2011 Post-Draft Analysis
Here is our first look at each team's 2011 drafts. We'll take more in-depth looks at the end of the minor league season with our Draft Report Cards.
added the best high school arm in the class in Owasso righthander Dylan
Bundy—and he's arguably the best pitcher, period. Most scouts viewed
Bundy like a college pitcher because of his dominant four-pitch mix,
smooth delivery and professional demeanor on the mound. Bundy joins his
older brother Bobby in Baltimore's system and should move quickly
through the minor leagues. Bundy won't come cheaply, however, so the
Orioles took some signable pitchers in the third to fifth rounds (Mike
Wright, Kyle Simon and Matt Taylor) before taking a chance on high
school third baseman Nick Delmonico in the sixth round. Delmonico will
be a tough pry from his commitment to Georgia.
Boston Red Sox:
The Red Sox always go big in the draft. Boston was able to land Connecticut righthander Matt Barnes at 19 and New Mexico catcher Blake Swihart at 26 and continued to get great value in the supplemental round with California high school lefthander Henry Owens and South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley. The team added a lot of high-upside high school players like Williams Jerez (second round), Jordan Weems (third), Mookie Betts (fifth), Cody Kukuk (seventh) and Senquez Golson (eighth) and got great value in Cal State Fullerton righthander Noe Ramirez in the fourth round.
New York Yankees:
The Yankees didn't have a first-round pick, but used its supplemental first-round selection on Florida high schooler Dante Bichette Jr, who has big power but will need to refine his swing mechanics and will move from the infield to a corner outfield spot as a pro. Bichette was a defensible choice at 51, but after that the Yankees seemed to reach for a lot of players, and a team with the Yankees' resources should be doing the exact opposite. In the top seven rounds, the team took three high school bats that likely wind up at first base—Matt Duran (fourth), Greg Bird (fifth) and Austin Jones (seventh). The team did get some interesting upside later in the draft with Sacramento CC outfielder Justin James (13th round) and North Carolina high school righthander Rookie Davis (14th) and the team will likely need some late-round surprises to make up for uninspiring single-digit selections.
Tampa Bay Rays:
With a handful of free agents leaving last winter, the Rays had the most picks of any team this year—11 of the top 75. So it's no surprise they made out like bandits in a deep draft class. The team jumped on two players that slipped a little in the first round, South Carolina high school righthander Taylor Guerrieri and Louisiana State outfielder Mikie Mahtook and then used a balanced, portfolio approach to the rest of the first day to balance high-upside players with signability. This class has an amazing amount of upside with high schoolers like Jake Hager, Brandon Martin, Tyler Goeddel, James Harris, Granden Goetzman, Johnny Eierman and Tanner English. But it also has upside with some college picks like Jeff Ames, Kes Carter, Grayson Garvin, Lenny Linsky and Ryan Carpenter. The Rays will have to shell out a pretty penny to get all these players signed, but this class could help them pass the Royals for the title of the best farm system in baseball.
Toronto Blue Jays:
The Blue Jays were right behind the Rays with the second-most picks in this year's draft and they used a similar approach to get a lot of high-upside players. Drafting well is the blue print for teams like Tampa Bay and Toronto to make hay in the top heavy American League East. The Blue Jays were extremely aggressive in the draft, picking 22 high school players within the first 20 rounds. Toronto grabbed Massachusetts righthander Tyler Beede 21st-overall and he'll be a tough pry from his Vanderbilt commitment. After that, they went with two California prepsters in powerful outfielder Jacob Anderson and righthander Joe Musgrove, who was up to 98 mph this spring. Georgia high school outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. has one of the best pure bats in the class and the Blue Jays made another splash in the second round by picking Tennessee high school lefthander Daniel Norris, who on pure talent should have gone in the middle of the first round. The Blue Jays did not shy away from tough signs later in the draft, picking Christian Lopes (seventh round), Andrew Suarez (ninth), John Norwood (12th), Matt Dean (13th), Cole Wiper (14th), Aaron Nola (22nd), Taylor Cole (29th) and Austin Nola (31st).
Scouting director Tony DeMacio told reporters the Braves had their pocket picked by the Reds, who took Robert Stephenson one spot ahead of them, but Sean Gilmartin was a fine consolation. He compares favorably to 2009 first-rounder Mike Minor as a pitchability lefthander with a plus changeup, and if he picks up velocity like Minor did, the Braves forget about Stephenson. Atlanta wound up loading up on college bats such as athletic shortstop Nick Ahmed and easier signs in a college-heavy draft; Atlanta's first high school drafted player came in the 11th round. Power arm relievers such as J.R. Graham (fourth), the Vanderbilt duo of Mark Lamm (sixth) and Navery Moore (14th) and Cody Martin (seventh) stick out.
With a farm system in need of help, Florida had a solid draft with few surprises or big-name outliers. The class has the requisite power arms in prep righties Jose Fernandez (first round) and Mason Hope (fifth), and Fernandez's Cuban roots could make him a draw in Miami if he reaches his potential in the big leagues. For power lefties, the Marlins hit the college ranks with likely reliever Adam Conley (second) and Charlie Lowell (sixth), a big-bodied starter whose stock fell late in the spring. Prep bats Connor Barron (third) and Tyler Palmer (fourth) pair good instincts with middle-infield tools, particularly so in Barron's case.
New York Mets:
In Wyoming outfielder Brandon Nimmo, the Mets got the player they wanted, even if he's rumored to have a $2.5 million price tag. His athleticism is a fine fit in spacious Citi Field. New York then added plenty of power pitchers and could have some fast movers in righthanders Cory Mazoni (second), Logan Verrett (third) and Tyler Pill (fourth). After the 10th round, the Mets took several high-upside preps who figure to be tough signs, such as lefthanders Kenny Matthews and A.J. Reed,, shortstop Phillip Evans and outfielder Mason Robbins.
Once again the Phillies lacked a first-round pick, but they found first-round tools in lower rounds. Supplemental first-rounder Larry Greene has as much raw power as any player in the draft. Second-rounder Roman Quinn was the fastest runner in BA's Top 200 and might have the footwork and actions to stay in the dirt; if not he fits the Phillies' speedy center-field template. The same goes for 11th-rounder Tyler Greene, who is a premium athlete with an iffy bat. Third-rounder Adam Morgan has Cliff Lee's arm action and delivery, so he's in the right farm system. Prep catcher Riley Moore (21st), who has a big-time arm, is a typical tough-sign, high-upside late-round pick to watch.
In terms of upside, no team's draft may be able to match the Nats, even the Rays. First-rounder Anthony Rendon started the year and finished it at No. 1 on BA's top 200. If healthy, he's the best bat in the class and could move to second base to accommodate Nats' face of the franchise Ryan Zimmerman. Righty Alex Meyer (No. 23 overall) had a top-10-picks arm, and five-tool outfielder Brian Goodwin (supplemental first) could be a star if he can handle center field defensively. Lefthander Matt Purke (third round) was in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick when the season starter; his health and signability are obvious complications. There's depth here, too, such as college arms Taylor Hill (sixth), Brian Dupra (seventh) and Dixon Anderson (ninth), making this a strong contender to be the best draft in the industry come August. It will all come down to who signs.
got the best shortstop in this year's draft by picking Montverde (Fla.)
High's Francisco Lindor eighth-overall. The Tribe made a similar splash
with its second pick by getting Searcy (Ark.) High righthander Dillon
Howard 67th-overall. It's a bold draft for the Indians—the last time the
team went with back-to-back high school picks to start off a draft was
in 2001 with righthander Dan Denham from Deer Valley High in Antioch,
Calif. and Alan Horne from Marianna (Fla.) High, and the last time the
Indians chose a high school position player in the first round was in
2000 with shortstop Corey Smith from Piscataway (N.J.) High. The team
added some other high-upside arms like Jake Sisco (third) and Cody
Anderson (14th) and will have some tough signs in Stephen Tarpley
(eighth), Dillon Peters (20th) and Kevin Kramer (25th).
didn't have a first-round pick after signing Victor Martinez this
winter, so the team became the last to make a pick at 76th-overall. The
team always goes with a college-heavy draft and this year was no
different. The team started off with Arkansas catcher James McCann, then
Vanderbilt first baseman Aaron Westlake, Kansas State third baseman
Jason King and Texas shortstop Brandon Loy. The Tigers could wind up
with some solid players from that group, but there isn't a lot of star
potential. Detroit did not draft a high school player until the 15th
round, when it took a chance on outfielder Tyler Gibson, a Top 200
talent that slipped and could end up at Georgia Tech.
Chicago White Sox:
The White Sox
didn't have a first-round pick after signing Adam Dunn, but the team
was still able to get some high-upside players thanks to a deep draft
class. Its first pick came 47th-overall—the lowest first pick in White
Sox history—and scouting director Doug Laumann went with Central Arizona
JC outfielder Keenyn Walker, who profiles as a top of the order hitter
and above-average center fielder. The next three picks were spent on
righthanders with big velocity, including California's Erik Johnson
(whose topped out at 95 mph), Johnson County (Kan.) CC's Jeff Soptic
(100) and Kent State's Kyle McMillen (94). The White Sox typically keep a
tight budget in the draft, rarely going over slot to sign players, and
spent the majority of its picks this year on college players.
Kansas City Royals:
started things off with a splash by taking hometown star Bubba Starling
fifth-overall. The team continued to favor prep players for its next
four picks, adding catcher Cam Gallagher, righthanders Bryan Brickhouse
and Kyle Smith and outfielder Patrick Leonard. After that, Kansas City
added some signable arms that have both been up to 94 mph in Puerto
Rican lefthander Cesar Ogando and Oregon righthander Kellen Moen. Unlike
recent years, where Kansas City has usually drafted a first-round
talent in a later round to try to go above-slot to sign him (Wil Myers,
Tim Melville), the Royals' post-first round picks seem to be less risky and more signable this year. The big money will likely go to signing Starling.
Ron Gardenhire has high standards for shortstops, so it's interesting
that the team took North Carolina's Levi Michael in the first round
because he's not a sure thing to stick at the position. Still, he could
be an above-average offensive second baseman. The Twins used two
supplemental first round picks to get high school third baseman Travis
Harrison, who has some of the draft's best power, and Florida high
school righthander Hudson Boyd, who profiles as a mid-rotation
workhorse. Minnesota continued to add power arms with Oregon's Madison
Boer (who is from Eden Prairie, Minn.), Vanderbilt lefthander Corey
Williams and UC Irvine righthander Matt Summers. The Twins draft has a
lot of upside without sacrificing a nice, all-around balance.
For most of the
spring scouts debated which Florida high school shortstop was
better—Francisco Lindor or Javier Baez. Lindor was the consensus choice,
but Baez had supporters and wasn't far behind. The two wound up going
back-to-back with Lindor going eighth-overall to the Indians and Baez
ninth-overall to the Cubs. The Cubs got some big tools with the next few
picks—Florida high school first baseman Dan Vogelbach (second round)
has some of the best power in the class and shows a good feel for
hitting as well. Miami outfielder Zeke DeVoss (third) was one of
college baseball's fastest runners and Louisville righthander Tony Zych
(fourth) has an impressive fastball that touched 99 mph this season. The
Cubs will likely have to go over slot to sign 11th-round outfielder
Shawon Dunston Jr. and 14th-round righthander Dillon Maples.
