Even though the 2012 MLB draft probably won't pay dividends for a few years, teams are making decisions that will eventually create the framework of their franchise.
How are they doing through the second day?
That is what we are here to talk about. Every team has made a number of selections so far, and admittedly some have done a lot better than others. Keep in mind that these grades are mainly based on potential.
Also, I just wanted to give a shout out to the MLB.com Draft Tracker which helped me keep all of these teams and choices straight in one place.
It is somewhat interesting that the Arizona Diamondbacks have gone after two catchers in this draft so far, and they used their first-round pick to select one of them, Stryker Trahan.
Given the fact that they just signed Miguel Montero to a long extension, this move really doesn't make a ton of sense.
However, the Arizona Diamondbacks did grab the flame throwing Jason Barrett among other selections with high ceilings, so this draft does have some good potential.
The Atlanta Braves like their hometown boys as they went with right-handed pitcher and high schooler Lucas Sims in the first round.
Pitching has definitely been the theme for the Braves, and after Sims, they have gone with more mature college arms such as Alex Wood, David Starn, David Peterson and Steve Schils.
The Braves went for the high risk, high reward first-round pick while being more conservative with their arms in the later rounds. This gives them the more immediate benefits from the college arms with the longer career potential of the high schooler with the high ceiling.
The Baltimore Orioles made a great choice when they selected right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman at number four.
Beyond that, the Baltimore Orioles drafted a lot of high school pitchers and two high potential collegiate bats in first baseman Christian Walker and outfielder Torsten Bass.
Overall, the Baltimore Orioles drafted a lot like they are playing right now. There is a lot of potential in their draft picks, and when it comes out, it will be impressive.
The Boston Red Sox draft class has been dominated by a first-round shortstop in Deven Marrero, who has some offensive questions, and a stream of eight pitchers after that.
Both of these areas have been problematic for the Red Sox, so it does make sense that they are going to try to use the draft to hopefully fill in those holes.
Boston drafted a lot of collegiate talent in positions where they need major-league support. While they probably won't be there this year, this is a step in the right direction.
Alberto Almora is virtually everything that you look for in any outfield prospect. The Chicago Cubs made a great decision on the high schooler even though it is kind of surprising that they passed on right-handed pitcher Mark Appel.
After that choice, the Cubs drafted seven consecutive pitchers which also makes quite a bit of sense given the fact that their starting rotation is somewhat suspect.
Overall, the Cubs needed to start the process of rebuilding their franchise, and with such a high-end prospect at the top, this was a great draft.
The Chicago White Sox are preparing for a future without Paul Konerko in the middle of their lineup. On day one, they went after power hitting outfielder Courtney Hawkins and they continued that commitment on day two with first baseman Keon Barnum and second baseman Joey DeMichele.
In later rounds, they have diversified their strategy a little bit and acquired quite a few college pitchers, but it is obvious that their strategy here is to begin building their future lineup.
The Cincinnati Reds know that they are an offensive minded team, and this draft definitely didn't change that mindset.
One of their more interesting choices is high school shortstop Tanner Rahier who has a very large frame for a shortstop at 6'2". With that size comes power potential, and that could be a valuable commodity down the road.
It would have been better to see the Cincinnati Reds try to find some more pitching and balance their team, but they know their strengths, and they are playing to them.
The Cleveland Indians went after Tyler Naquin from Texas A&M in the first round. Overall, that was a very safe pick even though he doesn't quite have a position right now.
Beyond that, the Indians went much riskier by drafting high school players like Kieran Lovegrove and D'vone McClure. Both of these players have great potential, but coming from high school is always more difficult.
That being said, part of the MLB draft mechanism itself is trying to take calculated risks to produce the best team in the future. This might be just a little bit too risky.
The Colorado Rockies did go for outfielder David Dahl with the 10th overall pick, and that is definitely a high-impact choice.
However, the more interesting talking point in this draft is about the pitchers. Juniors Eddie Butler and Matt Carasiti seem to have bright futures as they have already proven themselves to a certain point at the collegiate level.
The Colorado Rockies are always going to be an offensive minded team by virtue of where they play, but there are some encouraging pitchers coming their way.
The Detroit Tigers only had one selection in the top 100, so they missed out on a lot of the top talent.
However, to make up for that they grabbed a pair of promising Texas high school players in right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson and shortstop Austin Schotts. Both of these players are committed to universities, but they still should be signable.
The Detroit Tigers obviously were not in the position to dominate this draft, and they are lacking somewhat in terms of high ceilings.
The Houston Astros definitely surprised a lot of people (including myself) by drafting shortstop Carlos Correa first overall. Not that he is a bad choice, but Mark Appel and Byron Buxton were supposedly even better choices.
Beyond that, the most interesting selection so far for the Houston Astros would have to be outfielder Preston Tucker. He is a powerful hitter. Power is often times a very valuable trait to have, and it will be interesting to see how that converts in the minors.
The Houston Astros have had a good draft, and even though their first overall pick was surprising, they have done a good job overall trying to find talent that will make a difference in the major leagues eventually.
Quite frankly, the Kansas City Royals deserve a ton of credit for their first two choices.
Overall, Kyle Zimmer has one of the best arms in the entire draft even though he is not as proven, and they complimented that choice by drafting southpaw Sam Selman who will bring similar power from the opposite hand.
The rest of the draft has been fine, but those two choices were amazing. These two pitchers will be able to lead the Kansas City Royals for years to come, and that is what the draft is supposed to do.
Just like the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were limited at the top end of the draft. They did not select until the 114th choice.
Once they did choose, they grabbed two potential bullpen arms in RJ Alvarez and Mark Sappington. Given the fact that their big-league bullpen had some issues, the Angels knew what they were looking for.
It is hard to grab high-impact players when you don't jump into the draft until late, but they did what they set out to do. That deserves some credit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers made a very questionable decision to draft shortstops Corey Seager and Jesmuel Valentin with their first two choices. They already have Dee Gordon in the majors and he's doing pretty well.
That being said, Seager could very well move away from shortstop given his physical size, but it was still an odd choice.
The best move that the Dodgers made was selecting Ross Stripling who led the NCAA in victories this year. Drafting winners make sense.
The Los Angeles Dodgers should have tried to reinforce an area where they actually have a need rather than a position where they have a rising star already.
Andrew Heaney has had quite a bit of collegiate success with a very competitive program, and his being left-handed only adds to the value for the Miami Marlins.
With Giancarlo Stanton already in the majors, the Marlins drafted two similar outfielders in Kolby Copeland and Austin Dean. Neither of these players have his potential, but they still have quite a bit of power.
Overall, the Marlins did a good job with this draft. They made choices that should be able to help them down the road although they do seem to be falling in love with these high-power outfielders who might not hit for the highest average.
Apparently, the Milwaukee Brewers had two goals going into this draft. They wanted to draft pitchers and outfielders. Fourteen of their top 17 draft choices fit into one of these two categories.
Of all of these choices, outfielder Edgardo Rivera might be the most pleasant surprise. He was drafted later, but part of that might be due to a small physical frame. Players are sometimes underappreciated if they don't fit into a stereotype, and that might have helped Rivera fly a little bit under the radar.
The Milwaukee Brewers obviously know what they need to work on, and it took a lot of risks on high school prospects to try to address those problems. It might pay off or it might not.
The Minnesota Twins might have grabbed the brightest future star in this draft when they chose Byron Buxton second overall. He has all of the tools to be great.
After that incredibly strong choice, the Twins went after a handful of collegiate pitchers. Luke Bard, Mason Melotakis and JT Chargois have a ton of power in their arms, and it is obvious that Minnesota is trying to build a foundation that really isn't there right now.
The Minnesota Twins had an excellent overall draft. They had plenty of draft choices, and they need some of these to pan out if they want to move back up in the American League Central.
The New York Mets have been doing very well this season, but the fact of the matter is that they have been performing high above expectations.
Because of that, the Mets needed some highly talented pieces, and they grab some interesting pieces in third baseman Matt Reynolds (who could eventually replace David Wright) and right-handed pitcher Brandon Welch among others. These two don't necessarily fit the mold of their position but have wide ranges of skills that might eventually fit together well.
The New York Mets are doing better than most people thought they would in 2012, and they did a good job trying to add some pieces with potential.
The New York Yankees have started utilizing more of their own home-grown players, and this draft should be able to help them along that path.
Peter O'Brien is an incredibly offensive minded catcher, and those definitely do not come every day. While the Yankees do have catching depth in the organization, with his offensive ceiling, maybe he could fill another role on the team.
Overall, the Yankees played it safe by drafting a lot of college prospects, and they will hope that some of them will continue to play at an even higher level.
The Oakland Athletics made a good selection in the first round with power hitting shortstop Addison Russell. Power hitting shortstops are good to come by.
