MLB Draft 2012: 6 Teams That Have Most Work to Do
As the middle of the MLB draft approaches, certain teams still have a lot of work to accomplish in order to finish the week successfully. Usually this late in the draft, the next great star is not drafted, but teams who are desperate to find cheap players with high potential can find some great prospects.
At this point in the draft, the majority of the major league-capable talents have gone to their respective teams, making these later rounds all the more important to building the quality farm systems that can sustain success for years to come.
Who will draft the right guy to build a trade package around? What team will make the push to sign a prospect away from college and towards the pros this late in the draft?
Let's evaluate who has the most to do as the draft turns the corner towards the second half and beyond. What teams still have work to do?
Los Angeles Angels
The future of the Los Angeles Angels is invested in Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. These two men will be the cornerstone players for this franchise for the next decade, making the draft all the more important to build bullpen help and middle-infield strength around them.
Due to the signing of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Angels did not select until the third round. The Angels will need to capitalize on their picks later in the draft, so expect them to go after pitching, pitching and more pitching to solidify their farm system.
The Angels may be strong in the majors, but in order to keep Pujols and Trumbo happy in the City of Angels, this team needs to draft well late in the draft to solidify their minor league system to protect these men for years to come.
When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres they paid a hefty price, losing their three top prospects—Yadier Alonso, Brad Boxberger and Yasmani Grandal—and these men must get replaced in the Reds' farm system.
So far in the draft, the Reds have focused on taking good position players, especially up the middle by focusing on shortstop and outfield prospects. These types of prospects are always great to have because of their flexibility and tools that can translate almost anywhere on the field, but now the Reds' pitching situation must be addressed.
The Reds have a solid core of young pitchers in the bigs, led by Latos, but late in the draft the Reds must take collegiate pitchers who can hit the bigs or at least the high minor leagues in the next few years.
In order to compete with the elite teams, the Reds must make a concerted effort to improve their farm system to continue producing pitchers to complement the likes of Johnny Cueto, Latos and Mike Leake.
When the Phillies signed Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Hunter Pence, they knew their farm system would be depleted. The Phillies philosophy of signing big-name free agents to build a championship contender has worked for the last three seasons, but now with the injuries to Chase Utley, Halladay and Ryan Howard, the time is now to improve the farm system.
The Phillies' minor league pitching system is gutted and this team must make a concerted effort late in the draft to sign good quality pitchers that can replenish the lack of depth in the organization. Also, drafting good middle infielders will help this team to possibly sign or trade for a big-name player in the next few years.
Expect this team to capitalize on their late-round selections and bring in players who will sign with the Phillies to help their farm system immediately.
It's time to find some ammunition to support Justin Upton and Chris Young. These young hitters have carried the franchise for the last few seasons, but the last few drafts have only addressed their pitching needs.
This team's minor league system is full of young, talented arms, and now is the time to acquire multiple position players to bolster the D-Backs' minor league core. If the D-Backs want to find the next big-name middle infielder, then they must draft and develop a great prospect.
The outfield looks strong for years to come with Upton and Young patrolling Chase Field, but for this team to succeed, more quality position players must be taken in this year's draft.
Now that Prince Fielder has left the Milwaukee Brewers, it is time for this team to find some quality hitting talent in the draft.
Hitting, hitting and more hitting: That is the area the Brewers need to address as the later rounds approach. These players will not replace the stats of Prince Fielder, but building a solid core of young players with strong bats will only help this franchise.
The Brewers need to score runs, and the best way to do that is by stockpiling on power-hitting, moneyball-type athletes who can get on base and produce runs. Expect this team to use the late rounds of the draft to draft hitting prospects.
The Detroit Tigers did not select a prospect until the third round, making these late-round draft picks all the more important. Outside of Justin Verlander and Doug Fister, the Tigers organization is in need of some quality pitching prospects.
The Tigers have had strong pitching for years, but now the team is taking a new direction.
In last year's draft, the Tigers made sure to take the best offensive talent available and further followed that philosophy by signing Prince Fielder last offseason. Now the Tigers must take that same approach towards pitching, as the later rounds of the draft roll around.