The Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Dan Altavilla (Mercyhurst College), the 2014 Division II pitcher of the year, in the fifth round (141st overall) of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

Most scouting services project Altavilla as a reliever at the next level because of his size (5-11, 200 pounds), but he was a force as a starter for his small liberal arts school in Erie, Pa., during his junior season.

Seattle's director of amateur scouting, Tom McNamara, said the Mariners haven't decided if they want him in the rotation or the bullpen.

"That's yet to be determined. Personally, I think he should be developed as a starter, and then we'll see what happens after a few years down on the farm," McNamara said. "He's a guy with a real good arm. His velocity's been up to 97 [mph]. A hard breaking ball. We saw a lot of him in Cape Cod. … We saw him throughout the spring. We were really happy to draft him. The kid's got a heck of an arm."

A Greenock, Pa., native, Altavilla went 9-1 with a 1.23 ERA last season, including a game where he struck out 19 batters over 7 2/3 innings. He throws a two-seam fastball that averages in the low 90s but can touch 95 mph, a slider and a changeup. In 2014, he was a Division II All-America selection after leading the country with five shutouts in 12 starts, while holding opponents to a .167 batting average in 80 1/3 innings.

"He's a power fastball guy, [he has] a power slider," McNamara said.

His physical makeup and pitching rapport draws comparisons to current Mariners long-man Dominic Leone, who has posted a 2-0 record and 1.40 ERA for Seattle during his rookie campaign.

"I've actually heard that before," McNamara said. "I don't like to throw out comparisons, because then they have the added pressure of living up to someone else. But I can see that.

"Altavilla, he's got a good arm. He is a strong guy -- like a bull. He's put together."

The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Seattle picks defensive standout OF Cousino

2014 Draft: Mariners draft CF Austin Cousino No. 80

The Mariners continued to stockpile outfielders with their first pick on Day 2 of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday when they selected center fielder Austin Cousino (University of Kentucky) in the third round with the 80th overall pick.

Cousino, however, is far from ordinary. In 2013, he was awarded the Golden Glove trophy given to the best defensive center fielder in college baseball. This season, Cousino (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) batted .308 with four home runs, 15 doubles and 38 RBIs in 61 games. Noted for his solid speed and his ability to get good reads on fly balls and on the basepaths, he scored 58 runs and grabbed 19 stolen bases.

He is, in Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara's words, a true center fielder.

"He's a real good defensive center fielder," said McNamara. "He's a real good defensive player that can swing the bat. We were happy to get him."

2014 Draft Central

Cousino was named to Baseball America's 2014 All-America class and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. A Dublin, Ohio, native, Cousino bats and throws left-handed. He was the first Wildcat to earn SEC Freshman of the Year honors (2012) and the first to play multiple seasons on the USA Collegiate National Team.

McNamara said Cousino benefitted from the international experience, because it exposed to him to pitchers from baseball-rich countries like Japan and Cuba. The fact that he played with the best players in his age group helped, too.

In three seasons with Kentucky, Cousino posted a .295/.386/.456 slash line with 19 home runs and 106 RBIs in 178 games. "When you play with really good players, sometimes you just see the way certain guys do things and you pick it up just like anything else in life," McNamara said.

Cousino was the third outfielder the Mariners selected to begin the Draft. On Thursday, Seattle took catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson (Escondido, Calif.) sixth and outfielder Gareth Morgan (Toronto) 74th.

"Obviously, you try to take the best guy in each spot," McNamara said. "We were happy with our first two picks and then we were very happy with our first pick [Friday]. We didn't plan to have three outfielders go with our first three picks."

McNamara said the arrangement works well because Morgan will likely end up a right fielder, while Jackson can also play catcher and third base.

"Each one of them brings something different to the table," said McNamara of Seattle's top three picks.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Mariners dip into pitcher ranks in fourth round

Ryan Yarbrough went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 appearances.

With their fourth pick of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Mariners took their first pitcher when they selected Old Dominion left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth round, 111th overall.

The selection came as a surprise to MLB analysts hosting the live Draft, as they were left scanning their laptops to get a scouting report on Yarbrough. Seattle's director of amateur scouting, Tom McNamara, gladly provided one.

