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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

June 10, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Second-day draft update (running): Jake Locker goes to Angels in 10th round

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: And the final update: In the 30th round, the Mariners took their fourth catcher, Brandon Bantz of Dallas Baptist.

And Shorecrest High School’s James Robbins went to Detroit in the 30th round. He pitched in high school but was selected as a first baseman.

UPDATE 1:51 P.M.: While I was tied up on a conference call with Jake Locker — news on that forthcoming — colleague Tom Wyrwich helped up with monitoring the draft. Here’s his report:

In the 27th round, Florida took Pepperdine 2B Nate Simon, from Redmond HS, in the 27th round. Toronto took St. Mary’s RHP Brian Justice, from Issaquah HS, in the 27th round.

In the 28th round, Seattle took Regan Flaherty, a left-handed first baseman from Deering HS in Maine.

Kansas City took Liberty HS senior infielder Eric Peterson in the 28th round.

In the 29th round, Seattle took Brandon Haveman, a center fielder from Purdue.

UPDATE 1:34 P.M.: One more local kids: Minnesota took Kennewick pitcher Tony Bryant with the 762nd pick in the 25th round.

UPDATE 1:33 P.M.: And in the 27th, RHP Austin Hudson of University of Central Florida to the Mariners.

UPDATE 1:32 P.M.: Running a little behind here, but in the 26th, the M’s took Chris Sorce, a RHP from Troy University.

UPDATE 1:15 P.M.: The M’s 25th round pick shouldn’t lack for smarts. He’s a RHP out of Yale, Brandon Josselyn. The last pitcher from Yale I can recall was Ron Darling.

UPDATE 1:12 P.M.: Another local I missed: RHP Keith Campbell, from Everett CC, to the Rangers in the 15th round.

UPDATE 1:08 P.M.: The M’s nabbed their third catcher of the draft, Carlton Tanabe of Pearl City (Hawaii) High School in the 24th round.

Also, two college players from the state taken in the 24th round: RHP Jason Erickson (White River HS) of University of Washington to the Pirates, and catcher Alex Burg (Mt. Rainier HS in Des Moines) to the Giants.

FYI: The draft goes 50 rounds, but that’s the maximum. Teams can (and do) bow out sooner if they run out of players to take. The late rounds are often for what I like to call “nepotism picks” — son of the manager, friend of the CEO’s kid, etc. The draft will resume Thursday with the 31st round.

UPDATE 12:51 P.M.: It’s fast and furious now. The Mariners take LHP David Rollins of San Jacinto (Texas) College in the 23rd round.

UPDATE 12:48 P.M.: In the 22nd round, the Mariners take RHP Andrew Hayes of Vanderbilt.

And Gonzaga RHP Matt Fields (Lake Stevens HS) goes to the Toronto Blue Jays.

They’re going through the 30th round today, by the way.

UPDATE 12:32 P.M.: Here come the pitchers. Daniel Cooper, right-hander, out of USC to the Mariners in the 21st round.

UPDATE 12:19 P.M.: Two more locals picked, both in the 17th round: RHP Jorge Reyes of Oregon State (Warden High School), to the Padres, and RHP Steven Ames (Hudson’s Bay High School) to the Dodgers.

UPDATE 12:15 P.M.: Another high-schooler I missed: Jacob Partridge of Spokane’s Rogers High School to Tampa Bay in the 18th round. Word is he’s headed to Gonzaga.

UPDATE 12:10 P.M.: In the 20th round, the Mainers took left-handed pitcher John Hesketh of the University of New Mexico.

UPDATE 12:03 P.M: In the 19th round, the Mariners chose right-handed pitcher Eric Thomas from Bethune Cookman in Florida.

UPDATE 11:48 A.M.: The M’s love those left-handed arms. In the 18th round, they take southpaw Anthony Vasquez from USC.

UPDATE 11:46 A.M.: In the 17th round, the Mariners take Joseph Terry, a second baseman from Cerritos College in Cerritos, CA. He hits left-handed.

UPDATE 11:43 A.M.: Read more about Jake Locker’s selection in Bob Condotta’s UW football blog.

UPDATE 11:37 A.M.: The Mariners go with a center fielder in the 16th round, Tillman Pugh from Gateway CC in California.

UPDATE 11:21 A.M.: Here’s one I let slip through the cracks: UW outfielder Kyle Conley went to the Cardinals in the 7th round.

UPDATE 11:18 A.M.: In the 15th round, the Mariners take left-handed pitcher Blake Keitzman of Western Oregon University.

UPDATE 11:09 A.M.: Two more Mariners picks that aren’t pitchers: In the 13th round, Matt Cerione from the University of Georgia, a center fielder. And in the 14th round, third baseman Adam Nelubowich, a third baseman from Vauxhall High School in Alberta, Canada. He hits left-handed.

Also, Washington State University’s Jeremy Johnson, a right-handed pitcher, went in the 13th round to Cleveland.

UPDATE 10:52 A.M.: The Mariners took a right-handed pitcher in the 12th round (No. 353 overall), Andrew Carraway, 6-2, 200 pounds, University of Virginia.

UPDATE 10:40 A.M.: Left-handed pitcher Kirk Wetmore of Bellevue Community College goes to Cleveland in the 11th round.

UPDATE 10:35 A.M.: There can no longer be any question the Mariners are aiming to replenish their minor-league system with offense. In the 11th round, they picked left-handed-hitting first baseman Tim Morris of St. John’s, who is 6-3, 225 pounds. Jack Zduriencik has a reputation for loving power bats, and it’s showing.

