2014 MLB Draft Reactions: Live Blog
2014 MLB Draft Rankings: The Draft Board
2014 MLB Draft Podcast: Jim Callis
|June 6||12:55 AM|
- Additional Thoughts From Day One
I tweeted this after the pick, but it was interesting to see the Dodgers announce their 2nd rounder, Arizona prep LHP/OF Alex Verdugo would start as a CF and only pitch if hitting failed. Normally with two way players, you make them hit first if it's a close call and I preferred him as a hitter, but it sounded like most teams preferred him as a pitcher and the Dodgers often draft pitchers just like Verdugo. I also thought the strategy Pittsburgh used on it's picks was interesting, scroll down to the entry on the Cole Tucker pick to see my full thoughts.
Some other picks the compensation and 2nd rounds that I like for the relative value: Forrest Wall to COL at 35, Sean Reid-Foley to TOR at 49 (though that should be an overslot deal), Aramis Garica to SF at 52, Ti'Quan Forbes to TEX at 59, Verdugo to LA at 62, Ronnie Williams to STL at 68 and Marcus Wilson to ARZ at 69.
Some team that had hauls that particularly stood out after day one: the Blue Jays had my favorite day one draft (Hoffman, Pentecost, Reid-Foley) because they took my best available at all three picks, the Rangers (Luis Ortiz and Forbes), the Dodgers (Holmes and Verdugo) and the Royals (Finnegan, Griffin, Vallot and Blewett). It's also worth noting that four teams with multiple picks got good values at each pick, but didn't necessarily hit a single home run: the Red Sox (Chavis, Kopech, Travis), the D'Backs (Toussaint, Cody Reed, Wilson, Isan Diaz), the Indians (Zimmer, Sheffield, Papi, Hockin) and the Astros (Aiken, Fisher, Reed).
Twitter seemed to love the Brewers haul (Medeiros, Gatewood, Harrison) but Medeiros went at least 10 picks higher than I thought he would and about 20 picks higher than I'd take him. He's clearly talented and I'd draft him in the 30's, but there's a good chance he's a reliever and, at 12, they passed on a number of similar upsides with less risk. Gatewood and Harrison are the famous, high-upside types that fans love but both went where they should and odds say they both likely give no big league value. I always joke that fans want every pick to be an overslot bonus of a high upside prep player that's best available on every internet draft list. The internet really came through for me yesterday.
The Cubs went underslot with their first two picks and I know they wanted a shot at Jack Flaherty, but he went before their 2nd pick, so they're sure to take some shots at overslot guys tomorrow and in day three. I know they'd like some pitching to balance out the system, so here's some names for Cubs fans to look out for as high ceiling overslot arms still on the board: Zech Lemond, Austin DeCarr, Carson Sands, Dylan Cease, Michael Cederoth, Bryce Montes De Oca and Pat Connaughton. See my full top available with signability chatter for many of them over at The Draft Board.
I tweeted some figures for the advisor count after 27 picks. Thru the full first round of 34 players this is the count as best I can tell: CAA - 6, Excel - 5, Boras - 5, with a number of other agencies having multiple guys. As I noted earlier on Twitter, Excel gets the edge in any ties as they had 3 of the top 4 overall picks.
I noted before the draft that Scott Boras held some of the cards for what happened at the top of the draft because how he priced Carlos Rodon and Alex Jackson would dictate where they went; they had a real chance to go 1-2 if he priced them competitively. Industry chatter had Boras pricing Rodon aggressively (which may have contributed to his slide) and Jackson somewhere behind that, indicating the primary goal was the highest bonus, though sliding a few picks near the top almost always means a smaller bonus. It will be interesting to see what the top few bonuses in the class end up being a month from now, but I've projected them below as an initial guess.
