With Raul Ibanez agreeing to a contract with the Yankees, the 2012 draft order likely has been finalized. Assuming Ibanez's deal gets completed, the Phillies will receive the 54th overall pick as compensation for the Type B free agent.
That also would leave Derrek Lee as the lone unsigned potential compensation free agent. Lee isn't expected to command a major league contract, and the Pirates won't get a draft choice for him unless he does. (If they do, it would be the No. 57 selection.)
Operating on the assumption that Lee won't get a big league deal, the order below should hold up for the June 4-6 draft. That also means we can calculate the aggregate bonus pools each team will have for the first 10 rounds, and I've done that on our Draft Blog.
13. White Sox
17. Blue Jays
19. Cardinals (from Angels for Albert Pujols, Type A)
22. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2011 first-rounder Tyler Beede)
24. Red Sox
27. Brewers (from Tigers for Prince Fielder, Type A)
31. Red Sox (from Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon, Type A)
Supplemental First Round
32. Twins (for Michael Cuddyer, modified Type A, to Rockies)
33. Padres (for Heath Bell, modified Type A, to Marlins)
34. Athletics (for Josh Willingham, modified Type A, to Twins)
35. Mets (for Jose Reyes, Type A, to Marlins)
36. Cardinals (for Pujols)
37. Red Sox (for Papelbon)
38. Brewers (for Fielder)
39. Rangers (for C.J. Wilson, Type A, to Angels)
40. Phillies (for Ryan Madson, modified Type A, to Reds)
41. Astros (for Clint Barmes, Type B, to Pirates)
42. Twins (for Jason Kubel, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
43. Cubs (for Aramis Ramirez, Type B, to Brewers)
44. Padres (for Aaron Harang, Type B, to Dodgers)
45. Pirates (for Ryan Doumit, Type B, to Twins)
46. Rockies (for Mark Ellis, Type B, to Dodgers)
47. Athletics (for David DeJesus, Type B, to Cubs)
48. White Sox (for Mark Buehrle, Type B, to Marlins)
49. Reds (for Ramon Hernandez, Type B, to Rockies)
50. Blue Jays (for Frank Francisco, Type B, to Mets)
51. Dodgers (for Rod Barajas, Type B, to Pirates)
52. Cardinals (for Octavio Dotel, Type B, to Tigers)
53. Rangers (for Darren Oliver, Type B, to Blue Jays)
54. Phillies (for Raul Ibanez, Type B, to, Yankees)
55. Padres (for failure to sign 2011 sandwich-rounder Brett Austin)
56. Cubs (for Carlos Pena, Type B, to Rays)
57. Reds (for Francisco Cordero, Type B, to Blue Jays)
58. Blue Jays (for Jon Rauch, Type B, to Mets)
59. Cardinals (for Edwin Jackson, Type B, to Nationals)
60. Blue Jays (for Jose Molina, Type B, to Rays)
62. Athletics (for Willingham)
70. Padres (for Bell)
71. Mets (from Marlins for Reyes)
72. Twins (for Cuddyer)
77. Phillies (for Madson)
83. Rangers (from Angels for Wilson)
89. Yankees (for failure to sign 2011 second-rounder Sam Stafford)
Supplemental Third Round
126. Mariners (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Kevin Cron)
127. Marlins (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Connor Barron)
128. Rockies (for failure to sign 2011 third-rounder Peter O'Brien)
Remaining Compensation Free Agents
Pirates: Derrek Lee (B).
I'll attack this question from the perspective of who will deserve to be in starting lineups for the 2015 All-Star Game, rather than trying to determine whether 41-year-old Derek Jeter wins the popular vote. Here goes:
C: Carlos Santana, Buster Posey
1B: Jesus Montero, Joey Votto
2B: Dustin Ackley, Cory Spangenberg
3B: Brett Lawrie, Anthony Rendon
SS: Jurickson Profar, Troy Tulowitzki
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp
OF: Desmond Jennings, Mike Stanton
OF: Mike Trout, Justin Upton
DH: Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper
SP: Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw
I know I skewed young with my choices, but I wanted to opt for players who will be in the prime of their careers rather than on the downside. Among others I considered who didn't make it: Brandon Belt, Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Jason Kipnis, Manny Machado, Matt Moore, David Price, Justin Verlander and Matt Wieters. In terms of good young candidates, the two thinnest positions were National League second basemen and American League outfielders.
It has been a while since I crunched the numbers, but I did a study years ago where I found that college players who reached the big leagues generally spent 1-2 fewer seasons in the minors than high schoolers who got to the majors. Because high schoolers, on average, are three years younger than collegians who sign, that means the prep players are 1-2 years younger than their college counterparts when the arrive in the majors.
Another way of looking at this is to figure out where college baseball would fit on the minor league ladder. The caliber of play varies widely from league to league, but I'd say most conferences are the equivalent of short-season (New York-Penn or Northwest League) or advanced Rookie (Appalachian or Pioneer League) ball. Most players who sign out of high school aren't going to spend three years in short-season or advanced Rookie leagues, so they're going to have the opportunity to develop against much stiffer competition. They're also going to get a lot more game action than they would in college.
Using Machado as an example, he already has reached high Class A at age 19. The Sun Belt Conference sent three teams to NCAA regionals last year, but it's not anything close to a high Class A league. By the time he would have been a college junior, he'll likely be in Triple-A or Baltimore. He's already more advanced than most college juniors.
Even the very best college players almost always spend a season in the minor leagues, so they're going to reach the majors at age 23. At the same age, a high school signee will have four full pro seasons of experience, and the best prepsters already will have advanced to the majors.
A lot of players make significant development strides in college, and a lot of them develop into quality prospects after showing only glimpses of potential in high school. But as much as I'm an advocate for college baseball, there's no question that players develop more rapidly in pro ball.
It would take a Harperesque talent for a team to consider exceeding its bonus pool enough to forfeit a draft pick. Any team that blows past its allotted total for the first 10 rounds by 5-10 percent would lose a first-rounder, with steeper penalties for 10-15 percent (first- and second-rounders) and 15 percent or more (two first-rounders). Unlike with free-agent compensation, the top 10 draft picks aren't exempt from draft-overspending penalties, so a team could lose the next year's No. 1 overall pick if it's overly aggressive in the draft.
Clubs can't pay a draftee extra money by including salaries in major league contracts, now prohibited in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If teams use the two-sport rule to spread a bonus over five years, its total net present value counts against the pool. There's no loophole for free-spending teams to exploit and avoid a penalty.
I'm skeptical that we'll see a team surrender a draft choice during the five-year life of the CBA. Bryce Harper would be worth it, but Harpers are few and far between, and when they come around, I don't see teams at the top of the draft letting them slide. It's also in the player's best interest not to drop in the draft, because the clubs with higher picks will have a much easier time paying him an exorbitant bonus.