5th Rounder Kahn Brings Big Upside

The Mariners spent the great majority of the first day of the draft addressing their need to add pitching to a system once known for its abundance of pitchers. In fact, five of the first six players chosen by Seattle were pitchers. InsidethePark's Warren Sims caught up with fifth round pick Stephen Kahn, a right-hander out of Loyola Marymount University, to hear about his draft day experience.

"It was very nerve-racking," said Kahn. "I was just waiting to hear my name, and when I finally did my family was all there and they were all excited, so its been a great day."

Kahn was an eighth round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school in 2002, but decided to enhance his draft position, and further his education at Loyola Marymount.

While enrolled, Kahn enjoyed three standout seasons for the Lions. The hard-throwing right-hander was a preseason All-American in 2005, and was the top-rated draft prospect in the West Coast Conference.

In 2005, Kahn racked up 78 strikeouts in 99.2 innings and posted a 5.60 ERA. After what he described as a disappointing season, the right-hander really didn't know exactly where he would go in the draft.

"I didn't have the year I wanted to have and I dropped because of that," said Kahn. "That put me somewhere between the third and fifth round."

What do family members of newly drafted ball players do when they hear the name they have been waiting to hear? In this case, the Kahn family went searching desperately for Mariner hats to wear proudly in support of Stephen.

"We are all real excited and we will be excited for a long time," said Kahn.

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