Draft : : Rankings
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

MLB Draft: Top 100 College Seniors

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Oregon State

New CBA Puts Unintended
Spotlight on College Seniors

In response to an alarming rise in signing bonuses to untested amateur players and reckless spending on the part of some of its clubs, Major League Baseball enacted the most sweeping changes to its first-year player draft in 2012 of any draft in its 47-year history.

The strict new measures appeared to have their desired effect as there was a seven percent dip in bonus payments overall from 2011, when a record $228 million in bonuses was shelled out.

Provisions in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, authored prior to the 2012 draft, established parameters on the amounts clubs could spend on all their draft picks, with teams threatened with fines or the loss of premium draft picks if they didn’t toe the line. Every club was in compliance.

The new slotting system assigned a specific bonus value to every draft pick in the top 10 rounds, which provided clubs a fixed upper limit they could spend on all their selections in that range—with the actual bonus-pool amount dependent on where they selected and the number of players they had to draft. The aggregate value of all picks in the first 10 rounds this year has been at $202 million—an increase of 8.2 percent from 2012, despite 22 fewer draft picks in this draft.

The Houston Astros will pick first overall for the second year in a row, and have been allotted roughly $7.8 million to spend on the No. 1 selection—up from $7.2 million in 2012. Additionally, the Astros will have $11,698,800 to spend on all their picks in the first 10 rounds, most of any club.

By contrast, the Washington Nationals, who will pick 30
th and last in each round and also forfeited their first-round selection as a result of signing righthander Rafael Soriano as a free agent prior to the 2013 season, have only $2,737,200 in their allotted bonus pool.

Per terms of the CBA, teams have the latitude to spread their draft pool value among picks in the first 10 rounds in any way they choose, so long as they remain under their total allotment. At the same time, a team forfeits its assigned value for any draft pick in the first 10 rounds if it fails to sign one those selections.

Should a team exceed its assigned upper limit by up to five percent, it is subject to a punitive tax of 75 percent of the overage. The penalty becomes more excessive, and even includes the loss of future draft picks, depending on how flagrant the overage is.

From an actual assigned value of $7,790,400 for the first selection and $6,708,400 for the second pick this year, the designated amount for each draft pick drops off to $1,812,400 for the 27
th and last pick in the first round, and all the way to $135,300 for the last 17 picks in the 10th round.

A year ago, in the first draft under the restrictive format, teams frequently overspent their allotted amount on select individual draft picks but managed to stay within their overall allotment by drafting college seniors in record number in the first 10 rounds.

With little or no leverage because their future college options have been exhausted, college seniors can typically be signed for nominal bonuses, often significantly below market below, which freed up clubs, under the new draft system, to apply the savings to other, more-expensive picks in the top 10 rounds.

A record 62 college seniors were drafted in the first 10 rounds a year ago—compared to just 23 in 2011, and 19 in 2010. In the 10
th round alone, 20 college seniors were taken (by contrast, there were none chosen in the 11th round), with every player receiving a bonus ranging from a token $1,000 to $40,000—significantly below the assigned bonus slots of at least $125,000.

No team may have exploited the new draft rules, relating to bonus pool value, more than the Toronto Blue Jays, who had an abundance of early-round picks last year and spent at least $750,000 on each of their first seven selections. That included a $2 million bonus to Ohio prep lefthander Matt Smoral, a potential top 10 talent overall before he missed most of the 2012 season with a knee injury. Smoral was taken with the 50th overall pick, which had an assigned value of $1 million.

Under normal circumstances, the Blue Jays would have had almost no chance to sign Smoral and two other premium picks for bonuses well above their slot amounts, and stay within their allotment of $8,830,000. But by drafting six college seniors and a fourth-year junior from Rounds 4-10, and subsequently signing each to bonuses ranging from as little as $1,000 to $5,000, they managed to skirt the rule and not be subject to a penalty.

