Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Mariners stocking up on arms in 2017 Draft

Seattle picks 6 pitchers, including Gonzaga's Mills, from rounds 3-10
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- The Mariners selected pitchers with six of their eight picks in Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft and have used seven of their first 10 slots to acquire arms, which shouldn't come as a surprise from a franchise that has already needed 28 pitchers at the Major League level this year.

"This Draft isn't really loaded with college bats," said Mariners amateur scouting director Scott Hunter. "We saw some depth with pitching so we took some chances early on. With the amount of moves and injuries, we really wanted to restock and get some depth in the organization."

SEATTLE -- The Mariners selected pitchers with six of their eight picks in Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft and have used seven of their first 10 slots to acquire arms, which shouldn't come as a surprise from a franchise that has already needed 28 pitchers at the Major League level this year.

"This Draft isn't really loaded with college bats," said Mariners amateur scouting director Scott Hunter. "We saw some depth with pitching so we took some chances early on. With the amount of moves and injuries, we really wanted to restock and get some depth in the organization."

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

The Draft will conclude on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 9 a.m. PT.

The Mariners did use their first-round pick on Monday to land first baseman Evan White from the University of Kentucky, then added Minneapolis prep standout righty Sam Carlson in the second round. Carlson met with the Mariners on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field prior to their game with the Twins, and Hunter said he expects the youngster to sign as soon as he finishes his high school season this week.

Here are the players selected by the Mariners on Tuesday:

Third round (93rd pick): Wyatt Mills, RHP, Gonzaga
The Mariners stayed local with their first pick on Tuesday, tabbing a 22-year-old right-handed reliever from Spokane, Wash.

Mills was drafted in the 17th round by the Rays last year, but chose to stay in school for his senior year and went 2-2 with 12 saves and a 1.79 ERA, racking up 58 strikeouts and just four walks over 40 1/3 innings in 22 outings.

Over four seasons with Gonzaga, the Gonzaga Prep graduate was 6-4 with 21 saves and a 2.48 ERA in 63 relief appearances. The 21 saves are the second-most in Gonzaga history.

Video: Draft 2017: Mariners draft RHP Wyatt Mills No. 93

Fourth round (123rd pick): Seth Elledge, RHP, Dallas Baptist
The 21-year-old is another right-handed reliever and he posted 13 saves while going 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 31 1/3 innings over 22 outings this past season as a college junior.

Elledge is a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder who has been a hard-throwing closer throughout his college career, with 27 saves and a 2.22 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 26 walks in 69 innings. The Frisco, Texas, native is a sports management major at Dallas Baptist, which plays in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference in baseball.

Elledge is the sixth pitcher from Dallas Baptist taken in the first five rounds of the Draft since 2013. Ben Zobrist, a standout utility player, was drafted out of Dallas Baptist in the sixth round in 2004. The Mariners' only previous Draft pick out of the school was catcher Brandon Bantz in the 30th round in 2009.

Fifth round (153rd): David Banuelos, C, Long Beach State
The junior from Ontario, Calif., is regarded as one of the premier defensive backstops in the college game and one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award that is given annually to the nation's top catcher.

Banuelos threw out 20 of 32 attempted basestealers this year for a Long Beach State squad that reached the NCAA Super Regionals. But Banuelos also carries a solid bat and hit .289 with 31 runs, nine doubles, three triples, seven homers and 29 RBIs in 59 games this year.

Over three seasons, the 6-foot, 205-pounder has posted a .280/.369/.432 line with 10 home runs and 60 RBIs in 120 games and he proved exceptionally durable, starting 57 and playing in 59 of the team's 63 games this year. He's the first Baseball America first-team All-America selection from Long Beach State since Jered Weaver in 2004.

Sixth round (183rd): Oliver Jaskie, LHP, University of Michigan
The 6-foot-4 junior was a first-team All-Big Ten pitcher for a strong Michigan squad as he went 8-3 with a 3.77 ERA and tied a school single-season record with 119 strikeouts in 93 innings over 16 starts.

Jaskie, 21, doesn't have an overpowering fastball as he usually tops out about 90-91 mph, but features an outstanding changeup and developed into the Wolverines' top starter the past two years. His junior season was capped by a shutout with 14 strikeouts against Ohio State.

Over three seasons, he went 17-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 52 games, including 31 starts. He's 12 credits short of graduating with a degree in Economics.

Seventh round (213th): Max Roberts, LHP, Wabash Valley College
The 19-year-old southpaw was a standout starter this year as a freshman at the Illinois school, which advanced to the Junior College World Series for the first time since 1989. Roberts went 10-1 with one save and a 1.44 ERA in 17 games, including 13 starts.

At 6-foot-5, 160 pounds, Roberts should get stronger as he gets older, and he posted 98 strikeouts with 28 walks in 94 innings in his first college season.

Eighth round (243rd): Billy Cooke, OF, Coastal Carolina
Cooke is regarded as one of the premier defensive center fielders in the college ranks and the 21-year-old beefed up with the bat as well this past season while earning Sun Belt Player of the Year honors.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder out of Maitland, Fla., posted a .353/.479/.587 line with 10 home runs, 38 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 56 games. He was a career .328/.439/.486 hitter with 13 homers and 51 stolen bases in 152 games for the Chanticleers and made just two errors in the field while providing numerous highlight reel catches.

Ninth round (273rd): Jorge Benitez, LHP, Leadership Christian Academy
Benitez is an 18-year-old high school southpaw out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in Gurabo. At 6-foot-2, 155 pounds, he caught scouts' eyes with his upper-80s fastball and easy delivery with a body that should fill out as he gets older.

10th round (303rd): Randy Bell, RHP, University of South Alabama
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder is a college senior who went 7-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 starts in his final year at South Alabama, with 96 strikeouts and 21 walks in 107 1/3 innings. Bell threw a complete game in the opener of the NCAA Hattiesburg Regional against Mississippi State in a 6-3 win.

Bell was 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA and five complete games as a junior at South Alabama after beginning his collegiate career at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss., where he was the 2015 Spalding Baseball/National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore after going 12-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 16 games.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners