During the MLB draft, some teams love to go for the flashy guys with a lot of power or a rocket arm, but other teams go for the safest bet and hope to develop them into long-term players in the major league.
Sometimes it’s hard for teams to let an exciting prospect go and instead pick up a more reliable guy, but it tends to pay off for the most part. Let’s take a look at a few picks that were made conservatively but were overall solid picks.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
This guy isn’t exactly a power hitter, but the Pirates brought in an overall solid prospect with the No. 9 overall pick in Meadows.
Meadows is an overall athletic outfielder with nice speed and can play any of the three positions in the outfield. He has some nice pop off of the bat and a smooth swing that just looks nice.
Power is a question mark for Meadows in regards to hitting deep fly balls. He can hit nice line drives thanks to his swing, but he struggles hitting the deep ball.
If not hitting the ball high in the air is the biggest concern from Meadows, the Pirates got a nice pick. He makes great contact on the ball and consistently gets on base, which is exactly what this team needs heading into the future.
Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Who was the safest pick?
The Diamondbacks were able to get arguably one of the best pitchers with the No. 15 pick, and it couldn’t have been a better fit.
Although he started out as a shortstop with Nevada in his first year at school, Shipley made the transition as a pitcher very nicely in college. He finished last season with a 7-3 record and a 2.77 ERA with a 102 strikeouts in 107.1 innings.
Although Shipley may need time to continue to develop as a pitcher, he has much less wear on his shoulder than other college pitchers. He also has shown that he has a strong arm with good location to make an impact in years to come.
Eric Jagielo, 3B, New York Yankees
There’s a difference between a guy who swings for the fences constantly and an overall consistently powerful hitter.
The Yankees got the latter in Jagielo.
Jagielo has all of the things you like to see out of a young hitter. He saw the ball well, hitting .388, and had an OPS of 1.133. He got solid contact consistently, with 19 doubles, one triple and nine home runs for 53 runs batted in and a slugging percentage of .633.
Perhaps the best part about Jagielo’s game is that he had more walks than strikeouts. He showed serious discipline at the plate, and that’s something that is hard to teach young hitters.
This was another steal in the draft, and the Yankees have a guy who could become a future All-Star with his impressive bat.