If anything, Seattle Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara asked his guys for more on Day 3 of baseball’s amateur free agent draft. The first day was fun for McNamara and his staff, who took University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino with the third overall selection.
Day 2 – rounds two through 15 – still had the rush of taking 16 players, some of whom have a legitimate chance at making the big leagues.
But on the third day, that’s where McNamara didn’t want his scouts and cross-checkers to give in to the lateness of the rounds or the length of the draft.
“What I try to tell our guys is that there are big leaguers from rounds 16 to 40, and we have to keep grinding,” McNamara said.
Every scout knows the stories of former All-Stars who were taken in those rounds: Jason Bay (22nd round), Jeff Kent (20th), Travis Hafner (31st) and, of course, Mike Piazza (62nd – the 50-round limit wasn’t introduced until 1998; a 40-round limit went into effect this season).
Whether someone like that exists in the 25 players the Mariners drafted Wednesday is uncertain, but McNamara was upbeat.
“We feel real good about the players we drafted,” McNamara said.
Of those, 16 were pitchers (five left-handed). The Mariners also took two catchers after not taking one on the second day.
Perhaps the most noticeable name was Vanderbilt right fielder Mike Yastrzemski, who was picked in the 30th round. He’s the grandson of Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski.
Mike Yastrzemski hit .286 (67-for-234) with 11 doubles, six homers and 41 RBI in 63 games as a junior for the Commodores.
“Mike is a player we’ve seen since high school,” McNamara said. “He’s gotten better each year. Obviously, we all know about this grandfather. Obviously he’s got good bloodlines. He’s a left-handed hitter like his grandfather. But he’s a good player. He’s not just Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson. He’s Mike Yastrzemski, and he’s carved out his own niche in baseball.”
The Mariners picked up some more players with local ties, taking right-handed pitchers Levi Dean (23rd round) and Aaron Brooks (26th), left-handed pitcher Rusty Shellhorn (31st) and catcher Alex Ross (34th).
Dean is a W.F. West graduate who spent two years at Lower Columbia College before heading to Tennessee Wesleyan, where he went 5-4 with a save and a 4.38 ERA in 18 games as a junior. Brooks, a former Mount Lake Terrace standout, had a solid season at Edmonds Community College after transferring from Gonzaga, going 7-3 with 2.71 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 67 innings.
Shellhorn played at Central Valley in Spokane and spent a year (2009-10) at Washington State before transferring to Texas Tech and sitting out 2011. Shellhorn went 5-3 with a 4.98 ERA 16 games (nine starts) for the Red Raiders and was a teammate of Mariners ninth-round pick Jamodrick McGruder.
MARINERS’ THird-DAY DRAFT PICKS
16Dominic LeoneRHPR-R5-1119520Clemson/Norwich, Conn.
17Isaiah YatesOFR-L5-918517Clovis East HS/Clovis, Calif.
18Jabari HenryOFR-R6-120021Fla. International/Orlando, Fla.
19Nate KoneskiLHPR-L6-018522Holy Cross/North Dighton, Mass.
20Steven EwingLHPL-L6-121920Miami/Orlando, Fla.
21Scott DeCeccoLHPR-L6-018021S.Carolina/Cape May Court House, N.J.
22Gabrial FrancaSSR-R5-1116018John W. North HS/Riverside, Calif.
23Levi DeanRHPR-R6-422522Tennessee Wesleyan/Centralia
24Matt VedoRHPR-R6-320522UC Santa Barbara/Colusa, Calif.
25Mark BordonaroRHPL-R6-017021Fairfield University/Berlin, Conn.
26Aaron BrooksRHPR-R6-621020Edmonds CC/Mountlake Terrace
27Blake HolovachLHPL-L6-519521Missouri/Overland Park, Kan.
28Matt BrazisRHPR-R6-320022Boston College/Tampa, Fla.
29Toby DemelloCR-R6-124122St. Mary’s (Calif.)/Roseville, Calif.
30Mike YastrzemskiOFL-L6-018021Vanderbilt/Andover, Mass.
31Rusty ShellhornLHPL-L5-1018522Texas Tech/Liberty Lake
32Richard Palase2BR-R5-1119521Lynchburg College/Staten Island, N.Y.
33Logan SeifritRHPR-R5-1118517Vauxhall HS/Alberta, Canada
34Alex RossCL-R6-119021Bellevue CC/Kirkland
35Tyler KriegerSSS-R6-116518Northview HS/Johns Creek, Ga.
36Anthony WingenterRHPR-R6-719018Bob Jones HS/Madison, Ala.
37Brett LilekRHPR-R6-418518Marian Catholic HS/South Holland, Ill.
38Richard MartinSSR-R5-1017417Bloomingdale Sr. HS/Brandon, Fla.
39Grayson LongRHPR-R6-520018Barbers Hill HS/Mont Belvieu, Texas
40James KaprielianRHPR-R6-319018Beckman HS/Tustin, Calif.email@example.com 253-597-8483 blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @RyanDivish firstname.lastname@example.org