A similar strategy is expected to be followed by a handful of clubs again this year, particularly those with multiple early-round picks. A devalued bonus, however, is not expected to apply to the marquee college senior in this year’s draft class, Stanford righthander Mark Appel, who may have been a victim of the new draft rules that went into effect in 2012.

Appel was a leading candidate to go first overall to the Astros a year ago, but was passed over in favor of Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who was signed for $4.8 million—a full $2.4 million below the slot amount for the first pick. Appel ended up sliding all the way to eighth, where he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The allotted bonus for that spot ($2.909 million) was less than half what it was for the first pick, and though the Pirates made a sincere effort to sign Appel for a bonus in excess of that figure, they refused to go above $3.8 million because it would have put them in a penalty position.

Appel simply elected to pass on all offers from the Pirates, returned to Stanford for his senior year and may get the last laugh if he is drafted by Houston this year. He is again on the Astros short list of candidates to go No. 1, and realistically is the only college senior with a shot to go in the first round—and possibly even the first 2-3 rounds.

Georgia Tech outfielder Brandon Thomas (Pirates, 4
th round) and Connecticut second baseman L.J. Mazzilli (Twins, 9th round) were the only other college players drafted in the top 10 rounds a year ago who went unsigned, and they should be among the premium college seniors in this year’s draft.

