Thursday, June 10, 2010
Recapping the MLB draftPosted by Alex Pedicini
Now that the draft is officially over we will take a team by team look at the 2010 MLB first year player draft. Check out the team reports after the jump.
The Diamondbacks put a heavy emphasis on pitching this year using their first eight picks to stock up on arms. They grabbed Texas A&M righty Barret Loux with the sixth overall pick and later took one of the top college lefties in Coastal Carolina's Cody Wheeler with the 151st overall selection.
The Braves prep shortstop Matthew Lipka with their first selection (35th overall) and followed this by taking Todd Cunningham out of Jacksonville State. Cunningham was regarded as one of the better draft eligible college bats this year and was a good pickup for Atlanta at the 53rd pick.
Baltimore grabbed shortstop Manny Machado third overall. Machado has drawn Alex Rodriguez comparisons because of their similar backgrounds and size. There is some talk he may outgrow shortstop but he projects to hit well enough to stick at third base either way. The Orioles may have reached when they took Dan Klein out of UCLA with the 85th pick. Klein has some injury concerns (missed all of 2009) and may end up in a relief role before long.
I thought Boston did a nice job with their selections. They grabbed college players with their first four picks, Kolbrin Vitek at 20, Bryce Brentz at 36, Anthony Ranaudo at 39, and Brandon Workman at 57. Ranaudo is a classic high risk/ high reward type of player that the team is willing to take a gamble on. Vitek and Brentz were both considered to be among the top collegiate hitters in the class and Boston was fortunate they both fell to them.
The Cubs surprised some by taking Hayden Simpson out of Southern Arkansas with the 16th pick. Simpson has been compared to a poor man's Tim Lincecum and can run his fastball into the mid-90s, but durability is always a concern with small pitchers (6', 175 pounds). They took toolsy prep outfielder Reggie Golden with their second pick. Golden has a high-ceiling but is still raw and inexperienced. Micah Gibbs was taken from LSU with their third pick. Gibbs was one of the better college catchers in this year's draft class.
The White Sox took four straight college pitchers. They should be thrilled to get left-hander in Chris Sale at 13th overall. Sale blew up after a sensational Cape League last summer. Second pick Jacob Petricka out of Indiana State saw his stock rise this spring as he lit up the radar gun consistently hitting the high-90s. He may develop into a future closer with his arm strength. Addison Reed was a steal at 95 overall as well.
The Reds grabbed catcher Yasmani Grandal from Miami with the 12th pick. Grandal needs work defensively but his bat is something special. He had a tremendous spring at the plate and could rise up through the minors quickly. They grabbed Ryan LaMarre from Michigan in the second round. LaMarre is a productive hitter and pretty good athlete. The Reds hope to sign high school pitcher Drew Cisco whom they took with the 187th pick. Cisco is polished for a prep pitcher and comes from a strong baseball bloodline.
I liked what Cleveland did with their picks this year. They took Drew Pomeranz fifth overall. Pomeranz was the top southpaw available this year and has three above average offerings. The Indians took a chance by taking Levon Washington in the second round. Washington failed to sign as a first round pick of the Rays last year and struggled early this season in Junior College. Washington has all the tools but his play has been inconsistent. They also took Kyle Blair out of San Diego 120th overall and perhaps a major steal in Tyler Holt with the 300th pick. Holt has been a favorite of the guys over at College Splits and has a very advanced and disciplined approach at the plate.
The Rockies took a chance drafting Clemson's two sport star Kyle Parker in the first round. Parker has some power potential and a strong arm but they must try to sway him from football. Colorado also drafted NC State quarterback Russell WIlson in the fifth round. Their second round pick, high school pitcher Peter Tago, has an explosive fastball but still needs to refine his secondary offerings.
