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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.

September 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

M’s lock up No. 3 overall pick in 2012 draft

It occurs to me that the Mariners, with their 7-0 loss to the A’s on Tuesday, wrapped up the third overall pick in next year’s June draft.

The Astros, who are 56-105, were long ago assured of owning the No. 1 pick in the draft, which goes in reverse order of win-loss record the previous season. And the free-falling Twins, who stand at 62-99, will draft second.

The Mariners’ loss on Tuesday dropped their record to 67-94, one game ahead of the Orioles, who are 68-93. But even if the Mariners win tonight over Oakland in 2011 finale, and the Orioles lose to Boston, giving them identical 68-94 records, the Mariners will still draft third.

The tiebreaker is to go back and look at the previous year’s record, with the higher pick going to the team with the worse record. The Mariners “win” that tiebreaker by virtue of their 61-101 record in 2010, compared to a 66-96 mark for the Orioles.

The Mariners last had the No. 3 overall pick in 2005, when they selected USC catcher Jeff Clement, bypassing, among others, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury. Oops.

To whet your appetite, here are some early listings of top prospects in next year’s draft.

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