The first day of the 2014 MLB draft featured plenty of surprises and interesting storylines, but most teams appeared to come away with at least one player who could potentially be a big league star down the line.
Baseball is the most difficult sport in terms of projecting the future success of prospects since they all have at least a couple years of developing to do before they even sniff the majors. Even so, it is fun to speculate about how players might ultimately translate.
There are still plenty of picks left to made, but here is a full listing of Day 1 picks along with grades reflecting how every team fared.
Day 1 Results for 2014 MLB Draft
|MLB Draft Day 1 Results|
|1||Houston Astros||LHP Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic HS|
|2||Miami Marlins||RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepherd HS|
|3||Chicago White Sox||LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State|
|4||Chicago Cubs||C/1B Kyle Schwarber, Indiana|
|5||Minnesota Twins||SS Nick Gordon, Olympia HS|
|6||Seattle Mariners||C/OF Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo HS|
|7||Philadelphia Phillies||RHP Aaron Nola, LSU|
|8||Colorado Rockies||LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville|
|9||Toronto Blue Jays||RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina|
|10||New York Mets||OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State|
|11||Toronto Blue Jays||C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State|
|12||Milwaukee Brewers||LHP Kodi Medeiros, Waiakea HS|
|13||San Diego Padres||SS Trea Turner, North Carolina State|
|14||San Francisco Giants||RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt|
|15||Los Angeles Angels||LHP Sean Newcomb, Hartford|
|16||Arizona Diamondbacks||RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs Christian Acad.|
|17||Kansas City Royals||LHP Brandon Finnegan, TCU|
|18||Washington Nationals||RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV|
|19||Cincinnati Reds||RHP Nick Howard, Virginia|
|20||Tampa Bay Rays||1B Casey Gillaspie, Wichita State|
|21||Cleveland Indians||OF Bradley Zimmer, San Francisco|
|22||Los Angeles Dodgers||RHP Grant Holmes, Conway HS|
|23||Detroit Tigers||OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove HS|
|24||Pittsburgh Pirates||SS Cole Tucker, Pointe HS|
|25||Oakland Athletics||3B Matt Chapman, Cal State Fullerton|
|26||Boston Red Sox||3B Michael Chavis, Sprayberry HS|
|27||St. Louis Cardinals||RHP Luke Weaver, Florida State|
|Comp. Round A|
|28||Kansas City Royals||LHP Foster Griffin, The First Academy|
|29||Cincinnati Reds||SS Alex Blandino, Stanford|
|30||Texas Rangers||RHP Luis Ortiz, Sanger HS|
|31||Cleveland Indians||LHP Justus Sheffield, Tullahoma HS|
|32||Atlanta Braves||OF Braxton Davidson, T. C. Roberson HS|
|33||Boston Red Sox||RHP Michael Kopech, Mt. Pleasant HS|
|34||St. Louis Cardinals||RHP Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake HS|
|Competitive Balance Round A|
|35||Colorado Rockies||2B Forrest Wall, Orangewood Christian HS|
|36||Miami Marlins||C Blake Anderson, West Lauderdale HS|
|37||Houston Astros||OF Derek Fisher, Virginia|
|38||Cleveland Indians||OF Mike Papi, Virginia|
|39||Pittsburgh Pirates||OF Connor Joe, University of San Diego|
|40||Kansas City Royals||C Chase Vallot, St. Thomas More HS|
|41||Milwaukee Brewers||SS Jacob Gatewood, Clovis HS|
|42||Houston Astros||1B A.J. Reed, Kentucky|
|43||Miami Marlins||SS Justin Twine, Falls City HS|
|44||Chicago White Sox||RHP Spencer Adams, White County HS|
|45||Chicago Cubs||RHP Jake Stinnett, Maryland|
|46||Minnesota Twins||RHP Nick Burdi, Louisville|
|47||Philadelphia Phillies||LHP Matt Imhof, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo|
|48||Colorado Rockies||RHP Ryan Castellani, Brophy Jesuit Prep School|
|49||Toronto Blue Jays||RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood HS|
|50||Milwaukee Brewers||OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit West HS|
|51||San Diego Padres||OF Michael Gettys, Gainesville HS|
|52||San Francisco Giants||C Aramis Garcia, Florida International|
|53||Los Angeles Angels||RHP Joe Gatto, St. Augustine Prep|
|54||Arizona Diamondbacks||LHP Cody Reed, Ardmore HS|
|55||New York Yankees||LHP Jacob Lindgren, Mississippi State|
|56||Kansas City Royals||RHP Scott Blewett, Baker HS|
|57||Washington Nationals||LHP Andrew Suarez, Miami|
|58||Cincinnati Reds||3B Taylor Sparks, University of California - Irvine|
|59||Texas Rangers||SS Tiquan Forbes, Columbia HS|
|60||Tampa Bay Rays||RHP Cameron Varga, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy|
|61||Cleveland Indians||RHP Grant Hockin, Damien HS|
|62||Los Angeles Dodgers||OF Alex Verdugo, Sahuaro HS|
|63||Detroit Tigers||RHP Spencer Turnbull, Alabama|
|64||Pittsburgh Pirates||RHP Mitch Keller, Xavier HS|
|65||Oakland Athletics||RHP Daniel Gossett, Clemson|
|66||Atlanta Braves||RHP Garrett Fulenchek, Howe HS|
|67||Boston Red Sox||1B Sam Travis, Indiana|
