Breaking down Mariners' picks from Day 2

July 13th, 2021

SEATTLE -- The Mariners looked to aggressively bolster their No. 3-ranked farm system on Day 2 of the 2021 MLB Draft.

After picking Georgia high school catcher Harry Ford on Day 1, the Mariners continued to replenish their pipeline on Day 2, which included Rounds 2-10.

Let's break down all nine picks made by the Mariners on Monday:

Round 2, 48th overall: Edwin Arroyo, SS, Central Pointe Christian Academy (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Notable skill: Switch-hitting shortstops don’t necessarily grow on trees, but that’s precisely what Seattle snagged when it went with another high schooler to open Day 2. He’s a little bit better from the right side, and the 6-foot, 175-pounder still has a way to go in terms of growing into his body. But Arroyo has decent contact skills. Long term, he should have every opportunity to remain at shortstop, with a strong arm. 

Fun fact: When he was 11 years old, Arroyo began pitching left-handed in games even though he naturally throws with his right. He’s even pitched with both hands in the same game before. While that won’t necessarily impact his status as a shortstop, it certainly is a wow factor.

Quotable: “I was just like, ‘I can pitch. Do you need me?’ I think that was a good thing for the pitchers, so they can rest a little bit more,” Arroyo said to MLB Network last month of when he first began pitching. “It’s just a resource that I have. I don’t want to lose it. Just in case I get hurt or something, I have that left arm.”

Round 3, 83rd overall: Michael Morales, RHP, East Pennsboro High School (Enola, Pa.)

Notable skill: Morales has a three-pitch mix and a decent enough acumen with how to best use it. His velocity has been a tick down this year after it topped in the 93-94 mph range at the East Coast Pro Showcase last year. He also throws a curveball, which has been described as a plus breaking ball, and he rounds out his repertoire with a solid-average changeup that has decent run and sink. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder ranked as the No. 109 prospect in this year’s Draft, per MLB Pipeline.

Fun fact: Morales is committed to Vanderbilt, a program that has long been known for its pitching prowess. But he has indicated that he would sign at the right rate, and the Mariners taking a prep arm this high could help them remain under their bonus pool number.

Quotable: “I’d walk up to the field and see him pitch, and you know, a lot of 12-year-olds dominate and you don’t think there is MLB potential. But, through the junior high years, he was just very mature.” -- Tyler Comp, Morales’ high school coach, to Brian Linder of PennLive.

Round 4, 113th overall: Bryce Miller, RHP, Texas A&M

Notable skill: It took until their fourth pick, but Seattle finally went back to the college pitching ranks when selecting Miller, who has a big fastball that has already topped out at 99 mph. He really honed in on his secondary pitches, his curveball and changeup, when transitioning from a closer role to a Friday night starter for the Aggies. Miller has a decent four-pitch mix. Miller ranked as the No. 91 prospect in this year’s Draft, per MLB Pipeline.

Fun fact: Miller began looking at Rapsodo and TrackMan data more aggressively during the quarantine period in 2020. He says he’s always been a “feel guy,” but that the technology opened his eyes on how his fastball might play better when elevated. Additionally, Miller was the college roommate of Asa Lacy, who was taken with the No. 4 overall pick by the Royals last year and was widely viewed as arguably the top pitcher in that year’s class.

Quotable: “Using the top of the strike zone more, that was another focus. I really worked on getting the fastball up, using the spin rate to my advantage and really getting it up there. Having all four of those has made things a lot easier, but velo also helps.” -- Miller, to Joe Doyle of Prospects Live

Round 5, 144th overall: Andy Thomas, C, Baylor

Notable skill: You can never have too much catching, and the Mariners reiterated that belief by selecting Thomas, who hit .327 with 124 runs scored, 44 doubles, three triples, 19 homers, 141 RBIs, 105 walks and seven stolen bases over five seasons at Baylor. The bat clearly stands out for the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder.

