After 40 rounds of the 2017 MLB draft, each team is hoping it found at least a few possible impact players.
Some first-round picks are going to fly through the organization and make a quick impact at the major league level, while others might take some time before finally reaching the potential. Unfortunately, many will never get to The Show.
When examining the draft classes as a whole, the best ones are those that feature multiple prospects who can make a difference in the majors. This is clearly the goal for every team, but a few front offices did a better job than others over the past few days.
Here is a breakdown of the top drafts for 2017.
Note: Full draft results available courtesy of MLB.com.
MLB Draft Grades
- Arizona Diamondbacks (A+): Pavin Smith could be the first to the majors from this class, but he was only the start of a good class of hitters throughout the draft.
- Atlanta Braves (A): The ability to sign the high school players could decide the strength of this draft, although the upside is there regardless with Kyle Wright and Drew Waters at the top.
- Baltimore Orioles (A-): While a lot of prep prospects represents a lot of risk, the chances are good there are at least a few legitimate stars in this group, beginning with D.L. Hall.
- Boston Red Sox (A-): Even if the safer picks have a lower ceiling, the Red Sox added several players who can help a title run within the next couple of years.
- Chicago Cubs (B-): The first five picks and 10 in the first 12 rounds were all pitchers. This is a fine strategy for a team that needs it, but many come with real flaws.
- Chicago White Sox (A): Added some of the best hitters in the class between Jake Burger, Gavin Sheets and Evan Skoug, all of which will help sooner than later.
- Cincinnati Reds (A+): A lot of value throughout the draft, although no one has as much upside as Hunter Greene.
- Cleveland Indians (B+): Made up for the lack of a first-round pick with some of the best selections on Day 2, adding a lot of talent in the middle rounds.
- Colorado Rockies (B-): Not a lot of difference-makers in this group, and a lot will have to go right for too many to even reach the big leagues.
- Detroit Tigers (B): Aside from Alex Faedo, there are question marks throughout the class without too many sure things.
- Houston Astros (A-): Good selection of college pitchers between J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin and Peter Solomon should give the Astros early depth in the rotation.
- Kansas City Royals (B+): Not an overly exciting draft, but added quality players at positions of need who should help the organization.
- Los Angeles Angels (A-): Lots of divide between scouts on Jordon Adell, Griffin Canning and a lot of others at top of draft, but the value is there for at least a few of them to make a difference.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (A+): Not only was Jeren Kendall perhaps the steal of the draft, the rest of the group provides the Dodgers with plenty of players to be excited about in the future.
- Miami Marlins (B-): Lots of reaches for prospects without too much upside limits what the Marlins should expect in this class.
- Milwaukee Brewers (A-): Several noteworthy batters, beginning with Keston Hiura and Tristen Lutz, could help fill the major league lineup down the road.
- Minnesota Twins (A): Countered the high-upside picks with Brent Rooker and Charlie Barnes, giving the team likely contributors no matter what happens.
- New York Mets (B): Even with a few intriguing selections, the class lacks the star power to excite the New York fanbase.
- New York Yankees (C+): Reached on players early and will need to hope at least a few of the 23 right-handed pitchers selected reach or exceed their potential.
- Oakland Athletics (A): Perfect combination of high-upside and high-floor players that should give this class a lot of useful players. Nick Allen is one of the most interesting players in entire draft.
- Philadelphia Phillies (B+): The first couple of rounds featured reaches, but the Phillies made up for it with several value selections as the draft continued. Solid balance throughout.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (A-): Perhaps no team has a higher range than the Pirates with four straight high school players to start the draft, but the talent is there to help out down the line.
- San Diego Padres (B): Even with solid selections in the later rounds like Daniel Cabrera, MacKenzie Gore will be the story of the draft.
- San Francisco Giants (C): Lots of doubts with each selection, not a lot of great picks the Giants can rely upon to carry the class.
- Seattle Mariners (A+): Not only was there great talent at the start of the draft, the strong selections continued through all three days with plenty of future contributors.
- St. Louis Cardinals (C+): Waiting to the 94th selection to start drafting was a handcuff, although the picks didn't get much better from there in what could be a lost year.
- Tampa Bay Rays (B+): Brendan McKay will be the one to follow, although there are other quality players throughout the class who could shine.
- Texas Rangers (B-): Top-heavy class led by Bubba Thompson has potential but also could feature a lot of busts.
- Toronto Blue Jays (A): Quality hitters at premium positions was a theme for this draft, and it worked out well, beginning with Logan Warmoth in the first round.
- Washington Nationals (B): More risk than usual in the first couple of rounds, while the sleepers in the later rounds will only be valuable if they sign.
It's tough to know exactly how a player will transition from college to the professional ranks, but the Arizona Diamondbacks got several college stars who could help the offense in a hurry.
After taking Pavin Smith in the first round, the organization followed it up with Drew Ellis and Daulton Varsho. All three are hitters who batted over .340 this past season with plenty of power, with Smith and Ellis doing it against some of the top competition in the country.
"College bats, they fly off the board, and today was a perfect example of that happening," Diamondbacks' director of scouting Deric Ladnier said, per Derek Montilla of ArizonaSports.com. "In our opinion, to get three accomplished college bats with our first three selections, we were very pleased."
The Diamondbacks might need to figure out how to fit them in the lineup down the road, but all three of them are relatively safe bets to help at some point.
When you add in high-upside pitchers like Matt Tabor and Brian Shaffer, this was as good of a draft as anyone.
Selecting Hunter Greene at No. 2 was an obvious choice, but that doesn't make it any less useful.
The high school player has the potential to be a quality shortstop with a strong arm, good athleticism and a solid hitting ability. Of course, he wasn't even drafted as a hitter. Instead, he is an elite pitching prospect who can already reach 100 miles per hour with his fastball.
Although his secondary pitches need work, no one in this class has as much upside as Greene.
Meanwhile, he was one of four high school players in the first five picks for the Reds, all of which come packed with potential. Jacob Heatherly is an intriguing lefty taken in the third round, while 12th-round pick Tommy Mace could also be a steal as a 6'7" fireballer.
There aren't many sure things, but there is a lot to like from this class.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The theme for the Los Angeles Dodgers in this draft appeared to be getting value with each pick.
It started in the first round with Jeren Kendall, who could have easily been taken in the top 10 thanks to his multi-tool skill set. The strikeouts are a concern, but he is better than many of those taken above him at No. 23.
This continued on Day 2 with quality selections of James Marinan, Riley Ottesen, Wills Montgomerie and Zach Pop, four right-handed pitchers who could all move through the organization if they develop as expected.
Adding in toolsy college hitters like Donovan Casey and Deacon Liput, and this draft could yield some quality results.
Evan White doesn't have tons of power for a first baseman, but he is a solid first-round selection who shouldn't take long before being a regular in the Mariners lineup. However, the steal of the class came in the second round with Sam Carlson.
Adam Jude of the Seattle Times noted the reaction from the Mariners front office:
The projectable pitcher has all the tools you look for in a high school talent and will quickly become the one of the top pitching prospects in the organization.
Seattle also added a few interesting college pitchers like Seth Elledge, Oliver Jaskie and JP Sears. Sears struck out 142 batters in 95.1 innings for The Citadel this past season and should at the very least be a useful left-hander out of the bullpen.
The Mariners needed to reload the organization and did so in a big way in this draft.
Note: All statistics courtesy of team websites.