Jun 042012
 

Hi everyone,

Sean Hogan here (@seanhoganvt). I will be liveblogging the entire first round (plus supplemental!) of the draft tonight, so keep this page and your F5 button handy.

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The Astros surprise everyone and choose Puerto Rican high school SS Carlos Correa, who I considered for the #1 spot on my big board before eventually settling for Byron Buxton. Has similar upside to Buxton but is a SS and should be able to stick around there. Kudos to the Astros for being brave. I really like Correa.

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The Astros’ pick of Correa creates a chain reaction that likely made the Twins pretty happy, getting to choose between Buxton and Appel. They chose Buxton, which is a bit of a risk as a HS bat, but #1 on my board. Buxton isn’t exactly the prototypical “toolsy” HS hitter, as he doesn’t have plus plus power, but does have a special arm and blazing speed.

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Florida C Mike Zunino to Seattle at #3. Honestly, I don’t see the excitement surrounding him. He doesn’t have true star potential and his swing isn’t a sure thing to keep working against better pitching. I can see Zunino being a solid, league average catcher with an all star season in an exceptional year, but Seattle could have chosen a better player here in my opinion.

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Orioles had a ton of options here. Interesting to see they had Gausman above Appel on their board. I like Gausman more and more every day (more because he started off pretty low in my mind), but he still lacks good enough secondary stuff at the moment. With the right pitching coach, though, he could turn into a Verlander. Pretty solid pick here.

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Royals grab Kyle Zimmer. My #3 guy due to the ace potential, but another big risk/reward guy. As they just mentioned on MLB Network, he’s got a great stuff/control combination for someone so new to pitching. Appel keeps falling.

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Almora to the Cubs is the most predictable pick so far. Rates as above-average across the board but with no true plus tool. I like him in CF and think he’ll develop more speed and a higher OBP but less power than MLB Network’s Adam Jones comparison.

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San Diego was known to be on HS LHP Max Fried for a while, but I think Appel would have been a better choice here. Fried is considered to be pretty low risk for a HS pitcher (which inherently are huge risks) and should move through the organization. But Appel is a tier above Fried as this draft class’ pitchers go and must be asking for the moon in cash.

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Appel finally drops to Pittsburgh at 8. Great pick for them. Let the Deven Marrero to DC rumors begin…

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The Marlins take LHP Andrew Heaney. Doesn’t have ace potential, but should be a pretty solid mid-rotation starter with low end #2 potential. Reminds me of Ross Detwiler when he was drafted. As a guy who doesn’t like the Fish, I’m happy to see them take a guy without a ton of upside, but not a bad pick by any means. Heaney was one guy I thought the Nats would be very interested in at 16 if he dropped to them.

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Rockies take OF David Dahl. Known to be a bit of a loafer, but can hit, run and play great defense. Can turn into a beast of a leadoff hitting CF if all breaks well, but a lot depends on his effort level. Also doesn’t have much power potential. Decent pick, as he was #12 on my board.

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Not a huge fan of A’s pick Addison Russell. I don’t think he sticks at SS and don’t think he’ll be able to hit high-level pitching. Best case scenario he turns into an Ian Desmond-type SS or a slightly above average 3B, but he was #30 on my big board for a reason.

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Mets go with prep SS Gavin Cecchini. #21 on my big board, can make it to the big leagues as a fielder/speedster, but lacks power (even of the line drive variety). He’s a good contact hitter, but is going to have to be really good at beating out infield hits if he wants to be a ML starter.

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White Sox take Courtney Hawkins. Has a long swing, but could have dynamite power if he gets it straightened out. Definitely a project, but could pay huge rewards. Needs to find a better tie (for those of you watching MLB Network). His backfip probably just made Kenny Williams poop his pants, but as a David Wilson fan, I thought it was cool.

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Reds go way off my board with prep RHP Nick Travieoso. Huge arm, huge upside, huge risk. He’s got ace potential, but bust floor. I think he ends up as a reliever, but if he can improve his secondary stuff and continue his control improvements, he can be good. Glad my team didn’t take him, though.

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The Indians take Tyler Naquin. I love the bat (he will hit .300 at some point I’m convinced), but he can’t play any better than average CF and doesn’t have enough power to play a corner. Won’t kill you if he ends up in CF, though.

I expect Nats to choose between Wacha, Marrero and Stroman, leaning towards Wacha (although I like Marrero more than Wacha).

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Nats select RHP Lucas Gioloto. You’ll be reading about him at Nationals Prospects for a long time because he’s not ML ready. Has the highest ceiling out of all pitchers in the draft, but as a HS pitcher with injury concerns (UCL sprain held him out all season), you just never know. But WOW, hell of a value pick. 4th straight year the Nats have gotten a guy who would have been 1st overall without injury concerns (well, Stras and Harper didn’t have those concerns, but you know what I mean). Fell to 14 on my big board due to injury concerns, but I’m no doctor.

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Blue Jays pick DJ Davis has incredible speed, 20 HR pop, great range but a terrible arm. Juan Pierre comparisons work for me, but with more power obviously. Elite leadoff potential. I really like this pick for Toronto. #18 on my big board.

