06/04/2002 6:37 pm ET
Inside the Mariners' war room
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Seattle Mariners round-by-round picks
SEATTLE -- They call it the "war room" and it's the place where the future takes
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
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
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
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,
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
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
||MARINERS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
||JOHN C MAYBERRY
||JOSHUA D WOMACK
||EDUARDO H MARTINEZ-ESTEVE
||WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN SCH
||RANDALL R FRYE
||LAKE ORION HS
||KENDALL L BERGDALL
||TROY P CATE
||BRANDON R PERRY
||TERRY E FORBES
||AUBURN DRIVE HS
||BRIAN G STITT
||INDIAN RIVER CC
||JARED R THOMAS
||MATTHEW M HAGEN
||THOMAS A FULMER
||THEIBORH G ALMANZAR
||BRITO MIAMI PRIVATE SCHOO
||RYAN M LEAIST
||COREY M HARRINGTON
||NEW MEXICO ST U
||EDWARD G HARRIS
||CHRISTOPHER A KROSKI
||ST PETERSBURG JC
||DAVID C VIANE
||ANDREW H BROWN
||TRAVIS G BUCK
||JOHNNIE C BASSHAM
||GRAYSON COUNTY JC
||CORY T VANDERHOOK
||SOUTH MIAMI HS
||KALAMAZOO CENTRAL HS
||VANCE A HALL
||MICHAEL D NESBITT
||LOS ANGELES PIERCE JC
||THOMAS J BOHN
||CLAYTON E STEWART
||SAN JACINTO COL NORTH
||DANE I AWANA
||KILE A PATRICK
||BRADY M BURRILL
||MICHIGAN ST U
||PATRICK C PFEIFFER
||JERMAINE M SMITH
||BRADLEY A ROSE
||WALTERS ST CC
||BRYAN A LAHAIR
||ST PETERSBURG JC
||PUEBLO SOUTH HS
||ANDREW T EDWARDS
||FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL U
||BRANDON O JONES
||GRAYSON COUNTY COL
||ST ANNE HS
||BRITO MIAMI PRIVATE SCHOO
||RAYMOND L LOCKHART
||PEDRO FALU ORELLANO
||JASON R GODIN
||NORTH STAFFORD HS
||CARDOZA F TUCKER
||AARON J RUCHTI
||SAN JACINTO NORTH JC
||OLIVER A ARIAS
||RHODE ISLAND CC
Jim Street covers the Mariners for MLB.com and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of MLB or its