MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2014: Order and Predictions for Major League Showcase

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 05:  Former Houston Astros Lance Berkman signs a one day personel services contract to retire as a Houston Astro at Minute Maid Park on April 5, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Presenting Berkman with the contract is Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for Houston Astros. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJune 2, 2014

The MLB's 2014 First-Year Player Draft begins on June 5, and with the complete order set it is worth delving into what may transpire, particularly at the outset of the three-day ordeal.

As was forecast by many before the start of this season, the Houston Astros are struggling in last place in the NL Central after having baseball's worst record in 2013. A reprieve arrives through the draft, though, as the franchise has the No. 1 overall pick.

Some other organizations will be seeking a jolt by dipping into the premium pitching talent atop this draft, but it may take significant time before they reap the rewards of their respective investments.

It takes time to build a viable roster in baseballperhaps more than any other sportsince small-market teams don't have the luxury of a massive payroll such as the New York Yankees or other more prominent clubs. That's why front offices have to be on their toes for all 40 rounds in an effort to develop young players in-house who can eventually help the team compete for World Series titles years down the road.

Here is a look at the complete order for this year's draft, followed by predictions as to what may happen toward the beginning of what should be a compelling showcase:

 

2014 MLB Draft Order
Round 1 PickTeam
1Houston Astros
2Miami Marlins
3Chicago White Sox
4Chicago Cubs
5Minnesota Twins
6Seattle Mariners
7Philadelphia Phillies
8Colorado Rockies
9Toronto Blue Jays
10New York Mets
11Toronto Blue Jays (Phil Bickford - unsigned)
12Milwaukee Brewers
13San Diego Padres
14San Francisco Giants
15Los Angeles Angels
16Arizona Diamondbacks
17Kansas City Royals
18Washington Nationals
19Cincinnati Reds
20Tampa Bay Rays
21Cleveland Indians
22Los Angeles Dodgers
23Detroit Tigers
24Pittsburgh Pirates
25Oakland Athletics
26Boston Red Sox
27St. Louis Cardinals
Compensatory Round ATeam
28Kansas City Royals
29Cincinnati Reds
30Texas Rangers
31Cleveland Indians
32Atlanta Braves
33Boston Red Sox
34St. Louis Cardinals
Competitive Balance Round ATeam
35 Colorado Rockies
36Miami Marlins (Matt Krook - unsigned)
37Houston Astros (from the Orioles)
38Cleveland Indians
39Miami Marlins
40Kansas City Royals
41Milwaukee Brewers
Source: MLB.com

 

2014 MLB Draft Order
Round 2 PickTeam
42Houston Astros
43Miami Marlins
44Chicago White Sox
45Chicago Cubs
46Minnesota Twins
47Philadelphia Phillies
48Colorado Rockies
49Toronto Blue Jays
50Milwaukee Brewers
51San Diego Padres
52San Francisco Giants
53Los Angeles Angels
54Arizona Diamondbacks
55New York Yankees
56Kansas City Royals
57Washington Nationals
58Cincinnati Reds
59Texas Rangers
60Tampa Bay Rays
61Cleveland Indians
62Los Angeles Dodgers
63Detroit Tigers
64Pittsburgh Pirates
65Oakland Athletics
66Atlanta Braves
67Boston Red Sox
68St. Louis Cardinals
Competitive Balance Round BTeam
69Arizona Diamondbacks (from the Padres)
70Arizona Diamondbacks
71St. Louis Cardinals
72Tampa Bay Rays
73Pittsburgh Pirates
74Seattle Mariners
Source: MLB.com

 

2014 MLB Draft Order - Round 3 and Supplemental Round
Round 3 PickTeam
75Houston Astros
76Miami Marlins
77Chicago White Sox
78Chicago Cubs
79Minnesota Twins
80Seattle Mariners
81Philadelphia Phillies
82Colorado Rockies
83Toronto Blue Jays
84New York Mets
85Milwaukee Brewers
86San Diego Padres
87San Francisco Giants
88Los Angeles Angels
89Arizona Diamondbacks
90Baltimore Orioles
91New York Yankees
92Kansas City Royals
93Washington Nationals
94Cincinnati Reds
95Texas Rangers
96Tampa Bay Rays
97Cleveland Indians
98Los Angeles Dodgers
99Detroit Tigers
100Pittsburgh Pirates
101Oakland Athletics
102Atlanta Braves
103Boston Red Sox
104St. Louis Cardinals
Supplemental RoundTeam
105Miami Marlins (Ben DeLuzio - unsigned)
Source: MLB.com

 

