Mariners Upside Draft

By Jared Stanger

The Mariners during the Jerry Dipoto years have shown themselves to be staunchly in favor of drafting college players in the first five rounds, and exclusively a college player every 1st round under him.

2019- 6×6 college, 5 pitchers, 1 bat
2018- 5×5 college, 3 pitchers, 2 bats
2017- 4×5 college, 3 pitchers, 2 bats
2016- 4×5 college, 1 pitcher, 4 bats

It’s a 90% college tilt in the first five rounds. 57% pitching, 43% bats.

So it only makes sense that pretty much everyone is expecting them to draft a college player again in the 1st round this year, and more college players the rest of the draft.

But I wonder if we’re all wrong.

There was something I first noticed last year. 2019 was a draft that seemed pre-draft very heavy towards position players…and the eventual results showed the same (2 pitchers, 14 bats drafted in the first 16 overall), but Seattle drafted five consecutive pitchers to start their draft. Was this a conscious attempt to find value by zagging while the league zigged?? If so, what would be the contrarian move in the 2020 draft? By all accounts…the league “zig” will be to do what Seattle usually likes to do: draft super heavy on college players.

Which means, if the theory is correct, the zag would be for Seattle to target high-upside prep players.

And the thing is…it kinda makes sense for a few other reasons. 1) Bonus pool allotment this year is use-it-or-lose-it. There is no stashing money for players after the first five rounds. Those guys get $20k or go back to school. You just need to pay six draftpicks and you have $10.265mill to do it. 2) The Mariners farm system is in a pretty good place. The first major wave will hit between this year (if it happens) and next. You could look to draft for upside knowing you’re not desperate for players that will be quick-to-the-show. 3) If you draft/acquire the right prep players; they can actually travel through the farm system as fast, if not faster, than a college player. And those type of players arrive at MLB 2-3 years younger (see Kelenic, Rodriguez, and soon Marte).

On top of all of this; if Dipoto’s own words are to be taken seriously, and not as some kind of misdirection; “I do think there’s a greater likelihood for us to take risks that we might not have been quite willing to take in ’16/’17.”

With all this in mind, I sketched out an entire mock based on upside, and I think the results are pretty interesting.

#6 – RHP Mick Abel

This is the biggest speculation of this mock. Dipoto also made comment that they would, “prefer middle of the field athletic, offensive players near the top of the draft”. He made these comments before the draft was confirmed to only go five rounds, so we need to wonder how much of this draft qualifies as “top of the draft”. It might be the whole thing. It might be the first three picks. As a “preference”, are you okay getting two middle defenders and one pitcher in the first two rounds?

I’m pretty sure there was also a line from Jerry that referred to not taking three consecutive right-handed prep pitchers at the top because of the inherent, well-documented risk around drafting HS RHP. But does this exclude them from taking ONE??

I like Abel here for a few reasons.

  • I think he’s the best prep pitcher in this draft, but getting downgraded because of the conventional thinking against prep righties. Which means: value.
  • I think he’s got the kind of frame Seattle prefers, and some pretty promising rapsodo metrics to build on. He actually kinda reminds me of Logan Gilbert.
  • He’s a Northwest product…essentially from Portland, so getting to play for the major league team closest to home may be a strong incentive to sign away from college commitment to Oregon State.
  • Abel’s draft projection is between, roughly, #8-11 overall. If you draft him at #6, you could theoretically give him bonus money for pick, say, #9 and he’d take it.

I’m offering Abel $5mill to sign (slot is $5.7m), and moving the rest down to lower rounds.

(Alternate pick: SS Ed Howard)

#43 – C Drew Romo

Romo is a switch-hitting backstop with arguably the best defense/arm of any catcher this class, pretty underrated bat, and he has projection as roughly a mid-30’s pick. To accomplish this pick I’m counting on two things: 1) the overall dropping of high school talent in this draft, 2) underslot savings from the 1st round allowing you to give Romo bonus of the 36th pick at #43.

I’m giving Romo $2million bonus ($270,200 overslot) to pull him away from his LSU commitment.

(Alternate pick: RHP Justin Lange)

#64- SS Harold Coll

In my opinion, Coll is one of the more under-the-radar gems in this draft. If present value doesn’t have him as a five-tool guy; I think his future value will. The infield arm is very legit. Glove is a 60. Bat seems really good and the power is quickly coming.

We still have $472,700 surplus from the 1st round, so I’m moving most of that to Coll and signing him away from North Carolina for $1.5mill.

(Alternate pick: C Daniel Susac)

#78- LHP Liam Norris

Norris is a well-built prep LHP that reminds me of former Mariner James Paxton.

Norris is committed to North Carolina, so I’m borrowing from future rounds to bump his bonus to $1mill.

(Alternate pick: OF Chase Davis)

#107- 2B Anthony Servideo

With this mock showing Seattle hypothetically missing or passing on 2B Nick Gonzales at #6, I wanted to compensate with a similar player before the draft ended. Servideo, like Gonzales, played primarily shortstop for his college team this year, but whose bat would fit better at 2B.

At 5’10″/175lbs, Servideo is a solid defender, with plus speed (24×26 stolen bases in 2019, 9×10 in 2020), sneaky power (5 HR in 59 AB’s), and a great eye at the plate (.390/.575/1.270).

Here’s one of Servideo’s 2019 homers, and if you look again, he hits it off likely top 5 pick Asa Lacy. Left on left crime.

After all of the previous over-slot deals; we’re down to $765,500 to spend on our last two picks. If we need to go higher on Servideo, we can still go “senior-signing” guy in the 5th (maybe like $50k), and spend most of the remainder now. I’m gonna try to split the $765k pretty close to down the middle so that I can draft a couple college juniors and save all the seniors for those undrafted $20k deals. We’ll do $400k for Servideo.

#137- C Michael Rothenberg

As I said, I want to try to get a college junior here that wouldn’t otherwise sign after the draft. Dipoto says he wants middle of the field defenders and we’ve covered SS, 2B, and one C already. We could go centerfielder here, but my sense is there are some that are Seniors you could sign in UDFA. I don’t see many middle infielders left to double-dip on. And I really like the depth of the catcher class…most of whom are juniors.

Rothenberg is another switch-hitter, with a nice arm, very good power, and above-average running for the spot.

Rothenberg gets the entirety of the remaining bonus pool: $365,500. Which will be better than the offer he’d get if he returns to school and has to become a senior signing in next year’s loaded draft.

6- RHP Mick Abel
43- C Drew Romo
64= SS Harold Coll
78- LHP Liam Norris
107- 2B Anthony Servideo
137- C Michael Rothenberg

I consciously went 4 bats to 2 arms for a couple reasons, but one is that my list of seniors has more interesting pitchers than position players. I’m trying very hard to sign LHP AJ Block out of WSU, RHP Jake Smith out of State College of South Florida, and RHP Brian Van Belle out of Miami as starters. For the bullpen; RHP Mac McCarty, RHP Christian Peters, RHP Brandon Young, RHP Luke Boyd, and LHP Antonio Velez.

Undrafted position players include: OF Parker Bates, OF Brandon Henson, UT Braden Zarbnisky, IF Anthony Warneke, and UT Brett Auerbach.

Mariner Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

It was confirmed earlier this month that the 2020 MLB Draft will only consist of five rounds, and then this week we received notice that the draft will be held over two days: June 10th-11th. While the short nature of the draft is pretty disappointing (especially in light that running a mere 5 rounds more would only cost MLB owners about $900k more), it does create some pretty interesting dynamics in terms of game theorizing the draft.

With only five rounds (and known competitive balance picks); we’ll end up with exactly 160 players drafted. In a normal draft year we’ll see about 1200 players drafted. What does the world do with those additional 1000 players?? Any of them that choose to are free to sign to a team of their choosing as undrafted players. BUT…MLB has determined UDFA can’t sign for more than $20,000. In a normal year, any player drafted after the 10th round can still be signed for up to $125,000 without pulling from the team’s bonus pool.

Additionally, MLB is saying that guys that ARE drafted this year can’t receive more than $100,000 of their bonus money this year. The rest will be paid out across 2021 and 2022. So even if a 1st round pick gets a $4million bonus, his 2020 check will be $100k, and he’ll get $1.95mill in 2021 and $1.95mill in 2022. This will create a situation where players have to wonder, “if I’m not getting paid until 2021, might as well not sign until 2021”. Which means re-entering the draft next year as a college senior or JUCO player.

The downside to re-entering the draft in 2021? A) the market is going to be flush with talent from all of the 2021 HS seniors, this year’s sophomores becoming eligible as 2021 college juniors, and then all of the 2021 college Seniors and any JUCO talent. So the market will be crazy saturated. B) the guys that are Juniors now will lose what is basically their only negotiating chip: the threat of returning to college for their Senior year, and be forced to become a 2021 “senior signing”…the guys that get massively underslot deals because they have no negotiating power.

It’s very much they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

High school players have much more flexibility. They can accept the $100k now with further bonus installments coming in the next two years. They can go the JUCO route where they will be draft-eligible again immediately next year (when the draft will be overloaded). Or, they can honor their college commitments where they’ll need to attend for three years before becoming eligible again in 2024 when things will, presumably, be much more calmed down societally.

While these are all of the questions the players will be facing; these are also the questions personnel departments have to try to figure out in order to come up with the most beneficial draft strategy. And while teams have the advantage of still talking to players and their representation during quarantine to figure out who is willing to sign and at what price; the media basically has lost months of time normally spent sorting out which teams are scouting which players and which players are signable, etc.