Agent Casey Close is the lead guy for Excel and after an offseason where he topped Scott Boras in total contract dollars negotiated that some thought was a signal of a new top dog in the agent game, Excel continues to stay one step ahead of the Boras Corp.
|June 6||12:44 AM|
- 27. Cardinals - Luke Weaver
Weaver fits the Cardinals style of pitcher perfectly: an athletic righty with above average velocity, changeup and command. The concerns are his slight build and below average breaking ball but Weaver has no injury history and has thrown a good breaking ball at times, so you'd think a good pitching coach could coax it out of him. Many think the Cardinals have some of the best pitching development in the game, so this one makes sense and there were other savvy teams like Oakland and Boston sniffing around on Weaver in this area. Here is his scouting video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.65 million
Projected Bonus: $1.50 million
|June 6||12:38 AM|
- 26. Red Sox - Michael Chavis
Chavis was in play for a number of the picks ahead of this one, so it's a nice value for the Red Sox to get the prep player with some of the best power and makeup in the draft. Chavis is deceptively quick and can stick in the infield with quick feet and a plus arm, with some scouts suggesting catcher; that could be an instructional league experiment. Here is his free scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.87 million
Projected Bonus: $1.60 million
|June 6||12:35 AM|
- 25. A's - Matt Chapman
Chapman had some late momentum to this pick after an impressive workout, though no one really questions Chapman's raw tools, with his 65 power and 80 arm drawing attention. Chapman can stick at third and has hit 98 mph on the mound in very limited experience. I would consider taking Chapman here even if I thought he was a .250 hitter, so the A's could make out like bandits if he makes more contact than that. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.89 million
Projected Bonus: $1.75 million
|June 6||12:33 AM|
- 24. Pirates - Cole Tucker
Here's the first major surprise of the draft. I had Tucker #99 on my board but had heard some teams had interest about 50 picks higher than that. I feel fine with my projection as Tucker is a legit 6'4 and should add some weight, so an adequate shortstop becomes a third baseman, for me. Some clubs think he's a long-term shortstop and he needs to be to justify this pick, as he has little power. He's young for the class and a gifted switch hitter with a broad base of tools, but I thought he'd end up going to school and possibly becoming a 1st rounder in three years, I just can't counting on that from what I see right now. Here is his scouting video
I'm writing this after the Pirates took Iowa prep RHP Mitch Keller in the 2nd round and a scout told me the Tucker pick could be signability related, as Keller's asking price is $1.5 million and the slot at that pick is $886K. The Pirates second pick was Connor Joe at #39 and that should be under slot as well. The reasoning behind this is that Tucker may not have gotten to the 2nd pick and Joe may not have gotten to the 3rd pick but due to Keller's demands, he would be at the third pick, so they had to take them in that order to make sure they got all three. I'm projecting about $500K saved at this pick and another roughly $500K projected to be saved at the Joe pick covers Keller with some money leftover.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.92 million
Projected Bonus: $1.40 million
|June 6||12:26 AM|
- 23. Tigers - Derek Hill
Hill is a scout's kid and his dad was also a former 1st rounder and both things show as Hill is polished, makes adjustments and has loud physical tools. There's some power potential and feel to hit but the standout tool here is Hill's plus plus speed and defense. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.95 million
Projected Bonus: $1.80 million
|June 6||12:09 AM|
- 22. Dodgers - Grant Holmes
Holmes had some top 10 pick momentum early and has been remarkably consistent for the last year. As mentioned with the Toussaint pick, smaller prep righties tend to drop on draft day; this is another great value to get the #11 player on my board at pick 22. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $1.98 million
Projected Bonus: $1.98 million
|June 6||12:04 AM|
- 21. Indians - Brad Zimmer
Zimmer had top 10 pick momentum earlier in the spring then had a cold streak late and slipped a bit, but the tools are still elite, just like his brother RHP Kyle Zimmer, the Royals former #5 overall pick. Zimmer likely fits in right long-term and the power is a little less than you'd like, but the bat is plus and he does everything well with the physical projection to dream on more power. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.00 million
Projected Bonus: $1.95 million
|June 5||11:59 PM|
- 20. Rays - Casey Gillaspie
Gillaspie is a stat guy favorite with his gaudy numbers and the Rays surely like their stats, but Gillaspie also has at least 60 raw power, so this isn't smoke and mirrors. Gillaspie also has a little better bat than most 6'5/240 college sluggers so the teams that like him see .270+ average and 25 homers. You better hope he does that because his speed/defense/arm aren't bringing much to the table so there's no margin for error. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.03 million
