Seattle Mariners 1990’s Drafts

Any team’s baseball draft can be boom or bust. But unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, your first few draft picks may never make an impact not only for your franchise but the entire league. Some players will fall out of favor and then flourish with a different organization for whatever reason. However, some high picks will simply just never make it and/or stay long. Sometimes it’s the injuries that can derail a young player and some times it’s a flatout lack of talent to progress through the minor leagues.

Whatever the reason, the percentages are stacked against you. Some first round picks can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to reach the league, while a large amount never even make it at all. I think this is one of the toughest things in sports to have a quick fix for. There really is no advantage/disadvantage to going for strictly college or strictly high school players. For every 4-year college star that makes the league at the age of 26, there appears to be a high school selection that makes it at 22.

I love the Seattle Mariners more than any other sports team in the world. I’m no draft guru or expert, but I’ve always read about how their drafts turned out. To be quite frank, the Mariners have stunk at drafting for years. Take away Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez… and there’s not much of a track record of to be thrilled with. Nonetheless, here is how my beloved franchise did from 1990 to 1999 in the MLB draft.

***Note: Not all players who reached the league did so with the M’s***

1990 Draft: 75 players drafted

8 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 10%: Mike Hampton (6th round), Bret Boone (5th), Dave Fleming (3rd), Albie Lopez (19th), Kevin King (7th), John Cummings (8th), Jim Converse (16th), and Marc Newfield (1st)

Best WAR: Mike Hampton – 28.1

1991 Draft: 67 players drafted

9 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 13%: Derek Lowe (8th round), Darren Bragg (22nd), Shawn Estes (1st), Jim Mecir (3rd), Matt Mantei (25th), Charles Gipson (63), George Glinatsis (32), Ryan Nye (43rd), and Desi Relaford (4th)

Best WAR: Derek Lowe – 32.3 (Active)

1992 Draft: 50 players drafted

10 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 20%: Raul Ibanez (36th round), Ryan Franklin (23rd), Ron Villone (1st), Tim Davis (6th), Tim Harikkala (34th), Ryan Nye (22nd, drafted back-to-back years), Bob Wolcott (2nd), Brett Hinchliffe (16th), Andy Sheets (4th), and Chris Widger (3rd)

Best WAR: Raul Ibanez – 18.3 (Active)

1993 Draft: 69 players drafted

5 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 7%: Alex Rodriguez (1st round), Matt Wise (54th), Dean Crow (10th), Rafael Carmona (13th), and Ken Cloude (6th)

Best WAR: Alex Rodriguez – 103.9 (Active)

1994 Draft: 75 players drafted

8 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 10%: Jason Varitek (1st round), Morgan Ensberg (61st), Joe Mays (6th), Scott Atchison (36th), Jordan Zimmerman (32th), Trey Moore (2nd), Roy Smith (13th), and Matt Wagner (3rd)

Best WAR: Jason Varitek – 23.0 (Active)

1995 Draft: 77 players drafted

8 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 10%: Jose Cruz (1st round), Juan Pierre (30th), Brian Fuentes (25th), Ramon Vazquez (27th), Justin Kaye (19th), Shane Monahan (2nd), Kevin Gryboski (16th), and Aaron Myette (17th)

Best WAR: Jose Cruz – 22.0

1996 Draft: 60 players drafted

10 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 16%: Barry Zito (59th round), Gil Meche (1st), Juan Pierre (48th), Willie Bloomquist (8th), Sean Spencer (40th), Chris Mears (5th), Brian Fitzgerald (20th), Jeff Farnsworth (2nd), Greg Dobbs (52nd), and Denny Stark (4th)

Best WAR: Barry Zito – 31.8 (Active) ***Zito did not sign with Mariners***

1997 Draft: 61 players drafted

4 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 6%: Joel Pineiro (14th round), Aaron Looper (30th), Jermaine Clark (5th), and Allan Simpson (8th)

Best WAR: Joel Pineiro – 14.0 (Active)

1998 Draft: 50 players drafted

4 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 8%: Matt Thornton (1st round), Andy Van Hekken (3rd), Scott Atchison (49th – 2nd time drafted by Mariners), and John Rheinecker (30th)

Best WAR: Matt Thornton – 8.2 (Active)

1999 Draft: 51 players drafted

9 played in the majors (ranked by career WAR) – 17%:
Rich Harden (38th round), J.J. Putz (6th), Chris Snyder (43rd), Willie Bloomquist (3rd – 2nd time drafted by Mariners), Terrmel Sledge (8th), Daniel Davidson (25th), Justin Leone (13th), Steven Kent (9th), and Clint Nageotte (5th)

Best WAR: Rich Harden – 15.4 (Active) ***Harden did not sign with Mariners***

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