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Inside the Mariners' war room
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06/04/2002 6:37 pm ET 
Inside the Mariners' war room
By Jim Street / MLB.com

The Mariners "war room" for the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. (Dan Wartelle)

Seattle Mariners round-by-round picks

SEATTLE -- They call it the "war room" and it's the place where the future takes center stage.

A rectangular table, large enough to seat almost 20 people and several laptop computers, fills the middle of the room located on the fifth floor at SAFECO Field.

One of the walls in the room is filled with approximately 400 names that are broken down into regions, positions and ability levels. There is a list for right-handed and left-handed pitchers, catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, left fielders, center fielders and right fielders.

There is no designated hitter's list.

Below each position are the following categories: Outstanding, Above Average, Average, and Below Average. Each name is code-colored. Green represents a high school player. Black signifies a college player. Blue is for a Junior College player and purple designates a fifth-year college player.

As the start of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft approaches, the Mariners' front office personnel -- from general manager Pat Gillick to director of scouting Frank Mattox to secretaries -- settle in for the fast-paced draft that will consume about five hours on Tuesday and approximately that much time on Wednesday.

2002 First-Year Player Draft
JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
Draft order | Rules | FAQ

FULL COVERAGE:
Bullington goes first
Drafttracker
Complete Draft coverage

By the end of the 50-round draft, many names familiar only in their own households will begin to become familiar names in the Mariners family.

The majority of players selected during the two-day draft never will wear a MLB uniform. But every player drafted and the organization drafting him share the same dream of someday playing in the Major Leagues.

Almost five minutes before the draft begins, club president Chuck Armstrong comes into the room and welcomes everyone to, "The 2002 Draft, starring Frank Mattox."

Several minutes later, Armstrong leaves the room just as quietly as he enters.

At precisely 10 a.m., the 2002 First-Year Player Draft begins with a roll call. All 30 MLB teams are supposed to be connected to the conference call. A voice says, "Pirates" and there is a delay. Someone in the room has a ready quip - "Pirates pass", he says and everyone laughs.

"Pirates here," booms a voice from a speakerphone.

Another pause comes after "Tigers" was announced. Someone at MLB headquarters in New York City says the Detroit representative had been disconnected and contact was being re-established. A few seconds later, the roll call continued with the Tigers' rep present and accounted for. There are no more delays.

The Pirates, drafting first, select right-handed pitcher Bryan Bullington, which surprises no one.

It is quiet in the Mariners war room as the first round goes quickly.

Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, where teams are "on the clock", the MLB draft pace is fast and furious. The average time between picks is measured in seconds, not minutes.

As Roger Jongewaard, the vice president of scouting and player development had said a week earlier, the Mariners wanted to use their high draft picks to select position players, preferably those with excellent run-producing potential.

Baseball America's Allan Simpson (MLB's version of Mel Kiper) had predicted how the first round of the draft would go. He was right on with Bullington being the first overall pick and nailed the No. 2 choice -- B.J. Upton, a shortstop from Greenbrier Christian High, regarded by the publication as the No. 1 prospect.

As the draft continued, there continued to be mostly silence from the Mariners' quiet war room.

The Mariners had to sweat out 27 picks before it was their turn. The noise level increased when the Arizona Diamondbacks selected shortstop Sergio Santos.

Faster than you could say "your turn", the Mariners selected John Mayberry Jr., the son of former MLB star John Mayberry Sr., who played for the Houston Astros (1968-71), Kansas City Royals (1972-77), Toronto Blue Jays (1978-82) and Yankees (1982).

Gillick, who acquired the elder Mayberry when he was the Blue Jays' GM, stepped out of the room and pumped his fist in obvious elation.

And Mattox was all smiles as he stepped outside the war room to talk about the organization's first-round draft choice.

"Right after the 20th or 21st pick, I said, 'OK, he's there, he's there," Mattox said. "I didn't want anything to happen at the last moment to cause a time out. When it got past 20, I had one guy in mind and that's the guy we got. I'm pretty happy."

MARINERS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
28 JOHN C MAYBERRY 1B ROCKHURST HS
69 JOSHUA D WOMACK CF CRAWFORD HS
100 EDUARDO H MARTINEZ-ESTEVE RF WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN SCH
130 RANDALL R FRYE RHP LAKE ORION HS
160 KENDALL L BERGDALL LHP CIMARRON HS
190 TROY P CATE LHP RICKS COL
220 EVEL BASTIDA-MARTINEZ 2B NO SCHOOL
250 BRANDON R PERRY LHP GRAHAM HS
280 TERRY E FORBES RHP AUBURN DRIVE HS
310 BRIAN G STITT RHP INDIAN RIVER CC
340 JARED R THOMAS LHP OAKLAND U
370 MATTHEW M HAGEN 3B LIBERTY U
400 THOMAS A FULMER RHP THE CITADEL
430 THEIBORH G ALMANZAR C BRONX CC
460 GABRIEL SANCHEZ 3B BRITO MIAMI PRIVATE SCHOO
490 RYAN M LEAIST RHP NO SCHOOL
520 COREY M HARRINGTON SS NEW MEXICO ST U
550 EDWARD G HARRIS CF GEORGIA COLLEGE
580 CHRISTOPHER A KROSKI C ST PETERSBURG JC
610 DAVID C VIANE RHP OAKLAND U
640 ERIC BLAKELEY 2B INDIANA U
670 ANDREW H BROWN 3B RICE U
700 TRAVIS G BUCK SS RICHLAND HS
730 JOHNNIE C BASSHAM LHP GRAYSON COUNTY JC
760 CORY T VANDERHOOK C EDISON HS
790 DAVID BERNAT RHP SOUTH MIAMI HS
820 ROYCE DICKERSON CF KALAMAZOO CENTRAL HS
850 VANCE A HALL LHP ALLDERDICE HS
880 MICHAEL D NESBITT OF LOS ANGELES PIERCE JC
910 THOMAS J BOHN CF BELLEVUE COL
940 CLAYTON E STEWART RHP SAN JACINTO COL NORTH
970 DANE I AWANA LHP WAIANAE HS
1000 KILE A PATRICK RHP APOPKA HS
1030 BRADY M BURRILL C MICHIGAN ST U
1060 PATRICK C PFEIFFER RHP BRENTWOOD SCHOOL
1090 JERMAINE M SMITH SS KING HS
1120 BRADLEY A ROSE RHP WALTERS ST CC
1150 DEANDRE GREEN CF ENCINAL HS
1180 BRYAN A LAHAIR RF ST PETERSBURG JC
1210 JOSHUA COOPER RHP PUEBLO SOUTH HS
1240 ANDREW T EDWARDS RHP FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL U
1270 BRANDON O JONES 1B GRAYSON COUNTY COL
1299 ADAM PERNASILICI RF 1B ST ANNE HS
1327 OMAR BORGES LF 1B BRITO MIAMI PRIVATE SCHOO
1354 RAYMOND L LOCKHART CF COMPTON HS
1380 ROBERTO MENA 2B PEDRO FALU ORELLANO
1406 JASON R GODIN RHP NORTH STAFFORD HS
1432 CARDOZA F TUCKER RHP BULLARD HS
1457 AARON J RUCHTI C SAN JACINTO NORTH JC
1481 OLIVER A ARIAS RHP RHODE ISLAND CC

Jim Street covers the Mariners for MLB.com and can be reached at mlbjstreet@aol.com. This story was not subject to the approval of MLB or its clubs.






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