- Keith Law, ESPN Insider
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I thought the Snakes got one of the best values in the first round when Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley (15) fell to them after getting some top-10 buzz this spring; he's a converted position player who's only been on the mound for two years, touching 97 with a plus changeup and some feel for a curveball, along with a delivery that works. Aaron Blair (36) has a starter's size and sometimes shows a starter's repertoire, but was very inconsistent week to week this spring and tested positive for a banned stimulant in May. Justin Williams (52) has big raw power but is a well below-average hitter with no position. Georgia Tech first baseman Daniel Palka (88) has big raw power but projects to strike out at a huge rate in pro ball.
Matt McPhearson (120) was one of the top position players on the showcase circuit last summer, showing a quick bat and plus speed, but his crude approach at the plate probably pushed him out of the top 100, where I think he represents great value. Jamie Westbrook (150) played high school ball around the corner from my house, and his makeup is great, but he's a 5-foot-8 infielder who has to move to second and whose uppercut swing won't translate with wood. Colin Bray (180) is a superb multi-sport athlete who is extremely raw at the plate, cut from the Keon Broxton cloth, but he's a reasonable pick in this range.
Daniel Gibson (210) is a left-handed reliever and former starter from the University of Florida, but he never showed me a quality breaking ball in the two times I saw him. He and Oregon's Jimmy Sherfy (300) should be fast-to-the-majors relievers, with Gibson more polished while Sherfy has better stuff with a much worse delivery. Elvin Soto (480) is interesting if he signs, a draft-eligible sophomore catcher from Pittsburgh who's improved defensively to the point where he might be a quality backup. It's an up-and-down crop but overall among my favorites.
213dKeith Law & