By Jared Stanger
The Mariners wrapped up their 2018 draft on Wednesday, and a few outlets have done recaps with position and statistical breakdowns, but I wanted to take a look at tape of as many players as I could find.
This might be my favorite group. Seattle drafted three catchers: 3rd round Cal Raleigh, 7th round Jake Anchia, 19th round Dean Nevarez.
Cal Raleigh can switch-hit and as such some reports tag him like a Jason Varitek type, but for me the size and tape suggest AJ Pierzynski but hitting both sides. Raleigh could easily become a 15 HR/80 RBI/.280 annual hitter with a couple all-star appearances. In 2018 he hit 335/461/1.061 with 13 HR, 52 RBI, and an impressive 51 to 39 BB-to-SO rate.
Jake Anchia looks like a pretty solid receiver with some definite power (22 homeruns this year), and my only question is his arm. He hit 340/402/1.115 with 64 RBI.
And from the 19th round, Dean Nevarez hit 294/378/846 with 8 HR and 32 RBI. He’s glove-first for now, but there is some upside in the swing.
Surprisingly, Seattle only drafted six outfielders:
2nd round Josh Stowers
9th round Keegan McGovern
13th round Charlie McConnell
17th round Cesar Trejo
23rd round Ryan Ramiz
30th round Cody Staab
Josh Stowers is a terrific athlete with elite basestealing (4th in the country), very solid glove, and a progressing bat: 336/477/1.036, 9 HR, 60 RBI, 36 SB. His floor looks like a Michael Bourn.
Something on Stowers I didn’t note pre-draft was his arm, but this looks pretty solid:
Keenan McGovern was announced as a centerfielder, but his profile looks like a corner outfielder, maybe even first base, with some legit power potential: 319/431/1.075, 18 HR, 50 RBI, and a decent 37 BB to 46 SO rate.
Charlie McConnell looks to be of a similar profile to M’s AAA outfielder Ian Miller, or Braden Bishop at AA. 347/425/895 slash with not a lot of pop (2 HR, 27 RBI), but he was 2nd in the country in stolen bases (37) and fairly high up in triples (6).
Cesar Trejo is another very solid base-stealing OF (22 SB) that flashed decent power in 2017, but lost most of his power numbers in 2018 while drastically cutting down his strikeouts (dropped his SO rate 8%). His bio mentions that Trejo played some shortstop in 2016, so I’m wondering about him playing some other spots…maybe third. In 2018: 363/428/997, 5 HR, 50 RBI. Pretty quick hands.
Ryan Ramiz I couldn’t find tape of, but his statline of 316/432/859 is highlighted by more walks than strikeouts, a couple of 15+ steal years in 2016-2017, but no power whatsoever with 1 HR in four years.
And finally, Cody Staab is a very odd draftchoice because he only has 64 career at-bats at Rice U (only 27 AB in 2018). He’s a career .156 hitter. He hits and throws lefthanded…is this, maybe, a future pitcher?? Or is there someone named Staab that works for the Mariners, and this pick is a gratis pick?
10th Round, SS Matt Sanders
12th Round, 2B Ryne Ogren
22nd Round, SS Nicholas Rodriguez
25th Round, 2B Connor Kopach
26th Round, 3B Cal Hernandez
27th Round, 2B Cash Gladfelter
28th Round, 2B Beau Branton
29th Round, SS Bobby Honeyman
32nd Round, 2B Zach Scott
38th Round, 2B Jack Montgomery
Infield becomes the first group we’ve looked at to have a prep player drafted (Montgomery). Six second basemen out of ten infielders is interesting (and Rodriguez has also spent time there). No true 1B picked.
Matt Sanders continues a theme of this class: basestealing. He finished t27th in the country with 26 bags swiped. Tape suggests Sanders is an extreme slap hitter with a very good eye (44 BB to 33 SO). 378/463/1.001 and he led the country in runs scored with 87 in 61 games.
Sanders’ glove looks like it can stick at short.
Ryne Ogren looks like a very nice contact hitter, with a very low strikeout rate of 7.58%, and total BB-to-SO mark of 44-21. Overall slash of 338/451/908. Only doubles power at this point.
Nicholas Rodriguez strikes out a lot, but he’s got more power than the rest of this infield list (10 HR). 337/376/918 but struck out 53 times to 15 walks.
Connor Kopach is the last of the Mariners’ draftpicks to appear in the top 10 nationally in stolen bases (33). Slash of 336/424/946. Announced as a second baseman, Kopach has played shortstop this year.
Cal Hernandez appears to be fairly unremarkable as a hitter. Not a ton of power, not much speed. 329/426/846 but only a .091 ISO. Which means he hits a lot of singles. So I tried to look into whether his glove was his carrying quality. It might be.
Beau Branton. A pretty wee second baseman that hit 361/440/868, but his ISO of only .067 paints the picture of an extreme singles hitter.
Bobby Honeyman is one of the toughest batters to strikeout in the country. In fact, he’s literally 2nd with only one strikeout every 30.1 AB’s.
I was originally planning to do the whole draft class at once, but having taken a few days to find stats and video on most of the position players, I don’t think I’m going to include pitchers here. I’ll do a separate story for those.
But with the Everett Aquasox season kicking off this Friday; I thought it would be fun to imagine an opening day lineup comprised of the 2018 draft class.
Without any true first baseman drafted, and only one at third; I’m going to take some liberties to invent fits at those two spots. With McGovern’s power, and better athleticism from other outfielders, I’m going to move Keegan to 1B. And with some play at shortstop in his background, I’m going to try Cesar Trejo at 3B. Then, since I moved two OF into the IF, I need to move an IF to the OF. There are a plethora of 2B, and I’m gonna try Connor Kopach and his speed in LF.
1- SS Matt Sanders
2- CF Josh Stowers
3- C Cal Raleigh
4- 1B Keenan Mcgovern
5- DH Jake Anchia
6- 3B Cesar Trejo
7- 2B Ryne Ogren
8- LF Connor Kopach
9- RF Charlie McConnell