‘He fits everything we value here.’ Mariners draft college pitcher with No. 20 pick
Between Monday and Wednesday this week, the Seattle Mariners, with 41 picks, will cycle through 40 rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft. The draft begins Monday with Rounds 1-2, with Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday, and 11-40 on Wednesday.
Here’s a list of who the Mariners picked in each round, what these players offer the organization, and what director of amateur scouting Scott Hunter had to say.
▪ RHP George Kirby, Elon (Round 1, No. 20 overall): The Mariners view the 6-foot-5, 205-pounder as a “true four-pitch mix guy.” The 21-year-old has a fastball that can touch 98 mph, and three secondary pitches in his slider, curveball and changup that can keep hitters off-balance. Kirby posted an 8-2 record and 2.75 ERA his junior season at Elon, and limited opponents to a .221 batting average. Perhaps most impressively, he struck out 107 batters, and walked just six in 88 1/3 innings.
Hunter: “We’re obviously very excited to add a college pitcher that we felt was one of the top four or five arms in the country. He fits everything we value here. ... Adding pitching last year with Logan Gilbert, George Kirby’s going to come in and add to that depth of our organization, which we’re trying to build on.”
▪ LHP Brandon Williamson, TCU (2, 59): Williamson is a 6-6, 210-pounder with a three-pitch mix, and his fastball — which can reach the mid-90s — and his slider might be his best offerings. He posted a 4-5 record and 4.19 ERA in 16 starts with TCU this season. He struck out 89 batters and walked 36 in 77 1/3 innings. The 21-year-old previously pitched two seasons at North Iowa Area Community College, finishing 12-5 with a 3.44 ERA. He has recovered well from surgery to repair the labrum in both hips, Hunter said, and is a native of Welcome, Minn.
Hunter: “Brandon Williamson was a junior college transfer into TCU and has really come on as of late. 6-foot-5, left-handed, three-pitch mix, a lot of strikes, and a little bit of upside with a kid from a cold-weather area.”
▪ RHP Isaiah Campbell, Arkansas (CBB, 76): With the CBB pick they gained — along with Edwin Encarnacion — from the Indians this season in exchange for Carlos Santana, the Mariners picked up the 21-year-old power pitcher. Campbell posted an 11-1 record and 2.27 ERA in 16 starts with Arkansas this season, and struck out 108 while walking 19 in 103 innings. His fastball can reach the mid-to-upper 90s, and his slider and splitter are his best secondary offerings.
Hunter: “Isaiah Campbell another one with a really good track record in the SEC. More strikeouts than anything, tons of strikes. Another big, physical right-handed pitcher that we really see could be an innings-eater at the next level.”
▪ RHP Levi Stoudt, Lehigh (3, 97): Stoudt doesn’t have the size of some others, at 6-1, but has a four-pitch offering and a fastball that hovers around 92-93 mph. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and his slider and curveball round out his arsenal. The 21-year-old Pennsburg, Pa. native finished 3-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) with Lehigh his junior season, while striking out 69 and walking 21 in 63 2/3 innings.
Hunter: “Really liked the things he had to offer in regards to delivery arm action and mileage on his arm. There’s big upside with him with a plus changeup and he’s been up to 95 mph at Lehigh. I think it’s a little bit of an untapped resource that we’re getting with him.”
▪ RHP Tim Elliott, Georgia (4, 126): Another projected starter, Elliott compiled a 7-3 record and 2.38 ERA in his junior season with the Bulldogs, including pitching a complete-game, two-hit shutout in his final outing. He struck out 72 and walked 24 in 75 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder pairs a 89-94 mph fastball with a slider and changeup.
Hunter: “Tim Elliott has really come on the scene over the last six to eight weeks. He’s got four pitches, power arm, he pops on a lot of our analytical stuff as well as our delivery arm action. The ability to throw strikes, miss bats, he’s done a really good job this year.”
▪ 3B Austin Shenton, FIU (5, 156): In a departure from their first five picks, the Mariners took the Bellingham native as their first position player in this year’s draft. The 21-year-old slashed at .330/.425/.513 in 53 games his junior season with FIU, and recorded the fifth-longest hitting streak in the country this season at 22 games. He played his freshman season at Bellevue College, after wrapping up an impressive career at Bellingham High School, where he hit .472 with a .700 on-base percentage. He was drafted by the Indians in the 34th round in 2016, but did not sign.
“The kid was in tears because he was a lifelong Mariner fan. He went to FIU to get more baseball experience and get outside of his comfort zone, and he’s done extremely well.”
▪ RHP Michael Limoncelli, New York’s Horseheads High School (6, 186): The first high school player the Mariners selected in this year’s draft was another pitcher, to add to the five college arms they drafted earlier. The 19-year-old touched 94 mph with is fastball before it was determined he needed Tommy John surgery. He had the procedure Tuesday. He also a breaking ball and a changeup in his arsenal. The 6-2, 180-pounder was 2-0 with 20 strikeouts in his two high school starts as a senior. He went 5-2 with a 0.73 ERA and 51 strikeouts to 14 walks as a junior.
Hunter: “We went outside our normal comfort zone — as everybody in baseball says stay away from high school pitchers — and we took one that literally ... is coming out of anesthesia from Tommy John surgery. It was today. I called his dad, and his dad was in tears and I said, ‘Is Michael awake?’ He goes, ‘Well, he’s half in, half out.’ He literally just came out from under. … The kid was in tears. From what we saw last summer, he was 90-94 with a plus breaking ball, ton of strikes. We thought it was a good risk for us to take to create that next pocket of young pitchers that we can take some time on, as these college guys really stabilize the middle of our organization.”
▪ LHP Adam Macko, Alberta, Canada’s Vauxhall High School (7, 216): The 18-year-old has a 6-0, 170 frame and throws a fastball that can touch 89 mph, and a secondary curveball. He grew up in Slovakia before moving to Alberta ahead of his high school years.
Hunter: “He’s going to be the second player I think ever drafted out of Slovakia. ... He’s a left-handed pitcher, a great delivery. He’s already 88-90 with a really good feel for a changeup. ... He actually pitched against our minor-league guys at spring training this year and I believe there’s some video of him, I think striking out Shed Long, which was pretty impressive. He’s got kind of a deceptive fastball that eats up hitters right now, and we hope he grows into a lot more velocity and some pitchability.”
▪ RHP Ty Adcock, Elon (8, 246): The 22-year-old was a college teammate of Seattle’s first-round pick George Kirby. Adcock, who is 6-0, 215, was Elon’s closer during his redshirt junior season, notching nine saves, a 4-1 record and 2.32 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He struck out 37 and walked 16 in 31 innings. His four-seam fastball reaches 97 mph, and he supplements it with a slider and occassional changeup. Adcock also played right field for Elon, and posted a .251 batting average with 12 homers, 11 doubles and 56 RBIs.
Hunter: “I called him, I said, ‘I hope you and George Kirby are friends.’ ... Another guy up in 95-96 mph that we may attempt at some point to stretch out a little bit to see if he can handle a starting role. But, it’s an athlete with a big arm. He’s a little bit on the older side at 22, but it’s a pure arm that has a lot of power, and he’s got a plus changeup out of the bullpen that’s getting a lot of swings and misses.”
▪ SS Mike Salvatore, Florida State (9, 276): The Seminoles’ top hitter was slashing at .341/.430/.549 entering the week. Florida State is still alive in the NCAA Super Regionals. The 6-0, 190-pound infielder has knocked 22 doubles, four triples and seven homers this season, while collecting 50 RBIs. He has a .946 fielding percentage.
Hunter: “He’s a great baseball player, stays in the middle of the field, and it’s obviously another weakness of ours is trying to get some more guys that stay on the dirt. With him we think, it’s a senior sign, but we do think he has prospect value, which is why we went up and got him as early as we did.”
▪ RHP Kyle Hill, Baylor (10, 306): Seattle saved the lights-out closer for last, selecting Baylor’s 5-11, 200-pounder with their final pick of Day 2. The 22-year-old posted a perfect 0.00 ERA in 23 relief appearances his senior season, while notching seven saves and a 6-0 record. He struck out 35, walked 10 and allowed just 10 hits (three extra-base hits, all doubles) in 29 1/3 innings. He converted from a starter as a sophomore, and posted a 10-1 record and 1.71 ERA with eight saves his final two seasons at Baylor.
Hunter: “We couldn’t figure out who in college baseball over the last 10 years had a 0.00 ERA. He’s a reliever, but he’s another guy 90-93 with kind of a disappearing fastball. ... It will be nice to see him continue to compete.”
