When the Seattle Mariners decided to take a position player — finally — in the 2019 MLB Draft, they did not select anybody ordinary.
In fact, Bellingham’s Austin Shenton is a man of many talents.
Seattle picked Shenton, a third baseman out of Florida International who had one of the nation’s longest hitting streaks this season, in the fifth round Tuesday with the 156th overall selection.
“He was really good in the Cape Cod League,” said Christopher Crawford, a baseball prospects analyst for NBC Sports. “He has a chance for an above-average hit tool (in the major leagues), and for average power.”
Shenton was the highest FIU player picked since 2014 when Aramis Garcia was selected in the second round by the San Francisco Giants.
The 2016 Bellingham High School graduate spent one season at Bellevue College before transferring to FIU in 2017 as part of a high-profile recruiting class.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Shenton was the Panthers’ best hitter this season, batting .330 with seven home runs and 47 RBI. He also had a 22-game hitting streak, which ranked the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I in 2019.
Crawford said the all-CUSA second teamer could move to first base in the professional ranks.