Here’s a fairly brief look at the Mariners’ 19th through 50th picks:
19. Cameron Nobles, RHP, Jackson HS(WA) – The Mariners started off day two just like day one by drafting a pitcher. Nobles is a local product who pitched for the 4A state champion and second-ranked high school team in the nation this year. He already throws 90 MPH with good mechanics and most likely fell this far because he is not likely to sign out of high school. However, the Mariners are the home town team and may have a better chance at getting him. This was a worthwhile risk to start the second day.
20. Johan Limonta, 1B, Miami Dade CC South – Finally, a first baseman! Limonta is a junior at a small college and I can’t find any stats for him, so I really don’t know what to say about this pick besides the Mariners finally addressed their second most pressing need in the organization, behind pitching.
21. Brent Gaphart, LHP, Delaware – Gaphart pitched in only five innings this past season for the Fightin’ Blue Hens but in 2005 struck out 75 batters in only 60 2/3 innings. He also held opponents to a more than respectable .245 AVG that season, but posted a 5.09 ERA thanks to an alarming number of walks. With a little more control, Gaphart could emerge as a surprise prospect for the Mariners in this draft.
22. Fabian Williamson, LHP, Kennedy HS(CA) – This guy is listed at 6’3”, 180 pounds and that is all I know about him. My guess is the Mariners will not even be able to sign him because few high-schoolers chosen this late do sign.
23. Marcos Villezcas, INF, BYU – Villezcas was a marginal hitter with no power in college, so the chances of him being any type of hitter in professional baseball are slim to none. He was probably drafted purely for depth at the minor league level of the organization.
24. Kyle Parker, RHP, Washington – The Mariners went local again, which is always nice to see. Parker tops out at 89 MPH, but possesses an easy and fluid delivery and a breaking ball with good movement. However, his stuff never translated into success at the UW, which leads me to believe it will not translate to success as a pro either.
25. Tyson Gillies, OF, R.E. Mountain SS(Canada) – I was able to find some video of Gillies and even some 2005 statistics from a premier league in British Columbia. At the plate Gillies looks like Vladimir Guerrero to me, except left-handed, until he actually swings the bat. Gillies lacks plate discipline like Guerrero, but also lacks the once-in-a-generation talent that Vlad the Impaler possesses. Tyson’s best attributes right now are his speed and defense, though it is not out of the question that he could develop a little power. At best, Tyson Gillies is an extremely raw long-term project.
26. Greg Moviel, LHP, Vanderbilt – Moviel pitched only 3 2/3 innings the entire season and was lit up. In fact, he has pitched very little in three years at Vanderbilt thanks to injuries, but he is 6’6”, left-handed, and only a junior. Moviel looks like a draft-and-follow to me.
27. Bryan Ball, RHP, Florida – Ball was 4-9 this year with a 5.57 ERA and opponents batted .313 against him. He has pitched better in the past, but not better enough to believe he is a legitimate prospect.
28. Rocky Collis, RHP, Cornell – Collis had high strikeout rates and a very good K/BB ratio throughout his career with the Big Red, but he gave up quite a few hits. However, that was as a starter and if the Mariners turn him into a reliever that may change. I could see Collis emerging as a surprise prospect out of the bullpen.
29. Greg Nesbitt, LHP, James Madison – Like Collis, Nesbitt has always had a good strikeout to walk ratio, but he was hit very hard his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. However, Nesbitt suddenly became much harder to hit as a senior and really blossomed. He is also a good candidate to emerge as a late-round prospect.
30. Matt Vogel, SS, Lewis and Clark – Though undersized at 5’8” and 170 pounds, Vogel produced in a big way with a .376 AVG, .435 OBP, .587 SLG and only 9 strikeouts the entire year. He also had a .950 fielding percentage, which is very good for a shortstop. Whether Vogel’s power projects into professional baseball is highly questionable, but it was more than worth the risk at this pick. This is the Mariners’ third straight selection that I could see emerging as a surprise prospect.
31. David McClain, RHP, San Jacinto College North – McClain had a very good 2006 season, highlighted by an ERA under 2.00, but the season becomes a great one when you consider he is only 19. McClain may be a draft-and-follow, but the Mariners may also want to sign him and develop him themselves.
