06/08/11 9:15 PM ET
Mariners happy with pitching-heavy Draft haul
By Taylor Soper / MLB.com
And now, maybe Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara will stop opening the wrong car door.
McNamara was at Cumberland University in Tennessee earlier this year and had been on the road for two weeks. Several things were on his mind, and apparently remembering his vehicle wasn't one of them.
"We walked out of a convenience store and I forgot that the rent-a-car that I had [the day before] wasn't the car I had that day, and somebody was sitting in their car," he recalled. "I walked right over to the car and there was a woman on her cell phone. She screamed, and I jumped. My days ran together, and so do those rent-a-cars."
Rental car wrongdoings aside, it seems like all the hard work put in by the McNamara and Seattle's scouting staff was well worth it. Even though the MLB Draft differs from other pro leagues in that players don't usually come to fruition until a few years later, McNamara felt good after it was all said and done.
"Overall, we're very pleased with the athleticism, talent level and character of the players we drafted," McNamara said. "It was a balanced draft year, with lots of high-end talent at the college and high school level, and both pitching and position players."
In total, the Mariners drafted 28 pitchers (22 right-handed and six lefties), seven catchers, nine infielders (three first basemen, two second basemen, one third baseman and three shortstops) and seven outfielders. Just 13 of those were high school players, 38 of them from universities.
The drafting began with a surprise Monday afternoon with the second-overall selection of Virginia left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen. Many expected the offensively-challenged Mariners to take a promising hitter in Rice's Anthony Rendon or Kansas City high school phenom Bubba Starling.
But both McNamara, who had been watching Hultzen since high school, and general manager Jack Zduriencik were confident they made the right call.
"Left-handed is a very desirable commodity in our industry, and when you add all the other things about this particular player, that's why we think it's the right pick," Zduriencik said after Monday's first round. "Believe me, I would have loved to have three more picks -- we could have done a whole lot of damage -- but you make one call and this is the call that we made."
The Mariners followed their 2009 theme when they selected three players out of North Carolina by picking three this time from the University of Virginia in the first seven rounds. Hultzen's batterymate, catcher John Hicks, was taken in the fourth round, while UVA third baseman Steven Proscia was picked in the seventh.
"Obviously, I was at the University of Virginia a lot this year, so I got a chance to see them play a lot," McNamara said.
Rounds 31-50 concluded Wednesday, with local player Taylor Smith-Brennan selected in the 34th round. The Edmonds Community College second baseman hit .360 with four home runs and 24 RBIs this season.
Two other draftees share local ties. Oregon catcher Jack Marder was taken in the 16th round, while Chief Sealth High School right-handed pitcher Keone Kela was taken in the 29th round on Tuesday.
On Wednesday the Mariners selected Andrew Grifol, a first baseman from Santa Fe Community College. Grifol, a 49th round selection, is the younger brother of Mariners director of minor league operations Pedro Grifol.
Finally, for those keeping track with their maps, the Mariners ended up taking 22 players from the U.S., and also landed players from Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Round 1, No. 2: Danny Hultzen, Virginia, pitcher
Round 2, No. 62: Brad Miller, Clemson, shortstop
Round 3, No. 92: Kevin Cron, Mountain Pointe HS, first baseman
Round 3A, No. 121: Carter Capps, Mount Olive College, pitcher
Round 4, No. 123: John Hicks, Virginia, catcher
Round 5, No. 153: Tyler Marlette, Hagerty HS, catcher
Round 6, No. 183: James Zamarripa, Rancho Cucamonga HS, outfielder
Round 7, No. 213: Steven Proscia, Virginia, third baseman
Round 8, No. 243: Carson Smith, Texas State, pitcher
Round 9, No. 273: Cavan Cohoes, Patch HS, shortstop
Round 10, No. 303: Daniel Paolini, Siena College, second baseman
Round 11, No. 333: Cameron Hobson, Dayton, pitcher
Round 12, No. 363: Michael Dowd, Franklin Pierce University, catcher
Round 13, No. 393: Jamal Austin, Alabama, Birmingham, center fielder
Round 14, No. 423: Cody Weiss, La Salle, pitcher
Round 15, No. 453: Michael McGee, Florida State, pitcher
Round 16, No. 483: Jack Marder, Oregon, catcher
Round 17, No. 513: Nathan Melendres, Miami, center fielder
Round 18, No. 543: Nicholas Valenza, Horizon HS, pitcher
Round 19, No. 573: Luke Guarnaccia, Palm Beach CC, catcher
Round 20, No. 603: Dillon Hazlett, Emporia State University, second baseman
Round 21, No. 633: Joseph DiRocco, Seton Hall, pitcher
Round 22, No. 663: John Taylor, University of South Carolina Columbia, pitcher
Round 23, No. 693: Richard White, No school, pitcher
Round 24, No. 722: Tanner Chleboard, Stevens HS, pitcher
Round 25, No. 753: Gabriel Saquilon, Horizon Christian HS, pitcher
Round 26, No. 783: Kenneth Straus, Georgia Perimeter College, third baseman
Round 27, No. 813: David Colvin, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, pitcher
Round 28, No. 843: Brett Shankin, Wayne State, pitcher
Round 29, No. 873: Keone Kela, Chief Sealth HS, pitcher
Round 30, No. 903: Jordan Pries, Stanford, pitcher
Round 31 (No. 933): Kyle Hunter, pitcher, Kansas State
Round 32 (No. 963): Ryan Hawthorne, pitcher, Loyola Marymount
Round 33 (No. 993): Jeremy Dobbs, pitcher, Austin Peay
Round 34 (No. 1023): Taylor Smith-Brennan, second baseman, Edmonds Community College
Round 35 (No. 1053): Cory Scammell, left fielder, St. Francis Xavier High School
Round 36 (No. 1083): Bo Reeder, pitcher, East Tennessee State
Round 37 (No. 1113): Jeremy Null, pitcher, Bunker Hill High School (North Carolina)
Round 38 (No. 1143): Alexander Sunderland, pitcher, Claremont McKenna College
Round 39 (No. 1173): Christopher Andreas, first baseman, Sam Houston State
Round 40 (No. 1203): Trevor Miller, handed pitcher, San Joaquin Delta College (California)
Round 41 (No. 1233): Bobby Shore, pitcher, University of Oklahoma
Round 42 (No. 1263): David Villasuso, catcher, Miami (Fla.)
Round 43 (No. 1293): Marcos Reyna, pitcher, Bakersfield College
Round 44 (No. 1323): Joshua Corrales pitcher, Cal State-Dominguez Hills
Round 45 (No. 1353): Charles Jimenez, right fielder, Milton High School (Florida)
Round 46 (No. 1383): Maxx Catapano, pitcher, Lee University
Round 47 (No. 1413): Brandon Plotz, pitcher, Chabot College
Round 48 (No. 1443): Max Krakowiak, pitcher, Fordham University
Round 49 (No. 1473): Andrew Grifol, first baseman, Santa Fe Community College
Round 50 (No. 1503): Esteban Tresgallo, first baseman, Colegio Marista de Guaynabo
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.