Draft : : Chat
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Draft 2009: Day 1 Chat Transcript

Allan Simpson         David Rawnsley        
2009 MLB Draft: Live Updates
David Rawnsley:  This is David Rawnsley, T-20 minutes until the draft begins.  
Allan Simpson:  This is Allan Simpson, the other half of the double-barrel  team that PG Crosschecker will provide tonight as the first 111 picks of   the 2009 draft are selected. By every indication, if  the final hours leading up to the draft are any indication, there are going to be a lot of surprises--starting with Pittsburgh at No. 4 (Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez).  
David Rawnsley:  MLB.com is reporting that Matt Hobgood could go to the Orioles at #5, with signability being an obvious motivation.   I don't think Hobgood has ever been mentioned as being in the same prospect category as Matzek, Wheeler, Purke, Miller and Turner among HS pitchers.   If that happens, along with Sanchez at #4 it will definitely show which direction this draft is headed.
David Rawnsley:  We have a question about which player, Strasburg aside, could be on the fastest track to the ML's.   The short list would be any of a couple of college pitchers, including Aaron Crow and Tanner Scheppers.   I've had a couple of scouts say that if someone wanted to have Rex Brothers pitch in relief this year, he could easily pitch in the ML's in September.   I think the same could be said of Drew Storen.
David Rawnsley:  To Northeast Baseball:   The HS crop in the NE is pretty short this year.   LHP Steven Matz is by far the class and he could go within the top 50-60 picks.   The top 2010 is RHP Robert Aviles, also a NY prepster, who I've seen throw.....he's outstanding.
Allan Simpson:  

The PG Crosschecker site has extensive scouting reports posted on the players we determined to be the Top 250 Prospects in this year's draft. David and I are weighing how many players will be picked tonight that aren't in our top 250. My prediction is 6. David will weigh in on his number. By the way, he'll have full reports on all 111 players drafted tonight no later than tomorrow morning.

David Rawnsley:  5:05, no big surprise that the draft hasn't started yet.   It always starts a bit late.   Every team has to sign in, get linked up via phone, etc.   Some team always messes up.
David Rawnsley:  Six out of 250 is a pretty ambitious number....but it's pretty realistic.   I'll take the over at 7.   There are always a few surprises but those usually don't happen until the 4th or 5th round at the earliest.   Tom Gordon's son was a surprise for the Dodgers last year in the 4th.   I remember Dennis Dixon of Oregon football fame as a surprise pick of the Braves in 2007...that stumped me.
David Rawnsley:  The coverage of the draft from PG Crosschecker and other media outlets is so extensive today that it's hard to find a real surprise.   I remember about a decade ago, which almost seems pre-Internet, when the Mariners picked LHP Matt Thornton from Grand Valley State College in Michigan in the first round.   Now THAT was as surprise!   Some people hadn't even heard of him.   That couldn't happen today.
David Rawnsley:  Bud Selig is on the stage, we're about to being.
David Rawnsley:  

The Nationals are on the clock.   Four minutes between picks, that means a 2 hour first round.   In the "old" days the first round would last about 10 minutes.   It just rolled as fast as teams could name the player.

David Rawnsley:  Stephen Strasburg officially the first pick.
David Rawnsley:  The talk with Strasburg seems to be if he can pitch in the Majors this season.   That doesn't seem to be a realistic question for me.   He last pitched in late May and it is doubtful he will sign much before August 15.   That's 2 1/2 months without throwing competitively.   Unless there is a token clause in his contract for him to be called up in September there is no baseball reason for it.   Especially if the Nationals are on their way to 100+ loses.
David Rawnsley:  The Mariners pick Dustin Ackley.
David Rawnsley:  Not a surprise there.   The Mariners specifically picked him as an outfielder, which isn't a surprise, either.
David Rawnsley:  Ackley is the first   of what will probably be four players in the first round who will playing in the College World Series, the others being RHP Alex White (North Carolina), RHP Mike Leake (North Carolina) and OF Jared Mitchell (LSU)
David Rawnsley:  Padres select Donovan Tate.
Allan Simpson:  On the chance that Stephen Strasburg should go directly to the big leagues once (if) he signs with Washington, he would be the 22nd such player in the drafts's 44-year history to skip the minor leagues--and first since Xavier Nady in 2000. Probably the only pick who legitimately made the jump was Arizona State's Bob Horner  in 1978, who homered  in his first big league game with the Braves and went on to win National League Rookie of the Year honors.  
David Rawnsley:  I didn't think that they would end up picking Tate until I heard it more and more the last few days.   It is a departure from what the Padres have done in the past, but that could be traceable to new ownership, particularly managing partner Jeff Moorad.   Athletically Tate compares to players in the past few drafts such as Tim Beckham and Justin Upton.   The important difference is that his bat is not nearly as advanced.
David Rawnsley:  I would not expect Tate to reach the ML's anywhere as quickly as either Upton brother, for instance.
David Rawnsley:  Pittsburgh selects Boston College C Tony Sanchez
David Rawnsley:  With all due respect to Sanchez, who is a fine player, this is clearly a signability pick.   The Pittsburgh media should have lots of fun with this pick after all the Nate McLouth trade mess this week.
David Rawnsley:  Baltimore selects RHP Matt Hobgood.
David Rawnsley:  Matt Hobgood is probably the sixth best high school pitcher in most teams board, although he is a clear first rounder.   That the other five HS pitchers (Miller, Purke, Matzek, Turner, Wheeler) are going after Hobgood is another indication that this is a signability draft.   If I were those kids and their advisors, i would be very nervous right now.
David Rawnsley:  I likened Hobgood to Bobby Jenks when I saw him last summer. Similar build, similar arms.   Hobgood is a very good athlete, even at 6-5, 250, I think he may have led SoCal in home runs the past two years.
David Rawnsley:  The Giants select RHP Zach Wheeler
Allan Simpson:  Frank Marcos, head of the Major League Scouting Bureau, is one one of the guest analysts in the new MLB Network's foray into covering the draft.   For the record, here's how the bureau ranked the nation's 10 best prospects a month before the draft, with the player's OFP grade (on the 20-80 grade) noted:
1. Strasburg (75)
2. Kyle Heckathorn (59)
3. Mike Trout (66)
4. Ben Tootle (65)
5. Blake Smith (62)
T-6. Jason Stoffel (60)
T-6. Zach Wheeler (60)
T-6. Alex Wilson, rhp, Texas A&M (60)
T-9. Matt Hobgood (59)
T-9. Kyle Gibson (59).

