Mariners Draft Report Card

Ackley could make this draft himself, but the first draft of scouting director Tom McNamara likely will be remembered for how Franklin and Baron—who were consensus prospects but not consensus top 33 picks—develop.

BEST PURE HITTER: 1B/OF Dustin Ackley (1) was the best hitter in the draft and one of the best  to come out of college in years. He's a line-drive machine who batted .412 over three seasons at North Carolina. >> BEST POWER HITTER: Ackley, who hit 22 homers this spring, could develop plus power. OF Matt Cerione (13) has surprised Seattle with his plus raw power, but he'll have to more selective to tap into it. >> FASTEST RUNNER: Ackley, who flashes 70 times and is a consistent 60 runner. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: C Steve Baron (1s) and SS Nick Franklin (1) went as high as they did because the Mariners see them as difference-makers defensively. He was the best defensive catcher in the draft for most scouts, with above-average grades on his receiving and arm. Franklin should stay at short thanks to his athleticism and confident actions.


BEST FASTBALL: The Mariners saw RHP Tyler Blandford (5) up to 98 mph this summer, and is sits at 93-95 mph. It's notable more for its velocity than its life. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: LHPs John Hesketh (20) and Jimmy Gillheeney (8) both have shown plus changeups, and Hesketh dominated with his, striking out 64 in 43 innings in his debut.


BEST PRO DEBUT: RHP Andrew Carraway (12) went a combined 8-0, 2.09 with a 70-9 strikeout-walk ratio in 65 innings between short-season Everett and low Class A Clinton. 3B Vinnie Catricala (10) batted .301/.363/.493 and led Rookie-level Pulaski with eight home runs. >> BEST ATHLETE: Ackley and OF James Jones (4) stand out, with Jones showing right-field tools with power and a huge arm. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:: LHP Brian Moran (7), a teammate of Ackley and 2B Kyle Seager (3) at North Carolina, is the nephew of UNC great and 1985 No. 1 overall pick B.J. Surhoff. One of his high school coaches was the younger brother of Seattle scouting director Tom McNamara. 3B Evan Sharpley (50) has appeared in 19 games and this fall is deep on Notre Dame's quarterback depth chart as a fifth-year senior. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Ackley should fly to the big leagues. Seager could move quickly thanks to his polished lefthanded bat. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: RHP John Housey (36), whose father Joe scouts for the Cubs, pitched just 76 innings in three seasons at Miami. He struck out 79 in 72 pro innings in his debut, throwing three pitches for strikes, led by a potential plus curveball. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The Mariners signed their first 15 picks and signed most of its targets. They hoped to have more of a shot at 1B Regan Flaherty (28), who has lefthanded power and comes from a baseball family in Maine. His father coaches at Southern Maine, and his brother Ryan is a Cubs farmhand.