The Mariners will have the sixth overall pick when the 2014 first year player draft starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. The club used its first pick on a pitcher in five of the past eight years, the exceptions then-infielder Dustin Ackley in 2009, catcher Mike Zunino two years ago and third baseman D.J. Peterson last year.
The Mariners fast-tracked to the major leagues Ackley and Zunino, both of whom are every-day players. Seattle has not selected a future All-Star position player in the first round since 2003 when it took shortstop Adam Jones, later converted to the outfield. Seattle last drafted a future All-Star pitcher in 1999 when it took J.J. Putz, an All-Star in 2007 when he closed for the Mariners.
Mark Langston, a second-round pick in 1981, is the last starting pitcher taken by the Mariners who went on to make an All-Star team (1987).
Jones has made three American League All-Star clubs since his major league debut July 14, 2006, but none with the Mariners, who traded him to Baltimore Feb. 8, 2008, in a package for Erik Bedard.
Since their inaugural year of 1977, the Mariners have used a first pick on 47 players, not all of them first-round choices. Of the 47, only three — Ken Griffey Jr. (1987), Tino Martinez (1988) and Alex Rodriguez (1993) — became All-Stars for Seattle.
Aside from Griffey, Martinez and Rodriguez, the Mariners have done far better in the draft picking in the lower rounds, especially in recent years, evidenced by the current roster.
Of the 25 on the active roster, nine came via the amateur draft, including Ackley, Zunino, Brad Miller (2nd, 2011), Willie Bloomquist (3rd, 1999), Kyle Seager (3rd, 2009), James Jones (4th, 2009), Michael Saunders (11th, 2004), Stefan Romero (12th, 2010) and Dominic Leone (16th, 2012). Leone is the only pitcher on the 25-man drafted by the Mariners.
June draftees Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, taken in the first and fourth rounds, respectively, in 2010, would probably be on the 25-man roster if they were not on the disabled list.
Justin Smoak, Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush arrived via trade. Robinson Cano, John Buck, Cole Gillespie, Endy Chavez, Joe Beimel, Roenis Elias, Hisashi Iwakuma, Fernando Rodney, Tom Wilhelmsen and Chris Young, were signed as free agents.
Felix Hernandez, Yoervis Medina and Erasmo Ramirez were signed as amateur free agents.
The Mariners have two selections Thursday. In addition to the sixth, they select 74th overall.
The draft begins at 4 p.m.
The chart lists Seattle’s first picks, number of years in the majors, number of All-Star appearances 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 draft