MLB Draft 2012: Report Card for Every MLB Team After Day 1
Photo courtesy blog.chron.com
By the time all is said and done on Monday night, the 2012 MLB draft will have concluded its first round and following sandwich round for compensatory picks. And for the teams drafting, it could likely determine just how successful they'll be overall when the draft ends on Wednesday.
All but two teams will have at least one pick on Monday, with the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels waiting until Tuesday to make their picks, courtesy of their heavy spending over the winter.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays both have five picks overall, and GMs John Mozeliak and Alex Anthopoulos will have golden opportunities to replenish their farm systems with solid picks.
So, just who were the winners on Monday night? Which teams missed the boat with their picks?
Let's take a look.
Note: All MLB farm system rankings listed are courtesy of ESPN (Insider subscription required).
Arizona Diamondbacks Grade: B
Photo courtesy espn.go.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in a completely different position this year after having two top-10 picks last season.
This year, the D-Backs had the 26th overall pick in the first round, and MLB Network analyst Jonathan Mayo opined that they would select a high school bat.
Mayo was correct. the D-Backs chose high school catcher Stryker Trahan out of Acadiana High School in Louisiana. Trahan hit .460 with five home runs and 31 RBI, and while some suggested that Trahan may not have the defensive skills to stay behind the plate, MLB Network analysts countered by saying that experts said the same thing about Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann when he was drafted as well.
The D-Backs weren't strong in their farm system as far as catchers were concerned, so a solid choice here.
Atlanta Braves Grade: C
Photo courtesy maxpreps.com
The Atlanta Braves, by virtue of their epic September collapse last season, had the 21st pick in the first round this season, a jump of seven slots over last season when they selected Florida State southpaw Sean Gilmartin.
This year, the Atlanta Braves selected Lucas Sims, a strong right-handed pitcher out of Georgia who was a regular shortstop before becoming a starting pitcher. He was 8-1 with a 1.19 ERA, striking out 98 batters in 76 innings.
The Braves have been well known for going after local talent through the draft, and they certainly didn't disappoint with the selection of Sims. However, analysts project Sims more as a closer type at the major league level, and with Craig Kimbrel already in place, was it really a smart choice for the Braves?
Baltimore Orioles Grade: C+
Photo courtesy washingtonexaminer.com
Unfortunately, the Baltimore Orioles are in an all-too familiar spot—another top-five selection.
With their fourth pick, the Orioles selected LSU right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman. A draft-eligible sophomore, Gausman was 11-1 with a 2.72 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 115.2 innings. He features an outstanding fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has touched 98 to 99.
However, Gausman has been criticized for a max-effort delivery and violent pitching motion, so not convinced this was the best pick for the O's in this slot.
Boston Red Sox Grade: D
Photo courtesy statepress.com
In last year's draft, the Boston Red Sox had two picks in the first round, choosing to go with a safer college pitcher (Matt Barnes, UConn) and a high-school catcher who can hit (Blake Swihart).
This year, new GM Ben Cherington will have his first chance to make an impact on the draft, and he has three draft picks to make his mark (24, 31, 37).
So, how did Cherington fare with his first pick? Well, it depends on who you listen to. With the 24th pick, the Sox selected Arizona State University shortstop Deven Marrero. Considering the Sox already have a top defensive shortstop prospect in Jose Iglesias, the pick was curious to say the least. Marrero's batting average dropped each year from his freshman year forward, hitting just .284 this year for the Sun Devils. For me, Cherington's first pick was a miss.
With their next pick, the last pick in the first round, the Red Sox took University of Florida southpaw pitcher Brian Johnson. Not sure I'm crazy about this pick, either. Johnson posted an 8-4 record and 3.56 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 86 innings. Johnson has a low-90s fastball, not terrific, but does have a plus curveball and changeup.
MLB Network analysts thought that Johnson could possibly be a back-end starter with possibly more value out of the bullpen. Again, not a pick that had experts all giddy, for sure.
