Now that all of the selections have been made, our draft experts took a few moments to glance at each team’s draft list and see what stood out. We won’t be able to fully judge any draft class for years, of course, but it’s never too early to start analyzing. Each team’s draft list is linked from its report, or you can go to our main Draft Database page. Jim Callis wrote the East, John Manuel the Central, and Conor Glassey the West.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
The Orioles landed one of the top high school arms in the draft with first-rounder Hunter Harvey. The son of former all-star closer Bryan Harvey, he flashes a fastball that reaches 97 mph and a sharp breaking ball. Six of Baltimore’s first nine choices were position players, including speedy center fielder Josh Hart (supplemental first round) and athletic catchers Chance Sisco (second) and Jonah Heim (fourth).
With their highest pick in 20 years, the Red Sox grabbed athletic lefthander Trey Ball at No. 7. Scouts were split coming into the year whether his future was brighter as an outfielder or pitcher, but it definitely seems to be the latter after he started working at 91-94 mph with his fastball and spinning a plus curveball. Boston went to Oklahoma for its next two picks: righthander Teddy Stankewicz (second round), who can run his fastball to 96 mph and flash a plus slider, and catcher Jonathan Denney (third round), who offers righthanded power potential and solid arm strength. As usual, the Red Sox took intriguing tough signs late in righthander Jordan Sheffield (13th) and outfielder Ryan Boldt (22nd), both of whom are recovering from surgery.
The Yankees had more first-round picks than any other club and used them on a pair of college sluggers (Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge) and a polished prep lefthander (Ian Clarkin). New York drafted three straight hitters after that trio, getting sweet-swinging second baseman Gosuke Katoh (second round), athletic outfielder Michael O’Neill (third) and slick-fielding shortstop Tyler Wade (fourth). After taking high schoolers Clarkin, Katoh and Wade with three of four consecutive selections, the Yankees didn’t take another prep player in the first 10 rounds.
The Rays got one of the biggest steals in the first round in Arkansas righthander Ryne Stanek at No. 29 overall. One of the better college arms available, he’s inconsistent but has a pair of legitimate power pitches in his fastball and slider when he’s on. With its first choice at No. 21, Tampa Bay also got good value in Nick Ciuffo, the second-best catcher in the draft. The Rays continued to focus on up-the-middle players in the early rounds, tabbing shortstop Riley Unroe (second), center fielder Thomas Milone (third) and second basemen Kean Wong (fourth) and Johnny Field (fifth).
The Blue Jays loaded up on pitchers, taking them with their first nine selections. They started with power arms Phil Bickford in the first round and Clinton Hollon in the second. Toronto was aggressive last year moving money around to sign some players for well above their assigned pick values, and has some intriguing late-round targets in lefthanders Jake Brentz (11th round) and Eric Lauer (17th) and first baseman Rowdy Tellez (30th).
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
A few months ago, Mississippi junior-college shortstop Tim Anderson would have seemed like a reach as a first-rounder, but he shot up draft boards, earning comparisons to Brandon Phillips and Orlando Hudson, and could be an impact big leaguer if he stays at short. The White Sox got good value with Texas Christian righthander Andrew Mitchell (fourth round) and will hand him, low-slot righty Tyler Danish (second) and raw righthander Thaddius Lowry (fifth) over to a talented, experienced pitching development staff.
At his best, Clint Frazier has flashed three 70 tools on the 20-80 scouting scale, with his speed, arm and power. His arm and speed backed up a bit as a prep senior, but he still should be a profile right fielder when it’s all said and done, and no one in this draft class had better bat speed. (The announcement of him as a third baseman was strictly a clerical error.) The Indians didn’t draft another position player until the 10th round, balancing righties and lefties. Big-bodied Louisville righthander Dace Kime (third round) could move quickly as a reliever but has the equipment to start; Virginia lefty Kyle Crockett (fourth) could be the first player from the 2013 draft to reach the majors as a reliever.
No club leans more heavily on Southeastern Conference talent in the draft, and the Tigers went to that well again with two of their first three picks. If first-rounder Jonathan Crawford (Florida) and second-rounder Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) can remain in the rotation long-term after being SEC Friday starters, the draft will be very productive. Six-foot-8 Jeff Thompson (third round) and former Texas closer Corey Knebel (supplemental first) also have the stuff and repertoires to start if it all comes together. Righties Austin Kubitza (fourth) and Buck Farmer (fifth) are proven college performers, and Kubitza has a nasty slider and sinker, but both have a lot of wear on their tires already. The Tigers took just two position players in the first 10 rounds and didn’t draft a high school player until the 23rd round.
