SAFECO FIELD -- The Mariners selected Stetson University right-handed pitcher Logan Gilbert with the No. 14 overall pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Monday night.
Gilbert, 21, was the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year after posting an 11-1 record in 15 starts. He finished the season with 107.0 innings pitched, a 2.52 ERA, .172 batting average against (BAA) and 157 strikeouts.
"This is everything I've ever dreamed of. But this isn't the end. It's the beginning. I'm ready to get to work," Gilbert said.
Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Hunter raved about Gilbert's fastball command. The pitch, which tops out between 95-97 miles per hour, is the key pitch of his arsenal with a curve ball, slider and change-up in his bag as well.
"He's 6-foot-5, almost 6-foot-6, athletic, got a loose, easy arm and has four pitches and throws a ton of strikes," Hunter said. "If you look at his stat line over the last three years, he misses bats. It's something that we value here. ... This kid fit every checkpoint of a pitcher that we would want to select and we're kind of pleasantly surprised that he was sitting there."
Gilbert said he wasn't heavily recruited out of high school as he began pitching somewhat late and took time to grow into his current frame. He became a full-time starter for the Hatters in 2017, posting a 21-1 record over his last two seasons. While Gilbert has a year of eligibility remaining, both Hunter and Gilbert said they expect that he will sign with the Mariners once his college season comes to an end. Stetson is currently in the NCAA Super Regionals and is slated to play North Carolina this week.
Gilbert has a career 2.38 ERA in 51 games with a .199 BAA and 307 strikeouts over 245 1/3 innings pitched.
During the summer of 2017, Gilbert pitched in the Cape Cod League with the Orleans Firebirds. He went 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA over 37 1/3 innings in nine games with eight starts. He walked just six while striking out 39.
Hunter said there was a time this spring where Gilbert was experiencing "dead arm" for around a month and his velocity dipped, which caused some to shy away from him.
"His stuff was pretty much back to where it was in the summer," Hunter said. "We're catching a guy on the uptick. He's just turned 21 so he's a young college performer and college athlete, so we have a lot of time on our side and we've got some upside in a college pitcher."
With Gilbert already having thrown 107.0 inning this season and more upcoming in the Super Regionals, the Mariners will be cognizant of his workload in deciding where, and how much, he'll pitch upon signing. Single-A Everett will be the likely destination if his innings load doesn't get too significant. If not Everett, he'll instead go to the Arizona Development League.
Given his college experience and fastball command, Hunter said there is potential Gilbert could progress quickly through the team's farm system if all goes to plan.
"The fastball command is there. It's just a matter of consistency with his off-speed stuff," Hunter said.
Photo Credit: Seattle Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Hunter looks at his cell phone while awaiting the announcement of the team's first-round draft pick, Stetson RHP Logan Gilbert, on June 4, 2018 from the Ellis Pavilion at Safeco Field. (photo by Curtis Crabtree / Sports Radio 950 KJR)