The other thing that will be unique to this year: the designated draft bonus pool is use-it-or-lose-it. In normal years, teams are designated a certain pool of bonus money based on each of their picks in the top 10 rounds. If you go underslot for your top 10 rounds, you can move any of that leftover money to any of your picks rounds 11-40 and offer them an overslot deal. None of that this year.

You have X number of picks and X amount of dollars to spend on those picks. In the Mariners’ case, they have $10,265,500 to spend on six draftpicks. This is relevant because, while I think the most-basic strategy these draft circumstances suggest is hard BPA; I do think with proper gauging of the market you can predict points where certain types/positions of players will fall en masse, and then you may be able to draft your 2nd best player with your 3rd or 4th pick.

The following is not only my basic mock draft of players, but also the game-play I’m thinking marks the best strategy to maximize talent acquisition for this unique draft.

Let’s begin.

My first theory is that, because high school players are really the only group with any kind of negotiating power, the draft will skew really college heavy the entire draft, but especially early on. This could be unfortunate for teams like Seattle that really favor college players early. But I think the counterpoint to that will be that some of the best prep talent will become available relatively later than they normally would. So the broadstroke, for me, will be focus on college in roughly the first two picks, and then start looking for prep upside in the picks round 2c and 3.

#1.6 – 2B Nick Gonzales

I’ve been on Nick Gonzales for a really long time. I’ve watched him climb up into the top 10, then top 5, and now we’re seeing lots of signs of him flattening out directly into this slot as the 6th player off the board. Lots of media are projecting him to Seattle.

I love his bat. He’s hit literally everywhere he’s been, so while the power numbers (12 HR, 36 RBI in 16 games for shortened 2020 season) were likely inflated playing home games in New Mexico; I still think he’s shown enough in the Cape and in road games to project as a 20 HR, high OBP, 2nd baseman of the future.

  • Nick Gonzales ranks in the Cape Cod League 2019: Average- 2nd, Doubles- 1st, Triples- 1st, Homeruns- 6th, Runs- 1st, Hits- 1st, RBI- 2nd, BB- 8th, SB- 21st

I think the run and glove tools are both being nitpicked a bit too much. Gonzales can steal a base or two, and he’ll play a very solid 2B. And Seattle really doesn’t have anyone in the system that projects as a major league 2B. It’s a great marriage of need and best player available.

Slot bonus for #6 overall is $5,742,900. In 2018, the Mets drafted Jarred Kelenic at #6 overall and signed him for $1,025,000 under slot. I’m going to try to get Gonzales signed for $5mill and stash $742k so that I can go overslot on later picks.

#2.43 – LHP Jared Shuster

I think the first major run will be on college bats. I think the second major run will be on college arms. From, like, pick #20 to #50 is thick with college pitching. Prep pitching will drop in lieu of “safer” college hurlers.

Shuster is probably my 2nd-favorite college lefty in this draft after Asa Lacy. Reid Detmers is close, but potentially getting Shuster 30 picks after Detmers is such great value.

At 6’3″/210lbs, he’s got good size and I think potential to add velocity to what is already a 95mph fastball. His change is the out-pitch. In his four starts this year, Shuster posted an excellent 10.75 SO/BB rate. Other rates included 0.95 WHIP, 14.70 SO/9, and only 1 HR allowed over 27 innings.

I’m signing Shuster for underslot (but still sizeable) $1.4mill, saving $329,800 of bonus money. We now have over $1million in surplus for the next four picks.

#2.64 – SS Harold Coll

Jerry Dipoto talked on a recent podcast about looking for up-the-middle defenders early in this draft. I don’t like the value of OF here. I think this is actually a nice class of catchers, but one can be found later. I don’t see a ton of middle-infielders. If you can secure a 2B and a SS in the first two rounds; I think you’re doing very well.

For prep players…obviously there are basically zero 2020 performance stats to look at (not that those are of much use vs other HS players), but really you’re drafting them based on tools. In the research I’ve done on Coll I’ve found testing numbers that include 100mph infield velocity, 100mph exit velocity at the plate, and pretty solid 60-yard dash time. The glove is one of the best I’ve seen in the class.

Coll is committed to North Carolina, so to get him to turn pro I’m offering an overslot deal at $1.25mill.

#3.78 – RHP Alejandro Rosario

This pick is the most speculative. I’m projecting that the best value in this draft will come from high school righthanded pitching taking the biggest collective fall. Prep RHP is notoriously the most volatile group to draft. Add in this year’s complications…it feels like something to watch for.

I think Rosario and Justin Lange are the two most desirable prep righties, and I think in a normal year they get drafted well earlier than this spot (a la Sam Carlson drafted at #55 in 2017). But this year they may drop.

Lange looks more like a Mariner type with his 6’4″/185lbs build, but that (and his 100mph velo) will make him more of everyone’s type. Rosario is more undersized at 6’1″/170lbs which may make him the more plausible name to fall this far.

Rosario rocks a very good 97mph fastball with armside run, and the outpitch is listed as a splitter but looks like a diving change, to me.

I believe Rosario is committed to Miami, so we’ll be going overslot again here and trying to get him in the system for $1.1mill.

#4.107 – UT Nate Clow

This pick is the one I struggled with the most. I considered going “senior signing” and moving that money to targeting a tough-sign high schooler in the 5th round, but that just seems like such a generally terrible strategy. Shouldn’t you draft the more talented guy here while he’s still on the board and then the senior signing in the 5th??

Clow is a current shortstop out of Federal Way with a college commitment to USC. Most draft boards have him outside of the top 160 draft slots and moving to center, but I like him enough as an infielder to pick him here. Wherever he ends up defensively; it seems it will be up the middle.

The swing is beautiful with a great feel to barrel balls. He’s a smooth athlete, too, both in the field and on the base-paths.

In order to keep him from going to USC it’s gonna cost, but I think the format of this draft will allow you to bookmark an even $1mill for him ($450k overslot), and the ability for him to play 30 minutes from home should help.

#5.137 – C Michael Rothenberg

I mentioned earlier that I like this catching class and I think it’s gonna allow you to wait until your last pick in the draft to take one. I’ve got college Senior Kale Emshoff, Kent, WA product via U of San Diego Shane McGuire, VTech’s Carson Taylor, and Rothenberg all still on the board at this point. From that group you’ve got one righty, one lefty, and two switch hitters. All were having stellar starts to their 2020 seasons with great OBP rates.

Emshoff: .417/527/1.327
Taylor: .431/.541/1.231
McGuire: .469/.561/1.249
Rothenberg: .349/.551/1.156

I never looked into Taylor’s caught-stealing rate, but the other three were all over 33%, with Rothenberg nailing an even 50% of would-be stealers to start the year. I’m giving his overall offensive/defensive balance the edge over some of the better bats from the group.

In 2019, Seattle went overslot on 11th round catcher Carter Bins (slot $125k, paid $350k). With the savings banked from going underslot on the first two picks; we’ve still got a little extra to offer Rothenberg as well. I’m offering him $109k over slot and pushing his bonus to just over a half-mill: $515,500.

Final draft:

2B Nick Gonzales
LHP Jared Shuster
SS Harold Coll
RHP Alejandro Rosario
SS Nate Clow
C Michael Rothenberg

4 Bats, 2 Arms. 4 athletic, up-the-middle defenders. 1 Righty, 1 Lefty. 3 college, 3 high school.

After the draft, who knows if any underclassmen will take only $20k to give up their senior years; but I did do some digging on some Seniors that might have to. The only question is where they’d prefer to sign.

With only two pitchers drafted, and no outfielders; I went pitching and outfield heavy in UDFA.

RHP Christian Peters – a starting pitcher for University of Portland and originally from Olympia, WA. Posted a 0.63 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 10.99 SO/9, 11.67 SO/BB season in 4 starts this year.

RHP Mac McCarty – a junkballer from UAB with a funky delivery and a ton of energy that originally came out of Port Orchard. Mccarty finished 2020 without giving up any runs over 10 relief appearances and 16.0 innings. 5 saves, 8.00 SO/BB.

LHP AJ Block – a 6’5″/220lb lefty starter out of WSU via Newport HS in Bellevue. Block posted 1.19 WHIP, 11.06 SO/9, 6.80 SO/BB in his four starts this year.

LHP Antonio Velez – a senior southpaw reliever with a 0.58 WHIP, 10.90 SO/9, 7.00 SO/BB in 6 appearances, 5 out of the pen.

RHP Brandon Young – another big-bodied pitcher at 6’6″/210lbs used mostly as a starter for Louisiana-Lafayette. 0.89 WHIP, 13.50 SO/9, 4.11 SO/BB in 24 innings. Nice 3-pitch mix.

RHP Brian Van Belle – a guy I was strongly considering using a draftpick on, but with 8 of first 9 picks in 2019 draft being pitchers for the M’s; I figure we should try to get a couple more bats this year. Van Belle isn’t the biggest guy, nor the hardest thrower (only tops out at 92mph), but he locates well and demonstrates a nasty changeup. 0.68 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 12.99 SO/9, 9.50 SO/BB as Miami’s Friday starter.

RHP Luke Boyd – reliever with closing experience (6 saves in 2020), 0.73 WHIP, 13.09 SO/9, 16.00 SO/BB. Not overpowering, but well located fastball and nasty slider.

