• A pair of versatile, athletic college center fielders went back-to-back at picks No. 209 and 210. First the Reds took Cal State Fullerton star Josh Fellhauer, and the Tigers followed by popping Oklahoma’s Jamie Johnson with the next pick. Both of these guys are outstanding baseball players with good speed, the ability to make consistent contact and excellent baseball instincts. Both were available in the seventh round because both are sub-six-footers, but both could wind up being steals.
• Speaking of potential steals and college outfielders, the Indians pick Mississippi center fielder Jordan Henry at No. 215. Like Fellhauer and Johnson, Henry is a bit undersized (6-foot), but he might actually profile better than that duo because his speed is a premium tool, and his defense has a chance to be as well. We rated Henry as the No. 131 prospect in the draft, so he looks like a strong value at 215.
• Sean Black was a second-round pick out of high school in 2006, but he turned down an over-slot bonus offer from the Nationals to go to Seton Hall. He was the highest-drafted player who didn’t sign that year, and you have to question the wisdom of that decision now, at least from a financial perspective (though certainly there is inherent value in the college experience). Just about as expected, Black slipped to the seventh round this year, going No. 225 overall to the Yankees. He won’t get nearly the offer he turned down three years ago.
• Few players who will be drafted today have more upside than Orioles eighth-rounder Devin Harris, an outfielder from East Carolina. Built like an Adonis at 6-foot-3, 227 pounds, Harris a prototypical right fielder’s skill set: massive raw power, an above-average arm and even solid-average speed. He still swings and misses a lot, but he made huge strides offensively this year, batting .344 with 14 home runs.
• Ryan Buch is a very interesting pick at No. 253 (White Sox, eighth round). Midway through this spring, Buch was generating second-round buzz, thanks to a fastball that reached 95 and an absurdly hard, downer curveball. But he did not show that kind of stuff down the stretch, and he struggled with his command. His numbers in the weak Northeast Conference were mediocre, and he slipped to the eighth round. Buch has a durable 6-foot-3 frame and could take off in a bullpen role, though he lacks the third pitch necessary to start.
• Sticking in the Northeast, Robert Whitenack rivaled Buch for the best curveball in the region, and he’s a solid value pick for the Cubs at the end of the eighth round.
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