Now that all the players who are going to sign have put their name on the dotted line, it's time to take a look at this season's draft, with selected commentary on good, bad, and otherwise particularly noteworthy selections.
Comment: Evans is the clearest choice for the #1 overall pick in quite some time, and may be the best pitcher to enter the league – through the draft or otherwise – in several seasons. He’s well worth his huge signing bonus.
Comment: Regan and Rojas both project to be speedy players with strong defense, but neither is an especially skilled hitter. While they’re both valuable, neither is quite worthy of a top-5 pick.
Comment: In a weak year for pitchers,
Comment: Mercedes is almost certainly the draft’s most talented position player, a top-quality hitter with good speed and the durability to play 162 games a season. It’s shocking that he fell this far.
Comment: Doyle is a difficult player to grade. Scouts say he has great potential both as a contact hitter and a power hitter, but his L/R splits are mediocre at best. No matter how his hitting turns out, his defense and speed are still impressive, but he’s not quite 5-star material.
Comment: It’s never easy to draft a good starting pitcher, but the Killer Whales could certainly do better than Tolbert, who throws just 3 pitches and has unimpressive L/R splits.
Comment: The switch-hitting Reynolds swings the best bat in this draft class by a wide margin, and if he’s able to overcome his injury problems, he will likely develop into a perennial All-Star.
Comment: For the third straight season, the Cows selected the draft’s best high-school position player. The pride of Cajun country (the “B.C.” stands for Beauregard Charlemagne) is more than just a good hitter – he’s also lightning-quick on the bases and projects to be a competent fielder, too.
Comment: Aardsma is a terrific hitter with great speed whose talent is more like that of a top-10 pick than the 16th overall selection. What might hold him back, however, is his poor durability, which will likely limit him to 130 or so games per season.
Comment: Barfield is almost certainly the second-best hitter in this draft class. But one area in which he’s second to none is his temper, which has been described as “explosive” and “terrifying” by various sources. Hopefully for
Comment: Dunn has great potential as a hitter, but his platoon splits are as dramatic as they come. Against lefties, he’s the second coming of Babe Ruth; against righties, he’s the second coming of Mario Mendoza.
22. Buffalo Blue Cheese
Comment: Blanco throws hard, has good control, and keeps the ball on the ground – but he only has one good pitch, and his L/R splits aren’t very exciting either. Buffalo may have been better just letting him go unsigned.
Comment: Hill is the third reliever chosen in a four-pick span, but the only one with true potential to be a closer. Though he doesn’t throw particularly hard, he boasts a devastating cutter and slider, and excellent control of both pitches.
Comment: It’s typical to see teams reach for pitchers at the end of round 1, but rarely do position players of Webster’s caliber get taken this high. He projects to be an average ML hitter at best, and isn’t especially fast either – not exactly the sort of future you want for a corner outfielder.
28. Helena Shadow Wolves
30. Buffalo Blue Cheese
Comment: Gibson is a mediocre hitter at best, but he’s also one of the best defensive shortstops in the draft. He seems to have chosen football over baseball, as he said he might – but that may be because Buffalo management simply declined to meet his contract demands.
31. Helena Shadow Wolves
Comment: Clayton may not have the durability to last a full big-league season, but whatever portion he does play, he’ll be a dynamic force. He’s a good fielder who can run and hit for both power and contact – a great find for the 31st pick.