SEATTLE -- Henry Cotto, the Mariners' 41st-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, already has plenty of Seattle baseball experience under his belt -- including many games spent in the clubhouse. As the son of the elder Henry Cotto -- a former Mariners player from 1988-93 -- he got to tag along with his father to plenty of games while growing up.
"Him and [former Mariners catcher] Dave Valle's son, they were always hanging out for the game, hanging out in the clubhouse," said the elder Cotto, currently the hitting coach for Class A Everett. His son, who has been playing at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, is a 21-year-old left-handed-hitting outfielder whom Mariners scouting director Bob Fontaine said worked out before the Draft. "He's got a pretty good bat, and we want to watch it a little bit more this summer, but we've got some interest in seeing where that bat is right now ... interesting bat," he said. The elder Cotto played for 10 seasons in the Major Leagues and hit .261 with 44 homers and 130 stolen bases. He said his son is less of free swinger than he was during his playing days -- a trend he hopes continues as the youngster embarks upon his career. "I always told him that I don't want him being like me," Cotto said. "He's got to be better than me.". Cotto goes down to watch his son as often as possible and said that the first priority for him is to sign a contract. "Yeah, we talked," he said. "He's happy. He's happy that he got drafted by Seattle, and now he's just got to go ... and do his job."
Jesse Baumgartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.