Early Draft Preview: College Best Tools (VIDEO)


Standout tools in college, based on votes from major league scouting directors. Text by Aaron Fitt.

COLLEGE

BEST ATHLETE: Trea Turner, ss, N.C. State. Blazing runner can make acrobatic plays at shortstop and typifies “quick-twitch.”
Other candidates: Bradley Zimmer, of, San Francisco; Derek Fisher, of, Virginia; Mark Laird, of, LSU; Greg Allen, of, San Diego State; Brian Anderson, 2b, Arkansas.

2014 Draft Order
This is the raw draft order for the 2014 draft, along with supplemental rounds. Compensation picks and selections gained or lost for free agency will affect the first three rounds. With a few free agents that could trigger compensation, such as Ervin Santana, still unsigned, the final draft order is still to be determined. But we have noted the pick adjustments that we know as of Feb. 13. Teams in the top 10 cannot lose their first-round picks.
• DRAFT ROTATION
—Houston Astros
—Miami Marlins
—Chicago White Sox
—Chicago Cubs
—Minnesota Twins
—Seattle Mariners
—Philadelphia Phillies
—Colorado Rockies
—Toronto Blue Jays: Will also have the 11th overall pick for failure to sign last year’s first-rounder, Phil Bickford
—New York Mets: Cannot lose first-round pick but will forfeit second-rounder for signing Curtis Granderson
—Milwaukee Brewers
—San Diego Padres
—San Francisco Giants
—Los Angeles Angels
—Arizona D’backs
—Baltimore Orioles
—New York Yankees: Will lose first-round pick for signing Jacoby Ellsbury
—Kansas City Royals
—Washington Nationals
—Cincinnati Reds
—Texas Rangers: Will lose first-round pick for signing Shin-Soo Choo
—Tampa Bay Rays
—Cleveland Indians
—Los Angeles Dodgers
—Detroit Tigers
—Pittsburgh Pirates
—Oakland Athletics
—Atlanta Braves
—Boston Red Sox
—St. Louis Cardinals
• COMPENSATION ROUND A
Four teams so far are set to receive picks for free agents lost: Reds (for Choo), Braves (for Brian McCann), Red Sox (for Ellsbury) and Cardinals (for Carlos Beltran). Five more players could trigger compensation picks: Kendrys Morales (Mariners), Santana (Royals), Nelson Cruz (Rangers), Ubaldo Jimenez (Indians) and Stephen Drew (Red Sox).
The Yankees lost two free agents who triggered compensation (Robinson Cano and Granderson) but forfeited those picks by signing free agents themselves.
The Marlins will get the 36th overall pick, wherever that falls, as compensation for their failure to sign 2013 35th overall pick Matt Crook.
• COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND A
—Colorado Rockies
—Houston Astros (from Orioles)
—Cleveland Indians
—Miami Marlins
—Kansas City Royals
—Milwaukee Brewers
• COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND B (FOLLOWING SECOND ROUND)
—Arizona D’backs (from Padres)
—Arizona D’backs
—St. Louis Cardinals
—Tampa Bay Rays
—Pittsburgh Pirates
—Seattle Mariners
• SUPPLEMENTAL THIRD ROUND
Marlins (for failure to sign 2013 third-round pick Ben DeLuzio)

BEST HITTER: Kyle Schwarber, c, Indiana. Lefthanded hitter can drive the ball to all fields with disciplined approach for a slugger (72/61 BB/SO in career).
Other candidates: Michael Conforto, of, Oregon State; Derek Fisher, of, Virginia; Turner; Max Pentecost, c, Kennesaw State.

BEST POWER: Schwarber. A workout fiend with prodigious strength, Schwarber hit 18 homers last year—more than any other returning player.
Other candidates: Conforto; Casey Gillaspie, 1b, Wichita State; Kevin Cron, 1b, Texas Christian; Taylor Sparks, 3b, UC Irvine; J.D. Davis, of, Cal State Fullerton.

BEST SPEED: Turner. A true 80 runner, Turner recovered from sophomore year ankle injury to run a 6.32-second 60 this fall.
Other candidates: Tanner English, of, South Carolina; Laird; Allen.

BEST DEFENDER: Turner. A third baseman as a freshman, Turner showed he has the range, actions and arm strength to be a good shortstop last year.
Other candidates: Allen; Austin Cousino, of, Kentucky; Matt Chapman, ss/3b, Cal State Fullerton; Aramis Garcia, c, Florida International.

BEST INFIELD ARM: Chapman. Chapman flashed high-90s heat off the mound for Team USA last summer, and his arm is a huge asset on left side of infield.
Other candidates: Joey Pankake, ss/3b, South Carolina; Sparks; Turner.

BEST OUTFIELD ARM: Dylan Davis, of, Oregon State. Righthander has shown 95-97 mph heat off the mound, and his arm strength plays in right field.
Other candidates: Zimmer; J.D. Davis, if/of, Cal State Fullerton; Brandon Downes, of, Virginia.

Nick Burdi

Nick Burdi

BEST FASTBALL: Nick Burdi, rhp, Louisville. First-team preseason All-America closer works comfortably in the high 90s and has topped out at 101 mph.
Other candidates: Carlos Rodon, lhp, N.C. State; Michael Cederoth, rhp, San Diego State; Jeff Hoffman, rhp, East Carolina.

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Rodon. WIth a devastating power slider that earns 70 and even 80 grades, Rodon ran away with the scouting director vote in this category.
Other candidates: Finnegan (slider); Burdi (slider); Hoffman (curveball); Luke Weaver, rhp, Florida State (changeup).

BEST COMMAND: Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State. Nola hammers the strike zone with all three of his quality offerings.
Other candidates: Rodon; Weaver; Erick Fedde, rhp, UNLV.

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Rodon. Many scouts believe Rodon was good enough to get big league hitters out last year. He should fly to the majors.
Other candidates: Burdi; Nola; Finnegan; Turner; Weaver.