Projected Bonus: $1.90 million
|June 5||11:55 PM|
- 19. Reds - Nick Howard
Howard had late helium as a college closer that had a history of starting and also played in the field enough that clubs thought there was untapped potential on the mound. The Nats, Dodgers and Tigers were all on him in this range and Howard also profiles as a #3 starter if everything works, but he's also got closer type stuff if he ends up in relief. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.09 million
Projected Bonus: $1.95 million
|June 5||11:52 PM|
- 18. Nationals - Erick Fedde
Fedde was another of those picks that, like Hoffman, was tied to the Nats soon after his elbow injury. The Nats play nice with Fedde's advisor Scott Boras and the roughly 10 pick discount had him in this general range already. Fedde is a lanky 6'4 righty with #3 starter upside but will be out for the next year rehabbing his elbow surgery. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.14 million
Projected Bonus: $2.14 million
|June 5||11:48 PM|
- 17. Royals - Brandon Finnegan
Finnegan seemed likely to go in the top 20 picks after an injury scare that he bounced back from in regionals, though he was more of a top 10-15 prospect before the arm tightness. He's smallish and has some effort to the delivery, but the stuff is plus and the command is good, too. Here is his free scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.20 million
Projected Bonus: $2.07 million
|June 5||11:41 PM|
- 16. D'Backs - Touki Toussaint
Touki was long tied to the Jays at 11 but Max Pentecost's late rise to that spot pushed Touki down as teams live up to the maxim that prep righties tend to fall on draft day. At his best, Touki has some of the most lights out stuff on the planet, but he has to dial is back a notch to command it. This pick reminds me of Arizona's value pick last year with an inexplicable slide from a medium-framed righty in Braden Shipley. I think both picks will work out nicely. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.33 million
Projected Bonus: $2.33 million
|June 5||11:37 PM|
- 15. Angels - Sean Newcomb
Newcomb was on the names tied to the Angels for the last few weeks at this spot. He's a nice value here and was in play as high as picks 5 and 6. Newcomb has a very fresh arm after missing much of last summer and taking off last spring after playing mostly football in high school and drawing D1 offers as a tight end. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.47 million
Projected Bonus: $2.40 million
|June 5||9:07 PM|
- 14. Giants - Tyler Beede
Beede was all over the map for teams leading up to the draft: he was a mid 1st rounder entering the spring, jumped into the top 10 early in the year, then fell to the back half of the first round as his command and makeup became real questions, then had a late surge as he hit 99 mph in his regional start. There's mid-rotation with some tweaks and maybe even frontline ability if the Giants development staff can get everything out of him. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.61 million
Projected Bonus: $2.50 million
|June 5||9:04 PM|
- 13. Padres - Trea Turner
I heard most of the spring that the Padres would take Turner if he got to them, at a time when Turner was struggling and some teams had him in the 20's. He caught fire late and was getting looks at picks 6-11, so this is a nice value to get their guy. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.72 million
Projected Bonus: $2.70 million
|June 5||8:53 PM|
- 12. Brewers - Kodi Medeiros
We're getting into the range where we're basically throwing darts and the intel gets pretty spotty. Medeiros was one of the long shots at this pick I named in today's mock draft but this is still a surprise. Medeiros is a 6'0 lefty with a low arm slot but the stuff that comes out is big. He wasn't expected to be in play until 17 to KC, so I'm guessing this one is below slot. Here is his scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.80 million
Projected Bonus: $2.20 million
|June 5||8:46 PM|
- 11. Blue Jays - Max Pentecost
Pentecost was a personal favorite that the Blue Jays got on heavy in the past week or two, sending most of their draft room to his regional in Tallahassee. He's a great value here and I think he's going to be an above average regular. Here is Pentecost's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.88 million
Projected Bonus: $2.81 million
|June 5||8:35 PM|
- 10. Mets - Michael Conforto
Conforto was heavily rumored at 4 and was a fit at 8, so this looked to be about as low as he could get today. He has a legit bat and plus raw power, but fits in left field, isn't that great out there and might be a first baseman down the road. Here is Conforto's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.97 million
Projected Bonus: $2.90 million
|June 5||8:32 PM|
- 9. Blue Jays - Jeff Hoffman
