Mariners Draft Report
By Susan Wade
SEATTLE--His physique doesn't look all that much like his father's, but John Mayberry Jr. has the same tools that could carry him to the major leagues, as well.
That's why the Mariners picked the outfielder/first baseman with their first-round pick (28th overall) out of Kansas City's Rockhurst High. It's the first time the Mariners have had a first-round pick since 1999.
Scouting director Frank Mattox said the 18-year-old son of the former Royals all-star was his preference: "I had only one guy on my mind."
When the Braves called the name of prep outfielder Jeff Francoeur, Mattox said he had a good feeling the Ms would land Mayberry. And the Mariners "war room" erupted with a sigh of relief when the Diamondbacks took high school shortstop Sergio Santos.
"He's a good-looking athlete, a five-tool player," Mattox said of the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Mayberry. "I've never really spoken with his dad, but from what I've seen, the boy is plenty good."
Mattox said Mayberry "has the arm, the speed and the agility to play outfield. He has a power bat, he can run and he can throw. He's a quality young man, and that's what we're looking for."
Jim DeGraw, Mayberry's coach at Rockhurst High, affirmed that. "He's one of those 'Yes, sir,' 'No, sir' guys. He's a great athlete," DeGraw said, "and with all the attention he's gotten in the past year, he's handled it all tremendously."
The hometown Royals had scouted Mayberry extensively but used their sixth overall pick on Florida high-school shortstop Zack Greinke. Perhaps they were chased away Mayberry's commitment to Stanford.
The Mariners, who drafted a handful of athletes last June who were leaning heavily toward the college route, weren't fazed. They know a scholarship package can be built into negotiations. And Mattox didn't flinch when questioned about Mayberry's signability.
Mayberry, a righthanded hitter, batted .432-9-29 his senior season at Rockhurst, with five doubles and two triples among his 32 hits. He led his school to an 18-6 record this season and a 54-16 mark in his three years on the varsity. He also played basketball for four seasons.
Mayberry is the sixth prep standout in the last seven years the Mariners have selected with their top pick. He follows Michael Garciaparra, Sam Hays, Ryan Christianson, Ryan Anderson and Gil Meche since 1996. Lefthander Matt Thornton, in 1998, was the lone college choice, from Michigan's Grand Valley State.
His father played for the Astros (1968-71), Royals ('72-77), Blue Jays ('78-82) and Yankees ('82).
The Mariners have enjoyed family connections since Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. shared the old Kingdome outfield in 1990 and '91. Last year, they surprised everyone by selecting Garciaparra, brother of Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra. In 2000, they chose Hays, whose grandfather, Sid Hudson, had been a major leaguer in the 1940s and '50s. The year before, they took Christianson, whose brother, Robby, was a Mariners pitching farmhand taken in 1996. Their 1995 choice was Jose Cruz Jr., son of a former major leaguer.
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