What To Expect In The First Round: National League

With the draft a little more than a month away, here is a look at each scouting director’s history with their current team, and what can be expected from each pick. I did the same for the American League earlier this week. This isn’t a mock draft, but it lays the foundation for one. A lot can change between now and June 6, and teams are still configuring their draft boards and gauging signability, but the players associated with teams here are based on conversations with scouts and executives, as well as some gut feel and educated guesswork on my part.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS3ds_diamondbacks21

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 15, 36, 52, 88, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270 & 300

Bonus Pool: $7,229,600

Scouting Director: Ray Montgomery (third year)

Montgomery’s First-Round History: Trevor Bauer (third overall, 2011), Archie Bradley (seventh overall, 2011) & Stryker Trahan (26th overall, 2012)

Montgomery’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 12 picks (five college pitchers, one college position player, two high school pitchers & four high school position players)

The Diamondbacks have put together balanced drafts so far under Ray Montgomery, one of five current scouting directors who came up under then-Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik, now the general manager of the Mariners.

So, Arizona could go a few different options with this pick depending on what happens in front of them. New Mexico third baseman/first baseman D.J. Peterson, who grew up in Arizona, would be a nice fit as one of the best college bats in this year’s class. If he’s not there, the Diamondbacks could go with a college arm that slips to them or make Lexington (S.C.) High’s Nick Ciuffo the third high school catcher off the board in the top half of the first round.

ATLANTA BRAVES3ds_braves83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 31, 65, 102, 133, 163, 193, 223, 253, 283 & 313

Bonus Pool: $4,522,300

Scouting Director: Tony DeMacio (fourth year)

DeMacio’s First-Round History: Sean Gilmartin (28th overall, 2011) & Lucas Sims (21st overall, 2012)

DeMacio’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 16 picks (four college pitchers, eight college position players, one high school pitcher & three high school position players)

When he was an area scout, Braves scouting director Tony DeMacio is credited with signing Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones. He then moved on to be a national crosschecker with the Indians from 1991-1994, was an East Coast crosschecker with the Cubs from 1995-1998 and was scouting director for the Orioles from 1999-2004. He spent the 2005-2006 seasons with the Pirates as a national crosschecker and then returned to the Braves for the 2007 season as a special assistant to the general manager and major league scout. During that time frame, DeMacio was involved with drafting players like Manny Ramirez, Brian Roberts, Erik Bedard and Nick Markakis.

As a scouting director, DeMacio has been responsible for 12 first-round picks. Nine of those picks have come from the college ranks. The only three high school players he’s picked in the first round have been lefthander Rich Stahl in 1999 (one of the team’s four first-round picks that year), Canadian lefthander Adam Loewen in 2002 and righthander Lucas Sims last year.

At 31, it’s impossible to predict what the Braves might do because so much can happen before they’re on the clock. That said, perhaps a Southeastern Conference righthander like Florida’s Jonathon Crawford, Louisiana State’s Ryan Eades or Mississippi’s Bobby Wahl could be in play. For position players, East Central (Miss.) CC shortstop Tim Anderson or center fielder Josh Hart from Parkview High in Lilburn, Ga., could be options.

CHICAGO CUBS3ds_cubs78

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 2, 41, 75, 108, 138, 168, 198, 228, 258 & 288

Bonus Pool: $10,556,500

Scouting Director: Jaron Madison (first year)

While we don’t have a track record for Madison with the Cubs, he was scouting director with the Padres from 2010-2012 where his top picks included Karsten Whitson, Cory Spangenberg and Max Fried. Before that, he was involved with college-heavy drafts with the Padres (2006-2007) and the Cardinals (2008-2009).

With the No. 2 pick—and a focused effort on restocking the club’s minor league pitching depth—this year’s draft class matches up nicely with the Cubs’ needs. They should pick either Stanford righthander Mark Appel or Oklahoma righthander Jonathan Gray.