RK Player POS. B-T HT WT School Hometown ST Last Drafted
1 Mark Appel RHP R-R 6-5 215 Stanford San Ramon CA Pirates '12 (1)
2 Buck Farmer RHP L-R 6-4 230 Georgia Tech Conyers GA Brewers '12 (15)
3 Matt Boyd LHP L-L 6-3 215 Oregon State Mercer Island WA Reds '12 (13)
4 Brandon Thomas OF B-R 6-3 205 Georgia Tech Atlanta GA Pirates '12 (4)
5 L.J. Mazzilli 2B R-R 5-10 190 Connecticut Greenwich CT Twins '12 (9)
6 Cody Stubbs 1B L-R 6-4 215 North Carolina Waynesville NC Nationals '11 (14)
7 Connor Harrell OF R-R 6-3 215 Vanderbilt Houston TX Tigers '12 (31)
8 Sam Wolff RHP R-R 6-1 190 New Mexico Rapid City SD Red Sox '11 (47)
9 Kendal Graveman RHP R-R 6-2 190 Mississippi State Alexander City AL Marlins '12 (36)
10 Mason Katz 1B/OF R-R 5-9 190 Louisiana State Hanrahan LA Never drafted
11 Tyler Olson LHP R-L 6-3 190 Gonzaga Spokane WA Athletics '12 (17)
12 Calvin Drummond RHP R-R 6-2 195 Arizona Christian Huntington Beach CA Athletics '12 (38)
13 Colton Plaia C R-R 6-3 225 Loyola Marymount Mission Viejo CA Orioles '12 (33)
14 Mike Yastrzemski OF L-L 5-10 185 Vanderbilt Danvers MA Mariners '12 (30)
15 Scott Silverstein LHP L-L 6-6 230 Virginia Brookeville MD Nationals ’08 (32)
16 Mitchell Garver C R-R 6-1 205 New Mexico Albuquerque NM Never drafted
17 Max White 1B/OF R-R 6-1 205 Oklahoma Durant OK Never drafted
18 Mikey Reynolds SS B-R 5-10 170 Texas A&M Glendale AZ Yankees '12 (20)
19 Tyler Webb LHP L-L 6-6 225 South Carolina Nassawdox VA Reds '11 (48)
20 Andrew Pierce RHP R-R 6-4 165 Southern Mississippi Stringer MS Never drafted
21 Rob Marcello LHP L-L 6-3 210 Appalachian State Royal Palm Beach FL Never drafted
22 Pat Biondi OF L-R 5-10 160 Michigan Woodhaven MI Tigers '09 (35)
23 Scott Brattvet RHP R-R 6-2 190 Cal State Bakersfield Mission Viejo CA Never drafted
24 Trevor Frank RHP R-R 6-1 175 UC Riverside El Cajon CA Never drafted
25 Grant Gordon RHP R-R 6-1 185 Missouri State Salem MO Never drafted
26 Randall Fant LHP L-L 6-4 185 Arkansas Texarkana TX Indians '12 (29)
27 Jared Wilson RHP R-R 6-3 200 UC Santa Barbara Cypress CA Twins '12 (35)
28 Daniel Palo RHP R-R 6-4 225 Middle Tennessee State Germantown TN Dodgers '09 (20)
29 Justin Parr OF L-R 6-2 195 Illinois Chillicothe IL Never drafted
30 Josh Richardson RHP/SS R-R 6-1 175 Liberty Chesapeake VA Never drafted
31 Zach Godley RHP R-R 6-3 240 Tennessee Bamberg SC Mets '09 (50)
32 Jimmy Reed LHP L-L 6-1 175 Maryland Gaithersburg MD Yankees '12 (21)
33 Geoff Perrott C R-R 6-2 200 Rice Kingwood TX Never drafted
34 Ryan Huck 1B/C R-R 6-5 250 Western Kentucky St. Louis MO Never drafted
35 Max Rossiter C R-R 6-0 200 Arizona State Gilbert AZ Pirates '12 (32)
36 Luke Farrell RHP L-R 6-6 210 Northwestern Westlake OH Never drafted
37 Raph Rhymes OF R-R 6-0 190 Louisiana State Monroe LA Yankees '12 (30)
38 Brad Goldberg RHP R-R 6-4 225 Ohio State Beachwood OH Never drafted
39 Mike Tauchman OF L-L 6-2 215 Bradley Palatine IL Never drafted
40 Carlos Lopez 1B L-R 6-3 200 Cal State Fullerton Northridge CA Tigers '10 (37)
41 Tyler Smith SS R-R 6-0 185 Oregon State Thousand Oaks CA Never drafted
42 Michael Ratterree OF/2B R-R 6-1 210 Rice Houston TX Nationals '09 (45)
43 Patrick Blair SS R-R 5-10 180 Wake Forest Baltimore MD Astros '12 (24)
44 Logan Pierce 3B/1B L-R 6-0 215 Troy Troy AL Never drafted
45 J.J. Altobelli SS R-R 6-1 190 Oregon Newport Beach CA Brewers '09 (49)
46 Jerad Grundy LHP L-L 6-1 200 Kentucky Johnsburg IL Twins '12 (27)
47 Thomas Taylor RHP R-R 6-4 215 Kansas Overland Park KS Never drafted
48 Chase Jensen SS R-R 6-3 185 Oklahoma City Arlington TX Never drafted
49 Ivory Thomas OF R-R 5-9 170 Cal State Dominguez Hills Downey CA Astros '09 (42)