OF Brandon Henson – .370/.564/1.416 with 4 HR, 5×6 stolen bases in only 9 games.

OF Parker Bates – Decent sized guy with good pop and a solid glove in center. Doesn’t strike out much and hit 6 homers in only 15 games this year. Kinda reminds me of Jim Edmonds.

UT Brett Auerbach – I’ve seen him play C, 2B, and OF. Posted .506 OBP and stole 12 bases in 17 games this year.

OF Braden Zarbnisky – Not only an interesting 4th OF option with great basestealing, but a decent relief pitcher.

 

March SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

I figured while things are in a freeze that I’d fire up the ol’ laptop and put together a new mock draft. So now, not only do we have data from the Combine, we also have the knowledge that there will, most likely, be a LACK of data on many players that couldn’t test at the Combine nor their school’s pro day. This will cause guys with under the radar athleticism to hold steady (maybe drop), while teams bump up the players that they know more definitely how athletic they are. So a Zack Baun is now most likely picked before a Josh Uche simply because of fewer unknowns on Baun.

The other thing we now know is the exact draft board for all 255 picks, including comp picks. Seattle landed at 8 picks (as I’ve been saying for months). With as many holes as the roster currently has; I just don’t see them standing pat with 8 picks. I think they look to get up to 10.

I now have a little bit better idea the make-up of the 1st round; and with some degree of sadness I now relent to the idea that Seattle will once again trade off their 1st round pick. I feel fairly confident Seattle will still have roughly seven players they still really like when they hit the clock at #27. Logic dictates you trade back with that kind of number. Conservatively, you move back to #34. But conservative trade-backs won’t give you as big of a return.

So my theoretical perfect trade back is moving from #27 all the way down to #44 in a trade with the Colts that also nets you their #75 in the 3rd and #211 in the 6th. This single trade puts Seattle at 10 picks, and re-centers the draft board into the 40-80 range where the Hawks would pick at #44, #59, #64, and #75. I think this is the epicenter of this draft’s value.

This mock is NOT a “what I think they will do” draft in terms of players. I think Seattle will draft a DT and a RB higher than I am willing to. I think Seattle is not very interested in drafting an OT, which I don’t agree with, but one could speculate they like Jamarco Jones at RT. I don’t trust his durability.

#44 – DB Jeremy Chinn

Jeremy Chinn is simply one of my “must-have” players in this draft. It was easier when he was a 4th round player, but his Combine numbers have clearly catapulted him to top 50 status. I’m not sure he even lasts until #44, but we’ll see.

Chinn gives you the single most athletic player at this year’s combine, with comparables to Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick. That also brings with it some position flexability. He’s built like a strong safety, has the speed and range to play free safety, and I think you could coach up his technique to play corner.

This play I only saw recently, and it blows me away.

#59- OLB Josh Uche

Uche is the other guy I have to have. But, unlike with Chinn, Uche’s lack of Combine and pro day testing will (hopefully) drop his stock. The other thing running against Uche is his size: 6’1″/245lbs. An undersized quote-unquote speed-rusher with no confirmed 40 time?? That might be a guy that drops.

But the subplots on Uche are 1) for a 6’1″ frame, he has a 6’8″ wingspan. 2) for a “speed-rusher” he has unexpected power. 3) he’s smarter than almost every DE I’ve studied this year. It’s kind of like Russell Wilson…fell because he was short and only a running QB, but the reality was he had long arms, big hands, and in fact WAS a pocket passer. And he was smarter than every QB that came out that year. It’s fine to acknowledge the talking points, but it’s better to know if there aren’t mitigating circumstances that cancel out the spoken negatives.

#64 – OT Matt Peart

As I wrote earlier, I’m drafting a RT this year. But it doesn’t seem like Seattle is thinking of doing so. They’re trusting that Jamarco is a thing the same way they trusted that Tedric was a thing. I don’t trust their self-scouting. Or maybe they’ll pay a RT in free agency. I’d be okay with that.

Peart is one of two RT that I see lasting this far that I can also see some upside left in. The other is Isaiah Wilson. In some ways I could see Wilson being more of a Solari pick. But I think Peart fits better. It’s a bit counter-intuitive because Peart is built like a LT and Wilson is built like a rock-biter, but Peart is the better run-blocker, and therefore the better fit for Seattle.

#75 – DT Davon Hamilton

Again, signs are pointing toward Seattle seeking a pass-rushing 3tech early, but I think Hamilton has better passrush from the 1-tech than most of the 3’s. As a team that struggled to passrush but also fell off in terms of their run-defense; I like the fit of Hamilton’s versatile skillset. It reminds me somewhat of the year Kawann Short came out.

#101 – OL Jonah Jackson

Jackson is another guy where the athleticism isn’t as good as the tape. Tough to predict which he gets drafted off, and how high. At this spot, I’m trusting he gets pushed down a round due to his lack of athleticism.

I love Jonah’s tape at guard, but I’m also intrigued by the idea that he has college experience at center.

#133 – WR Isaiah Hodgins

There are so many thoughts and options regarding a WR in this draft. I love Van Jefferson as a possession guy with special teams ability. I love Chase Claypool in the redzone, potentially a TE, and on special teams. I love Antonio Gandy Golden as the right side redline target on day three.

I’m taking Hodgins here because he’ll be underdrafted due to his 40 time, but his route-running is comparable to Jefferson, his redzone is close to Claypool, and his redline is not too far below Golden. In summation: a nice combination of skillsets at a great value range for a team that only needs a WR3.

#144 – RB AJ Dillon

I know Seattle is gonna draft a RB this year. I think they’ll do it in the 2nd round. But I just don’t want to. Dillon is the RB consolation prize. He’s huge. He’s athletic. He was really productive in college. He might be Seattle’s attempt to get a Leveon Bell on day 3.

#162 – DT Khalil Davis

The Davis twins out of Nebraska are still pretty under the radar even though they both ran sub 4.9 second forties at 300+ lbs. Khalil was the more athletic (4.79s) and the more productive passrusher last year posting 8.0 sacks and 11.0 TFL. So if Seattle REALLY wants a 3tech, why not get the most athletic one at the best value??

#211 – CB Madre Harper

I’m a huge fan of Reggie Robinson, but the buzz on him after his top 5 CB Combine performance has put too much heat on him. So move it to the next guy. Harper is a 6’1″/196lb corner originally recruited to Oklahoma State, played his last two years at SIU, that tested pro day at Northwestern where he posted a 4.41s forty, 40″ vert, 11’02” broad, 4.10 shuttle, 6.70 cone.

He’s an aggressive player with solid tackling, 2 INT, 14 pass defenses last year. With both Shaq and Tre returning as starters, Seattle can take a flyer on an athletic guy with enough agility to play the nickel, and the size to play outside, and just groom him for a year or two.

#214 – WR/RB Joe Reed

This is a highly speculative pick. I’m guessing Seattle drafts two WR, including one that needs to be able to return on special teams. I’m projecting that Reed could also make a transition to more of a full-time RB role and be a sort of new Prosise. It’s a very specific profile and Reed ticks off so many of the boxes.

He’s 6’1″/224lbs, ran a 4.47s forty with good jumps, led the country in kickoff returns with over 33 per, and Virginia used him periodically in and out of the backfield.

Recap:

#44 – DB Jeremy Chinn
#59 – OLB Josh Uche
#64 – OT Matt Peart
#75 – DT Davon Hamilton
#101 – OL Jonah Jackson
#133 – WR Isaiah Hodgins
#144 – RB AJ Dillon
#162 – DT Khalil Davis
#211 – CB Madre Harper
#214 – UT Joe Reed

5 offense, 5 defense. Heavy on defense early. 5 total line of scrimmage players.

Post Super Bowl Sea-Mock

By Jared Stanger

Congrats (and thanks) to the Chiefs on their win, and thanks for the 2nd round pick. Here’s a quick n easy postgame Seahawk 7-round mock draft.

I’ve reworked the Seattle draft board to get pretty accurate representation of their actual draft picks including compensatories. They currently only have eight picks, which I don’t think many were aware of. One of the comp picks fell off of their previously-thought total, and they traded away a 5th for Quandre Diggs during the season. The Diggs pick is the lone pick I don’t know for sure about as I write this. We could be sending Detroit the pick we got from Pittsburgh (via Jacksonville) for Nick Vannett, or we could be sending them our native 5th round pick. I will be keeping the lesser of the two picks as it is easier to adapt an early pick to reaching than to guess at players falling to a later pick.

#27- DE/OLB Josh Uche, Michigan

At various points in 2019, I vacillated between Uche and Zack Baun as the better fit for Seattle’s LEO/SAM hybrid position. I always liked Uche’s passrush more, but Baun seemed the better off the ball. After watching both during the Senior Bowl; I’m not sure that Uche isn’t the better passrusher AND off the ball.

Regardless; Seattle needs passrush more.

#59- OC Matt Hennessy, Temple

I’ve got a trio of Centers I’m interested in Seattle drafting: Lloyd Cushenberry, Cesar Ruiz, and Matt Hennessy. I’m curious the order they’ll come off in, and how many will still be on the board at 59. I feel safest about Hennessy being there coming from a smaller school.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Guard here, but it feels, at this point, like there is more heat on the Centers, and the Guards will fall a bit further.

