The Seattle Mariners completed the 2011 amateur draft Wednesday with the kind of annual haul that takes weeks to analyze – and years to judge.
The team potentially stocked its system with 28 pitchers – including 22 right-handers – seven catchers, nine infielders, and seven outfielders. Of those players, 38 were selected from college programs.
“Overall, we’re very pleased with the athleticism, talent level and character of the players we drafted. It was a balanced draft year, with lots of high-end talent at the college and high school level, and both pitching and position players,” amateur scouting director Tom McNamara said. “We look forward to getting many of these young men signed and in uniform.”
Ah, signing them!
Starting with their first selection, the second pick in the nation, University of Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, that will almost certainly require months of negotiation, not days. A year ago, when the Pittsburgh Pirates chose right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon second in the draft, they wound up paying him a $6.5 million bonus.
As for the Mariners’ final pick – Puerto Rican catcher Esteban Tresgallo in the 50th round – contract talks should be considerably shorter.
Day 3 of the draft covered rounds 30 through 50, and in them the Mariners grabbed 13 pitchers and one local infielder – shortstop Taylor Smith-Brennan out of Edmonds Community College.
In his first season with the Tritons, the Meadowdale High grad batted .380.
“We liked him last year, another club (the Los Angeles Angels) drafted him. A strong, physical kid, a good player,” McNamara said. “He can play all over the diamond.
“All the guys we took we’ve seen and liked. I told our guys the last couple of days, ‘There are big leaguers after the 25th round, the 30th round.’ We took the best players out there in every round.”
With the 49th-round pick, the Mariners selected a 5-foot-11 first baseman/left-handed pitcher out of Santa Fe, N.M., Andrew Grifol – the younger brother of Mariners minor league operations, Pedro Grifol.
What did the team like about him?
“He had a good bloodline,” McNamara said.
How many of the 51 drafted players sign?
A year ago, the Mariners got more than 30 of them under contract and playing. Seattle scouts, however, will start working on the 2012 draft next week.
For details on all of the Mariners’ Day 3 draft choices, go to blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners