Mariners fittingly pick Griffey's son in 24th round

University of Arizona wide receiver not expected to switch to baseball

Mariners fittingly pick Griffey's son in 24th round

SEATTLE -- For Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara, the question was simple. What could be more fitting for Seattle then selecting The Kid's kid in the 2016 Major League Draft?

In a perfect hat tip to Hall of Fame-bound Ken Griffey Jr., the Mariners picked Trey Griffey, his oldest son, with a 24th-round selection on Saturday. And although Griffey is a football player at the University of Arizona, they haven't ruled out the idea that someday, just maybe, he'll wind up with his dad's old club.

"That was probably the most nervous I've ever been announcing a pick," McNamara said. "I didn't want to mess that one up. Obviously he's a good athlete. We just want him to know if he's ever interested in playing pro baseball, We have a job for him."

The round used to select the younger Griffey is no coincidence -- the Mariners will be retiring Junior's No. 24 shortly after he's inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on July 24.

The younger Griffey is a junior wide receiver at Arizona and hasn't played baseball since he was 14 in Orlando, Fla. But the Mariners saw the Rangers select Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to keep him in their organization a few years ago and weren't about to let that sort of slip happen again.

"Besides the first-round picks, he's one of those players you don't want somebody else to draft," McNamara said. "His name is on lists. It's happened before, with the quarterback across the street. I actually saw Ken here last week and I asked him, 'Hey, would you have a problem with us drafting your son?' And he said, 'No' and gave a big smile. I said 'Terrific' and ran it by [general manager Jerry Dipoto] and he was all in."

The Mariners don't expect the 22-year-old to try baseball at this point, but they do love his athleticism and, yes, the Hall of Fame bloodlines. The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder was listed as a center fielder by the Mariners on their Draft board.

Track every Mariners pick from Day 3 of the 2016 MLB Draft

Griffey caught 11 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown for Arizona this past season despite missing part of the campaign with injuries. He caught 31 passes for 405 yards and one touchdown as a sophomore and 14 for 170 yards and two touchdowns his freshman year.

"He's got pretty good genes," McNamara said. "You know what? There are a lot of players that play other sports. When they decide to give another sport a shot, they turn out to be pretty good."

The Mariners later selected catcher Eli Wilson, the son of Mariners Hall of Fame catcher Dan Wilson, in the 37th round. Wilson is a senior standout at Garfield High in Seattle and has committed to the University of Minnesota. Dan Wilson is currently working for the Mariners as a roving instructor.

"He was at our pre-Draft workout," McNamara said. "He's probably going to go to college first, but you could see a lot of his dad's mannerisms in him. It's pretty cool. He's young. He's got a frame that is going to get bigger and stronger. He's very projectable, as we would say in the business.

"We were pretty excited about those two picks," said McNamara, "because those two are special players and special guys."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.