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Draft  | Story  | 10/4/2012

Astros to pick No. 1 again in 2013

Patrick Ebert     
Photo: Stanford

Updated March 25, 2013

See also:  Allan Simpson's Top 300 2013 Draft Prospects | Allan Simpson's 2013 State-By-State Lists

For the third time in five years, the team that held the No. 1 pick from the previous year will once again select first overall. The Houston Astros, who took 2011 Perfect Game All-American Carlos Correa with the No. 1 pick in 2012, finished the season with a 55-107 record (.340 winning percentage), worst in all of baseball, and will pick first at the beginning of each of every round in the 2013 draft.

The Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays had back-to-back No. 1 overall picks in 2009-10 and 2007-08, using three of those four selections to take several of the game's brightest young stars in David Price (2007), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Bryce Harper (2010).

Due to the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, in which there were several changes made to the overall draft logistics, few knew how the 2012 draft would shake out. MLB's intent in the new draft rules, with the biggest change coming in the form of draft pools assigned to each team based on the number and placement of their picks, was to keep signing bonuses down while getting the players to sign more quickly.

Mission accomplish on both accounts.

As Allan Simpson detailed in a feature a few days after the 2012 signing deadline, a record number of players that were selected in the top 10 rounds of the draft signed, as well for the highest percentage of players that signed among those taken overall. The top four players selected (Correa, Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino and Kevin Gausman) were the only picks that received signing bonuses of $4 million or more.

The Astros showed creativity with the first overall pick, using only $4.8 million of their allotted $7.2 million pool to sign Correa. The $2.5 million the team used to sign PG All-American Lance McCullers in the supplemental first round allowed the team to sign two players for only $100,000 more than the draft pool number assigned to the first overall pick. That allowed them to go greatly over slot for their fourth round pick, another PG All-American in Rio Ruiz, who signed for $1.85 million.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who selected first overall the previous year, looked as though they were prepared to add yet another dominant arm to their system when Stanford ace Mark Appel fell to the eighth overall pick. Appel opted not to sign after the Pirates offered him the highest bonus value without being penalized under the new system, $3.8 million.

Since Appel did not sign the Pirates will be awarded the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft as compensation.  As part of the new draft rules, this selection is now protected through 2013 as well should the Pirates not be able to sign whoever they take with this pick.

For as many changes we saw to the draft a year ago, there are still more on the horizon.

A competitive balance lottery was conducted the Wednesday after the signing deadline in which 12 teams were awarded additional, early picks. The lottery was designed to give teams with the smallest market and smallest revenues an advantage in the draft, resulting in a pool of 14 teams that were eligible to be awarded a pick.

The first round of this lottery, called Round A, which will result in picks taking place after the first round of the draft, will go to the Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Reds and Tigers.

The second round of the lottery, Round B, will occur after the second round. Those picks in order will go to the Padres, Indians, Rockies, Athletics, Brewers and Marlins.

Of the teams eligible, only the Cardinals and Rays did not receive a pick in the lottery.

(The Marlins and Tigers swapped their competitive balance picks as part of the trade that sent Anibal Snachez and Omar Infante to Detroit with PG All-American Jacob Turner going to Miami.)

Yet another wrinkle to the 2013 draft is the free agent compensation process.

No longer will Type A, B and C free agents be determined. The pool of players that will garner their teams a compensatory selection will be drastically reduced.

•  The player must have been on the team's opening day roster and spent the entire year with the same team.

•  The team losing the player must make a qualifying offer to the player within five days of the World Series (the players have seven days to accept).

•  Teams and players cannot agree to not make a qualifying offer and/or agree to decline any such offer prior to the offer taking place.

•  That offer must be worth an average of the top 125 player contracts from the 2012 season, which is expected to be in the $13.3-$13.4 million range.

After the Brewers traded Zack Greinke to the Angels mid-season, making him ineligible for free agent compensation, Josh Hamilton could be the only projected free agent that will garner a compensatory draft pick.

In addition, the teams that lose players eligible for compensation only receive a selection in the supplemental first round. The team that signs a player eligible for compensation simply forfeits their first selection (or second selection for teams that finish the season with one of the 10 worst records). That pick is not awarded to the team that loses the free agent, with all of the teams/picks moving up a spot.

The free agent compensatory selections will be awarded in reverse order of the team's winning percetage from the previous season.  In years where there are multiple free agents requiring compensation, teams that lose multiple free agents will be awarded picks in succession.

As touched upon above, the teams with the 10 worst records from the previous season cannot lose their first pick, a change from the previous rule in which the top picks of the 15 worst teams were protected.

Also, all picks, with the exception of those awarded to teams for not signing picks in previous years, are eligible to be surrendered, including free agent compensatory selections and those awarded through the competitive balance lottery. In other words, if one of the teams that finished among the top 20 teams in all of MLB the previous year signs a free agent eligible for compensation, they lose their first pick, almost regardless of how that pick was procured.

