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2007 M's Draft Recap

Here's the pick-by-pick breakdown of who the Mariners took:

1. Phillipe Aumont, RHP, Ecole Du Versant (HS) - At 6'7", 220 pounds, and only 18 years old with a mid-90s fastball that has good life, it's easy to see how good Aumont could be. However, like virtually every young pitcher, Aumont is still rather raw. Though I tend to shy away from high school pitchers, I do like Aumont's easy delivery, and the fact that his fastball is already major-league quality. In additon, he has a breaking ball that has the potential to be good, and as he fills out and learns how to pitch, he should throw harder with more command. At worst, Aumont is a right-handed Matt Thornton. At best, he's a top-notch starter. I would have personally taken Jason Heyward or Nick Schmidt with this pick, but Aumont was a solid option.

1a. Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma State - This was a compensatory pick awarded for losing Gil Meche in free agency, and it's hard to argue with this selection either. Mangini batted .343 this year, though many were disappointed since he won the Cape Cod League batting title this past summer. His strikeout rate concerns me some, but not as much given that he has proven he can hit with wooden bats in the Cape Cod League. I would've gone with Mitch Canham here, but with that being said Mangini was a good selection.

2. Denny Almonte, OF, Florida Christian School (HS) - This kid definitely has a body that's going to fill out a bunch, and with that should come more power. However, despite his thin frame, he already has flashed good power. To be honest, I'm not sure how he generates power with his narrow batting stance and slight body, but he does. He's a switch-hitter too. Everything about Almonte makes him an intriguing pick to me, and another solid choice by the M's.

3. Danny Carroll, OF, Valley View HS - I couldn't find much on Carroll, but I've heard him described as a guy who "plays the game the right way," a guy who "always gets his uniform dirty." However, given that he was picked this high out of high school, I'm guessing he's got some talent too, maybe even some power potential. It's hard for me to really have an opinion on this pick given my limited information, but that stats say that fewer high-schoolers make the major leagues than college players, so it's best to draft high-schoolers in bunches if a team is counting on one to pan out. So, given that, I mildly endorse this pick.

4. Nolan Gallagher, SP, Stanford - There's no way anyone can endorse this selection. Gallagher came into the season with high expectations as Stanford's Friday starter (replacing last year's second pick overall, Greg Reynolds), and Gallagher fell flat on his face. He was pulled from the starting rotation completely and finished with an ERA around 7.00. People at Stanford are smart, so I'm not doubting that there are reasons to believe that Gallagher could develop into Stanford's best starter. However, he clearly isn't there yet. I don't know why the Mariners picked him so high. He's a major project, and certainly not as polished as basically every player getting picked at this point.

5. Joe Dunigan, OF, Oklahoma - After such a forgettable pick, the Mariners came back and made an excellent choice in Dunigan. At 6'2", 247 pounds, Dunigan is a chiseled specimen in the outfield, and understandably has lots of power potential. He's begun to realize his power potential, and I think there's a great chance that between Dunigan, Almonte, and Carroll, the M's have drafted at least one outfielder who will make the major leagues. That may not sound like much, but given that all were picked outside of the first round, that's actually quite a good job.

6. James McOwen, OF, Florida International - I mentioned earlier I couldn't find stats for McOwen, but it turns out I was looking at 2003 stats for FIU baseball. McOwen most certainly played this year, and played very well. He hit a ton of doubles, but not many homers, which is a sign of developing power. Looking at some scouting video he has a very nice stroke that allows him to cover the entire plate. Though there are many things to like about McOwen, there were others available at this pick that are flat-out better. I would love this pick if it were three or four rounds later. In the sixth round, McOwen is a bit of a reach, though there is reason to believe he will develop.

7. Nick Hill, LHP, Army - Hill posted outstanding numbers this year, but it should be noted that the Patriot League is a very pitcher-friendly league. I also don't know if there are any issues with him having to serve any time in the military before starting his career. I'm assuming the M's have already looked into that, and will be able to sign him. Still, given how pitcher-friendly the league Hill plays in is, I think this was another reach, though not as big of one as McOwen was.

8. Donnie Hume, LHP, San Diego State - Hume posted a nice WHIP this year, and also didn't give up any homers in a conference with a couple high-altitude stadiums. However, he also didn't strike a ton of guys out and his level of competition was not terribly high. I could see him developing into something along the lines of Sean Green or Sean White, but even that is pushing it. This was another pick the M's reached on.

