Mariners go for offense by selecting Tyler O’Neill in third round
Seattle made an interesting pick in the fourth round of the MLB draft with left-handed pitcher Ryan Horstman of St. John’s University.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners snagged another young catcher with their third-round draft pick, but they aren’t about to let this one get behind the plate.
Instead, the Mariners plan to have high-school slugger Tyler O’Neill, from Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge, B.C., play right field in the minors as he works to hone his bat.
Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara said he got a chance to see O’Neill play with the Canadian National Junior Team when it trained in Florida and Arizona and played exhibition games against Class A-type competition.
“We saw him really handle some really good pitching,” McNamara said. “Older guys that didn’t care who he was. They went right after him. And it was really good to see.”
O’Neill’s father, Terry, is a former Mr. Canada in bodybuilding.
The team’s fourth-round pick was significantly older: 24-year-old left-handed pitcher Ryan Horstman of St. John’s University.
Horstman went 6-6 with a 2.33 earned-run average in 16 outings as last season after redshirting in 2012.
The Mariners took shortstop Jack Reinheimer out of East Carolina University with their fifth-round pick, and catcher Corey Simpson from Sweeny High School was the sixth rounder.
Left-hander Tyler Olson from Gonzaga went in round seven, shortstop Tyler Smith of Oregon State went in round eight, LHP Jacob Zokan from College of Charleston was the ninth-rounder and RHP Emilio Pagan of Gardner-Webb University was taken in Round 10.
• Mariners catcher Kelly Shoppach didn’t need to send manager Eric Wedge any text messages Friday proclaiming himself ready to go. Shoppach had done that Thursday after catching all 16 innings of Wednesday’s loss.
Wedge played Shoppach all nine innings Thursday and had him back behind the plate Friday. Shoppach said Wedge knows he’s ready to go when needed and said his legs — he’s had two knee operations for a torn meniscus — haven’t given him problems.
• It turns out that when Blake Beavan faced the minimum 20 batters over 6 2 / 3 innings of relief on Thursday, he became the first pitcher to do that over at least five frames since Matt Wise of the Brewers back on Aug. 7, 2004.
The Mariners say they’ll discuss where Beavan fits in their plans over the next few days.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org