It's interesting to note that University of Washington QB Jake Locker also had a grade of 60 entering 2009, but he made it abundantly clear this spring that he doesn't want to play baseball, and his report was removed by the bureau. It will be interesting to see if someone takes Locker (Seattle and Milwaukee would be the best bets) in the first 15-20 rounds.
David Rawnsley:  Wheeler is the 2009 East Cobb first round pick....continuing that programs long roll of high picks.   I was just watching the East Cobb Braves play in the Metrodome earlier this afternoon while setting up for Baseball Web TV's draft coverage, which Allan and I will start filming tomorrow morning.
David Rawnsley:  

The first time I saw Wheeler was perhaps three years ago....he was throwing 86-89 with a mid 70's slurve.   It's a great thrill to see players like that gradually improve over a period of time.   And Wheeler has steadily improved almost every time he's been to a PG/WWBA event over that period.

David Rawnsley:  The Atlanta Braves pick LHP Mike Minor from Vanderbilt.
David Rawnsley:  Minor is a very safe and conservative pick.   He's on the short list of pitcher's who will get to the Major's quickly.   I'd be a little more excited about him if he'd been more dominant this year.....6-6 with close to  a 4 ERA.   Polished pitchers are more impressive when they post Mike Leake type numbers.   The Braves, by the way, are one of the most strict and disciplined teams when it comes to signability.
David Rawnsley:  I've been told the Reds are definitely picking a college player......Yondor Alonso was a great pick for them last year.
David Rawnsley:  The Reds pick Mike Leake with the 8th pick
David Rawnsley:  Didn't I just mention Leake about a minute ago?
David Rawnsley:  Interesting that there have been two pitchers picked among the first 8 players who will pitch with an average fastball, Minor and Leake.   All the while there are mid 90's guys like Aaron Crow and Tanner Scheppers, Tyler Matzek and Shelby Miller, etc. still on the board.  
David Rawnsley:  

I'm wondering who the next position player might be?   SS Grant Green?.   It's probably a bit early for Bobby Borchering or Tim Wheeler or Mike Trout.   There aren't too many hitters who mix in here.

David Rawnsley:  The Tigers pick Jacob Turner.
David Rawnsley:  I think every  mock draft in the country had the Tigers taking Turner.   It's the obvious Rick Porcello Part 2 selection.
Allan Simpson:  

Got a query from Mike from New Jersey, who wondered why I didn't include Dave Winfield (Padres, 1973) along with Bob Horner among the most successful players from the draft to jump directly to the big leagues. Good point, but Winfield wasn't as polished a baseball player as Horner was five years later, and he got his chance to start his career with San Diego in large part as an incentive to keep him considering basketball deals from the NABA and ABA, which had both drafted him. Besides, Winfield was probably further along as a pitcher (remember his performance vs. USC in that year's College World Series?) than outfielder when the Padres took him with the No. 4 pick in 1973. And as successful as Winfield became, he didn't play a full-time role with San Diego in his first year as he was broken in gradually. Horner was a star with the Braves right from day one.  

David Rawnsley:  Of course, Porcello is the exception to the rule about HS pitchers advancing to the ML's, and being immediately successful.   So to expect the same of Turner, regardless of what type of contract he gets, is not realistic.   You always root for the player, but I hope the Detroit fans don't put much pressure on lightning striking twice.
David Rawnsley:  Washington picks Drew Storen with their second pick (for not signing Aaron Crow last year)
David Rawnsley:  I love Storen, I had him going to the Braves with the #7 pick in my mock draft.   He might be the fastest to the ML's in this draft.   Think about Chad Cordero, the former Nationals closer and his short path to the closers role.   That could well be Storen.
David Rawnsley:  I was hoping that the Nationals would pick Tanner Scheppers, though.   Scheppers probably has the second best pure arm in the draft behind Strasburg.   Wouldn't  that have been a great way to jump start your starting rotation?   And who recognizes most of the names on the Nationals big league staff right now anyway?
David Rawnsley:  Scheppers shoulder woes are obviously scaring off teams, because signability isn't a question.
David Rawnsley:  

Colorado selects Tyler Matzek.