9. Aaron Brown, RHP, Houston - At 6'6", Brown is an imposing figure on the mound, but he still looks like a bit of a beanpole. He's got a nice, easy delivery, but not a ton of command of any of his pitches. His statistics were mediocre at best this year, which is better than previous years. I'm guessing the M's will switch Brown to the bullpen and work on building his strength, both moves which should boost the velocity on his fastball, which right now sits in the 89-91 MPH range. He's definitely not starter material, but there is some upside. This was a decent selection.

10. Keith Renaud, RHP, Franklin Pierce College - The M's may have found a guy who slipped through the cracks here. Renaud both pitched and hit, though he's definitely a stronger pitcher. His fastball sits around 90 MPH, but it wouldn't be surprising if he gets a jump in velocity as he matures and focuses solely on pitching. His numbers are outstanding, and Baseball America even named him the best pitching prospect in upper New England. This was a very good pick.

11. Jeff Dunbar, C, UC-Riverside - For every savvy pick like Renaud, there's a bone-headed one like Dunbar. Despite starting every game for UC-Riverside this year, Dunbar barely hit .200, with few walks and no power to speak. Though he's had some better offensive seasons, he's never shown the ability to take a walk or hit for any power. Despite his major shortcomings hitting, he has played a bunch, so his defense must be stellar. However, his hitting is so bad that I don't see how he'll ever make it out of the low levels of the minor leagues. Dunbar is the type of guy the M's should be picking to fill out a minor league roster. In other words, he should've been picked 10 rounds later at the absolute least.

12. Ryan Moorer, RHP, Maryland - The M's rebounded some from the Dunbar pick with this one. Moorer posted a 5.43 ERA this year for the Terrapins, with few strikeouts and a lackluster WHIP. He did allow only 2 home runs in 68 innings pitched, which is promising. This is another guy that's destined for the bullpen, where hopefully he figures out how to strike a few more guys out and make a few more guys miss. I'm not holding my breath, but it could happen, and it's unfair to expect a ton out of 1a 2th-round draft pick anyway.

13. Shawn Kelley, RHP, Austin Peay - Though at a small school, Kelley posted big-time numbers as the ace of the Austin Peay staff. Outside of Aumont, Kelley is as good or better as any of the pitchers the M's drafted before him. He came on really strong this year, and I think he should have gone a couple rounds higher than this. This was a real nice pick.

14. Brandon McKerney, RHP, Washington - It's nice to see the M's stay local, but McKerney was not a good pick. His ERA was over 6.00 out of the bullpen, and there really is no redeeming quality in his statline. Only a die-hard Huskies fan could find this pick acceptable.

15. Keith Meyer, RHP, Duquesne - I seriously wonder if the M's just checked out for about 10 minutes or so, because the followed up picking McKerney by picking an even worse pitcher in Keith Meyer. Meyer posted a 7.00 ERA out of the Duquesne bullpen, and there is no statistic that holds any promise for the guy's future. In fact, Duquesne hadn't had anyone drafted since 2004, so why were the Mariners even considering someone mired in middle relief on this college team? This pick makes even less sense than the last one.

16. Colin Buckborough, RHP, Stamford Collegiate (HS) - Buckbourogh is a pretty impressive physical specimen that will continue to grow and develop. High school players picked this late don't usually sign, so this is likely a player that is going off to college somewhere that the M's hold little hope of actually signing.

17. Ryan Rodriguez, RHP, Nevada - Rodriguez was a workhouse for the Wolfpack this season, and put together a very fine year in every statistical category. Though he didn't play in a power conference, he should have gone higher. I think he has potential as a starter, which can't be said of many pitchers taken this late.

18. Guy Welsh, 3B, UNC-Greensboro - Playing in the Southern conference, Welsh showed good hitting ability and solid plate discipline. More power would have been nice, but if he had hit more homers he would not have been available at this pick.

19. Roberto Mena, SS, Tampa - I tried to find more information on this guy, but the University of Tampa website wouldn't cooperate at all. He's from a small school and he didn't show up in the hitter's database I built while finding my 25 Guys the M's Should Be Looking At list, so I'm guessing he's not much of a hitter but has flashed some fielding ability. That's purely a guess though.

20. Stephen Penney, RHP, UC-Riverside - This guy fits the mold of an M's pitcher in the Bavasi era. He's tall (6'7"), he strikes out quite a few batters, and he doesn't give up many homers. He wasn't a starter or a featured reliever really, and on top of that his ERA was 5.40. However, the strikeouts, homers, and size are all encouraging, so he was worth a selection at this point.