Fun fact: Thomas opted to return to Baylor as a fifth-year senior because he was not only determined to raise his Draft profile, but also because he loves the passion of college baseball. And because he wasn't ranked very high on most Draft prospect rankings, it’s possible that the Mariners will be able to sign him for below-slot value to free up cash for the rest of their bonus pool.

Quotable: “Every single time we take batting practice, there’s a defensive group, all I work on is my throwing. That’s all I work on. I’ve made it a big effort to speak with our pitchers. ‘Hey, be quick to the plate. Let me throw them out. Get the ball in my hand with them still halfway to let me be able to do something.’ I’ve worked really hard. I think receiving is the strongest part of my game, but definitely, my throwing has improved a lot.” -- Thomas, to the Waco Tribune-Herald

Round 6, 174th overall: Bryan Woo, RHP, Cal Poly

Notable skill: Woo will join the deep system of college pitchers the Mariners have assembled. He pitched mostly in relief in three seasons at Cal Poly. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder compiled a 6.36 ERA over 69 1/3 innings, including a 6.11 mark in 10 outings in 2021. Woo is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. He attended Alameda High School in the Bay Area.

Fun fact: He was college teammates with current Mariners No. 30 prospect Taylor Dollard in 2019.

Quotable: “We did some video on him and sent some stuff to Trent Blank, our high performance and pitching director. And he calls him the unicorn, because we grade out deliveries -- arm actions, projection, upside, whatever our [high-performance] guys can do -- and he called him the unicorn, because it's probably the highest grade we've seen on a pure develop and biomechanic setting.” -- Mariners director of amateur scouting Scott Hunter

Round 7, 204th overall: Colin Davis, OF, Wofford

Notable skill: Davis is a smaller-school kid that is a true center fielder with speed and a power tool, and at 22, he's a little old for his class. That's why he didn’t get as much of a look in last year’s five-round Draft.

Fun fact: Davis was playing in the Cape Cod League, one of the premier summer collegiate circuits, before he was drafted on Monday.

Quotable: “One of the most fun phone calls I had today. … I don't know if there was a happier kid I spoke to on the phone today when we made that call. But yeah, he's definitely got some personality.” -- Hunter

Round 8, 234th overall: James Parker, SS, Clemson

Notable skill: There isn’t necessarily a standout tool for the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder; he’s just a good all-around player, Hunter said. Parker stands out as a mature veteran presence who can make all the routine plays at shortstop. The Mariners wouldn’t be opposed to putting him at second or third, and they like the sneaky power in his bat, which could give him a shot to be more than an extra infielder on the Major League club.

Fun fact: His father, Tim Parker, also pitched at Clemson, became a third-round pick by the Cubs in 1990 and pitched parts of three seasons in their organization.

Quotable: “I always think about all the tough stuff we go through, and I know that he went through all the same things. He knows it is tough, and he knows that balancing school and baseball is not easy.” -- Parker, on his father, to Makenna Biehl of Clemson’s athletic department

Round 9, 264th overall: Spencer Packard, OF, Campbell University

Notable skill: His versatility. He can play all three outfield positions, and the Mariners may even give him an infield glove as well. He's also mature and a little further along at age 23.

Fun fact: Packard was a first-team All-Conference selection in the Big South in 2021.

Quotable: “It's up to him. As far as his bat will take them, that’s how far he'll go. … Bats wind up finding their way to the big leagues, if they can continue to do what they're consistently doing in college.” – Hunter

Round 10, 294th overall: Jordan Jackson, RHP, Georgia Southern

Notable skill: His size. At 6-foot-6, 204 pounds, Jackson has an overpowering presence on the mound, and the Mariners believe their high-performance department will be able to help him become far stronger than he already is.

Fun fact: He earned his associate's degree in sport management at Spartanburg Methodist College.

Quotable: “He is a big human being that throws a lot of strikes, and if we can get them in the right direction physically and then just pitch-development-wise, we think we might actually have stole something here in the top 10 rounds.” -- Hunter