With their final pick, the Sox selected Pat Light out of Monmouth. A big, burly right-hander, Light was 8-3 with a 2.40 ERA in his sophomore season with 102 strikeouts in 101 innings. Finally a solid pick here, but the Sox largely missed, in my humble opinion.
Chicago Cubs Grade: B+
Photo courtesy maxpreps.com
With the new management team in place for the Chicago Cubs in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, they have stated their desire to rebuild the Cubs largely through rebuilding their farm system, and with three picks on Monday, they'll have a golden opportunity to do just that.
With the sixth overall selection, the Cubs picked Mater Academy prep outfielder Albert Almora.
Two phrases describe Almora—makeup and work ethic. Almora hit .606 in his senior season with six home runs, and the Cubs very well could have picked up their center fielder of the future in Almora, who has five-tool potential and is already an outstanding defender.
With the 43rd pick on Monday night, the Cubs selected Missouri State right-handed pitcher Peirce Johnson. Johnson's 4-6 record in his junior year may not look impressive, but his 2.53 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 99.2 innings were indeed eye-popping.
The Cubs' final pick of the night, prep right-hander Paul Blackburn of Heritage High School in California, posted a 0.93 ERA, a .153 BAA and 100 strikeouts against just 18 walks in 83 innings. Blackburn has committed to Arizona State, so signability could be an issue, especially with a pick not in the top 50.
All in all, an excellent mix of picks in the very first draft for Epstein and Hoyer.
Chicago White Sox Grade: B-
Photo courtesy mlbdraftcountdown.wordpress.com
The Chicago White Sox have nowhere to go but up with their picks (13, 48) on Monday night. ESPN ranks the White Sox farm system dead last in Major League Baseball, so Monday's picks will go a long way toward seeing whether or not they can climb out of the organizational cellar.
With their first pick on Monday night, the White Sox selected prep outfielder Courtney Hawkins out of Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, TX.
I like this pick here. Hawkins hit .457 in his senior season with 10 home runs and 36 RBI, stealing 18 bases as well. In addition, Hawkins can bring it on the mound, with a 3-1 record, 0.83 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 25 innings. However, his future in MLB clearly seems to be as a position player.
With the 48th pick, the White Sox selected power-hitting first baseman Keon Barnum out of King High School in Florida. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, Barnum possesses outstanding power, with MLB Network analysts drawing comparisons to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard.
Overall, good picks here for the Sox, who are clearly looking at offense for the future.
Cincinnati Reds Grade: C
Photo courtesy miamiherald.com
With three picks on Monday night (14, 49, 57) the Cincinnati Reds can do a lot to improve their MLB farm system ranking (19th according to ESPN).
With the 14th overall pick, MLB Network analysts thought the Reds might go after a right-handed college arm, however, the Reds went prep instead, selecting Nick Travieso out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Pembroke Pines, FL.
Travieso was 8-1 with a 0.50 ERA in his senior season, striking out 107 batters in just over 70 innings. Travieso possesses a blazing fastball that can hit 99 mph on the radar gun, but needs work on his secondary pitches to be effective at the major league level.
With the 49th pick, the Reds selected Olympia High School (FL) right-fielder Jesse Winker. At 6'3" and 200 pounds, Winker already has advanced plate discipline with the ability to hit the ball to all fields and the power to jack it as well.
The 57th pick saw the Reds pick UCLA outfielder Jeff Gelalich, who experienced an outstanding junior season after two inconsistent years. Gelalich projects as a solid outfielder who can hit for contact and possible power.
While not terrible picks for the Reds, the two high-schoolers certainly present their own set of challenges in terms of development at higher levels.
Cleveland Indians Grade: D
Photo courtesy collegebaseball360.com
The Cleveland Indians have the 15th pick in the MLB draft on Monday night, one year after selecting heralded prep shortstop Francisco Lindor with their eighth overall pick last season.
It was thought by MLB Network analysts, including MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, that the Tribe would go after a college arm. The Indians did go college, but they went with an outfielder instead, selecting Texas A&M star Tyler Naquin.
