Round 1 Analysis: With scouting reports for every player
Round 2 Analysis: Teams pull a few surprises
Round 3 Analysis: Big run of college selections
Round 4 Analysis: Notre Dame two-sport standout adds intrigue
Round 5 Analysis: Astros come back to high schools
Round 6 Analysis: The run on seniors begins
For Day Two of the 2014 draft, we’ll highlight some of the most intriguing picks in each round.
• Watch what the White Sox do with the third pick of the seventh round, Jacob Peter, who played a fine second base for Creighton and also hit 94-95 mph off the mound. A tender arm and need to keep his bat in the lineup kept him off the mound for the final seven weeks of the 2014 season. The White Sox announced him as a shortstop, and he certainly has the arm for it, though some evaluators doubted his infield actions were sufficient for the left side of the diamond.
• Colorado snared Division I batting leader Drew Weeks of North Florida in the seventh, and the center fielder faced a tough profile in pro ball. He’s athletic enough to play center for the Osprey but fits better on a corner in pro ball. He hit 14 home runs combined the last two seasons and sacrificed some power for contact this spring, to the tune of a .430/.478/.606 line.
• Luke Dykstra, son of Len, went to the Braves with the third-to-last pick of the seventh. He’s earned some Mark DeRosa comparisons from scouts who like him as a gamer with some pop who could fit at several positions defensively, with shortstop still possible early in his career.
• The eighth round included just five high school selections, led by Texas prep outfielder Stone Garrett, a Rice signee who went to the Marlins with their second pick. Garrett has present strength and present plus speed and even ran a 6.47-second 60 at a Perfect Game showcase in the summer of 2013. Another prep in the round was raw Tennessee righty Sam McWilliams, the Phillies’ eighth-rounder, who at times reaches the mid-90s with his fastball but at other times sits in the mid-80s thanks to an inconsistent delivery. The pop-up prospect was committed to Tennessee Tech and offers plenty of projection in his 6-foot-7, 190-pound body.
• The ninth round saw the Marlins draft Ben Wetzler, the Oregon State senior who had as eventful a season as any collegian. An unsigned fifth-rounder of the Phillies last year, Wetzler served two suspensions this year: one three-week slate from the NCAA for violating its “no-agent” rule in negotiating with the Phillies, and a five-game stint for a late-season arrest on two misdemeanor charges. Wetzler was the most effective pitcher in the Pac-12 this season, going 12-1, 0.78, but his velocity was down, and teammate Jace Fry (11-2, 1.80) got the nod from league coaches as Pac-12 pitcher of the year.
• The Indians took one of the better defenders in the class in the ninth round with Puerto Rican shortstop Alex Pantoja, whose needs strength gains to his 5-foot-11, 160-bound body. Scouts regarded Pantoja’s bat lightly enough that he fell to the ninth round despite plus defensive tools across the board.
• Princeton’s lefthander Michael Fagan entered the year as a follow, as he was drafted out of San Diego Jewish Academy in 2010, but he also entered the season with a career 112-75 walk-strikeout ratio for the Tigers. He pitched his way into being a priority senior pick this spring after throwing a lot more strikes this season, going 4-2, 2.33 with 18 walks and 77 strikeouts in 58 frames. The 6-foot, 175-pounder pitches almost exclusively off a fastball with average velocity and above-average life to go with an inconsistent but at times average player.
• NAIA Faulkner (Ala.) had two of its Division I kickbacks drafted in the 10th round. Righthander Jay Gause was part of North Carolina State’s recruiting class back in 2010, when he was one of the top prep players in North Carolina. (That recruiting class included Diamondbacks draftee J.R. Bradley, Blue Jays farmhands Marcus Knecht and Sean Nolin, and lefty D.J. Thomas, the only one who spent four seasons at N.C. State.) The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Gause spent time at Pitt (N.C.) and Walters State (Tenn.) JCs. Thomas Dorminy had a storied prep career in the Tampa area, where he was teammates with future Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The duo led Alonso High to the state championship in 2009, but Alonso wasn’t drafted as a senior in 2010 and was slated to go to South Florida, but wound up at Wallace (Ala.) CC before heading to Faulkner.
• The most intriguing 10th-rounder was Texas lefthander Dillon Peters, the Marlins’ pick with the second selection of the round. Peters has above-average pitchability and solid stuff, locating an 88-92 mph fastball and solid-average secondary stuff as well. He was expected to be a fast-mover but an elbow injury late in May knocked him down draft boards. Scouting director Stan Meek told MLB.com that Peters will require Tommy John surgery this summer and said, “We think we can sign him at a very reduced cost, and that makes him attractive to us down in that spot.”