The Mariners beat the Twins 14-3. The Mariners scored in 6 of the 9 innings, and every batter had at least one hit. Mitch Haniger busted out with 4 hits, 4 runs, and 2 RBI; Nelson Cruz had 2 hits, 2 runs, and 4 RBI; Ben Gamel had 2 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs; Seager, Valencia, Zunino, and Tyler Smith all had multi-hit games as well.
Yovani Gallardo, after being given a 2-0 lead in the first inning, gave up 2 runs in the bottom half to sicken me to my core. But, to his credit, he managed to settle down and went 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, 7 hits, and walked only 1, while striking out 5. He had a lot of wait time between innings, which couldn’t have been easy, so it was nice of him to look semi-competent in a laugher.
The real news of the day belongs to the MLB draft. The first two rounds took place last night and the Mariners made two selections.
- First Round, 17th Pick – Evan White, 1B
- Second Round, 55th Pick – Sam Carlson, RHP
White is a college kid with good offensive numbers, great defensive abilities, and an all-around great attitude according to everyone who talks about him. Someone had mentioned his defensive abilities could translate to the outfield – which would obviously give him a lot more value as an overall baseball player – but the Mariners are saying he could have Gold Glove defensive ability at first base, so that’s where he’ll start out. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s going to sign right away and join up with the Everett Aqua Sox.
John Olerud is probably the lazy comparison, but I dunno, I’m not really a guy who focuses too hard on the minor leagues. Was Olerud an athletic marvel coming out of college? I always assumed he was a plodder from the get go. Either way, if White turns into Olerud, I would absolutely take that in a heartbeat.
I understand the thought process behind moving a guy to a more premium defensive position, like centerfield for instance, which is what people have said about White. But, just look at the Mariners: how long have we been trying to fix the first base position? How many years have we just been getting by with 1-year deals on guys we’re hoping will have bounce-back seasons? First base is an absolute need position for this team, so I’d really rather they not screw around with switching positions and whatnot.
I don’t know if the power numbers are super there, so I wouldn’t expect this kid to be a pure slugger. But, it’s promising to hear he’s gotten better every year. First base doesn’t have to be a 40-homer a year target; I’d gladly take half of that with a good batting average and great defense. Either way, we’ll likely know more about him in three years or so.
Sam Carlson is an interesting pick for us, as many had projected him to be a first rounder. Some even projected him over Evan White! He’s a high schooler out of Minnesota who already throws in the mid-90s, so that’s pretty freakin’ sweet. It appears a lot of teams were wary of picking him, as he agreed to go to the University of Florida, so it looks like it’ll take a little extra money to get him to sign. We’ll see. The team is confident they’ll get him, but I guess they have to be. He most likely didn’t say he was a lock to go to college, so I figure there has to be some wiggle room there.
The question that has to weigh on his mind is whether or not he can improve his draft stock by going to college for a year or two. There’s a big risk there, considering he can go and look pretty bad and fall way down in the draft. But, there’s also a chance to get back in that first round and maybe even into the Top 10. Those are the chips he’s holding in negotiations.
All in all, an interesting day for Mariners fans. Rounds 3-10 happen today, followed by the rest taking place tomorrow. I can’t imagine I’ll get much more in depth on the topic, considering I know nothing about high school or college baseball players. I just hope there are some future quality Major Leaguers in there.