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Dodgers selection 3B Corey Seager has a projectable bat with sneaky power (25+ HR potential). Lower risk than most other HS bats, but doesn’t have elite upside. Good pick and good value – #16 on my board.

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And to think, I had RHP Michael Wacha all written up for the Nats at 16. He’s #10 on my list – doesn’t stand out at anything, but is above average across the board and has 3 good pitches to go with excellent control. I see Jon Garland comps everywhere, and I’m sure the Cardinals would be happy with that.

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Giants take another solid college RHP in Chris Stratton. I’m not as high on him as I am on Wacha, but could develop into a nice starter if he can develop a solid third pitch. Although so could a lot of other players. At worst, he’ll be a solid reliever.

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Braves take HS RHP Lucas Sims. Nats were rumored to be after him for a while (maybe just to annoy the Braves?), but I never really considered their interest in him to be that serious. Slight overdraft (#29 on my board) but I think he’ll end up as a starter more than a lot of people do, apparently.

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It’s probably no surprise to you, but I think Marcus Stroman is an amazing pick for the Blue Jays. He was #5 on my big board and can contribute immediately (aka signing today, pitching tomorrow) in an ML bullpen. I think the Jays would be silly to not at least try him as a starter, but his worst case scenario is as an excellent reliever.

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Cardinals choose a college senior in FSU 2B/OF James Ramsey. Will sign for way under-slot and allow Cardinals to spend some cash in the compensation rounds. Naquin-lite…profiles better at 2B if he can stick there, but likely a .280-.290 hitter peak with not a whole lot else.

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Devin Marrero finally goes to the Red Sox. I was significantly higher on him than most (#9 on my list) and still think he’ll turn into a good SS. You can never have enough middle infielders, and he’s a great fielder, so I think this is a great pick.

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Richie Shaffer is a great value pick for the Rays at 25. #15 on my board due to his combination of defense, plate discipline and developing power. Might have to move to a corner OF position rather than 3B, but with Longoria at 3B anyways, it won’t be an issue for Tampa Bay. Shaffer will make it into their lineup somewhere.

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Stryker Trahan to the Diamondbacks is about where I figured he’d end up. If you think he can stick behind the plate, this is a good value. If not, will he hit enough to play OF? He’s got solid power and a great arm, but question marks about his ability to make contact. There weren’t really any surer bets on the board, but were some guys with more upside like Joey Gallo.

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The Brew Crew have back to back picks at 27 & 28. With pick 27, they went with prep C Clint Coulter. He barely missed my top 30, but I like his power and defense behind the plate. Not amazing upside, but looks like a good shot at being an average or a little better catcher that can put up 20 homers a few times.

Brewers take OF Victor Roache with pick 28. Massive, massive power. Not a whole lot of tools beside the power, but damn, he has some impressive power. Power power power power.

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Texas goes with Lewis Brinson, another prep OF. This is a better place to take a risk on a toolsy high school kid with bat issues than top 15 like some other teams did, so a solid pick by Texas. Good situation for Brinson because of Texas’ minor league depth, so they can keep him in the minors for extra development.

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The Yankees grab HS RHP Ty Hensley. Super high potential, love his stuff (especially curveball), but far from the majors. Could use some help with his command. Great pick. #24 on my big board.

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Boston takes LHP Brian Johnson from Florida. I’m skeptical about his potential long-term. His secondary pitches are solid but his fastball will be knocked around by big league hitters (especially AL East batters). Looks like a #5 starter or LOOGY to me. A stretch here, but Boston could be saving $ for their next pick. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Boston or St. Louis grab Joey Gallo in the compensation round here.

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Puerto Rican HS RHP Orlando Berrios to the Twins at 32. Small, throws hard, could be a shutdown reliever.

Florida HS RHP Zach Eflin goes to Padres. #2 potential, great pick.

HS SS Daniel Robertson to Oakland at 34. Don’t know a lot about him, but from what I’ve just read, he’s a good contact hitter that plays above his talent level (a la Lombardozzi?)

Mets take C Kevin Plawecki from Purdue. Not a lot of pop, can hit for average, but profiles as a backup/platoon guy.

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Steve Piscotty, a 3B from Stanford, goes to the Cardinals. Looks more like a bench/platoon guy due to the lack of high-end power or defense, but wouldn’t be surprised if he turned into a league average 3B.

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Red Sox take RHP Pat Light from Monmouth. An overdraft, but has pitched in the northeast and can dial it up to the mid 90s.

Brewers take OF Mitch Haniger from Cal Poly. I like his contact tool and think he can be a 50+ guy across the board.

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Joey Gallo finally goes to the Rangers. Huge power, huge arm on the mound, can he turn either into greatness? Plus plus power/arm, but meh contact with the bat and control on the mound.

Phillies grab California HS RHP Shane Watson. Don’t like his control, but has 2 very good pitches. Needs to add a 3rd (or since I don’t like the Phillies, he can stick with 2).

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Houston goes with prep RHP Lance McCullers. Great arm, and a great pick at #41. I was afraid the Nats would grab him too high, but #41 is fantastic value for him. Correa + McCullers would be a great combination for a team that is dying for talent.