After that, they mainly followed the classic Moneyball approach of college pitchers with one exception. Also, first baseman Max Muncy seems to have quite a bit of power, and it seems like he might be able to continue that in the pros.
Moneyball is probably one of the most famous draft approaches in baseball, and it has had mixed success. This year seems like it might be another good one.
The Philadelphia Phillies are getting a lot older, so these drafts are more and more important as their team will need to turnover.
Right-handed pitcher Alec Rash is able to throw the ball hard, and first-round draft pick Shane Watson has a great frame for a pitcher.
Overall, the Phillies didn't have a lot of very high choices, but it also doesn't seem like they made a lot of moves that will help them in the near future. They focused more on the long-term which might be a good thing but also might cause those players to arrive a little bit late.
The Pittsburgh Pirates probably never dreamed that right-handed pitcher Mark Appel would fall to their eight slot.
However, that is exactly what happened, and because of that, they were able to draft one of the top pitchers in the draft. While he might not have as much potential as some of the other pitchers, he is obviously talented and mature.
The Pittsburgh Pirates took some chances with the rest of the draft, but drafting Appel is an excellent and fortunate choice.
With the seventh pick, the San Diego Padres went with high school left-handed pitcher Max Fried, and they followed that choice with another high school pitcher Zach Eflin. These two pitchers seem to have a bright future with strong repertoires.
San Diego also made a good choice with outfielder Travis Jankowski. He seems to be in the mold of Juan Pierre with a lot of speed and very limited power.
The San Diego Padres did take some chances, but even the high school pitchers seem to be as safe as it gets.
The San Francisco Giants are surviving this season by their pitching, and they showed a commitment to try to continue that dominance.
Seven of their eight top-draft choices ended up being pitchers, and they drafted a combination of starters and relievers with those picks. Most notably, they selected right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton.
The San Francisco Giants probably should have pursued more offense since their team does need support in that area, but they do did a good job drafting a wide variety of pitchers who will be able to help them in the long run.
Mike Zunino is a great choice for the Seattle Mariners. He is a proven catcher who will be able to lead the Mariners pitching staff for years to come.
After that choice, the Mariners focused mainly on infielders, and the brightest prospect of that bunch would probably be shortstop Timmy Lopez. He actually has offensive potential to go along with his defensive abilities which is welcome from a middle infielder.
The Seattle Mariners made some good decisions here, and even though they play in a very competitive division, they should be on the way up with these players.
The St. Louis Cardinals went with established and safe names as they began the 2012 draft.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha and third baseman Stephen Piscotty were talked about a lot before the draft, and they both have had highly successful collegiate careers.
If these two men can continue to produce at a similar level through the minor leagues as they did in the NCAA, the St. Louis Cardinals will be seeing them relatively soon.
The Tampa Bay Rays went with power-hitting third baseman Richie Shaffer in the first round with the assumption that he will probably make the move to first base eventually.
After that, they went after the hyper-athletic shortstop Spencer Edwards along with outfielders Brandon Jackson and Clayton Henning. The three men will be able to cover a lot of ground in the field and seem to have the physical potential to get even better.
The Tampa Bay Rays have become serious contenders over the season because of their home-grown talent, and their choices this year will hopefully be able to continue that trend.
The Texas Rangers must feel that they are really going to need outfield help down the road because they are definitely invested in finding them throughout the draft.
Highlighted by their first-round selection Lewis Brinson, the Rangers also selected Jamie Jarmon, Nick Williams and Preston Beck. The four outfielders, with the exception of Beck, are still rather inexperienced, but just looking at their athleticism shows their potential.
The Texas Rangers are a team built around offense, so it definitely makes sense that they would continue to pursue offense in this draft.
The Toronto Blue Jays are a rising power in the American League East, and they need their farm system to continue producing players that will help them continue to improve.
One of the best stories of this draft is without a doubt Marcus Stroman who is the first first-round pick to ever come out of Duke. He has a powerful arm, and he should be able to advance to the major leagues rather quickly.
The Toronto Blue Jays chased a lot of high school players this season which indicates that they are willing to wait a little while for these players to reach their full potential.
The Washington Nationals are also coming to their own as a powerhouse. With a young core, they won't necessarily need to rely on their minor league system immediately, but they still went with quite a few collegiate players near the top.
The exception to that would be their first overall pick Lucas Giolito. He has battled injuries in the past but is definitely dominant when he is healthy.
It is somewhat interesting that the Nationals went after so many NCAA players while they really will not need these players for a few years. They have a very young core in the big leagues, and they could wait for the high school players to mature further.
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