For Day Two of the 2014 draft, we’ll highlight some of the most intriguing picks in each round.
• The Cubs’ Day Two approach came into sharp focus early, and they continued going after tough signs with righthander Dylan Cease out of Milton (Ga.) High. He was a preseason first-team prep All-American who had not pitched since March due to an elbow injury. He had touched as high as 98 coming out of the gates this spring before getting hurt. Cease has a quick arm and athletic frame with an inconsistent breaking ball and modest 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. He’s a Vanderbilt signee who was considered a tough sign.
• Several other high-ceiling, BA 500 players drafted in the round included prep shortstop Trace Loehr, whom the Athletics selected with pick 192. Loehr is a lefthanded-hitting middle infielder who may have a chance to stay at shortstop, and scouts like his swing.
• Five more college seniors went in the sixth round, en route to a record , including lefthander Zac Curtis of Middle Tennessee State to the Diamondbacks. The 5-foot-9, 171-pound Curtis was leading the nation in strikeouts with 136 entering the NCAA postseason during a 9-3, 1.89 season with just 29 walks in 114 innings. His fastball and slider both play average.
• The Yankees decided to draft both of the key pieces of Mississippi State’s bullpen. Lefty Jacob Lindgren was their first pick in the second round, No. 55 overall. Lindgren set up Jonathan Holder this season, and Holder lasted until the sixth round, where the Yankees scooped him up. Holder has thrived with a slow curveball that he can throw for strikes to go with a solid-average fastball. Holder has 161 strikeouts in 107 innings the last two seasons.
• The Reds drafted Seton Hall righty Jose Lopez, who missed the spring season after requiring Tommy John surgery. He entered the season ranked No. 100 on BA’s Top 100 college prospects list. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder showed a quick arm and popped some 96-98 mph fastballs last summer in the Cape Cod League.