1. Chicago – Zeke Lawton
The top power hitter in the draft goes #1. He has an awesome combination of power, splits, and batting eye. Two concerns of mine are his durability and his position. How many games can he play at 100%? Also, some would argue it makes sense to choose a top of the rotation SP or a guy with a good bat who plays a premium position since they are harder to come by. However, if Lawton’s production can be maximized to full efficiency he will be one of the top hitters in the world statistically each season. Hard to pass up.
2. Philadelphia – Vernon Black
Black is a top of the rotation SP prospect. He could have gone #1 and it at least could have been justified. Nothing wrong with this pick.
3. Cincinnati – George Reid
Reid is a solid, if not spectacular SP prospect. I think allright is a little hard on him as I think he will do ok. He isn't worth a top 3 pick, but still a nice SP prospect.
Allright – “For the second year in a row, the Bearcats put all of their scouting eggs in the high school nest. Last year the gamble paid off like a house-fixed slot machine. This year the gamble didn't pay that much. With the #3 pick, the best the highest paid high school scouts could come up with was George Reid, an 18 year-old out of Smithville, Mo. You may not have heard of Smithville and its unlikely you will hear of George Reid. He projects to above average control and splits; but, that's about it. With only 2 pitches, he will probably wind up in the bullpen. The best park he could play in is the Grand Canyon and only then if the wind is not blowing out. The Bearcats are in sore need of some "can't misses" in the minors. Unfortunately, the draft has proven to be a pipeline of "can't plays". The silver lining ( and boy do the Bearcats need one); Reid is undecided about signing, claiming that he has basketball scholarships on the table.”
4. Boise – Frank Hughes
I love this pick and love Hughes’ bat. He will absolutely rake. I think he could have gone #1 and it been justified.
Abesmem – “Boise is thrilled that Frank Hughes was still available at 4th overall. He was the #1 ranked player on our board. Frank projects to hit for both great power and high average against righties and lefties. He has a superior batting eye and is a very advanced player for 18 years of age. His health and durability score at the top of the charts. The only thing he’s missing is speed. Frank is starting out in Low A but could be in the majors in 3 years.”
5. Iowa City – Jamie Watson
I should cut and paste what I wrote about Reid above. Decent SP prospect, but #5 seems awfully high for a guy who should top out as a back of the rotation SP.
6. Anaheim – DaRond Jenkins
Really nice pick considering a couple of the reaches above. The Trojans must have been ecstatic he fell to #6. Really strong bat who will anchor a corner outfield position.
Vino5 – “DaRond Jenkins will be a middle of the order hitter. His splits should top out close to 90 with solid power/eye. There were a few premier hitters at the top of this draft and we are very happy to grab one of them.”
7. Detroit – Norberto Benitez
I’m stunned Benitez fell to #7. He could contribute at the ML level today if needed to. I disagree with tk in that I don’t think he’ll progress enough to play CF, he should be able to do just fine (if not better) at 2B and when you combine that bat with a premium position, you’ve drafted a keeper.
Tk21775 - We had Mr. Benitez listed first on our draft board so was very pleased to see him still available at the #7 spot. Defensively he'll be able to handle centerfield or 2B and will have a great bat for either position. At age 21 he's almost ready for the big leagues so we expect him to go through the minors quickly once he decides to pick up the pen and sign.”
8. New York – Tony Hughes
Hughes has a great bat and will play 1B/DH for the Red Storm. Nothing wrong at all in selected a big bopper with the #8 pick. Nothing much to say other than he should be a great hitter.
Mamidu – “He will be able to mash. I have him projected at 94 96 87 77 82 with $17M invested in college scouting, so i hope it is pretty accurate. I was looking for a big bopper in this draft, and I believe I found him. We needed some more pop at 1B, and we got it. Love the handlebars.”
9. Louisville – Casey Patterson
Personally I have had bad luck with pitcher without at least decent/good control so I don’t love this pick. The Cardinals will have to bank on his #2 Pitch and splits and hope he is “wild within the strike zone.”
