Mariners select high school shortstop Cole Young with the No. 21 pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft

The Mariners began Sunday afternoon to take care of the present, winning their 14th straight game at Texas, before attention turned to their future with day one of the MLB Draft.

Seattle selected shortstop Cole Young from North Allegheny High School in western Pennsylvania with the No. 21 pick in the first round.

Young, who hits left-handed and throws right-handed, hit .428 for North Allegheny, but he’s really risen in the summer showcase circuit in 2021.

Mariners amateur manager Scott Hunter said, “We think he’s one of the purest hitters with the best swings in this draft.

“We don’t just get a good hitter, we get a damn good baseball player,” Hunter said. “He plays (the shortstop) very well and probably has the versatility to play second or third. But it was the bat that impressed us, along with his makeup on and off the court.

Hunter traveled to Wexford, Pa. to meet Young, and after watching two swings in the batting cage, he texted Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto.

“I remember texting Jerry and saying, ‘That’s easy,'” Hunter said.

“Cole does everything right,” Dipoto said. “I’ve seen tons of videos of him. … We thought all along that he was going to be in the crosshairs of our choice. We’ve done a ton of work on him…and we’re just comfortable with him.

“He kind of ticked all the boxes for us, and having him with the 21st pick was really lucky.”

Young was rated the 14th prospect by Baseball America, who had this to say about the Mariners’ first-round pick:

“Young has separated himself on the showcase circuit as one of the best shortstops in the 2022 class with arguably the most effective tool of anyone not called Termarr Johnson. … Young isn’t jumping off the page in terms of tools and maybe doesn’t have a single more tool besides his bat. That said, he does everything well on the court and could have average to above average tools across the board, with no obvious weakness in his game beyond power.

The project was considered wide open after about the top prospects.

Two high school players whose fathers were longtime star outfielders in the majors were chosen with the first two draft picks.

Baltimore selected shortstop Jackson Holliday, son of Matt Holliday, with the first pick, and Arizona followed by taking outfielder Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones.

Gonzaga pitcher Gabriel Hughes was the Colorado Rockies’ 10th overall pick.

Hughes, who graduated in three years, saw his time as a hitter and pitcher with the Zags, as did another former Gonzaga first-round pick: Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales.

Gonzales was picked No. 19 overall by St. Louis in 2019.

This story will be updated.

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