Browse Articles

Draft 2012: Prospects 1-25

Will Lingo -Premium Content

While the past few drafts have been fairly predictable because of clearly delineated top talent, the 2012 proceedings promise to be a non-stop thrill ride, both because of a more muddled class of players and the implications of new draft rules. This is part one of our Top 100 Draft Prospects list, with players 1-25. The scouting reports are based on conversations with major league front-office personnel, scouts, and college and high school coaches. The reports were written by Jim Callis, Aaron Fitt, Conor Glassey, John Manuel and Nathan Rode. <br/>

Draft | #2012#2012 draft#Draft Preview

Jesmuel Valentin Knows What To Expect As A Pro

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

Jesmuel Valentin has grown up around the game. His father, Jose Valentin, spent 16 years in the big leagues. He debuted in 1992, and his first full season was in 1994—the same year Jesmuel was born.<br/>Valentin has loved the game for as long as he can remember and spent summers tagging along with his father and hanging out in big league clubhouses.

Draft | #2012#2012 draft#Draft Preview

2012 Draft Class Is Muddled At The Top

John Manuel -

Front office officials always say picking first overall in Major League Baseball's draft is a bad thing, because it means their team is coming off a disastrous season. But Nationals fans—having seen Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper play together in the big leagues three years after Strasburg went first overall followed by Harper in 2010—probably feel like it was worth it. Astros fans may have a different view.

Draft | #2012#2012 draft#Draft Preview

State Report: Louisiana

John Manuel -Premium Content

It's a down cycle in Louisiana this year. College baseball in the state was down in terms of draft talent and wins. None of the state's 12 Division I teams made it to the NCAA tournament, and two—Centenary and New Orleans—were dropping out of Division I. Centenary was going to Division III, while UNO was headed to D-II. The high schools in the state didn't step forward to fill the void. Only a handful of Pelican State prospects were sure bets to be drafted in the first 10 rounds.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Minnesota

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The University of Minnesota will provide most of the North Star State's draft picks, though the two best prospects aren't Golden Gophers. St. Olaf righthander Ben Hughes and Centennial HS lefty Austin Malinowski stand out the most, but may have to wait until the double-digit rounds to hear their names called. Scouts had a more difficult time than usual evaluating the state after the Metrodome collapsed in December, leaving the Gophers without their usual home. Forced to play outdoors, Minnesota got in only 44 games of its 56-game schedule, and several other college and high school teams also had to scramble.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Dakotas

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Scouts don't usually have much reason to trek to the Dakotas, but they did this year. South Dakota State righthander Blake Treinen hit 97 mph with his fastball, making him one of the draft's most intriguing senior signs and giving him the chance to be the region's highest-drafted player ever. Both Dakotas also have a high school prospect of note, though righthanders Tanner Chieborad and David Ernst are expected to attend college.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#2012 draft

State Report: Nebraska

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Cornhusker State hasn't had a college position player drafted in the first five rounds since Alex Gordon went No. 2 overall in 2005, but that streak should end thanks to another Nebraska third baseman, Cody Asche. As usual, Nebraska and Creighton will produce the majority of the state's draft picks, and the top high school prospects will attend college rather than turn pro.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Michigan

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Not much went right in the Great Lakes State from a scouting standpoint this spring. Michigan righthander Kolby Wood, the Major League Scouting Bureau's top-rated prospect in the state entering the year, blew out his biceps in his second game and had season-ending surgery. Teammate Derek Dennis, a shortstop who turned down sandwich-round money from the Rays out of high school, broke a bone in his foot and batted .216. Even the state's two best talents, Central Michigan lefthander Trent Howard and Michigan righty Tyler Mills, didn't finish as strongly as they began the season. Most of the state's top prospects are college pitchers, and the overall high school crop is extremely weak.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Georgia

John Manuel -Premium Content

After a historic 2010, Georgia is down for 2011. The best prep talent was in the southern part of the state, though players like outfielder Larry Greene, infielder Tyler Gibson and catcher Jordan Weems will have to overcome playing against weaker high school competition. At least the state's college clubs had solid talent, with Georgia Tech likely to produce its fourth first-round pick in the last decade in lefthander Jed Bradley. The state's top performer was Georgia Tech righty Mark Pope, who emerged as the Yellow Jackets' Friday starter and ace by going 11-4, 1.74.

Draft | #2011#2011 draft#Draft Map