Weekend Column – And the Best Draft Goes To…
Washington. After all, they’re the only ones that have signed anybody decent yet. Drew Storen’s the best signed draft pick. So I can’t tell you who had the best draft yet. And I can’t tell you until August 18, a few hours after midnight, when all the rumors about who signed and who didn’t start to roll across the wires. Here’s some things I do know about each of the drafts:
Baltimore – I mentioned in my chat that I liked their mix of pitching. Matt Hobgood, Randy Henry, Ashur Tolliver, Ryan Berry, and Jake Cowan all have some pluses going for them. If they sign Mike Ohlman, their 11th rounder, this suddenly gets much more interesting.
Boston – Very interested in their plans on signing their picks. Fuentes isn’t high on my personal list, but getting David Renfroe in the 3rd might be a steal, though they need to talk him down from his supposed $3 million asking price. I like Hazelbaker, as well as Younginer, Kline, and Volz. Brandon Jacobs is an interesting name to watch, but I think he prefers football.
New York Yankees – Heathcott may be expensive, and I generally don’t like what the Yankees did from the 2nd to 5th. Lyerly’s an interesting name to watch, though. In addition, Tyler Lyons, Neil Medchill, Brett Gerritse, Deangelo Mack, and Graham Stoneburner are nice picks. So is Chad Thompson if he signs and rehabs well. Luke Murton in the 19th is a steal. They also picked West Virginia quarterback Pat White in the 48th.
Tampa Bay – Didn’t like their first day, but they showed me something in day two. I liked Glaesmann the most in day one, but Luke Bailey, Jeff Malm, and Devin Fuller could be better. Kevin James is also a name to watch from the 9th round, as is Derek Dennis for the 10th. If they sign Dylan Floro (20th) or Austin Maddox (37th), this draft is a home run.
Toronto – Wow did they have a great first day. Chad Jenkins, James Paxton, and Jake Barrett were all high on my lists, and Eliopoulos and Marisnick both have solid potential. I like the Schimpf pick, but Goins isn’t bad, too. Daniel Webb in the 18th could turn out to be quality if they can sign him. This is a solid, if unspectacular, draft.
Chicago White Sox – Liked the Jared Mitchell pick, but not Phegley and Trayce Thompson. Holmberg also has limited upside, but is fairly polished. I like the Kyle Bellamy pick more than most, and getting Ryan Buch in the 8th is a huge coup. Their draft hinges on signing one or both of Dane Williams (15th) and Brian Goodwin (17th). AJ Casario (38th) would be a nice signing if they could make it happen.
Cleveland – Good first day, not as sure about the second. Getting Alex White was huge, and getting Jason Kipnis on top of that could mean the rest of their draft could fail and the draft as a whole would be a success. Don’t really like Gardner, but the Austin Adams, Ben Carlson, Jordan Henry run was nice. Preston Guilmet is also a nice selection. I also like Mike Rayl (15th). Interesting, just not exciting.
Detroit – Too much depends on signability here. Turner is a great pick. So is Oliver. But how much of the budget will they eat up? I like Gaynor a lot, but I think Edwin Gomez was hugely overrated this spring. Austin Wood’s just shaky to me after that forever long outing, and Dan Fields might be left out to dry if Oliver and Turner eat up too much of the budget. Fritsch (8th) is an intriguing arm, as is Matt Thompson (12th), and this draft could be a big winner if they could sign Mark Appel (15th).
Kansas City – Wow. Love this draft. Aaron Crow and Wil Myers on day one was great, but adding Chris Dwyer (4th), Louis Coleman (5th), and Cole White (6th) are huge. They solidify this draft if they all sign. Tanner Poppe (37th) is exciting, but unsignable that far back. One through six, even missing a 2nd rounder, is probably up there on my list.
