MLB Draft First Round Recap
Buster Posey AFLAC All-American Classic 2004
Draft Expert
Posted Jun 6, 2008


Day one of the draft has come and gone and all of the first round picks are in. So, what happened? Find out which players each team got, what it adds to their organization, and more in this first round recap.

1. Tampa Bay Rays - Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS

This one was not a huge surprise to anyone, especially after the massive bonus demands of Buster Posey were revealed. Beckham is a legitimate five tool talent; he will need some development in the minors and will need to physically mature and learn to hit for power. The upside is nearly limitless.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates - Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt

Throughout the first day of the draft the Pittsburgh Pirates made their presence known, taking premium talents in every round. It all started with Alvarez. Arguably the top talent in the draft, the only thing that may have kept him out of the top spot was his hand injury early this spring. Pittsburgh is desperate for elite talent at every stage in their organization and the Vanderbilt star will offer instant help.

3. Kansas City Royals - Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS

The Royals have historically been very smart about evaluating amateur hitters, taking guys like Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon in recent years. They feel Hosmer could be even better than last year's pick, Moustakas, and that he could move up the ladder quickly as a college hitter would.

4. Baltimore Orioles - Brian Matusz, LHP, San Diego

This pick was also not much of a surprise. Baltimore made it pretty clear that they were looking for an arm that could help our their big league club sooner rather than later. Matusz will need some seasoning in the minors, but not much. He's arguably the most polished and also potentially the most dynamic collegiate arm in the class. The big lefty profiles as a frontline starter at the next level.

5. San Francisco Giants - Buster Posey, C, Florida State

The Giants are thrilled that Posey fell to them, but the challenge may have just begun. Posey is reportedly asking for $12 million, and it's unclear just how firm he is on that demand. San Francisco knew what they were getting into and rated Posey as high as any team in the draft so they will pull out all the stops to make sure a deal gets worked out.

6. Florida Marlins - Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot HS

This pick made sense throughout the spring and the Marlins were not shy about expressing their interest in the prep catcher. They had their sights set on him for quite a well and feel he'll become a cornerstone of their organization. This is just another outstanding move by an organization that continues to acquire phenomenal young talent. The catching position was one spot where they weren't particularly deep, however.

7. Cincinnati Reds - Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami

The Reds were responsible for one of the first real surprises in this first round. Late word was that they'd go for either Gordon Beckham or Brett Lawrie, and even with both on the table the Reds passed in favor of the Miami first baseman. Alonso does not play at a premium position so it is obvious that they value his bat and how it projects at the big league level. There have been rumors that Alonso has a steep price tag but it now appears he'll likely sign for slot.

8. Chicago White Sox - Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia

Everyone was expecting Beckham to go to the Reds, including the White Sox so this came as a surprise to them. Chicago envisions Beckham as their shortstop of the future and potential organization cornerstone. There were some teams that had doubts as to whether he could remain at shortstop but the Sox were not one of them.

9. Washington Nationals - Aaron Crow, RHP, Missouri

Washington's policy has been to take the best player in the last couple years and Crow was that guy this year depending on who you talk to. The Nationals likely were choosing between Crow and Justin Smoak, and considering they are trying to stockpile pitching for their future they went the right way on this one. They've now added two elite level college arms in the first round over the last two drafts.

10. Houston Astros - Jason Castro, C, Stanford

Houston Astros' fans, or at least the majority of them, have not responded well to this selection. Castro, of course, really is an excellent talent but there is some question as to whether this was an over draft. Whether it was or not we won't know until Castro fully develops, but it is very surprising that they would leave Justin Smoak on the board.

11. Texas Rangers - Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina

Never afraid to pay the big bucks for the player they want, the Texas Rangers were ready to pounce if this scenario presented itself. Much of it hinged on the Reds making their surprising pick of Yonder Alonso at pick number seven. Smoak could have a similar impact to former Ranger, Mark Teixeira.

12. Oakland Athletics - Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami

The Athletics had hopes that Gordon Beckham would slip to them and considered Aaron Hicks, but ultimately it came down to Weeks. The Miami second baseman stuck out in this draft was one of the few premium, toolsy college players that was talented enough to be considered a first round pick.

13. St. Louis Cardinals - Brett Wallace, 1B/3B, Arizona State

Rumors flew before the draft began that St. Louis was looking for pitching and they had plenty to choose from but apparently couldn't resist Wallace's potent bat.

14. Minnesota Twins - Aaron Hicks, OF, Woodrow Wilson HS

True to form, the Minnesota Twins went the high school route in the first round. They selected Hicks as an outfielders and his upside is as high as any in the entire class.

