College arms dominate Seattle's Day 3 picks

College arms dominate Seattle's Day 3 picks

SEATTLE -- College pitchers were the flavor of the day for the Mariners in the final 20 rounds of the First-Year Player Draft.

Seattle took 11 hurlers Wednesday -- giving them 30 out of 50 total picks -- and 18 of their last-day selections were college players, a group more likely to sign and make an impact in the Minor League system right away.

Draft Central

"This year we took more pitching than last year, that's pretty obvious," amateur scouting director Tom McNamara said. "They haven't signed yet, so when these players sign we believe we're adding top-end pitching to our organization. Pretty good balance, and I'm pretty satisfied. Now we just have to go sign them."

The signing deadline is Monday, Aug. 16, and the first task will be inking 43rd overall pick Taijuan Walker, a pitcher from Yucaipa (Calif.) High.

McNamara, Walker and general manager Jack Zduriencik don't appear too worried about whether an agreement will be reached, and McNamara said they waited until after the Draft was complete to start negotiating.

"We wanted to get the Draft over and be really involved," McNamara said. "I've talked to Taijuan and his adviser, and we'll start speaking [Wednesday night] and the next few days."

The Mariners took several players on Day 3 who have ties to the area or organization. Perhaps the strongest connection belongs to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College pitcher David Holman, who was taken in round 50.

The Mariners picked Holman in the 47th last year, and his father holds a significant place in the team's lore. Brian Holman pitched for Seattle from 1989-1991, and in an April 20, 1990 game against the Athletics, he was one out away from a perfect game when he allowed a home run to Ken Phelps to finish with a one-hit, one-run complete-game victory.

Mariners Day 3 picks
Round 31: Jake Schlander, SS, Stanford
Round 32: Andrew Giobbi, C, Vanderbilt
Round 33: Douglas Patterson, 3B, Gilbert (Ariz.) High
Round 34: Tyler Whitney, LHP, Mississippi State
Round 35: Ethan Paquette, 1B, Hofstra
Round 36: Forrest Snow, RHP, Washington
Round 37: Ryan Kiel, LHP, Marshall
Round 38: Benjamin Versnik, RHP, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Round 39: Josh Krist, RHP, Cal State Poly
Round 40: Nathan Reed, LHP, Kutztown University
Round 41: Billy Marcoe, C, Cal State Fullerton
Round 42: Michael Aviles, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas Col.
Round 43: Matt Browning, 3B, James Madison
Round 44: Timothy Boyce, RHP, Rhode Island
Round 45: Stephen Kohlscheen, RHP, Auburn
Round 46: David Rollins, LHP, San Jacinto College North
Round 47: James Wood, OF, Trinity College
Round 48: Patrick Brady, 2B, Bellarmine College
Round 49: Colton Keough, CF, Tesoro (Calif.) High
Round 50: David Holman, RHP, Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C.
The two local selections were Cal State Fullerton catcher Billy Marcoe (41st round) and Washington pitcher Forrest Snow (36th round). Both played high school ball in the Seattle area.

Marcoe -- nicknamed "Wonka" because his father owns a candy business -- went to Eastide Catholic High in Bellevue, while Snow attended Seattle's Lakeside High and was drafted by his hometown team for the second time (44th-round in 2007).

Snow posted a 4-2 record and 6.30 ERA in 27 outings (nine starts) with the Huskies this season. Not eye-popping stats, but McNamara saw room for growth.

"He has good size and some arm strength," McNamara said. "Sometimes somebody in pro ball will show you a different grip or change your delivery, and suddenly you hit it off with a certain pitching coach and become a different guy. I'll keep it simple. He has enough ability and raw talent to be drafted."

Raw talent was the name of the game in the closing rounds, as McNamara said he and his team of scouts were aiming to fill out some Minor League rosters while searching for diamonds in the rough.

He praised the first pick of the day, 31st-rounder and Stanford shortstop Jake Schlander, for his defense, and he scooped up a few good hitters as well.

Hofstra first baseman Ethan Paquette (35th round) and James Madison third baseman Matt Browning (43rd round) both showed prowess at the plate this season and earned first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors.

Paquette, who played at Vermont before the school discontinued its baseball program, started all 49 games at first, third and right field and collected a hit in 40 contests. He batted .371 with 14 homers and set a school record with 70 RBIs to go along with 25 multi-hit games and a .994 fielding percentage. Browning hit .378.

After transferring from Pittsburgh to Kutztown University, left-hander Jason Reed (40th round) posted a 2.60 ERA in 72 2/3 innings, holding opponents to a .164 batting average and throwing a no-hitter.

None of these late selections were big-name prospects, and though the rest of the package may not be complete, one well-developed skill can be all it takes.

"You take them because they might have two or one major league tool that can get them there," McNamara said. "If they had three, four or five they wouldn't be in those picks, but every once in a while you can strike gold on a late-round draft."

"We take the last 20 rounds really seriously. We like to think we can get two, maybe three guys from 30 to 50 that get to the big leagues. Does that happen often? No, but we keep optimistic and take these guys serious."

Mike McCall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.