Mariners take Wazzu battery on Day 3
Pistorese, Jones hope to continue pro journey together
SEATTLE -- When Joe Pistorese and P.J. Jones begin their Minor League baseball careers in the coming days, they won't have to go far to find a familiar face. The two senior roommates at Washington State were both selected Wednesday by the Mariners in the final day of the Draft, and hope to continue their journey together now in the professional ranks.
Pistorese, a left-handed pitcher who was born in Seattle and went to high school in Kalispell, Mont., was the Mariners' 17th-round pick. Jones, a catcher from Mountain View High in Vancouver, Wash., went to the Mariners in the 19th round.
With school done for the year at Washington State, the two had returned home to be with their parents for the Draft while awaiting word of their future. But they were thrilled to be quickly reunited by the Mariners.
"The first guy who called me was Joe," Jones said. "That's my guy. We made a pretty good combo at Wazzu. We're excited to take this to next level and see what we can do. He's one of my best friends and we were together almost every day all through college. They got a good one."
Pistorese was equally thrilled for his batterymate.
"I'm excited for both of us," said the 22-year-old southpaw. "He's a great guy on and off the field and a fantastic catcher. I know how hard he works. Hopefully we can go to the same place and work hard and see how far it takes us."
Both were doubly happy to be picked by their homestate team. Pistorese moved to Montana when he was 6, but most of his immediate family remains in the Seattle area and he grew up a Mariners fan.
"It's awesome," Pistorese said. "When I was younger, we always went to Mariners games, even back to the Kingdome days. It's pretty amazing."
Jones, 22, moved to Vancouver from Texas when he was 7 and said the Mariners quickly became his team growing up.
"This is a dream come true and being the Mariners makes it all the more special," he said. "The first Major League games I ever went to were at Safeco. And a few weeks ago, I was there for a workout and was reminded again what a beautiful park it is. I'm just excited for this opportunity."
The Mariners, who took Washington center fielder Braden Bishop with their third-round pick on Tuesday, selected another in-state product on Wednesday in hard-throwing Yelm High School right-hander Parker McFadden in the 20th round.
But McFadden, ranked No. 81 overall among Draft prospects by Baseball America and 116th by MLB.com, fell to the 605th overall selection and said he was leaning toward going to college once he wasn't drafted in the first three rounds. McFadden has a letter of intent to Washington State.
"I think I'll honor my commitment [to WSU]," McFadden said. "It was going to depend on where I was drafted. I think my signability was too high. I can get more mature and increase my stock a little bit, develop more quality pitches."
McFadden, a 6-foot, 200-pounder, has a fastball clocked up to 97 mph this spring and allowed just 10 hits with 89 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings this season for Yelm, but missed the last few games after hurting his hamstring running a 40-yard dash in a Physical Education class and thinks that might have caused some teams to hesitate in the early rounds of the Draft.