Minnesota – They were reading off my draft chart. Getting Kyle Gibson could be boom or bust, but adding three more arms that have been in first round consideration is interesting (Matt Bashore, Billy Bullock, Ben Tootle). Derek McCallum (4th) was all over my personal lists, as was Brad Stillings (7th) and Blake Dean (10th). If they sign John Stilson (19th), I move this up into my top ten. If Eric Decker (27th) signs, move it up more. Same for Aaron Senne (32nd).
Los Angeles Angels – Lots of picks. The Grichuk-Trout combo is boom or bust. Getting Skaggs and Richards in the supplemental was nice, but Kehrer was overdrafted. Josh Spence is well-known. Carlos Ramirez (8th) is a very solid pick for an organization lacking catching depth behind pseudo-catcher Hank Conger. Signing Jake Locker (10th) would be huge. I like Dillon Baird (11th) and Mike Nesseth (15th) a good bit. All in all, just a lot of bodies for a thin farm system.
Oakland – Wow again. If they sign these guys, this is a top 5 draft. Green was a great pick, though Marks is nothing incredible, just solid. Max Stassi (4th), Ryan Ortiz (6th), Ian Krol (7th), Sam Dyson (10th), and Josh Leyland (16th) are what will make or break this draft. Include Mike Zunino (29th) in that if you want. Ryan Lockwood (39th) would be nice, too, but I doubt he signs. Great second day in general.
Seattle – I’m back and forth on this one. Love Ackley, don’t like Franklin and Baron that high, but Poythress and Seager were solid on day one. James Jones as a left fielder? Ok. Tyler Blandford (5th) is very interesting, as is Shaver Hansen (6th), Brian Moran (7th), Trevor Coleman (9th), and Andrew Carraway (12th). They ended up with Scott Griggs (34th), but they won’t be able to sign him. Some interesting names that are solid, but Franklin and Baron will decide this draft.
Texas – Getting Purke and Scheppers make this draft a winner, but it hampered the rest of their choices. Don’t really like Mendonca, but Erlin’s interesting. Andrew Doyle (4th) is solid, but the rest of the picks were almost pure projects. Like Braden Tullis (8th), but I’ve been hard-pressed to find others that I really really like. More flashy names like Sierra (6th), Jabari Blash (9th) and Jayce Boyd (19th) all make me nervous. Reggie Williams (32nd) would be a nice sign, but that’s doubtful. Lots of uncertainty here.
Atlanta – What happened? Mike Minor? I like David Hale and Mychal Jones, but not enough to give this draft an excellent grade. In general, no names really stand out, and I can only judge this draft a few years down the road.
Florida – Up and down on this one. Like Chad James a lot, and Bryan Berglund is a nice projectable arm. Da’Shon Cooper is an overdraft in the 3rd. I like Dustin Dickerson (6th) a good bit and think he could be a steal. The rest were generally generic, meaning there will be a few higher-round guys gone in a shorter amount of time.
New York Mets – Liked the first day, despite the lack of picks. Matz was a favorite of mine, and Shields has some potential. Magnifico has some very nice potential. Ceciliani probably won’t hit. Buchanan has a nice arm. Looking at the entire package, I’m unimpressed.
Philadelphia – Their first day was horrible. I like their second day, though, as Adam Buschini (4th), Matt Way (5th), Brody Colvin (7th), and Jonathan Singleton (8th) all have Major League potential in one way or another. I like Nick Hernandez (12th) a good bit , and if they sign some guys in the Jacob Stewart (14th), Austin Hyatt (15th), Andrew Susac (16th) group, they’re golden. However, you can’t make up for bad first day drafting.
Washington – Strasburg of course. Storen is solid. I like Kobernus, Morris, Weaver, Jordan, and Karns. I think they shoot their budget with Strasburg, meaning none of Marcus Stroman (18th), Brandon King (27th), Jacob Morris (35th), Josh Elander (37th), Chris Manno (38th), Cohl Walla (43rd), or Hoby Milner (44th) sign.
Chicago Cubs – As usual, I’m not a big fan of a Tim Wilken draft. I’m not a Brett Jackson fan, and I think both the DJ LeMahieu and Austin Kirk picks were premature. Getting Brooks Raley (6th) so late is a steal, but they need to sign him as a sophomore-eligible. Richard Jones (9th) was a sleeper of mine. Just a blah draft.
