Mariners draft HS bats again with OF Farmelo, SS Peete at 29, 30

Jul 9, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm

Seattle Mariners Jonny Farmelo...

The Seattle Mariners pick Jonny Farmelo No. 29 in the 2023 MLB Draft. (Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

(Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)

The Seattle Mariners went with high school hitters with each of their first three picks of the 2023 MLB Draft, taking Virginia outfielder Jonny Farmelo and Georgia infielder Tai Peete back to back at No. 29 and No. 30 at Seattle’s Lumen Field.

Mariners ‘aggressive,’ target ‘big upside’ to open 2023 MLB Draft

Seattle Mariners No. 29 pick: OF Jonny Farmelo

Farmelo is 6 foot 2 and 195 pounds and swings it from the left side. MLB Pipeline’s No. 39 prospect in this draft, Farmelo receives 50 grades for his hit tool and power, and he’s very strong and a good athlete so he should hit the ball with more authority as he matures.

Farmelo hit .385 with 60 runs scored, 22 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 29 RBI with a .546 on-base percentage and a .773 slugging percentage (1.319 OPS) in 48 career games for Westfield High School, per the Mariners. Farmelo struck out just 25 times in his high school career and drew 41 walks.

Pipeline reported that Farmelo had a very strong commitment to the University of Virginia, which could make signing him difficult. But the M’s have the seventh-highest pool total in this year’s draft so they certainly have the means to get that done.

Farmelo is a plus athlete with 60-grade speed, and Pipeline thinks he could develop into a strong center fielder who hits in the middle of the order. The Mariners appear to think so, too.

“He is a powerful athlete who possesses the rare combination of speed and power,” Mariners director of amateur scouting Scott Hunter said in a press release. “We see Jonny developing into a middle-of-the-order bat that will hit for both average and power, as well as make things happen with his elite speed.”

The 29th pick was compensation for Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez winning American League Rookie of the Year after making the 2022 opening day roster.

M’s No. 30 pick: SS Tai Peete

With the very next pick, the Mariners took another high schooler, this time Peete, who hails from Trinity Christian High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Peete, who is 6 foot 2 and 193 pounds, was rated as the No. 53 overall prospect in this draft per MLB Pipeline, and is committed to Georgia Tech. He doesn’t turn 18 until August, so he’s another very young prospect like Mariners 22nd overall pick Colt Emerson.

Seattle Mariners select Ohio HS infielder Colt Emerson with 22nd pick

Per the Mariners, Peete slashed .414/.536/.1.011 (1.548 OPS) with 47 runs, eight doubles, four triples, 12 home runs and 40 RBI with 17 stolen bases in 28 games during his senior year at Trinity Christian School. Through his four high school seasons, Peete hit .403 with 22 home runs and 57 stolen bases.

Peete, like Emerson and Farmelo, is a left-handed hitter. He is a power-speed threat, earning a 55 grade for his power and 60 for his speed. He also has a big arm with a 60 grade, and his glove earned a 55 from MLB Pipeline. Regarding his arm, Peete reportedly was clocked at 95 mph on the mound during his high school career.

“Tai is a great athlete with big upside potential both at the plate and on the field,” Hunter said in a press release. “We see Tai as a potential five-tool player that will possess the rare combination of speed and power. We are excited to add this type of athlete with this type of potential to our organization.”

Peete’s next step will be improving his overall hit tool and ability to make contact. But there’s huge overall upside to his game if he’s able to do that during his time in the Mariners’ farm system.

The 30th pick was a Competitive Balance Round A pick for the Mariners. They have one more pick on Sunday at 57th overall. That’s a second-round selection.

Seattle Mariners 2023 MLB Draft Tracker: Every M’s pick

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Mariners draft HS bats again with OF Farmelo, SS Peete at 29, 30