The 2017 MLB Draft concluded Wednesday with 30 rapid-fire draft rounds, after the first ten rounds split Monday and Tuesday. These are some of the observations from the second draft conducted under Jerry Dipoto, and the first under new scouting director Scott Hunter.
Here is the complete draft listing: 2017 Mariner Draft
In 2016, the draft went 29 college players, 11 high school. 8 of the HS were picked 30-40.
In 2017, the draft went 32 college players, 8 high school. 5 of the HS were picked 35-40.
Seattle wasn’t able to sign 11 of their 40 picks in 2016, and 9 of the 11 unsigned were high schoolers. They signed their entire top 15 picks, and 23 of their top 24. This year, they drafted fewer HS, presumably increasing their signing-ratio. The final four picks this year were from NW schools (three WA, one OR).
In 2016, the position breakdown went 21 bats, 19 arms. 7 of the first 10 picks were bats.
In 2017, the position breakdown went 17 bats, 23 arms. 7 of the first 10 picks were pitchers.
Further breakdown of the 2017 position picks:
13 of 17 bats play up the middle. No corner-outfielders. Jerry will play three centerfielders when/wherever possible, I think. Pretty standard that all shortstops in the system will cross-train as 2B.
At least two of the players drafted as pitchers were primarily position-players in college (Alvarado, Wade).
Of the college pitchers, 12 were primarily starters and 7 were primarily relievers.
But here’s this most-interesting thing about this draft class of college pitchers: 16 of 19 averaged over 8.00 SO/9, and 15 of 19 averaged over 3.00 SO/BB (all 19 averaged over 2.50 SO/BB). If I had to distill Jerry’s tendencies for pitching acquisition down to one stat since he’s been here, it is the SO/BB rate.
Now for some individual player stats.
The best strikeout rate comes from 17th round Maryland IF/RHP Jamal Wade who, in his only year of college used as a pitcher, averaged 15.10 SO/9. He also had the worst BB/9 rate of Mariner draftpicks at 5.95.
The best in SO/BB was 3rd rounder Wyatt Mills, who posted a mark of 14.50, which would have been the best in NCAA if he had enough innings to qualify.
The best WHIP comes from 12th rounder Darren McCaughan, who finished 4th in the country at 0.83.
The most Saves came from 4th rounder Seth Elledge (13 saves – 17th in the country), followed by Mills (12 saves).
11th round pick from the Citadel, J.P. Sears led the class in strikeouts with 142.
1st round pick Evan White led all the hitters drafted in doubles with 24, followed by 31st rounder Ryan Costello. Costello had the most walks among this group with 45.
19th round pick Kevin Santa, a shortstop, led the class in batting average and OBP: .423/.502. The Puerto Rican born Santa has a very sweet, lefthanded swing:
Another SS, 21st rounder Connor Hoover, leads in HR and RBI: 18 HR/74 RBI.
14th round catcher Trevor Casanova tied for the lead in triples at 7 with 28th round OF Johnny Slater.
Slater was also 2nd in stolen bases, going 15×15. He was behind 8th round CF Billy Cooke who had 21 SB.
The best caught-stealing rate has to be David Banuelos, who gunned-down 61% of would be stealers.
It certainly seems this draft had a large tilt towards run-prevention. Evan White is a stud defensive 1B, Banuelos a cannon at C, 20th round C Troy Dixon reportedly only committed 2 errors in three years at St. John’s. Here are some great defensive plays from the M’s draft picks:
8th rounder Billy Cooke
22nd rounder Johnny Adams
28th rounder Johnny Slater
Some of the hitters:
40th rounder from Edmonds CC, Zach Needham
37th rounder from Seattle Prep, Jesse Franklin
20th rounder Troy Dixon