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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 6, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Live-blogging Day 3 of the MLB draft, plus assorted draft notes

it’s the finishing stretch — rounds 16 through 40, beginning at 9 a.m. Seattle time. Now that the draft has been trimmed 10 rounds, I’ll be interested to see if teams still use the final round or two for the nepotism picks — the son of the team doctor, the nephew of the owner, that sort of thing.

Here’s a very interesting article on how teams appear to be manipulating the new draft rules regarding the signing pool by selecting a lot of college seniors. Baseball America came to the same conclusion. They can be signed cheap, because they have no bargaining power. There were 62 college seniors taken in the first 10 rounds, compared to 23 last year and 19 the year before. The Mariners, however, took just one — Western Oregon pitcher Grady Wood. Virginia shortstop Chris Taylor and Texas Tech outfielder Jamodrick McGruder are both pure juniors, while Washington State’s Taylor Ard is a redshirt junior. Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan of Rutgers is listed as a junior despite playing four seasons of football for the Scarlet Knights, which I don’t really get.

Speaking of Kivlehan, here’s a story on his selection. And here’s one on Taylor. Here’s a quote from second-round Joe DeCarlo about starting his career right away, instead of attending Georgia. Here’s a story on third-round compensatory pick Tyler Pike. I learned from this story that one of Pike’s coaches at Winter Haven HS is former Mariners catcher Pat Borders. His son, Levi Borders, a catcher on the Winter Haven team, was also drafted (11th round by the Braves). It sounds like WSU’s Taylor Ard is ready to start his pro career with the Mariners. Timmy Lopes says he expects to sign. Eighth-round Nick Halamandaris must decide between the Mariners and Cal. Some notes on 9th-rounder Jamodrick McGruder. Twelvth-rounder Michael Faulkner is stoked.

16TH ROUND, No. 491: Mariners take Clemson RHP Dominic Leone. I doubt if he’s related to former Mariner third baseman Justin Leone. He was 7-4 with a 5.25 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 66 in 84 innings with 41 walks. Opponents hit .288. He’s a junior. Here’s the skinny. And here’s an interview prior to a big series with South Carolina:

17TH ROUND, No. 521: The Mariners take a right-fielder from Clovis East HS in California, Isaiah Yates. He’s listed as a left-handed thrower, right-handed hitter, which worked out well for Rickey Henderson. Because I’m nuts, I also remember that journeyman Mark Carreon was a right-handed hitter, left-handed thrower. Here’s a peek at the guy. And yes, he definitely hits right:

Yates is ranked 384 by Baseball America, which says there’s a split camp on Yates, who didn’t make the Northern California team for the Area Code games: “Scouts who like him really believe he has a feel to hit and believe he’ll grow into some power. But it’s easy for others to write him off because of what he doesn’t do.” He’s an average runner with an above-average arm, they say, and a bit under-sized at 5-11, 185. (They confirm he hits right and throws left). Yates is not committed to a college, so he should be signable.

18TH ROUND, No. 551: Mariners take another right fielder, Jabari Henry of Florida International, who is listed at 6-1, 200. He hit 12 homers this year, which is a lot with the new, less potent bats in play. Henry had a .301 average with 45 RBIs, a .425 OBP and .563 slugging. He could Jabari Blash to give the Mariners a one-two Jabari punch in the minors.

Here is Henry in the Sun Belt Conference Home Run Derby:

Baseball America ranks Henry No. 362, so there could be some value with this pick. He has 22 homers his last two seasons, but they say he has length in his swing and holes he hasn’t closed, leading to 110 strikeouts in 369 at-bats. This is a power guy you hope develops.

19TH ROUND, NO. 581: Mariners take Holy Cross LHP Nathan Koneski, a senior. Koneski was 7-3 in 14 games (13 starts), with four shutouts. His ERA was 2.54. In 74.1 innings, Koneski struck out 82 and walked 26, holding opponents to a .221 average. Here’s video of him pitching in the Cape Cod league.

