2014 MLB Draft Grades: Round 1 Results and Grades for Each Team

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 6, 2014

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig speaks at the podium during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Grading the MLB draft can be a tricky process.

You can't really judge a team on how it addresses perceived weaknesses because, unlike the NBA or NFL, teams don't often make selections based on their current rosters due to the long developmental process for most prospects.

Conversely, a very tiny fraction of top prospects will make an immediate impact, while a majority of the youngsters will take three years (or more) to make it to The Show. There are even some who will toil around in the minors forever. 

Things will inevitably change, but it's still intriguing to take an early look at where players were selected versus where many had them ranked before the draft. 

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at each team's grade for the first round along with some analysis of the best selections from the first 34 picks. 

Round 1 Results and Grades

2014 MLB Draft: Round 1
1Houston AstrosLHP Brady AikenCentral Cathedral HS (FL)A
2Miami MarlinsRHP Tyler KolekShepherd HS (TX)A
3Chicago White SoxLHP Carlos RodonN.C. StateA
4Chicago CubsC/1B Kyle SchwarberIndianaB
5Minnesota TwinsSS Nick GordonOlympia HS (FL)A
6Seattle MarinersC/OF Alex JacksonRancho Bernardo HS (CA)A
7Philadelphia PhilliesRHP Aaron NolaLSUA-
8Colorado RockiesLHP Kyle FreelandEvansvilleA-
9Toronto Blue JaysRHP Jeff HoffmanECUB
10New York MetsOF Michael ConfortoOregon StateA-
11Toronto Blue JaysC Max PentecostKennesaw StateB+
12Milwaukee BrewersLHP Kodi MedeirosWaiakea HS (HI)B
13San Diego PadresSS Trea TurnerN.C. StateA-
14San Francisco GiantsRHP Tyler BeedeVanderbiltA-
15Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimLHP Sean NewcombHartfordA
16Arizona DiamondbacksRHP Touki ToussaintCoral Springs Christian HS (FL)A
17Kansas City RoyalsLHP Brandon FinneganTCUB+
18Washington NationalsRHP Erick FeddeUNLVB
19Cincinnati Reds3B/RHP Nick HowardVirginiaB
20Tampa Bay Rays1B Casey GillaspieWichita StateB+
21Cleveland IndiansOF Bradley ZimmerSan FranciscoA
22Los Angeles DodgersRHP Grant HolmesConway HW (SC)A
23Detroit TigersOF Derek HillElk Grove HS (CA)A-
24Pittsburgh PiratesSS Cole TuckerMountain Pointe HS (AZ)C+
25Oakland Athletics3B/RHP Matt ChapmanCal State FullertonB-
26Boston Red SoxIF Michael ChavisSprayberry HS (GA)A-
27St. Louis CardinalsRHP Luke WeaverFlorida StateA-
28Kansas City RoyalsLHP Foster GriffinThe First Academy (FL)A
29Cincinnati Reds3B Alex BlandinoStanfordA-
30Texas RangersRHP Luis OrtizSanger HS (NV)A-
31Cleveland IndiansLHP Justus SheffieldTullahoma HS (TN)B
32Atlanta BravesOF Braxton DavidsonT.C. Roberson HS (NC)A
33Boston Red SoxRHP Michael KopechMt. Pleasant HS (TX)B+
34St. Louis CardinalsRHP Jack FlahertyHarvard-Westlake HS (CA)B+

Best Picks

Chicago White Sox (No. 3 overall): Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State

It's difficult to call this a "value" pick at No. 3, but that's the kind of player Carlos Rodon can be. And that's meant as zero disrespect to the top-two picksBrady Aiken and Tyler Kolekwho are both plenty deserving of high selections themselves. 

Still, if a year ago you said the Chicago White Sox were going to land Rodon with the third overall pick, Robin Ventura, Rick Hahn and Co. would have gone streaking through the quad. 

After a freshman season in which he posted a 1.57 ERA and 0.98 WHIP and won the ACC Pitcher of the Year award, Rodon was a candidate to become the No. 1 pick in the draft some day. After a sophomore season in which he had a 2.99 ERA and a school-record 184 strikeouts (with a silly 12.51 K/9), he was still the front-runner to be the No. 1 pick when he became eligible. 

But his stock dipped slightly this year, not because of his numbers—he had a 2.01 ERA—but because of his heavy workload. 

That's understandable, but this is one of the best collegiate lefties we've seen in quite some time, who throws an explosive fastball and devastating slider. A dominant force with a short road to the majors, he's not the kind of guy you want to pass on. 

“We’re excited because No. 1, we know how competitive this kid is, how important it is to be comfortable with an organization,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said, via ESPN.com's Doug Padilla.

As Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan added, the Sox now have an enviable future lefty duo at top of the rotation:

Rodon was a no-brainer for Hahn and his staff, but it was still a job well-done not to let the fact that Rodon may want No. 1 money sway them from making the pick. 

Cleveland Indians (No. 21 overall): Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco

Baseball America ranked Bradley Zimmer as its No. 14 overall prospect, while MLB.com had him all the way at No. 10. 

It wasn't exactly difficult to see why, either. 

In his junior season with the Dons, the big (6'4", 185 lbs) left-handed hitter had a slash line of .368/.461/.573 with 24 extra-base hits (seven home runs) and 21 stolen bases in 54 games. As MLB Network noted, via T.J. Zuppe of 92.3 The Fan, he is a legitimate five-tool prospect: 

Not only does he have one of the best all-around skill sets in the league, but he turns 22 in November and should move through the minors at a fairly quick pace. The Cleveland Indians couldn't pass him up. 

Arizona Diamondbacks (No. 16 overall): Touki Toussaint, RHP, Coral Springs Christian Academy

"First of all, you're looking at an athlete," an American League scout said of Toussaint, per Ryan S. Clark of the Sun Sentinel. "Physically, he is just so much different than everybody else. The physical attributes he has are that of a premium athlete."

Longenecker added to the praise:

Toussaint, like many players his age, is still working on his control, but his physical gifts allow him to throw a fastball that reaches the high-90s along with a curve that "has so much downward break that his catchers have trouble holding onto it," according to MLB.com.

Still not 18, Toussaint is certainly a long-term project, but he has the potential to be downright electric at the next level. Adding another future star to a Diamondbacks farm system that already includes Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley? That's scary.  


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