In the MLB draft, there are always going to be steals.
When you have a thousand rounds (read: 40) or however many there are now, it's just inevitable. But while there will undoubtedly be steals to come out of the later rounds, don't overlook the initial 33 picks if you're already sifting the draft for the best value picks.
Remember, Mike Trout was the No. 25 pick in the 2009 draft. Wade Miley was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 draft. Andrew McCutchen (No. 11), Jay Bruce (No. 12) and Jacoby Ellsbury (No. 23) were landed after the top 10 picks of the 2005 draft.
Essentially, the way we look at the first round is going to be vastly different in just a couple of years.
Let's take an early gander at this year's potential steals.
Note: You can take a look at the entire draft results here at MLB.com
Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada (Arizona Diamondbacks at No. 15)
After compiling an ERA of 2.77 and striking out 102 batters (to just 34 walks) in 107.1 innings during his junior season at Nevada, Shipley skyrocketed up draft boards.
But it wasn't just his stats that made him stand out. He has a plus fastball that can hit 98 mph to go along with a solid curve and outstanding changeup that will both be effective at the next level.
Throw in solid command and good control of the strike zone and he was expected to be a top-10 pick:
Braden Shipley, a right-hander from Nevada, likely will go No. 6 to the Marlins. Moran dropping is only thing that might change that.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 6, 2013
The Arizona Diamondbacks were incredibly fortunate to have him fall into their laps, and as long as they are able to sign him, they are getting a stud who has a very high ceiling.
Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame (New York Yankees at No. 26)
After a promising showing in the Cape League, Eric Jagielo hit .388 with nine homers, 19 doubles and 53 RBI in 56 games for Notre Dame as a junior. He also slugged .633 and walked more than he struck out, firmly establishing himself as one of the best hitters in the country.
There are question marks about his ability to stick at third base, but it really doesn't matter—he has the offensive tools and raw power where it won't debilitate a team to put him at first base or in a corner outfield spot.
With his potential in the batter's box, a top-15 pick wouldn't have been all that surprising and a top-20 selection was all but assumed.
But No. 26 to the Yankees? That's a downright coup.
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas (Tampa Bay Rays at No. 29)
Come on. It's the Rays drafting a pitcher. At this point, shouldn't we just assume they are going to get a stud?
Even at No. 29, they somehow wrangled their way into landing a phenomenal player (via Baseball America's Jim Callis):
And the rich get richer.
What pick will be seen as the best value in five years?
In 2012-13, Ryne Stanek put together a tremendous season, compiling an ERA of 1.39 and 79 strikeouts in 97.1 innings. He has some overpowering stuff. His fastball can hit the mid-to-upper 90s with movement, and his curve and slider both have the potential to develop into plus pitches.
There are some concerns about his control (41 walks this season), but considering his ceiling, he never should have fallen this low in the first round.