David Rawnsley:  Wow, this should be interesting.   Matzek has been as good as any high school pitcher pretty much ever has been over the last few weeks.   Mid to upper 90's stuff.   He also threw out some pretty impressive sigability numbers in the last few days.   The Rockies didn't make this pick on speculation, though, as I'm sure they've talked this over with Matzek and his representatives (Legacy Sports)
Allan Simpson:  Congratulations to Drew Storen for his selection by the Washington Nationals at No. 10.   I had a long chat with Drew's dad, Mark Patrick (former host of XM radio's morning show, along with Buck Martinez, until he was unceremoniously let go when XM and Sirius merged) and he was detailing a lot of the activity by some of the teams in the first 12-15 picks to see Drew, work him out and meet with him. It was apparent he was a pretty proud dad, knowing what was in store for his son over the next couple of weeks.    
David Rawnsley:  The Royals select Aaron Crow
David Rawnsley:  Very sound pick by the Royals unless Crow is completely unreasonable about getting the $3.5M he passed on last year.   He will have a very short path to the ML's if he signs quickly and that money he'll get in ML service time will more than make up for a couple 100K he might "pass up" to sign quickly.
David Rawnsley:  Crow is also a hometown product, which should play well in the Royals market.   Of course, being a good ML player is what plays best in the local market.  
David Rawnsley:  Eight straight pitchers selected
David Rawnsley:  Oakland selects Grant Green.....finally a position player!
David Rawnsley:  If the draft had been February 1, Green would have been the second pick in the country.   It's hard to say why Green had such a disappointing spring, it seems to be endemic for USC players, but there is no question that he is very talented.
David Rawnsley:  Harold Reynolds is doing a good job debunking the myth that the A's are a college only team....they've been much more high school oriented in the past few years.   Just look at their Major League starting rotation right now!
David Rawnsley:  The Texas Rangers pick Matthew Purke.
David Rawnsley:  I think every mock draft had the Rangers picking Shelby Miller....but Purke is a better rounded pitching prospect right now.   The signability will be interesting for Purke...it's also interesting that Miller and Purke have the same advisor/agent.   Wonder if that was played off on each other.   I didn't write about this this spring as for some reason it didn't dawn on me, but I was told the other day that Purke would be a draft eligible sophomore if he did go to TCU.   That carries a small amount of leverage.
David Rawnsley:  I also know if Jerry Ford was a scouting director instead of the PG Director, Purke would have gone much higher!   Jerry loves the young Houston area southpaw
David Rawnsley:  The Indians select Alex White.
David Rawnsley:  I'm pretty sure the Indians feel like they have made out like bandits.   White was a top 5 pick before his late season struggle.  
David Rawnsley:  It's always interesting when a kid like White puts up a four year resume that is 95% positive and he makes a couple bad starts the month before the draft and all of a sudden his stock prospect falls.  
David Rawnsley:  Next two picks are Arizona
David Rawnsley:  Their first pick is Bobby Borchering
David Rawnsley:  He'll look good in a big league uniform.....6-4 and plus power from both sides of the plate.   If Donovan Tate had Borchering's bat, he might of pressed Stephen Strasburg for the top slot in the draft.  
David Rawnsley:  The Diamondbacks next pick is compensation from the Dodgers for signing Orlando Hudson
David Rawnsley:  I'm waiting for Tanner Scheppers and Rex Brothers.   It would make sense for a team with multiple picks to take a shot at Scheppers.   In fact, I think I had Aaron Crow going to the DBacks in my first mock for much the same reason.
Allan Simpson:  With Arizona picking Borchering at No. 16, we're halfway through the first round and there hasn't been a player picked yet that was on our pre-draft list of the top 250 who we didn't have as going it at least the first round. The obvious names still out there are Tanner Scheppers and Kyle Gibson, but there was a lot of speculation that medical issues may cause them to drop.
David Rawnsley:  Diamondbacks (#2) is A.J. Pollock
David Rawnsley:  Very conservative pick for me.   I think Arizona feels like they can develop all the pitching that they need or draft it later in the draft.   Their lack of offensive performance this year cost my old  grade school  buddy/teammate  Bob Melvin his job.
David Rawnsley:  Pollock is sort of a poor man's Dustin Ackley, the right handed hitting version.   His power projection concerns me for this spot in the draft.
David Rawnsley:  

We're getting alot of comments from fans in the Northeast.   Pollock is one of yours!   Connecticut native.

David Rawnsley:  The Florida Marlins pick Chad James.
David Rawnsley:  If you like following connections, the Marlins head scouting honcho's, Jim Fleming and Stan Meek, are both Oklahoma natives.  
David Rawnsley:  James was outstanding at the PG Pre-Draft Showcase last month, even if he didn't touch 95-96 mph like he did during the spring.   I'm excited about James getting back to throwing his change up, which he went away from this spring facing HS hitters.   It was the best change up in the 2009 HS class last summer in my scouting opinion.
David Rawnsley:  Got a good question on athletic HS outfielders and whether there will be a run starting on them soon.   Everett Williams, Mike Trout, Randel Grichuk, Slade Heathcock....   Could happen
David Rawnsley:  Although there are still a number of good pitchers left.
David Rawnsley:  The Cardinals select Shelby Miller.
David Rawnsley:  Very solid value at number 19.   I seem to recall Roger Clemens being picked at #19, but that was before my time.   You aren't going to find much better raw stuff and projection at this point in any draft.
David Rawnsley:  Before I see those toolsy HS outfielders, I'd still like to see Rex Brothers and Tanner Scheppers and Eric Arnett.
David Rawnsley:  I haven't mentioned James Paxton (Kentucky) as another college LHP.....I understand he stopped talking to scouts before the draft and wouldn't give a signability figure....probably dooming his chances of being drafted where his talent dictates.   If true, I can't understand this approach.
David Rawnsley:  

Toronto picks Chad Jenkins from Kennesaw State

David Rawnsley:  Kennesaw State gets alot of play for a school that some have not heard of.   That's where Zach Wheeler was signed and we'll hear Jenkins teammate Kyle Heckathorn's name mentioned fairly soon.   Ironic that Kennesaw State has a player picked before Georgia and Georgia Tech.
David Rawnsley:  I haven't mentioned Kyle Gibson's name yet.   It's  a shame in a way that he's fallen and could fall to who knows where.   Like Alex White, Gibson had a very positive 4 year resume dating back to high school.   If the draft had been May 1 or he had sprained his ankle about that time, he'd have been gone in the top 10 picks.
David Rawnsley:  Re:   Gibson, let's put it another way.   Matthew Purke hasn't pitched in a game since late April.   If Gibson hadn't either.......
David Rawnsley:  Houston picks Jio Mier.
David Rawnsley:  MLB.com gave the opinion earlier that Grant Green was the best fielding shortstop in the draft.....I would respectfully disagree.   Mier will be a better defensive shortstop when they reach the big leagues.   He plays with an athletic balance that makes fielding look easy.
David Rawnsley:  

Mier belongs on the very select group of top baseball prospects who were also soccer stars.....Nomar and Michael  Garciaparra, Brad Wilkerson and Jeff Bagwell being on that very short list to my knowledge.