20TH ROUND, NO. 611: Mariners take left-handed pitcher Steven Ewing from University of Miami. He’s 6-3 with a 3.84 in 17 games (16 starts), giving up 92 hits in 91 1/3 innings. He has 88 strikeouts and 34 walks, with a .260 opponents average. Here’s a post-game interview from last season:

21ST ROUND, NO. 641: The Mariners are loading up on left-handed pitching. This is their third in a row: Scott DeCecco of University of South Carolina-Upstate. He was 5-3 wtih a 3.95 ERA in 16 games (14 starts). Over 86.2 innings, DeCeco allowed 88 hits, struck out 59, walked 28, and allowed opponents a .272 average. His favorite food is cheesesteak.

22ND ROUND, No. 671: The Mariners take shortstop Gabrial Franca from John W. North High School in Riverside, California. Here is his profile.

23RD ROUND, No. 701: The Mariners take RHP Levi Dean from Tennessee Wesleyan. He’s a big one — 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. Dean was 5-4 with a 4.83 ERA in 61 1/3 innings for the NAIA national champs, and also hit .326 with 12 homers. He’s actually a local product, graduating from W.F. West High School in Chehalis (NOT Centralia. Humble apologies).

24TH ROUND, No. 731: The Mariners take UC Santa Barbara senior right-handed pitcher Matthew Vedo, who is 6-2, 205. He appeared in 25 games for the Gauchos, starting eight. He had two complete games, and one save. Judging from his stats, he throws hard, and wild. In 82 1/3 innings, Vedo struck out 112 and walked 57. Also, I’m told, he had 20 wild pitches and 16 hit batters. He was 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA. I think he’s going to be ecstatic to be drafted by the Mariners. According to his profile, he roots for all the Seattle teams, and his favorite athletes include Ken Griffey Jr. and Gary Payton.

25TH ROUND, NO. 761: The Mariners take right-handed pitcher Mark Bordonaro from Fairfield in Connecticut. He’s a 5-10, 160-pound junior who pitched mostly in relief. In 22 games (three starts) he was 5-4 with a 5.70 ERA, striking out 31 in 42 2/3 innings with 21 walks and 51 hits allowed. According to Baseball America, he can bring his fastball up to the mid-90s. They say his secondary stuff is inconsistent but can be average at times. He profiles as a reliever.

26th ROUND, No. 791: The Mariners stayed close to home to select right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks from Edmonds Community College. He’s listed at 6-6, 220. Here’s what he looks like on the mound:

Brooks is a transfer from Gonzaga, by way of Mountlake Terrace. Here are his stats.

27TH ROUND, No. 821: The Mariners seem to be focusing on pitching now, taking another left-hander, Blake Holovach of Missouri. He’s a junior listed at 6-5, 195. Holovach was 7-5 with a 5.08 ERA this year, appearing in 20 games (14 starts). In 79 2/3 innings, he gave up 99 hits, and opponents hit .312 off him. He struck out 44 and walked 34.

28TH ROUND, NO. 851: The Mariners take RHP Matt Brazis from Boston College, a 6-3, 195-pound senior. A closer, he appeared in only 16 games (17 innings) and had five saves with a 3.18 ERA. He struck out 25 in 17 innings with eight walks. Opponents hit .237. Here’s his bio.

Here’s a video of Brazis pitching, which is interesting. But check out the headfirst slide at 16 seconds.

I just checked with Boston College, and Brazis was hurt this year, limiting his innings.

He got hit in the leg with a line drive on March 6 and did not pitch again until April 15. Baseball America notes that Brazis hasn’t pitched much the last couple of years but correctly predicted he’d get drafted on the basis of raw stuff. They cite his plus fastball and average slider.

29TH ROUND, No. 881: The Mariners, 28 rounds after taking Mike Zunino with their first pick, take another catcher, Toby Demello of St. Mary’s. He’s a 6-2, 220-pound senior who didn’t have an impressive season at the plate, hitting .219 with no homers. But he’s a well-regarded catch and throw receiver behind the plate. Here’s a Q and A and a video:

30TH ROUND, NO. 911: Here’s a name that will make you pay attention: the Mariners took Michael Yastrzemski, a Vanderbilt outfielder. He’s the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, the last Triple Crown winner in the majors. Here’s a Boston Globe article on the relationship between Carl and his grandson.

Michael Yastrzemski, a 6-0, 180-pound junior lefthander, hit .286 this year for Vandy with six homers and 41 RBIs, wtih a .383 OBP and .427 slugging. He struck out just 33 times in 234 at-bats with 26 walks. Here’s his bio. Baseball America calls him “a grinder with good bat-to-ball skills” but adds, “he has no carrying tool and might be a better fit as a senior sign.”