Stephenson is the first high school pitched the Reds have picked in the
first round since Homer Bailey in 2004. He's the highest-ceiling player
in a solid draft class, as after him, the Reds took a portfolio
approach, mixing upside (second-round Puerto Rican outfielder Gabriel
Rosa, 22nd-round wild card Amir Garrett) with safe picks such as
Louisville infielder Ryan Wright (fifth round) and a slew of
hard-throwing college arms. They also selected power-hitting corner bat
Sean Buckley, son of scouting director Chris, in the sixth round.
The Astros got
one of the draft's best athletes in Connecticut outfielder George
Springer—the first of 10 Huskies drafted in 2011. Springer has one of
the best sets of tools in the draft and will instantly become the
Houston's top prospect if he signs. The Astros reached a little for its
next few picks (Adrian Houser, Jack Armstrong, Chris Lee and Nick
Tropeano), which could save the team some money to make a run at high
school players later in the draft like righthander Gandy Stubbefield
(14th round) and outfielder Billy Flamion (25th).
have not had a lot of success recently in developing pitchers, which is
part of the reason the team traded for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum
this winter. So getting two of the draft's top college pitchers was a
good move for Milwaukee. The Brewers got Texas righthander Taylor
Jungmann 12th-overall and then Georgia Tech lefthander Jed Bradley 15th.
Puerto Rican righthander Jorge Lopez became the second-highest Puerto
Rican pitcher ever drafted when he went in the second round,
70th-overall. The team's most interesting late-round picks are North
Carolina high school lefthander Carlos Rodon (16th round) and Texas high
school shortstop Chris McFarland (18th round).
have been extremely aggressive in the draft in recent years and this
year was no different. The team started things off by picking UCLA
righthander Gerrit Cole first-overall. Cole struggled a little bit this
season, but it's impossible to ignore his stuff. He has a workhorse
build and the stuff to match, including three pitches that rate as 70 or
better on the 20-80 scouting scale: a fastball that tops out at 99 mph,
a power slider and an advanced changeup. The Pirates made another
splash to start off the second day of the draft by picking Texas high
school outfielder Josh Bell—a polished switch-hitter with power. Bell is
a mid first-round talent that lasted to pick 61 after sending a letter
to teams stating that he wants to honor his commitment to Texas. The
Pirates may have also gotten a steal with ninth-round righthander Clay
Holmes from Slocomb (Ala.) High and can spread money around to high
schoolers Kody Watts (15th round), Aaron Brown (17th) and Tayler Nunez
(19th) if Bell doesn't want to sign.
St. Louis Cardinals:
Cardinals started things off by taking Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong
22nd overall. The same Cardinals fans that love Ryan Theriot will
really love Wong, a high-energy, top-of-the-order sparkplug with a
little more juice in his bat. The Cardinals drafted a lot of speed
(Charlie Tilson, C.J. McElroy and Kenny Peoples) and, not
coincidentally, wound up with a lot of players that lack physicality.
Seven of the team's first 10 picks are listed at 6 feet or smaller. The
team didn't get a lot of high-upside pitchers, as the Cardinals' first
three arms off the board profile as back-of-the-rotation starters (Sam
Gaviglio) or bullpen arms (Daniel Miranda and Tyler Mills).
No team's ever had two picks in the first seven, and it's hard to recall a team getting two upside arms in the first round like Arizona did in UCLA righthander Trevor Bauer and Oklahoma prep righty Archie Bradley. As a two-sport guy, Bradley can have his bonus paid over five years, which should make him signable even with Arizona's pick being unprotected for compensation. An organization sorely lacking power arms loaded up with supplemental pick Andrew Chafin, a lefty, and righty Anthony Meo. The top hitters in this draft include several raw players from Northern climes who'll need more time to develop.