EDIT 12/14/12:  As an example, if the Braves sign another free agent that would garner draft pick compensation in addition to B.J. Upton, they surrender their first-round pick, the 28th overall selection, as well as the first-round compensatory pick they would have received for Michael Bourn (assuming he signs with another team).

EDIT 11/9/12: It turns out there will be eight free agents that could effect the draft order.  Michael Bourn (Braves), Josh Hamilton (Rangers), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), Adam LaRoche (Nationals), Kyle Lohse (Cardinals), Rafael Soriano (Yankees), Nick Swisher (Yankees) and B.J. Upton (Rays) were all offered, and subsequently declined a qualifying offer.  The value of the qualifying offer turned out to be $13.3 million as previously expected.

2012 draft indicator

While there won't be nearly as many compensation picks in the 2013 draft due to the revised rules, if the 2012 draft is any indication, expect teams toward the top of the draft to follow in the Astros footsteps.  That of course includes the Astros themselves, although they don't have to worry about signing any additional, early picks.  However, saving a big chunk of money off of the projected value of the No. 1 overall selection and combining that with their overall bonus pool, teams can continue to be extremely creative in the players they select and sign after the first round.

This may be even more evident from teams that have both an early pick in the overall draft and another thanks to the competitive balance lottery system.  It should be noted that only the Royals have a pick among the top 10 overall selections as well as a pick in Round A (the first pick) of the lottery compensatory round.

The Pirates have the ninth and 14th overall picks of the draft, giving them a large signing bonus pool to add more key cogs to an improving system.  They also owned the second pick in Round A due to the competitive draft lottery, but they traded that pick to the Marlins as part of the deal that sent Gaby Sanchez to Pittsburgh.

Outside of Mark Appel and two-sport PG All-American standouts Kohl Stewart and Cord Sandberg, it's far too early to guess who might pose signability concerns.

Orioles snap streak

The Baltimore Orioles, with the 24th overall pick in the first round enjoyed the biggest drop (drop being used in a positive sense since it reflects the team's success on the field) in the draft (20 spots) thanks to their breakout season in which they reversed their 69-93 2011 record with a 93-69 mark this year.  The team had selected among the top five overall picks the last five years (2007-2012) and picked among the top 10 overall picks in 11 of the last 12 years.

While the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered their 20th straight losing season, they did snap their own streak of owning a pick in the top 10 selections (outside of their compensatory selection for not signing Mark Appel) by selecting 14th.  The last time they owned a pick outside of the top 10 they took Andrew McCutchen 11th overall in 2005.

The Cincinnati Reds dropped 16 spots, from 14 to 30.

The Oakland Athletics, who finished the season in dramatic fashion, dropped 15 slots, from the 11th overall pick in 2012 to the 26th pick next year.

After selecting 16th a year ago, the Washington Nationals finished with the best record in baseball, and will own the last selection in the first round, 31st overall.

The Boston Red Sox consolation prize for their frustrating season is the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft.  That will be the Red Sox highest selection since they took Trot Nixon at the same slot in 1993, and marks a 17 pick jump from the 2012 draft.

In 2013 the Philadelphia Phillies will select 16th overall in the first round, moving up 15 spots in the raw draft order after finishing the 2011 season with the best record in baseball.

Despite finishing the season with respectable records, both the Brewers and Diamondbacks moved up 11 slots.

2013 Raw Draft Order

Here is how the raw order of the first round of the 2013 draft will stack up, with the order of the competitive balance lottery and unsigned 2012 picks to follow.

Tie-breakers for teams that finished with the exact same record/winning percentage are awarded to the team that finished with the worse record the previous season.

Changes to the draft order due to free agent signings are reflected in parenthesis after the original draft slot.

PK Team Record Win % 1st Pick 2012 (pick) 1st Pick 2011 (pick) 1st Pick 2010 (pick)
1 Houston Astros 55-107 .340 Carlos Correa (1) George Springer (11)
Delino DeShields (8)
2 Chicago Cubs 61-101 .377 Albert Almora (6) Javier Baez (9)
Hayden Simpson (16)
3 Colorado Rockies 64-98 .395 David Dahl (10) Tyler Anderson (20)
Kyle Parker (26)
4 Minnesota Twins 66-96 .407 Byron Buxton (2) Levi Michael (30)
Alex Wimmers (21)
5 #Cleveland Indians 68-94 .420 Tyler Naquin (15) Francisco Lindor (8)
Drew Pomeranz (5)
6 Miami Marlins 69-93 .426  Andrew Heaney (9) Jose Fernandez (14) Christian Yelich (23)
7 Boston Red Sox 69-93 .426 Deven Marrero (24) Matthew Barnes (19)
Kolbrin Vitek (20)
8 Kansas City Royals 72-90 .444 Kyle Zimmer (5) Bubba Starling (5)
Christian Colon (4)
9 Pittsburgh Pirates* NA NA Compensatory pick
10 Toronto Blue Jays 73-89 .451 D.J. Davis (17) Tyler Beede (21)
Deck McGuire (11)
11 New York Mets 74-88 .457 Gavin Cecchini (12) Brandon Nimmo (13)
Matt Harvey (7)
12 Seattle Mariners 75-87 .463 Mike Zunino (3) Danny Hultzen (2)
Taijuan Walker (43)
13 San Diego Padres 76-86 .469 Max Fried (7) Cory Spangenberg (10)
Karsten Whitson (9)
14 Pittsburgh Pirates 79-83 .488 Mark Appel (8) Gerrit Cole (1)
Jameson Taillon (2)
15 Arizona Diamondbacks 81-81 .500 Stryker Trahan (26) Trevor Bauer (3)
Barret Loux (6)
16 Philadelphia Phillies 81-81 .500 Shane Watson (40) Larry Greene (39)
Jesse Biddle (27)
17 #Milwaukee Brewers 83-79 .512 Clint Coulter (27) Taylor Jungmann (12)
Dylan Covey (14)
18 (17) Chicago White Sox 85-77 .525 Courtney Hawkins (13) Keenyn Walker (47)
Chris Sale (13)
19 (18) Los Angeles Dodgers 86-76 .531 Corey Seager (18) Chris Reed (16)
Zach Lee (28)
20 (19) St. Louis Cardinals 88-74 .543 Michael Wacha (19) Kolten Wong (22)
Zack Cox (25)
21 (20) Detroit Tigers 88-74 .543 Jake Thompson (91) James McCann (76)
Nick Castellanos (44)
22 #Los Angeles Angels 89-73 .549 R.J. Alvarez (114) C.J. Cron (17)
Kaleb Cowart (18)
23 (21) Tampa Bays Rays 90-72 .556 Richie Shaffer (25) Taylor Guerrieri (24)
Josh Sale (17)
24 (22) Baltimore Orioles 93-69 .574 Kevin Gausman (4) Dylan Bundy (4)
Manny Machado (3)
25 (23) Texas Rangers 93-69 .574 Lewis Brinson (29) Kevin Matthews (33)
Jake Skole (15)
26 (24) Oakland Athletics 94-68 .580 Addison Russell (11) Sonny Gray (18)
Michael Choice (10)
27 (25) San Francisco Giants 94-68 .580 Chris Stratton (20) Joe Panik (29)
Gary Brown (24)
28 #Atlanta Braves 94-68 .580 Lucas Sims (21) Sean Gilmartin (28)
Matt Lipka (35)
29 (26) New York Yankees 95-67 .586 Ty Hensley (30) Dante Bichette (51)
Cito Culver (32)
30 (27) Cincinnati Reds 97-65 .599 Nick Travieso (14) Robert Stephenson (27)
Yasmani Grandal (12)
31 (NA) #Washington Nationals 98-64 .605 Lucas Giolito (16) Anthony Rendon (6)
Bryce Harper (1)

*Compensation for unsigned 2012 first-round pick Mark Appel
#Picks lost to signing free agents:
  • The Atlanta Braves lose their first-round pick, originally 28th overall, for signing B.J. Upton
  • The Los Angeles lose their first-round pick, originally 22nd overall, for signing Josh Hamilton
  • The Cleveland Indians lose their second-round pick for signing Nick Swisher
  • The Washington Nationals lose their first-round pick for signing Rafael Soriano
  • The Cleveland Indians lose their Competitive Balance Lottery pick, the No. 2 pick in Round B after the second round, for signing Michael Bourn
  • The Milwaukee Brewers lose their first-round pick for signing Kyle Lohse
There were only three other unsigned players from the 2012 draft that will affect next year's order:
  • Teddy Stankiewicz, 75th overall selection (second round) - the Mets will be awarded the 76th overall pick in the 2013 draft
  • Alec Rash, 95th overall selection (second round) - the Phillies will be awarded the 96th overall pick in the 2013 draft
  • Kyle Twomey, the 106th overall selection (third round) - the Athletics will be awarded a pick after the third round in the 2013 draft
Free agent compensatory selections will be assigned before the competitive balance lottery picks are determined.

Potential Free Agent Compensation Picks

1 (28).  Cardinals (for Kyle Lohse)
2 (29).  Rays (for B.J. Upton)
3 (30).  Rangers (for Josh Hamilton)
4 (31).  Braves (for Michael Bourn)
5 (32).  Yankees (for Rafael Soriano)
6 (33).  Yankees (for Nick Swisher)

Hiroki Kuroda re-signed with the Yankees
Adam LaRoche re-signed with the Nationals

Competitive Balance Lottery Round A

1 (34).  Royals
2 (35).  Marlins (from Pirates)
3 (36).  Diamondbacks
4 (37).  Orioles
5 (38).  Reds
6 (39).  Tigers (from Marlins)

Competitive Balance Lottery Round B (after Round 2)

1.  Padres
2.  Indians (forfeited for signing Michael Bourn)
3.  Rockies
4.  Athletics
5.  Brewers
6.  Marlins (from Tigers)