Here’s the Michael Yaz swing:

31ST ROUND, NO. 941: The Mariners take Rusty Shellhorn, a left-handed pitcher from Texas Tech. Texas Tech’s legacy this year is providing my two favorite names from the Mariners’ draft so far: Jamodrick McGruder and Rusty Shellhorn.

Shellhorn is from Central Valley HS in Spokane and played two seasons at Washington State University before transferring. Here are the gritty details. He’s 5-3 with a 4.98 ERA in 16 game (nine starts), with 49 strikeouts in 56 innings (57 hits, 15 walks, .269 opponents average).

32ND ROUND, No. 971: Mariners take second baseman RIchard Palase from Lynchburg College in Virginia. He hit .305 with seven homers and 26 RBIs. Palase is 5-11, 185 and a senior. He’s listed by the college as a shortstop/outfielder, but the Mariners took him as a second baseman. Here’s his bio.

33rd ROUND, No. 1,001: OK, now we’re in the second thousand picks. M’s dip into Canada for the first time to get right-handed pitcher Logan Seifrit from Vauxhall HS in Alberta. He’s 5-11, 185 pounds. Yes, there’s a video, a scouting video, and this:

Baseball America reports taht Seifrit, the No. 9 prospect in Canada, is a diabetic, but says he has the quickest arm in the country, with a 93 mph fastball and above-average changeup.

34TH ROUND, No. 1,031: The Mariners took another catcher, and a local one: Alex Ross from Coach Mark Yoshino’s fine program at Bellevue College. Ross hit .250 this year in 28 games, with no homers and seven RBIs. He’s a left-handed hitter out of Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, listed at 6-1, 190. His father, Joe, is an area scout for the Marners. Here’s his profile.

35TH ROUND, NO. 1,061: The Mariners took shortstop Tyler Krieger from Northwest High School in Georgia. He’s a switch-hitter, listed at 6-0, 155, and a Clemson commit. If you want to see him hitting a home run, click here.

36TH ROUND, NO. 1,091: The Mariners took a 6-foot-7, 190-pound right-handed pitcher from Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama, Anthony Wingenter. Beyond that, I’ve got nothing, folks.

I lied. I dug further and found an article from the Huntsville TImes that revealed several interesting facts about Mr. Wingenter. One, he goes by the name “Trey.” Two, he was a catcher all his life until this year, when he converted to pitching. Three, he throws in the low 90-mph range. Four, he’s committed to Auburn (but it should be noted that every good player commits to a college; it doesn’t mean he won’t sign).

37TH ROUND, NO. 1,121: Mariners take LHP Brett Lilek from Marian Catholic HS in Illinois. He’s 6-4, 185. He’s committed to Arizona State, as this story details. My undying respect to MLB.com for having a scouting video available for the 1,121st pick:

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”http://mlb.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=21699833&width=400&height=224&property=mlb” width=”400″ height=”224″ frameborder=”0″][/do]

Baseball America reports that Lilek, who throws 90 to 92 mph, may have gone much higher had he not tweaked his biceps early in the season, affecting his velocity.

38th ROUND, NO. 1,151: The Mariners took shortstop Richard Martin from Bloomingdale HS in Valrico, Florida. He’s 5-10, 174 pounds. Honest to goodness, here’s a scouting video. Interesting fact from this article: his grandfather played in the Negro Leagues.

39th ROUND, NO. 1,181: Mariners take RHP Grayson Long from Barbers Hill HS in Belvieu, Texas. He’s 6-5, 200, and, Houston, we have a video. Here’s a little more.

40TH ROUND, NO., 1,211: With their final pick, the Mariners take RHP James Kaprielian from Beckman HS in Tustin, CA. MLB.com offers a scouting report: “There’s nothing like a pair of no-hitters to make people sit up and take notice. Beyond those stellar results, Kaprielian has impressed with his stuff as well. He has one of the better curve balls among high schoolers in the Draft class, and he can throw it for strikes consistently. The UCLA commit’s fastball will run into the 90-92 mph range (with more to come), and he even shows a feel for the changeup.”

And one final video before lunch beckons.

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