Detroit did not have a first round pick and I was not totally in agreement with their first pick Nick Castellanos, a high school third baseman from Florida. Castellanos possesses raw power but there are concerns about whether his tools will translate into the pro levels. Their second pick Chance Ruffin profiles as a reliever in the pros. Ruffin has had success at Texas with a solid fastball and is the son of a former big leaguer which could help him rise through the ranks.
The Marlins took prep first baseman Christian Yelich. Yelich projects to hit for good power as he fills out his frame. Rob Rasmussen is a crafty lefty from UCLA and provides good value with the 73rd overall selection.
Houston had five picks in the top 100 and picked up some quality athletes. They may have reached for Delino Deshields Jr at eight but he still has a nice package of tools and could play center field or second base. They grabbed Michael Kvasnicka an athletic catcher from Minnesota. He is a switch hitter and has a solid plate approach. Austin Wates from Virginia Tech was a steal at 90th overall. He has plenty of tools and had a great year in the ACC. He isn't a tremendous power threat but he does pretty much everything else well.
The Royals have missed badly on some prospects in the past but they played it rather safe by taking Christian Colon from Cal State Fullerton. Colon has pretty good pop from the plate but may have to switch to second base in the future. They also scooped up Arkansas' two way player Brett Eibner. Most scouts thought his future was on the mound because of his solid three-pitch mix. The Royals plan to use him as an outfielder. Eibner has shown good power but will have to adjust to being a full time position player.
Los Angeles (AL)
The LA Angels took three Georgia high schoolers with their first three selections. The 18th pick Kaleb Cowart is a highly regarded two-way player though it appears the Angels like him on the mound. Cam Bedrosian (29th overall) is the son of former major leaguer and flashes a mid-90s fastball and above average slider although he is on the smaller side. Chevy Clarke (30th overall) has plenty of upside as a speedy center fielder. He could become a plus defender and stolen base threat.
Los Angeles (NL)
The Dodgers took a chance by drafting high school pitcher Zach Lee 28th overall. Lee is a top 10 talent but is expected to be a tough sign. The Dodgers may be willing to go well over slot for Lee because he has by far the highest ceiling of any of their draft choices. The Dodgers also took Leon Landry from LSU. Landry is a premium defender in center field and is improving at the plate.
Milwaukee grabbed a trio of right handed pitchers with their first selections including high schooler Dylan Covey. Covey has a solid fastball and plus curve and is developing his change. The Brewers also took Auburn first baseman Hunter Morris in the fourth round. Morris was a second rounder out of high school in '07 and has always shown good power.
The Twins made a solid and safe first round pick by taking Ohio State pitcher Alex Wimmers. Wimmers does not have tremendous stuff but he has a good feel for pitching and throws strikes. They also chose Boston College lefty Pat Dean. Dean has good command of his pitchers and attacks hitters. Second rounder Cartier Goodrum is an athletic high school shortstop with great tools. He is a switch hitter and runs well and a move to the outfield may be in his future.
New York (NL)
The Mets took hard-throwing but inconsistent righty Matt Harvey from North Carolina. Harvey appeared to put the pieces together this season but is rather unproven despite possessing great stuff. The Mets followed up by taking Tennessee catcher Logan Forsythe 89th overall. 4th rounder Cory Vaughn has great bloodlines and power potential but his high strikeout and low walk totals draw some red flags.
New York (AL)
The Yankees grabbed a pair of high school shortstops including local New Yorker Cito Culver with the 32nd pick overall. Culver is a switch hitter with the defensive skills to stay at shortstop. They also grabbed Tulane third baseman Robert Segedin in the 4th round. I thought the Yankees could have done a better job taking chances on players who may be tough to sign. New York is one of the few teams capable of spending significant amounts of money on the draft but they played it rather conservatively.
Oakland's first rounder was a solid one in Texas Arlington's Michael Choice. Choice is a guy who put up outstanding college numbers and posseses exactly the kind of plate discipline the A's are looking for. The A's also picked up a trio of toolsy high schoolers in the second, third and fourth rounds respectively.
The Phillies took high school lefty Jesse Biddle. Biddle is tall and has a solid fastball and change-up combo. He will need to continue develop his breaking pitch and command but he is a pretty good pick at 27th overall. Philaelphia also took RHP Percy Garner from Ball State and catcher Cameron Rupp from Texas. Rupp has some power potential and good defensive skills behind the plate.
The Pirates once again picking near the top of the draft took prep pitcher Jameson Taillon. Taillon is a classic power pitcher and one of the better high school pitching prospects around in recent years. He is very advanced for his age and could progress rapidly. They also took prep pitcher Stetson Allie in the second round. Allie has a good arm and was projected by many to go in the first round.
First round pick Karsten Whitson is a strong righty from Chipley HS in Florida. He as a solid three-pitch mix and a projectable body that clearly intrigued the Padres enough to take him ninth overall. They also took powerful infielder Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia. Gyorko is not a great athlete and because of this projects as more of a second baseman but he can swing the stick and could end up hitting for decent power. They also took a pair of speedsters in Chris Bisson from Kentucky and Jablonski Noel from Coastal Carolina in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The Giants went heavy on college players taking outfielders Gary Brown from Cal St. Fullerton and Jarrett Parker from Virginia in the first and second rounds. Brown has plus speed and pretty good hitting skills. Parker saw his stock drop greatly with a disappointing Cape and spring. Still he has enough tools that the Giants hope he can find some consistency.
Seattle's first selection was high school pitcher Taijuan Walker. Walker has electric stuff but has been plagued by inconsistency and command isues. The Mariners also took James Paxton in the fourth round. Paxton a former Kentucky pitcher, was a first rounder last year but failed to sign and did not return to school. He ended up pitching in Indy ball and showed some promise. He may be a tough sign but it was a good risk for the Mariners.
The Cardinals had a strong draft taking Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox at number 25 and ASU's Seth Blair at 46. Cox has great hitting tools and should hit for average at the next level. He may not stick at third base but he has enough arm to play elsewhere on the field. Blair has shown three average to above average pitches although has struggled with his command at times. Another second rounder, Tyrell Jenkinks may be a tough sign but has great athletic ability and a strong but raw arm on the mound.
Tampa used its first three picks on high school players. At 17 the Rays took Josh Sale is a powerful right fielder with a strong body and solid arm. They also selected Justin O'Conner at 31. O'Conner is a high school catcher. O'Conner is athletic but raw defensively. HIs bat is a plus and he has the ability to hit for both average and power. Second rounder Drew Vettleson is an intriguing prospect. He is a very capable switch pitcher although most agree his future is in the outfield. He has a plus arm and bat although how much power he will develop is debatable.
Texas had four picks in the top 50. They took Jake Skole a HS outfielder from Georgia 15th overall. Skole's stock had soared leading up to the draft after showcasing his five tool ability when he came back from and injury. He is a two sport athlete with a strong commitment to Georgia Tech so he may be a tough sign. They also took Canadian catcher Keelin Deglan 22nd overall. Deglan is a left handed hitter with the ability to stick behind the plate defensively.
The Blue Jays were another team that made a clear focus on pitching in the draft. They took Deck McGuire 11th overall from Georgia Tech. McGuire is a big righty and a pretty low risk pick for the team. They also managed to get Asher Wojciechowski from The Citadel 41st overall. He was mentioned as a possible late first rounder and Toronto should be pleased he fell to them.
Obviously Washington made a splash by taking Bryce Harper first overall. While the pick was a no brainer they did make it interested by selecting him as an outfielder where he will likely has the clearest and quickest path to the majors. They also took LHP Sammy Solis from San Diego in the second round and Rick Hague from Rice in the third. Both picks are pretty safe and smart as the Nationals try to build their farm system from the bottom up.
Alex is a student in Boston. He welcomes all questions and comments here