David Rawnsley:  Of course, Nomar carried it to an extreme by marrying Mia Hamm
David Rawnsley:  The Twins select Kyle Gibson
David Rawnsley:  Have to love that one.   Good for the Twins and for Gibson.   I hope I see some of the Twins staff at the Metrodome over the next few days.
David Rawnsley:  The Twins always seem to do the right thing.  
David Rawnsley:  Chicago White Sox (#23) pick Jared Mitchell from LSU
David Rawnsley:  Very much according to script, the White Sox are one of the most college oriented teams in the draft today and Mitchell has potential.
David Rawnsley:  One thing that MLB.com just missed on is saying that Mitchell "will stay in centerfield".   The fact is that Mitchell hasn't played centerfield since high school.   He's a left fielder at LSU and has always played LF for the Tigers.   Leon Landry played CF for a year and a half until April when freshman Mikie Mahtook took over.   He has a below average arm, which might impact where he plays.
David Rawnsley:  The big question for Mitchell is if he hits.   He sure swings and misses alot, especially for someone with 70 speed.
David Rawnsley:  Two picks for the Los Angeles Angels
David Rawnsley:  With the pick for losing KRod, the Angels pick Randel Grichuk.
Allan Simpson:  Just taking a quick look at a handful of players whose raw talent probably warrants them  going in the first round or two, but may freefall for reasons beyond ability, some of the more obvious names to watch are Clemson lefthander Chris Dwyer (rare freshman eligible college player), Tennessee outfielder Kentral Davis (draft-eligible sophomore, substandard 09 season, Boras representation), Cal outfielder-righthander Blake Smith (injury factor), Louisiana State middle infielder D.J. LeMahieu (soph-eligible, substandard 09 performance), UCLA recruit Trayce Thompson (son of ex-NBA Mychal Thompson, reported huge price tage), North Carolina prep outfielder Brian Goodwin (Boras representation). With the exception of Smith, all could go early--or possibly not at all.
David Rawnsley:  Scouts tell me that Grichuk hits the ball as hard as any player in the country.   The interesting thing about Grichuck is that he's a right handed hitting outfielder without a plus run/throw tool.   It's very unusual for that demographic to go in the first round.
David Rawnsley:  For their comp pick for Mark Teixeira, the Angels pick Michael Trout
David Rawnsley:  Guess the Angels felt that they had an organization need for high school outfielders.   The truth of the matter probably is that the Angels have three sandwich picks and with the depth of pitching in the draft, they know that they can get quality signable arms with their next three picks.
David Rawnsley:  I absolutely can't understand how people can compare Trout to Craig Biggio aside from the fact that they are both from New Jersey.   I might be biased having seen Biggio every day for 9 years, but the two really don't compare at all.   Unless Trout is going to become 5-10 and learn to play catcher and second base.
David Rawnsley:  

The Milwaukee Brewers make their first post-Jack Zduriencik pick with Eric Arnett

David Rawnsley:  I had Arnett with my 15th pick in my own mock draft.   I love this kid.   Great athlete, great stuff.
David Rawnsley:  Re:   the question about HS catchers.   Watch for Max Stassi in the next few picks.   But HS catchers are rarely picked in the first round.   Don't be surprised when about 5 of them go between picks 40 and 70.
David Rawnsley:  RE:   Question on Michael Givens.     I think Givens will be a solid second round pick, mostly likely as a SS first.   He just didnt' standout this spring at either SS or RHP enough to warrant higher selection.   But he is still a great athlete who could be a big leaguer either way.
David Rawnsley:  RE:   Question on Brian Goodwin.   I would expect expect to be watching Goodwin star for North Carolina for the next three years and play in a couple of CWS.   He made no indication to scouts he was interested in signing from what I'm told; he basically didn't even talk to scouts over the last month.
David Rawnsley:  The Mariners pick for losing Raul Ibanez is SS Nick Franklin
David Rawnsley:  

Personal aside to David Meter, you were right.

David Rawnsley:  Franklin ranks right with Jio Mier as a defensive player at shortstop....he does it easy, has a plus arm.   Being a switch hitter is a big plus, too.   Franklin has always been a guy at PG/WWBA events but at the start of the spring he wasn't a potential 1st rounder.   Congrats to him and the Orlando Scorpions program that he's been playing with during the summer/fall for years.
David Rawnsley:  The Red Sox select Reymond Fuentes from Puerto Rico
Allan Simpson:  What does it say about the baseball draft when Major League Baseball has one player, Mike Trout (picked 25th by the Angels),  on hand for its made-for-TV draft show, and that player lives just down the Jersey turnpike from the MLB network studio? If baseball wants to get serious about this, then it should take a cue from the NHL (not to mention the NFL or NBA), which brings all its potential top picks to the draft, and goes out of its way  to welcome some of the future stars into the game with red-carpet treatment. For that matter, why is the draft show butting heads on this night with 15 big-league games going on concurrently? Granted, the draft has come light years from even a decade ago when the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it's clear it still has a way to go yet.
David Rawnsley:  I'm pretty sure that everyone I talked to with a connection to Puerto Rico swore to me over the last month that Fuentes would be picked in the first round.   I didn't put him in my mock but I obviously should have.   I am surprised the Red Sox didn't pick Max Stassi.   The first round might not see a HS catcher in what could be the top year ever for HS catchers.   Good lesson for those who follow the draft.     I wonder what Luke Bailey is thinking right now?
David Rawnsley:  The Yankees and their much anticipated pick are up next....compensation for not signing Gerrit Cole last year.   Keep that in mind when you think that NYY will pay for whatever they want....they have this pick because the DIDN'T pay last year.
David Rawnsley:  The Yankees pick Slade Heathcott.
David Rawnsley:  On athletic ability there isn't a better pick than Heathcott.   He also represents the 5th outfielder (4th high school) picked in the last seven picks.
David Rawnsley:  Heathcott is really a 7 tool player.   He has 5-tool potential as an outfielder and also has a plus fastball and flashes a plus curveball on the mound.   He comes with some interesting baggage but a much higher ceiling that many players picked ahead of him.
David Rawnsley:  Tampa Bay with their lowest first pick, by far, in their history......select LeVon Washington.
David Rawnsley:  We now have a 6 out of 8 outfield streak going, with a few more still on the board.   The position players are going now as teams know they can go deep in the draft for pitching.
David Rawnsley:  Washington and Rey Fuentes  are similar players.....it will be interesting to check in a couple of years and see which one learned how to hit high level pitching and use their speed.   Hopefully it will be both but history says it will only be one of them.
David Rawnsley:  Washington is a good example of teams picking the best athlete available and not for need.   Tampa Bay has Carl Crawford in left and B.J. Upton in centerfield holding down the top 2 spots in their batting order.   But the reality is that Washington....if he excels....won't even be knocking on the ML door for 4-5 years.   Who knows where Upton and Crawford will be by then?
David Rawnsley:  With the first ever 31st pick in the first round, the Cubs pick Brett Jackson.  
David Rawnsley:  The seventh outfielder in the last nine picks!
David Rawnsley:  I just compared Rey Fuentes and LeVon Washington.   I think a very sound comparison for Brett Jackson is Jared Mitchell.   They are great athletes who swing and miss too much for their age and level of competition.   If they have aptitude with the bat, they'll be successful.   If they don't, they'll top out at AAA.
David Rawnsley:  