Naquin hit .380 with 21 stolen bases in his junior year, and projects as a solid major league hitter with fringe power. However, whether or not Naquin has the speed to stay in center is in question, and he may not have the arm for right field, either.
Not totally enamored with this pick here, would have rather seen the Indians go after Naquin's college teammate, right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha.
Colorado Rockies Grade: C-
Photo courtesy macksmets.blogspot.com
The Colorado Rockies have two picks on Monday night (10, 46), and hope to continue building on a farm system that is currently ranked 13th in baseball by ESPN.
With their first pick of the night on Monday, the Rockies selected David Dahl, a very good looking outfielder from Oak Mountain High School in Alabama.
At 6'2" and 185 pounds, Dahl projects as a gap hitter with excellent speed, hitting .412 in his senior season with three home runs and 18 stolen bases. MLB Network analysts likened Dahl's abilities to All-Star center fielder Johnny Damon. A solid up-the-middle player who will be given a chance to develop slowly in the Rockies organization.
Personally, I would have liked the Rockies to go after an experienced college pitcher, considering their current struggles.
With the 46th pick, the Rockies chose Radford University right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler. At 6'2" and 165 pounds, Butler is a beanstalk, but a beanstalk who can throw. Mid-90s fastball and command issues may put Butler in the bullpen at the major league level.
Not totally loving the Rockies picks here, would have much rather seen GM Dan O'Dowd go after some impact college arms.
Detroit Tigers: No Grade
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The Detroit Tigers were shut out on Monday at the draft, courtesy of their signing of Prince Fielder during the offseason.
Their first pick won't take place until the third round on Tuesday. Ah, the price one pays to win in the here and now.
Houston Astros Grade: A
The Houston Astros went bold with the selection of Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correia.Photo courtesy mlbdraftcountdown.wordpress.com
With the first pick in the MLB draft for the first time in 20 years, the Houston Astros selected shortstop Carlos Correa from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.
Fabulous selection here. New GM Jeff Luhnow had a chance to make a bold selection instead of a safe one, and with the selection of Correa, Luhnow made a statement that he will go after players he feels will have the greatest impact going forward.
At 6'4" and 190 pounds, Correa possesses tremendous skills, is already an excellent fielder with a strong arm and MLB Network analysts drew comparisons to Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Correa has committed to the University of Miami, but it's hard to believe that Luhnow would have committed to this pick without a belief that he wouldn't be able to sign Correa.
With the 41st pick, the Astros selected right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers out of Jesuit High School in Florida. McCullers was extraordinary in his senior year, posting a 9-0 record with a 0.18 ERA and opponents only hitting .106 against him.
McCullers has committed to the University of Florida, which apparently kept several teams from drafting him higher. Still, if Luhnow can get him signed, he represents a premium arm with tremendous upside.
Great picks here by the Astros, Luhnow once again showed why he was ready for a GM position after several years as the director of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kansas City Royals Grade: A-
Photo courtesy chicagonow.com
With the fifth overall pick on Monday night, the Kansas City Royals selected University of San Francisco right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer.
This was a great pick by the Royals, who are already loaded with solid position players in their farm system. MLB Network analysts believe that Gausman has the best pitching body in the draft (6'4", 220 pounds).
Zimmer was 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA this past season for USF, with 104 Ks against just 17 walks. With a great three-pitch mix (fastball, curve, changeup), Zimmer was a solid selection for a team already well-stocked on the diamond.
Los Angeles Angels: No Grade
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Angels, courtesy of their $331.5 million spending spree during the offseason, had no picks at all on Monday night, forfeiting their first two picks with the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
Los Angeles Dodgers Grade: C
The Los Angeles Dodgers had the 18th and 51st picks on Monday night, using their first pick to select high school shortstop Corey Seager, brother of Seattle Mariners' emerging star Kyle Seager.
MLB Network analysts believe that Seager will likely move to third base at the major league level. Seager was outstanding during his senior season at Northwest Cabarrus High School, showing some power with 10 home runs.
