The 2013 first-year player draft is Thursday through Saturday, and the Mariners will have the 12th overall selection. The club has used its first pick on a pitcher in five of the past seven years, the exceptions being infielder Dustin Ackley in 2009 and catcher Mike Zunino last year.
If the Mariners select strictly on need, they will probably try to replenish their stable of outfield prospects, given that Franklin Gutierrez, on the disabled list for the fifth time in two years, can’t stay healthy, while Jason Bay, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez are working on one-year deals.
Regardless of the choice, the Mariners are probably not going to draft a significant difference-maker — at least if history is any guide.
Since their inaugural year of 1977, the Mariners have used a first pick on 46 players, not all of them first rounders. Matt Tuiasosopo, for example, was selected in the third round in 2004, but was Seattle’s first pick that year.
Of the 46, 10 went on to become All-Stars. Of the 10, only three — Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Tino Martinez — became All-Stars for Seattle. The other seven, most recently outfielder Adam Jones with Baltimore, achieved All-Star status after leaving the franchise.
Jones, Seattle’s first-round pick in 2003, went to the Orioles in a Feb. 8, 2008 trade that netted LHP Erik Bedard. Jones made American League All-Star teams in 2009 and 2012 and is currently hitting .305 with 11 home runs.
The 10 players the Mariners drafted who became All-Stars combined to make 37 All-Star appearances, 13 of those by Griffey, 12 by Rodriguez. Griffey represented the Mariners 10 times, Rodriguez four before he departed in 2001, and Martinez one.
The following chart lists Seattle’s first picks, number of years they played in the majors, number of All-Star appearances they made, and the number they made with the Mariners.
MARINERS NO. 1 DRAFT SELECTIONS
|1987||June||*Ken Griffey Jr.||OF||21||13||10|
|1995||June||Jose Cruz Jr.||OF||12||0||0|
*=First player selected in entire draft