#64- DB Jeremy Chinn, SIU

There are reasons why this pick doesn’t seem like a Seattle pick, and reasons why it really does. Chinn comes from a small school and Seattle may not be very interested in another high pick on a safety with McDougald and Diggs both returning, and after using a 2nd on a safety just last year.

On the other hand; Chinn is a safety in name but that also looked pretty damn comfortable playing the slot against either WR’s or TE’s at the Senior Bowl. So he may be a nickel corner for Seattle (a literal replacement for similar profile Akeem King). He’s also the nephew of HOF’er Steve Atwater, and about to make a bunch of money at the combine when people find out exactly how athletic he is.

Versatile skillset includes high-end blitzing ability:

#100- OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State

First of all…I think this might be a good place to trade back. I’ve got a LOT of players at all positions that could fit at this spot. If you could somehow end up with two picks early on day 3/4th round; I think I’d do it.

But if we stood pat…#100 is another pick where I’ve got a couple guys at the same position I’m interested in. I like both Logan Stenberg and Jonah Jackson here. Stenberg is a player I like from an intangibles perspective…he’ll change the chemistry of the OL room and bring some attitude. Jackson I came to watch late in the process, but is probably the better overall player on tape. I’m going with Jackson for his tape and for having a lower profile to this point.

#130- DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

Hamilton is an interesting player. He’s stout enough to play some 1tech, but he also has sneaky passrush chops that put up 6.0 sacks last year and could play up if given more work at 3tech. I see a bit of Kawann Short in him, but (thankfully) to this point he’s had much lower profile than KK did in his draft year.

I think Davon will outperform his draft position. I think he has intangibles to be better than current projection.

#143- WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

I know the history of Seattle drafting WR’s in the 4th round says don’t do this, but the depth of this specific WR class tells me better this year than ever before.

Claypool has been on my shortlist at WR for a while, but after seeing him at the Senior Bowl, I’m moving him higher within that list. He moves too damn well at 230lbs to be available this late, and his combine may soon move him higher than this, but for now…I’ll take his redzone ability, pseudo TE build, run-blocking, to add to Lock and Metcalf’s deep targets.

#173- CB Reggie Robinson, Tulsa

This is one of the easier picks in this mock draft. I think there’s a wide spectrum of perceived talent in this CB class. And part of that perception is gonna put some very Seahawky CB’s available into the 5th round. My two current favorites are Jeremy Chinn’s teammate Madre Harper, and Robinson.

I’ve gone with Robinson today because of his work at the Senior Bowl and simply being able to find more of his game tapes available to study. I especially liked Reggie’s game vs Power 5 Oklahoma State and Michigan State. Click through this link to see an entire thread of video I posted on him last week:

#214- QB James Morgan, FIU

There’s really no strong reasoning for any prospect in the 6th-7th rounds. You can take a flyer on a great athlete. You can double-down on a position that is strong in the class. You can look to fill a need at a backup or special-teams position. For this mock; I’m going with the latter. Geno Smith is a free agent…Russ will need a new backup (again).

Morgan is a flawed prospect, but he’s got some intriguing traits. Not the least of which is that he, reportedly, CRUSHED interviews at the Shrine Game. I’ll take a smart player with solid arm-strength to be a backup to a guy that basically never misses snaps any day.

Recap:

1.27- DE Josh Uche
2.59- OC Matt Hennessy
2.64- DB Jeremy Chinn
3.100- OG Jonah Jackson
4.130- DT Davon Hamilton
4.143- WR Chase Claypool
5.173- CB Reggie Robinson
6.214- QB James Morgan

Taken with the 27th pick

By Jared Stanger

Welcome to draft season. I don’t have time for bullshit. Seahawks are now officially drafting at #27 overall. This year we need the Liam Neeson draft. We need players with a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like Aaron Rodgers. If you draft these players now, that will be the end of it. But if you don’t, I will look for your burner account, I will find you, and I will troll you.

#1.27- OLB/DE, Michigan, Josh Uche

I’ve been consistent this year in my belief that Seattle draft a replacement for Mychal Kendricks, but in a guy that is a better pass-rusher as well. Assuming the OT board falls away from Seattle, I think you make this pick earlier than later.

#59- DT, Utah, Leki Fotu

There were a few times this year the Seahawk performance took noticeable dips after losing players to injury and/or suspension. One was arguably the loss of Al Woods. Fotu should lock down the opposing run-game and allow passrush improvement to trickle out to the DE’s.

#63- RB, Utah, Zack Moss

Speaking of the team’s performance falling off…I think the team became so much worse after the loss of Chris Carson, on the heels of losing Rashaad Penny. A legitimate RB allows Russell to play more efficient football, carry less of the burden. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great year for RB’s, so there needs to be some level of reach to get one that could carry RB1 duties, if needed.

#100- OG, Kentucky, Logan Stenberg

With the OT board dried up, and Seattle losing Iupati to free agency, there is honestly room for the team to add OL help at multiple positions. Stenberg is gonna be a tone-setter at LG.

#131- DB, SIU, Jeremy Chinn

I don’t have a great argument for the fit on drafting Chinn, I just think he’s a great value at current projection, and I’ll find out where to play him later.

#141- OT, UConn, Matt Peart

Logistically, I’d like to draft a WR here, but superstitiously I won’t allow myself to do it. Peart is the best RT I can find after the first round. He’s got prototypical size, decent athleticism, and he’s not Ifedi.

#168- WR, Florida, Van Jefferson

Personally, I think Jefferson will eventually be picked before this spot, but with the depth of WR this year it is the best position to push down your board. If not Jefferson, find someone else at WR at this point.

#211- CB, Iowa, Michael Ojemudia

I have a shortlist of CB that fit certain criteria of tape, size, and projection: Ojemudia, Reggie Robinson, Madre Harper, Will Sunderland. Ojemudia seems the least likely to fall this far due to his Power 5 school. A small-school guy is more probable.

#245- TE, Michigan, Sean McKeon

I just want a TE that can block and not drop passes. Is that so hard? This isn’t a great year to find that, but McKeon has shown flashes. I’ll be monitoring Senior Bowl practice especially close for TE’s.

Final draft:

OLB Josh Uche
DT Leki Fotu
RB Zack Moss
OG Logan Stenberg
DB Jeremy Chinn
OT Matt Peart
WR Van Jefferson
CB Michael Ojemudia
TE Sean McKeon

All I want for Christmas

By Jared Stanger

Save for the Marshawn Lynch news; this has been a pretty shitty week (or two) for Seahawk fans. Niners won. Hawks got embarrassed. Lost two players to suspension. Lost 42 guys to injury. And somebody put fucking cranberries in the stuffing. Who does that?!

But, rather than simply whining about where we’re at; I’m always a fan of trying to look forward and find solutions. My primary method for that is the draft, but keep in mind the Seahawks have somewhere upwards of $70million in cap space to play with as well.

Also, instead of presenting another mock draft format; I thought I would just group like items together in a sort of digital/video Sears catalog.

The gift of a new Josh Gordon.

Gordon, now suspended indefinitely, is a free agent and I just don’t see Jody Allen signing off on an extension. Plus, it’s one hell of a WR draft class, so it would be relatively easy to replace him on a rookie deal.

Combining film study and a few statistical metrics; I think you draft from a shortlist of Antonio Gandy Golden, Isaiah Hodgins, Omar Bayless, Michael Pittman, Chase Claypool.

AGG would be the most literal replacement for Gordon. From a size and skillset standpoint he hits the marks the closest. Huge bodied target with the best deep ball ability in the class.

Hodgins is a big-framed target, but more of an elite route runner than Gordon.

Pittman has elite hands on top of a huge frame. Good jump ball player. Good redzone.

Claypool is a physical beast. He’s almost part TE. Great in the redzone.

Bayless is the smallest of this bunch, and has much lower buzz, but statistically still qualifies for this group as a market share hog.

The gift of a new Al Woods.

Our second recently-suspended player. Woods is also an impending UFA, and at 33 years old I’m not sure you pay him when you have bigger needs extending Clowney and Reed. But it is worth noting that the first game without Woods the Seahawks gave up like 250 yards rushing.

So we need to upgrade that Woods/Bryan Mone roster spot. Fortunately, while this isn’t a special passrushing IDL class, I think you can find some solid roster foundation players. Like, you can find the KJ Wright of DT’s in this class.

The best DT’s from the best run-defending college teams in the country go something like: #1 Utah- Leki Fotu, #3 Georgia- Tyler Clark, #7 Ohio State- Davon Hamilton.

Fotu is a monster at 6’5″/335lbs but doesn’t move like it.

I’m a huge fan of Hamilton and I think he presents the best value with a pretty high degree of upside.

Jordan Elliott might be another name for this group, but I honestly just haven’t studied him yet.

The gift of a new CJ Prosise.

(Well, a new Prosise in terms of roster spot. We don’t need someone with Prosise’s, ahem, “attributes”.)

In addition to replacing Prosise permanently; we now need to be looking at how long Penny and Carson are gonna be out. So RB is a legit need. Maybe you throw some cap space at Melvin Gordon or a lower amount at Austin Ekeler, but let’s still draft one more.

Unfortunately, I don’t love this RB class. I think this pick is gonna be more of a hail mary than at other positions. I like Zack Moss a lot if you want to invest the pick high enough to get him. I like Kylin Hill if he comes off the board on day 3. But currently I think the best fit might be Najee Harris.