Twins grab RHP Luke Bard from Georgia Tech with pick #42. An overdraft, especially given his current injury concerns. Looks like a bullpen arm to me like his brother.

Fergie Jenkins and the Cubs take RHP Pierce Johnson from Missouri State with pick 43. I like this pick a lot for the Cubbies. #32 on Baseball America’s big board. Lots of K’s come from his arsenal of pitches led by his fastball.

The Padres select OF Travis Jankowski from the Cinderella story of the NCAA baseball tournament, Stony Brook. Good speed, defense and contact, not a lot of power or arm, though. Baseball America compares his swing to Dustin Ackley.

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The Pirates take OF Barrett Barnes from Texas Tech 45th overall. Reminds me a ton of Drew Stubbs due to his power, speed and defense combo with that goes along with mediocre contact and a bunch of K’s.

The first local player off the board, RHP Eddie Butler from Radford goes 46th to the Rockies. His pitches don’t do a lot for me (not a lot of movement, decent control), but he throws hard and could be a solid reliever.

The A’s go with Georgia HS 1B Matt Olson. More HS talent that can hit for Oakland. I think he’ll hit for more average than power in the pros, but could do both.

White Sox take Keon Barnum, a HS 1B from Florida. Plus power, questionable contact, probably a bit of an overdraft here.

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Cincinnati takes Florida HS OF Jesse Winker, a guy who should hit for average but again I am skeptical about the power.

The Blue Jays are killing it, now grabbing HS LHP Matt Smoral. If he’s not injured, he’s a top 15 pick. He’s tall as hell, but doesn’t have as bad mechanical issues as a lot of tall guys do (aka Alex Meyer).

The Dodgers go with Jesmuel Valentin, a Puerto Rican HS SS. I like his defense a lot, but don’t know about the bat contact-wise.

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St. Mary’s 3B Patrick Wisdom goes to St. Louis at #52. I think the bat is better than his 2012 stats. Decent defense at 3B too.

Rangers go with a HS RHP Collin Wiles at #53. Considered to be unsignable or close to it according to Baseball America, he’s not that impressive to me but projectable at 6’4″ 180 lbs.

Phillies get RHP Mitch Gueller, a talented pitcher who could turn into something if he can get more consistent.

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The Padres go with high school righty Walker Weickel. Right now he only throws an 89 MPH fastball, but at 6’6″ 180 or so he can add some velocity. Good secondary pitches for a prep guy.

The Cubbies take HS RHP Paul Blackburn from California. He’s got 3 really good pitches. Signability is questioned by some and not by others, but I think the Cubs have a chance to sign him.

The Reds take UCLA OF Jeff Gelalich, another college outfielder with a pretty good contact tool but little power and a questionable ability to play CF in the pros.

The Blue Jays take a prep 3B in Mitch Nay. Haven’t heard much on him, but it looks like he’s got some power, a nice arm and could hit for average contact.

The Cards select Texas HS C Steve Bean, a guy with an excellent arm who can hit for solid contact and could develop into a decent power hitter. I like this pick a lot.

The Blue Jays grab Texas HS RHP Tyler Gonzales. Baseball America says he’s the nephew of Nats crosschecker  Jimmy Gonzales, and I’m sure Uncle Jimmy would have loved to select his nephew when the Nats pick first tomorrow. It sounds like his delivery is violent enough to be an injury concern. Will probably end up as a back-end bullpen guy.

Looks like that’s it for tonight. Thanks to Luke for having me and to anyone who read this far! Check back on me this week with more Nats draft coverage at DC is for Baseball and 2012 Nationals Draft Info.

  30 Responses to “2012 MLB Draft Live Thread”

  1. Correa is going to be great at 3B (where I think he eventually ends up)

  2. Wow id be surprised if Appel falls past the Cubs…

  3. Pirates going cheap the next 9 rounds

  4. Sean, are you still feeling Marrero at 16?

  5. My guess is: Marrero or Lucas Sims

  6. Did not see that coming. Will he sign?

    • Doesn’t matter. More for the better college players later. Problem is the college players get screwed compared to last year’s signing bonuses. And if he doesn’t sign the Nats get compensation.

    • If the Nats drafted him, they know what it will take to sign him and will get it done

    • He’ll sign. As I said on Twitter, the Nats will likely go college/juco players for rounds 2-10 and then go with some higher upside/tougher to sign guys in rounds 11-15. If Giolito gets hurt or demands way too much money, they won’t get his slot this year but they’ll have a bunch of extra money from taking so many cheap signs.

      But he’ll sign, barring something strange happening!

  7. Wow huge gamble but with how well Rizzo has done in negotiations the past 3 years you have to think he can sign him.

    Rest of the draft will be all below slot guys but that’s the reason we’ve hired all these great scouts to find the hidden gems.

  8. Luke, looks like your man Curran has quit and is going back to Boston. Like Michaels. Another player on the reserved player list.

  9. Thanks Sean. Appreciate the comments and the coverage.

  10. Looks like Brandon Miller converted from catcher to outfielder since we last drafted him 2 years ago.

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