2009 MLB Draft: Seattle Mariners' First Round

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2009

The Mariners have two picks in the first round, one of their own, and one from the Phillies for signing Raul Ibanez. 

So here's the projection on who the Mariners are going to draft.
But before projecting who will get drafted, let's take a look at the Mariners' first-round draft result in past five years.

First Round Result in Past Three Years

2008: Josh Fields (Unsigned)
2007: Phillipe Aumont (Still in Minor)
2006: Brandon Morrow (Starter for the Mariners)
2005: Jeff Clement (Backup Catcher for the Mariners)
2004: Matt Tuiasosopo (Starting 3B for the Rainiers)

The Mariners drafted pitcher for the past three consecutive years, so it's time for new GM Jack Zduriencik to change. The Mariners needs a hitting first baseman. Dustin Ackley is the perfect fit.


First Round/Second Pick
Dustin Ackley CF/1B University of North Carolina

For losing 101 games last season, the Mariners have second overall pick in the draft(first is the Nationals, who most likely will take Stephen Strasburg).
The Mariners have good young pitchers, such as Felix Hernandez, Brandon Morrow, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Phillipe Aumont, but they don't have a good hitting first base prospect(Bryan LaHair or Mike Carp are not even close).

So drafting Ackley makes sence. Ackley played in 141 games and has .409 batting average with 17 homers and 125 RBI's. He lacks power, but from his stats, he is consistent hit for average guy. He is very patient hitter, when he walked 53 times in only 68 games.

If he plays 162 games, he would walk 126 times. He doesn't strike out a lot, only 48 times in 2 years. Also, he has .994 fielding percentage, which shows that he is also a defensive player. He underwent elbow surgery in July, but I expect him to be fine. He will be the starting first baseman for the Mariners in 2-3 years.


First Round/28th Pick (from the Phillies for signing Raul Ibanez)

Mike Minor SP Vanderbilt University

Minor was drafted by the Rays in 13th round after his senior year in high school, but decided to play for the Vanderbilt. He replaced the ace role after David Price signing with the Rays.

Minor is outstanding left handed starter. Although he has 7-3 record with 4.28 ERA last year, he has 3-0 record with 0.75 ERA for the US National Team(Collegiate).
He struck out 101 hitters in 15 games for Vanderbilt, but his opponent hitting average was a problem.

It was .226 on his freshman season, but it was .261 on his sophomore year, which resulted in giving up more runs. He gave up more walks than on his freshman year, but that's probably the result of throwing more innings than freshman year. It shouldn't be a problem for Minor.

He has great fastball and outstanding change-up and should be an outstanding starting pitcher in the MLB.

If Josh Fields doesn't sign by the end of May, the Mariners will get another first round selection(20th pick) from the Blue Jays. But it's better for the Mariners to sign Fields than to pick new player.