|68||St. Louis Cardinals||RHP Ronnie Williams, American Senior HS|
|Competitive Balance Round B|
|69||Arizona Diamondbacks||OF Marcus Wilson, Junipero Serra HS|
|70||Arizona Diamondbacks||SS Isan Diaz, Springfield Central HS|
|71||St. Louis Cardinals||RHP Andrew Morales, University of California - Irvine|
|72||Tampa Bay Rays||RHP Brent Honeywell, Walters State CC|
|73||Pittsburgh Pirates||RHP Trey Supak, La Grange HS|
|74||Seattle Mariners||OF Gareth Morgan, Blyth Academy|
|Picks courtesy of MLB.com|
Team-By-Team Grades for Day 1
|Overall Day 1 Team Grades|
|Boston Red Sox||B|
|Chicago White Sox||A|
|Kansas City Royals||B|
|Los Angeles Angels||B|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||B+|
|New York Mets||A|
|New York Yankees||C|
|San Diego Padres||A-|
|San Francisco Giants||A|
|St. Louis Cardinals||B|
|Tampa Bay Rays||B+|
|Toronto Blue Jays||A|
|Mike Chiari's Grades|
Breaking Down Best Picks
NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon was considered the odds-on favorite to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2014 MLB draft immediately following last year's draft. Rodon certainly seemed to still be in the running for that distinction all the way up until Thursday's first round, but he was ultimately usurped by a pair of high school pitchers in the form of Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek.
Rodon fell into the Chicago White Sox's lap at No. 3, and it stands to reason that they couldn't be happier. The crafty southpaw has a long track record of success with three excellent collegiate seasons under his belt. Rodon's record didn't reflect how well he pitched this season, as he went just 6-7 despite posting a 2.01 ERA and striking out 117 batters in less than 99 innings.
Even though Rodon's peripheral numbers were excellent, he admitted that he was disappointed in how he performed this season, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times:
It can be argued that Aiken and Kolek have higher ceilings than Rodon, but Rodon is a polished product who could potentially make it to the majors quicker than any other prospect in the draft. Chicago's MLB pitching rotation could use a boost, and even though it may be a couple years before Rodon provides it, he could easily be the best player to come out of this draft.
Oregon State's Michael Conforto is arguably the top outfield prospect in the entire 2014 draft class, which is why it came as somewhat of a surprise when he slipped all the way to the New York Mets at No. 10. New York's farm system is stocked with top-flight pitchers, so getting a potential .300 hitter was an absolutely perfect fit.
Conforto's body of work with the Beavers is something to be marveled at, especially his 2014 production. He is still developing his power stroke, as he hit just seven home runs this past season, but he hit .345 and achieved top honors in the Pac-12 Conference yet again, per Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
The fact that Conforto is more of a contact hitter should actually fit into what the Mets are trying to do. Pure power guys don't translate particularly well to spacious Citi Field, which is partly why former Met Ike Davis flamed out. Conforto is a line-drive hitter who knows how to get on base, which should allow him to progress through the minors fairly quickly.
He has all the makings of an ideal No. 2 hitter in the big leagues, and he may be ready just in time for the Mets' inevitable ascent, provided the rest of their prospects pan out.
Most of the focus surround the Houston Astros' draft thus far pertains to No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken. There is no question that Aiken is an extremely exciting prospect, but he may not have even been Houston's best pick of the night. That honor goes to Kentucky's A.J. Reed, who the 'Stros nabbed with the first pick of the second round.
Reed was an ace pitcher as well as a big-time power hitter for the Wildcats. It is possible that he could have made it to the big leagues as a pitcher, but Houston will attempt to utilize him as an offensive threat. It is easy to see why, as Reed hit .336 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI this past season.
In perhaps the biggest understatement of draft night, Reed told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com what the Astros can expect out of him:
Reed is coming off of his best collegiate season, and Aaron Fitt of Baseball America credits him for putting in extra work and becoming committed to being a great player:
Provided he remains on that path, Reed absolutely has the skill set to perform like a first-round pick at the MLB level. Almost every organization passed on him at least once, which means he should be hungry to prove himself.
Reed is a great player as he is, but putting a chip on his shoulder will make him even more dangerous.
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