Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Is The MLB Draft Relevant?
With their first round pick (3rd overall) the Seattle Mariners selected catcher Mike Zunino from Florida. Scouts say he is a can't miss prospect that draws comparisons to Jason Varitek. He has been praised for his ability to handle the pitching staff and his leadership qualities. The Mariners desperately need help at the catcher's position so they can move Jesus Montero into the DH spot permanently. Did the Mariners find what they were looking for in Zunino?
It's way to early to tell what kind of impact Zunino will have. Unlike the NFl and the NBA draft first round picks aren't expected to contribute right away. In fact, quite a few players drafted in the first round don't go on to have productive careers. The learning curve is much steeper in baseball and the adjustment from aluminum to wood bats proves to be a challenge for a lot of young players. The minor leagues is often as far as they will go.
With the exception of Ken Griffey Jr, Jason Varitek, and Alex Rodriguez the Mariners haven't had a lot of success drafting in the first round. Adam Jones and Dustin Ackley look like future all stars, but Jeff Clement, Josh Fields, Nick Franklin, and Steven Barton never panned out. It is the nature of the business.
I could say the Mariners front office doesn't know what they're doing, but according to the experts the M's have one of the best farm systems in baseball. Perhaps in a few years we will see the Mariners enjoy the fruits of their labor. In the meantime I won't get too excited about another can't miss prospect until he proves he can hit a curveball and a 95mph fastball. Good luck Mike. The M's could definitely use you sooner than later.