With the 51st pick, the Dodgers selected Puerto Rico Baseball Academy shortstop Jesmuel Valentin. Valentin is the son of 16-year MLB veteran Jose Valentin, and is a very raw talent at this point.
Curious that the Dodgers chose two players with MLB family ties, but maybe they figure the genes will be the same.
Miami Marlins Grade: B+
Photo courtesy jaysjournal.com
Despite the Miami Marlins' spending spree this past offseason, they still had the ninth overall draft pick on Monday night. With that pick, the Marlins selected Andrew Heaney, a southpaw from Oklahoma State University.
Heaney was 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA, striking out 140 in just 118.1 innings. A solid pick for the Marlins, who MLB Network projects will be a solid No. 2 or 3 starter in the majors. Heaney was the first college left-hander selected in the draft.
Heaney showed the ability to attack the strike zone and establish command, walking only 17 batters all season. He very well could move through the Marlins system quickly.
Milwaukee Brewers Grade: B
Photo courtesy perfectgame.org
The Milwaukee Brewers were fortunate to pick up two more draft picks on Monday night, courtesy of failing to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
With the 27th, 28th and 38th picks, the Brewers first selected Clint Coulter, a catcher out of Union High School in Washington.
Coulter was considered to be the best prep player in the Northwest, and has outstanding power and a strong arm behind the plate. Coulter hit .405 with three home runs and 13 RBI, and compares positively to current Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli. In addition, Coulter was tutored by former MLB catcher Tom Lampkin, who has become one of the leading youth baseball instructors in the country.
With the very next pick, the Brewers selected Georgia Southern University outfielder Victor Roache. Some may consider the Brewers took a chance on Roache, based on his wrist injury suffered earlier this year that required six screws to properly set it during surgery.
Roache hit a mammoth 30 homers last year in his sophomore season and this year was hitting .412 with two home runs and five RBI in six games before going down with the wrist injury. MLB Network analysts considered this selection for the Brewers an absolute steal, considering Roache's tremendous power potential.
With the Brewers final pick of the evening, they selected outfielder Mitch Haniger out of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo (CA). Haniger is a solid pick, with a developing power bat and excellent corner outfield defender with a strong arm.
A little surprised that the Brewers went with all position players on Monday night, but the quality of selections was definitely a plus.
Minnesota Twins Grade: B+
The Minnesota Twins have three picks on Monday night as well, courtesy of losing both Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, as well as the second overall pick.
The Twins, much like the Houston Astros with the first pick, went bold as well with the second pick, selecting prep outfielder Byron Buxton of Baxley, GA.
Buxton hit .545 in his senior year and pitched in on the mound as well, going 10-1 with an ERA under 2.00, averaging over two strikeouts an inning and striking out 18 in the state title game last week.
Buxton is the prototypical five-tool player who stole 36 bases in 37 attempts in his senior year as well. With a rifle arm and great range in center field, Buxton has a chance to move up quickly—maybe not quite as quickly as Bryce Harper, but fairly quick nonetheless.
With the first pick in the compensation round, the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Jose Orlando Berrios out of Papa Juan XIII High School in Puerto Rico. Good pick here as well—undersized, but holds velocity well through late innings and possesses a crazy workout regimen.
Their final pick, Georgia Tech right-handed pitcher Luke Bard, is the younger brother of Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard. Call him Bard Light, with a fastball that touches the mid-90s and a hard slider.
Love the picks here, the Twins took a chance on two prep stars with outstanding potential and a proven college pitcher with excellent credentials and pedigree.
New York Mets Grade: B-
Photo courtesy metsmerizedonline.com
The New York Mets have the 22nd-ranked farm system in baseball according to ESPN, and with the 12th and 35th picks on Monday night, they'll have a chance to add some great talent and improve their standing at the same time.
With their first pick, the Mets selected shortstop Gavin Cecchini out of Barbe High School in Lake Charles, LA. Cecchini possesses what has been called game-changing speed, stealing 32 bases without getting caught to go with a .412 batting average. Solid pick by the Mets here.