CINCINNATI REDS3ds_reds83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 27, 38, 67, 104 135, 165, 195, 225, 255, 285, 315

Bonus Pool: $6,046,700

Scouting Director: Chris Buckley (eighth year)

Buckley’s First-Round History: Drew Stubbs (eighth overall, 2006), Devin Mesoraco (15th overall, 2007), Yonder Alonso (seventh overall, 2008), Mike Leake (eighth overall, 2009), Yasmani Grandal (12th overall, 2010), Robert Stephenson (27th overall, 2011) & Nick Travieso (14th overall, 2012)

Buckley’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 40 picks (12 college pitchers, 13 college position players, eight high school pitchers & seven high school position players)

The Blue Jays were college-oriented when Chris Buckley was scouting director there from 2001-2004. Over his last seven years with the Reds, he’s still leaned toward college players in the higher rounds, but has been a little more balanced at the top with three of his seven first-round picks coming out of high school.

With 97 wins in 2012—the most since the Big Red Machine team in 1976—the Reds don’t pick until 27th, so it’s difficult to predict who may be available for them, but the team will likely be considering the same players listed as being in the mix for the Braves. This could also be the high water mark for California catcher Andrew Knapp, and they are rumored to be high on Tennessee prep righty Kyle Serrano, son of Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano.

COLORADO ROCKIES3ds_rockies85

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 3, 42, 70, 77, 109, 139, 169, 199, 229, 259 & 289

Bonus Pool: $10,199,400

Scouting Director: Bill Schmidt (14th year)

Schmidt’s First-Round History: Jason Jennings (16th overall, 1999), Matt Harrington (seventh overall, 2000), Jeff Francis (ninth overall, 2002), Ian Stewart (10th overall, 2003), Chris Nelson (ninth overall, 2004), Troy  Tulowitzki (seventh overall, 2005), Greg Reynolds (second overall, 2006), Casey Weathers (eighth overall, 2007), Christian Friedrich (25th overall, 2008), Tyler Matzek (11th overall, 2009), Kyle Parker (26th overall, 2010), Tyler Anderson (20th overall, 2011) & David Dahl (10th overall, 2012)

Schmidt’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 79 picks (29 college pitchers, 26 college position players, 11 high school pitchers & 13 high school position players)

It’s no surprise that eight of Colorado’s last 13 first-round picks have been pitchers, since it would be nearly impossible to lure a free agent pitcher to Coors Field. Scouting director Bill Schmidt—the longest-tenured scouting director in the game—also has a long track record of preferring college players to high school players with his early picks. In the first five rounds, nearly 70 percent of Schmidt’s picks have come from college—and that includes six of his last eight first-round picks.

While the Rockies may not have a shot at the top two talents in the draft—Appel or Gray—San Diego outfielder Kris Bryant would be a fine option as this year’s best power hitter. Outfielder Clint Frazier from Loganville (Ga.) High could be an option, as could Nevada righthander Braden Shipley and Indiana State lefthander Sean Manaea, if the Rockies would prefer a pitcher with their first pick.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS3ds_dodgers83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 18, 56, 92, 124, 154, 184, 214, 244, 274 & 304

Bonus Pool: $5,211,700

Scouting Director: Logan White (ninth year; 2002-2006, 2010-present)

White’s First-Round History: James Loney (19th overall, 2002), Chad Billingsley (24th overall, 2003), Scott Elbert (17th overall, 2004), Clayton Kershaw (seventh overall, 2006), Zach Lee (28th overall, 2010), Chris Reed (16th overall, 2011) & Corey Seager (18th overall, 2012)

White’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 44 picks (nine college pitchers, seven college position players, 16 high school pitchers & 11 high school position players, plus Cuban Onelki Garcia)

Few teams have been more aggressive with high school pitchers than the Dodgers. And Logan White’s track record has been stellar. In addition to Kershaw, Billingsley and Lee, he also drafted Jonathan Broxton (second round, 2002). The following year he got Matt Kemp in the sixth round, and was still involved with the team in 2008 when they drafted Dee Gordon (fourth round), Nate Eovaldi (11th round) and Allen Webster (18th round).