With the pick for losing LHP Brian Fuentes, the Rockies close out the first round with..........need I say the position......OUTFIELDER Tim Wheeler.

David Rawnsley:  There was alot of speculation that Wheeler would go much higher.   It's a good year for college outfielders, as guys like Mitchell and Jackson and Wheeler are all very good athletes.
David Rawnsley:  15 minute break before the comp round and Seattle making the 33rd pick.
David Rawnsley:  Tanner Scheppers and Rex Brothers are the two obvious players who I expected to be drafted who are still on the board.   While there was a chance that Max Stassi and Wil Myers could have been first rounders, it isn't really surprising that there hasn't been a HS catcher selected....but that will happen.
Allan Simpson:  Keep in mind that for all the euphoria that teams and their fan bases are showing this evening with each pick in the first round, that roughly 30 percent of all first-rounders never play in the big leagues--even with all the seven-figure signing bonuses teams are doling out. It was somewhat more understandable  that  teams would often miss badly  on their first-round selections 20-30 years ago, when scouting wasn't as sophisticated then as it is now, the bonuses were much lower and teams got more limited looks at   the top players--Minnesota's selection of Wisconsin prep outfielder Kevin Brandt in the mid-70s being the classic example. The Twins  saw  Brandt in a tryout camp shortly before the draft, and took him first on the basis of one look. Predictably,  Brandt bombed out  in Rookie-ball and was released a year after being drafted. With the proliferation these days of showcase events,   including all of Perfect  Game's events, and other modern-day tools, scouting has become much more sophisticated in recent years and the blatant misses that once were commonplace are now few and far between. But it still doesn't overlook the fact that not  every first-rounder drafted tonight will play in the big leagues. The 1990 draft (Chipper Jones at No. 1), with 22 of 26 first-rounders reaching the big leagues, has the best success rate of any first round on record.            
David Rawnsley:  Some other names to start looking at......3B Matt Davidson, RHP Garrett Gould, LHP/OF Brooks Raley, OF Everett Williams (more outfielders??!!), LHP Andrew Oliver, 1B Jeff Malm (watch for the Angels extra picks)
David Rawnsley:  Seattle picks Steven Baron....the first HS catcher off the board!
David Rawnsley:  The Rockies pick Rex Brothers with their compensation pick for losing Brian Fuentes.....very fitting!
David Rawnsley:  Things will start going much faster now.     Not as much time for commentary but we'll do our best.
David Rawnsley:  The Rockies now have Tyler Matzek and Rex Brothers, two mid to upper 90's LHP's, along with OF Tim Wheeler.
David Rawnsley:  The Diamondbacks pick Matt Davidson as comp for Orlando Hudson.
David Rawnsley:  Arizona definitely is going for bats in this draft!   Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson on the same draft list.
David Rawnsley:  One of those guys ends up at 1B
David Rawnsley:  Dodgers pick LHP (note not OF) Aaron Miller from Baylor
David Rawnsley:  They picked RHP (not 3B) Ethan Martin in the first round last year.
David Rawnsley:  Toronto picked a Canadian, LHP James Paxton at #37.
David Rawnsley:  The Blue Jays absolutely love picking college LHP's, check out their ML rotation....Romero, Tallet, Purcey.....
David Rawnsley:  The White Sox, compensation for Orlando Cabrera, pick C  Josh Phegley
David Rawnsley:  Bit of a surprise there, not many positive things were said about Phegley's defense this year even though he was catching Eric Arnett and Matt Bashore.
David Rawnsley:  But his bat plays high and quick.
David Rawnsley:  Milwaukee picks Kentrail Davis......another surprise pick!   I thought Davis might fall a long way as a draft eligible sophomore coming off a weak year....but the tools are very good.
David Rawnsley:  I'm waiting on a couple of high school pitchers to start going soon.
David Rawnsley:  The Angels pick LHP Tyler Skaggs.....I think we'll start seeing more HS pitchers in the next dozen picks.
David Rawnsley:  Although the Diamondbacks pick again now and they seem to be focused on the HS bats
David Rawnsley:  Arizona picks Chris Owings, a HS shortstop from South Carolina...someone we figured more as a third round type guy.
David Rawnsley:  The Angels pick RHP Garrett Richards from Oklahoma
David Rawnsley:  Seriously big arm ...... has never performed or thrown strikes consistently and he may up in the bullpen, but mid to upper 90's at times.
David Rawnsley:  Cincinnati, for Jeremy Afeldt (????!!!) pick Brad Boxberger from USC.
David Rawnsley:  I think I'd take that trade every time.   Allan Simpson had Boxberger #44 on our Top 250 list and he went 43rd.   Good job Allan.
David Rawnsley:  Texas for Milton Bradley selects Tanner Scheppers.
David Rawnsley:  Scheppers was the 48th pick last year and moves up 4 spots....that could be a serious steal for Texas.
David Rawnsley:  Matthew Purke and Tanner Scheppers for Texas.....they have to be thrilled with that
David Rawnsley:  Arizona (again!) picks Mike Belfiore from Boston College....LHP who has been primarily as a closer and 1B for his college career but might be a starter after he signs.
David Rawnsley:  Two players from Boston College, two players from Indiana......not the normal schools for the top of the draft.
David Rawnsley:  Minnesota select LHP Matt Bashore...the third pick from U Indiana.  
David Rawnsley:  

Milwaukee with the 47th pick selects Kyle Heckathorn, the second player from Kennesaw State to be picked.   It would be interesting to list the so called name schools that haven't had a player selected.

