The Major League Baseball Draft is always a little different and quieter than the draft in other sports. The NBA Draft happens within a couple weeks of the end of the season, and the NFL Draft is arguably one of the bigger events in sports. When it comes to the MLB Draft, it doesn’t get the same amount of attention, and part of that has to do with it occurring during the middle of the season. However, fans shouldn’t ignore the draft. With the high amount of players that get taken, we are sure to be seeing a fair amount of them soon. After finishing 2017 with a record of 78-84, the Seattle Mariners ended up with the 14th overall pick.
For a recap of the first two days of the Seattle Mariners 2018 draft click here.
Seattle Mariners 2018 Draft Recap
Day 3 highlights
Round 11 pick 328 – Damon Casetta-Stubbs, RHP, Kings Way Christian (WA)
The first high schooler taken by the Mariners in this year’s draft is also a local kid. Stubbs is excited to get started on his career as a Mariner, having already verbally agreed to a signing bonus of $325,000. Stubbs showed a good combo of strikeouts to walks, striking out 97 in 51.1 innings, while only walking seven his senior year. Showcasing a three pitch repertoire, a fastball in the low to mid 90’s, a changeup in the low 80’s, and a curve/slider in the low 80’s, he has a good pitch array to start his career.
Round 15 pick 448 – Matthew Willrodt, RHP, Cisco Junior College Texas
The Mariners took Willrodt with the hopes of luring him away from Texas State. His fastball sits in the low 90’s, and he brings three average secondary pitches to the plate, although his value is higher as he can throw them all consistently for strikes.
Round 22 pick 658 – Nicholas Rodriguez, SS, UNLV
A four-year senior, Rodriguez could stay at short if he is able to put on some more weight, as he is a little too lanky to have the strength to stay there currently. Rodriguez showed an increase in power, hitting 10 home runs this year, while posting a very respectable 337 batting average. He also made hard contact consistently throughout the year, hitting 17 doubles as well. If the power wasn’t a fluke, the bat could be what gets him to the majors down the line.
Round 26 pick 778 – Cal Hernandez, 3B, Oral Roberts
A much needed grab at a position of need, Hernandez still has growing to do if he wants to make the show. An increase in average and on base percentage his final year in college shows he is on the right track, but there currently isn’t much power there as Hernandez only hit two home runs. The good news is he has the glove and arm to stick at third, he just needs to find some pop.
Round 35 pick 1048 – Will Gambino, RHP, Paul VI HS (NJ)
A strong right-hander, Gambino moved to the mound towards the end of high school after being clocked at 93 MPH. Impressing scouts and earning a scholarship from Kentucky, Gambino was hoping to be drafted in the first ten rounds. The Mariners saved up some money for some of the later picks hoping to entice them to stay, and Gambino is one of them. Early reports are he will honor his commitment to Kentucky, but the Mariners are still trying hard to convince him to sign.
Round 36 pick 1078 – Justin Wrobleski, LHP, Sequoyah HS (GA)
A quick working lefty with three plus potential pitches, Wrobleski has a high enough ceiling to make it to a number two or three starter. Throwing out of the three quarter arm slot, he creates extra movement with only moderate effort, and the added deception makes it seem like he throws harder than he actually is. His slider has bite, and he controls the pitch well. Graded as a late day two talent, if the Mariners can convince Wrobleski to forego Clemson and turn pro, this is a steal.
Round 39 pick 1168 – Jacob Maton, RHP, Glenwood HS (IL)
As Maton puts on some muscle, he should see his velocity increase. Already sitting in the low 90’s with his fastball, the command of his three pitches that he is already showing is very promising. Maton put up one of the more interested high school stat lines you will see, striking out the first 15 batters through five perfect innings in a game earlier in his career. As with some of the Mariners other late round picks, if they find themselves with a little extra money left from signing early picks below slot, they have a chance to steal Maton away from Coastal Carolina and add an intriguing young pitcher to their system.
The Mariners did a great job of filling in and strengthening what is arguably the worst minor league system in baseball. By going with a lot of college players early, they should fill out the middle levels well. The fliers they took later on, paired with some low floor, high ceiling mid rounders will help the farm system get back on the right track. Logan Gilbert, Nolan Hoffman, and Joey Gerber are the three draftees to watch who could find themselves in the majors the soonest.
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