50 Chaz Frank OF L-L 5-10 175 North Carolina Lexington NC Never drafted
51 Hunter Adkins RHP R-R 6-4 195 Middle Tennessee State Signal Mountain TN Brewers '12 (19)
52 Chad Christensen OF R-R 6-3 205 Nebraska Cedar Rapids IA Marlins '12 (35)
53 Eric Aguilera OF L-L 6-3 205 Illinois State Cary IL Never drafted
54 Mike Camporeale OF R-R 6-1 205 Washington Littleton CO Never drafted
55 Andrew Rash OF R-R 5-11 190 Virginia Tech Anderson SC Padres '11 (36)
56 Nate Smith LHP L-L 6-2 175 Furman West Chester OH Never drafted
57 Kyle Martin RHP R-R 6-7 210 Texas A&M Austin TX White Sox '12 (35)
58 Tanner Poppe RHP R-R 6-5 235 Kansas Girard KS Rays '11 (37)
59 John Farrell RHP R-R 6-2 210 William & Mary Andover MA Never drafted
60 Blake Miller SS R-R 6-2 195 Western Oregon State Salem OR Never drafted
61 Jason Kanzler OF R-R 6-0 190 Buffalo Penfield NY Never drafted
62 Justin Jones LHP L-L 6-3 190 California Riverbank CA Twins '12 (26)
63 Layne Somsen RHP R-R 6-0 190 South Dakota State Yankton SD Never drafted
64 Preston Hatcher RHP R-R 6-3 210 Western Carolina Roswell GA Never drafted
65 Zach Shank SS R-R 6-1 185 Marist Lititz PA Never drafted
66 Scott Firth RHP R-R 6-0 170 Clemson Buffalo Grove IL Phillies '12 (38)
67 Peter Kelich RHP R-R 6-2 180 Bryant Jackson NJ Never drafted
68 Daniel Wright RHP R-R 6-2 195 Arkansas State Bartlett TN Never drafted
69 Joe Mantiply LHP R-L 6-4 215 Virginia Tech Danville VA Phillies '12 (28)
70 Kirby Pellant SS R-R 5-10 180 Ohio State Chandler AZ Reds '11 (47)
71 Justin Gonzalez SS R-R 6-2 200 Florida State Miami FL Dodgers '12 (27)
72 George Roberts 1B R-R 6-1 195 Kent State Summerhill PA Never drafted
73 L.B. Dantzler 1B/3B L-R 5-11 205 South Carolina Winter Haven FL Never drafted
74 Zak Hermans RHP R-R 6-2 185 Princeton Coppell TX Never drafted
75 Chris Razo RHP R-R 6-1 200 Illinois State Chillicothe IL Never drafted
76 Tommy Nance RHP R-R 6-6 210 Santa Clara Long Beach CA Never drafted
77 Mike Reeves C L-R 6-1 200 Florida Gulf Coast Peterborough ON Blue Jays '09 (42)
78 Mark Leiter RHP R-R 6-1 195 New Jersey Tech Lanoka Harbor NJ Never drafted
79 Brooks Fiala RHP R-R 6-2 190 Miami (Ohio) Carmel IN Never drafted
80 John Straka RHP L-R 6-3 220 North Dakota State Chaska MN Never drafted
81 Grant Nelson C R-R 6-2 200 St. Louis San Mateo CA Never drafted
82 Austin Green C/OF R-R 6-2 180 San Diego San Diego CA Astros ’08 (43)
83 Jake Joyce RHP R-R 5-11 190 Virginia Tech Collinsville VA Never drafted
84 Tony Bryant RHP R-R 6-8 220 Oregon State Kennewick WA Twins '09 (25)
85 Justin Brantley RHP R-R 6-0 175 Siena Hudson NY Never drafted
86 Kevin Herget RHP L-R 5-11 185 Kean (N.J.) Park Ridge NJ Never drafted
87 Trey Wimmer C/1B R-R 6-2 225 Liberty Greenwood SC Never drafted
88 Reed Harper 3B/SS R-R 6-3 190 Austin Peay State Clarksville TN Never drafted
89 Daniel Rockett OF R-R 6-2 180 Texas-San Antonio Sugar Land TX Never drafted
90 Trevor Bayless RHP R-R 6-3 200 San Diego Temecula CA Never drafted
91 Kyle Bartsch LHP L-L 5-10 210 South Alabama Hurst TX Never drafted
92 Jeff Kemp SS R-R 6-0 195 Radford Bowie MD Angels '12 (31)
93 Richy Pedroza SS B-R 5-7 150 Cal State Fullerton Corona CA Never drafted
94 Radley Haddad C L-R 6-1 195 Butler Carmel IN Never drafted
95 Mike Fransoso SS/2B L-R 6-0 175 Maine Portsmouth NH Never drafted
96 Chase McDowell RHP/OF L-R 6-2 185 Rice College Station TX Pirates '12 (30)
97 Chase Rezac RHP/OF R-R 6-2 200 Utah Murray UT Reds '12 (26)
98 Reed Gragnani 2B B-R 5-11 180 Viirginia Richmond VA Red Sox '09 (27)
99 Chase Fowler C B-R 6-1 185 Southern Mississippi Cumming GA Reds '09 (16)
100 Austin Pruitt RHP R-R 5-11 175 Houston College Park TX Never drafted
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