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Mariners sign right-hander Connor Phillips — the last of their 2020 draft picks

UPDATED: Tue., June 30, 2020

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto speaks Jan. 23, 2020, in Seattle.  (Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto speaks Jan. 23, 2020, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren)
By Ryan Divish The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — The last of the Mariners’ six draft picks from the 2020 Major League Baseball amateur draft signed his professional contract on Monday.

Right-handed pitcher Connor Phillips, Seattle’s competitive balance round B pick (No. 64 overall) signed for a $1,050,300 bonus, which was the full slot value of the pick.

“We’re excited to add Connor Phillips to the Mariners organization,” said Scott Hunter, the Mariners’ director of amateur scouting. “At just 19 years of age, he has four pitches, with a fastball up to 98 miles per hour. As he continues to develop, we believe he has a chance to be an impactful pitcher for our organization.”

Rated as the top junior college pitcher by MLB.com, Phillips made six starts for McLennan Community College (Waco, Texas) in 2020, posting a 3-1 record with a 3.16 ERA. In 25 2/3 innings he struck out 27 and walked 15 while limiting opposing hitters to a .152 batting average.

Seattle scouted Phillips as a senior at Magnolia West High School in Waco with the consideration of drafting him in 2019. Multiple teams offered him third-round signing bonus money. He opted to go to junior college instead of LSU so he could be draft eligible after one season.

A multi-sport athlete who also excelled at football, Phillips (6-food-2, 190 pounds) has a fastball that can touch 98 mph with two breaking balls and a slider. He’s still considered unpolished as a pitcher and struggles with command and repeating his delivery. But scouts believe his raw athleticism will allow him to find consistency and success with consistent coaching and development.

“He’s still learning how to harness this stuff,” Hunter said after the draft. “But a lot of comparisons to Trevor Bauer in the way he walks into the ballpark, his throwing program, even his delivery kind of looks like Trevor Bauer, and this is a guy that we really targeted once day two of the draft came in.”

The Mariners acquired the Comp Round B selection, along with minor league right-handed pitcher Adam Hill, from Milwaukee in exchange for catcher Omar Narváez on Dec. 5, 2019.

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