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
|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
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:
Kyle Schwarber 4th overall (CHC), much higher than I thought. Imagine he sticks at C? (Doubtful.) Could be huge in fantasy by 2017.— Tristan H. Cockcroft (@SultanofStat) June 5, 2014
Saying Schwarber was selected higher than expected quickly became a trend, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer weighed in on Twitter:
Kyle Schwarber goes 4th overall to Cubs. Highest local pick since Matk Lewis, right?— John Fay (@johnfayman) June 5, 2014
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:
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.