15. Los Angeles Dodgers - Ethan Martin, RHP/3B, Stephens County HS

It was not a shock to see the Dodgers make this selection, but what was a surprise was to see them select him as a third baseman and not as a pitcher. They have a history of taking two way players and it's always nice to have a backup plan if he flames out as a position player.

16. Milwaukee Brewers - Brett Lawrie, C, Brookswood HS

The Brewers were all over Lawrie leading up to the draft an all indications were that this was as fall as he would fall. The Canadian catcher is a high risk, high reward player but has superstar potential if he pans out.

17. Toronto Blue Jays - David Cooper, 1B, California

Very few within the industry expected Cooper to go this high, but it certainly fits the mold for the Blue Jays. They were disappointed to see Brett Wallace go off the board, but in a year of big bats, they certainly had good fallback options. Cooper's bat is outstanding but will need to improve on his defense at first base.

18. New York Mets - Ike Davis, 1B, Arizona State

The Mets badly wanted to add some thump to their farm system and Davis helps them in a big way. A polished bat with a track record, they could likely move Davis quickly up the ladder.

19. Chicago Cubs - Andrew Cashner, RHP, Texas Christian

The Cubs were looking for the best arm on the board and that was without a doubt Andrew Cashner at this stage in the draft. The Cubs may also have designs on seeing what he can do as a starter, so he offers more flexibility and projection than the other college relievers in the class.

20. Seattle Mariners - Josh Fields, RHP, Georgia

After a rough junior campaign, Fields bounced back nicely and absolutely dominated college opposition with his devastating two pitch mix. If he can keep his control in check he could rocket up the ladder and help the Mariners in a hurry.

21. Detroit Tigers - Ryan Perry, RHP, Arizona

The story continued to be the same for Perry throughout the spring; if he could harness his electric stuff he could be near unhittable. The Tigers couldn't resist his electric stuff and feel that he'll thrive against wood bats as he did in Cape Cod.

22. New York Mets - Reese Havens, SS, South Carolina

It took Havens a couple seasons in college to find his groove, but coming off a nice Cape Cod campaign and now a big junior season, the South Carolina standout is projected as a plus hitting future second baseman. He should move quickly in the depleted Mets' minor league system.

23. San Diego Padres - Allan Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest

Outstanding plate discipline and big time power make Dykstra an intriguing prospect but his inconsistency at the plate continued to frustrate scouts this spring. He's still learning to utilize his power and the Padres hope he puts it all together on their watch in their farm system.

24. Philadelphia Phillies - Anthony Hewitt, SS, Salisbury Prep

Hewitt was a very high risk pick for the Phillies, given that he's a northeast shortstop who has emerged late and has questions looming about his bat. But, many scouts have fallen in love with his tools and believe he has star potential if all goes well.

25. Colorado Rockies - Christian Friedrich, LHP, Eastern Kentucky

He doesn't come out of a big program but the curveball artist has dominated as he should and was thought to have put himself firmly in position to go in the top half of the first round. So, what happened? Whatever the reason for the fall is, the Rockies are surprised and thrilled to have him.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks - Daniel Schlereth, LHP, Arizona

There's no one out there that doesn't like a southpaw with a power arm, especially one that you can put at the back end of the bullpen. Schlereth likely projects as a closer at the big league level with two plus pitches.

27. Minnesota Twins - Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, Miami

Gutierrez was probably the surprising pick of the entire first round, but you have to give the always strong Minnesota scouting department the benefit of the doubt. Gutierrez gives them a polished, potentially fast moving relief prospect that could contribute possibly as early as next season.

28. New York Yankees - Gerrit Cole, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS

As they've done the last few years the Yankees found a way to make a splash. Cole has a lot of baggage, including some questions about his makeup and Scott Boras as his agent. All that aside, the Yankees got themselves arguably the most powerful arm in the country with this selection. They will likely have to pay above slot to get him signed.

29. Cleveland Indians - Lonnie Chisenhall, SS, Pitt CC

Few teams are as thorough when it comes to checking the makeup and backgrounds of their draft picks, so to see them draft a player with such a questionable history says a lot about Chisenhall and how he's matured. Looking past his personal problems, Chisenhall is one of the best pure hitters in this class.

30. Boston Red Sox - Casey Kelly, SS, Sarasota HS

Boston spent a great deal of time scouting a few players in Florida, one being Eric Hosmer, in hopes that he would drop. As they usually do, the Sox had some good backup plans. They envision Kelly as their shortstop of the future, and Kelly is one of the few high school shortstops that undoubtedly projects as a plus defensive player at the position. If by chance his bat does not catch up to the rest of his game, his arm projects big on the mound.


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