2014 MLB Draft Results: Biggest Winners and Losers of the Entire Draft
After 40 rounds and the better part of three days, Major League Baseball's first-year player draft is over.
With so many hours—and even more player selections—to process, it's a good thing the key winners and losers of the entire draft can be found in one place: right here.
So click on, and you too can be a winner.
Winners: Houston Astros
When you make history by picking first overall for a third straight year, like the Houston Astros just did, you better be in the winner category.
The Astros selected Brady Aiken, a polished high school pitcher who brings one of the few things that was missing in one of baseball's deepest and best pools of prospects: the ability to throw with his left arm.
Mark Appel, last year's top take, is a righty, as are Mike Foltynewicz, Lance McCullers Jr. and Vince Velasquez, who are the other premium pitchers on their way to Houston. If Aiken can advance quickly, the southpaw should join them and give the Astros a different look.
As dark as the days have been in Houston the past few years, the future is indeed bright.
Losers: Chicago Cubs
With the fourth overall pick, the Chicago Cubs wound up in a tough position this year. The top three talents on the board were clearly Aiken, Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek (in one order or another)—all pitchers. That is undoubtedly the North Siders' biggest need, which only made matters worse.
While the Cubs' system is one of the best around, it's already overflowing with bats, like shortstop Javier Baez, second baseman Arismendy Alcantara, outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler, and third baseman Kris Bryant, who went No. 2 a year ago.
But because none of the pitchers from that very top tier fell, Chicago reached for college catcher Kyle Schwarber, who was more of a mid-first-rounder.
Winners: Chicago Cubs
It wasn't all bad for the Cubs, though. Despite not having the opportunity to land any of the Aiken-Kolek-Rodon bunch after they went one-two-three, they wound up loading up on high-upside arms on the second day of the draft.
While the club will face some challenges in trying to sign all of Carson Sands, Justin Steele and Dylan Cease over the next few weeks—all are high schoolers who could head to college if the Cubs' dollars aren't persuasive enough—this go-for-broke approach could pay off in a big way.
Ultimately, the Schwarber selection was about the Cubs finding a player they liked and could sign below their bonus allotment at No. 4. That should free up funds for the likes of Sands, Steele and Cease, among others.
"We expect [signing Schwarber] to be a very quick process and getting him out and playing in the organization," Cubs vice president of player development Jason McLeod told Gordon Wittenmyer of Baseball America. "And there’s a good chance we’ll get to spend some [saved] money elsewhere."
Chicago needs an infusion of pitching in its prospect ranks, so now it's on the organization to make these picks count.
Losers: Milwaukee Brewers
As the leaders of the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers are having a surprisingly great season at the big league level. Down on the farm, though, they don't exactly have much in the way of high-end talent or depth.
Armed with the No. 12 pick, the Brewers should have been primed to address that early on. Instead, they went with Kodi Medeiros, a high school lefty from Hawaii, who was something of a stretch by all accounts.
ESPN's Keith Law, for one, had Medeiros at No. 50 on his board (subscription required):
Even if Medeiros is able to develop a third pitch, there's a great chance he won't be able to start because of his arm slot, which is borderline side-arm and would be as low or lower than any southpaw starter in baseball. He repeats his delivery well and throws strikes, but there are too many uphill battles to project him as an elite starter.
Winners: Milwaukee Brewers
While the Medeiros take wasn't necessarily all that inspiring, what the Brewers did with their next two picks was.
At Nos. 41 and 50, Milwaukee targeted big-time potential in the form of a pair of high schoolers: shortstop Jacob Gatewood out of Clovis High School (California) and outfielder Monte Harrison of Lee’s Summit West (Missouri). If either one works out, the Brewers' draft will look a whole lot better in retrospect.
Plus, the club already has signed signed Harrison, arguably the best athlete in this class, away from a commitment to Nebraska football, per Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Losers: Tyler Beede and Karsten Whitson
In 2011, Tyler Beede went No. 21 overall but turned down about $2.5 million from the Toronto Blue Jays and instead attended Vanderbilt.
While Beede actually was selected in Round 1 again this year after a nice collegiate career, this time by the San Francisco Giants, he went just seven picks higher and ultimately might get "only" a few hundred thousand dollars more.
A similar draft gamble didn't turn out nearly as well for fellow right-hander Karsten Whitson, who went No. 9 in 2010 but couldn't agree on a deal with the San Diego Padres and attended Florida.
That choice wound up costing Whitson, who was inconsistent as a Gator, 10 rounds and some 335 picks this time around—not to mention, millions of dollars—as he went to the Boston Red Sox at No. 344 overall.
Their respective decisions hurt Whitson much more than it did Beede, but one could argue that in both cases, these pitchers lost out on three valuable years of pro development.
Winners: Toronto Blue Jays
While the Blue Jays couldn't sign Beede after taking him in Round 1 in 2011, the same thing happened to Toronto with right-hander Phil Bickford, who went 10th last year.
In the end, that might have turned out to be a win for the Jays, as that netted them a compensation pick at No. 11 overall this June in addition to their actual take at No. 9.
That double dip gave general manager Alex Anthopoulos more freedom than most other execs had early on. He took advantage by gambling on East Carolina right-hander Jeff Hoffman—a presumptive top-five choice who slipped after undergoing Tommy John surgery—and still being able to land a top (and healthy) amateur in catcher Max Pentecost out of Kennesaw State two picks later.
Losers: Baltimore Orioles
Hey, when you're the last team to make a pick at No. 90 overall—that's Round 3, by the way—you more or less have to be considered a draft loser.
The Ubaldo Jimenez signing, which took away an O's selection because he was tied to draft-pick compensation after turning down the qualifying offer from the Cleveland Indians last offseason, hasn't worked out all that well yet.
Then again, here's guessing Baltimore is plenty happy to have MLB home run and RBI leader Nelson Cruz, who fell under the same category upon rejecting the $14.1 million offer from the Texas Rangers. So maybe they're winners after all, at least in the short term.
Winner: Kendrys Morales
Look who found a job. Finally.
Speaking of qualifying-offer rejecters, Kendrys Morales turned up his nose to the Seattle Mariners and then waited and waited and waited while no team decided he was worth surrendering a June selection for.
Once the draft began on Thursday, however, that anchor attached to Morales was no more. And so before the picking even ended, the soon-to-be 31-year-old first baseman/designated hitter came to an agreement to sign with the Minnesota Twins, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
At 29-31, the Twins have gotten off to a better start than many expected of a rebuilding club, and landing Morales at least makes them a little more intriguing—and draft winners, too.
Losers: Major League Hitters
This was expected to be a pitching-heavy draft class, and it played out that way as 14 of the first 22 selections were arms. In all, 20 pitchers went in Round 1 alone—the most since the same number of arms were taken in 2001.
In recent years, offense has been down and baseball has been dominated by the depth and quality of pitching. That trend isn't showing any signs of slowing, especially with all the brand-new mound men who are about to join pro ball.
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