06/08/07 10:05 PM ET
Mariners make mound priority again
Club repeats selection of 34 pitchers in First-Year Player Draft
By Patrick Brown / MLB.com
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
The Mariners' other selection out of the University of Washington, DuRocher, missed much of the season after having brain surgery to remove a tumor. He pitched about six innings this season, but Fitzgerald wasn't terribly worried about his arm strength.It's no surprise, either. If that name sounds familiar, it's because DuRocher is a former Huskies quarterback. He has some proven velocity, too, having hit 90 mph a few times in front of Mariners scouts. His credentials were more than enough for Fitzgerald. "Anyone who can play quarterback in the Pac-10 I think must be somewhat of an athlete," he said. "Even though he didn't pitch a lot this year, he loved to be on the field. I think he just needs an opportunity." Fontaine's draft history had little to do with pitchers in his first two seasons, when the Mariners drafted heavy on position players. Aside from their 34 pitchers, Seattle drafted eight infielders, eight outfielders and one catcher. Seattle's second pick, the 52nd overall selection, was third baseman Matthew Mangini out of Oklahoma State University. Mangini, who won the Cape Cod League batting title just a few years ago, lacked consistency this year, but thinks some of that may be from switching back to an aluminum bat. And although five of the Mariners' first seven picks were position players, the trend changed in a hurry as Seattle stocked itself with healthy arms. And so it goes after another Draft, get the players in the system and see how they grow. That's much of how the Mariners treated this year's draft, and whether it will prove to be a brilliant move rests upon the Mariners farm system. Their work is far from over, as Fontaine said they're not only preparing for next year's draft already, but are looking ahead as far as the 2010 season. "I try to be realistic, but we're happy," Fontaine said. "We think we met some of our needs with some of the kids we got, and time will tell."
Patrick Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.