2011 MLB Draft: Who's Going Number One Overall?
In 2009 and 2010, the Washington Nationals had the top picks in the MLB draft. In both years there was a clear cut number one overall pick, in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, respectively. In 2009, Strasburg was easily one of the most hyped draft picks ever. He signed for a record deal of $15.1 million, and everyone knew that he was going to be picked number one. In 2010, Harper was signed to a 5 year, $9.9 million contract. Before the draft even happened, the Nationals announced they were taking Harper. Unlike 2009 and 2010, the 2011 draft does not have a definite number one draft pick. The 2011 draft is also considered one of the most talented draft pools ever, where the top picks could conceivably go number one in any other draft.
Anthony Rendon, a 6-foot, 190 pound third baseman from Rice, was given the 2010 Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur offensive player. Rendon hit .388 with 20 home runs and 72 RBI's in his freshman year. He followed that up with a .394-26-85 line with a 1.340 OPS, as a sophomore. He was the front runner to go number one overall in 2011 until he hurt his shoulder and has been relegated to DH duties. While his power has dipped, Rendon is still hitting for average and drawing walks. Rendon is also an excellent fielder, committing just five errors at the hot corner in 2010. Rendon is still a phenomenal baseball player ans should easily be selected within the first five picks of the draft. The Pirates farm system is thin on power and by pairing Rendon with Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates could have a strong middle of the order. Pedro Alvarez would most likely have to switch over to 1st base, when Rendon gets the call up to the show.
The big 6-foot-4 righthander from UCLA was drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round of 2008 MLB Draft. Cole ended up not signing, going to college and has now returned with the possibility of being selected number one in the draft. In 2009, as a freshman, Cole pitched to a 3.49 ERA in 14 games started, but had a losing record of 4-8. The following year, Cole was even better, going 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA, while recording 153 strikeouts and walking just 52 in 123.0 innings. Cole throws a fastball thrown in the 94-96 MPH range and touches 97-98 MPH occasionally. Cole also features a curveball that breaks hard and late.
Danny Hultzen could be a possibility for the Bucs' number one overall pick. The 6-foot-3 southpaw from the University of Virginia, has enjoyed success at the college level. In his freshman year, Hultzen went 9-1 with a 2.17 ERA while striking out 107 batters. In his sophomore season, he went 11-1 while pitching to a 2.78 ERA with a 5.13 K/BB ratio. Hultzen would defiantly be drafted as a pitcher, but he is also a pretty good hitter. In 256 college at bats, he batted .316. With his fastball, Hultzen usually sits around 92-94 MPH but can touch 96 MPH. Hultzen also throws a changeup, which he mixes in with his fastball, and a slider.
Dylan Bundy at number one would be a reach for the Pirates, but it could happen. Bundy is probably the best high school arm in the draft and possibly the best overall high school player in the draft. Bundy throws around 96 MPH with reports indicating that he could throw 100 MPH. He also throws a good upper-70's curveball and a decent changeup. As of April 25th, his stats are a mind boggling 8-0 with a 0.29 ERA 111 Ks in just 48 innings pitched. Bundy is basically a lock for the top 10, and could be picked first on the day of the draft.
Another pitcher, Sonny Gray is coming off a season where he went 10-5, had a 3.48 ERA and struck out 113 batters. In 2011 he has been even better, with a record of 9-3 and a 1.91 ERA. Gray is a small pitcher, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, but he still hits the low 90's with his fastball. Sonny's best pitch is his slider and he also mixes in a changeup as well. Gray will most likely be a top 10 pick, and could possibly go number one.
Some people who could possibly go number one, but probably won't:
Bubba Starling, OF
Trevor Bauer, RHP
Francisco Lindnor, SS
Taylor Jungman, RHP
Jed Bradley, LHP
George Springer, OF
The number one overall pick of the 2011 MLB Player Draft will most likely be...Anthony Rendon. With the Pirates taking Jameson Taillon number two last year, I think they will go with the hitting in this years draft, and take Rendon. With Rendon, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates will have themselves three great hitters to lead their team for years to come.
But where does this leave all the other guys I mentioned?
The Mariners will most likely take Gerrit Cole with the number two pick, to form a devastating future rotation of "King" Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Cole.
Danny Hultzen will probably be selected third by the Diamondbacks with Sonny Gray following him and going to the Orioles. Dylan Bundy will probably round out this group by going fifth or six.