With the 35th pick, the Mets took Purdue University catcher Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki hit .355 in his junior year, however, his defensive abilities aren't quite up to par yet, so work will need to be done at the minor league level.
Love Cecchini, clearly has the ability to be a quality leadoff guy in the future, and Plawecki is a bit of a defensive project with a solid bat.
New York Yankees Grade: A
Photo courtesy espn.go.com
With only one pick on Monday night, the New York Yankees used the 30th overall pick to select high school pitcher Ty Hensley out of Santa Fe High School (OK).
This is an outstanding pick by the Yankees. Hensley already has a plus fastball and breaking ball, posting a 9-0 record and 1.59 ERA, striking out 98 batters in just 48.1 innings. A great two-way star as well, Hensley hit .461 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.
However, Hensley clearly projects as a pitcher, as scouts love his 6'4", 220-pound frame and his overall makeup and composure on the mound.
Oakland Athletics Grade: F
Photo courtesy sbb.scout.com
The Oakland A's not only have the 11th overall pick, but two compensatory picks as well. They re-stocked their farm system this past offseason with the trades of Trevor Cahill, Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez, and with their picks on Monday night will have a chance to improve on their ninth-place farm system ranking according to ESPN.
The A's went against the conventional wisdom stated by several MLB Network analysts who thought that the A's should have gone after a college bat by selecting prep shortstop Addison Russell out of Pace High School in Miami, FL.
Perplexing pick here, given the fact that several solid college bats were available that could help the A's a lot faster than Russell. While he has tremendous upside, Russell likely will need a good three to four years to develop.
With the 34th pick, the A's curiously went with another high school middle infielder, selecting Daniel Robertson out of Upland High School (CA). Scouts see Robertson as more of a third baseman at the major league level with a solid approach at the plate and the ability to do whatever it takes to help his team win.
The A's final pick was another high school infielder, this time first baseman Matt Olson out of Parkview High School (GA). At 6'4" and 235 pounds, Olson was essentially selected for his power potential.
Three high school infielders? Very curious picks for the A's here. While they have a young stable of pitchers in the system already, it would have been nice to see them go after impact bats that can help in less than three years or so.
Philadelphia Phillies Grade: C
Photo courtesy espn.go.com
The Philadelphia Phillies had no picks in the first round, but did have two picks in the compensation round (40, 54).
With their first pick in the sandwich round, the Phillies selected Lakewood High School (CA) pitcher Shane Watson. Watson is 6'4" and 195 pounds, possesses a fastball that averages 89 to 93 mph and can touch 96, and scouts see Watson's curveball as a potential out pitch at the major league level, with the ability to induce a lot of swing-and-misses.
With the 54th pick, the Phillies went with another potential high-upside high school pitcher, selecting Mitch Gueller out of W F West High School in Washington. Gueller too has a solid two-pitch repertoire with his fastball and curve, and like Watson, has projectability at the major league level.
Not sure the Phillies hit it out of the park with these selections, choosing more high-upside potential rather than more proven talent at the college level.
Pittsburgh Pirates Grade: B-
Photo courtesy baltimoresun.com
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a familiar spot with another top-10 pick. With the eighth overall pick, the Bucs went with Stanford pitcher Mark Appel.
Appel was outstanding this year for the Cardinal, who are currently in the NCAA regionals. Appel was 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA as their featured Friday night pitcher, with a solid mid-90s fastball and great projectability.
I love Appel's abilities, but with the offensive challenges the Pirates currently face, and not a whole lot of reinforcements currently in the farm system, I was more than surprised with the Appel selection.
With the 45th pick, the Pirates selected Texas Tech outfielder Barrett Barnes. Barnes was the lone bright spot for a Texas Tech team that was the only squad not invited to the Big 12 Championship.
Barnes projects more as a corner outfielder in the future with the ability to hit 20 to 25 home runs at the major league level.
I would have liked the Pirates to go after another bat along with Barnes, although Appel certainly is a safe pick.