2014 MLB Draft Order - Rounds 4-40
Rounds 4-40 Order (Pick)Team
1 Houston Astros
2 Miami Marlins
3 Chicago White Sox
4 Chicago Cubs
5 Minnesota Twins
6 Seattle Mariners
7 Philadelphia Phillies
8 Colorado Rockies
9 Toronto Blue Jays
10 New York Mets
11 Milwaukee Brewers
12 San Diego Padres
13 San Francisco Giants
14 Los Angeles Angels
15 Arizona Diamondbacks
16 Baltimore Orioles
17 New York Yankees
18 Kansas City Royals
19 Washington Nationals
20 Cincinnati Reds
21 Texas Rangers
22 Tampa Bay Rays
23 Cleveland Indians
24 Los Angeles Dodgers
25 Detroit Tigers
26 Pittsburgh Pirates
27 Oakland Athletics
28 Atlanta Braves
29 Boston Red Sox
30 St. Louis Cardinals
Source: MLB.com

 

Predictions for Top Picks

1. Houston Astros: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd High School (Texas)

The three-quarter delivery flamethrower is a sound long-term choice for the Astros, who are still years away from becoming a surefire contender. Taking a local product, grooming him and readying him for a jump to the MLB is a decision the fanbase can embrace.

Kolek may be raw in terms of his command, but he has all the upside to be a franchise-changing force on the mound for what's currently a woeful staff. MaxPreps.com's Kevin Askeland reported that Kolek started his season without giving up a hit in 15 innings while striking out 35 batters.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle recently tweeted some interesting news regarding Kolek's impending meeting with the Astros:

Despite being so early in his development, he already stands 6'5" and weighs 230 pounds, clocking in as high as 100 mph on the radar gun. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports feels that Kolek belongs in the race for the No. 1 pick:

Kolek's arm talent is rare, as the young man can flat out rip it and the ball explodes off his arm to the plate in a hurry. Houston would be hard pressed to pass on him, especially since he already has a strong curveball that provides a stark contrast to his heater.

If he can learn under the tutelage of legendary pitcher and Astros executive advisor Nolan Ryan, there's no question Kolek could shine in the Lone Star State.

 

2. Miami Marlins: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State

A decent start to the 2014 MLB season has the Marlins sitting pretty in the second draft slot, unlike most clubs toward the top of the order. While that could afford them the luxury of investing in a prospect who won't make an immediate impact, they are also closer to contending than initially expected.

Among the top pitchers, Rodon is the soundest option in terms of those who can come into the big leagues the soonest and be effective. The N.C. State junior southpaw has proven to be durable in his time in Raleigh, even if his results haven't been quite as spectacular as anticipated at times.

Nevertheless, he was good enough to join elite company as a three-time all-conference selection in the ACC, per Scout.com:

At 6'3" and 235 pounds, there is no question that Rodon is ready for the rigors of pitching in the MLB. His devastating slider provides a wonderful complement to his strong fastball, and the rest of Rodon's off-speed stuff is still an intriguing work in progress.

Miami ranks near the top of the league in most major offensive categories, hovering around the top five in runs, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Adding an arm like Rodon to the mix would bring a boost that could pay dividends as early as the 2015 season.

 

3. Chicago White Sox: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic High School (California)

Even before Aiken embarked on what has been a dominant final season at Cathedral Catholic, he led Team USA to the World Cup this last December. That type of leadership and precocious ability on an international stage suggests Aiken may be readier for the highest professional level sooner than later.

Another high school senior who's committed to play at UCLA, Aiken can become a star in the majors thanks to his well-rounded arsenal of pitches. If the White Sox want a strong blend of consistency and potential, Aiken would be an excellent choice.

Aiken is picking up steam as the potential No. 1 overall pick, drawing massive praise from Mike Carney of A1 Performance Group:

MLB.com's Jim Callis also makes a convincing case for Aiken to go even higher than third to Chicago. Callis cites Aiken's spring numbers (43.2 IP, 6-0, 80 K, 0.80 ERA) along with a senior National League scouting official's testimony.

"I'd probably take Aiken No. 1, and I think if you asked 30 teams, 15-20 would say Aiken," said the official. "He has taken a real step up. He's more consistent, he has a good body, good arm action, three plus pitches at times."

If the White Sox are fortunate enough to grab Aiken should he fall this far, they will have to be thrilled since the youngster could eventually help a club that ranks dead last in ERA and WHIP.

Considering the caliber of arms at the top of this draft, neither of the three teams in the top spots can err too much with their choices. Taking a gamble on a pitcher is always a bit dangerous, because it can become a bit of a micromanaging game to protect them from needing something severe like Tommy John surgery.

Presuming the draft shakes out as predicted, though, Kolek would join last year's top choice (Mark Appel) as another Astros pitcher who could combine to turn around Houston's fortunes in as few as two or three seasons. That notion alone is enough to justify taking Kolek, but his home-state ties don't hurt his chances of being off the board first.

The Marlins and White Sox are both in better positions to thrive in 2015, but they may be getting the better candidates to play in the MLB early in Rodon and Aiken.

One has to wonder how long Rodon's arm can last given his heavy collegiate workload, yet he's proven up to the task so far. Aiken's potential arrival in the Windy City would help address a glaring need in Chicago's organization, and it would also provide the opportunity to someday learn from staff ace Chris Sale.

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