Draft Analysis: American League

Our experts break down the clubs by division





Now that the 2010 draft has wrapped up, it's time to start making sense of it all. We asked our three main draft reporters to give us a quick take on each team's draft class, so you can get an idea of what your favorite team went after. Jim Callis covered the Eastern Division teams, Conor Glassey took the Central, and John Manuel summed up the West. We've also provided quick links to the complete draft class for each team. Here's our rundown of the American League teams; you can find the National League analysis here.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

From the BA Draft Database: Orioles 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Orioles Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

The Orioles had an easy decision at No. 3, just taking whichever of the big three prospects was still on the board. The Alex Rodriguez comparisons for SS Manny Machado (1) are a bit much, but Machado is a five-tool shortstop with all the ingredients to become a star. Not having a second-round pick was a handicap, but RHP Dan Klein (3) could get to the majors quickly in a set-up role. OF Trent Mummey (4) is an accomplished college player with solid tools across the board. SS Connor Narron (5), whose father Jerry played and managed in the big leagues, projected as one of the top high school players for 2010 as a junior before his stock slipped. He's an offensive-minded player who figures to move to third base if he chooses pro ball over attending North Carolina. Baltimore also picked up a pair of righthanders with mid-90s fastballs in Dixon Anderson (6) and Clay Schrader (10).
 
BOSTON RED SOX

From the BA Draft Database: Red Sox 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Red Sox Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

Under new scouting director Amiel Sawdaye, the Red Sox drafted just as they did under predecessor Jason McLeod, taking several talented players who will require over-slot bonuses. Almost all of Boston's early picks were good talent values for where they went. 2B Kolbrin Vitek (1) was one of the best pure hitters in the draft and likely will move to center field, where he may have five-tool potential. OF Bryce Brentz (1s) had some of the best power in the draft and lasted longer than expected. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (1s) was the draft's No. 2-rated prospect before coming down with elbow problems, and he's a steal at No. 39 if the Red Sox can straighten out his delivery issues. RHP Brandon Workman (2) has first-round stuff and intermittent command, and SSs Sean Coyle (3) and Garin Cecchini (4) were two of the best high school bats in the draft. All three have seven-figure price tags. OF Kendrick Perkins (6) and RHPs Mathew Price (8),Adam Duke (16) and Eric Jaffe (19) all have ceilings much higher than where they were drafted.
 
NEW YORK YANKEES

From the BA Draft Database: Yankees 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Yankees Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

The Yankees again didn't throw their financial weight around in the draft, using their early-round picks mostly on guys who will sign for MLB's slot recommendations rather than big talents with big price tags. They insist SS Cito Culver (1) was a first-round talent, a gifted switch-hitter with speed and arm strength. OF Angelo Gumbs (2) has big-time bat speed but will have to make adjustments to offspeed stuff to make consistent contact. 3B Rob Segedin (3) asserted himself as one of the best hitters in college baseball after recovering from back and shoulder problems. OF Mason Williams (4) is a quality athlete who needs more strength, and RHP Tommy Kahnle (5) has touched 97 mph with his fastball. New York did take several worthwhile late-round gambles on players such as OF Ben Gamel (10), RHP Daniel Burawa (12), LHP Evan Rutckyj (16), RHP Kevin Jacob (18) and OF Kevin Jordan (19).
 
TAMPA BAY RAYS

From the BA Draft Database: Rays 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Rays Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

The Rays kicked off their draft by getting three of the best high school position players available. OF Josh Sale (1) was the best high school bat in the draft, the best to come out of the Pacific Northwest since Travis Snider—and Sale has more power. A couple of teams picking in the top 10 kicked the tires on C Justin O'Conner (1), who has huge arm strength and nearly as much power potential. OF Drew Vettleson (1s) is a switch-pitcher, but it's his smooth swing that scouts covet. RHPs Jake Thompson (2) and Austin Wood (4) have quality arms, but their inconsistency probably will lead them to the bullpen. 3B Derek Dietrich (2) has a quality lefthanded bat, though he won't push Evan Longoria off the hot corner. 2B Ryan Brett (3) is an athlete with an interesting bat. RHP Ian Kendall (5) is a nice sleeper with a 91-95 mph fastball. If RHP Jesse Hahn (6) is healthy and OF Michael Lorenzen (7) can put everything together, they have first-round talent.
 
