MLB Draft 2012: Breaking Down Best Picks from This Year's Class
After 40 rounds and 1,238 picks, the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft is finally in the books.
It featured a number of interesting selections, particularly right out of the gate, and that made it a lot more exciting to watch.
While it is impossible to evaluate winners and losers from this year's class right now, we can examine the best value selections based on what we expect from a player as he transitions into pro ball.
Here are the best picks that teams made in the 2012 MLB Draft.
Houston Astros Select Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Rio Ruiz
Yes, they had the No. 1 overall pick, so they should have had a good draft, but if the Astros are able to sign these three players, this class is arguably the best this year.
Correa was moving up draft boards heading into the draft thanks to his bat and power. It was a bit of a shock, but that doesn't mean he was not worth the selection.
McCullers was a first-round talent with a mid-90s fastball and power curveball. If he can remain a starter, and the Astros can sign him away from Florida, he is a great value at No. 41.
Ruiz slid due to a blood clot in his neck that ended his 2012 season early, but he is one of the most polished bats in the draft, with a strong approach. His defense at third base should be above-average, thanks to good arm strength.
Toronto Blue Jays Select Marcus Stroman, Matt Smoral
What Was The Best Pick?
Stroman was one of my favorite players in this draft. He was knocked because of his size, but no one can match his combination of stuff, command and polish. I would be shocked if he doesn't see the big leagues at some point this season. To get him at No. 22 is almost highway robbery.
Smoral was supposed to be a tough sign because of his slide out of the first round and the new signing system, but he reportedly agreed to a deal worth around $2 million on Wednesday.
A big left-handed starter with two plus pitches and good command should not have made it to the sandwich round, even if he was coming off a stress fracture in his foot.
Pittsburgh Pirates Select Mark Appel & Washington Nationals Select Lucas Giolito
For very different reasons, arguably the top two pitchers in this year's class slid. Appel was supposed to be the No. 1 pick, but the Astros decided to go a different route. He fell all the way to the Pirates at No. 8, though no one seems to know why.
Good for the Pirates for recognizing Appel's upside and going after a player who was not supposed to be available when they picked. They have the makings of a strong rotation in a few years, with Appel, Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.
The Nationals, who are starved for pitching right now, took a chance on the best prep righty. Giolito was going to be one of the first two players taken if he stayed healthy all season. His electric stuff, workhorse frame and delivery make him a potential No. 1 starter.
If the Nationals can sign Giolito away from his college commitment, and his elbow is as healthy as believed, they got the steal of the draft.
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