2014 MLB Draft Results: Grades for Round 1 Picks and Updated Predictions

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2014 MLB Draft Results: Grades for Round 1 Picks and Updated Predictions
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On Thursday night, we received a glimpse of the future, as the first round of the 2014 MLB draft unfolded.

This year features a bevy of talent at the top of the draft, with a great amount of dominant pitchers and big-time hitters.

Some prospects come with the ability to make an impact in the near future, while others have tremendous upside but will need time to develop over several years.

So, which direction did each franchise elect to take?

Here's a look at the complete results from the draft's first round with a corresponding grade for each and updated predictions for the ensuing rounds.

 

2014 MLB Draft: Round 1 Results and Grades

2014 MLB Draft: Round 1 Results and Grades
Pick Team Player Position Grade
1 Houston Astros Brady Aiken LHP A
2 Miami Marlins Tyler Kolek RHP A
3 Chicago White Sox Carlos Rodon LHP A
4 Chicago Cubs Kyle Schwarber C/OF B-
5 Minnesota Twins Nick Gordon SS A
6 Seattle Mariners Alex Jackson OF A
7 Philadelphia Phillies Aaron Nola RHP A
8 Colorado Rockies Kyle Freeland LHP A
9 Toronto Blue Jays Jeff Hoffman RHP A-
10 New York Mets Michael Conforto OF A
11 Toronto Blue Jays Max Pentecost C A-
12 Milwaukee Brewers Kodi Medeiros LHP A
13 San Diego Padres Trea Turner SS A
14 San Francisco Giants Tyler Beede RHP A
15 Los Angeles Angels Sean Newcomb LHP A
16 Arizona Diamondbacks Touki Toussaint RHP A
17 Kansas City Royals Brandon Finnegan LHP B+
18 Washington Nationals Erick Fedde RHP B-
19 Cincinnati Reds Nick Howard 3B/RHP A
20 Tampa Bay Rays Casey Gillaspie 1B A
21 Cleveland Indians Bradley Zimmer OF A-
22 Los Angeles Dodgers Grant Holmes RHP A
23 Detroit Tigers Derek Hill OF A
24 Pittsburgh Pirates Cole Tucker SS A
25 Oakland Athletics Matt Chapman 3B/RHP A-
26 Boston Red Sox Michael Chavis IF A
27 St. Louis Cardinals Luke Weaver RHP A-
28 Kansas City Royals Foster Griffin LHP A
29 Cincinnati Reds Alex Blandino 3B A-
30 Texas Rangers Luis Ortiz RHP A-
31 Cleveland Indians Justus Sheffield LHP B+
32 Atlanta Braves Braxton Davidson 1B/OF A-
33 Boston Red Sox Michael Kopech RHP A-
34 St. Louis Cardinals Jack Flaherty RHP B+

Sean O'Donnell's Grades

 

First-Round Analysis

1. Houston Astros: Brady Aiken, LHP

Aiken is an extremely polished pitcher at such a young age. He's able to generate plenty of velocity on his fastball, has a plus curveball and works in a changeup nicely.

What's even more impressive than his three-plus pitch repertoire is his command over those pitches. He has tremendous upside and has the stuff to eventually become an ace in the big leagues.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow raved about the southpaw, according to a tweet from MLB:

 

4. Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber, OF/C

Although Schwarber appears to be a promising prospect, his selection at No. 4 overall appeared to be quite a stretch for the Cubs.

Schwarber is very athletic; however, he may have to shift out of his normal position behind the plate and possibly move to the outfield. Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN tweeted his thoughts:

Saying Schwarber was selected higher than expected quickly became a trend, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer weighed in on Twitter:

Still, Schwarber is the real deal in terms of hitting prowess. If he can continue to produce some big numbers in the majors, the talk of this reach will surely be squelched.

 

7. Philadelphia Phillies: Aaron Nola, RHP

Philadelphia went after a prospect who could find his way into the rotation sooner rather than later.

Nola has been spectacular at LSU, with a wide array of pitches at his disposal. He has great command over his fastball, slider and sinking changeup, allowing him to paint the corners of the plate with precision.

Baseball Tonight sure thinks Nola could be the draft's first prospect to enter the majors:

WAFB tweeted a great graphic of how impressive Nola has been this past season:

 

Future Predicitons

50. Milwaukee Brewers: Jeren Kendall, OF

Kendall is a highly athletic player capable of doing some major damage offensively.

He has a quick bat, speed with a line-drive swing and plus speed as a baserunner, which could make him a great lead hitter.

A polished outfielder, his speed gives him great range, and he takes nice routes on fly balls. He has an above-average arm with good accuracy and could serve in center field in the big leagues.

Here's a great look at what Kendall brings to the table:

 

52. San Francisco Giants: Michael Cederoth, RHP

The 6'6" Cederoth poses a formidable presence on the mound. He has the upside to be a top-tier reliever due to his fastball, which has been clocked up to 100 mph.

Cederoth has a nice 80 mph slider, but it lacks consistency. Still, with a little development, it could become a devastating pitch capable of keeping hitters off balance.

Here's a great look at the pitcher's stuff with San Diego State:

 

66. Atlanta Braves: Cody Reed, LHP

Reed has a nice frame at 6'5" and can generate the velocity to reach the mid-90s with his fastball.

He has two plus pitches, as his command over his fastball and curveball is stellar. He also has a nice slider, which is a work in progress but has the potential to be another plus pitch.

Coming into the draft with a potential three-plus pitch arsenal reassures the fact that he has plenty of upside. Reed may take several years to develop, as he's still rather raw, but his high ceiling is worth a shot in the second round.

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