With their fourth pick of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Mariners took their first pitcher when they selected Old Dominion left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth round, 111th overall.
The selection came as a surprise to MLB analysts hosting the live Draft, as they were left scanning their laptops to get a scouting report on Yarbrough. Seattle's director of amateur scouting, Tom McNamara, gladly provided one.
"He's real tough on lefties, good breaking ball -- he's just a guy with a good delivery," McNamara said. "He's a big, tall left-hander. We think there is upside there."
Yarbrough went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 appearances (14 starts) as a junior at Old Dominion in 2014. Listed at 6-foot-6, 205-pounds, the Lakeland, Fla., native was outside of the MLB Top 200 Prospect List, but went 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 appearances (13 starts) over 82 2/3 innings as a sophomore at Old Dominion, after spending 2011 at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla.
Assuming he signs with Seattle and decides against returning to college for his senior season, McNamara added that Yarbrough will be given the chance to be a starter.
If that doesn't pan out, McNamara still thinks Yarbrough can be useful -- to say the least.
"He may end up as a reliever, a real good lefty reliever," he said.
The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.
Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less