Mariners’ Best Draft Pick Comes in Round 11 With RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs

All day Tuesday we waited for the other shoe to drop after the Seattle Mariners appeared to select talent in Rounds 2 and 3 that would net them bonus pool savings to splurge a bit on a prospect sometimes in Rounds 4-10.

Day 2 of the MLB Draft ended without such a pick popping for Seattle.

The club’s first selection of Day 3 came and went without much fanfare, except, ‘hey, local kid, Seattle U commit, good for him, awesome.’

But there’s so much more to right-hander Damon Casetta-Stubbs and the Mariners appear to have acquired a Top 150 player with pick No. 328.

How’d they do it?

First, here’s what Casetta-Stubbs brings to the table.

Size at 6-4, 200 pounds. Arm speed that produces deception and velocity that was 88-92 mph until a recent tick that reached the mid-90s, up to 97.

The fastball shows good sink, the slider is considered above-average to plus and a small handful of scouts agreed he brings big-time makeup and feel.

He does have some mechanical hurdles, but the profile is significantly better than Round 11.

Alright… so how did the Mariners get him so late?

One scout opined, “you have to be able to scout and have balls to see (what he has), and pay him.”

Simple as that.

As for the dollars, multiple sources and one report say it’ll take about $325,000 to get Casetta-Stubbs to pass on college. The soft cap on players selected after Round 10 is $125,000. This means to get Casetta-Stubbs to sign, Seattle will need about $200,000 from their bonus pool to allot to the Kings Way Christian Schools star.

We’ve discussed on Baseball Things how No. 54 pick Josh Stowers is probably a pick that comes with a fairly significant discount to pick value (slot) of $1,287,800, and there are some other selections that could save from the pick value, too.

Signing Casetta-Stubbs for the number it apparently will take to get him shouldn’t be a concern, especially if the club likes him as much as the four scouts — three area supervisors and one checker — did late this spring.

One evaluator called his upside Jeff Weaver, who in his prime was a No. 2 starter tossing out 4 wins above replacement. Another suggested Kevin Appier.

A year ago, Seattle got their upside play in Round 2 when they gave Sam Carlson $2 million. He was a Top 25 talent by most accounts. This year, we had to wait a lot longer than I even thought plausible for the club to get their big value.

Casetta-Stubbs, who will probably be the club’s No. 2 pitching prospect upon signing, is tremendous value at $325,000 in Round 11. There’s risk here in the development but the upside is well worth it. This is the kind of shot good organizations find ways to take.

Kudos and congrats to first-year NW Area Scout Alex Ross and the rest of the Mariners scouting department for their scheme in this year’s draft. Logan Gilbert is legit, the club added some safe plays on potential role players — Joey Gerber, Cal Raleigh — and Casetta-Stubbs is the cherry on top.

Jason founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at InsidethePark.com. He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016.

Find Jason’s Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, at BaseballThingsPod.com.

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