through the system.
Clearly the Mariners were trying to build some kind of organizational depth at catcher in the second day of the draft. It's well documented where Seattle stands at the position, both at the major league level and down through the minors, where we can count on one hand -- a hand that had a few accidents with a saw -- how many legitimate prospects are in the system. This is what the final 48 rounds of the draft are for, and the Mariners are filling holes.
We'll be tracking the day's events and will have more on the Mariners' picks in our 2011 MLB Draft StoryStream. For a local look at what the Mariners are planning, head over to SB Nation's Lookout Landing.