David Rawnsley:  The Angels with their 5th pick already, pick Tyler Kehrer from Eastern Illinois, another well known baseball school (who had a great team that was ripped off the by NCAA Committee this year for a Regional bid).   Kehrer was a 3rd round type on most board but has plus raw stuff.
David Rawnsley:  Last comp round pick........Pittsburgh selects Victor Black from Dallas Baptist.   Big time arm who many people project to become a closer at the pro level.
David Rawnsley:  I guess I was mistaken thinking that there would be HS pitchers coming up soon...we are in college power pitching territory right now.
David Rawnsley:  Washington selects Jeff Kobernus from Cal....the second player from Berkeley selected after Brett Jackson.  
David Rawnsley:  At the beginning of the spring everyone would have thought Blake Smith from Berkeley would be their initial guy off the board.
David Rawnsley:  Seattle pick Rich Poythress, the guy we thought they would pick at the end of the first round.   That always makes a scouting director feel great, when you can get a player a round after you thought you were going to pick him.
David Rawnsley:  Padres select Everett Williams....a good pairing with Donovan Tate if you want to look for very athletic high school outfielders.   Maybe the Tampa Bay Rays example is having an affect on teams.
Allan Simpson:  The Blue Jays took one of their own with their pick in the sandwich round, drafting James Paxton, a Canadian by way of the University of Kentucky. Toronto hasn't made a habit of taking a lot of Canadians through the years, but would have scooped up another British Columbia product, catcher Brett Lawrie, a year ago in the first round  had  the Milwaukee Brewers not stepped in and snatched him up one spot before the Blue Jays would have taken him. It will be interesting to see  if  the Jays take a run at either lefthander Jake Eliopoulos, an Ontario product who is ranked as the top Canadian high-school player, or righthander Steven Inch, an Alberta product and the No. 2-ranked Canadian. Like Paxton, both those players have made college commitments to Kentucky.
David Rawnsley:  Pittsburgh picks RHP Brooks Pounders, a big power high school right hander.   Last year at the Metrodome Pounders was a primary 1B who went out to the mound at the PG National and threw 94 with a plus slider.   That changed alot of things in his life.
David Rawnsley:  Baltimore select Michael Givens.....I think they said as a pitcher.
David Rawnsley:  We have had alot of Givens inquiries in the last few hours and I'm glad to see him going here.  
David Rawnsley:  The Giants pick C Tommy Joseph from Arizona....who most teams love with the bat and question with the glove.  
David Rawnsley:  The Dodgers pick Blake Smith from California, who has some serious tools but just didn't perform this year.   He's another guy with the swing and miss issues but he also throws in the mid 90's off the mound.
David Rawnsley:  My favorite player, Eric Davis is making the pick for the Reds and he just picked an athletic clone of his, SS/CF Billy Hamilton from Mississippi
David Rawnsley:  This kid is a great athlete, an excellent comp for Carl Crawford across the board.
David Rawnsley:  The Tigers follow up their Jacob Turner selection with another plus fastball guy in LHP Andrew Oliver.   The issue with Oliver will be teaching him a breaking ball to go with his plus fastball/average change up.   But if anyone can, Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp is the guy.
David Rawnsley:  

Colorado picks Nolan Arrenado, a recent catcher conversion, very interesting pick.   He's also the fourth player selected from the ABD Bulldogs program in Southern California.

David Rawnsley:  Arizona picks RHP Eric Smith from Rhode Island.   Smith was a relative unknown at the start of the season but came on fast early in the season when Rhode Island when he dominated Miami.
David Rawnsley:  

The White Sox pick Trayce Thompson, son of former NBA star Mychal Thompson.   Very athletic but he might be the most raw hitter picked thus far.

David Rawnsley:  The White Sox picked Jared Mitchell early, now Thompson, definitely going with the raw athletic outfielders
David Rawnsley:  Texas picks 2008 CWS Most Valuable Player Tommy Mendonca from Fresno State.  
David Rawnsley:  Great fielder, great power, he's really cut down his swing and misses this year.
David Rawnsley:  

Cleveland picks Jason Kipnis from Arizona State, a fourth round pick last year who is one of the best performance players in the country.   Don't be surprised if Cleveland gives him a try at second base after he signs.