21. Travis Mortimore, LHP, Wayne State College - Can you guess the pitcher's description? He's tall (6'5"), his ERA was over 5.00, but he struck out lots of batters and didn't give up many home runs. He was a starter for Wayne State, but if he has a future as a pro it's most likely in the bullpen. His 77 strikeouts and 18 walks in 58 2/3 innings pitched are quite impressive, even at a rather low level. There's definitely a pattern to the type of pitchers the M's are picking in the later rounds of this draft, and I like it. Looking at all these tall pitchers with high strikeout rates and low walk rates, I can't help but think that one of them will develop into someone who can help the Mariners.

22. Bryan Harris, RHP, Cal State Fullerton - Harris didn't pitch all that much this year, but when he did he was quite effective. His ERA was actually around 3.00 this season with a good K rate and only one home run allowed. He was a reliever, so it's clear where his future is, but that being said I'm a little surprised a pitcher this effective on a program as strong as Cal State Fullerton's fell this far. He's a senior, so he's definitely signing. This is yet another good pick by the Mariners.

23. Broadie Downs, RHP, Modesto JC - At 27 years old, Downs is significantly older than most draftees, and I can't find many stats on him. Honestly, he's pretty much entering his athletic prime now, so he's going to have to move in the system in a hurry if he's going to be a big-leaguer. 23rd rounders don't exactly tend to move quickly though; usually there is a reason they are being picked this low. There's too many red flags around Downs to consider him a legitimate prospect. He looks to me like a pitcher who will fill out minor league rosters for a few years.

24. Matt Renfree, RHP, Nevada - His ERA was approaching 5.00, and his WHIP wasn't great, but (surprise!) he is 6'8", he did strikeout a bunch of batters, and he did not allow many home runs. There's reason to believe Renfree can develop into a solid reliever, which makes him a nice pick at this point.

25. Michael Flynn, RHP, Robert E Lee HS - Flynn throws in the high 80s, but it's his knee-buckling curve ball that's really impressive. He's obviously a guy with the talent to go much higher in this draft, but he's likely locked in on going to college. Don't expect the M's to get this guy signed.

26. Jake Wild, RHP, Pacific - Opponents beat up Wild pretty good to the tune of a .338 batting average against, but he is tall, struck quite a few guys out, and didn't give up many homers. The home run rate is pretty impressive considering how many hits he gave up, but the strikeout total is likely inflated by his lack of ability to get batters out in any other manner. He is similar to other pitchers the M's have picked in the later stages of this draft, but he's a noticeable step below. I don't see Wild ever amounting to much.

27. Brooks Mohr, RHP, Elida HS - High-schoolers this late never sign.

28. Josh Satow, LHP, Arizona State - Satow was a guy I had on my list of players to watch in day two, so I'm quite excited the M's picked him! He had a fantastic year, but looking at his track record he could potentially be a one-year wonder. Considering Satow is a junior and he was drafted fairly low, he may opt to not sign and return for his senior year. However, if he does sign and he is as good as he showed this year, the M's have a major steal this late in the draft.

29. Javier Martinez, RHP, Fordham - Martinez was a pitcher and outfielder for Fordham, but will stick to pitching as a pro. His main problem is control, but there's reason to believe that could improve by completely focusing on pitching. If focusing on pitching goes miraculously well, he could develop into a starting prospect. More realistically, he'll be a fringe bullpen prospect at best. Martinez is a bit of a wild card, but well worth a pick at this stage in the draft.

30. Jason Nance, 1B, Blackford HS - He's big and left-handed, but also a high-schooler picked way too late to be expected to sign.

31. Rod Scurry, RHP, Nevada - The third Wolfpack pitcher picked by the M's, Scurry doesn't appear to bring much to the table. He was a starter, so maybe he can be turned into a serviceable reliever. However, at this point in the draft, organizations are looking for guys to fill out minor league rosters. So, Scurry may be a guy that the M's use as a utility pitcher to allow other prospects to develop in the roles that the M's want them in.

32. Blake Trinkler, 2B, Modesto JC - Barely 18 years old, I don't know if Trinkler has plans to transfer to a major university. If he does, the odds are he won't sign. My guess is that he will, given how young he is and how late he was picked.

33. Chris Pecora, RF, North Carolina Wesleyan - The North Carolina Wesleyan website is not cooperating, so I have extremely limited info on this guy. He's a switch-hitter, and he's a junior, so he's got some intrigue, but also a year of eligibility left. If he's got potential he'll likely return for his senior year and see if he can raise his draft status. If he signs, it's likely a sign that he has maximized his draft status, which means he's not that great of a prospect.