▪ C Carter Bins, Fresno State (11, 336): A four-year starter for the Bulldogs, the 21-year-old, who is 6-0, 200, was originally projected to be off the board early Tuesday. He finished his senior season at Fresno State slashing at .280/.385/.427 with 14 doubles, six homers and 28 RBIs to go with 33 walks and 48 strikeouts. He had a .991 fielding percentage and caught 19 of 39 runners stealing.
▪ CF Antoine Mistico, Arizona’s Gateway Community College (12, 366): The 20-year-old, 6-0, 180 left-handed batter slashed at .340/.455/.524 with 11 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 38 RBIs in 56 games this season. He walked 40 times, struck out 27, and stole 45 bases.
▪ RHP Reid Morgan, South Carolina (13, 396): The 22-year-old committed to Oklahoma State out of high school and transferred to Texas’ San Jacinto College as a sophomore. He pitched his junior season for the Gamecocks, compiling a 4-6 record and 3.80 ERA in 14 appearances. The 5-10, 185-pounder tallied 70 strikeouts to 17 walks in 87 2/3 innings, and allowed just 18 extra-base hits, including three homers. He’s not quite a submarine pitcher, but has a lower release. He missed his senior season pitching in high school after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
▪ SS Patrick Frick, Wake Forest (14, 426): Listed as a shortstop, but the 22-year-old started at second base for Wake Forest this season, and has previously appeared at DH and in the outfield. He slashed at .360/.457/.481 his junior season with 14 doubles, four homers and 38 RBIs. He added 34 walks, seven stolen bases and had 24 strikeouts. The 6-0, 200-pounder posted a .954 fielding percentage with nine errors in 55 games.
▪ RHP Anthony Tomczak, Florida’s North Broward Prep (15, 456): The 6-2, 200-pound 18-year-old went 4-0 in nine appearances his senior season with a 0.91 ERA according to MaxPreps.
▪ RHP Logan Rinehart, Cal Baptist (16, 486): The 21-year-old appeared in 12 games his junior season, compiling a spotless 9-0 record and 3.20 ERA. He allowed 15 extra-base hits, including four homers, while striking out 68 and walking 27 in 64 2/3 innings. He’s 6-3, 185.
▪ RHP Dutch Landis, Nevada’s Bishop Gorman High School (17, 516): The 17-year-old is 6-2, 185, and posted an 8-2 record and 2.58 ERA his junior season in 10 appearances according to MaxPreps. No stats were listed for his senior season.
▪ RHP Tyler Driver, North Carolina’s Crossroads FLEX High School (18, 546): The 18-year-old is 6-2, 285 with a fastball that has reached the low 90s.
▪ RHP Travis Kuhn, San Diego (19, 576): The 5-10, 195-pounder posted a 3-3 record and 3.54 ERA in 23 relief appearances as a redshirt sophomore, including logging four saves. The 21-year-old struck out 64 and walked 29 in 48 1/3 innings, while limiting opponents to a .182 batting average.
▪ LF Cade Marlowe, West Georgia (20, 606): Started all 52 games he played his senior season, slashing at .389/.460/.548 at the Division II school. He cranked 10 doubles, four triples and five home runs, and recorded 39 RBIs while walking 21 times and striking out 26. He had a .977 fielding percentage. The 21-year-old is 6-2, 200.
▪ RHP Reeves Martin, New Orleans (21, 636): The 22-year-old made 29 relief appearances his junior season, compiling a 4-0 record with a 1.03 ERA and 14 saves. He allowed 18 hits in 35 innings pitched, and struck out 55 while walking nine. The 5-8, 180-pounder limited opponents to a .150 batting average.
▪ RF Trent Tingelstad, Lousiana-Monroe (22, 666): The 20-year-old outfielder is the second local the Mariners selected in this draft. He was an all-state pick at Marysville-Pilchuck in 2016, before moving on to play at Everett Community College. The 5-10, 215 left-handed batter led Louisiana-Monroe in batting average as a junior, slashing at .353/.471/.585 with a 1.056 OPS in 56 games. He knocked 19 doubles, three triples and seven homers. He had a .972 fielding percentage.
▪ SS Caleb Rica, Northwestern State (23, 696): The 5-8, 165-pound infielder slashed at .309/.405/.484 his junior season, hitting 17 doubles, three triples, five homers and compiling 35 RBIs. The 21-year-old had 24 stolen bases in 55 games.
▪ RHP Kipp Rollings, North Greenville (24, 726): The 22-year-old compiled a 5-2 record with a 3.06 ERA and five saves in 24 relief appearances his senior season at the Division II program. He struck out 35 and walked 10 in 35 1/3 innings. He is 6-2, 190.
