Before the 2015 season started, the Seattle Mariners were praised by many for their impressive pitching staff. With its first two picks in this year’s MLB draft, the Mariners boosted their rotation by adding more depth.

With the 60th overall pick in the draft, Seattle selected Peachtree Ridge High School (GA) pitcher Nick Neidert, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Many scouts took notice of Neidert due to his intriguing fastball and plethora of accolades at the high school level. During his senior season, he received Perfect Game USA first-team All-American honors and ended up signing his collegiate letter of intent to play at South Carolina this coming fall.

Twelve picks later, the team selected another impressive pitching prospect in Oregon State right-hander Andrew Moore. Over his three-year career at OSU, Moore anchored one of the best pitching staffs in all of college baseball. Moore received first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2015 after posting a dominant 7-2 record to go along with a stifling 1.91 ERA.

While the picks may seem impressive on paper, some Mariners fans have responded negatively on social media due to the team’s underwhelming offense this season. Despite having star second baseman Robinson Cano and designated hitter Nelson Cruz, the Mariners rank 29th in MLB with just 196 runs scored through 57 games this season.

Some fans have questioned the first two picks by the Mariners, but some have been impressed with the team’s selections. Prep Baseball Report supervisor Nathan Rode pointed out Neidert‘s unique skill set.

Some fans were concerned about whether or not Neidert would play college baseball at USC instead of opting to play for the Mariners organization right away.

Charleston Post and Courier reporter David Caraviello was one of the first to clear the air on Neidert‘s signability.

What separates Neidert from most high school baseball prospects is his ability to throw a fastball that tops out at 96 mph. Perfect Game USA scouting coordinator Brian Sakowski said Neidert‘s fastball is impressive despite his small stature.

Similar to Neidert, Moore was seen as a reach by some due to questions about his signability. Despite being viewed by some as unready for the professional level, Moore has decided to sign with the Mariners and forgo his senior season, per Divish.

Some fans believe that Moore was taken far too early in the draft.

Contrary to fan opinion, Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said the Mariners’ selection of Moore will help the team win games for years to come.

While pitching was not seen by many as an immediate need for the Mariners, the team clearly wants to build on its strength rather than address glaring weaknesses. It is unclear right now how each of these pitching prospects will fit into the mix in the future, but there is no doubt Neidert and Moore bring a lot to the table.


Follow Curtis on Twitter: @CalhounCurtis

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