32. Joe Agreste, 1B, Potomac State College – I couldn’t find many stats on Agreste, but the Mariners must like him because they drafted him last year as well (he didn’t sign obviously). He batted .348 last year and led his team in home runs with 6, a rather high total for a 19-year-old. I don’t know what would make Agreste sign with the Mariners this year since he didn’t sign with them last year.
33. Robert Harmon, RHP, Arkansas-Little Rock – At 6’7” Harmon looks like a beast on the mound but was hit around with relative ease last year. If all it took to make the majors was height, Harmon would make it. However, it takes a little more.
34. Stan Posluszny, OF, West Virginia – Stan was drafted in the 21st round by the Angels last year, but chose not to sign. He slipped further in the draft this year because he did not flash the same power that he had in previous seasons, though he still put up very nice numbers. He looks like a terrible fielder, but the Mariners could use some more pop and this guy was a very good pick at this point.
35. Alex Meneses, SS, Barry – This year, Meneses batted .376 with an incredible .515 OBP, 53 walks, and 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts! He did strike out 25 times which is a just a few more than I would like to see, but his terrific combination of speed and plate discipline make him an intriguing prospect this late in the draft. I like many of the M’s picks on the second day, but Meneses is my favorite so far.
36. Kyle Haas, RHP, Douglas College – Haas is 6’7” and all legs, and also only 18 years old. He tops out at around 87 MPH right now, but the odds are he will start throwing much harder in the very near future as he matures. He is very raw, but has potential. Considering he is so young, he is not likely to sign as a pick this late in the draft.
37. Christopher Walden, RHP, Bellefontaine HS(OH) – I know even less about Walden than I do about Haas, but my guess is most of what I just said about Haas applies here too.
38. Michael Drake, OF, Cosumnes River College – Another 18-year-old that is not likely to sign at this late of a pick
39. Philip Roy, RHP, Miami Dade CC South – Once again, an 18-year-old with a very “projectable” body to use a scouting term (that means he’s tall and skinny) and also unlikely to sign.
40. Haley Winter, RHP, UC-Riverside – Winter had a solid junior year but struggled as a senior. He will not be a major-leaguer and with all the pitchers already taken, the Mariners do not need him for organizational depth. I don’t know what Seattle sees in him.
41. Brandon Fromm, 1B, San Jose State – Fromm didn’t hit much in his career, but it appears that he played in a park that heavily favored pitchers. In fact, he led the Spartans in home runs his junior season with only four. Fromm was very hard to strikeout in college and also very good defensively.
42. Shane Cox, RHP, Alvin CC(TX) – Another very young pitcher with lots of room to develop physically that is highly unlikely to sign
43. Clint Straka, RHP, North Oklahoma College-Enid – See Shane Cox
44. Brian Earley, RHP, Elder HS(OH) – See Clint Straka
45. Jeremy Camacho, RHP, Eagle Rock HS(CA) – Camacho is shorter at 5’10”, but still a high-schooler unlikely to sign.
46. Robbie Dominguez, RHP, Cerritos College – Dominguez spent two years in the Air Force before pitching this year, but was effective despite not playing for two years. He looks like a draft-and-follow to me.
47. Sean Ward, OF, Evans HS(GA) – A high-schooler unlikely to sign
48. Jeremy Beeching, LHP, Volunteer State CC – Beeching struck out plenty of batters, but walked plenty as well. He doesn’t look like much of a prospect, but then again it is rare to get something out of a 48th round pick.
49. Ryne Tacker, RHP, Rice – Tacker didn’t pitch at all this last season, but had good numbers his junior season. Scott Atchison was picked in the 49th round by the Mariners, so it is possible Tacker could develop into a marginal prospect himself.
50. Tyler Sanford, C, Saguaro HS(AZ) – It figures that the Mariners would polish of their draft trying to acquire yet another catching prospect. If Sanford knows what is right for him, he won’t clog up the minors more by signing.
Overall, I like the Mariners’ second day of the draft more than their first day. They got much better value out of their picks and I have confidence that somebody out of these 32 will reach the majors.