Seattle Mariners

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 20 Josh Fields RHP Georgia Ga. $1,750,000
Following his sophomore year at Georgia, Fields shined in the Cape Cod League, apparently setting him up for a high draft selection in 2007. However, command of his mid-90s fastball and low-80s breaking ball was too inconsistent during his junior season, scaring teams away. The Braves drafted him in the second round, but Fields opted not to sign and returned to Georgia for his senior season. When he returned to Athens, so did his command, and he is now considered the top closer in the country. He holds the Bulldogs' record for career saves and had struck out close to two batters per inning this season. His fastball still sits in the mid-90s, peaking at 98, and his hard downer curveball comes in between 81-83 mph. Scouts are still wary of command issues because his delivery is upright and has some effort. When he misses, it's up in the zone due to not being able to get over the rubber and finish his pitches. Also a concern is durability because of his slight build. When he's on, though, Fields has present major league stuff and the potential to be the first pitcher from this draft to reach the major leagues.
2 66 Dennis Raben OF Miami Fla. $616,000
Lefthanded power hitters are always in demand, and with this draft class being low on quality college outfielders, Raben satisfies two areas of desire. A 49th-round draft pick by the Mariners in 2005, Raben chose to attend Miami and helped lead the Hurricanes to the College World Series as a freshman. Following his sophomore year, Raben played in the Cape Cod League for Orleans, hitting six home runs and earning all-Cape Cod League honors. A preseason All-American, Raben was recognized as one of the top hitting outfield prospects in the upcoming draft. Raben has a strong build at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He is aggressive at the plate and can often times get caught chasing pitches out of the zone. His swing has some length, but Raben has tremendous power that translates to the game. In the outfield, he is a below-average runner but does have good instincts and takes proper routes. However, Raben could be moved to first base at some point in his professional career.
3 98 Aaron Pribanic RHP Nebraska Neb. $390,000
Pribanic showed a strong arm at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC in 2007, but he didn't have enough command or secondary pitches to attract any draft interest. That won't be the case this time around, as Pribanic has shown some of the best stuff among Sunday starters in college baseball. Strong and physical at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he sits at 91-94 mph and tops out at 96 mph with his fastball. His arm works very well and it's fresh, because he redshirted his first year at Hutchinson and has pitched roughly 160 innings since leaving high school four years ago. Pribanic has developed some feel for a splitter that he uses as a changeup. He's still fiddling with both a curveball and a slider, and while they're not reliable, both breaking pitches have decent shape. The curve is the better of the two breaking balls, though it still has a long ways to go. He has thrown more strikes but still has bouts of inconsistency. He loses balance in his delivery, a fixable problem that could lead to further improvements. The grandson of former all-star pitcher Jim Coates, Pribanic won't rush through the minors but could deliver a nice payoff to a team that can clean him up. He was making inroads on the sandwich round at one point, but a late-season slump could knock him down to the third or fourth round.
4 132 Steven Hensley RHP Elon N.C. $233,000
Drafted in the 44th round of the 2005 draft by the Nationals, Hensley chose college and over the past three years has made a solid case to be considered the best pitcher in Elon's baseball history. The career strikeout and wins leader for the Phoenix, Hensley also has a chance to be the highest-drafted Elon player since the school moved up to Division I in 2000 (Lefthander Brad Pinkerton was a fifth-round selection of the Angels in the 2001 draft). He attacks hitters with a four-pitch mix, including a low-90s fastball, fringe-average changeup and curveball, and average slider. At his best, Hensley throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, and has both late life and tight spin on his fastball and secondary pitches. At times he's inconsistent, dropping his arm angle and causing his pitches to flatten out. Hensley also has experience pitching the Cape Cod League, going 4-2, 3.52 for the Bourne Braves last summer.
5 162 Brett Lorin RHP Long Beach State Calif. $170,000
A draft-eligible sophomore and transfer from Arizona, Lorin is a late-blooming 6-foot-7 righthander who has reached the low 90s with his fastball. He oozes projection and could be a tough sign. He finished the season strong, beating California in regional play, but lacks a putaway strikeout pitch at present.
6 192 Jarrett Burgess OF Florida Christian HS, Miami Fla. $150,000
Burgess is an athletic outfielder who suffered through leg injuries throughout his senior season in high school. However, Burgess has enticing raw tools, including a plus-arm, above-average speed and raw power.