San Diego Padres Grade: B
Photo courtesy espn.go.com
The San Diego Padres had four picks on Monday night with a chance to continue on top of MLB's farm system rankings according to ESPN.
With the seventh overall selection, the Padres took left-handed pitcher Max Fried out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Hollywood,CA. Fried is considered to have the best curveball of any prep pitcher in the draft, a low-to-mid 90s fastball and solid changeup.
Fried was 8-2 with a 2.02 ERA in his senior season, with 105 strikeouts in leading Harvard-Westlake to a spectacular season. MLB Network analyst John Hart likened Fried to Philadelphia Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels, Great pick here.
With the 33rd selection in the draft, the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin out of Hagerty High School in Florida. After triceps tendonitis slowed him in April, Efrin still struck out 57 batters in 38 innings. Signability could be an issue, Efrin has committed to the University of Central Florida.
The last two selections for the Padres, outfielder Travis Jankowski of SUNY Stony Brook and pitcher Walker Weickel of Olympia High School (FL) were excellent picks who both show solid potential at the major league level—Jankowski as a potential top-of-the-order bat and Weickel as a mid-rotation starter with a nice three-pitch repertoire and advanced plate command.
Padres went heavy on prep talent with high upside, but in Jankowski could have an outstanding bat and solid defender.
San Francisco Giants Grade: D
Photo courtesy maroonandwhitenation.com
The San Francisco Giants only had one pick on Monday night, and with the 20th overall pick, they chose Mississippi State right-hander Chris Stratton. Um, how about a bat, Giants?
Stratton was tremendous in his junior year, posting an 11-2 record, a 2.38 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 107.2 innings. Stratton already has a major league curveball with a solid low-90s fastball that touches 95 to 96, and projects as a solid mid-rotation type.
But for me, an impact bat would have been the choice here.
Seattle Mariners Grade: A+
Photo courtesy nwsportsbeat.com
Much like last season with the second overall draft pick, the Seattle Mariners had a chance to pick up another impact player on Monday night with the third overall pick.
The Mariners selected catcher Mike Zunino out of the Florida Gators. This is a great pick as well. Zunino had an outstanding year with the Gators, hitting .371 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI and was named the SEC Player of the Year.
Zunino has been praised for his handling of a pitching staff, and with outstanding pitching prospects Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, adding Zunino was an outstanding choice by GM Jack Zduriencik.
With that kind of a battery combination, the Mariners have positioned themselves very well for the next several years.
St. Louis Cardinals Grade: B+
Photo courtesy centerfieldgate.com
By virtue of losing free agents Albert Pujols, Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson, the St. Louis Cardinals had five picks on Monday night, tied for the most with the Toronto Blue Jays.
With their first pick on Monday night, the Cardinals hit it out of the park, selecting Texas A&M pitcher Michael Wacha. The 6'6" right-hander was 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA with 116 strikeouts against just 17 walks, projecting as a solid mid-rotation guy who MLB Network analysts likened to Jon Garland.
A durable guy who pounds the strike zone is hard to find—Wacha can deal.
With their second pick in the first round, the Cards went after outfielder/second baseman James Ramsey of Florida State University, another solid pick. Ramsey hit .385 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI with good speed and a solid arm. Ramsey was one of the most respected players in Seminoles history, a natural leader with great character and a solid work ethic.
With the 36th pick, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Stanford University third baseman Stephen Piscotty. Piscotty hit .318 in his junior year with five home runs and 55 RBI, but really impressed scouts by winning the 2011 Cape Cod League batting title with a .348 average.
Two more picks by the Cardinals—St. Mary's High School (CA) third baseman Patrick Wisdom and Rockwall High School (TX) catcher Steve Bean—are youngsters that both have power potential. Bean is a solid receiver who will have an advantage hitting from the left side of the plate.
All in all, the Cardinals did themselves proud on Monday night, adding solid college picks with riskier high school stars with high ceilings.
