Mariners complete productive Draft
College players dominate Seattle's list of picks
SEATTLE -- The easy part of the First-Year Draft ended on Thursday.The hard part comes next as the Mariners try to get as many of the 52 players they selected under contract as possible. Many of them, including No. 1 pick Dustin Ackley, must be signed by Aug. 17 or return to the talent pool in 2010.
Seattle selected 20 more players during Thursday's fast-paced third-day session and afterwards, amateur scouting director Tom McNamara took a deep breath and looked straight ahead."I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment," McNamara said. "I felt relieved when it was finished, but now it's back to work. We've got to get these guys signed." How many of the 52 would he like to sign? "As many guys as possible," McNamara said. "You're basically signing [late-round players] for pocket change and a plane ticket. It's great for your entire scouting staff. Everybody could walk around with their chest out knowing we got a 38th-round guy to the big leagues." In summing up the final two days of the Draft, which is the meat-and-potatoes of most Drafts, McNamara said, "We have a wide variety of places and players. My attitude is somewhere between 20 and 50, I'm hoping we've got a couple of big leaguers in there. I can't guarantee it, but we take it serious. There's a reason we took each guy there." McNamara said, "The ideal Draft would be that we signed every one of our players. [But] some are guys we're going to watch a little more over the summer. Some of the later-round guys you'd like to see a little more." As of Thursday, none of the 52 players had signed. It will take four or five years to determine how the first McNamara Draft works out. But he was pleased with the quality of players that were selected. The final tally in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft shows: The Mariners selected 24 pitchers, including nine left-handers, 15 infielders, eight outfielders and five catchers. Seattle went heavy on college players, selecting 43 with at least college experience, and just nine high school players -- including two on the first day. Players from 21 states were selected, led by California (eight), Texas (seven) Washington (three), Georgia (three) and New York (three). Three of the players selected are from Canada, and the other 49 are from the U.S. Hawaii was represented with one pick, but there was no one drafted from Alaska. Five selections will play in the College World Series, including three from the University of North Carolina, including Ackley, the second Draft pick overall, second baseman Kyle Seager (third round) and left-handed pitcher Brian Moran (seventh round). The others are right-handed pitcher Andrew Carraway (12th round) of Virginia and Cal State Fullerton pitcher Kyle Witten (41st round). Right-hand pitcher David Holman, son of former Mariners pitcher Brian Holman, was selected in the 47th round.
Mariners -- Top five selections
|2||CF||Dustin Ackley||UNC Chapel Hill|
|27||SS||Nicholas Franklin||Lake Brantley HS|
|33||C||Steven Baron||John A. Ferguson School|
|51||1B||Richard Poythress||U Georgia|
|82||2B||Kyle Seager||UNC Chapel Hill|
|Complete Mariners Draft results >|
"We know he was drafted last year by Atlanta," McNamara said. "He came to the pre-Draft workout. Obviously, he's got real good genes being the son of a popular big leaguer. David has the frame. It's not going to happen overnight, but I've been around guys like him where all of a sudden it clicks in."Holman pitched for Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College this season. Meanwhile, the Mariners organization will be represented at the upcoming College World Series in Omaha, Neb., where the three drafted Tar Heels try to bring home the university's second national title in the past three months. The basketball team captured the hoops title in early April.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.