Harris’ game has strong similarities to Chris Carson’s. Both are over 6’1″/215lbs, run extremely hard, and are solid receivers.

I had this thought recently that Seattle could/should construct a draft this year that resembled the Steelers’ draft from 2017 and it would not only fill needs but also find them some great players. In that scenario Zack Moss could be the James Conner guy.

The gift of…well…most of the OL.

So here’s some pretty complicated news: Seattle’s unrestricted free agents on the offensive line go George Fant, Mike Iupati, Joey Hunt, Germain Ifedi. Justin Britt is hurt, Duane Brown is somewhat hurt. Jamarco Jones didn’t look great at LT (but has shown interesting potential at guard). Ethan Pocic is deep into his 3rd year and still seems at best a bench player. Phil Haynes had promising college tape but has yet to see an NFL snap. I’m not sure how much upside there is beyond that on the bench and practice squad.

You could literally draft anywhere along the OL and it would probably be useful. You probably need to draft two.

The good news: for some time this has looked like a quality OT draft. There’s a lot of very solid left and right side players available. But the bad news: more and more the draft buzz is pushing OT’s up draft boards. Now it seems even some former 3rd round targets now may not fall out of the top 20 overall. This could be deeply damaging to any sort of selective draft strategy.

Regardless, this isn’t a mock draft. This is a wishlist.

Contrary to most mock drafts; I kinda prefer Tristan Wirfs as first OL off the board. He’s primarily played RT in his career, but he did make some spot starts at LT this year. And he looked remarkably good making the instant, in-game transition. I think he could play LT in the league, which should help his stock. Plus, he should make money at the Combine.

Whereas Wirfs has always felt out of reach; I had spent part of this season thinking there might be a shot that Jedrick Wills might be available for Seattle. And I was very okay with it knowing how good of a run-blocker he was. He might have made more sense for SEA.

But, alas, it’s now looking like Wills may end up a top-15 pick.

So then I moved on to Houston’s LT Josh Jones. With less highlight reel, nasty blocks and coming from a smaller program; I thought maybe Jones would be able to linger to the 2nd round. He, too, is now looking like a 1st round pick. Ideal size and length. Good feet.

Alex Leatherwood is also generally included in this first group of OL, but I don’t have a great feel for him, yet. Sam Cosmi isn’t currently mentioned with the first tier (likely because he is just a redshirt Soph that hasn’t declared), but if he does declare his availability would benefit Seattle either directly from Cosmi being available at their pick, or Cosmi pushing one of the other aforementioned OT down in the draft. Although I really like Cosmi’s tape at LT, it may be more immediately useful that he played RT last year.

Mekhi Becton is an absolute brute as a run-blocker, but I have questions about his pass-pro.

Due to the drying up of the OT pool; I’m now looking to move on to the Guards and hopefully find more value there.

Trey Smith is similar to Becton in that it’s easy to see his strength in run-blocking, but seems inconsistent in pass.

The guard I’m really liking is Logan Stenberg. This guy is an attitude setter. Might have some Richie Incognito in him. Definitely gets his share of penalties, but they’re more of the Breno Giacomini type than the Ifedi.

Robert Hunt has played a fair amount of RT this year, but projects more as a guard going forward. Unfortunately, he’s sustained an injury that will hold him out of the Senior Bowl and perhaps the Combine.

At Center, I’ve really only spotted one guy that I like. Temple’s Matt Hennessy. He’s a bit undersized for what Solari seems to prefer, but his anchor is still very solid. If he’s “replacing Joey Hunt” the size and intelligence seem to match pretty well.

The gift of a new Mychal Kendricks.

For me, this is a pretty high priority. And it’s a priority because I really want one of the following two guys.

I think Josh Uche had a great year, but I think there might be even more upside in him yet to come. He’s got that pissed off for greatness feel to him. He’s shown fantastic speed rush:

But then this year, Uche also showcased some truly impressive power rushing. This combo is so intriguing.

The other guy is Zack Baun who I picture as more of a capable off-the-ball LB, but with special passrush ability.

The gift of a new Ziggy Ansah.

For whatever reason, if I was really wanting to tighten this in, I probably could have come up with a list of two draft players to focus in on for each one of the outgoing Seahawks. Cause there are kind of two each that I have as highest priority in my mind.

For Ansah; I’m going sort of Yetur Gross-Matos and Terrell Lewis. Both are really long (6’5″) with YGM tipping the scales at 264lbs (closer to Ziggy), and Lewis more at 252 currently.

Lewis: bit more of that POFG vibe. Good stunt rusher. Well-rounded rush repertoire. Here’s a spin move:

Lewis needs to get a bit better at finishing. He seems to have a great plan to beat the OL, but that plan sometimes causes him to overshoot the QB.

YGM is definitely more of a long-striding power rusher. He’s gonna win more with his upper body…rips and chops.

And to wrap things up…I’ve got a couple gifts that are kind of one-of-a-kind.

The gift of a new Quinton Jefferson.

Marlon Davidson, in theory, would actually be a better version of QJeff. Great combo of inside and outside rush ability. Good intangibles, too.

The gift of a new Akeem King.

I’ve written before about the similarities between Akeem King and Jeremy Chinn. Same build, same background at safety but with a little bit of CB mixed in. But Chinn is one of my personal favorite players in this draft.

That’ll probably do for now. Hopefully you can find something within this list that would make your favorite 12 happy this Christmas or next draft. Merry Christmas everybody!!

December 2019 SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

As we sit today, with the Seahawks yet to play on MNF, I’ve got Seattle (as a #5 seed) drafting at #24 overall. They win on Monday, they will take over the NFC West lead and the #2 seed from this conference and move to #29 overall. That’s a big swing. I’ll be writing this for the 5-seed numbers.

Seattle’s full draft board, I believe, runs approximately as follows:

#1.24, #2.56, #2.58, #3.100, #4.129, #4.141, #5.158, #6.211, #7.245

Let’s begin.

I very much like this draft class at SAM LB which gives us a chance to replace Mychal Kendricks. Actually, I think we are looking for a guy that fits somewhere between Kendricks and Bruce Irvin in terms of skillset(s) and usage.

#1.58 – LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Zack Baun is listed 6’3″/235lbs. Kendricks combined at 5’11″/239lbs, Irvin combined at 6’3″/245lbs. So you’d like to see Baun add some weight between now and the combine, but it really doesn’t need to be as much as some might suggest. Other guys that I think add interesting context: Shaq Barrett 6’2″/251lbs, and fellow Badger TJ Watt at 6’4″/252lbs.

In terms of valuating Baun in the 1st round…nobody else has him this high. I’m basing this off of Baun’s production and eyeball estimation of how I think he is going to perform at the combine. Baun is top 10 in the country with his 11.5 sacks and 18.5 TFL. Additionally, he has 10 hurries, 2 PBU, 1 INT, 2 FF, and 62 tackles.

I was close to putting Michigan OLB/DE Josh Uche here, but a) Baun had the better game this week, b) Baun would work better in the Kendricks role, playing in coverage and allowing Seattle to stay in three-linebacker base more often.

Part of the reason I’m pivoting to a LB/DE in the 1st round is because my primary 1st round interest, OT Jedrick Wills, has become too hot to last until the last third of the 1st round. But it’s still important in this good OT class to draft replacement for Germain Ifedi, George Fant, or both.

#2.56 – OT Josh Jones, Houston

Jones has a few things going for him. He’s a great size: 6’7″/310lbs with good length and feet light enough to stick at LT. He’s put up very good tape and good analytics.

In this scenario, Jones begins his career as a right tackle while Duane Brown works through the last of his Seattle contract. But longterm Jones should be able to play left tackle.

Maybe the smarter move is drafting Jones in the 1st and trying to get Baun/Uche in the 2nd…we’ll know better after everybody tests at the combine…but for now I see passrush as a higher priority.

With two picks in the 2nd round, that are projecting to end up very close together, it may be a coinflip as to which to prioritize first. I’m prioritizing WR second in the 2nd because the depth of the spot should allow a better player from the WR class to be on the board later. I’m currently focusing in on five WR: Antonio Gandy Golden, Omar Bayless, Michael Pittman, Isaiah Hodgins, Chase Claypool.

#2.58 – WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State

The thing about my group of five WR, they all hold similar profiles. All are in the ballpark of 6’3″/210lbs+. All are top 25 in the country in both TD’s and explosive catches. All are projected available in the 2nd (or later).

In a literal sense Seattle could end up drafting a replacement for Josh Gordon, but does that mean the guy that is the most similar to Gordon? If so, I would go more for Gandy Golden. If we’re just drafting a WR that will take the vacated roster spot opened by UFA Gordon, and that creates the best mix with Lockett, Metcalf, Turner, and Ursua; I like Hodgins. With Lock and Ursua both small targets; I like a bigger body this year. With Metcalf’s shakey hands and weird inability to win jumpballs even though he is so big; I want a guy with rock solid hands and good vertical game.

Pittman has statistically the best hands, but AGG and Hodgins both also have some incredible hands catches on their reel. Pittman and AGG are very good in the air, and Claypool has at least 13 contested catches on the year. You seeing yet how hard it is to rank the WR this year??

The big reason I’m going with Hodgins is his route running. He’s got elements of the jumpballs and great hands that the other guys have, but I just think he’s so far advanced from the others on his routes. His releases are more like a 5’11” slot guy.

