draft is in the books, and while we're only a day removed from the
process, it is time to take an early look as to how the teams fared.
course it takes at least two to three years to determine just how
successful any one team's draft effort was. And if you asked any of
the 30 teams in Major League Baseball about how they fared, they are
going to be quick to point out how excited they are about the players
next step is signing these players and getting them into their
respective organizations. This year's signing deadline is Monday,
part of a two part series (American/National League) I'm going to
provide a quick synopsis of the notable players each team selected,
the best late-round pick (after round 10), a wild card, and the key
to what will allow this year's draft to be viewed as an eventual
Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS, fourth overall
other year, Bundy may have been considered for the first overall
pick, although no prep right-handed pitcher has been selected first
overall. He enjoyed an incredible season, and sat in the mid-90s
while touching triple digits. After Bundy the Orioles turned their
focus to the college and juco ranks, represented by the eight
collegians in the top 10 rounds and 16 in the top 20 overall. In
addition to Bundy, the Orioles selected six other pitchers in the top
10 rounds, including college right-handers Mike Wright (third round),
Kyle Simon (fourth), Devin Jones (ninth) and Tyler Wilson (10th) as
well as college left-hander Trent Howard (seventh). Second-rounder
Jason Esposito and eighth-rounder Johnny Ruettiger both enjoyed
productive collegiate careers, and should have no problem hitting
upon beginning their professional careers.
Coats (12th round). Coats entered the spring coming off of an extremely
productive 2010 season for TCU, and carried that over to the Cape
last summer where he was considered one of the best bats in the
league. Coats didn't have a terrible year, but also didn't show the
same power, a common theme among the college ranks given the new
Delmonico (6th round). The Orioles drafted Delmonico as a third baseman, but he may
eventually move across the diamond to first. He offers a big,
strong, physical frame and exciting power potential, but dealt with
an injured wrist this spring which may have limited his production.
The tools are there for Delmonico to develop into an exciting
long-term success of Bundy is the obvious answer, but the Orioles
have been picking towards the top of the draft for too many years to
rely on just one player from this year's draft to pan out for them.
Most of their early picks after Bundy were relatively safe ones, but
there is enough upside in that group to give Orioles fans reason for
hope from this class.
Barnes, RHP, Connecticut, 19th overall
is made of the Atlanta Braves taking players from their home state,
but the Red Sox are also known for selecting players from their own
backyard, as shown with their top pick in Barnes. In recent years
they also have not shied away from players that are perceived to be
difficult signs, as shown by their second first-round pick, Blake
Swihart, who tossed out some lofty bonus aspirations prior to the
draft. Despite signing Carl Crawford in the offseason, they gained
those two first-round pick as well as two sandwich picks after losing
Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. Henry Owens and Jackie Bradley
were taken with those supplemental picks, and they added a nice
balance of talent, but high school and college, hitters and pitchers,
through the top 10 rounds. And for good measure, they made sure to
fuel the fire between their arch-rival Yankees by plucking Williams
Jerez out of Brooklyn in the second round.
Lake (12th round). An Aflac All-American last summer and a native of the Virgin
Islands, Lake has strong, compact frame and a very live arm.
Gossett (16th round). The lean and projectable Gossett enjoyed a nice spike in his
velocity this spring, going from the upper-80s to the low-90s, with
plenty of reason to believe there is more to come. Signing him away
from Clemson as a 16th-round pick would be the icing on the cake for
a successful draft effort for a team expected to sign most to all of
their early picks.
Red Sox are in an enviable position in that they do budget and draft
aggressively given their relatively endless financial resources.
Even if the players from this draft don't pan out, it won't be due to
a lack of effort. Getting two to three top prospects out of this
group would be considered a success.
Bichette, Jr., OF, Orangewood Christian HS, Orlando, 51st overall
aggressive as the Red Sox have been in their approach to the draft,
the Yankees take a more conservative approach. They took some
intriguing high school hitters with their early picks, including the
power-hitting Bichette, slugging catcher Greg Bird (fifth round),
athletic two-way talent Jave Cave (sixth) and in-state target Matt
Duran (fourth). Their second-round pick, Texas left-hander Sam
Stafford, can sit in the low-90s with a good curveball, and
Lewis-Clark State right-hander Zach Arneson (ninth) was the best
prospect available at the NAIA level. And just to make things more
interesting, after the Red Sox took Williams Jerez in the second
round, the Yankees returned the favor by dipping into traditional Red
Sox territory by selecting New Hampshire prep right-hander Jordan
Cote in the third.
Camarena (20th round). Rookie Davis (14th round) and Matthew Troupe (17th round) also qualify. Camarena offers a polished swing and approach
at the plate as well as pitching guile on the mound. He may opt to
go to the University of San Diego, where he could be a productive
two-way star similar to former Torero Josh Romanski.
Troupe and Camarena. Signing any combination of these three
promising prep stars, all of whom would have been drafted a lot
higher on talent alone, would be huge for the Yankees.
Yankees took Dante Bichette, Jr. and Jordan Cote earlier than where
most people had them, so their development will be scrutinized. Jake
Cave is a nice addition as a sixth-round pick, and the Yankees
drafted him as a potential five-tool outfielder. Even if he doesn't
hit, he could always fall back to pitching, as some considered him
one of the top high school left-handers entering the spring.
Guerrieri, RHP, Spring
Valley HS, Columbia, S.C.,
Rays lost three Type A and four Type B free agents last offseason,
leading to two additional first-round picks, seven supplemental
first-rounders and one extra second-round selection. They were
fairly aggressive with those selections, and if they get them all
signed they could field a prospect-laden team in rookie ball to close
out the summer. Just take a peak at this potential lineup:
Outfielders Mikie Mahtook, Kes Carter, James Harris, Granden
Goetzman; infielders Jake Hager, Brandon Martin and Tyler Goeddel;
and pitchers Taylor Guerrieri, Jeff Ames, Blake Snell, Grayson Garvin
as well as closer Lenny Linsky. Throw in a few of their other early
picks such as outfielder Johnny Eierman (third round), infielder
Riccio Torrez (fourth) and left-handed pitcher Ryan Carpenter
(seventh), and you have half of a roster full of recognizable talent.
English (13th round). Built on the small size, the 5-foot-9 English has
game-changing speed, a cannon for an arm and surprising power. It
may be difficult to sign him away from South Carolina.
Mitsui (12th round). The Rays certainly had their sights on the Pacific Northwest
this season, as Mitsui was the fourth player the team selected from
the state of Washington. With so much pitching currently in the
pipeline, the Rays have been intently adding impact bats through the
last two drafts, and Mitsui is a promising hitter with considerable
I wouldn't put it past them to do so, I don't think it is realistic
to expect the Rays to sign all 10 of their first-round picks, so
getting seven or eight of them wrapped up should be viewed as a
success. The Rays have one of the deepest, most productive farm
systems, and are poised to add another haul of talent.
Beede, RHP, Lawrence
Academy, Groton, Mass.,
the Blue Jays didn't have the draft pick boon that the Rays had, they
had four sandwich picks and an additional second rounder to play
with. You would think that those picks may prompt them to take a
more conservative approach, but the exact opposite occurred, as they
selected several players that could pose difficulties signing prior
to the August 15 deadline. Two of those were a pair of Vanderbilt
commits, Tyler Beede and Kevin Comer (sandwich
Second-rounder Daniel Norris, who was expected to go among the top
15-20 overall picks, may be the most difficult player to sign, and
third-rounder John Stilson could be another. That said, adding any
combination of those four pitchers would provide a huge boost of
pitching depth, and they also added several other promising arms in
Joe Musgrove (sandwich
Robson (fourth), Anthony
DeSclafani (sixth) and Andrew Suarez (ninth). Smooth prep hitter
Jacob Anderson was taken a little higher than expected (sandwich
round), but he Dwight Smith, Jr. (sandwich round) and Christian Lopes
(seventh) offer a nice trio of offensive talent.
Dean (13th round). There are several candidates to choose from, including Cole
Cody Glenn (15th)
and Aaron Nola (22nd).
All four players will be difficult to sign away from college, and
the Blue Jays already have enough of these kinds of players from this
draft to expect them to get any of these players in the system.
Beede, Comer and Norris provide obvious signing difficulties, but
Stilson's recent situation this spring is difficult to gauge. His
arm is expected to be fine with rest, and while he doesn't have the
same leverage as Matt Purke since Stilson is a college junior, the
possibility remains that he returns for his senior year to
re-establish his draft stock.
pretty simple for the Blue Jays, they need to prove that their
aggressive approach to the draft was a prudent one by signing the
players they took while also making sure those early round signings
don't inhibit them from adding a few of their more notable picks from
rounds five to 15.
Walker, OF, Central
White Sox lost their first-round pick for signing Adam Dunn, but
gained a sandwich pick when they lost Type B free agent J.J. Putz.
They used that pick on Keenyn Walker, a gifted all-around athlete
that fits the White Sox preference for toolsy, high-potential
players. They also have shown a preference for college pitchers in
recent years, and continued that trend as well with their next four
selections, and nine out of their top 12. Right-handers Erik Johnson
(second-round), Jeff Soptic (third), Kyle McMillen (fourth) and Ian
Gardeck (eighth) all have big, pro bodies and intriguing stuff.
Johnson has a well-rounded repertoire and enjoyed a big season for
the Cal Bears, McMillen excelled as Kent State's closer, while Soptic
and Gardeck had the best fastballs among the draft-eligible pitchers
from the juco ranks.
Ginther (14th round). Ginther is an exceptional all-around athlete, and starred in
football as a quarterback at the high school level, once again
fitting the White Sox preference for positional players. He is a
fine defender at third base with a great arm, and has power potential
at the plate.
Lane (9th round). Lane is a tall and lanky lefty from Marietta, Georgia that
played for the East Cobb program. He spent his first year in school
at Mississippi State, but transferred to Northwest Florida State
College for this past season and has signed with Tulane for the 2012
admire the way the White Sox are run, because they seem to draft
conservatively, but always seem to develop good players. They often
use their own players/prospects in trades for proven players, so as
long as they have a few of their premium picks successfully advance
to the upper levels of the minors, GM Kenny Williams will find a way
to use them.
Lindor, SS, Montverde
(Fla.) HS, 8th
was one of the best all-around players available for this year's
draft, with standout defensive tools and a promising switch-hitting
bat. Right-handed pitcher Dillon Howard (second-round), who has been
throwing in the mid-90s since his sophomore year in high school, and
Lindor were both members of the Aflac All-American Classic last
summer, although Howard's in-state commitment to Arkansas may be more
difficult for the Indians to overcome. Jake Lowery (fourth) had a
huge season for James Madison that drastically increased his draft
stock, and fellow catcher Eric Haase (seventh) from the high school
ranks offers the complete package both offensively and defensively.
Thanks to improved stuff, big-bodied right-hander Jake Sisco (third)
had a good year at Merced, a juco in California, drastically
improving his draft stock from a year ago when he was selected in the
37th round out of high school.
Peters (20th round). Based on talent alone, Peters, a prep left-handed pitcher,
should have been drafted in the top three to five rounds. As a Texas
recruit most expect him to head to college.
An Ohio State commit, and there was some speculation that if Haase
fell past the top three rounds he may head to college.
Howard and Haase are key to this draft being successful for the
Indians, assuming they lock up all of their other early round
McCann, C, Arkansas, 76th overall
Tigers were the last team to pick this year after forfeiting their
first-round pick after signing Victor Martinez last offseason. Their
first pick came later last year as well, but they made a much bigger
statement with that selection when they took Nick Castellanos and
signed him for $3.45 million as a sandwich pick. James McCann won't
command that kind of money, but he could give the Tigers some much
needed talent behind the plate. He was considered one of the best
defensive catchers available this year, and could move quickly thanks
to those skills. Overall they were more conservative this year,
selecting a college or junior college player with every selection
through the 14th round. Among those picks include Vanderbilt first baseman Aaron
Westlake (third-round), one of the draft's better pure hitters, and
Texas shortstop Brandon Loy (fifth), one of the draft's better
Gibson (15th round). Gibson offers a strong frame and a promising left-handed
bat. He was surging up draft boards this spring, but a commitment to
Georgia Tech may be tough to overcome as a 15th-rounder.
