The MLB draft is approaching fast, and the Seattle Mariners are hoping to select another prospect that can hopefully develop into a future star. Unfortunately, the challenge with talent evaluation is that some players simply do not make the transition to the next level.
The Mariners have the 12th pick, which means that they will not necessarily have access to the very top of the talent pool unless someone slips down the board.
And while there's the general issue of talent evaluation, there's also the question of biggest need. In other words, what do the Mariners need most in terms of position? Granted, baseball develops talent over a fairly long period of time. This means that a shortcoming at the major league level is not exactly going to be addressed right away through the draft like it is in the NFL or the NBA.
Who will the Mariners pick? That is a question that will soon be answered. In the meantime, here are a few expert opinions on who will be getting the phone call from Seattle on draft day.
The thought process with this pick is that an organization can’t have enough catchers. That may be, but the Mariners took a catcher last year when they selected Mike Zunino.
Would Seattle really take another backstop?
Sure, McGuire is a local boy, but you can’t be sentimental when it comes to first-round draft picks. One challenge with catchers is whether they can actually stay behind the plate for the duration of their career. It does seem like McGuire has the skills to be a quality catcher in the organization.
Whether he can develop into a major league hitter or a consistent power threat is yet to be determined. This is the challenge with taking high school players.
McGuire would not necessarily be the wisest pick for the Mariners, particularly if Seattle believes that Zunino can be a long-term solution. There may be other needs to address.
Source: Matt Garioch, SB Nation
Do the Mariners really need another shortstop? This expert seems to think so.
Another expert also picked J.P. Crawford, suggesting that this type of talent should not be skipped simply because the Mariners have a number of high-profile middle infielders in the minors.
If Crawford is selected by the Mariners, it will be because of his pure athleticism and defensive prowess. He is regarded as a player with decent power and speed, but he is not necessarily seen as a gifted hitter.
The Mariners may take him if they continue to emphasize pitching and defense. In addition, they may see Crawford as a player that can develop into an impact hitter.
This may be an acceptable pick for Seattle, but the Mariners will need to believe that Crawford can eventually be a better shortstop than other prospects such as Brad Miller.
Source: Jim Callis, Baseball America, Kiley McDaniel, Scout.com
In the opinion of this publication, the Mariners should grab a power-hitting prospect because Seattle is “starved for bats.” You think?
Given how the Mariners have struggled at the plate in past seasons, there may be some credence to this suggestion. Seattle has a number of pitching prospects in the minor leagues, but the team does not necessarily have a lot of sluggers.
The appeal of a player like Peterson is that he may be a bit more polished than a high school prospect. That may be appealing to a franchise like Seattle.
Peterson may not be available by the time the Mariners makes their selection, but if he is, this could be a solid selection for the team.
Source: Dave Perkin, Sports Illustrated
This particular selection is about raw potential. Renfroe is one of those players that is interesting to clubs, simply because he has a lot of power and natural athletic ability.
He's a big body with a great defensive arm that may be best suited for right field. His ability to hit for power may get him drafted fairly high, as teams are always looking for guys who can hit the long ball.
The question with Renfroe is whether he can consistently make contact with the baseball. Power is exciting, but strikeouts are not.
If the Mariners believe that Renfroe can be a contact hitter as a well as power threat, they may grab him with the 12th pick. This could be an intriguing selection that is all about upside.
Source: Joshua Vadeboncoeur, Baseball News Source
There is consensus between Adam Wells and Mike Rosenbaum of Bleacher Report, as both writers believe the Mariners will take a right-handed pitcher.
If you are looking for more agreement on this pick, another site is also making this prediction.
Stanek is another college pitcher that will have more polish and experience than a high school arm. He is regarded as having excellent velocity and multiple pitches in his repertoire.
He may have the tools and talent to be a starter, but he could also be a future reliever.
Conventional wisdom suggests that an organization can never have enough pitching, but the Mariners may want to focus more on offense. Still, a college pitcher may be a safe selection.
Source: Adam Wells and Mike Rosenbaum, Bleacher Report; Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com