This next pick I really don’t want to make, but without knowing more about in-house free agent extensions; they need to do it.

#3.100- DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Seattle currently stands to lose Jadeveon Clowney, Ziggy Ansah, Quinton Jefferson, and Branden Jackson in free agency. And while Zack Baun is a pretty good passrusher; he’s nowhere near the weight class of this group (255, 275, 291, 295…average of 279lbs). Davidson is listed at 6’3″/278lbs. With so many free agents and a few lingering development questions on Rasheem Green and LJ Collier; we need another body. Preferably one that might be able to play some DT.

Marlon brings some interesting traits to the table. He has better dip and bend than you might expect from a guy his size. He’s a hell of a field goal kick blocker.

#4.129- OL Robert Hunt, Lafayette

When you have a deep class at a given position in a given year; I think it best to try to get multiple at that position. This year, I think you try to draft two OT and two WR.

Hunt is listed at 6’5″/322lbs, which happens to look very much like Mike Solari seems to prefer his OL. Hunt has been starting at right tackle this year for Lafayette, but also has experience as a guard. With both Iupati and Ifedi pending free agents I like Hunt as a hedge for two spots. He’s got good tape and pass-block efficiency marks.

#4.141- DB Jeremy Chinn, SIU

Chinn is a safety for Southern Illinois, and interestingly Seattle really doesn’t have any safeties heading to free agency. What they really need is a nickel, since they never really replaced Jamar Taylor after he was cut. But the other interesting part is that Akeem King, who has played nickel vs certain teams that run TE-heavy formations, WILL be a free agent. And what was King in college? A safety. a 6’3″/212lb safety.

Jeremy Chinn is listed at exactly 6’3″/212lbs. And I just love this guy’s profile. Great tackler, good range, obviously the size, he’s played at least 2 games at corner in 2018, and much like King; Chinn is an incredible blitzer.

#5.158- DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

It seems like the Seahawks frequently take these late-round flyers on defensive tackles. Last year it was Demarcus Christmas, 2016 it was Quinton Jefferson, 2014 it was Jimmy Staten, 2011 it was Pep Levingston. And three other times they drafted a DT late and attempted to convert them to OL.

If you can get Hamilton this late; I think he’d be the best of the bunch. I think he’s Jarran Reed 2.0 with none of the hype.

Jarran 2015: 6’4″/313lbs, 57 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks.

Davon 2019: 6’4″/310lbs, 22 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks.

This would give you a hedge for either of Reed or Al Woods leaving in free agency.

#6.211- WR Van Jefferson, Florida

As I said about the OT, it’s best to double-dip when the dipping is good. With both Josh Gordon and Jaron Brown free to leave after the season (and maybe David Moore), might as well draft two WR.

Van Jefferson is supremely underrated this year. Good size, great routes, and he can play special teams.

#7.245- OC Matt Hennessy, Temple

There are a few places I could have gone with this pick. I think we need to add another TE as that position group has been a shambles all year, but I don’t like the class. Prosise is walking in free agency (probably more of a limp to free agency), but I also don’t love the RB’s. And then there’s Justin Britt coming back from knee injury, Joey Hunt going to free agency, and Ethan Pocic only recently pulled back from IR and probably returning to playing center.

I only recently started watching some center tape, but of the 8-10 guys I watched for the first time, Hennessy was the only one that I really liked. He’s a bit undersized at listed 295lbs and Solari would almost certainly try to bulk him up, but he’s got a good frame to build on, and he’s a really smart kid. If he’s allowed to simply ride the bench for a year or two, could be an interesting project.

Recap:

1- OLB Zack Baun
2a- OT Josh Jones
2b- WR Isaiah Hodgins
3- DL Marlon Davidson
4a- OL Robert Hunt
4b- Jeremy Chinn
5- DT Davon Hamilton
6- WR Van Jefferson
7- OC Matt Hennessy

5-1 SeaMock

By Jared Stanger

Damn, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Working full-time plus school is kicking my ass. So this may be nothing more than the bones of a mock-draft, but it’s good for this point in the season.

After today’s win over Cleveland; Seattle would sit at about pick #28 (behind the Niners, Saints, and the two best AFC teams). Chiefs have dropped out of the AFCCG tier, which moves the Frank Clark pick up. I’ve added in the comp pick allotment, but some of the later-round picks may be off by +/- a couple picks.

Generally, I like to use a standardized big board for reference point across all of my mock drafts throughout the year. This year I will use the Draftnetwork board.

Huge win today over the Browns…Russell continued playing at an MVP level…some war horse work from Carson…defense forced some turnovers…but there was one glaring omission…

Sacks.

Not a single sack of Baker Mayfield. So the team sack lead continues to be shared by Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green, and Mychal Kendricks with 2.0 apiece. Not great. So, as much as it pains me not to take our next starting right tackle in the 1st round; the three elite OT are almost assuredly gonna be gone before #20; therefore, I’m gonna try to find us an edge rusher. It also could be a pretty high team “need” with the future of 2020 free agents Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney uncertain. Hopefully, one plays well enough to warrant an extension, and the other can walk and net a decent 2021 comp pick.

#1.28 – DE, Florida, Jabari Zuniga

Currently listed at 6’4″/246lbs and coming off a three-week absence due to injury; Zuniga has 3.0 sacks and 5.5 TFL in the four games he has played this year. I might try to get him to play more at the 257lbs he was at in 2018, when Florida also used him quite a bit as an interior rusher. Jabari shows me the best combination of get-off, hand technique, speed outside, and inside counters of the edge available at this point. Draftnetwork has him at #43 overall.

The other thing to consider about drafting an OT in the 1st or not is the depth. And primarily the depth of the second tier of OT.

#2.58 – OT, Alabama, Jedrick Wills

Again, Ifedi will be a free agent, so this is a pretty big need. And you might get a 5th round comp pick if you let Germain go.

For whatever reason, Draftnetwork has Texas rSoph Sam Cosmi ranked #305 overall. If he declares this year, I don’t see him falling out of the 1st. I would probably reconfigure this mock and take Cosmi over Zuniga at #28. I would DEFINITELY take Cosmi at #58. But that won’t happen.

My more realistic projection is Seattle getting Alabama right tackle Jedrick Wills here. Draftnetwork has him at #64. Listed at 6’5″/320lbs, I figure Wills is closer to a Mike Solari OT than some of the more athletic, but barely 300lb prospects out there. I also like that RT is Wills’ current position and we don’t need to make much projection or guesswork.

Oh, and he’s nasty.

#2.61 – OT, Houston, Josh Jones

Admittedly, I think this isn’t a plausible thing that Seattle would do (stacking two OT picks back-to-back), but I like this class and I’d like to get two pulls from it. There’s also the fact that, in addition to Ifedi, George Fant will be a free agent in 2020, and the clock is ticking on Duane Brown.

Jones is listed 6’7″/310lbs and looks more the part of the prototypical LT. I watched some of his 2018 tape over the summer and was only lukewarm on it, but I think he’s looked much better already in 2019. Maybe the coaching change to Dana Holgorsen and his staff has helped Jones. Holgersen and WVU has had a decent track record of producing NFL linemen: Quinton Spain, Mark Glowinski, Yodny Cajuste.

I like the counterpoint of Jones to Wills. Jones being a nice pass-blocker with solid run-blocking…Wills being a nasty run-blocker with solid pass-pro.

Draftnetwork has Jones ranked #354 overall. Undrafted. Yeah, umm, I don’t know what that is about. He’s at minimum a 3rd rounder, but I’m not waiting until Seattle’s next pick in the 3rd round comp section.

I had some thought about taking a pass catcher (either WR or TE) with a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but my personal philosophy just doesn’t value them as much as other people do. Not when you have a legit QB. Plus, you JUST drafted three WR; two of which you haven’t used. And you have decent track record of finding WR in late to undrafted regions, and this is a deep WR class.

#3.100 – LB, Michigan, Josh Uche

This is another instance of this year’s draft talent lining up with Seattle’s impending needs. Mychal Kendricks will be another free agent and, believe it or not, he’s been more of a passrusher than probably any other time in his career. I don’t know that Seattle is calling him an OTTO, but he has been closer to the later-year Bruce Irvin role than I think we realize.

I think this is an underrated class for the hybrid LB/DE type of player. And this will be a great spot to pick one. I’ve got three in mind: Uche, Zack Baun from Wisconsin, and Shaka Toney from Penn State. All three are in the 6’2″-6’3″ range, and 235-250lbs. All three have between 4.5-6.0 sacks in 6 games in 2019. I wouldn’t be mad at any of them. I may change my mind on which one I’d take in future mocks, but for now Uche gets the call.

Draftnetwork places him at #130.

#4.131 – TE, Cincinnati, Josiah Deguara

Nick Vannett has been traded. Will Dissly just tore his achilles. Luke Willson will be a UFA. Jacob Hollister will be a RFA. Who knows what happens with Ed Dickson. Chances are Seattle drafts a TE higher than this in 2020. But I’m not sure there’s a huge gap between TE2 and maybe as far down as TE12. And maybe you strike gold like you did with Dissly in a later round guy.

Deguara is listed 6’3″/240lbs and has 19 catches for 269 yards and 4 TD this year. He seems like a good mix of athletic and decent blocker.

Draftnetwork has him at #181.

