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Former LBSU RHP Darren McCaughan is Climbing the Ranks

We’ve been writing a lot about the Seattle Mariners organization lately, but it’s not our fault.

It’s not our fault that the Mariners have finally figured out the secret formula. If you draft or pick up players from Long Beach, you’re probably gonna start winning ball games.

The Mariners traded for Wilson alum Chase De Jong in 2017, drafted former Long Beach State catcher David Banuelos in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, and added former LBSU RHP Darren McCaughan in the 12th round of that same draft. Shoot, the Golden State Warriors drafted a kid from Long Beach too, and they just won an NBA title…no wonder the Mariners are somewhat playoff relevant again.

McCaughan isn’t on the MLB roster just yet, but he’s shooting to the top at a ridiculous rate. In 12 Minor League starts this season with the Modesto Nuts, he has a 2.50 ERA in 74.2 innings of work. And for a guy who technically doesn’t have “overwhelming velocity” or “strikeout stuff,” he has 59 strikeouts and 7.51 Ks per nine innings. So, he’s been pretty good—good enough to get promoted to Triple-A ball in Tacoma where he’s now 1-0 after throwing a shutout in 6.1 innings in his first start last week.

He was recently named the Mariner’s Biggest Riser in Baseball America’s Midseason Prospect Report. Some other names on the list: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (son of Big Daddy Vladdy), and Cavan Biggio (son of Craig Biggio). I don’t know Darren McCaughan’s dad very well, but I sat behind the McCaughan family at a Dirtbag game once and it was a hell of a time.

It just blows my mind at how surprised some scouts have been with McCaughan’s progress, calling him a “sleeper” in the organization. Why is he a “sleeper?” He’s been lights-out for like four years in a row now.

McCaughan earned back-to-back Big West Pitcher of the Year awards in his final two years as a Dirtbag and earned All-American honors in both years as well. This is like saying Duke basketball is your sleeper pick to win the national title every year. “That Coach K really has his boys flying under the radar this season.”

Of course McCaughan is tearing it up in Minor League baseball right now – his stuff has been unhittable. And let’s not forget that the same players he was torching in college a few years back are the same players in the minors right now. What, was he just gonna forget how to make his change up look exactly like his fastball all of sudden? No, have some faith in the guy.

If the Mariners make the playoffs this season, don’t be surprised if both McCaughan and De Jong are on the MLB roster at the same time. You heard it here first. Please credit 908 Sports.


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