When evaluating the 2011 MLB Draft, it's important to take a weighted approach. Prospects taken early in the draft, especially in the first few rounds, are those likely to make an impact, and hold the best chance of making a major league roster at some point in there career. At the same time, it's also important to note that some of these players will never sign, instead opting to stay in college another year or, in the case of high school prospects, skip the professional ranks and head to college, losing draft eligibility for the next three years.
Drafting is an inexact science in baseball, and signability plays a role. Some of these players won't sign for one reason or another, and signing bonuses come into play, especially for the early-round picks. It's why the MLB Draft is hard to get too worked up about; we just never know which players will even show up with a farm team. But at least with players in the top-half of the draft, there's a better chance.
The Seattle Mariners began their 2011 MLB Draft experience with Danny Hultzen, a 6-foot-2 left-handed starting pitcher from Virginia. The Seattle front office called him polished, and the prevailing wisdom is that he'll be major-league ready in short order. In that regard, it's easy to get excited about Hultzen; he's tangible and we'll likely see him in a Mariners uniform soon.
Seattle took a position player next, drafting Brad Miller at No. 62. Again, the Mariners picked a college player, with Miller coming by way of Clemson, where he played shortstop. And, again, Miller would probably be more major-league ready than not, though there's still a need for season. But after him, forecasting the prospects gets murky.
We wrote about Kevin Cron, Carter Capps and John Hicks on Tuesday, noting Cron is a hefty high schooler with a poweful bat. It's difficult to know whether he'll sign, but we do know he can hit the snot out of the ball. Hicks is intriguing simply because he knows Hultzen well -- he was the Virginia pitcher's catcher. The Mariners made it a trio of Cavaliers, selecting Virginia third baseman Steven Proscia with pick No. 213. At least we know Seattle scouted Virginia well this season.
|92||Cron, Kevin||Mountain Pointe HS (AZ)||1B||R/R||6'05"||245||1993-02-17||HS|
|121||Capps, Carter||Mount Olive College||RHP||R/R||6'05"||220||1990-08-07||JR|
|153||Marlette, Tyler||Hagerty HS (FL)||C||R/R||5'11"||195||1993-01-23||HS|
|183||Zamarripa, James||Rancho Cucamonga HS (CA)||CF||L/L||5'10"||190||1993-09-17||HS|
|243||Smith, Carson||Texas State||RHP||R/R||6'06"||205||1989-10-19||JR|
|273||Cohoes, Cavan||Patch HS||SS||R/R||6'02"||185||1993-05-03||HS|
|303||Paolini, Daniel||Siena College||2B||R/R||6'00"||190||1989-10-11||JR|
|363||Dowd, Michael||Franklin Pierce University||C||R/R||5'08"||205||1990-04-10||JR|
|393||Austin, Jamal||Alabama - Birmingham||CF||R/R||5'09"||180||1990-08-26||JR|