#4.141 – DS, North Carolina, Myles Wolfolk

In the continuing quest to replace Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor; we’ve got to take another stab at safety. Wolfolk is a guy I spotted a few weeks ago. He’s only a junior and I have no sense he’ll declare as his profile isn’t very high, but this would be a great spot to snag him. I like his tackling, his ball skills, and his FBIQ.

Draftnetwork does not have him ranked.

#5.158 – CB, Pittsburgh, Jason Pinnock

Seattle actually has four CB that are impending UFA’s (King, Thorpe, Taylor, Reed). Multiple of those names are more noted as slot corners, which may make that more of the focus. The practice squad currently holds Perry Nickerson, Linden Stephens, and Ryan Neal…so Schneider is already preparing to lose some of the 53-man guys and bump up the PS guy(s).

Pinnock, like Wolfolk, is a junior and has no buzz other than I spotted them and like them. He’s listed at 6’0″/200lbs. Also like Wolfolk; Pinnock is currently injured.

I really liked his technique even from his 2018 sophomore tape.

Draftnetwork does not have him ranked, but ranks his secondary-mate Dane Jackson at #231.

#5.168 – WR, Florida, Van Jefferson

Outside of Lockett and Metcalf, the rostered and active WR are all some form of free agent in 2020. Brown is UFA, Moore is RFA, and Turner is ERFA. Like the CB situation; Schneider is already stacking WR between the inactive 53 and practice squad to replace some of those guys. He may not invest heavily at WR in the draft. But with a deep WR class; you may still be able to pull a solid guy in the 5th round. Moore was a 7th, Brown and Turner were undrafted.

Van Jefferson originally came out of the same Ole Miss WR room that held Metcalf and AJ Brown. He transferred to Florida where he’s been a bit underused, but still shows great route running, solid hands, good RAC, and even making big plays on special teams. He’d be a great WR4 for a year or two before getting a bigger role/opportunity.

Draftnetwork has him at #234.

#6.211 – DT, Ohio State, Davon Hamilton

Jarran Reed and Al Woods are both, technically, coming up on UFA, but it’d be a shock if they didn’t re-up Reed. Unless Jodie Allen has put her foot down on guys like Reed and Frank Clark. But until we see otherwise, I think Reed will be back, and we’ll try to add another body in the draft.

Hamilton is listed 6’4″/310lbs and hasn’t been a consistent force for the Buckeyes, but he’s shown flashes of being unblockable.

#7.245 – CB, West Virginia, Keith Washington

Another stab at some CB depth; Washington is listed 6’1″/180lbs and has posted 3 INT, 6 PBU this year. I’d keep my options open on him in terms of eventual pro position. I like this centerfield/safety-esque play, here.

Final haul:

1.28 DE Jabari Zuniga
2.58 OT Jedrick Wills
2.61 OT Josh Jones
3.100 LB/DE Josh Uche
4.131 TE Josiah Deguara
4.141 DS Myles Wolfolk
5.158 CB Jason Pinnock
5.168 WR Van Jefferson
6.211 DT Davon Hamilton
7.245 CB Keith Washington

Mariner mock 2.019

By Jared Stanger

As we’ve gotten closer to Monday night’s 1st round of the 2019 MLB Draft; I’ve gotten a bit better idea of how I could see the Mariners’ draft shaping up. It really feels like we’re going to see the team draft from the high school ranks, and that pick is going to be an infielder, and that infielder is most likely a shortstop.

The names most-connected to Seattle are SS Anthony Volpe and SS Nasim Nunez. I’ve seen a bit of buzz around 3B Keoni Cavaco. From those three, I’d prefer Cavaco…especially if the team thinks he can switch from 3B to SS. But I’m going a slightly different direction.

#20 – SS Matthew Lugo, Beltran Academy
(Slot bonus: $3,242,900)

Lugo not only attends the Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico; he’s actually Beltran’s nephew. So there is some good bloodlines. In the various HS all-star events; Lugo has tested to have 90mph infield velocity, a 6.46s sixty yard dash, and a 95mph exit velocity off his bat. All of these are above-average for his age (which is also one of the younger marks for his position).

Off tape; Lugo is one of the smoother defenders at short and looks like he will be able to stick at the spot. He also barrels the ball more consistently than most, and features one of the best launch angles. Feels like a very high floor player, with high ceiling if he continues to add strength/power.

With my previous mock putting a pitcher in the 1st, I followed with a bat. I still really like Cameron Cannon if he’s available here, but I like the balance of going pitcher-batter or batter-pitcher 1st-2nd more than going batter-batter or pitcher-pitcher.

(Other options: 3B Keoni Cavaco, RHP Jack Leiter, RHP JJ Goss)

#59 – LHP Ethan Small, Mississippi State
(Slot bonus: $1,185,500)

I’ve recently seen Small climbing above this draft spot, so this may not be possible, but I’m hoping he’s there. 8-2 this year with a 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 15.0 SO/9, 6.25 SO/BB from the lefthand side. The Mariner farm system doesn’t have much in the way of lefthanded starters that I really believe in. I think they need to take a few stabs at that this year.

Small doesn’t throw as hard as he did in 2016 before an injury had him miss all of 2017, but he has good control, a plus curveball, and does a lot to mess with batters’ timing with variations of his delivery.

The other thing to consider about Small: he’s a redshirt junior and 22 years old. You may be able to go underslot with him due to the unlikelihood that he would return to college next year.

If Small has already been drafted before the M’s pick; I’d consider Missouri LHP TJ Sikkema here. Seattle had a brief, but successful, pick in Missouri LHP Michael Plassmeyer last year, and Sikkema is similar but with a bit more velocity.

(Other options: 2B Cameron Cannon, LHP TJ Sikkema)

#76 – OF Chris Newell, Malvern Prep
(Slot bonus: $818,200)

One of the rare, tradeable draftpicks; this spot was acquired from Cleveland as part of the Carlos Santana trade. I look for the M’s to take a stab at another prep player here and try to use underslot savings from other picks to get this pick bonus up to over $1 million.

I’ve seen 3B/RF Rece Hinds falling to around this range in some mocks recently. I would jump all over that if it really came to pass.

But the more plausible name seems to be Chris Newell. A lefty hitting OF with quickly arriving power, good athleticism, and a plus outfield arm seems like the best value on the board here. Mariners don’t NEED outfield prospects as much as they need pitching and infield, but…best player available.

(Other options: 3B Nick Quintana, OF Will Robertson)

#98 – RHP Riley Cornelio, Pine Creek HS
(Slot bonus: $599,100)

I’ve got a quartet of players that I’m interested here, at the middle of the 3rd round. All happen to be high school players. A SS that could wind up in CF, a couple RHP, and a prep catcher. Because the M’s have already drafted a prep SS and prep OF in this mock; I will pass on that guy. I think there are college catchers coming up later that are safer than a prep catcher. So I isolate down to the two prep RHP: Riley Cornelio and Joe Charles.

Cornelio is 6’3″/193lbs out of Colorado with a commitment to TCU. Fastball is up to 95mph with good spin-rate curve.

Joe Charles is 6’3″/190lbs from Florida with a commitment to North Carolina. Fastball is up to 96mph and throws both curve and slider.

Honestly, these are very similar pitchers, but I’m giving the nod to Cornelio because I’m a little spooked of Charles’ signability away from UNC.

#126 – 1B/OF Jake Sanford, WKU
(Slot bonus: $451,800)

In my previous mock, I had Sanford in the 9th round. Since then I’ve seen nothing but reports about him going much, much earlier. So I’m moving him all the way up to the 4th round. One of the best power bats in the country this year; I’m putting Sanford at 1B and hoping the bat holds value there. Plus, there’s something about him that reminds me of John Olerud.

(other option: C Korey Lee)

#156 – C Nick Kahle, Washington
(Slot bonus: #336,600)

I think I had Kahle a round later in my previous mock, but he’s raised his stock a bit since then. I’m hoping he’s still available in the 5th.

(Other option: LHP Avery Short)

#186 – RHP Griffin McLarty, College of Charleston
(Slot Bonus: $259,400)

McLarty is a guy that I found in studying this class that I just sort of adopted as a personal favorite. He’s one of the few guys I’m keeping from my first mock, and at the same spot. Good size, good build, good mechanics, good production.

#216 – IF Patrick Causa, Mount Saint Mary
(Slot bonus: $203,400)

Part of me wants to draft local prep infielder Carter Young here, in the 7th. But I’d need to know his signability. Realistically, I think these next four picks in the top 10 rounds need to be college seniors. We’re looking for pretty significantly discounted signings to be able to afford some of the high schoolers picked in the first few rounds. Also, I think we need to focus on the infield.

I think the picks round 7-10 in this mock are more or less interchangeable. The bonuses for all four picks are within about $60k, so even if you went on-slot the money doesn’t change significantly.

Causa showed solid overall game with 12 HR, 9 SB, and a slash of .402/.521/1.231, with ability to play primarily left side of the infield.

#246 – UT Scott Ota, Illinois-Chicago
(Slot bonus: $167,000)

With really nice power (20 Homers) and the ability to play both corner infield and both corner outfield spots; Ota would be an ideal Senior Signee around this range.

#276 – 3B Daniel Lingua, Prairie View
(Slot bonus: $151,000)

Not much pop here, but a slash of .411/.513/1.046, 37 stolen bases, 5 triples, and 39 BB to 25 SO. Senior signing.

