The Mariners will have the 6th overall pick in this year’s upcoming MLB draft. That makes it their highest draft position since 2014, when they also drafted 6th overall. There’s usually 40 rounds to a Major League Baseball draft, which means under normal circumstances, the Mariners would have the 6th pick in all 40 rounds.
This year, due to COVID-19, the tightwad owners decided to reduce the draft to 5 rounds, which is obviously a significant reduction (the M’s have 6 picks in total, as they received an extra compensatory pick for reasons I don’t care to research).
This is, obviously, a huge drag for a rebuilding franchise that could use as many swings as possible to find viable potential future Major Leaguers. There was apparently talk of extending it to 10 rounds – which would NOT be nothing – but of course cheapness prevailed (cheapness always prevails when it comes to baseball … except when it comes to handing out over-inflated mega-contracts to over-the-hill players based on recent-past performance). I’d be curious to know what that vote looked like; it sounds like the Mariners were hoping for at least 10 rounds as well. I would imagine small-market teams like the A’s and Rays took lead on this endeavor; every franchise is worth, conservatively, at least a billion dollars, but of course so many ownership groups cry poverty every fucking step of the way, it just makes you want to puke.
Of course, you can make the argument that after the first five rounds, finding viable prospects is tough. As it is, #1 overall picks can be busts just as easily as stars! Since the turn of the century, the Mariners have drafted in the top three a total of four times, and easily the best baseball player of the bunch was Mike Zunino (a defense-first homer machine who strikes out like crazy and was traded away for a slap-hitting centerfielder). So, you know, counting on ANY prospect in baseball is an exercise in getting your heart ripped from your chest, while watching it continue to beat as the life drains from your body.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find diamonds in the rough in the later rounds. It’s asinine to me this isn’t at least going 10; you see SO MANY Major Leaguers picked in those rounds, it’s just unbelievable.
Then again, I hate to play The Mariners Are Terrible At Their Jobs Advocate, but the Mariners are terrible at their jobs! You could give them a thousand draft picks this year, and I’m sure they’d find a way to screw it up one way or another! Picking the wrong guy, targeting the wrong positions, dicking around with what positions they end up playing, and all-around sucking at player development.
All in all, it’s a minor quibble (especially considering we’re still trying to find a way to get the players and owners to agree on re-starting the 2020 season), but it’s just so Mariners for this to happen NOW, I can’t even stand it.
God I hate baseball so much. Then why do I want it back so bad? Because I’m a sick man!