▪ RHP Fred Villarreal, Houston (25, 756): Held the lowest ERA of any Houston pitcher with 60-plus innings this season, posting a 5-4 record and 2.29 ERA in 59 innings pitched. The 21-year-old logged 10 saves in 33 relief appearances, striking out 44, walking 19 and allowing eight extra-base hits. He is 5-8, 190.
▪ RHP Garrett Westberg, UCF (26, 786): A third local pick for the Mariners, the 22-year-old went 2-5 with a 3.38 ERA and three saves in 30 relief appearances at UCF his senior season. He struck out 55 and walked 27 in 45 1/3 innings. Prior to UCF, the 6-2, 210-pounder threw two seasons at Tacoma Community College. He is a Decatur High School product, was an all-state pick his senior season, and struck out 107 batters.
▪ RHP Brock Minich, Nova Southeastern (27, 816): The 22-year-old made 16 relief appearances his senior season with the Division II program, compiling a 2-1 record and 2.55 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. He notched four saves, struck out 24, walked 15 and allowed three extra-base hits. He is 6-6, 220.
▪ C Anthony Lepre, The Masters University (28, 846): The 5-10, 195-pound senior slugger led the Mustangs in several offensive categories, slashing at .438/lo.489/.933 with a 1.422 OPS. He smashed 17 doubles and 28 home runs, an recorded 80 RBIs in 52 games. The 22-year-old was an NAIA first-team All-American.
▪ SS Utah Jones, North Greenville (29, 876): The 23-year-old infielder paced the Division II program’s offense, slashing at .403/.492/.573. He recorded 21 doubles, five homers, 52 RBIs and walked 30 times in 56 games. He also stole 18 bases. He is 6-0, 165.
▪ SS Cody Grosse, Southeastern Louisiana (30, 906): The 22-year-old infielder slashed at .252/.355/.338 with 38 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 59 games. He had a .952 fielding percentage. He is 5-8, 165.
▪ RHP Jacob Meador, Texas’ Centennial High School (31, 936): The 18-year-old has a fastball that tops out in the lower-to-mid 90s. He is 5-10, 165.
▪ CF Jackson Tate, Lawson State Community College (32, 996): The 20-year-old slashed at .377/.525/.815 in 55 games with 19 doubles, five triples, 14 homers and 41 RBIs. He stole 26 bases, drew 37 walks and struck out 38 times. He is 5-11, 200.
▪ RHP Jarod Bayless, Dallas Baptist (33, 996): Appeared 25 times in relief for the Division II program, compiling a 7-1 record and 4.07 ERA his senior season. He struck out 57 and walked 37 in 48 2/3 innings while limiting opponents to a .197 batting average. The 22-year-old is 6-4, 225.
▪ 3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Arizona’s Yavapai College (34, 1,026): The 19-year-old slashed at .402/.473/.828 with 19 doubles, 22 homers and 70 RBIs in 56 games. He walked 21 times and struck out 42. He is 6-1, 215.
▪ C Dominic Tamez, Texas’ Lady Bird Johnson High School (35, 1,056): The 18-year-old is 6-0, 185.
▪ LHP C.J. Mayhue, North Carolina’s Crest High School (36, 1,086): The 18-year-old has a fastball that reaches the low 90s. He is 6-0, 185.
▪ 2B Cole Barr, Indiana (37, 1,116): The 21-year-old slashed at .255/.388/.565 in 60 games, recording 14 doubles, 17 homers and 51 RBIs. He also walked 36 times and struck out 87, and stole seven bases. He is 5-11, 190.
▪ CF Jackson Lancaster, Mississippi’s Itawamba Junior College (38, 1,146): Left-handed batter appeared in 50 games, posting a .369/.460/.572 slash line with 13 doubles, five triples, five homers and 47 RBIs. The 20-year-old drew 32 walks, struck out 27 times and stole 17 bases. He is 6-1, 190.
▪ CF Jacob Hurtubise, Army (39, 1,176): Started all 61 games he played in, slashing at .375/.541/.455. The 21-year-old left-handed batter had six doubles, four triples and 26 RBIs. He also walked 69 times, and stole 45 bases while striking out 26 times. He posted a .994 fielding percentage. He is 6-0, 180.
▪ 2B Perry McMichen, Ohio’s Wyoming High School (40, 1,206): The 18-year-old hit .454 with seven steals his senior season according to MaxPreps. He is 5-10, 180.