06/12/2008 6:24 PM ET
Mariners sign 23 players from 2008 Draft
Signings include four of the top eight picks
Seattle Mariners Director of Player Development Greg Hunter announced today that the club has signed 23 players from the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, including right-handed pitcher Brett Lorin (5th), outfielder Jarrett Burgess (6th), infielder Nate Tenbrink (7th) and left-handed pitcher Bobby LaFromboise (8th). The Mariners also signed Kenn Kasparek (RHP, 12th), Ryan Royster (OF, 13th), Jacob Shaffer (OF, 15th), Bennett Billingsley (INF, 16th), Travis Howell (C, 18th), Taylor Lewis (RHP, 19th), Jordan Alivs (RHP, 21st), Blake Nation (RHP, 22nd), Henry Contreras (C, 24th), Thomas Johnson (C, 27th), Brad Reid (RHP, 30th), Nick Love (RHP, 32nd), Kyle Brown (LHP, 33rd), Nick Czyz (LHP, 35th), Chris Kirkland (RHP, 36th), Brandon Pullen (LHP, 37th), Andres Esquibel (RHP, 38th), Christian Staehely (RHP, 39th) and Donnie Jobe (INF, 44th).
"We are excited to get these players in uniform and to see all the young talent we recently drafted in action," Director of Player Development Greg Hunter said. "This will be our first time playing in the Appalachian League and we believe it will be a good spot to develop some of our younger players."
RHP Brett Lorin, who was selected in the fifth round, went 5-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 15 games, eight starts for Long Beach State. He transferred to Long Beach State before the start of the season, after spending two seasons with the University of Arizona, appearing in six games in 2007.
Seattle selected outfielder Jarrett Burgess in the sixth round in the draft. He was of only 11 high school players chosen by the Mariners this year Burgess will join other Florida Christian School alums Ricky Orta and Denny Almonte in the Mariners system.
The 222nd pick overall, Nate Tenbrink was selected by the Mariners in the seventh round. A mainstay at third base the past two years at Kansas State University, Tenbrink became the highest Wildcat drafted under head coach Brad Hill and the highest K-State selection since pitcher Mickey Blount went in the fifth round to Minnesota in the 1998 MLB Draft. A member of the 2008 Big 12 All-Tournament Team, Tenbrink finished his college career, batting .273 hitter with 29 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs and 78 RBI. He hit .270 this season as a junior and led the team in doubles (16) and home runs (9).
Bobby LaFromboise, a 6-4 left-handed pitcher, posted a 6-3 record in 2008, including a 3.98 ERA. A two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection at the University of New Mexico, LaFromboise was taken in the eighth round with the 252nd pick by the Mariners. He was drafted in the 14th round (433rd pick by Arizona) following his junior season at UNM, but came back for senior season.
The Mariners selected two local players from the state of Washington, including RHP Brad Reid (30th) from Bellevue Community College. Reid finished the season as a First Team All-Region and All-NWAACC performer, after putting together a 7-1 record and a 0.76 ERA over 59.0 innings of work. He graduated from Decatur High School, in Federal Way, Washington, in 2006.
Short-A Everett AquaSox and Rookie Pulaski Mariners begin working out on Friday, June 13. Both teams will be in action on Tuesday, June 17. The Rookie Peoria Mariners season gets under way on Sunday, June 22.
Seattle made 50 selections in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by their first pick, right-handed pitcher Josh Fields, who was the 20th overall pick in the draft. The Mariners selected 29 pitchers, including five left-handers, eight infielders, five catchers and eight outfielders. Overall Seattle selected 11 high school players and 39 college players.
Today's signings will be assigned to three of the Seattle Mariners Minor League teams; the Everett AquaSox, the Pulaski Mariners and the Peoria Mariners. Attached is a list where each recently signed player will be playing:
Bennett Billingsley (INF, 16th)
Henry Contreras (C, 24th)
Travis Howell (C, 18th)
Bobby LaFromboise (LHP, 8th)
Brett Lorin (RHP, 5th)
Ryan Royster (OF, 13th)
Nate Tenbrink (INF, 7th)
Jordan Alvis (RHP, 21st)
Nick Czyz (LHP, 35th)
Thomas Johnson (C, 27th)
Kenn Kasparek (RHP, 12th)
Taylor Lewis (RHP, 19th)
Blake Nation (RHP, 22nd)
Jacob Shaffer (OF, 15th)
Kyle Brown (LHP, 33rd)
Jarrett Burgess (OF, 6th)
Andres Esquibel (RHP, 38th)
Donnie Jobe (RHP, 44th)
Chris Kirkland (RHP, 36th)
Nick Love (RHP, 32nd)
Brandon Pullen (LHP, 37th)
Brad Reid (RHP, 30th)
Christian Staehly (RHP, 39th)