06/05/2002 04:15 am ET
Mariners pick Mayberry first
Seattle Mariners round-by-round picks
SEATTLE -- One year after selecting a player with a familiar last name, the
Seattle Mariners on Tuesday drafted someone with well-known last and first
Selecting 28th overall, the Mariners chose first baseman/outfielder John
Mayberry, Jr. son of former MLB star John Mayberry Sr. Mayberry, 18, was ranked
as the eighth-best prospect by Baseball America in the 2002 First-Year Player
"We definitely got the guy we wanted," said Frank Mattox, the Mariners' director
of scouting. "We weren't sure what was going to happen, but things fell right
into our laps and we were very happy about it."
The Mariners have some history when it comes to drafting relatives of former MLB players. They selected Ken Griffey, Jr., in the first round (first overall) in 1987 and last season drafted Michael Garciaparra, the brother of Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.
"They have been around the arena," Mattox said. "They know what the game of
baseball is all about and a lot of times they have a head start. They have
someone to look to for guidance."
Contacted at the Mayberry home in Overland, Kansas, Mayberry said he wants to
begin his professional and collegiate careers almost simultaneously. He is an
academic All-American and has an academic scholarship offer from Stanford.
Tall, strong, well built, athletic body. Son of former Major Leaguer John Mayberry. Sound hitting approach. Good bat speed through zone. Good idea of strike zone. Has type of power that cannot be taught. Steady, reliable fielder. Confident approach both at plate and in the field.
Jongewaard said the Mariners are willing to pay for Mayberry's college education
-- approximately $40,000 per year.
"I have always envisioned myself as being a Major League Baseball player and I
guess this is the step in that direction," he said. "I am very excited. Right
now, I am going to incorporate professional baseball with Stanford. I want to
play immediately this summer and also be able to go to Stanford and complete my
Mayberry attended Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. The 6-4, 215 pound
right-hander batted .432 (32-for-74) with nine home runs and 29 RBIs this past
season. He was selected as the 2002 Gatorade Missouri State Player of the Year.
As further evidence of his athleticism, Mayberry was an All-Metro selection in
"He is a good-looking athlete," Mattox said. "He has five tools and is exactly
what we are looking for."
Although Mayberry played first base in high school -- the same position his dad
played for the Kansas City Royals -- he is being projected as an outfielder.
"We like him as an outfielder," Mattox said. "We think that will let him take
full advantage of his tools. He is a talented young man. He has the arm, the
speed and the agility to play the outfield. He can also play first base, but
right now I wouldn't mind seeing him in the outfield."
Rockhurst HS coach Jim DeGraw said, "He's just a great kid, one of those 'yes,
sir, no, sir' guys. He's a great athlete and with all the attention he's gotten
in the past year, he has handled it all tremendously."
Jongewaard said he was surprised Mayberry still was available when it was
Seattle's turn to select.
"The fact he has the scholarship offer from Stanford probably is the reason he
got to us," he said. "We thought he would go in the top ten picks. We had pretty
much written him off."
But Mariners GM Pat Gillick made a phone call that convinced the Mariners that
the young Mayberry would be willing to sign.
"Pat had signed the dad, so he called (Senior) and asked what (Junior) wanted to
do. Naturally the boy and the dad want to play, but the mom is probably a little
leery of him (playing pro ball immediately) so we know just have to sell the
mother on it."
Jim Street covers the Mariners for MLB.com and can be reached at
email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of MLB or its