"He's real tough on lefties, good breaking ball -- he's just a guy with a good delivery," McNamara said. "He's a big, tall left-hander. We think there is upside there."

Yarbrough went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 appearances (14 starts) as a junior at Old Dominion in 2014. Listed at 6-foot-6, 205-pounds, the Lakeland, Fla., native was outside of the MLB Top 200 Prospect List, but went 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 appearances (13 starts) over 82 2/3 innings as a sophomore at Old Dominion, after spending 2011 at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla.

Assuming he signs with Seattle and decides against returning to college for his senior season, McNamara added that Yarbrough will be given the chance to be a starter.

If that doesn't pan out, McNamara still thinks Yarbrough can be useful -- to say the least.

"He may end up as a reliever, a real good lefty reliever," he said.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Mariners stick with pitchers, take lefty Ratliff

After taking three outfielders with their first three picks in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Mariners took their third pitcher in a row on Day 2 when they selected left-hander Lane Ratliff in the sixth round with the 171st overall pick Friday.

In the days leading up the Draft, Ratliff came to a workout at Safeco Field, where he caught the eye of Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara.

"He's a nice looking, projectable left-hander if at all comes together," McNamara said.

Ratliff (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) went 8-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 13 starts this season with Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss. He struck out 89 in 64 1/3 innings while walking 35 and allowing eight home runs.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Southland pitcher of year picked by Mariners

The Mariners took left-handed pitcher Taylor Byrd (Petal, Miss.) out of Nicholls State in the seventh round -- 201st overall -- in Friday's Day 2 of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

As a senior this season, Byrd went 8-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 14 starts over 89 innings, earning Southland Conference pitcher of the year honors. He fanned 80 and walked 27 while holding opponents to a .246 batting average, but was ruled academically ineligible for the Southland Conference Tournament before the Colonels went two-and-out.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Mariners choose pitcher Kerski in eighth round

The Mariners won't have a shortage of pitchers when the second day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft is finished.

In the eighth round Friday, Seattle selected right-hander Kody Kerski out of Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Conn.) with the 231st overall pick. It marked the fifth consecutive pitcher the Mariners took.

Kerski, 22, is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound starter who went 7-3 with a 2.42 ERA for the Pioneers during his senior season. In 85 2/3 innings, he struck out 74 and issued just 15 walks while posting a 0.98 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched).

Seattle continues run on pitchers in ninth round

Peter Miller split his time between the rotation and bullpen this season.

With the 261st overall selection Friday, the Mariners used their ninth-round pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Florida State right-hander Peter Miller.

Miller had a rough senior season (3-4, 5.14 ERA), splitting time between the rotation and bullpen (17 appearances, seven starts) after two solid years with the Seminoles in which he combined to go 11-4 in 28 appearances (23 starts). A Lutz, Fla., native, Miller, 22, was drafted in the 16th round (484th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 but opted to return for his senior year of college. He's a three-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13) and made the All-ACC Academic Team in 2012 and 2013.

Miller is the sixth consecutive pitcher the Mariners took in the First-Year Player Draft.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with rounds 11-40 shown exclusively on MLB.com starting at 10 a.m. PT.

Mariners wrap up Draft's Day 2 with catcher

The Mariners dipped back into the Southeast for their final selection on the second day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday, taking Western Carolina catcher Adam Martin with the 291st overall pick in the 10th round.

Named preseason to the Johnny Bench Award watch list, Martin responded with a huge senior campaign, posting a .307/.411/.574 slash line with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 54 games for the Catamounts. He was also named first-team All-Southern Conference.

Martin, 22, is the third right-handed hitter the Mariners took in the first 10 rounds. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, he represents the sort of power potential the organization needs.

The Draft concludes Saturday, with rounds 11-40 shown exclusively on MLB.com starting at 10 a.m. PT.

"We got a lot of work to do," Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara said. "[Saturday], when the bell goes off, we look at the board now and are like, 'Hey, there's big leaguers out there.' Let's keep grinding."