7 222 Nate Tenbrink 3B Kansas State Kan. $140,000
Tenbrink is fodder for the classic tools-vs.-performance argument. Scouts who like him project him as a possible third-rounder and rave about his physical gifts. He's a 6-foot-2, 204-pounder who has a loose lefthanded swing with loft in batting practice, not to mention a plus arm and solid-average speed. He's also an intense competitor and hard worker. Yet for everything Tenbrink has going for him, he hit just .251/.372/.459 and fielded .890 at the hot corner during the regular season. It's not a case of draftitis, as he posted similar numbers as a sophomore. Rather than letting his plus power come naturally, Tenbrink overswings and chases pitches too often during games. He needs to tone down his approach and force pitchers to challenge him. He also must harness his arm, as many of his errors come on throws. Tenbrink's two-run homer provided the difference in Kansas State's Big 12 Conference tournament-opening upset of Oklahoma State, and a hot postseason could push him up draft boards.
8 252 Bobby LaFromboise LHP New Mexico N.M. $70,000
Teammate Bobby LaFromboise was drafted in the 14th round last season, returned to school and went backward until Birmingham challenged him to get tougher. LaFromboise responded, pitched well in front of crosscheckers in an April matchup with Utah righty Stephen Fife, and finished the season by beating Fife in front of plenty of scouts at the Mountain West Conference tournament. He's at his best when he works down in the strike zone with his 88 mph fastball, which has good life, and gets groundballs with his slider. He lacks a strikeout pitch but keeps the ball in the ballpark, having yielded just six home runs in 170 innings the last two seasons.
9 282 Billy Morrison RHP Western Michigan Mich.
10 312 Nate Newman RHP Pepperdine Calif.
11 342 Matt Jensen 2B Clovis (Calif.) East HS Calif.
12 372 Kenn Kasparek RHP Texas Texas $100,000
Righthander Kenn Kasparek is another interesting fourth-year junior. Kasparek, who missed 2007 after having Tommy John surgery, started slowly this spring before no-hitting Texas State and throwing eight scoreless innings against Baylor in consecutive late-season starts. His 6-foot-10, 245-pound frame can be intimidating, but he pitches at 88-91 mph with a slurvy curveball. He consistently worked at 92-93 mph with a hard slider in the summer before his senior high school season, and scouts have been waiting to see that stuff since. The Nationals took a 34th-round flier on him a year ago.
13 402 Ryan Royster OF UC Davis Calif.
UC Davis' top home run hitter, fifth-year senior outfielder Ryan Royster, is the nephew of ex-big leaguer Jerry Royster and has the potential for five average tools, with one or two rating as plus. Royster's still learning to hit but is more athletic than the vast majority of fifth-year seniors. He's still learning to use his 6.6-second speed and has become more patient as the Aggies' leadoff hitter. He's a late bloomer who figures to go in the first 10 rounds.
14 432 Luke Burnett RHP Louisiana Tech La. $200,000
Burnett looked like a potential first-round pick as a reliever last summer in the Cape Cod League, when he intimidated hitters with his 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame and a fastball that sat at 96 mph. Now he has to hope that teams place a lot of faith in what he showed on the Cape, because he had a horrible 2008 season that torpedoed his draft status. Used mostly as a starter--a role in which he thrived as a sophomore--Burnett failed to win a game and didn't pitch after April 25, when he walked four batters and couldn't get out of the first inning against Hawaii. His arm speed was noticeably slower this spring, though an MRI didn't reveal any injury. He pitched mostly at 86-91 mph with a straight four-seam fastball. He bounced his splitter in the dirt and had trouble staying on top of his slider. When it's on, his splitter can be devastating. Burnett draws comparisons to Kyle Farnsworth, and he's best suited to come in and air out his fastball for an inning at a time. His delivery is stiff and hampers his command, and he doesn't have a lot of feel for pitching. The team that selects Burnett likely will follow him in summer ball to see if he can get back on track before trying to sign him.
15 462 Jake Shaffer OF Northern Kentucky Ky.
16 492 Ben Billingsley 2B Lenoir (N.C.) JC N.C.
17 522 Mike Dennhardt RHP Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. N.J.
Last summer, Dennhardt's fastball sat in the 87-88 mph range, but his velocity jumped into the low 90s this spring, topping out at 93. He flashes three legitimate average pitches, including a hard 12-to-6 curveball and a developing changeup. Dennhardt has a stocky, durable build, an excellent feel for pitching and a hard-nosed mentality. He's committed to Boston College but could sneak into the top five rounds, though the seventh or eighth round is a safer bet.
18 552 Travis Howell C Long Beach State Calif.
19 582 Taylor Lewis RHP Yavapai (Ariz.) JC Ariz.
Yavapai righty Taylor Lewis, the team's third consistent starter aside from Yates and thumbing lefty Rick Anton, also could go out as he's touched 92 mph and has an arm that works well.
20 612 Fred Bello SS Cerro Coso (Calif.) JC Calif.
21 642 Jordan Alvis RHP Middle Tennessee State Tenn.
22 672 Blake Nation RHP Georgia Southern Ga.
