High School Sports

Mariners pick Yelm’s Parker McFadden in 20th round; Justin Marsden, Brendan Illies also drafted

Parker McFadden said he’ll pass on signing with the Seattle Mariners.

The right-hander who played most his games the past four years about 60 miles southwest of Safeco Field at Yelm High School was drafted by the Mariners in the 20th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday.

But he told Greg Johns of MLB.com that he plans to, instead, head to Washington State University and attempt to increase his draft stock.

“I think I’ll honor my commitment (to WSU),” McFadden said. “It was going to depend on where I was drafted. I think my signability was too high. I can get more mature and increase my stock a little bit, develop more quality pitches.”

Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara sidestepped answering questions about McFadden’s signability. McFadden’s fastball had been clocked at 97 mph and he was the No. 81 overall prospect by Baseball America. But he told MLB.com that he was leaning toward college once he wasn’t drafted in the first three rounds (he was the 605th overall selection).

McFadden chose WSU over turning pro despite the firing of Donnie Marbut a little more than two weeks ago. The program hired Marty Lee to replace him.

“I can’t get to the signability part, but we know him pretty well,” McNamara said. “He’s got a good arm, and I kind of just sat back in my chair and said, ‘This kid is in our backyard. Let’s take him. Let’s see what happens.’ ”

McFadden was one of a trio of area high schoolers picked Wednesday that must now decide between becoming a professional or going to college.

Auburn Mountainview coach Glen Walker said he had heard earlier in the season that Marsden could be drafted as high as the third round. But he said Saturday that one scout told him Marsden would go no earlier than the 15th.

The first two rounds (held Monday) came and went — as did rounds 3-10 (held Tuesday).

Baseball America tabbed Marsden as the 222nd overall prospect in the draft. He was the 658th pick.

For Illies, it’s unlikely he signs with the Mets rather than becoming a Tar Heel.

A pair of Tahoma graduates were drafted Wednesday. Taylor Saucedo, who transferred from Tacoma Community College to Tennessee Wesleyan College, went in the 21st round to the Toronto Blue Jays, and Brian Olson in the 34th round out of Seattle University to the Minnesota Twins.

Other locals selected: