MLB Draft 2011: Was Danny Hultzen a Safe Choice for the Mariners?
MLB Draft 2011 Looks at Seattle’s Choice of Danny Hultzen with the No. 2 Pick
Seattle made the first surprising move of the 2011 MLB Draft when it made left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen the No. 2 pick. Everything that had come out before the draft had them linked to Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Hultzen doesn’t have the upside of some of the other players in the draft, which is why the pick was surprising, but he will be a guy who breezes through the minor leagues thanks to a combination of quality stuff and a great feel for pitching.
If he signs early enough, he could arrive in Seattle at some point next season. His ceiling is that of a No. 2 starter, which is certainly nothing to thumb your nose at, but that will require the stuff to get a little better than it is right now.
ESPN’s Jason Churchill speculated that this may have been a pick about finances as well as talent. "The rumored asking price was high,” he wrote, “but perhaps there was a pre-draft deal in place here or strong indications that Hultzen would sign for what Seattle was willing to spend on the pick.”
I think that this pick was more about being safe than it was about getting the best player available. Hultzen can make an impact in the majors quicker than almost any other player in this draft. If he reaches his ceiling, the Mariners will have a great rotation with Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Hultzen.
The top guys in the draft were all bunched so close together that it’s hard to find real fault with this pick. He doesn’t have the ceiling of someone like Gerrit Cole, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a good major league pitcher.
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