First-round winners and losers from the MLB draft
Sure, one generally has to wait four or five years to really sit back and analyze how a draft turned out. But why let that stop us from picking some winners and losers from Monday evening’s first round.
Dodgers - Corey Seager will likely prove to be a tough sign, but the high school shortstop had the talent to go well above pick No. 18. Kyle’s younger brother has superior power and rates as one of the class’s few potential All-Stars, though it will probably be at third base. Now the Dodgers only need to ink him.
Lucas Giolito - Despite missing his entire senior season with a sprained UCL -- that’s the Tommy John ligament -- Giolito got taken 16th overall by a Nationals team that could well prove aggressive enough to sign him. Giolito, a right-handed pitcher out of Harvard-Westlake high school in California, was a favorite to go first overall before the injury. The Nationals may have just gotten the draft’s most talented player for the third time in four years.
Marcus Stroman - The one pure reliever drafted in round one, Stroman went to a team in the Blue Jays that isn’t afraid to be aggressive with top prospects. It could lead to him making his major league debut later this year. Stroman, a 5'9" right-hander out of Duke, has closer potential with his mid-90s fastball and power curve. The Jays made him their second first-round pick, taking him 22nd overall.
Yankees - The Yankees have made a lot of questionable first-round picks in recent years -- Ian Kennedy rates as their best since Derek Jeter in 1992 -- but they appeared to get very good value with high school right-hander Ty Hensley at No. 30 overall tonight. Most expected the big right-hander to go in the middle of the round.
Mark Appel - Most every mock draft had the Astros taking the Stanford right-hander first overall, but the team made the last-minute decision, according to GM Jeff Luhnow, to go with Correa instead. Whether that was because of Appel’s bonus demands is something that could become clear in the coming days. Regardless, it seems clear Appel was none too happy to fall to the Pirates at No. 8. He declined to talk to the press afterwards, instead releasing a statement that read: “I’m currently concentrating on winning a national championship and finishing my academic endeavors at Stanford. I will address the possibility of a professional career in due time.”
Cardinals - St. Louis got to draft 19th and 23rd overall, but failed to come away with a particularly exciting prospect. RHP Michael Wacha, the 19th pick, went about where most believed he would, but outfielder James Ramsey, a college senior, was considered an overdraft. Perhaps the Cardinals were thinking ahead: they did take well regarded third baseman Stephen Piscotty in the supplemental round and could use some Ramsey savings on him.
Jesus Montero - He wants to be a catcher, but the Mariners’ selection of Mike Zunino third overall suggests that Montero is bound for the DH spot. Zunino is an above average defensive catcher with pretty good power from the right side of the plate. He doesn’t project as an All-Star, but he should be a very solid regular.