The Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays were the biggest winners in the 2015 MLB draft. Each team came in with a different philosophy and approach, but all three drafted multiple players who have an opportunity to help their respective organizations sooner and later.
The table below gives grades and notable picks for every organization. To see every selection, check out the draft tracker at MLB.com. A closer look at the best selections for the Cubs, Rockies and Blue Jays is beneath the table.
|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||B-|
|Boston Red Sox||(7) Andrew Benintendi, CF, Arkansas||A-|
|Chicago White Sox||(8) Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt, (112) Zack Erwin, LHP, Clemson||A|
|Chicago Cubs||(9) Ian Happ, INF/OF, Cincinnati; (173) Dave Berg, RHP, UCLA; (47) Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida||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.)||A-|
|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); (37) Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (GA)||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||D|
|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; (122) Carl Wise, 3B, College of Charleston (SC)||A+|
|Washington Nationals||(58) Andrew Stevenson, OF, LSU||A-|
|Picks per MLB.com, Grades by Mazique|
Ian Happ, IF-OF, Cincinnati
The Cubs clearly believe in drafting stud hitters from college early in the draft while adding pitching through trades and free agency. That explains why the Cubbies tabbed Ian Happ with the ninth selection. The Cubs are seeing positives already with Kris Bryant, whom the team took out of San Diego back in 2013 with the second overall pick.
In 2014, the Cubs used the No. 4 selection to take catcher Kyle Schwarber of the Indiana Hoosiers. He is hitting .322 with 13 home runs in 54 games this season for Double-A Tennessee. It's only a matter of time before he makes his debut with the big club.
Per ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers, Happ is happy to be the next potential young Cubs stud.
"I'm excited to add to the college bats coming through," Happ said. "Hopefully be the next one to move through the system."
Happ can rake.
In 56 games, the Cincinnati Bearcats star hit .369 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI, per the Baseball Cube. As good as his bat is, Happ's versatility is perhaps his best attribute. He's a switch hitter who can play second base, third base or a corner outfield position.
Manager Joe Maddon had great success with Ben Zobrist when the two were with the Tampa Bay Rays. Happ could provide a similar presence should he ascend through the Cubs system.
Dave Berg, RHP, UCLA
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished collegiate prospect than Dave Berg. Check out this long list of accomplishments for the UCLA Bruins superstar:
- One of just five players in Bruins history to earn All-Pac-12 honors three consecutive years.
- Holds the school record for most postseason appearances (17) and postseason saves (6) and the NCAA single-season record for saves (24).
- The only pitcher in school history to lead the conference in ERA in back-to-back seasons
With all that said, Berg doesn't have a big arm. He's not going to throw 95 mph. In fact, his submarine delivery pretty much locks him into a reliever role in the majors. That might sound like a limitation, but for a fourth-round pick, it's actually a positive. Berg's identity is no mystery. He's as polished as any player in the draft. His delivery and durability would seemingly alleviate most major injury concerns.
Berg is in position to rise through the system quickly, with the potential to help the Cubs as early as the latter part of this season. Call me crazy, but I see some Kent Tekulve and Dennis Eckersley in this guy. The Cubs might have found a steal.
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (FL)
Dansby Swanson of the Vanderbilt Commodores and Alex Bregman of the LSU Tigers were both selected ahead of Brendan Rodgers, but the high schooler might have the better future.
He won't turn 19 until August, but he's already flashed the hitting and fielding tools that are reminiscent of Troy Tulowitzki, the man he may very well make expendable with the Colorado Rockies. Depending on how Rodgers' early development and the Rockies' season transpires, you could see Tulo moved for prospects later in the season.
Tyler Nevin, 3B, Poway HS (CA)
At 6'3" and 200 pounds, Tyler Nevin already looks like a major league third baseman. Because he's the son of former major leaguer Phil Nevin, there was a certain amount of familiarity with him among big league executives.
Even without that notoriety, Nevin's ability to swing the bat is hard to ignore. In 36 games as a high school senior, Nevin hit .409 with seven home runs and 22 RBI, per MaxPreps.
According to MLB.com: "He's one of the more advanced high school hitters in the class and his frame and pedigree say he's going to grow into a good amount of power. All of Nevin's skills play up because of what is universally lauded as his plus makeup."
If he gets a chance to take his hacks at Coors Field, the team could see as many homers from the hot corner as it did when Vinny Castilla was in his prime. With Rodgers and Nevin, the Rockies might have solidified the left side of the infield for the future.
Toronto Blue Jays
Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
While Jon Harris' fastball is a heavy and moving pitch that can top out at 94 mph, per MLB.com, it's his breaking stuff that will make him a solid starter in the majors.
His curveball, slider and changeup are all better-than-average pitches that he has already shown the ability to command at times. Unlike many of the top-rated pitchers in the draft, Harris is more of a pitcher than a thrower. That more mature skill set and approach should help him get to the majors quicker than some of the players selected ahead of him.
Carl Wise, 3B, College of Charleston
If you're looking for a pure power-hitting prospect, you won't find one much better than Carl Wise.
He's listed as a third baseman, but his mediocre fielding will likely force him to play left field, first base or even designated hitter. He's homered 25 times in 174 career college games, and that's just scratching the surface of his potential. If he had a better glove and a definitive position, he would have been selected in the first two rounds of the draft.
If Wise progresses the way some think he will, the Blue Jays are going to find a way to get his bat in the lineup.