Thursday, December 09, 2004

Rule 5 Draft on Monday 

With the GM's getting together on Friday, there will be much wheeling and dealing and gnashing of teeth over steroids. One event that has been overlooked a bit is Monday's Rule 5 Draft. Baseball America has an excellent summary of the Rule 5 Draft here.

And, just like in the real draft, the Mariners pick 3rd and could help themselves out by picking up a youngster that could spend the whole season on the 25-man roster. Say, in place of Willie Bloomquist.

Here are the Mariner Optimist's Top three ideas for the M's to grab on Monday.

#1 Andy Sisco, LHP, Cubs. Sisco is a 6'9" hard-throwing 22-year-old lefty whose stock has fallen a bit since being considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball. While he has had control issues, he has struck out 365 in 331 innings of pro ball. Remind you of any other big, hard-throwing lefties you've seen pitch in a Mariners uniform? This would be a fantastic pickup for the M's, but probably will be snatched ahead of the M's. No clue what the Cubs were thinking here. If we don't land Sisco, then the M's probably need more hitting depth, but they might consider one of these lefties: Tyler Johnson, Cards; Luke Hagerty, Cubs; Carmen Pignatello, Cubs; Royce Ring, Mets

#2 Mike Napoli, C/1B, Angels. Broke out in a big way in 2004 with a huge season in high-A, with a .282/.393/.539 line. Strikes out a ton, but knows how to take a walk, so think Adam Dunn. He's not a great defender, but he's serviceable, and could be a third catcher that is a good pinch-hitter. The M's could always use depth at catcher and first base. 23-year-old catchers who hit 29 home runs and 100 RBIs need to be looked at long and hard.

#3 Jake Gautreau, 2B/3B, Padres. This former first-round pick has seen his career derailed by a bout of ulcerative colitis. But last season, he began to return to form, putting up a .259/.351/.462 in AA and .274/.333/.500 in AAA. He plays 2B and 3B, positions where the M's will be looking for help either this year or next. He might be another option to Justin Leone if the M's fail to land Corey Koskie, I mean, Adrian Beltre.

The only Mariner in any danger of being grabbed in the major league portion of the draft is Bobby Livingston, who has put up excellent numbers, but whose stuff is Moyeresque.

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