Blake Nation led Georgia Southern with seven saves and throws 88-90 mph out of the bullpen. Nation is 6-foot-8, 260 pounds and could throw harder in the future.
23 702 Brandon Maurer RHP Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS Calif. $150,000
24 732 Henry Contreras C Cal State Los Angeles Calif.
25 762 Paul Robinson 2B Paris (Texas) JC Texas
26 792 Taylor Stanton RHP Diablo Valley (Calif.) JC Calif.
27 822 Tommy Johnson C Marshall W.Va.
28 852 Scott Savastano SS Franklin Pierce (N.H.) N.H.
A broken thumb early in 2007 caused Franklin Pierce (N.H.) infielder Scott Savastano to drop to the Indians in the 28th round as a draft-eligible sophomore, but there was talk he could climb into the top five rounds with a solid junior campaign. He continued to perform in the wood-bat Northeast-10 Conference, batting .390/.502/.629 with nine homers and 45 RBIs, and he showed a patient approach, drawing 46 walks while striking out just 18 times in 213 at-bats. But scouts now question his professional profile after he added weight to his upper half, limiting his long-term projection. He plays shortstop for Franklin Pierce but lacks the range and hands for the position in pro ball, where scouts agree he'll have to play third base. He has average raw power but probably won't hit enough for the hot corner at the big league level. His swing has some length to it, and he wraps the bat in his set-up. Savastano does have arm strength and he's not a clogger on the basepaths, stealing nine bases in 14 attempts this spring. He figures to be drafted somewhere between the eighth and 14th rounds.
29 882 Stephen Penney RHP UC Riverside Calif.
30 912 Brad Reid RHP Bellevue (Wash.) JC Wash.
Righthander Brad Reid has a solid-average fastball, and he is consistently firm. Reid, an Oregon State transfer, had been in the 90-92 mph range this spring and touched 93 after being in the 85-87 mph range last fall, and his changeup is an average pitch. He's being re-recruited by several four-year schools.
31 942 Randy Castillo RHP Aiea (Hawaii) HS Hawaii
Castillo has a similar skinny body to Antolin's, and his stuff grades out a notch lower. He's touched 90 mph and throws four pitches, including a curveball that has potential to be average. He's long and loose-bodied and probably not physically ready for the pro grind; he's committed to Cuesta (Calif.) JC.
32 972 Nick Love RHP Bellevue (Neb.) Neb.
Righthander Nick Love wasn't as dominant as a reliever in 2008 as he was as a starter in 2007, though he helped pitched Bellevue to the Division II College World Series both seasons. Love hit 94 mph and didn't dip below 90 at last year's CWS, but he lost velocity this year when he started cutting his fastball too often. Six-foot-5 and 210 pounds, he throws both a big-breaking curveball and a hard slider. His extra leverage as a sophomore and off-field concerns from his past further cloud his draft status.
33 1002 Kyle Brown LHP UC Santa Barbara Calif.
34 1032 Ty Tostenson OF Oak Ridge HS, El Dorado Hills, Calif. Calif.
35 1062 Nick Czyz LHP Kansas Kan.
36 1092 Chris Kirkland RHP Memphis Tenn.
37 1122 Brandon Pullen LHP San Diego State Calif.
38 1152 Andres Esquibel RHP Kansas Kan.
39 1182 Christian Staehely RHP Princeton N.J.
40 1212 Troy Channing C Foothill HS, Pleasanton, Calif. Calif.
Another Saint Mary's recruit, Tyler Channing, rivaled Abe Ruiz as the top hitter in the area. He's strong and mature-bodied at 6-foot, 220 pounds and showed good pull power.
41 1242 Henry Cotto OF Gateway (Ariz.) JC Ariz.
42 1272 Randy Molina 1B Stanford Calif.
43 1302 Mike Kindel OF Springboro (Ohio) HS Ohio
44 1332 Donny Jobe 2B Elon N.C.
45 1360 Andrew Kittredge RHP Ferris HS, Spokane, Wash. Wash.
Andrew Kittredge has been likened to Yankees righthander Ian Kennedy for his pitchability and smallish frame. He got on radar screens by throwing 88-90 mph last summer and touching 91 in the fall. He complements it with a sweepy breaking ball. A Washington recruit, Kittredge was expected to go to college.
46 1387 Alvin Rittman OF Germantown (Tenn.) HS Tenn.
47 1414 Rich O'Donald RHP Dickinson HS, Wilmington, Del. Del.
48 1441 D.J. Mauldin RHP Cal Poly Calif.
49 1468 Josh Rodriguez C South Mountain (Ariz.) JC Ariz.
50 1495 Walker Kelly LHP Arlington Heights HS, Fort Worth, Texas Texas