The 2015 MLB draft wraps up Wednesday, but most of the notable picks have already been made.
It's hard to project how all these teams did as it is, even when taking into consideration just their first selections. Only years down the line will it truly be known how the draft shook out—the reward for even the best picks is often multiple seasons away.
Bearing all this in mind as context, check out the following letter grades for each MLB franchise through the draft's first two days. For the complete list of results, visit MLB.com.
|2015 MLB Draft Grades|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||(1) Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt; (43) Alex Young, LHP, TCU||A|
|Atlanta Braves||(14) Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente High (Calif.); (28) Mike Soroka, RHP, Bishop Carroll HS (Alberta, Canada)||A-|
|Baltimore Orioles||(25) D.J. Stewart, OF, Florida State; (36) Ryan Mountcastle, INF, Winter Springs HS (Fla.)||A|
|Boston Red Sox||(7) Andrew Benintendi, CF, Arkansas||A-|
|Chicago White Sox||(8) Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt||A|
|Chicago Cubs||(9) Ian Happ, INF/OF, Cincinnati||A+|
|Cincinnati Reds||(11) Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (Ga.)||A|
|Cleveland Indians||(17) Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy; (42) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Royal Palm Beach HS (Fla.)||B+|
|Colorado Rockies||(3) Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS; (27) Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS (Pa.); (38) Tyler Nevin, 3B, Poway (Calif.) High||A+|
|Detroit Tigers||(22) Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford HS (Texas); (34) Christin Stewart, OF, Tennessee||B-|
|Houston Astros||(2) Alex Bregman, SS, LSU; (5) Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant High (Tampa)||A|
|Kansas City Royals||(21) Ashe Russell, RHP, Cathedral HS (Ind.); (33) Nolan Watson, RHP, Lawrence North HS (Ind.)||A-|
|Los Angeles Angels||(26) Taylor Ward, C, Fresno State||C+|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||(24) Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt; (35) Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville||A|
|Miami Marlins||(12) Josh Naylor, 1B, St. Joan of Arc HS (Ontario, Canada)||B|
|Milwaukee Brewers||(15) Trenton Clark, OF, Richland HS (Texas)||A|
|Minnesota Twins||(6) Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois||A|
|New York Mets||(53) Desmond Lindsay, OF, The Out-of-Door Academy (Fla.)||A|
|New York Yankees||(16) James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA, (30) Kyle Holder, SS, San Diego||B+|
|Oakland Athletics||(20) Richie Martin, SS, Florida||A-|
|Philadelphia Phillies||(10) Cornelius Randolph, 3B, Griffin High (Williamson, Ga.)||A|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||(19) Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona; (32) Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas)||A|
|San Diego Padres||(51) Austin Smith, RHP, Park Vista Community HS (Fla.)||B|
|San Francisco Giants||(18) Phil Bickford, RHP, CC of Southern Nevada; (31) Chris Shaw, 1B, Boston College||A-|
|Seattle Mariners||(60) Nick Neidert, RHP, Peachtree Ridge HS (Ga.)||B+|
|St. Louis Cardinals||(23) Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS (Mich.)||B|
|Tampa Bay Rays||(13) Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna (N.Y.)||A-|
|Texas Rangers||(4) Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara||A|
|Toronto Blue Jays||(29) Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State||A+|
|Washington Nationals||(58) Andrew Stevenson, OF, LSU||A-|
|Grades are personal opinion|
When determining the biggest winners in an MLB draft, the judgment often boils down to the amount of top picks a team has the fortune of possessing. In this year's edition, the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros appear to have struck gold in that regard.
But why not start with the young man who was chosen before everyone, Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are betting big on the Commodores star, who has also played second base in college, guided his team to a national championship and just led Vandy to another College World Series bid.
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman logged what someone in the Diamondbacks organization had to say about their prized prospect:
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
#dbacks person on dansby swanson: "has all the tools, great character, successful in the spotlight already"2015-6-8 23:27:41
Houston had the No. 1 overall pick last year and used it on talented teenage southpaw Brady Aiken, only to not sign him. Aiken was chosen 17th in the 2015 draft by the Cleveland Indians, and the Astros made out just fine, too, because they got the second pick as compensation for not signing Aiken.
Investing in two critical areas, the second pick was LSU shortstop Alex Bregman, followed by high school outfielder Kyle Tucker at No. 5 overall.
D1Baseball.com's Kendall Rogers felt Bregman was the ideal selection in the No. 2 slot:
Kendall Rogers @KendallRogersD1
For my money, Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman are the two guys I'd take over anyone on my team. @astros have the true grinder in Bregman.2015-6-8 23:21:25
The future appears bright for Tucker based on the gaudy comparison MLB Network's Peter Gammons made, per MLB.com's Alyson Footer, and the other anecdote Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan passed along:
Alyson Footer @alysonfooter
Gammons is comparing Kyle Tucker to Ted Williams. So no pressure there.2015-6-8 23:43:31
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
One scout earlier this spring on Kyle Tucker, whom Houston just took with the fifth overall pick: "Best swing in the draft."2015-6-8 23:40:14
As for the Rockies, they already have a stud shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki. However, they opted to make it three players at the position in a row by nabbing Brendan Rodgers to be Tulowitzki's presumptive successor down the road.
Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America highlighted just how much Colorado is pouring into its long-term organizational vision:
Tracy Ringolsby @TracyRingolsby
Rockies wind up using first five selections in draft on high school players for first time in franchise history.2015-6-9 23:44:19
So it may be a long time before the Rockies' picks this year pay true dividends, yet the club may well emerge with the biggest haul in the 2015 draft by a long shot.
Rodgers alone has all the tools to be a special hitter and is only going to get stronger as he develops, suggesting he can indeed stick at shortstop.
Astros fans have to be excited as well. Pairing this year's surprising run to the top of the American League West division at the moment with a solid draft bolsters their hopes that this string of success won't be short-lived.
Pitchers are often the focal point of drafts, but the run of shortstops in 2015 was a refreshing change. Dillon Tate and Tyler Jay have only been sparse starters in college, too, so they're riskier top pitching prospects than their extended experience beyond the prep level would suggest.