TORONTO BLUE JAYS

From the BA Draft Database: Blue Jays 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Blue Jays Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

Loaded with draft picks, the Blue Jays spent all four of their selections before the second round on righthanders. Deck McGuire (1) wasn't expected to be available at No. 11 two weeks ago, and he has good command of solid stuff, a recipe for a quick trip to the big league rotation. Aaron Sanchez (1s) and Asher Wojciechowski (1s) were potential first-rounders, while Noah Syndergaard (1s) was a late bloomer taken with a bonus pick unprotected by further compensation. Toronto also did a nice job of stocking up on lefthanders, starting with Griffin Murphy (2), Baseball America's highest-rated prep southpaw, and premium athletes such as OF Marcus Knecht (3s) and SS Dickie Joe Thon (5). 3Bs Kellen Sweeney (2) and Christopher Hawkins (3) give the Jays a pair of promising high school bats.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

From the BA Draft Database: White Sox 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: White Sox Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

The White Sox were known to be targeting college pitchers, and they picked four of them to start their draft. BA's top-rated lefthander, slender strike-thrower LHP Chris Sale (1), fell to them at No. 13 overall. He had a 10-1 strikeout-walk ratio and could move quickly with his plus fastball and changeup and improved slider. He could be an absolute steal with a double-digit pick. RHPs Jacob Petricka (2), Addison Reed (3) and Thomas Royse (3s) give them three solid righthanded options, with Reed a potential fast riser if he moves back to a relief role. The position-player crop offers less upside, with hard-hitting junior-college 2B Joe Terry (8) and toolsy SS Tyler Saladino (7) the most intriguing prospects.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

From the BA Draft Database: Indians 2010 Draft Class
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If LHP Drew Pomeranz (1) throws strikes as a pro, he'll be the best college pitcher out of this draft. His fastball and power curve are two of the best pitches in this class, and he has the feel for pitching to be an innings-eating workhorse as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. The Tribe got another potential first-round talent in OF LeVon Washington (2); he was the Rays' first-rounder last season and has plus tools in his bat and speed. RHPs Kyle Blair (4) and Cole Cook (5) ranked among the best college arms in the West and give the organization pitching depth. Ohio prep C Alex Lavisky (8)—who plays on the same team as the son of Indians assistant GM John Mirabelli—and SS/2Bs Tony Wolters (3) and Nick Bartolone (6) provide up-the-middle talent. Consistent college performers such as RHP Jordan Cooper (9) and OF Tyler Holt (10) may be tough signs but could push this class over the hump.

DETROIT TIGERS

From the BA Draft Database: Tigers 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Tigers Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

Scouting director David Chadd was overjoyed to get 3B Nick Castellanos (1s) with the 44th overall pick, Detroit's first after losing its first-rounder for signing Jose Valverde. Scouts like his power potential, and signability pushed him down. C Patrick Leyland (8), son of big league manager Jim Leyland, was the only other prep player Detroit took in the first 10 rounds. Texas closer RHP Chance Ruffin (1s), the son of ex-big leaguer Bruce, could move quickly. Detroit obviously scouts the Northwoods League hard, taking LHP Drew Smyly (2); sophomore-eligible C Rob Brantly (3), the league's top prospect last summer; and its 2009 MVP in 2B Corey Jones (7). The draft was heavy in family ties with RHP Drew Gagnier (7), brother of Tigers farmhand L.J.; Virginia prep RHP Ben Verlander (46), brother of Justin; and Florida prep RHP Ricky Knapp (44), son of big league pitching coach Rick.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

From the BA Draft Database: Royals 2010 Draft Class
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Picking fourth in a draft with a defined top three prospects, the Royals went for a safe bat in SS Christian Colon (1). He has been a playmaker throughout his amateur career and will be a tremendous value if he can stay at shortstop, though he's more likely to move to second base. Florida closer Kevin Chapman (4) is a fourth-year collegian and could rocket through the minors if he stays in the bullpen. Arkansas two-way star Brett Eibner (2) is a legitimate prospect as both a righthander and as an outfielder, and he wants to hit. The Royals will send him out as a center fielder. RHP Jason Adam (5) is a Top 100 talent who hails from a Kansas City suburb. He was one of just nine high school players in this class, including South Carolina prep C Joe Jackson (5), who was announced as a distant relative of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