With so many polished college guys among their early picks, Gibson
would be a welcome addition as a multi-tooled talent.
the past couple of offseasons the Tigers have been linked to catchers
trying to address an organizational need. It seems as though they
made that need their top priority with their top pick in the draft,
so McCann's progression will be crucial.
“Bubba” Starling, OF, Spring
Valley HS, Columbia, S.C.,
local phenom Starling was connected to the Royals all spring, but
there were reports leading up to the draft that the connection may
have been overblown with Kansas City targeting college pitching.
They may have been putting on a bit of a poker face with that stance,
but there is no better player-to-team connection in this year's
draft. They didn't stop there however, as their second (Cameron
Gallagher), third (Bryan Brickhouse), fourth (Kyle Smith) and fifth
(Patrick Leonard) round picks offer considerable promise as well.
Allen (11th round). Allen is a rare toolsy talent from the state of Delaware.
He is raw, but has exceptional speed and profiles well in
He's a Florida commit and was considered a tough sign. Since the
Royals have the task of signing Starling ahead of them, they may not
be able to get both players into the system.
While the Royals farm system is stacked, and Starling could really
help elevate the organization while also providing a face of the
franchise if he lives up to his potential.
Michael, SS, North
Twins scouting and player development teams run like a well-oiled
machine, and typically employ an approach focusing on college
pitchers and high school hitters. They bucked that trend with their
first pick, taking the polished Michael out of North Carolina.
Whether or not Michael can stick at shortstop long-term will likely
be a recurring discussion, but he played well enough there this year
to silence some of his critics. High school slugger Travis Harrison,
who has some Harmon Killebrew to his game given his immense power
potential, was their next pick in the sandwich round. Prep pitcher
Hudson Boyd was selected with their second sandwich pick, a
barrel-chested righty that throws strikes consistently in the
low-90s. The Twins also continued to show interest in players that
have played in their background, taking several former Northwoods
League players including hard-throwing right-handers Madison Boer
(second-round), Matt Summers (fourth) and Tyler Jones (11th) as well
as left-handers Steven Gruver (seventh) and Jason Wheeler (eighth).
Ivan (Dereck) Rodriguez, the son of the legendary catcher, is an
athletic centerfielder with tool plus tools in his speed and arm.
Burdi (24th round). Towering prep lefty Adam McCreery (14th round) also fits the bill here.
Williams (3rd round), Will Clinard (30th round). Williams and Clinard have been bullpen mates the past
several years at Vanderbilt. Should both sign with the Twins they
could be advanced together as an intriguing lefty/righty duo, similar
to how they have been used at the college level.
teams have been as consistently successful developing as much talent
internally as the Twins, so really it's simply a matter of keeping
that well-oiled machine running as well as it has been.
Cron, 1B, Utah, 17th overall
Angels have needed a big bat in their system, and they certainly
found one with their first pick in Cron. Not only does he have
exciting power potential, but he is an extremely gifted hitter
overall. Nick Maronde (third-round) is a live-armed lefty that has
been pitching exclusively out of the bullpen for the Gators the past
couple of years, but some believe he could move back to a starting
role as a pro. Big-bodied right-handers Austin Wood (sixth) and
Logan Odom (eighth) were teammates at USC this past season, and
fellow righties Mike Clevenger (fourth) and Nick Mutz (ninth) joined
them among the team's hard-throwing picks in the top 10 rounds.
Memphis outfielder Drew Martinez (10th) has very good speed and
defensive skills in centerfield, while Abel Baker (seventh) is a
sound defensive catcher with a cannon for an arm.
Taylor (14th round), Domonic Jose (15th round). The Angels used back-to-back picks in the teens on a pair of
promising Stanford recruits, a school that doesn't often let such
players slip away.
and Jose. The Angels were pretty conservative with their picks prior
to getting to the 'teens, when they started to take a few more
chances on high-ceiling high school players. Their 12th and 13th round selections, Joe Kriehbel and Jackson Whitley, also fit into
Angels still boast a roster full of internally procured talentl, and
Mike Trout is one of the most dynamic players in the minor leagues.
C.J. Cron could be the big bat they have been looking for, but they
need to make sure their seemingly conservative approach doesn't
derail a fruitful system.
Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt, 18th overall
time the A's make a pick it's as if it were tailored made for their
organization. This year they had the benefit of having Sonny Gray
fall to them, a shorter right-handed pitcher that has enjoyed
incredible success at the college level, but is frequently
scrutinized for his future role. They continued their usual
preference for college talent by taking a collegian with each pick
among the top 23 rounds with the exception of ninth-rounder Jace Fry,
a high school left-hander from Beaverton, Oregon that shows a mature
approach to his craft. South Dakota State's Blake Treinen
(seventh-round), a fifth-year senior, was one of the draft's more
interesting prospects, with a mid-90s fastball and power slider, as
he became one of South Dakota's highest drafted players ever.
Southern Miss infielder B.A. Vollmuth (third) may have to slide off
of shortstop, but has put up big offensive numbers for the Golden
Peters (16th round). Peters doesn't overpower hitters, but he throws four pitches
for strikes and does a great job changing speeds and hitting his
Magee (21st round). Magee played both football and baseball at Arizona State,
and is an extremely well-built outfielder that also played linebacker
on the gridiron. He hasn't played much baseball, but it's hard not
to be impressed with his build and athleticism.
A's are a team that you can pretty much guess what they're going to
do, but can still leave your head scratching given their usual
conservative approach. They have assembled a very good pitching
staff, which seems to be the trademark for their organization, but at
some point they need to fill the system with more impact bats.
Hultzen, LHP, Virginia, second overall
wasn't until hours before the draft that we learned the Mariners
intent to draft Hultzen, since most had the the team pegged to draft
some kind of hitter from Anthony Rendon, Bubba Starling and Francisco
Lindor. It's hard to argue with the pick, as Hultzen had a
phenomenal season and overall career at Virginia, showing great
control of a four-pitch repertoire and improve velocity. They did
turn to bats after Hultzen, using eight of their 10 picks in the top
10 rounds on positional prospects. Those picks included Clemson
infielder Brad Miller (second-round), Arizona prep slugger Kevin Cron
(third), Virginia's John Hicks (fourth) and Steven Proscia (seventh),
and Florida high school catcher Tyler Marlette (fifth, the MVP of the
2010 Aflac All-American Classic). NCAA Division II right-hander
Carter Capps (supplemental third-round) and Texas State's Carson
Smith (eighth) also stand out among the team's early selections.
Melendres (17th round). Melendres shows very good speed
and defensive skills in centerfield with a strong arm. There is some
strength to his wiry frame, but his game is built around speed.
Cahoes (9th round). The Mariners drafted Cahoes out of
Germany, as he and his family are stationed at a U.S. Military base
as his father serves in the Air Force. Cavan is a gifted athlete,
built tall and lanky with plenty of room for added strength. His
electrifying speed may prompt a move to the outfield, and his arm
strength gives him a second standout tool. He has committed to play
for Ohio State.
so many pundits pegging the Mariners to take a positional prospect
with their first pick given the organization's overall need to add
impact hitters, Kevin Cron's development is crucial.
Matthews, LHP, Richmond
Hill (Ga.) HS,
Matthews was arguably the biggest surprise in the first-round. He's
a smaller, sub 6-foot lefty whose stuff took a step up this spring,
touching 95. Matthews also throws a hard curveball, and shows a
rhythmic delivery and advanced knowledge of pitching that could allow
him to advance quickly. They took a pair of taller high school
right-handers with their third and fifth-round picks in Kyle Castro
and Brandon Woodruff. In the second they took Clemson two-way
performer Will Lamb as a left-handed pitcher, and picked up the
extremely athletic Zach Cone out of Georgia in the sandwich round.
Derek Fisher, who like Matthews has committed to play for Virginia,
was the team's sixth-round pick and was expected to be taken much
higher in the draft.
Costen (22nd round). With a modest build, Costen can surprise you when he puts a
charge into a ball, but his best tools are his defense, arm strength
and foot speed. Keeping him away from South Carolina won't be easy.
(6th round). Signing Fisher, who was once believed to be a late
first-round pick, away from Virginia would be huge for the Rangers.
of the team's early picks, such as Matthews, Cone and Castro, were
selected at slots much earlier than expected, so it is important that
these players develop and progress to help make the Rangers look
astute for taking them where they did. As noted, signing Fisher will
also be incredibly important.