M's Grab Backstop, Several Arms

With the third overall pick in the 2005 MLB First Year Player's Draft the Seattle Mariners selected catcher Jeff Clement from the University of Southern California.

Round 1 - No. 3 Overall
Jeff Clement, C - Southern California
Height/Weight: 6-1/216
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Scouting Report: Clement is a left-handed power-hitting catcher with the potential to reach the 30-home run mark and hit in the middle of the batting order. With improved strike zone judgement and plate discipline, Clement's bat will carry him to the big leagues and his improving work behind the plate should allow him to move quickly through the system.

Could be similar offensively to Jorge Posada, but may develop more consistent power numbers as he matures physically and learns major league pitching.

Word on the Street: "Seattle did well here," said a National League scout. "Clement was the mover in the draft. He was the shaker, the wildcard so to speak. I liken him to a Paul Loduca with more power than (Jason) Varitek."

Backstop Chatter: "Defensively he has improved," said an American League Central scouting coordinator. "His work ethic is not in question and that is a good sign for a college catcher with a bat like he has. He could ultimately hit fifth in any lineup when he hits his peak years."

Stay tuned as we get updates and opinions on Clement and other top Seattle Mariners selections.

Round 4 - No. 113 Overall
Justin Thomas, LHP - Youngstown State University
Height/Weight: 6-3/220
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
2005 Stats: 7-5, 3.42 ERA, 84.1 IP, 88 K, 33 BB, 4 CG
Scouting Report: Armed with a fastball sitting in the 88-90 mph range, occasionally hitting 91 or 92, Thomas also showcases a slider but will need to develop a third pitch, likely a change-up, to be consistent at the pro level. His slider is considered slightly better than average.

Thomas was named the Horizon Conference Pitcher of the Year amd led the Penguins in wins (7) and strikeouts (88) while leading the conference in complete games with four.

If Thomas, 21, can fine-tune his mechanics, he may be able to add some velocity, possibly putting him consistently in the low 90s and making his work-in-progress change-up an easier pitch to use effectively.

"He's a tough kid," said a National League scouting coorindator. "He battles and battles and doesn't ever want to come out of games. If his offspeed stuff can develop some more, he could work himself into a big-league rotation in a few years. I see him sticking as a starter."

Round 5 - No. 143 Overall
Stephen Kahn, RHP - U. of Loyola Marymount
Height/Weight: 6-3/220
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
2005 Stats: 4-5, 5.23 ERA, 86 IP, 75 K, 49 BB
Scouting Report: Kahn underachieved this season after looking like a sure-fire first rounder when the season began. Serving up 10 long balls after not allowing a single homer a year ago was caused by a lack in command of his 91-95 mph fastball that has been described as "exploding."

"Kahn could be one of those light bulb guys," said an NL scout. "He could turn it on and soar through the minors. His control was inconsistent and his delivery is very condusive to mechanical flaws and that's what needs to be corrected. He should be ok in the low 90s with better command."

Round 6 - No. 173 overall
Michael Lynn, RHP - Brownsurg HS (In.)
Height/Weight: 6-6/235
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
2005 Stats: 10-0, 0.73 ERA, 67 IP, 122 K
Scouting Report: Lynn is the second rated prospect in the state of Indiana and while thought be better equipped physically than some of the right-handers ranked ahead of him, including fellow Indiana state high school prospect Josh Lindbolm.

"The only knock most have on him is that he hasn't put off the best baseball-like approach out there," said an NL scout.

Round 7 - No. 203 Overall
Robert Rohrbaugh, LHP - Clemson University
Height/Weight: 6-2/195
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
2005 Stats: 8-2, 4.08 ERA, 90.1 IP, 79 K, 41 BB
Scouting Report: Rohrbaugh has a fastball ranging from 88-91 on the gun with a curve and a changeup. Inconsistencies have limited the southpaw's effectiveness, though some scouts think the right situation might benefit the 21-year-old enough to give him a chance to progress through the minors. His stuff is considered average.

Round 8 - No. 233 Overall
David Asher, LHP - Florida International
Height/Weight: 6-1/195
2005 Stats: 9-1, 3.26 ERA, 113.1 IP, 88K, 38 BB
Scouting Report: Asher throws a fastball in the 88-90 mph range, a sinker and a slider.

Round 9 - No. 263 Overall
Bryan Sabatella, 1B - Quinnipiac University
Height/Weight/Age: 6-4/220/20
Bats/Throws Right/Right
2005 Stats: .406avg, .656 slugging pct., 11 HR, 40 RBI

Round 10 - No. 293 Overall
Ronald Prettyman, 3B - Cal State Fullerton
Height/Weight/Age: 6-2/190/22
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
2005 Stats: .333avg, .521 slugging pct., 7 HR, 48 RBI

Round 11 - No. 323 Overall
Brian Contreras, CF - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy HS
Height/Weight/Age: 6-2/175/17
Bats/Throws: Both/Right

Round 12 - No. 353 Overall
Anthony Varvaro, RHP - St. John's
Height/Weight/Age: 6-0/180/20
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Round 13 - No. 383 Overall
Tyler Reed , 3B - Niagra University
Height/Weight/Age: 6-3/210/21
Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Round 14 - No. 413 Overall
Bradley Boyer, 2B - U. of Arizona
Height/Weight/Age: 6-0/185/21
Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Round 15 - No. 443 Overall
John Holdzkom, RHP - Rancho Cucamonga HS
Height/Weight/Age: 6-7/225/17
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Round 16 - No. 473 Overall
Grant Gerrard, RF - Souther Illinois Carbondale
Height/Weight/Age: 6-4/215/21
Bats/Throws: Left/Left

Round 17 - No. 503 Overall
James Russell, LHP - Navarro College
Height/Weight/Age: 6-3/185/19
Bats/Throws: Left/Left

Round 18 - No. 533 Overall
Curtis Ledbetter, 1B - U. of Nebraska Lincoln
Height/Weight/Age: 6-3/225/24
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

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