It took until the final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, but Yelm’s Parker McFadden finally saw his name on the draft board.
The Seattle Mariners took the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher in the 20th round, with the 605th overall pick, after much speculation that the Washington State signee could be drafted in one of the first five rounds.
But McFadden said Wednesday he will choose to attend Washington State after declining two teams’ offers earlier in the draft which topped at least half-million dollars.
One American League team and one National League team reached out to McFadden during the top five rounds, and the largest signing-bonus offered was $700,000, he said. McFadden declined both teams’ six-figure offers.
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“My number was a little higher,” McFadden said of a dollar figure.
Instead, McFadden said he doesn’t plan to sign with the Mariners as their 20th-round selection and will honor his commitment to Washington State, where he signed a letter of intent in the fall. McFadden will be eligible for the draft again in 2018 after his junior season at WSU. He said he hopes to mature physically and develop “better off-speed pitches and better command” while at WSU.
Tom McNamara, the Mariners’ director of amateur scouting, said the team knew McFadden well because he played locally, so Seattle took a “let’s see what happens” approach by drafting him.
McNamara said the organization held a private pre-draft workout for McFadden, whose fastball reached 97 mph this spring and consistently hit 94-95 mph.
“We wanted to draft him and see where it goes,” McNamara said. “We’re glad we drafted (him).”
McFadden struck out 89 batters and allowed just 10 hits in 442/3 innings this spring, going 5-2 with a 0.78 ERA. He helped Yelm reach the 4A West Central District III playoffs but missed the postseason because of a hamstring injury.
He was the second of five high school players from Washington to be drafted this week. Shorewood pitcher Ian Oxnevad was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round, Auburn Mountainview pitcher Justin Marsden went to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 22nd round, Puyallup catcher Brendan Illies was drafted by the New York Mets in the 33rd round, and Union outfielder Cody Hawken was chosen by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round.
McFadden is the first player to be drafted out of Yelm High School since 2001, when Tampa Bay took pitcher Jarod Matthews in the 21st round, 619th overall. In 2005, Yelm graduate Jacob Butler, an outfielder, was the Toronto Blue Jays’ eighth-round selection (No. 236 overall) out of the University of Nevada.