10. Helena – Storm Cordova
One of the top relievers goes off the board as we round out the top ten. He should be a really solid piece to the Grizzlies bullpen. Might have been a touch high for a setup guy who probably won’t be truly dominant.
Drichar138 – “We love that Storm is a highly durable reliever. He has a dominant first pitch and is very good at getting groundballs. Overall we feel like it may have been a reach to take a set up man at #10 in the draft, but with the talent pool that was available, the alternatives were not pretty. “
11. Columbus – Gabe Podsednik
Interesting selection. He has a really long way to go with his glove to even be in the discussion as a 3B so I’m more comfortable rating him as an OF. He projects to really good contact and power, but only average against righties which will diminish his effectiveness.
12. Richmond – Mac Collins
I’ll pretty much echo what cm says below. My scouting doesn’t show him as a SS unless you’re ready to deal with a good number of errors. His bat is still solid and will give value as a top notch 2B or 3B down the line.
Cmthieme – “This one all depends on how he develops defensively. If he is good enough to play a passable SS (my 20M college scouting had him as a serviceable if slightly below average SS defensively) then this is a great pick at 12. If not (and he has a ways to go, so it's pretty questionable), his bat will still play at 2B or 3B, but won't be near the asset he would be at SS. He signed for not too much over slot, so that was a nice surprise.”
13. Oakland – Hasn’t signed although he should. Great reliever prospect.
14. Little Rock – Paul Johnson
I don’t see much here with Johnson. In a best case scenario is a back of the rotation starter/long reliever. Worst case he is a AAAA guy. Not something you want to have as a possibility with a low teen draft pick.
Joekendall – “We were happy to add a SP to the fold when selecting Paul Johnson with the 14th pick. Paul will fit in nicely as a #3 starter. His splits will be what holds him back from being a #1 starter.”
15. Huntington – Erubiel Matos
Pretty much what hurricane says below. He should be able to contribute as MLer to someone’s pitching staff. I’m just going to assume hurricane will trade him.
Hurricane384 – “An underwhelming pick at #15, Erubiel Matos should still be able to contribute in the bigs...maybe as a SuA or LRA...just would've liked to have a bit of a better player here.”
16. Portland – Randy Thornton – Hasn’t signed and I didn’t scout him.
17. Seattle – Charlie Ellenwood
Good, solid outfielder. His batting eye will hold back his OBP/OPS and hitting in Seattle isn’t exactly easy.
18. Kansas City – Joc Patterson
It appears he is a bit too far defensively to be a CFer, but could lock down 2B nicely. Bat isn’t great, but he also won’t be a black hole in the lineup.
19. Syracuse – J.J. Whiteside
Hmmm…his glove isn’t going to be good enough for SS, but bat doesn’t look like it will be good enough to warrant a COF position. Hopefully his defense progresses to the point where he is a good, possibly great defender at 2B or 3B and also provides value with a decent bat.
Evil doers – “The Orange are happy with their signing of J.J. Whiteside.He came out as a short stop but will move him to a spot that will fit him better. He'll be a nice addition to the squad in a few years.”
20. Arizona State – Lyle Washington
Very similar to Whiteside chose one pick earlier although my scouts don’t like his bat as much as Whitesides. Spistol does a good job laying out his expectations below. Worst case he could also be a very good utility guy/platoon against lefties.
Spistol – “The Sun Devils had kind of a strange draft, landing the somewhat disappointing Lyle Washington, their 10th choice, with the #20 pick. The high-school scouts rate him more highly than the advance scouts; the high-school scouts get paid more, so hopefully they'll be righter. Either way, he'll be a mediocre hitter with Gold-Glove skills at 3B or 2B -- his glove is a little clunky for SS.”
21. Jackson – Felipe Romano
As we enter the back half of the draft, the run of picks is getting less and less thrilling. Romano is someone I think you’d typically see chosen as a comp pick or maybe even second round. His splits leave a lot to be desired, but hopefully his #1 pitch will help him big time.
Iceman67 – “Not much to say about Felipe Romano. Jackson management was not really overthrilled or disappointed with its pick of Romano at #20. Good stamina and control, L/R splits are ok but not really major league blockbusters. Romano projects at best, middle or long relief at the big league level (if he gets that far). In the mean time, he will be a starter in the minors.”
