Drafting Cole Young Was An Easy Call For Mariners

Earlier this year, Mariners scouting director Scott Hunter traveled to western Pennsylvania to meet high school shortstop Cole Young and watch him hit.

After two swings, Hunter was sold.

“Yeah, this is an easy one,” Hunter remembers texting Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto.

The Mariners selected Young out of North Allegheny High with the 21st overall pick this year.

They were enamored of the lefthanded hitters sweet swing, which features a flat path that keeps the barrel through the zone for a long time.

Young put that polished swing on full display during the 2021 summer showcase circuit, when he stood out as one of the top prep shortstops in his draft class.

“He just has a beautiful swing,” Dipoto said. “I thought this was one of the prettiest swings in the draft.”

After signing with Seattle, the 19-year-old Young got off to a strong start this summer.

In 17 games between the Arizona Complex League and Low-A Modesto, he slashed .367/.423/.517 with two home runs and four stolen bases.

Young has an advanced approach at the plate, with strong command of the strike zone and a natural ability to use the whole field. According to Hunter, Young had more walks than strikeouts during last summer’s showcase circuit.

“He buys in to using all the field,” Hunter said. “He buys in to pitch selection (and) dominating the strike zone. He is probably the definition of what we want our hitters to be.”

Young isn’t projected as a power threat, but the Mariners think there’s room for the 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop to improve in that area.

“He’d rather take a line drive than just sell out for power,” Hunter said. “But (with) the maturity of this bat, I think he’ll be exceeding his power grades . . . because he is such an advanced hitter.”

Young complements his hit tool with above-average fielding, throwing and running grades.

“The kid gets the most out of his natural talent,” Hunter said. “And I think we can build off of that, especially once we get him into our (high performance) program.”



— Cole Young is now Seattle’s top shortstop prospect, after the Mariners dealt Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo to the Reds as part of the blockbuster trade for ace Luis Castillo.

— Outfielder Cade Marlowe earned a spot on the Mariners’ postseason taxi squad, following a red-hot September that included a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma. This season, the 25-year-old lefthanded slugger slashed .287/.377/.487 with 23 homers, 49 extra-base hits and 42 stolen bases in 133 games between Double-A Arkansas and Tacoma. Over 24 games in September, he batted a scorching .371/.451/.804 with 10 homers and 20 extra-base hits. “He can play defense. He can run and he hits. (And) he’s got power,” Dipoto said. “He’s a sneaky good prospect.”

— After recovering from Tommy John surgery, 22-year-old righthander Bryan Woo returned to the mound in early June and quickly moved up to High-A Everett by early August. With an upper-90s fastball and a hard slider, the 2021 sixth-round pick posted a 33.6% strikeout rate in 57 innings this season between Everett, Low-A Modesto and the Arizona Complex League. He logged a 4.11 ERA, with 84 strikeouts and 22 walks. He headed to the Arizona Fall League after the season.

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