Mariners Draft: Day 1

You've heard it a thousand times that teams do not draft for need, but when the Mariners tabbed their top targets at No. 6 and No. 74 overall Thursday in Day 1 of the 2014 MLB Draft, they added needed right-handed power potential to their outfield ranks. We break down Alex Jackson and Gareth Morgan inside.

Day 1 of Major League Baseball's 2014 First Year Player Draft wrapped up Thursday with the Mariners doing something that they hadn't done yet under General Manager Jack Zduriencik and Scouting Director Tom McNamara, with the club tabbing high school hitters with each of their top two selections.

Rancho Bernardo high's Alex Jackson -- who has been playing catcher almost exclusively throughout his high school career but who the Mariners announced as an outfielder -- was the club's choice with the sixth overall pick in the draft and Canadian prep Gareth Morgan -- who is a right fielder -- was their choice for their Competitive Balance Round B slot, ending day one of the Draft at selection No. 74 overall.

Our Kiley McDaniel did remarkable breakdowns of these players (and about every single player eligible for the draft) complete with video and scouting reports in the weeks leading up to the draft and those reports are well worth your time, but a further quick take on each of the players is below.

Alex Jackson
Rancho Bernardo, 6-foot-2, 215 lbs, R/R, 12/25/95

Jackson has been considered a top prospect for the 2014 draft since back in his sophomore season in high school and he didn't do anything to disappoint since. Ranked as the 3rd best prospect overall for the 2014 draft by Kiley and as the number one high school position player by Baseball America, Jackson previously committed to play baseball at Oregon. Tom McNamara offered this quote in the Mariners' official press release on Jackson: "We view Alex as an advanced high school player with a power bat," McNamara said. "We have scouted him extensively during his high school career and like his bat potential and athletic ability." Kiley gave him future potential scouting grades of 60 for power, arm and overall in his draft tool grades piece. Others say he has plus-plus in power potential and arm strength. Alex has big time power and is very advanced in his approach for a prep player, showing game power the opposite way and his bat speed allows him to think that way and still pull mistakes with authority. Kiley's detailed take on Jackson, complete with video, can be found here.

  •'s draft profile video can be found here.
  • Minor League Ball has a very good video of Jackson here.
  • An extended video of him from Baseball Instinct is here.
  • Matched the San Diego Section career home run record with 47, tying former Cleveland Indians 1st round pick Johnny Drennen (2005).
  • Hit five home runs as a freshman, 17 as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and 11 as a senior, owning an average of .375 and slugging .845 in his high school career.
  • Played for coach Sam Blalock at Rancho Bernardo – former Texas Rangers' 3B Hank Blalock's uncle. Blalock also coached Oakland A's GM Billy Beane.
  • Named Perfect Game 1st Team All-American in 2014.
  • Named Perfect Game California All Region 1st Team in 2014.

Gareth Morgan
Blythe Academy, 6-foot-4, 220 lbs, R/R, 4/12/96

Morgan was considered the top talent in Canada this year, and Kiley had him as the 5th best prospect in Canada and the Northeast combined, the 47th best high schooler and as the 73rd best prospect in the draft overall. The 18-year-old from Toronto -- who had signed on to attend North Carolina State -- has a strong, mature build, quick hands and easy plus power at the plate, also possessing a plus throwing arm from the outfield. He's played both center and right as an amateur, but profiles as a right fielder in professional baseball. Here is a link to Kiley's video on Morgan.

  •'s draft video of Morgan can be found here.
  • Peter Bean and the Canadian Baseball Network have seven more videos of Morgan in action.
  • Played with M's prospects Tyler O'Neill and Lachlan Fontaine on Candian Junior National Team, which he was a member of for three years.
  • Played briefly with Langley Blaze, who O'Neill also played with.
  • Attended Dominican Summer League Camp with Mariners in 2012.
  • Named Perfect Game 1st Team All-American in 2014.
  • Named Perfect Game Canada/Puerto Rico All Region First Team in 2014.

We'll have more on these two, and the rest of the Mariners draft, in the coming days.

Looking for more Mariners news, articles and player interviews? Want to keep up with which prospects are hot and cold for the M's? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse site Editor Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.

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