At 18, the Dodgers are in great position to land another talented high school arm like lefthanders Trey Ball from New Castle (Ind.) High or Ian Clarkin from Madison High in San Diego, or a righthander like Hunter Harvey from Bandys High in Catawba, N.C. From a position player standpoint, local players like shortstop J.P. Crawford from Lakewood (Calif.) High—a cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford—or first baseman Dominic Smith from Serra High in Gardena, Calif., could also be intriguing.

MIAMI MARLINSMiami Marlins

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 6, 35, 44, 73, 80, 112, 142, 172, 202, 232, 262 & 292

Bonus Pool: $9,503,100

Scouting Director: Stan Meek (12th year)

Meek’s First-Round History: Jeremy Hermida (11th overall, 2002), Jeff Allison (16th overall, 2003), Taylor Tankersley (27th overall, 2004), Chris Volstad (16th overall, 2005), Aaron Thompson (22nd overall, 2005), Jacob Marceaux (29th overall, 2005), Brett Sinkbeil (19th overall, 2006), Matt Dominguez (12th overall, 2007), Kyle Skipworth (6th overall, 2008), Chad James (18th overall, 2009), Christian Yelich (23rd overall, 2010), Jose Fernandez (14th overall, 2011) & Andrew Heaney (ninth overall, 2012)

Meek’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 62 picks (14 college pitchers, 11 college position players, 15 high school pitchers & 22 high school position players)

Righthander Jose Fernandez and outfielder Christian Yelich are two of the game’s best prospects, and if one of them turns into a legitimate star, they’ll be the first out of scouting director Stan Meek’s first-round picks. Still, Meek has plenty of picks to hang his hat on after the first round, most notably Josh Johnson (fourth round, 2002), Jason Vargas (second round, 2004) and Giancarlo Stanton (second round, 2007).

Indiana State lefthander Sean Manaea or toolsy Georgia prep outfielder Austin Meadows could be options at six. More likely, Miami is looking at a college hitter like Bryant or North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran. This is also probably the highest catcher Reese McGuire from Kentwood High in Covington, Wash., would go.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS3ds_brewers79

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 54, 90, 122, 152, 182, 212, 242, 272 & 302

Bonus Pool: $3,944,600

Scouting Director: Bruce Seid (fifth year)

Seid’s First-Round History: Eric Arnett (26th overall, 2009), Dylan Covey (14th overall, 2010), Taylor Jungmann (12th overall, 2011), Jed Bradley (15th overall, 2011), Clint Coulter (27th overall, 2012) & Victor Roache (28th overall, 2012)

Seid’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 26 picks (10 college pitchers, seven college position players, four high school pitchers & five high school position players)

Last year, the Brewers drafted three players in the first 54 picks. This year, after signing Kyle Lohse as a free agent, that’s the spot for the team’s first pick. The last time the Brewers had a first pick that low was in 1990, when the team gave up their first-round pick to the Athletics after signing Dave Parker as a free agent.

There’s no way to predict who will be there for scouting Bruce Seid when his turn comes around, but it’s obvious that it will have to be a signable player that will allow the Brewers some financial flexibility with their Day Two picks.

NEW YORK METS3ds_mets81

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 11, 48, 76, 84, 116, 146, 176, 206, 236, 266 & 296

Bonus Pool: $6,990,000

Scouting Director: Tommy Tanous (second year)

Tanous’ First-Round History: Gavin Cecchini (12th overall, 2012)

Tanous’ Top 5-Round Breakdown: Seven picks (two college pitchers, two college position players, one high school pitcher & two high school position players)

