Major League Baseball’s draft process is unlike anything else in sports, and the 2014 edition of the three-day event is over after 40 rounds of action.
That’s an impressive total of 1,204 picks.
While Houston Astros No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken was the prospect garnering the most attention building up to the draft, there will be players who make an impact on the league from every round in this extensive draft process.
Here are the final grades and most notable selection for every MLB franchise.
|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||C|
|Cleveland Indians||Bradley Zimmer||A|
|Colorado Rockies||Kyle Freeland||B|
|Detroit Tigers||Derek Hill||C|
|Houston Astros||Brady Aiken||A|
|Kansas City Royals||Brandon Finnegan||C|
|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||A|
|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|
Breaking Down No. 1 Overall Pick Brady Aiken
The Houston Astros had several options with the top pick in the 2014 draft, but selecting Cathedral Catholic High School’s Brady Aiken was the smart long-term move for a franchise in desperate need of difference-makers.
For the first time since 1991, a high school pitcher was taken No. 1 overall.
If the Astros picking first in the draft sounds familiar, SportsCenter reveals that the franchise has become the Cleveland Cavaliers of the MLB:
Regardless of the unrelenting futility in the Houston organization, adding a talented player with as much upside as Aiken instantly brightened the future of a franchise desperate for another face to build around.
According to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today, Aiken racked up an impressive 7-0 record during his senior season with 111 strikeouts, just 15 walks and an ERA of 1.06 ERA in 59.2 innings.
After being taken with the first selection of the draft, Aiken told MLB Network, via USA Today, about his goals for the past season and how his focus helped him earn the No. 1 selection:
I sat down with my advisor and my trainer and my parents and I really had the goal that I wanted to be the best player in the country. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of early mornings working out. … Hard work in the offseason truly paid off for me in the spring season.
While many high school players go to college despite being selected in the draft, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reports on the deal Aiken already signed with the Astros:
At 6’3” and 210 pounds, Aiken is a big man, but he has room to grow. Houston will get the young player to the right strength and conditioning coaches, and he will work out with the best trainers in the sport.
The Astros must maximize his potential.
Aiken possesses a fastball clocked at 97 mph and a nasty curveball that will make him a formidable future ace for Houston if he can put it all together mentally and physically.
Add in the fact that he is a left-handed starting pitcher (only the third high school lefty in history taken No. 1 overall), and the Astros will have a valuable asset in a league that values the position as much as any other on the roster.
There is no question that Aiken has plenty of work left to do before he makes his debut in the major leagues, but he was the best prospect in the draft and has a bright future with Houston.
*Stats via MLB.com.
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