Lefthander Tyler Anderson was considered one of the safer first-rounders in the draft thanks to his polish, deep repertoire and track record. The Rockies then went for upside with prep bats such as Texas prep shortstop Trevor Story and outfielders Carl Thomore and Dillon Thomas, as well as Bethune-Cookman catcher Peter O'Brien. The Rockies haven't drafted this many high school players in the first 10 rounds since 2001; Story and Thomore in particular appear to be worthy gambles.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Lefty Chris Reed relieved at Stanford but has three pitches to start and has touched 96 mph. In other words, he has a first-round profile, even though he was something of a surprise when the cash-strapped Dodgers took him 16th overall. The Dodgers got more power arms in Oregon closer Scott McGough and Ryan O'Sullivan, younger brother of a big leaguer. They got more bloodlines in second-round infielder Alex Santana, a consensus sixth-to-10th rounder who is the son of ex-Mets shortstop Rafael Santana. Pratt Maynard has a patient, powerful lefthanded bat, and will bring tremendous value if he can stay behind the plate defensively.
San Diego Padres:
The Padres played it safe with unprotected pick No. 10, taking speedy, sweet-swinging Cory Spangenberg, but there was nothing conservative about the rest of the team's draft. San Diego had an aggressive, impressive class, with prep power arms (Michael Kelly, Joe Ross), two of the draft's top prep catchers in Brett Austin and defensive wiz Austin Hedges, and college athletes Kyle Gaedele and Jace Peterson. San Diego took some solid, safe college arms as well in Matt Andriese, Mark Pope and reliever Kevin Quackenbush.
San Francisco Giants:
St. John's infielder Joe Panik wasn't a consensus first rounder, but his lefthanded bat, grinder mentality and middle-infield profile make him a fit for the Giants. Righties Kyle Crick, Ray Black and Chris Marlowe and lefthanders Bryce Bandilla and Josh Osich fit the org's profile too as a raw power arms. Third-rounder Ricky Oropesa has a 70 arm and fits the bill as well, but the former Pac-10 home runs champ has the most power in this draft class.
Los Angeles Angels:
In his first go as scouting director, Ric Wilson did a Dick Tidrow impression. The Angels started with the draft's best healthy college bat in C.J. Cron, whose dad played for the Angels in 1991. Then it was a parade of fairly raw power arms, as lefty Nick Maronde and righties Mike Clevinger and Austin Wood all have hit 95, as has ninth-round sleeper Nick Mutz, whom the Angels evaluated in a tryout camp. Manager Mike Scioscia will be pleased that his son Matt, a catcher out of Notre Dame, was the Angels' pick in the 45h round.
The A's took college players who have performed in a draft class that hearkens back to a decade ago, as they didn't draft a high school player until the 24th round. Any team might have taken Sonny Gray at the No. 18 spot, though, as the Vanderbilt ace fell in a deep draft but has top-10 picks talent. Oakland's college bats include intriguing Cal Poly outfielder Bobby Crocker, who's physical and has upside, plus Southern Mississippi's B.A. Vollmuth, who has plus raw power. Oakland also got the two top hitters in the Atlantic Sun Conference in Stetson catcher Nick Rickles and Mercer third baseman Jacob Tanis.
Danny Hultzen was in the mix to go No. 1 overall; while the Mariners weren't expected to draft him, a polished lefty with plus stuff across the board is an easy fit at No. 2. Seattle went hard after up the middle players with shortstops Brad Miller (second round) and catchers John Hicks (fourth), Tyler Marlette (fifth) and Jack Marder (16th). No one went off the board more than the M's when they drafted Cavan Cohoes, the son of an American serviceman, out of a high school in Germany.
The Rangers took a high-risk, high-reward approach with athleticism the key ingredient for their top picks. Lefties Kevin Matthews (first) and Will Lamb (second) have different frames but both have shown two plus pitches at times. Second-rounder Zach Cone was one of the college class' top athletes and just didn't hit as a junior. And raw Pennsylvania prep Derek Fisher flashed first-round tools but slipped to the sixth round when his performance fell off. Texas took several tough signs such as Matthews, Fisher and righthander Brandon Woodruff, another key element of a boom-or-bust crop.