The Royals attracted plenty of attention by taking Hunter Dozier No. 8 overall, but he was one of the top college hitters in the draft, and if he stays in the dirt, he’ll give the club value for its selection. If he helps them land lefthander Sean Manaea at No. 34 overall, so much the better, especially if Manaea can regain his 2012 Cape Cod League form. Georgia Tech’s Zane Evans (fourth round), with a fastball that sits 94-97 mph, might have the top arm in the draft class, though he was picked as a catcher and has legitimate power. Lefthander Cody Reed (second) may need time and polish but has a live lefthanded arm and good pitcher’s frame.
The Twins system is loaded with high-ceiling bats, and the club got potential power arms to go with them in this draft class. Houston prep righthander Kohl Stewart (first round) and enigmatic Louisiana State righty Ryan Eades (second) both have starter stuff, and Kohl has as much upside as any pitcher in the draft class. High school lefthander Stephen Gonsalves (fourth) entered the year as a potential first-rounder and could be a steal if he gains consistency and fills out his projectable 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame. An organization thin on catching depth loaded up on backstops with three in the first 10 rounds, including the nation’s top catch-and-throw defender in Mississippi’s Stuart Turner (third).
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
After passing on him last year, the Astros picked Stanford ace righthander Mark Appel this year, and he’ll return to his hometown of Houston. The Astros continued to stockpile pitching prospects by taking UC Irvine righthander Andrew Thurman 40th overall and then started off the second day of the draft by selecting North Carolina lefthander Kent Emanuel in the third round. The Astros used just three picks in the first 10 rounds on high school players, and got intriguing upside in catcher Jacob Nottingham (sixth round), outfielder Jason Martin (eighth) and righthander Devonte German (11th).
For the second year in a row, the Angels didn’t have a first-round pick, this year because the team signed Josh Hamilton in the offseason. They still put together an interesting group of high-upside pitchers, starting with lefthander Hunter Green, a great value at pick No. 59 who ranked No. 31 in the BA 500. They followed with Northwest junior college pitchers Keynan Middleton (third round) and Elliot Morris (fourth). The only college pitchers to strike out more batters than Savannah State righthander Kyle McGown (fifth) this year were Carlos Rodon and Jonathon Gray. It was a pitching-heavy draft, with just one position player in the first 12 rounds, Florida State catcher Stephen McGee (ninth).
For only the third time since drafting Eric Chavez in 1996, the Athletics used their first pick on a high school player, getting one of the best pure bats in the class in Texas prep outfielder Billy McKinney. Overall, the Athletics had a balanced strategy, with a mix of high school and college, and pitchers and position players. Landing Mississippi righthander Bobby Wahl in the fifth round could be a steal, and it will be interesting to see if the A’s can move money around to land Stanford righthander A.J. Vanegas (19th) or Hawaii prep catcher Iolana Akau (20th).
The Mariners targeted power in the draft, which makes sense. Just as it’s tough to lure free agent pitchers to Coors Field, it’s difficult to lure free agent power hitters to Seattle. The team got the draft’s best all-around hitter in New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson (first round) then added Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson (second), a physical specimen with big upside who could have gone in the back half of the first round if not for injuries and mediocre performance this year. The team also added two big high school bats in British Columbia outfielder Tyler O’Neill (third) and Texas outfielder Corey Simpson (sixth).
The Rangers landed Oral Roberts righthander Alex Gonzalez and Georgia high school third baseman Travis Demeritte in the first round (with an extra pick for losing Josh Hamilton), and then South Carolina prep righthander Akeem Bostick in the second. They made a lot of budget picks before an eye-opener in the 10th, when they took Oregon righthander Cole Wiper. Wiper has good stuff when healthy, but missed last year after having Tommy John surgery and was ineffective in 13 innings this year. Saving money should also allow the team to make a run at Liberty outfielder Ryan Cordell (11th), Howard (Texas) JC righthander David Gates (18th) and maybe even Michigan prep righthander Jackson Lamb (20th) or Southern California prep righthander Luke Lanphere (21st).