The announcer of the pick stepped up to the podium and said, with a straight face, “I’m Ken Griffey Jr. and with the 60th selection in the 2015 MLB draft, the Seattle Mariners select Nick Neidert.”
Yes Junior, we know who you are. Neidert however, we do not.
What I can say, is that as a high school pitcher, the Mariners will have to convince him not to follow through on his commitment to South Carolina if they are going to sign him. Here is Kiley McDaniel from Fangraphs on the young righty.
“I saw him at the PG National in June and he was okay, but looked like more like a mid-round prospect that would probably go to school: 90-92 mph, limited projection, fringy curveball and changeup with a less-than-ideal delivery. He took a big step forward in Jupiter, sitting 93-95 and hitting 96 mph in his first inning, then settling in at 91-94 mph with above average life. Neidert’s changeup flashed above average and his curveball was solid average at times. His delivery is a little cleaner and he looks like he might’ve grown an inch or two as well. As a suburban Atlanta prep power arm up to 96 mph, he’ll get plenty of looks in the spring.”
After the pick, the crew at MLB Network had this to say.
“He’s not a monster physically, but he can hit 96 with the fastball, and he has an advanced changeup for a high school kid. He’s got some feel for spin, although the slider might work better than the curveball he has, but there’s some upside on this guy. That’s for sure. He had a little elbow tendenitis this spring that slowed him down, and he might have gone higher than this had he been healthy all spring, but I don’t believe it’s a long-term concern.”
The Seattle Mariners have an abundance of young pitching already in the bigs, with James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Mike Montgomery and Roenis Elias. However, their top five minor league prospects are all position players. The M’s must think their farm system could use a few more hurlers.
Andrew Moore, that’s your cue.
Twelve picks later the M’s snagged another righty, this time from Oregon State. Here is the instant analysis, again from the guys at MLB Network.
“The thing that stands out to me about Andrew Moore is the four-pitch mix…. He has a lot of command, and is more of a control guy. He pounds the strikezone with four pitches, and really improved the quality of all four pitches this past year. He took on a leadership role for the Beavers this year…. I think it’s good value here. I think he’s a back-of-the-rotation guy. I like him a lot.”
The way I see it, the fact that they took two pitchers means one of two things. Either the Mariners are confident in the development of Brad Miller, Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, D.J. Peterson, Alex Jackson, Ketel Marte etc., or they have given up on Jack Zduriencik’s ability to draft position players altogether.
Maybe I’m being overly cynical, and they really were the top two players on the board and have bright futures in Seattle. But it’s difficult to be a fan of the Seattle Mariners right now.