#306 – 2B Dupree Hart, College of Charleston
(Slot bonus: $143,500)

Hart is your sparkplug, leadoff guy. Only 5’7″/170lbs, but he plays a hell of a 2nd base, and is one of the top basestealing threats in college baseball (40 steals in 47 attempts). Plus, he’s a Senior and can hit a little bit (.305/.386/.775), with only an 8.18% strikeout rate.

#336 – LHP Nick Snyder, West Virginia

In order to compensate for a lack of relievers; I will look to add a few in rapid succession after the top 10 rounds.

I had Snyder in my previous mock, but a few rounds higher. I don’t have a good feel for where his value is, really. But I project him to move to the bullpen fulltime as a pro, which would make this value make more sense.

#366 – RHP Zach Greene, South Alabama

The closer for USA; Greene pitched to a 1.45 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 12.68 SO/9, 8.75 SO/BB, and 13 saves in 27 appearances. He also didn’t give up a single homerun in 50 innings pitched.

#396 – RHP Evan Brabrand, Liberty

Liberty’s closer, Brabrand’s 2019 season went: 1.56 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 9.68 SO/9, 5.17 SO/BB, and 13 saves in 24 appearances. You’d probably like to see a higher K-rate to keep him as a closer, but the rest looks like a fine setup man.

#426 – OF Will Johnson, EKU

Another holdover from my first mock. I’m keeping Johnson for his blend of power (14 HR), speed (27 SB), and defense in a Senior signing.

#456 – RHP Connor Lehmann, Saint Louis

A senior starter; Lehmann posted 11.61 SO/9 with his quality curveball, but his laser-straight fastball got hit around to the tune of 10.22 H/9, ERA of 4.16, and a WHIP of 1.57. But maybe you convert him to a reliever and his stuff will tick up a notch a la Reggie McClain.

Mariners 2019 Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

The 2019 MLB Draft begins on June 3rd and this will be my lone, annual baseball mock draft.

A baseball draft lacks all of the nuances of trading draftpicks that you find in the NFL draft, but they have increased nuances of high school or college underclass players that may or may not sign, as well as the added difficulty of unslotted, but capped signing bonuses.

Honestly, I’m not privy to most of the signability factors, so I’m basically going to ignore them. This year, I’m also not really going to consider the Mariners draft patterns (which lean about 85% college players in their top 10 rounds). This is not an attempt at guessing what Seattle WILL do…this is my impression of what they SHOULD do.

It seems most of the worthy college players will be gone by the time Seattle drafts at #20. Maybe a middle infielder like Will Wilson is still on the board, but generally my sense is the best player available will be from the prep ranks. The only rumor I’ve seen on Seattle this year is putting them on a couple of overdrafted prep shortstops. I’d prefer Matthew Lugo to the other names I’ve read they’re on, but that’s secondary to my 1A thought:

#20 – RHP Quinn Priester, Cary Grove HS
(Slot value: $3,242,900)

I think there’s a trio of prep righthanded pitchers that would be good value here: Jack Leiter, JJ Goss, and Priester. Leiter and Priester are close in terms of talent and preference, but it seems the buzz is that Leiter is going to cost a lot to pull away from college commit to Vanderbilt.

Priester goes about 6’3″/190lbs with good athleticism. Fastball is currently running 92-94mph with the occasional 96. The curveball is already plus and the two-seamer has got exceptional sink and run.

#59 – 2B Cameron Cannon, Arizona
(Slot value: $1,185,500)

Historically, Seattle has taken college players in the 1st, and then tried to pick an above-slot HS player in the 2nd. I’m going against that this year because that’s how I see the board value falling.

Cannon is Arizona’s starting shortstop, but I’m projecting him to 2nd Base as a pro. The bat is a really solid .390/.479/1.117 slash, with 10.73 SO rate. The power isn’t significant at this point, but Cannon is top 2 in the country in doubles (29 in 53 games). There isn’t much basestealing threat here…which is another reason I move him to 2nd.

Cannon has a really clean, righthanded swing. I think there’s more power to come.

#76 – OF Chris Newell, Malvern Prep HS
(Slot value: $818,200)

This is one of the rare, tradeable draftpicks that the M’s got from Cleveland.

Newell is a guy that I really like. 6’2″/190lbs, already showing promising power, great outfield arm, decent runner. Many mocks have him drafted later…like in the 90’s, but Seattle doesn’t pick again until #97. It’s not worth getting cute over. Plus, you have a better shot of signing a prep player when his natural slot money could be pushed close to a mill with some underslot savings later on.

#97 – SS Connor Walsh, Niceville HS
(Slot value: $599,100)

This is an important pick. This is me advancing the rumor about Seattle’s interest in prep shortstops, but trying to find more value at the position. Walsh is 6’2″/185lbs, and has been measured as one of the fastest guys in this class. His 6.26s 60 yard dash is actually faster than the 6.28s from one of the guys connected to Seattle (Nasim Nunez), and then Walsh has also tied for the hardest exit-velocity of about six of the top HS shortstops available between 1st-3rd round.

#126 – RHP Joseph Charles, TNXL Academy
(Slot value: $451,800)

This is a spot that just feels chock full of pitching. Mostly RHP. The one position player I really like here is Cal catcher Korey Lee who blends solid bat tool with a pretty incredible throwing arm.

But I’m, instead, taking another stab at a prep arm. As you’ll see the rest of my strategy after this swings to college players with the thought of saving money on the overall bonus  pool.

Charles has a profile very similar to Priester: 6’3″/190lbs, fastball up to 96mph, with solid curve, and an intriguing change with good armspeed.

#156 – RHP Griffin McLarty, College of Charleston
(Slot value: $336,600)

McLarty is a Junior righty that isn’t on most mock drafts, but that I just spotted while poring over players that fit a certain, preferred profile. I’m hoping 5th round money is enough to lure him away from his Senior season.

Listed 6’3″/185lbs. I don’t have his velo, but eye test tells me he’s maybe 92mph on the fastball. Nice pitchability has led him to a 2019 season of 2.04 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 10.50 SO/9, 5.68 SO/BB.

#186 – C Nick Kahle, Washington
(Slot value: $259,400)

Catcher is a spot I’m not looking for a perfect player. I’m looking for a good receiver, guy that can throw out a basestealer, and that gives you a professional at-bat. Kahle is hitting a decent .337, but with an impressive 59 walks to 26 strikeouts; his OBP of .511 is one of the top 10 of all positions in the entire country. He’s also caught 44% of basestealers.

#216 – LHP Nick Snyder, WVU
(Slot value: $203,400)

My biggest regret in this mock is not being able to find a spot for a LHP earlier on. I’d be very okay with taking a college lefty like Ethan Small or TJ Sikkema somewhere in the 2nd-3rd range, or a Jake Agnos in the 4th. But I’m trusting my eyes that I might have seen something in Snyder that makes more value here, in the 7th.

A big-bodied thrower at 6’7″/220lbs, Snyder looks like his floor is a hardthrowing, lefty relief specialist with his fastball/slider combo. But he’s started 10 games for WVU this year, with 3 relief appearances leading to an 8-1 record, 1.95 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 13.99 SO/9, 3.44 SO/BB.

#246 – LHP Andrew Saalfrank, Indiana
(Slot value: $167,000)

Going back-to-back with college lefties to try to compensate for not getting one earlier. Saalfrank isn’t as big as Snyder (only 6’3″/205lbs), but with a very similar line: 10 starts, 3 relief appearances, 2.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.80 SO/9, 4.32 SO/BB.

He’s got a nice little curve ball.

#276 – 1B Jake Sanford, WKU
(Slot value: $151,600)

Sanford is my attempt to find a certain kind of profile for first base. He’s 6’2″/205lbs with experience at first and in the outfield. The strikeout rate is a little high at 18.70%, but swinging at a .402/.488/1.316 slash with 22 homeruns and 65 RBI in 53 games makes it worth the swing-and-miss.

#306 – UT Scott Ota, Illinois-Chicago
(Slot value: $143,500)

Typically, Seattle starts going after under-slot, senior signees sooner than here in the 10th round, so keep in mind that my rounds 6-9 may not be the most likely names. But Ota IS a Senior (as will the next picks).

Ota’s 2019: .359/.447/1.212 with 18 homeruns, 55 RBI, and a very solid 11.06 SO%.

#336 – RHP MD Johnson, Dallas Baptist

#366 – OF Will Johnson, EKU

Seattle prefers to take a stab on a high school player here that they will try to sign at over-slot if they can save enough in rounds 1-10, but that’s generally a guy that fell through. Tough to know who it might be at this point.

Johnson looked appealing to me for his mix of power and athleticism: 14 homers and 27 stolen bases. Plus a disciplined approach yielding 51 walks to 39 strikeouts. Seems like a great clubhouse guy, too.

#396 – 3B/SS Patrick Causa, Mt St Mary

Causa would very much be a guy I could see them take in a top 10 round pick. Slashing .402/.521/1.231, with 12 HR, 39 BB, 22 SO.

#426 – RHP Garrett Farmer, Jacksonville State

An undersized pitcher at 5’11″/175lbs, Farmer is a starter thus far with a strong ability to control the zone: 2.32 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 9.58 SO/9, 9.90 SO/BB.

#456 – RHP Vlad Nunez Jr, Stetson

Another guy that I would realistically see drafted in the first 10 rounds. A Senior closer for Stetson, Nunez posts a 3.43 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 12 saves in 22 appearances. And he’s got that closer fire.