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Mariners load up on college players in Draft

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- The Mariners made a splash in the third day of the 2016 Major League Draft by selecting a couple of famous offspring -- the sons of Ken Griffey Jr. and Dan Wilson -- but they also looked to bolster their pitching depth in the organization by adding a number of college pitchers.

Seattle's first five picks on Saturday were college hurlers -- right-hander Michael Koval of Cal Poly Pomona in the 11th round, lefty Timothy Viehoff of Southern New Hampshire in the 12th, right-handers Reggie McClain of Missouri Columbia and Kyle Davis of USC in the 13th and 14th and left-hander Danny Garcia of Miami in the 15th.

SEATTLE -- The Mariners made a splash in the third day of the 2016 Major League Draft by selecting a couple of famous offspring -- the sons of Ken Griffey Jr. and Dan Wilson -- but they also looked to bolster their pitching depth in the organization by adding a number of college pitchers.

Seattle's first five picks on Saturday were college hurlers -- right-hander Michael Koval of Cal Poly Pomona in the 11th round, lefty Timothy Viehoff of Southern New Hampshire in the 12th, right-handers Reggie McClain of Missouri Columbia and Kyle Davis of USC in the 13th and 14th and left-hander Danny Garcia of Miami in the 15th.

:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::

"I walked in today and said we should take 10-12 pitchers in a row," Mariners amateur scouting director Tom McNamara said. "We took a lot of position players [in the first 10 rounds]. Four days ago I thought we were going to kind of lean toward pitching, but when you have a good position player sitting there and you pass them by, they're hard to find."

The Mariners focused mostly on the college ranks for a third straight day in the early going, but did pick eight high schoolers in their final 11 selections of the 40-round affair, including a pair of local preps with shortstop Morgan McCullough out of West Seattle High School in the 33rd round and catcher Eli Wilson from Garfield High in Seattle in the 37th.

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Wilson's father, Dan, is a Mariners Hall of Famer. Eli is a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder who has signed a letter of intent with the University of Minnesota, where his dad played before being drafted by the Reds and later traded to Seattle.

But he was only the second-most famous son selected as Trey Griffey, a wide receiver at the University of Arizona, was picked in the 24th round. His dad will be the Mariners' first inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24 and his familiar No. 24 jersey will be retired in a ceremony at Safeco Field on Aug. 6.

Track every Mariners pick from Day 3 of the 2016 MLB Draft

Of Seattle's 30 picks on the final day, 16 were pitchers and 13 of those are from the college ranks. They'd selected seven position players in their top 10 picks on the first two days of the Draft, including first-rounder Kyle Lewis from Mercer, who signed a contract on Saturday.

McNamara said the club was thrilled that Lewis was still available at No. 11 since they had him third on their Draft board and they're also very high on Virginia prep infielder Joe Rizzo, their second-round selection and third-rounder Bryson Brigman, a shortstop out of the University of San Diego.

Things get harder to project in the later rounds, but McNamara said he was breathing much easier after the three-day marathon was done.

"We're really happy," he said. "We feel real satisfied. Now we have to sign everybody and send them off to the right places."

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seattle Mariners