Did the Mariners find the steal of the draft?
Teddy McGraw has had two Tommy John surgeries but has two electric offerings that have folks buzzing. Did the Mariners find the steal of the draft?
With the 92nd pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners may have found the steal of the entire draft. Teddy McGraw is a right-handed pitcher out of Wake Forest, a school that produced a top-10 draft pick and multiple other pitching prospects across the league.
His coach, Tom Walter, said that McGraw is the “steal of the draft” and that if he stayed healthy he would have “been right there with Paul Skenes.” This is high praise for anybody, let alone a player who fell all the way to the third round.
McGraw is from Cooperstown, New York, and has a sister that works at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. From Cooperstown, he was recruited to attend Wake Forest, where he spent three seasons.
At the end of his freshman year, McGraw went to Cape Cod searching for answers. His four-seam fastball had gotten crushed the year before, prompting him to test out a two-seam at the Cape. The pitch took off, collecting nearly 20 inches of run at times, making it a true bat-missing and bat-breaking pitch.
Implementing the sinker/two-seam made his four-seam much more effective, using both mid-90s offerings on different planes of the strike zone. The two-seam is much more consistent, but the ability to throw four-seamers at the top of the zone is a big deal.
McGraw also throws a slider that has been over 3,000 RPMs, and comfortably sits around 2800. His fourth pitch is a changeup which has shown upside and a good feel for. This gives him four average to above-average offerings, especially impressive for an electric arm.
Standing at 6-3, McGraw has a decent enough frame, although he is smaller than some of his teammates who were drafted. Durability is the only concern here, and with better health, there is a good chance he heard his name called early on day 1.
The right-hander went under the knife during his senior year of high school, and also after just .2 innings of this last season at Wake. Both injuries had to do with the UCL although there is some disagreement on whether the second surgery was a clean-up or Tommy John. Either way, two elbow surgeries give this pick plenty of risk.
After further research, I absolutely love this pick for the Mariners. I think there is a very high chance that he is a big-time contributor for Seattle someday, whether out of the rotation or in a high-leverage bullpen role.