This is only Tanous’ second draft, so it’s tough to get a feel for which direction he’ll go. At 11, the Mets may be in a good spot to get someone from the top of the second-tier of college righthanders, like Shipley or Jacksonville’s Chris Anderson. If the Mets choose to pick a high school player, like they did the last two years, they could have their choice between two of the top up-the middle players in this year’s class: slick-fielding shortstop J.P. Crawford or a solid all-around catcher like McGuire.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES3ds_phillies83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 16, 53, 89, 96, 121, 151, 181, 211, 241, 271 & 301

Bonus Pool: $6,045,100

Scouting Director: Marti Wolever (12th year)

Wolever’s First-Round History: Cole Hamels (17th overall, 2002), Greg Golson (21st overall, 2004), Kyle Drabek (18th overall, 2006), Joe Savery (19th overall, 2007), Anthony Hewitt (24th overall, 2008) & Jesse Biddle (27th, 2010)

Wolever’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 60 picks (12 college pitchers, 16 college position players, 12 high school pitchers & 20 high school position players)

As a large-market team with a recent history of success, the Phillies are used to picking low. In fact, the team’s average first pick over the past 5 years has been 41st-overall—third-highest in baseball in that time span, behind only the Angels (49.4) and Tigers (48.2). The second-highest in the National League is the Braves at 26.2. The Phillies haven’t had a pick as high as 16 since 2001, when the team picked Gavin Floyd No. 4 overall.

Scouting director Marti Wolever puts a premium on athletes and isn’t afraid to roll the dice. If Southern California high school players such as Crawford or Smith get to this spot, it could be tempting. Any of the four of tooled-up college outfielders—Samford’s Phillip Ervin, Mississippi State’s Hunter Renfroe, Stanford’s Austin Wilson or Fresno State’s Aaron Judge—would make sense here, too.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES3ds_pirates80

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 9, 14, 51, 87, 119, 149, 179, 209, 239, 269 & 299

Bonus Pool: $8,884,600

Scouting Director: Joe Delli Carri (second year)

Delli Carri’s First-Round History: Mark Appel (eighth overall, 2012)

Delli Carri’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: Six picks (two college pitchers, two college position players, one high school pitcher & one high school position player)

Joe Delli Carri was promoted from assistant scouting director to scouting director in the fall of 2011, so he’s only been fully in charge of one draft so far—one that saw Mark Appel turn down $3.8 million as the eighth overall pick. Delli Carri was the Pirates’ assistant scouting director from 2007-2011. Prior to that, he was the team’s East Coast crosschecker in 2006, was the Mets’ south regional crosschecker from 2001-2005 and a Mets area scout from 1996-2000. He went to college and played at Pennsylvania before spending seven years in the minor leagues with the Mets and Tigers, and then the 1995 season as the Mets’ Double-A hitting coach at Binghamton.

With Appel not signing, the Pirates have two picks in the top half of the first round and the fifth-highest draft bonus pool. The team has shown heavy interest in Moran and was one of the few teams in on him in high school, but if he’s already off the board there is a good group of college pitchers and high-upside high school position players that would fit well in the 9-14 range.

SAN DIEGO PADRES3ds_padres83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 13, 50, 69, 86, 118, 148, 178, 208, 238, 268 & 298

Bonus Pool: $6,808,900

Scouting Director: Billy Gasparino (first year)

Gasparino is in his first year as Padres scouting director after serving as the team’s national crosschecker for the 2011 and 2012 drafts. Prior to that, he was a national crosschecker for Toronto from 2007-2010. Those drafts were a nice blend of college and high school picks, typically with a college player in the first spot (like David Cooper, Chad Jenkins, Deck McGuire and Cory Spangenberg), followed by higher-upside high school players after that (Jake Marisnick, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard and Joe Ross, to name a few).

