The Seattle Mariners selected third baseman Joe Rizzo with the No. 50 overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft. Rizzo is out of Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia.

The details:
HT: 5-10
WT: 215
POS: 3B
B/T: L/R

Listed often times at 5-foot-11, that is generous, but he’s strong and sturdy and has arm strength suggesting third base may work. Rizzo’s a bat-first pick, which means if he has to move to the outfield the bat will play there, too.

Sound swing mechanics make Rizzo a polished prep bat and there’s some power in there thanks to good bat speed. He’s a 40-45 runner which doesn’t bode well for value on the bases and it may hinder his chances to play average defense off of the infield corners. Rizzo comes to pro ball with terrific makeup, but I don’t buy him as a second baseman, even the Carlos Baerga, Jeff Kent offense-first type, as some have suggested.

I imagine this is a below-slot pick for Seattle at No. 50, or at most a slot signing. There was buzz the M’s were willing to go over slot with this pick, but look for them to do that once or twice on Friday, instead, as their first two selections are probably going to come in around the combined slot values for both spots.

Rizzo isn’t an automatic Top-10 insert; I’ll have to do more homework to find a spot for him in the Mariners’ system, assuming they sign him away from South Carolina.

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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill 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, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.

5 Comments

  1. Family, player, agent pushed bonus negotiations toward teams like Philly, Pitt, Boston, Mets, Yankees, Reds, Indians, Tigers. Was a closer-to-home thing for Jones, who’s from Pennsylvania.

    West coast was not on the agenda, it seems.

    Now watch him get dealt to San Diego in December in a package for Tyson Ross.

  2. I was hoping for Nolan Jones with that pick–as good an upside bat if not better than Rizzon and more athleticism with the potential to play more positions. Ben Zobrist 2.0

  3. I originally thought Joe DeCarlo but I think DeCarlo was considered more athletic but somewhat raw. From what I’ve read, this kid seems to have a solid hit tool but lacks upside. He’s young, he may not get taller but he can get stronger as he matures. You never know what will happen but take the solid tool and go from there.

  4. Not sure why but this pick reminds me of the Joe DeCarlo pick a few years back.

  5. Interesting pick. By all accounts it looks like this kid can hit and probably hit some more.

    I think I’m liking this draft so far. Hope you’re right JAC and they do go above slot with a pick or two today.

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