22. Dover – Matthew Maholm
Maholm is the third of the last four picks who played SS as an amateur, but will have to be moved to another position. He does not have a great bat and looks to project as a utility guy at the ML level, not an everyday starter.
23. New York – Raymond Ruebel
The Red Storm selected another good hitter with their second first round pick. Although not on the level as the first selection, Ruebel should still be a solid hitter in the big leagues and someone I think will contribute more than a few of the selections before him.
Mamidu – “Another guy that will rake for the Red Storm. I have him projected at 74 81 79 91 66 with $17M invested in HS scouting. His avg health is a little concern, but his should be a great DH for years to come. A great value for a pressing need at DH for the organization.”
24. Texas Tech – Sam Barnes
Mongoose does a great job describing his selection below. Although I’m not as optimistic as he is (my scouts aren’t high on his splits getting much better), he should be able to contribute as a back of the rotation/long reliever for the Red Raiders.
Mongoose_22 – “The Red Raiders were happy to draft the durable RHP Sam Barnes out of Ironwood, MI. He was number 7 on the draft board that our underfunded scouting department cobbled together, so we were happy to land Barnes. I project him to be a solid #4 type starting pitcher once he fully develops. His splits are nothing to write home about, being very average at best. Hopefully, his assortment of pitches at his disposal will offset his splits, allowing him to get ML hitters out. With his ability to eat innings and high health rating, he is just the type of starter that the Red Raiders look for when trying to fill out the bottom of the rotation.”
25. Nashville – Derrek Bard
I actually really like this pick and think he could have gone 5-7 spots higher. I think he has a shot to be a regular 2B with really good glove and a decent bat which isn’t he easiest to come by.
Cctigerfan – “The Nashville Commodores selected 2B Derek Bard with the 25th pick of the draft. Bard should develop in to a good hitter at the major league level. If his glove can develop he should be a solid 2B in the future for the Commodores.”
26. New Orleans – Bill Wakeland
This pick all hinges on how his splits develop. Everything else should be good enough to contribute for New Orleans.
27. Buffalo – Larry Radmanovich
In this draft, Radmanovich should have probably gone in the late teens, early 20’s so this is good value. I’ll disagree with rooster just because I don’t think he has the bat you’d want as a 3B. Regardless, he has a good glove and his splits should help him overcome his other batting ratings a little bit.
Jrooster35 – “Solid top of the order player drafted as a SS but will probably move to 3B as he moves through the system. Larry was # 6 on Buffalo's "BIG BOARD" so management is very happy to grab him so late in the first round”
28. Fargo – Zach Boyd – Hasn’t signed and doesn’t look like he will. Good relief prospect though.
29. New Orleans – Willy Slocumb
Hopefully can develop into a back of the rotation starter, but is probably destined for long relief/mop up.
30. Charleston – Aroldis Andujar
While on the surface Andujar looks like a solid pick this late, he also has one of the worst health ratings I’ve ever seen of a first round pick. It will be a huge upset if he avoids injuries enough just to progress to being a ML player let alone sticking there.
Dgtrache – “Charleston was pleased to find Aroldis Andujar available with the 30th pick in the draft. While stamina is a question mark, Charleston believes that he can develop into a very good 5-6 inning SP. Andujar has excellent control, good splits and should develop 3 decent pitches.”
31. Charleston – Les Fields
I really like this pick and think Fields show a ton of value this late in the draft. If all goes well, he could be a back of the rotation starter, but regardless should be able to be a solid piece on a pitching staff.
Dgtrache – “31st Pick Les Fields has not signed. However, Charleston's scouting reports indicate that he can serve as a No. 3-4 starter on most teams. The biggest question mark with Fields will be how his splits develop.”
32. Minnesota – Lenny Maya – Hasn’t signed and I didn’t scout him.
33. Charlotte - Harvey Cameron
I’m biased, but I think Cameron is an absolute steal with the last pick in the first round. Our strategy regarding catchers is to be ok punting on PC as long as the bat is good enough and Cameron fits that mold perfectly. Really surprised he lasted this long.