Cincinnati – Very, very interesting mix. Mike Leake and Brad Boxberger form a safe 1-2 punch to start things out, though they can’t even begin to make up for the risk in Billy Hamilton. I like Donnie Joseph and Mark Fleury, and Dan Tuttle is a nice touch. Mark Serrano (6th) has dominating stats, but who knows? Josh Fellhauer (7th) is solid, and they’re lucky to have gotten Brian Pearl (9th) so late. Signing one of Devan Marrero (17th) or Stephen Perez (18th) would make this draft quite interesting.
Houston – Bobby Heck is confusing. I like Tanner Bushue, but the rest are a little funny. Dallas Keuchel (7th) is one of their safer picks, and the rest are seemingly organizational players or boom/bust guys. Raul Rivera (37th) went from best Puerto Rican prospect to one of the lowest in just a year. Still, strange mix.
Milwaukee – Can’t decide on this one. Getting Arnett was lucky, and he’s reportedly close to signing. Don’t like Kentrail Davis, but Heckathorn, Walla, and Garfield are solid. D’Vontrey Richardson could make this draft hugely successful, but so could guys like Khris Davis (7th), Del Howell (15th), and Scooter Gennett (16th). Maybe they’ll make a run at signing Kyle Hansen (40th), but I doubt it. In general, they just added more bodies to a rebuilding system.
Pittsburgh – I’m both frustrated and intrigued by this one. Tony Sanchez didn’t deserve his slot, though he’s about to sign. I like Victor Black and Brooks Pounders, but I wonder if Evan Chambers will work out. They got some steals in Zach Von Rosenberg (6th), Trent Stevenson (7th), Jeff Inman (12th), and Matt den Dekker (16th). Maybe they’ll make a run at Michael Heller (29th). All in all, I hope they use the money they saved at #4 overall and use it for these players listed here.
St. Louis – Nice early mix followed by disappointment. They were lucky to get Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly where they did, but Robert Stock as a catcher is very confusing. Scott Bittle’s shoulder should have knocked him down further, and Ryan Jackson probably won’t hit. I was really disappointed in their second day.
Arizona – I was impressed by their first day and early on in the second. Getting Bobby Borchering was lucky, and Pollock was a bit of an overdraft. Davidson, Owings, Belfiore, Smith, and Krauss were all impressive picks for me. So was David Nick (4th) and Ryan Wheeler (5th). Patrick Schuster (13th) threw a few no-hitters.
Colorado – This is in the running for my #1 draft if they can sign their guys. Getting Matzek was a pure coup, as was Tim Wheeler and Rex Brothers falling. Their run of Ben Paulsen, Kent Matthes, and Joe Sanders was simply amazing. Wes Musick (9th) was a bargain. Wow, great draft.
Los Angeles Dodgers – This one’s in the middle for me. I felt Aaron Miller was overdrafted, as was Blake Smith by a bit. Garrett Gould was a great pick, and I was not in the least surprised that they picked Brett Wallach. Angelo Songco (4th) was a steal that late, and Connor Powers (11th), Richie Shaffer (25th), and Alex McRee (26th) could do some damage. I don’t think they sign Brian Johnson (27th).
San Diego – I’ve waffled with this one. I love their Tate-Williams combo early, and Jerry Sullivan could be a nice surprise. Keyvius Sampson (4th) is a huge steal, but only if he starts. Drew Madrigal (11th) and Jorge Reyes (17th) both intrigue me. All in all, this seems like a boom or bust draft reminiscent of my Texas writeup.
San Francisco – I’m hard-pressed to find a draft I like more from round one to ten without extra picks. Each pick has something about them I think can project them as big leaguers in one way or another. It’s just a question of signing. They also added Jonathan Walsh (18th), Jason Walls (19th), and Mitch Mormann (20th) later, though I don’t know if they’ll sign. This could be a spectacular group.