Tom McNamara is admittedly new to this whole major league baseball draft in some ways. Obviously, for the veteran scout, this isn’t the first draft he has been a part of. But it is his first draft as a scouting director, and the responsibility and anxiety of it all can be a bit much.
Perhaps it’s why McNamara wore the expression of a man having a needle jammed into his spine during Tuesday’s press briefing after the Mariners’ first-round picks.
“I was a little stiff,” he admitted Wednesday. “I was a little panicky about getting back before the next pick.”
The panic carried over later that night, when McNamara experienced that all-too-scary premonition of sleeping through his alarm.
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“I must have checked my alarm clock three times,” he said.
On Wednesday, after day two of the draft, McNamara sounded like a man nearing the end of a very long, uphill climb.
The Mariners drafted 27 more players in rounds four through 30, and McNamara seemed pleased with the results.
“Somebody told me today it’s the gutsier draft,” he said. “Obviously, the first four or five picks, they should be your top guys. But if you do research the past 20 years, from (Albert) Pujols to (Mike) Piazza, there are second-day draft picks that play in the big leagues and are All-Stars. I was very satisfied with today.”
One of the more satisfying ones was the Mariners’ first pick Wednesday – outfielder James Jones out of Long Island University – whom they took with the second pick of the fourth round.
“Going to bed (Wednesday) night that was the guy I wanted to take,” McNamara said. “Trust me, even though there was only one team picking ahead of us, I had two names for that second pick because I thought (Jones) might be the first guy taken. I was wrong and very happy about it.”
Jones, who is 6-foot-4, 230, hit .364 and a team-high nine home runs with 32 RBI and stole 20 bases for LIU. He also pitched, posting a 1-9 record, but his fastball tops out at 94 mph.
However, the Mariners are projecting him as an outfielder and listed him as a left fielder on the press release.
“He could play left, right and he’s a real good defensive first baseman,” McNamara said. “He’s instinctive, and his better days are ahead of him.”
Jones has no preference.
“That’s their decision, and I’m going to give 100 percent effort,” Jones told the New York Daily News. “I’m definitely going to go out and work hard to get to my goal, which is to dominate the big leagues.”
Jones is a product of the famed Youth Service baseball program in Brooklyn that is coached by Mel Zitter. The program, which is perhaps the top amateur team in New York City, also produced big-leaguers Manny Ramirez, Julio Lugo, Shawon Dunston, Frankie Rodriguez and Alex Arias.
Of the 32 players the Mariners have selected in the first two days, only 14 are pitchers – eight right-handers and four lefties.
The draft concludes today.
Seattle drafted its third University of North Carolina player in left-handed pitcher Brian Moran (eighth round). Moran is the nephew of former big-leaguer and UNC alum B.J. Surhoff. ... Baylor shortstop Shaver Hansen (sixth round) has a father in athletics, sort of. Stan Hansen was a pro wrestler known as “The Lariat.” Stan Hansen grew to acclaim in Japan, where he was dubbed as the “Bad Man from Borger, Texas” and even body slammed Hulk Hogan in a match and wrestled Andre the Giant.
Mariners second-day draft
4 113 James Jones OF Long Island University
5 143 Tyler BlandfordRHP Oklahoma State
6 173 Shaver Hansen 3B Baylor/Texas
7 203 Brian Moran LHP North Carolina
8 233 Jimmy GilheeneyLHP North Carolina State
9 263 Trevor Coleman C Missouri
10 293 Vincent Catricala3B Hawaii
11 323 Tim Morris 1B St. John’s
12 353 Andrew Carraway RHP Virginia
13 383 Matt Cerione OF Georgia
14 413 Adam Nelubowich3B Vauxhall Academy, Edmonton, Alberta
15 443 Blake Keitzman LHP Western Oregon
16 473 Tillman Pugh OF Gateway (Ariz.) CC
17 503 Joseph Terry 2B Cerritos (Calif.) CC
18 533 Anthony VasquezLHP Southern California
19 563 Eric Thomas RHP Bethune-Cookman
20 593 Jonathan Hesketh LHP New Mexico
21 623 Daniel Cooper RHP Southern California
22 653 Drew Hayes RHP Vanderbilt
23 683 David Rollins LHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC
24 713 Carlton Tanabe C Pearl City (Hawaii) HS
25 743 Brandon JosselynRHP Yale
26 773 Chris Sorce RHP Troy
27 803 Austin Hudson RHP Central Florida
28 833 Regan Flaherty 1B Deering HS, Portland, Maine
29 863 Brandon HavemanOF Purdue
30 893 Brandon Bantz C Dallas Baptist
STATE PLAYERS DRAFTED
Rd.No. Team Player Pos. School
3 106 Phillies Kyrell Hudson OF Evergreen HS (Vanc.)
4 134 Mets Darrell Ceciliani OF Columbia Basin CC
5 167 Phillies Matt Way LHP Washington State
7 219 Cardinals Kyle Conley OF Washington
8 244 Rangers Braden Tullis RHP Skagit Valley CC
9 269 Reds Brian Pearl RHP Washington
10 321 Angels Jake Locker OF Washington
11 335 Indians Kirk Wetmore LHP Bellevue CC
13 395 Indians Jeremy Johnson RHP Washington State
15 454 Rangers Keith Campbell RHP Everett CC
17504PadresJorge ReyesRHPOregon State
17 517 Dodgers Steven Ames RHP Gonzaga
18 559 Rays Jacob Partridge LHP Rogers HS (Puyallup)
22 670 Blue Jays Matthew Fields RHP Gonzaga
24 715 Pirates Jason Erickson RHP Washington
24 717 Giants Alex Burg C Washington State
25 762 Twins Anthony Bryant RHP Kennewick HS
25 769 Rays Ryan Wiegand 1B Gonzaga
27 818MarlinsNathan Simon2BPepperdine
27 820Blue JaysBrian JusticeRHPSaint Mary’s
28 842 Royals Eric Peterson IF Liberty HS
30 900 Tigers James Robbins 1BShorecrest HS