MINNESOTA TWINS

From the BA Draft Database: Twins 2010 Draft Class
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Minnesota has a reputation for drafting raw athletes and strike-throwing pitchers. After coming up short in athletes last year, the Twins went for them early in 2010, starting with Georgia prep SS Niko Goodrum (2), who will likely move to the outfield. The Twins also went for strike-throwers early with Ohio State RHP Alex Wimmers (1), the ace of the Big Ten this spring, and Boston College LHP Pat Dean (3), who earns comparisons to 2004 Twins first-rounder Glen Perkins in stuff and body. The Twins' toughest sign may be RHP DeAndre Smelter (14), one of Georgia's top arms and a potential two-way player if he winds up at Georgia Tech.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

From the BA Draft Database: Angels 2010 Draft Class
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After losing free agents Chone Figgins and John Lackey, the Angels had lots of early picks. They used their first three on Georgia prep standouts, taking Kaleb Cowart (1)—and announcing him as a third baseman, though the consensus was that he was better as a righthanded pitcher—RHP Cam Bedrosian (1) and OF Chevez Clarke (1). They went off the board with SS Taylor Lindsey (1s), whom most Four Corners scouts didn't view as the best high school player in Arizona. The most interesting mid-round pick was Oregon State LHP Josh Osich (7), who missed this year after having Tommy John surgery. Osich has a limited track record, but when healthy he can touch 97 mph. He could be a tough sign, but the scout who drafted him is the same scout who was able to get Washington quarterback Jake Locker to agree to a deal last summer.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

From the BA Draft Database: Athletics 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Athletics Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

OF Michael Choice (1) became the highest-drafted player from Texas-Arlington, easily beating Hunter Pence (second round, 2004). He is prone to strikeouts but also walked a lot and has the best power of any four-year college player in this year's class. After that it wasn't a typical A's draft, as they went with high school players with their next four picks in 3B Yordy Cabrera (2), OF Aaron Shipman (3), 3B Chad Lewis (4) and RHP Tyler Vail (5). The last time Oakland took four high school players among its first five picks was 1978. One of the best human-interest stories of the draft is Coastal Carolina 3B Scott Woodward (15), who is hearing-impaired.

SEATTLE MARINERS

From the BA Draft Database: Mariners 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Mariners Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

After signing Chone Figgins last offseason, the Mariners had to wait until the 43rd overall pick to take Taijuan Walker (1s). Walker is expected to be an easy sign, so they rolled the dice on tougher signs like SS Marcus Littlewood (2), who has a strong commitment to San Diego, and LHP James Paxton (4), who didn't sign as a supplemental first-rounder last year. Due to eligibility concerns centering around his relationship with Boras Corp., Paxton wasn't allowed to play at Kentucky and spent the spring pitching for Grand Prairie in the independent American Association. The Mariners also snagged a late riser in high school RHP Ryne Stanek (3) and took a chance on LHP Jordan Shipers (16). Shipers' high school doesn't have a baseball team, but he showed filthy stuff on the showcase circuit last summer and will be an interesting summer follow.

TEXAS RANGERS

From the BA Draft Database: Rangers 2010 Draft Class
For BA Subscribers: Rangers Draft Class with scouting reports and bonuses

With the team going through bankrupcy, the Rangers were conservative at the top, using the 15th overall pick on OF Jake Skole (1) and the 22nd overall pick on Canadian C Kellin Deglan (1). Skole is a good athlete who had committed to Georgia Tech as a wide receiver, and Deglan has played with the Canadian junior national team. Both are good athletes with power potential and both players agreed to terms right after the draft was completed. The Rangers added high-upside players with their supplemental picks in RHP Luke Jackson (1s) and 3B Mike Olt (1s). It's going to be difficult for the team to sign RHP Jake Cole (24) away from his North Carolina commitment, and nearly impossible to get OF Brian Ragira (30), who's from Arlington, away from Stanford.