I had the Blue Jays on Hoffman since the day he came down with the elbow injury that prevented him from going in the top 4, as everyone thought he would, if healthy. The bonus should be $2.5-3.0 million, so I split the difference on the projection. If he was healthy, I may have made Hoffman my top player in the draft and he would've been in the top 3 easily. This is an Adam Waiwright or Justin Verlander type prospect and Tommy John surgery has over an 80% success rate. Great pick. Here is Hoffman's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $3.08 million
Projected Bonus: $2.90 million
|June 5||8:08 PM|
- 8. Rockies - Kyle Freeland
This is a pick I had projected the Rockies to make for the first two mocks, then changed it today with news that Freeland's medical was so bad some teams in the 20's wouldn't have taken him, though he is healthy right now. Well, a few guys that are already injured are about to be picked, so taking a guy that's healthy but might get injured isn't that off base, though I moved him down a good bit on my list after ranking him 12th until today's news. Sounds like the Rockies should get a nice discount on this deal as Freeland might've gone 12th but likely would've last until the back half of the first round if they didn't take him. The Rox also know the most about Freeland's medical situation since he's from Denver and his doctor is the Rockies team doctor. Here is Freeland's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $3.19 million
Projected Bonus: $2.30 million
|June 5||7:57 PM|
- 7. Phillies - Aaron Nola
I'm back on track with another correct pick and another team gets the guy it was hoping for and easily could've gone in front of them. Nola is a personal favorite and this is a nice value as he could be in the big league rotation as soon as Opening Day 2015. Here is Nola's free scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $3.30 million
Projected Bonus: $3.10 million
|June 5||7:53 PM|
- 6. Mariners - Alex Jackson
I get another pick correct here and the Mariners have to be elated to get Jackson, who was rumored to be atop their board and had a real chance to go 1st or 2nd overall. The Bryce Harper comparisons are a little crazy, but both were catchers in high school who were advanced hitters and moved to the outfield so they can get to the majors more quickly. Wil Myers is a better comparison of overall talent and that's a nice find here. There a chance this bonus goes a little over the allotment. Here is Jackson's free scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $3.57 million
Projected Bonus: $3.57 million
|June 5||7:50 PM|
- 5. Twins - Nick Gordon
I get back on track with my projections here, as Gordon was rumored to go in this spot for over a month. He's a legit talent whose father is Tom, the former MLB reliever and brother is Dee, current Dodgers 2B. Nick also has been up to 95 on the mound and is the rare domestic prospect with a chance to be an everyday shortstop. Here is Gordon's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $3.85 million
Projected Bonus: $3.75 million
|June 5||7:46 PM|
- 4. Cubs - Kyle Schwarber
I wrote in today's mock draft that this would come down to Michael Conforto and Schwarber, I just picked the wrong one. Look for them to flip-flop positions with Conforto going 8th to Colorado with a floor of 10th to the Mets. Schwarber has the most raw power in the class and isn't a terrible catcher, but is probably a primary first baseman that maybe catches once a week and hits .260 or .270. This will be a below-slot deal and probably save over a million for the Cubs. Here is Schwarber's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $4.62 million
Projected Bonus: $3.50 million
|June 5||7:41 PM|
- 3. White Sox - Carlos Rodon
This one was expected if Rodon didn't go 2nd, as I explained in today's mock draft. I had Rodon 2nd on my board and the pre-draft buzz was he'd want full slot if he went here and possibly more, so I'll project a couple ticks above slot and the biggest bonus thus far. Here is Rodon's free scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $5.72 million
Projected Bonus: $6.15 million
|June 5||7:39 PM|
- 2. Marlins - Tyler Kolek
This one was a surprise, as I was hearing it was down to Carlos Rodon and Alex Jackson just hours before the draft, as was most of the industry. Even Kolek's camp didn't know this would happen minutes before the draft got started. I had Kolek 6th on my board as I'm a little worried about the stress his unprecedented velocity will put on his arm, along with his lack of current feel, though it's encouraging that he's a good athlete for a massive 6'5/270 kid with limited innings. Here is Kolek's scouting report and video.
Draft Pick Allotment: $6.82 million
Projected Bonus: $5.90 million
|June 5||7:28 PM|
- 1. Astros - Brady Aiken
Draft Pick Allotment: $7.92 million
Projected Bonus: $6.25 million
|June 5||6:14 PM|
- ABOUT TO GET STARTED
This is the place to check in after each pick for some breakdown and links to reports, video and whatnot for each player. Good to see some friends of the site looking dapper in the MLB Network cut-ins of draft rooms. If Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara wasn't wearing a sweater vest, we'd all be doomed.