Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday night prior to the team’s game against the Brewers at Safeco Field. Griffey’s induction is a no-brainer, considering he was the best player in franchise history.
The M’s should be embarrassed that they waited until Griffey “ceased to be active in the Major Leagues at least two seasons preceding the selection.” The franchise was irrelevant before his arrival.
With a history of mediocre all-stars such as Rupert Jones, Bruce Bochte and Tom Paciorek prior to Junior’s arrival, the Mariners jumped at the chance to select such a blue-chip talent with the first-overall pick of the 1987 MLB Amateur Draft.
Seattle scout Steve Vrablik was probably salivating when he filed the scouting report below just a few months before Griffey Jr. graduated from Cincinnati’s Moeller High School.
Among Vrablik’s most notable comments about Griffey:
• Not fully matured. Will get stronger.
• Quick stroke ball jumps off bat.
• Over swings at times.
• Will drop his hands with a slight hitch and a tendecy (sic) to uppercut.
• Very good instincts in the OF
• Top prospect for me with outstanding skills.
As you can see on the report, which is filed with the Baseball Hall of Fame, Vrablik and the Mariners made Griffey the “#1 Pick In The Nation.”
Seattle’s return on Vrablik’s recommended $200,000 signing bonus? Just 417 HRs, 1216 RBIs and .292/.374/.553 in 1685 games with Seattle, including the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
While debate will likely rage on over other players’ possible induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Griffey is likely to be a first-ballot selection in 2016.