UPDATE 10:25 A.M. Jake Locker just got taken! The UW quarterback went on the last pick of the 10th round to the Angels, No. 321 overall. He’s listed as a center fielder. Many scouts believe that Locker has superstar talent as a baseball player, but he seems intent on sticking with football. For now, anyway. Read more on Jake Locker”s selection in Bob Condotta’s UW blog.

UPDATE 10:25 A.M.: Gonzaga catcher Tyson Van Winkle to Arizona in the 10th round. I hear he can really Rip.

UPDATE 10:20 A.M.: It’s stunning to see the steady stream of position players the Mariners are taking. In the 10th round, the M’s went with third baseman Vincent Catricala of the University of Hawaii. He’s 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. According to my calculations, that’s nine position players out of 12 players chosen thus far.

UPDATE 10:18 A.M. The University of Washington is on the board: Husky pitcher Brian Pearl, a right-hander, went to the Reds in the ninth round (No. 269 overall).

Here’s what Baseball America has to say about Pearl:

A converted third baseman, Pearl has flashed good stuff this year, but has also been wildly inconsistent in his first year of pitching full-time. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder got two starts for the Huskies that didn’t go well, so he mostly pitched out of their bullpen. A frustrating puzzle for scouts, sometimes Pearl would be 93-94 mph with his fastball and show a slider with good bite, while at other times he would come out and be in the mid- to upper 80s. He’s not a big guy, but Pearl is athletic with a resilient arm. Control will never be his forte, though he can pitch on back-to-back days, has made good adjustments and shown body awareness that scouts like to see.

UPDATE 10:16 A.M.: The Mariners went with another catcher in the ninth round (their second of the draft),Trevor Coleman, a switch-hitter from the University of Missouri. He’s also listed as a second baseman.

UPDATE 10:13 A.M.: Another player from the state chosen: RHP Braden Tullis of Skagit Valley College in the eighth round (No. 244) to the Texas Rangers.

UPDATE 10:10 A.M.: The picks are coming fast and furious now. It’s hard to keep up. The M’s are finally starting to load up on some pitching. In the eighth round (No. 233 overall), they took another guy from the state of North Carolina — specifically, North Carolina State: left-handed pitcher Jimmy Gilheeney, a junior.

UPDATE 10:05 A.M. The Mariners love those Tar Heels! They picked their third one, left-handed pitcher Brian Moran, in the seventh round (No. 203 overall). Moran was a reliever for the Tar Heels, appearing in a team-high 34 games, all in relief, with a 7-1 record and four saves. In 64 2/3 innings, he gave up 42 hits, with 88 strikeouts and just eight walks. Opponents hit .184 off him.

UPDATE 10 A.M.: The Mariners took Baylor shortstop Shaver Hansen (projected as a third baseman, apparently, in the sixth round.

Also, Washington State University left-handed pitcher Matt Way went to the Phillies in the fifth round (167th pick overall. And another state player went in the fourth round: outfielder Darrell Ceciliani of Columbia Basin to the Mets.


The Mariners apparently took their sixth consecutive position player in the fourth round

today as the draft resumed, nabbing left-handed outfielder James Jones of Long Island University with the 113th overall pick. In his spare time, Jones wrote the classic World War II novel, From Here to Eternity. Oh, wait, wrong James Jones. This Jones also pitches, but appears to have been drafted as an outfielder. That hasn’t been clarified yet, however.

In the fifth round, they finally selected their first bona fide pitcher — Tyler Blandford, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander from Oklahoma State.

Blandford started 13 games for the Cowboys this past season, going 7-4 with a 5.31 earned-run-average. He struck out 97 in 78 innings, but walked 45, hit 13 batters, threw 12 wild pitches, and committed four balks. Opponents hit .210 off him, with eight homers.

Here’s what Baseball America had to say about James Jones (the player, not the author):

After a standout fall, Jones entered the season as a potential top-two-rounds pick as a lefthander, but he struggled mightily in the Northeast Conference, going 1-9, 7.40. He still earned all-conference honors as an outfielder/first baseman, batting .364/.453/.618 with nine homers, 32 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 23 tries. Most scouts still prefer Jones as a pitcher, but some consider him a third- to fourth-round talent as a corner outfielder. A gifted athlete with a lanky 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame, Jones garners physical comparisons to Mike Cameron and Adam Jones. He has quick hands and projects to hit for power down the road, and he shows good pitch recognition and plate discipline. He also has good instincts in the outfield. Jones’ athleticism also makes him intriguing as a pitcher, despite his poor numbers. Multiple scouts have said Jones has one of the quickest arms they have ever seen, and everyone agrees that his arm action is exceptionally clean and loose, though his mechanics need plenty of work, as he tends to overstride, causing his stuff to flatten out. Jones ran his fastball up to 94-95 in the fall but pitched mostly in the 88-93 range this spring, usually sitting around 91. He throws a curveball and a slider, and both rate as below-average pitches, though he flashes an average breaking ball every once in a while. The consensus is that he’d be better off scrapping the curveball and concentrating on developing the slider. Jones tends to slow down his delivery on his changeup, but he does have some feel for the pitch. Scouts unanimously laud Jones for his makeup; he works hard both on and off the field and is widely regarded as a great person. Few players in this draft are as intriguing as Jones, but he’s very much a boom-or-bust prospect. He figures to be drafted in the third to fifth round, more likely as a pitcher.



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