The Reality of Danny Hultzen

First off, Danny Hultzen is the greatest player by the name of Danny Hultzen to ever play the game of baseball. That is a fact. You can’t take that from him.

Second, Danny Hultzen has appeared in as many big league games as all the rest of the players selected in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He’s undefeated in every single one of those contests. Incredible.

Third, Danny Hultzen may or may not be a potential first ballot of Hall of Famer. We’re talking Hall of Fame on the very first try with this guy. That’s how great he may or may not be. Consider that.

Now consider this.

The MLB draft is one of the greatest crapshoots of all-freakin’-time. It’s roulette on a wheel numbered 1 to 1,000. Ninety percent of the players taken in most drafts won’t even sniff the big leagues, and of those who do, maybe a third will be lucky enough to have solid careers.

So why, then, are Mariner fans so distraught over the team’s selection of the aforementioned Danny Hultzen, a left handed pitcher out of the University of Virginia, with the No. 2 overall pick on Monday?

God only knows. Because I’ll tell you what, none of you have so much as an inkling about what the future truly holds for Hultzen or most of the other players in this draft.

This isn’t the NBA or the NFL drafts. We can’t base our armchair knowledge off college games, or even televised high school showcases. This is baseball. You might be lucky to catch a few College World Series games here and there, but that’s about it. Maybe you view some highlights on YouTube or read up on the insider prognostications. But unlike the other major sports, you rarely, if ever, pay witness to an entire contest featuring any one particular player your team may be interested in drafting.

Which is why I’m absolutely befuddled by all the angst over the Mariners’ selection.

We could have gone with Anthony Rendon, you might be saying. Okay. That’s all well and good. But who the hell is Anthony Rendon, anyway? We’ve heard the name, pored over some stats, skimmed a few articles. Beyond that, though, Rendon, an infielder from Rice University, might as well be a myth. I can tell you just as much about the guy as you can tell me. Don’t get worked up over the fact that he’s not a future Mariner. There are more important things to worry about. Like what you’re going to eat for breakfast, or how you plan on getting rid of that rash. Focus on that kinda stuff before you go fretting over the differences between Rendon and Hultzen.

Oh yeah, and then there’s this simple fact: the best big leaguers don’t even come out of the draft anymore. They funnel direct from the Dominican Republic, or Venezuela, or one of the other Latin American hotbeds for baseball talent. They usually find their way into a franchise’s farm system around the same time that most American players are getting their driver’s licenses and applying to take the PSATs. So even if your team fails miserably in the draft (likely), they still have a chance to make up for it by pillaging prospects down near the equator.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is just calm down. Calm the eff down. Take a deep breath and relax.

One, this is the irrelevant Major League Baseball draft. Getting worked up over something like this is almost as bad as freaking out over Magic Cards or something.

Two, Hultzen has as good a chance as Rendon — or anyone else for that matter — to succeed in the future. He does. And you can’t deny that.

Three, drafting on need — i.e. Rendon — is never a solid strategy. (See Clement, Jeffrey for a better example of what I mean.) It’s about the guy who your team thinks is the best available player. The M’s clearly did their due diligence in scouting Hultzen and liked what they saw. You can’t refute that.

Four, you can’t combat the selection of Hultzen with any evidence to suggest that taking someone else would have been a better move. Because, again, we’re talking college and high school baseball here. And no one, aside from scouts and weirdos, watches that sh*t.

And finally, remember this. Danny Hultzen, should he live up to the inevitable hype that comes with being such a lofty draft selection, could very well be the greatest player to ever play the game of baseball. And if not that, at least the greatest Danny Hultzen the universe has ever seen.

Live with it. Because that’s the reality of the situation. And in the end, that just might be as good as it gets.

13 thoughts on “The Reality of Danny Hultzen”

  1. Couldnt agree more – hope he ends up LHP @ 98 MPH.. Would love to see us farm up a hard core LH talent.

  2. Sorry, but we needed a hitter. Look, the last time I felt this bad following the Mariners draft, they had passed up Lincecum for Morrow. We have reason to be upset. This FO and scouting team has failed us before.

  3. doesnt really matter what we need right now. The dude they draft wont touch the team for another two years man… Can you imagine what we will need in 2 years? Halman is hitting .866 in two games.. what if he settles out @ .450? will we still need hitters with ackley coming up and the way the guys are hitting now? OP is right.. the draft is a complete crapshoot.

  4. consider which is more rare, a star LH talent, or a utility infielder that hits for power.

  5. Pitchers have a much higher failure rate when drafted high in the draft than position players. The Mariners have had greater success over time drafting for position rather then pitching. Just look at the history of their first round picks. For every Clement there is a Varitek, Griffey, Rodriguez or Henderson. On the flip side the best pitcher they have taken in the first round was Gil Meche or maybe Bill Swift. That pretty much says it all.

    Not saying Hultzen won’t be great but I am saying that he better be great because this pick will be considered a total F- Up if he isn’t. Jackie Z pretty much swung his apricots into the wind on this one.

  6. Good perspective. If Jack Z thinks this guy is #2 in the draft, then he’s #2 in the draft. Clearly this draft did not have the solid obvious top guys like the last few years (strasburg/ackley and Harper), so with that I’m not upset. There could have been about 5 different senerios of picks based on what team’s like. There was no Harper/A-Rod/Griffey prospect to obviously take at #2 or even #1.

    I would have liked them to look at Bubba Sterline ( and they probably did), but who’s to say he doesn’t just go be a bigger better version of Jake Locker at Nebraska?

    It is what it is. And hey may this guy is the 3rd for a trio of an amazing pitching rotation in 2 years….

  7. And BTW all the east coast folk love this guy. ACC player of the year…Not too shabby…

  8. Sorry Brian, but the Mariners farm system is devoid of pitching talent. Mariners have hitters, lots of them in their farm system.

    Rainiers have scored 60+ runs in 4 games. The farm system was atrocious before Jack Z got here, now we have guys like Ackley, Franklin, Seager, all hitters.

    As for Hultzen, he is the most well rounded pitcher in the draft and was rated in the 4-7 pick range. It isn’t like we got some guy who was supposed to go in the 27th round.

    Lastly, give Jack Z some leeway here. In 2002 he ‘reached’ on a guy who was going to go late in the 1st round with the 7th pick. He was Prince Fielder. Jack Z has a good track record as a whole in the MLB draft; even for how much of a crap shoot it is.

  9. Thanks anon, I feel better. I’d feel a lot better if all those hitters on the farm impact the Mariners this season. Alex i already thought the MLB draft was irrelevant and now it’s even suckier. Thanks.

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