Drafts are one of my favorite things about baseball. There are hundreds if not thousands of people out there who devote hours of their lives to drawing up boards, promoting this player or that, pleased when their own hand-selected racehorse makes a rise on the boards. They look at scouting reports, they read interviews with high school coaches. Some of them even watch the players. Then the draft actually comes and within a few picks something happens that no one has ever considered outside of that particular front office. Harold Reynolds, what do you think of this? “I like this pick because the Padres are boring.” So on and so forth.

Today, while everyone else was talking about Aneury Rodriguez (he went ninth by the way, behind former farmhand RHP Nate Adcock who goes to [SURPRISE] the Royals), the Mariners selected RHP Jose Flores from the Indians with the second overall pick. If you were just now saying, “don’t we already have one of those?”, not only are you right, we already have two Jose Floreses in our system and we only need to find a way to get the one remaining active one from the Giants before we achieve a monopoly and world domination.

No one was looking at Flores leading up to the draft. Okay, two people were, at least. Flores was looking at himself when he brushed his teeth last night and Tom McNamara was looking at him back during the playoffs between Clinton and Lake County in the Midwest League last season. This Flores pitched 42.0 innings with the Captains last year and in that span he struck out fifty-one and walked just seven. Also he didn’t allow things like hits or home runs.

What’s odd about this is that none of these things can be directly attributed to his scouting report. Otherwise, people might actually know who he is. He doesn’t throw a heavy ball (slight flyball tendencies) and his velocity is just low-to-mid-90s, which is nice when coupled with the noted command strengths, but no one is talking about his secondary offerings, which likely means they aren’t worth mentioning. Flores could stay. Or he could not. I would say it’s partially dependent on whether or not the M’s end up dealing from any of their relief depth over the course of the offseason. Without anything too special about him, it’s hard to believe that he has more of a chance to stick around than dozens of other players we’ve selected in past years whose names I would have to look up (Dickey? White?).

In the minor league portion, we lost OF Jose Rivero. Now, Rivero, as a seventeen-year-old, had one of the best VSL seasons I have ever seen, batting .300/.410/.504, but that was back in 2007 and since then he’s OPSed in the low seven hundreds. He had a little bit of a renaissance in Pulaski last year, hitting .295/.343/.474 over 190 at-bats, but 1) it’s still disappointing in relative terms (his walks declined last year) and 2) he’s been knocking around short-season ball in the states since 2008, so you’d think he’d get it by now. Maybe he’s a late bloomer. Maybe we’ll be sorry he’s gone. I am, a little. But we’ll probably be happier that we still have Ramon Morla around. And for the sake of record keeping, even though he was selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5, I don’t expect him to be offered back when he starts somewhere in low-A because that almost never happens.