34. Johnny DuRocher, RHP, Washington - This is quite the intriguing pick by the M's. First, they stayed close to home, which always makes a player more interesting. However, DuRocher is much better known for his days as a quarterback, especially as a highly-touted prep star at Bethel High School. He pitched in only six innings this year, and only played baseball his sophomore year in high school, so he's extremely new to the game. However, he's clearly a great athlete, and he likely has got a pretty good arm too. There's no telling what the M's got with this pick, but there's always the chance that they have caught lightning in a bottle. The odds say they haven't, but this is a risk well worth taking this late in the draft.

35. Trent Rothlin, RHP, Fred T Foard HS - He's a high-schooler drafted late, so he's not signing.

36. Cole Cook, RHP, Palisades HS - See above.

37. Donald Brown, RF, Pepperdine - Brown didn't show much power, but he showed a tremendous eye at the plate. Considering he's a junior, he'll likely return for his senior season because with a few more homers he'll greatly improve his draft status.

38. Chris Kupillas, RHP, Central Michigan - Kupillas was used mostly as a reliever, and he had more walks than strikeouts, but he didn't give up many home runs. He's also tall, so overall he fits the M's model of a late-round pitching prospect. If he's going to amount to anything, he has to significantly improve his control though.

39. Michael Beltran, SS, St. John Bosco HS - I don't know if he has any relation to Carlos Beltran, but I'm not going to bother to find out because he's not signing.

40. Josh Liles, RF, University School of Jackson (HS) - Yet another high-schooler who will not sign for the pittance he'll be offered as a late draft pick

41. Matthew Thomas, RHP, Chico Hill HS - See above

42. Jack Peterson, 2B, La Jolla HS - See above

43. Jason Buursma, RHP, Bucknell - Buursma posted a sparkling 1.65 ERA with the Bison this year, and also only allowed one home run the entire season. He did pitch in the pitcher-friendly Patriot League though, and it would have been nice to see a few more strikeouts. However, considering that the draft is nearly over, it's a little surprising to see any D-I college pitcher with an ERA under 2.00 still available. As an added bonus, Buursma is from Washington. There's no complaining with this pick whatsoever.

44. Forrest Snow, RHP, Lakeside HS - He's tall, he's got a cool name, and he's local, but he's just not going to sign.

45. Clayton Van Hook, 2B, Texas - At 5'9" and 151 points, Van Hook isn't exactly a physical specimen. He also was a reserve for the Longhorns. Frankly, I'm not sure how the M's ever found the guy, and he has "minor-league roster-filler" written all over him. Guys like Van Hook are needed for the short-season rookie teams though, and this is the point of the draft to net them. Van Hook isn't a prospect himself, but he is the type of utility player that mostly sits on the bench and only plays when a prospect needs a day off. These guys are notorious for "playing the game right," because organizations feel that hustle guys with little talent can't help but have a positive effect on talent-laden prospects.

46. Kyle Haas, RHP, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M - He's tall and not even 20 years old yet. He may sign, but given how young he is, I doubt it. Staying in college and trying to improve his draft status would make sense.

47. Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, William Penn HS - Another high-schooler who won't be going pro this season.

48. Eric Maupin, RHP, Galena HS - See above

49. David Carpenter, RHP, New Mexico JC - He's not a high-schooler, but he's only 19, so also highly unlikely to sign.

50. Nick Purdy, RF, St. Mary's SS (HS) - The M's finish the draft by taking a high-schooler who will not sign.

Overall, the Mariners did a really good job in the draft this year. I would have handled the early rounds differently, but who the M's did pick are solid. They made some really bone-headed picks in the early-middle rounds (Gallagher, Dunbar, and Meyer stick out in my mind), but they drafted a host of tall pitchers with high strikeout rates and low home run rates in the middle rounds. Actually, I doubt any team had a better draft round 17 on. The Mariners really did that outstanding of a job in the later rounds. However, as with any draft, this year's class will be defined by the top, so it's really up to Phillip Aumont and Matt Mangini to pan out. At worst, I think four players out of this entire draft class will become prospects for the Mariners, but depending on how many of those tall pitchers picked in the later rounds develop, that number could jump up to six, or eight, or maybe even higher. I'm concerned that their still isn't a first baseman of the future, but I'm not about to criticize the talent the M's added this year.