David Rawnsley:  Arizona with another pick.......OF Mark Krauss.   Boy are they wanting to get power and offense into their system.
David Rawnsley:  Tommy Lasorda on stage again for the Dodgers....select Garrett Gould from Kansas....a very prototypical Dodgers pick and the type they have had lots of success with in the past.   LA picks more players from the Midwest than any other club...Blake DeWitt, Scott Elbert, Zach Hames....long list for the area of the country.
David Rawnsley:  Gould was the MVP of Jupiter last year.....the WWBA World Championships.
David Rawnsley:  66th overall pick for the Marlins....RHP Bryan Berglund from SoCal.     Probably the softest present thrower so far selected but 6-4 and very projectable.
David Rawnsley:  St. Louis selects, as a catcher, 19 year old college junior Robert Stock.
David Rawnsley:  Lots of background on Stock, who many thought was a better prospect as a pitcher.   But Stock skipped his senior year in high school to go to USC and is younger than a couple of high school seniors in this draft.
David Rawnsley:  The Blue Jays pick another Canadian, Jake Eliopoulous after already picking James Paxton.   Canadian native Allan Simpson is thrilled.
David Rawnsley:  Houston pick Tanner Bushue, a HS right hander from Illinois.   The Illinois scouts who I regularly talk to just love this kid, say he's a throwback type with a great make up and extraordinary projection.
David Rawnsley:  Minnesota picks Billy Bullock from U. Florida.   A guy whose career was made when he was switched from being a medicore starter into the bullpen where he could just air it out..   Joe Nathan is getting a little long in tooth as the Twins closer...Bullock could be his successor
David Rawnsley:  The White Sox pick LHP David Holmberg, a LHP from Florida.   He's another guy like Bryan Berglund that doesn't have a present average fastball, although Holmberg doesn't project like Berglund.
David Rawnsley:  The Mets with their first pick select LHP Steven Matz from New York.     Outstanding pick in every way for New York.   Matz has great projection and is already touching 94 mph.   Mets fans should be ++ happy.   I just hope that Matz isn't a Yankees fan.
David Rawnsley:  Milwaukee with another pick.....OF Max Walla from New Mexico.   I can't imagine when the last time a player was picked this high from New Mexico.   Serious left handed power and a nice sleeper pick.
David Rawnsley:  If I hear   Frank Marcos say "I think this is a good pick" one more time I might turn off the volume
David Rawnsley:  High School catcher, the Brewers select Cameron Garfield from SoCal.   Garfield had a mixed spring with injuries and offensive struggles but has serious bat speed.
David Rawnsley:  Phillies, with their first pick in the draft, select a big sleeper, OF Kelly Dugan from SoCal.   He was one of the most worked out players in the country late in the spring.   His father is a very well known actor/comedian.
David Rawnsley:  The Yankees select HS catcher J.R. Murphy, who might not stay at catcher but he can sure hit.   He's been one of the most dominant players in WWBA competition for the last two years with the Florida Bombers.
David Rawnsley:  The Red Sox select Alex Wilson from Texas A&M.   He'll be a short path guy to the ML's if the Red Sox put him in the bullpen, which I suspect they will do.
David Rawnsley:  We've lost the MLB.com but their site lists Tampa's pick as SS Kenny Diekroeger from NorCal.   I have to put in the plug that Diekroeger is from my high school, Menlo School.
David Rawnsley:  The Cubs pick D.J. LeMahieu with the 79th pick.   The Angels then pick the first JC player thus far, LHP Patrick Corbin from Chipola JC in Florida.
David Rawnsley:  Here's a gratuitous plug for my friend and collegue Allan Simpson.   His coverage of Junior College baseball on PG Crosschecker, if you dont' read it, is outstanding.   JC baseball is inexplicably ignored by almost every media outlet that covers baseball but Allan has networked with JC coaches around the country to establish an outstanding Top 50 ranking and individual prospect rankings that are peerless.
David Rawnsley:  Quick break before the third and final round of the day.   Serious finger/hand fatigue with this power blogging but exciting stuff with the draft.   You can start seeing some of the surprise picks starting to rise up....Dugan and Diekroeger at the end of the second round being high in that category in my mind.
Allan Simpson:  Three colleges have had three players selected so far: California, Indiana and Southern California. Despite the obvious talent on its roster, Cal finished with a sub-.500 record this spring, USC was at .500  and Indiana made the NCAA regionals only by winning the Big Ten Conference tournament. California's trio of picks includes outfielder Brett Jackson (Cubs, 31st),  second baseman Jeff Kobernus (Nationals, 50th) and outfielder/righthander Blake Smith (Dodgers, 56th). USC's three included shortstop Grant Green (A's, 13th), righthander Brad Boxberger (Reds, 43rd) and catcher/righthander Robert Stock (Cardinals, 67th). Indiana selections included righthander Eric Arnett (Brewers, 26th), catcher Josh Phegley (White Sox, 38th) and lefthander Matt Bashore (Twins, 46th).
David Rawnsley:  Washington leads off the third round with a senior sign pick, RHP Trevor Holder from Georgia.   10th round pick last year and I didn't hear anyone say that he's improved any this year.   Signability pick.
David Rawnsley:  I think he's the first true college senior picked.
David Rawnsley:  Mariners pick 3B Kyle Seager from North Carolina.   Professional hitter who could be interesting if he develops some more power...he hits tons of doubles now.   I like Jim Callis' Bill Meuller comparison.
David Rawnsley:  The Padres pick RHP Jerry Sullivan from Oral Roberts.   Sullivan was an Aflac selection before his senior year in HS (New Jersey) but had TJ surgery and missed his senior year.  
David Rawnsley:  Pittsburgh picks Evan Chambers, another JC guy from Florida.   I think the first time Chambers played at a PG event was when he was in the 8th grade.....he really loves to hit the fastball.
David Rawnsley:  Baltimore picks Tyler Townsend from Florida International.....big time bat from the Northeast.   Watch Turtle Thomas's program there (and ignore Isaiah Thomas the second best Thomas at that school), they are going to have a steady stream of top picks in the next few years.
David Rawnsley:  Giants finally pick Chris Dominguez....Allan has been chaffing on why no one has picked him this far.   Huge tools with a couple double plus areas in arm strength and power.   If you want a kid with a ceiling in the third round....this is the guy.
David Rawnsley:  Atlanta find a way to pick an Atlanta area kid but had to go to Princeton to get David Hale, who prepped in North Atlanta.   Great arm, easy   mid 90's but struggled to get Ivy League hitters out.  
David Rawnsley:  Cincinnati picks LHP Donnie Joseph from U Houston, a dominant southpaw who could get the ML's in a hurry.   You can't go wrong with FB/SL lefty relievers.
