After a grueling 40 rounds, the 2014 MLB first-year player draft reached its conclusion on Saturday.
With that, the questions begin.
Which team had the best haul? Which team drafted the most signable players?
Well, taking team needs, prospect upside, draft value of each pick and the potential of selected players to sign, we can put together draft grades for each organization's haul.
As we know, most prospects will take years to develop in farm systems, so we won't know the full impact of this year's draft class for quite some time. However, there's always room to speculate.
Let's break down the full list of each team's draft grade and highlight a few teams that stood out.
2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft Grades
|2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft Grades|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Touki Toussaint||B+|
|Atlanta Braves||Braxton Davidson||B|
|Baltimore Orioles||Pat Connaughton||C|
|Boston Red Sox||Michael Chavis||A|
|Chicago Cubs||Kyle Schwarber||B-|
|Chicago White Sox||Carlos Rodon||B+|
|Cincinnati Reds||Nick Howard||B-|
|Cleveland Indians||Bradley Zimmer||A-|
|Colorado Rockies||Kyle Freeland||B-|
|Detroit Tigers||Derek Hill||B-|
|Houston Astros||Brady Aiken||A|
|Kansas City Royals||Brandon Finnegan||B-|
|Los Angeles Angels||Sean Newcomb||B+|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Grant Holmes||B+|
|Miami Marlins||Tyler Kolek||B-|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Kodi Medeiros||A-|
|Minnesota Twins||Nick Gordon||B-|
|New York Mets||Michael Conforto||C+|
|New York Yankees||Jacob Lindgren||B+|
|Oakland Athletics||Matt Chapman||B|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Aaron Nola||B+|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Cole Tucker||B|
|San Diego Padres||Trea Turner||B+|
|San Francisco Giants||Tyler Beede||B|
|Seattle Mariners||Alex Jackson||B|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Jack Flaherty||C|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Casey Gillaspie||C+|
|Texas Rangers||Luis Ortiz||B|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Jeff Hoffman||A-|
|Washington Nationals||Erick Fedde||B|
|Sean O'Donnell's Grades|
Boston Red Sox
Boston nailed it this year.
The team kicked off the draft by selecting shortstop Michael Chavis with the No. 26 pick.
Chavis is one of the most polished hitters in this year's draft class, hitting .580 with nine doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 37 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 28 games with Sprayberry High School.
Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye spoke of the selection in a team press release, via Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com:
Our approach each year is to select the best players available to us and we believe Michael fits that description. He was undoubtedly one of the best high school hitters in this this year’s class, and we were fortunate to have him. In addition, we believe his athleticism and defensive versatility will also be an asset to us.
Chavis should be likely to forgo his commitment with Clemson and begin his professional career.
The rest of Boston's Day 1 haul included pitcher Michael Kopech and first baseman Sam Travis. All of these players come with great upside, and the Red Sox received some great value despite picking late in the draft.
According to a tweet from Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Kopech is already drawing comparisons:
Boston continued to grab great value in later rounds.
Jake Cosart was an excellent selection in the third round. Despite his recent move to the mound, he's been able to reach the upper 90s with his fastball—plenty of upside there. Reed Reilly was another great value pick in the seventh. He's been a great closer for Cal Poly and could find a bullpen role in Boston sooner rather than later.
The Red Sox continued to rack up some college-level pitching in Day 3, including Karsten Whitson of Florida, Jalen Beeks of Arkansas, Chandler Shepherd of Kentucky and Michael Gunn of Arkansas.
The Astros nabbed Brady Aiken with the No. 1 pick in the draft. His selection isn't the only reason the team received a high grade, but it certainly helped.
The 6'4", 205-pound Aiken has a nice frame to build upon. He's already an exceptionally polished pitcher despite being just 17 years of age.
Aiken features a mid-90s fastball which can reach upwards of 97 mph. He also throws a curveball and changeup—both of which have plenty of movement.
Here's a look at what the Astros are getting, courtesy of a tweet from Baseball Tonight:
During a press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow had some glowing praise for Aiken, "It's the most advanced high school pitcher I've ever seen in my entire career. He has command like I've never seen before of his stuff."
Houston continued to get great early value with two solid hitters in outfielder Derek Fisher and first baseman A.J. Reed. They added another slugger in the third round by selecting J.D. Davis of Cal State.
Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal tweeted the accolade Reed is up for this year:
Later, the Astros began to focus on the mound by selecting a few commanding presences, such as the 6'2" Ben Smith of Coastal Carolina in Round 17, the 6'5" Ryan Thompson of Campbell University in Round 23, the 6'3" Zach Davis of Central Missouri in Round 25 and the 6'3" Aaron Greenwood of Mississippi State in Round 28.
Some great value across the board from pitchers and hitters allowed Houston to come away with one of the year's best draft classes.
The Brewers were a bit of a gambling team on Day 1 of the draft, as they selected a few high-risk, high-reward players. However, due to the team's weak farm system, it was absolutely the right move.
Southpaw Kodi Medeiros was the team's first selection with the No. 12 pick.
Medeiros has a very high ceiling. He features a fastball capable of reaching 97 mph and has a slider with a great deal of movement. At 6'2" and 195 pounds, the lefty has the frame to become a workhorse after adding some bulk.
Last season in high school, Medeiros appeared in eight games, going 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA and tallied 83 strikeouts against just 14 walks.
Adding to the Brewers' bevy of high-ceiling players were shortstop Jacob Gatewood at No. 41 overall and outfielder Monte Harrison at No. 50. Both players are sluggers with the size and athleticism to produce big numbers in the majors.
According to a tweet from Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports, Gatewood is ready for action:
With money tied up, the Brewers went with some college seniors on Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft.
The team made a nice decision selecting pitcher Brandon Woodruff of Mississippi State in Round 11. Woodruff saw his role decrease this season and his numbers take a dip; however, he's just one year removed from being selected in the fifth round by the Texas Rangers.
Should Woodruff sign with Milwaukee, the value is extraordinary.
After Woodruff, the Brewers made a necessary point to go after right-handed pitching—a big team need.
The Brewers showed some smart and savvy decision making throughout the draft—a major reason for their high grade.
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