the third time in the organization's 50-year history, the Houston
Astros will have the dubious honor of selecting first in next June's
first-year player draft. Their two previous first overall picks,
Floyd Bannister (1976) and Phil Nevin (1992), enjoyed productive
big-league careers, although neither spent much time with the Astros
after being traded to other organizations early in their careers.
the past several years in which one or two near-unanimous top
prospects have been identified the summer prior to the draft itself,
next year's talent pool suggests that the eventual player selected
first overall may not be among the players currently discussed for
this time last year Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole were considered
the top two players available for last June's draft. Bryce Harper's
legacy started the moment he announced he would be foregoing both his
junior and senior years in high school to attend junior college, thus
making him draft eligible a year early in 2010. Stephen Strasburg
became a legend far before he was the first overall pick in 2009.
year's talent pool has already been labeled as weak, although that
has to do with a lackluster college crop. The high school talent
currently emerging is viewed as very strong, with a long list of both
power arms and bats that could help make up for the perceived college
that also could prompt the Astros to make history.
high school right-handed pitcher has ever been selected first
overall, and the way draft boards currently stack up, Lucas Giolito
could change that.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander has been clocked as high as 98 and easily works in the low-to-mid-90s deep into games. He shows very good command of his fastball and tight, sharp-breaking slider, giving him the perfect combination of size, stuff and control while throwing on a downhill plane, making him that much more difficult to hit.
course high school pitchers are generalized as risky commodities,
and teams that are selecting first overall are doing so because they
were the worst team in baseball the previous season. Teams in that
position typically don't have the luxury of taking chances with high-risk propositions,
particularly given the financial investment required.
of that, the Astros may turn to one of the top college players.
Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero and Stanford right-handed
pitcher Mark Appel are the names currently associated with the
are incredibly talented players, as Marrero is a potential five-tool shortstop and Appel's profile is somewhat similar to Giolito's. However, the talent at the top
of the draft causes some debate as to where either would have been selected had they been eligible for this past year's draft. The
talent pool for this past year's draft was considered one of the
strongest ever, with very good depth at both the college and high
of who the Astros pick, it is important that they continue to inject
as much talent into their system as possible. The Rays, who had the
first overall pick four times in 10 years, have proven how quickly a
team's fortune can turnaround with an ample supply of talent.
the Astros in the draft order are the Minnesota Twins, who haven't
had a pick in the top 10 since they took Joe Mauer with the first
overall selection in 2001.
drafting second last year, the Mariners will pick third next June.
Typically not considered one of the perennially worst teams in the
game, the 2012 draft will mark the fifth time in eight years that
Seattle has had a pick among the top five overall selections.
early hasn't helped the Orioles, as next year will mark the 11th time in 12 years that they have had a pick among the top 10 overall
Royals with the fifth overall selection are in a similar situation to
the Orioles when it comes to the draft, with a top 10 pick in 12 of
the last 16 years. Unlike the Orioles, most seem to think the Royals
are on a path similar to the Rays given the incredible talent they
have collected in recent years.
the Twins, the Padres had the second biggest slide from 2010 to this
past year, and will have the seventh overall pick in next year's draft.
Two teams that had multiple first-round picks this past year, the
Diamondbacks and the Brewers, enjoyed the two biggest jumps in the
win-loss column from 2010 to this year. The Diamondbacks in
particular went from owning the third-worse record in 2010 to having
the sixth-best in 2011.
For the second year in a row, the Philadelphia Phillies finish the season with the best record in baseball.
the current collective bargaining agreement scheduled to expire on
December 11, rumors have been swirling for over a year about
Commissioner Bud Selig's desire to add hard monetary slot values.
While many seem to grow more and more skeptical of this happening, it
does seem likely that the signing deadline will be bumped up from its
current date of August 15.
change would be beneficial for everyone involved, as the players
would be able to begin their professional careers with over a month
left in the minor league season that ends on Labor Day, and teams can
put the draft behind them while focusing on the next year's crop of
talent during the busy summer showcase and tournament season.
2012 Draft Order
After having three unsigned players from the 2010 draft effect the order of the first-round of the 2011 draft, only
one first-round pick from this past year went unsigned, the 21st overall pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, Tyler Beede. The 2010 PG
All-American has already began his college career at Vanderbilt, and
projects as a likely premium pick for the 2014 draft. The Blue Jays will receive the 22nd overall pick in 2012 as compensation.
is how the order of the first-round of next year's draft stacks up,
also showing each team's first pick from the past three drafts.
Unless more drastic changes are implemented prior to the beginning of
the offseason, it should be expected that free agent compensation
will remain in 2012, meaning the draft order will look significantly
different by the end of the upcoming offseason.
for teams that finished with the exact same record/winning percentage
are awarded to the team that finished with the worse record the