Tampa Bay Rays Grade: B-
Photo courtesy mlbdraftcountdown.wordpress.com
For many years, the Tampa Bay Rays were used to picking at the top of the draft. However, under the guidance and direction of GM Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon, they no longer have the option of picking one of the greatest talents on the board.
However, they do have the 25th overall pick, and will have a chance to continue building on one of the best farm systems in MLB (second according to ESPN).
The Rays used that first pick to select Richie Shaffer, a third baseman out of Clemson University. Shaffer can play either corner infield position and has the ability to hit with power, hitting .336 with 10 home runs this season for the Tigers. MLB Network analysts aren't quite sure whether or not Shaffer's power will translate to the major league level, but the Rays certainly seem to think so.
Texas Rangers Grade: C
Photo courtesy browardhighschoolbaseball.com
The Texas Rangers were armed with the 29th, 39th and 53rd picks on Monday night, and with their first pick they selected Coral Springs High School (FL) outfielder Lewis Brinson.
Brinson has outstanding power at 6'4" and 185 pounds, once winning a national home run derby contest at Wrigley Field. Brinson hit .382 with four home runs and 21 RBI in his senior season, and with the Rangers' system in place will be given a chance to continue maturing and developing as a potential power-hitting outfielder.
The Rangers went with first-base power with their next pick (39), selecting high school corner infielder Joey Gallo out of Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada. With his prodigious power, Gallo set the all-time state home record in the Silver State, and while there are questions defensively at both first and third, it's clear the Rangers drafted for the bat.
With the Rangers' last pick (53rd), they selected right-handed pitcher Collin Wiles out of Blue Valley West High School (KS). Very curious pick here, considering that Wiles wasn't high at all on anyone's draft board. However, Wiles was 8-0 with a 0.10 ERA and 76 strikeouts over 49 1/3 innings in his senior season, displaying a fastball that was a full six to seven mph faster than in his junior year. Still, Wiles is a project at this point.
Again, all high school picks here, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but high-risk nonetheless for three picks on the first night.
Toronto Blue Jays Grade: B
Photo courtesy perfectgame.org
The Toronto Blue Jays are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals with five overall picks on Monday, and with their first pick (17th) they selected speedy center fielder D.J. Davis from Stone High School in Mississippi.
Davis added a terrific bat with power to his tremendous speed in his senior season, hitting .373 with seven home runs. MLB Network analysts likened Davis' abilities to those of current MLBer Juan Pierre, however, Harold Reynolds took it a step further, invoking the name of Hall of Fame player Joe Morgan.
Great pick here, as the Blue Jays have another four picks to add some college talent.
With the 22nd overall pick, the Jays took Duke University pitcher Marcus Stroman. A great pick here, Stroman was outstanding for the Blue Devils, posting a 6-5 record, a 2.39 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 98 innings. Despite his diminutive stature (5'9") Stroman throws a fastball that touches 97 to 98 mph in the late innings, a solid loopy curveball and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons believes that Stroman could even be a late-season call-up. Outstanding pick by the Jays.
With their final three picks of the evening, the Jays selected Solon High School (OH) southpaw pitcher Matt Smoral, Hamilton High School (AZ) third baseman Mitch Nay and James Madison High School (TX) right-handed pitcher Tyler Gonzales.
Good strategy here by GM Alex Anthopoulos, who went after need picks and tremendous talent with his first two picks and turning back to high school upside picks, a staple of AA's draft philosophy in recent years with his final three picks.
Washington Nationals Grade: C-
Photo courtesy latimesblogs.latimes.com
The Washington Nationals selected Harvard-Westlake pitcher Lucas Giolito with the 16th overall selection, and I'm completely perplexed by this pick.
Before this season, Giolito projected as the best prep pitcher in the draft, however, he suffered a strain of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Considering the Nationals have already dealt with similar injuries to both Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, this pick is definitely a risk.
Giolito has the ability to throw up to 100 mph when healthy, and already possesses an above-average curveball. Giolito opted to rehab the elbow rather than go through surgery, so there's still the possibility of surgery down the line. Huge upside but tremendous risk.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.