With the impending signing of James Shields by the Padres, the complete 2015 draft order has been set and for the first time under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed in 2011, the Astros will not select first.
The Diamondbacks, by virtue of their 64-98 record, will pick first for the first time since 2005, when they picked Justin Upton out of a Virginia high school.
While it won’t pick first, Houston will have an outsized affect on the draft, with rare ammunition in both picks and financial capital. The Astros come armed with the No. 2 overall selection (compensation for not coming to terms with 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken) and the fifth selection, the highest choices for one team since the Diamondbacks picked third and seventh overall in 2011.
The assigned pick values for those slots totaled $10,672,800 in 2014, and their 2015 values will likely far exceed that. For context, only one team spent more than $10 million for their entire bonus pool in 2014—the Marlins, who spent $12,741,700, the largest draft bonus expenditure in the three drafts under the current CBA.
Boston has the seventh choice for the second time in three years—the Red Sox picked New Castle (Ind.) High lefthander Trey Ball in 2013—after not having picked in the top 10 in two decades.
The Rays have the 13th choice, the highest they’ve selected since 2008 when they picked Georgia prep shortstop Tim Beckham No. 1 overall—infamously, ahead of Buster Posey, who went fifth to the Giants.
By virtue of the Padres (No. 13), Mets (No. 15) and White Sox (No. 17) forfeiting first-round picks, the Yankees are selecting 16th, the highest they’ve chosen since 1993, when they picked No. 13 and chose Matt Drews, a 6-foot-8 righthander out of high school in Sarasota, Fla. Drews was traded to Detroit in 1996 for Cecil Fielder, a key piece of their World Series title team.
The 2015 draft marks the first with their new team for eight scouting directors, including the Diamondbacks’ Deric Ladnier, who was Kansas City’s director in 2006 when the Royals picked No. 1 overall. In that draft, and settled on righthander Luke Hochevar after mulling other options.
The Mets, who gave up their first-rounder for signing the Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer, don’t pick until No. 53, the latest they’ve picked since 2009, when they picked Steven Matz No. 72 overall. The Mariners, who lost pick No. 19 for signing slugger Nelson Cruz, won’t pick until No. 60, while the Nationals don’t pick until No. 58 after signing righthander Max Scherzer, but also pick No. 69 as compensation for failing to sign Miami’s Andrew Suarez, their second-round pick last June.
The Cardinals received a third-round pick (No. 105 overall, which had a pick value of $499,500 in 2014) for not coming to terms with Loyola Marymount righthander Trevor Megill.
In the case of a tie record, draft order is determined by last year’s record. The team with the worse 2013 record picks first.
The second chart below presents estimates of the 2015 bonus pools by club. The CBA dictates that draft bonus slots rise in line with MLB’s revenue growth. In 2014, television contracts raised baseball’s revenues significantly. Forbes estimates that MLB’s revenues grew by approximately 13 percent, meaning that draft bonus slots also should rise significantly. The following allotments are estimates, based on 13 percent growth, but the actual bonus pools have not been revealed and likely will be different from the estimated pools. According to BA sources, those have yet to be made available to clubs.
|2015 MLB DRAFT ORDER|
|2. Astros (for failure to sign Brady Aiken)|
|7. Red Sox|
|8. White Sox|
|27. Rockies (for losing FA Michael Cuddyer)|
|28. Braves (Ervin Santana)|
|29. Blue Jays (Melky Cabrera)|
|30. Yankees (David Robertson)|
|31. Giants (Pablo Sandoval)|
|32. Pirates (Russell Martin)|
|33. Royals (James Shields)|
|34. Tigers (Max Scherzer)|
|35. Dodgers (Hanley Ramirez)|
|36. Orioles (Nelson Cruz)|
|Competitive Balance Round A|
|37. Astros (via Marlins)|
|41. Braves (via Padres)|
|56. Blue Jays|
|Competitive Balance Round B|
|75. Braves (via Diamondbacks)|
|81. Red Sox|
|91. Blue Jays|
|105. Cardinals (for not signing Trevor Megill)|
|Notes: The Padres forfeited No. 13 for James Shields; The Mets forfeited pick No. 15 for Cuddyer; The Twins forfeited their second-round pick for Santana; The White Sox forfeited their second-round pick for Robertson and third-round pick for Cabrera; The Red Sox forfeited their second-round pick for Sandoval and Competitive Balance Round B pick for Ramirez; The Blue Jays forfeited pick No. 17 for Martin; The Mariners forfeited pick No. 19 for Cruz; The Nationals forfeited pick No. 27 for Scherzer.|