David Rawnsley:  Detroit picks another Kentucky 3B, Wade Gaynor, this one from Western Kentucky (Dominguez went to Louisville).   Big time right handed power.
David Rawnsley:  Colorado select Ben Paulson from Clemson.   They've had alot of success with college hitters in this area of the draft in the past.   Successor to Todd Helton?
David Rawnsley:  Kansas CIty with their second selection of the day.....C Wil Myers.   A projected first round pick on most mock drafts so this is going to be an interesting signability situation.   If they sign him, this a big plus pick.   If not.....
David Rawnsley:  Oakland picks LHP Justin Marks, joining former teammate Chris Dominguez in the third round.   Marks is a very polished southpaw who should have a quick track to the ML's.   I've always really liked Marks....quality draft.
David Rawnsley:  Texas picks Robert Erlin, a 5-11 southpaw with one of the nastiest curveballs in the country.   If he was 6-3, he would have gone earlier, but he'll get hitters out right away in the minors.
David Rawnsley:  Cleveland picks sinker/slider specialist Joe Gardner from Santa Barbara.   Some speculation an oblique strain late in the year might have hurt him but that obviously wasn't the case.
David Rawnsley:  Arizona pick Keon Broxton from Sante Fe JC in Florida.....great year for Florida JC's.   Broxton is an enigma, a great athlete who has been on the radar for years but who has struggled with converting from football.
David Rawnsley:  The Dodgers pick Brett Wallach, who Allan wrote that the Dodgers would pick at some point.   Son of Tim Wallach and Tommy Lasorda got a bit emotional there....not a surprise.
David Rawnsley:  Florida selects an athletic outfielder....surprise, OF Marquise Cooper from the California Central Valley.   Serious speed player with a football background.
David Rawnsley:  St. Louis picks picks Joseph Kelly from UC Riverside.   Probably exciting finding a player who touches 99 mph in the third round but Kelly is a frail kid who has thrown comparatively little in school and hasn't got anyone out since he was a freshman.  
David Rawnsley:  Toronto picks RHP Jake Barrett from Arizona.   Power right handed pitcher, he's a poor man's Matt Hobgood with his 6-4, 240 lb build and he led the state of Arizona in home runs with 20.
David Rawnsley:  Houston selects Telvin Nash, a HS slugger from Georgia.   Big projection on the bat here, not many teams likely had Nash this high.
David Rawnsley:  Minnesota picks Ben Tootle, RHP from Jacksonville State.   If the draft had been on February 1, Tootle would have been a first round pick after throwing 97 mph in the Cape last summer.
Allan Simpson:  There are some impressive college seniors in this draft, but Georgia righthander Trevor Holder wasn't expected to be one of the first such players taken. He was expected to go sometime after the fifth round on merit, but seniors are often the most unpredictable demographicsin the draft because they are often used as pawns by teams to save money in the early rounds. Holder became the first selection in the third round. Among other seniors expected to soon are Alabama outfielder Kent Matthes, Mississippi rightander Scott Bittle, Washington State lefthander Matt Way and Louisiana State righthander Louis Coleman.
David Rawnsley:  The White Sox pick LHP  Bryan Morgado from Tennessee.   This could be a great pick or an empty pick.     Morgado is a draft eligible sophomore with TJ background who can't get hitters out, but he's throwing mid 90's from the left side.
David Rawnsley:  The Mets pick SS Robbie Shields from Florida Southern.   The Mets have done a good job after not picking until mid-way in the second round.   Shields has offensive tools in a middle infielder.  
David Rawnsley:  Toronto gets a pick for A.J. Burnett, picking OF Jake Marisnick from SoCal.   Marisnick's athleticism is on par with alot of those late first round high school outfielders but his bat wasn't up to that standard this spring.
David Rawnsley:  It would be nice if Frank Marcos was aware of any other showcase than the one that MLB puts on in January.
David Rawnsley:  I love Josh Prince at Milwaukee's pick.   He's a performer with tools.   I made the comp to former Brewers SS Royce Clayton in one of my mocks and I'll live with that.   Good quality at this point in the draft.
David Rawnsley:  Philadelphia makes an interesting pick, OF Kyrell Hudson from Washington.   Superior athlete with ++ speed but his bat is as raw as any player selected to this point.  
David Rawnsley:  The Red Sox pick David Renfroe, who I had as their pick in my first mock draft.   GO RED SOX.   He's a Casey Kelley clone.   They will sign him here for way over slot and be happy they did.
David Rawnsley:  Tampa Bay picks another toolsy high school outfielder (surprise) Todd Glaesman.   I don't remember anyone, including Allan and I, dwelling on the high school outfielders in this draft.   It's an amazing theme.
Allan Simpson:  Two of the top prospects in the Cape Cod League last summer, Jacksonville State righthander Ben Tootle and Florida Southern shortstop Robbie Shields, were potential first-round picks at the outset of the 2009 season. But they both had subapr college seasons and fell to the third round, two picks apart.
David Rawnsley:  The Cubs select LHP Austin Kirk from Owasso, Oklahoma.   Very athletic southpaw who doesn't have power stuff but knows how to pitch and play.
David Rawnsley:  

The Angels pick LHP Josh Spence, the crafty lefty from Australia and Arizona State.   Perfect pick for Angels scouting director Eddie Bane!   He must have seen his clone on the mound.

David Rawnsley:  Last pick, the Astros pick 3B Jonathan Meyer from SoCal....another ABD player.
David Rawnsley:  Whew....that was fun.   I've done this from draft war rooms, agent war rooms, from the MLB studios in New York, from the Milk House and ESPN stage in Orlando, from the Perfect Game offices....and this was among the most fun.   Blogging on PGX with Allan Simpson across the hotel room providing constant chatter and comments.
Allan Simpson:  

While David Rawnsley thoroughly trounced me in terms of the  volume of content that we posted during the draft on this blog site, I gained the edge on him  in the friendly little wager we had on the number of players that would be drafted in the first three rounds that were not our pre-draft Top 250 list. I said there would be six players we would miss on, David took the over by selecting seven.  As it turned out, we missed on only three--and all three have something in common in that they are all raw athletes with  significant  football backgrounds, often a diffucult demographic to judge. We had each of the players as possible fifth-to-eighth round selections. The highest undrafted player on our top 250 board was catcher Max Stassi, a consensus first-round talent who slipped for apparent signability reasons.    

Copyright 1994-2018 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.