ICYMI: May 10 – June 22

 After a couple tough losses to the San Diego Padres earlier in the week, the Seattle Mariners have managed to pull off a sweep of the red hot Kansas City Royals and now sit four games above .500. The previous six weeks or so have been up and down for the M’s, and have included a five-game winning and five-game losing streak, but a Wild Card spot is easily within reach at the moment. Let’s take a look at what’s been covered at Prospect Insider over the last six weeks.

The month of June is always an exciting month as it hold Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. This year the Mariners held the No. 6 overall pick and chose outfielder Alex Jackson from Rancho Bernardo High School, and he is expected to take a physical in Seattle on Monday and will receive a $4.2 million bonus according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports. PI’s Jason A. Churchill gave a scouting report on the 18-year old and considers the M’s to have nailed their selection — Jackson was considered by many to be the best available bat in the draft this year. Churchill also has notes and reports on the Mariners’ picks in rounds three to ten, including a report for the M’s No.2 pick, outfielder Gareth Morgan.

Last week Churchill offered his mid-season prospect report for the Mariners, including an updated top-25 list to account for the new draft picks and a projected lineup and rotation for the 2018 season. Jackson takes the top spot on Jason’s list with infielder D.J. Peterson coming in at No. 2.

In other draft related content, Steve Simas offers a fantasy perspective on several of the top selections from this year’s draft including Jackson, Brady Aiken, Carlos Rodon, and Trea Turner. Brendan Gawlowski has an excellent piece on his experience as an ‘advisor’ for a draft hopeful as well as his thoughts on the financial side of the MLB draft. Under the current NCAA policy a player who is enrolled is not allowed to have an agent, which leaves many players — including the young man in Gawlowski’s case — without much direction in terms of what they should ask for or expect to receive as a signing bonus. Of course each draft position comes with a slot value, but that doesn’t mean that that is the amount the player will or should receive.

As expected, the lone free agent that was still tied to draft pick compensation, Kendrys Morales, signed a contract after the conclusion of the draft. Morales signed a prorated, one-year $12 million deal with the Minnesota Twins and since he waited until the completion of the draft, the M’s do not receive a compensatory draft pick for his departure. At the conclusion of day one I wrote that the market for Morales was expected to heat up with the Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers, and a mystery team rumored to be the frontrunners. In 55 plate appearances so far this season, Morales is hitting .216/.273/.275 with three doubles for the Twins.

Roenis Elias, the winning pitcher in today’s game against the Royals, has been a pleasant surprise this year according to PI’s Chris Moran. Those thoughts were echoed by Churchill who took a look at a quote by manager Lloyd McClendon in which the skipper said Elias’ stuff is as good as any left-hander in the league. After throwing six and two third innings of one run ball today, Elias lowered his ERA to 3.74 and his FIP to 4.02 on the season; good for the fourth and fifth best marks among rookies with at least 50 innings pitched this year.

Prospect Insider’s Mariners of the Month for May were Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez, while the MLB players of the month for May included Yasiel Puig and Corey Kluber. Moran took a look at King Felix’s incredible 15-strikeout performance against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this June.

Chris also analyzed catcher Mike Zunino‘s season to date including what areas he has excelled in and the ones he has struggled in. Brad Miller has also had his fair share of struggles this season, but the young shortstop has put them behind him according to PI’s Alex Gallant. Miller went 2-for-4 today to continue his seven-game hitting streak and has now brought his average up to .207 on the season.

And to wrap things up on this warm summer day in the Pacific Northwest, some new scouting reports. Jason A. Churchill has thoughts and notes on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson, Carlos Triunfel, Jordan Pries, and Jabari Blash as well as on the M’s Jesus Montero, Logan Morrison, Xavier Avery, and Nick Franklin. Both Montero and Morrison are with the big league club right now and Triunfel has since been recalled by the Dodgers. PI’s Matt Hervey has some in-depth reports on the Cleveland Indians’ Clint Frazier and Robbie Aviles as well as plenty of other notes to take a look at.

Don’t forget there’s to vote your favourite Mariners into the All-Star Game this year — if you actually care about who makes the squads, that is.

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Tyler Carmont

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