The Padres will have several good players to choose from at 13. If Peterson is on the board, he would fit well, as would Southern California high school players like Crawford or lefthander Ian Clarkin from Madison High in San Diego.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS3ds_giants83

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 25, 64, 101, 132, 162, 192, 222, 252, 282 & 312

Bonus Pool: $4,712,200

Scouting Director: John Barr (sixth year)

Barr’s First-Round History: Buster Posey (fifth overall, 2008), Zack Wheeler (sixth overall, 2009), Gary Brown (24th overall, 2010), Joe Panik (29th overall, 2011) & Chris Stratton (20th overall, 2012)

Barr’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 26 picks (10 college pitchers, 13 college position players, two high school pitchers & one high school position player)

The Giants have drafted almost exclusively from colleges under John Barr. That’s nothing new for Barr, who selected Ben McDonald and Mike Mussina when he was the Orioles’ scouting director from 1989-1990. However, the three high school picks Barr has made for the Giants in the top five rounds have been very good. Righthander Zack Wheeler was traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in July of 2011, and catcher Tommy Joseph was part of a package to land Hunter Pence at last year’s deadline. Righthander Kyle Crick is currently the Giants’ top prospect.

At 25, the team could go with a Southeastern Conference righthander like Eade or Bobby Wahl from Mississippi. This could also be the high spot for Vanderbilt lefthander Kevin Ziomek. Northern California outfielders like Wilson or Judge could be options, as could prep lefthander Matt Krook from St. Ignatius High in San Francisco.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS3ds_cardinals81

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 19, 28, 57, 93, 125, 155, 185, 215, 245, 275 & 305

Bonus Pool: $6,907,900

Scouting Director: Dan Kantrovitz (second year)

Kantrovitz’s First-Round History: Michael Wacha (19th overall, 2012) & James Ramsey (23rd overall, 2012)

Kantrovitz’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: Nine picks (three college pitchers, four college position players, no high school pitchers & two high school position players)

Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz is more analytical than most scouting directors. That’s to be expected considering his education and resume so far. He played at Brown and was drafted by the Cardinals in the 25th round of the 2001 draft out of Brown, where he led the ’01 Bruins in the triple crown categories, batting .417-5-41. But his professional career was quickly limited to three at-bats (including one hit) in the Rookie-level Appalachian League due to a shoulder injury, and he went to work for an investment banking company before getting back into baseball.

He graduated from Brown with a degree in organizational behavior and management, studied finance and accounting at Oxford during his injury layoff as a player and completed an intensive one-year master’s program in statistics at Harvard. Soon after, he joined the Cardinals, working for then-scouting director Jeff Luhnow as the team’s director of college scouting. After that, he joined the Athletics and worked under Billy Beane as the team’s director of international scouting.

The Cardinals had the 19th overall pick in 2012 and used it on righthander Michael Wacha, who is already in Triple-A. St. Louis got that pick again this year from Milwaukee (and the extra money to spend that comes with it) in late March when righthander Kyle Lohse signed with the Brewers.

Peterson would be a great pick if he gets to 19—though that’s not expected. Gonzaga lefthander Marco Gonzales is more likely to be there and is a polished college pitcher with a great track record who could move quickly like Wacha. If the Cardinals opt for a high school player, Ciuffo or Harvey could be fits.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS3ds_nationals81

Top 10-Rd. Picks: 68, 105, 136, 166, 196, 226, 256, 286 & 316

Bonus Pool: $2,737,200

Scouting Director: Kris Kline (fourth year)

Kline’s First-Round History: Bryce Harper (first overall, 2010), Anthony Rendon (sixth overall, 2011) & Lucas Giolito (16th overall, 2012)

Kline’s Top 5-Round Breakdown: 16 picks (five college pitchers, nine college position players, two high school pitchers & no high school position players)

After finishing with the best record in 2012 and then signing Rafael Soriano in the offseason, the Nationals will be the last team to make their first pick in the 2013 draft and have the smallest bonus pool at $2.7 million. This is new territory for scouting director Kris Kline, who has gotten highly-ranked players in each of his first three drafts.

With their first pick coming at 68, it’s impossible to predict what the Nationals will do when they’re on the clock, but it’s safe to assume that their draft will include many college players willing to sign for less than full pick value.