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MLB Draft, Day 2: Mariners keep focus on contact hitters

Donovan Walton, the Mariners' fifth-round pick, led Oklahoma State with 43 RBIs in 2016. (AP)

The Mariners continued to target talented hitters on the second day of the 2016 MLB Draft on Friday, selecting University of San Diego shortstop Bryson Brigman with their third-round pick (87th overall). Brigman was the third hitter the Mariners grabbed in their first three picks, joining first-round selection Kyle Lewis and second-round pick Joe Rizzo.

A closer look at Brigman, as well as the rest of the Mariners’ draftees on Day 2, can be found below. The draft concludes Saturday with rounds 11-40.

THIRD ROUND (87th overall)
Bryson Brigman, SS, University of San Diego
5-11, 170 pounds, 20 years old

Despite missing nine games early this spring with a hernia, Brigman hit .372 with 22 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and a .428 on-base percentage as a sophomore for the Toreros. The San Jose, Calif., native has versatility in the field having played at both spots in the middle infield for USD; he projects as a second baseman in the pros. Though Brigman is an excellent contact hitter, he doesn’t possess much power, hitting just two home runs in a pair of seasons with the Toreros. He was initially drafted out of high school two years ago in the 40th round by Oakland. As a rare draft-eligible sophomore (because his 21st birthday on June 19 falls within 45 days of the draft), Brigman will have extra leverage in negotiations with the Mariners as he still has two years of college eligibility remaining.

FOURTH ROUND (117th overall)
Thomas Burrows, LHP, Alabama
6-1, 225, 21 years old

The first pitcher taken by the Mariners in this year’s draft, Burrows is Alabama’s career saves leader with 30. He had a 0.95 ERA, 12 saves, 41 strikeouts, nine walks and a .176 opponents batting average over 28 1/3 innings (21 appearances) this spring, even though he missed most of March with an oblique injury. His fastball sits from 91-93 mph, and reaches as high as 95. He has plenty of action on his fastball due to a three-quarters arm slot, and also features a strong slider, but will remain a bullpen option in the pros without a third pitch.

FIFTH ROUND (147th overall)
Donovan Walton, SS, Oklahoma State
5-10, 175, 22 years old

The switch-hitting Walton, who also goes by Donnie, was named an All-American by Baseball America after hitting .350 with three home runs, a .462 on-base percentage and a team-high 43 RBIs as a senior for the Cowboys in 2016.

SIXTH ROUND (177th overall)
Brandon Miller, RHP, Millersville University
6-4, 210, 20 years old

Miller was the Marauders’ ace as a junior this spring, going 12-2 with a 1.42 ERA, .166 opponents batting average, eight complete games, 115 strikeouts and 13 walks over 15 starts (107 2/3 innings).

SEVENTH ROUND (207th overall)
Matt Festa, RHP, East Stroudsburg University
6-1, 190, 23 years old

Another small college ace, Festa went 11-2 with a 2.35 ERA, .218 opponents batting average, nine complete games, 105 strikeouts and 21 walks in 13 starts (88) as a senior for the Warriors this spring.

EIGHTH ROUND (237th overall)
Nick Zammarelli, 3B, Elon University
6-1, 195, 21 years old

Zammarelli joins second-round pick Joe Rizzo as a Mariners draft pick who plays third base and swings from the left side of the plate, though he is listed as a utility player on Elon’s website. As a junior, he led the Phoenix with a .342 average, 51 RBIs, 56 runs scored, .425 OBP and .590 slugging percentage in 2016. He also added nine homers in 54 games.

NINTH ROUND (267th overall)
Jason Goldstein, C, Illinois
6-0, 210, 22 years old

An All-Big Ten third team nomination, Goldstein led the Illini in batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.402) and RBIs (29) this year. A 17th-round draft pick by the Dodgers last year after his junior season, Baseball America awarded him with the Big Ten’s preseason best arm and best defensive catcher awards in 2016.

10TH ROUND (297th overall)
David Greer, 3B, Arizona State
6-1, 205, 20 years old

Greer was named to the All-Pac-12 first team as a first baseman after he led ASU with a .344 batting average, .442 OBP and .571 slugging percentage. He also tied for the team lead with eight homers, and was second on the roster with 43 RBIs this spring. He’s versatile in the field, having played five positions for the Sun Devils as a junior in 2016, including pitcher.