Draft Analysis: One Pick We Loved From Each Round On Day 2
J.J. Cooper and Carlos Collazo dished on the most intriguing pick from each round of Day 2. To see every teams draft haul so far, click here.
Carlos Collazo: Allan is the story of Day 2. He was obviously the highest-rated high school pitcher that we had on our board. After he wasn't selected on Day 1, most expected he'd head to campus at Florida and be a victim of teams being skeptical, or a little more risk-averse, of high school righthanded pitchers. Or maybe just a guy who fell because of his signability.
The fact the Mets went out and took him in the third round was very aggressive and an interesting move for them. It'll be interesting to see how they handle their signability by taking, potentially, three first-round talents in Brett Baty, Josh Wolf and Allan.
Were you expecting the Mets to be this aggressive?
I don't think the Mets were. Looking back and seeing who they took with their first pick, Baty was frequently a name mentioned to teams in the top 10 for an under-slot deal. Depending on how much he's going to cost, I think they'll put some savings from that pick toward Allan. Seeing what they did after taking Allan, it sounds like they're going to save a lot of money on seniors. They started going seniors earlier than anyone else in this class, but I wouldn't say they were an obvious pick prior to this.
Carlos Collazo: Stinson was the highest pitcher we had rated—high school or college—in the preseason because of electric stuff in a potential 70-grade fastball and 70-grade curveball. His stuff backed up this spring in limited innings, and he didn't pitch much at all after his third or fourth start of the season. There were a lot of questions of injury with him and what his stuff would look like when he got healthy. We wondered where he'd fall, because the talent, at its best, is among the best in the class. But there's obviously a lot of risk with the injury and the fact he didn't pitch much this spring.
Carlos Collazo: This is an exciting one. Entering the season, we thought he could be a first-round talent with his speed, defensive ability and the power he had previously shown. He really struggled to hit the entire year. Scouts had some concerns about his feel to hit and if he would struggle against higher pitching at the next level. If he does figure it out, he has immense upside as a talented defensive shortstop with some speed.
That's just another guy who fell. He doesn't have much track record of hitting outside of his sophomore season. That's when he performed really well. He started as a freshman and struggled offensively there, and he also struggled as a junior. There are a lot of questions about his hit tool. But he has an exciting, pure tool set you wouldn't normally find in the fifth round.
J.J. Cooper: We expected Johnson to go off the board significantly earlier than this, largely because college catchers usually move up boards.
Teams want college catchers. They need catchers and they feel really comfortable about college catchers who perform, who show their defensive chops to handle the position. Johnson is the third-best defensive catcher in this class behind two guys who went in the top 10 (Adley Rutschman and Shea Langeliers). Because of that, we expected him to go pretty high. Instead, he lasted until the sixth round.
I love that pick for the Tigers because of that. They now have, between him and Jake Rogers, a pair of potentially above-average defenders. In both cases, they face some questions about the bat. But I know Carlos and I both talked to multiple scouts this year who are confident that Johnson has a big league career ahead of him. There are not a lot of sixth-round picks that you can say are likely big leaguers.
Because of his defensive ability, and if the bat continues to improve, there's a possibility he could be even more than just a backup. He could be a regular. The bar for a big league regular catcher, if you can frame and if you can defend, is pretty low.
J.J. Cooper: He's a righthander out of the State College of Florida, which I always still call the State College Of Florida JC Manatee. Really good program that has produced a lot of draftees over the years.
Bell is interesting. Son of a big leaguer (Jay Bell), but he's even more interesting than that because he's a guy coming off injury. He blew out his arm a couple years ago. Made it back this year midseason. When he did, the stuff was better.
He was a two-way player before the injury. The stuff was better than it was pre-injury. He was touching 97 mph and showing, at times, a 12-to-6 breaking ball that shows the potential to be an above-average breaking ball. He even flashed a changeup. He struck out a ton of batters in not a lot of innings—23-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in, I believe, 13 innings.
There's a lot there. A lot of upside there. Now, there's very little track record. And that very little track record is at the junior college level. So there's some risk. But that's why he lasted until the last pick of the seventh round. That said, he has more ceiling than most of the guys taken in the seventh round, I would argue. He could be a very interesting arm for the Red Sox.
David Hamilton Has Old School Appeal
The Red Sox were drawn to the speedy 24-year-old shortstop in a recent trade because of his athleticism, defensive ability and on-base skills.
J.J. Cooper: He's yet another of these wild cards in the second day, much like Graeme Stinson. Unlike Stinson, David Hamilton never got to show what he could do this year.
He was expected to be the cornerstone of the Texas Longhorns. He was a guy who was a key part of the team that made it to Omaha in 2018 as a shortstop. He goes down with an Achilles injury before the season ever begins, and without him, they don't make the tournament this year. That's partly because they lost their middle-of-the-infield leader. There are questions about the bat. There have been questions about the bat. But he is a solid defender at shortstop and should be able to stay at the position.
All of this assumes he is able to make a full recovery from a very significant injury. But that's why he's going in the eighth round. There's an upside play there not a lot of eighth-round picks have.
Carlos Collazo: He's the fourth prospect selected from IMG Academy, which was a loaded high school team this spring. He entered the season less hyped than a number of IMG players, including the three who went in front of him (Brennan Malone, Rece Hinds, Kendall Williams). But he was arguably the most consistent hitter on the team, and that includes a player with the biggest raw power in the class (Hinds). Bartlett also has big power.
He has plus power to all fields and a more advanced approach offensively, at this point, than Hinds. The profile is the question for him. The Indians drafted him as a catcher, which is interesting, because he mostly played first base for his high school team. He's big for the position and will need to refine his actions behind the plate if he's going to stick there. But he's more than likely going to end up at first base, where—while it will be tough—he has a chance to profile offensively.
J.J. Cooper: The Astros now have a pair of catching Stubbs brothers in the organization. Garrett just made his big league debut, while C.J., who was a pitcher and then had Tommy John surgery, followed in his brother's footsteps and had a pretty solid season behind the plate this year. Like his brother, he has a really good arm. This year, he showed an ability to hit for average as well. The average dipped late in the season—I think he wore down. He did manage to post a .378 on-base percentage and .466 slugging percentage this year. It's going to be unlikely he ends up as productive as his brother. His brother was a star in college. His brother was a really good catcher as well. At the same time, the Astros now have two Stubbs brothers in the organization.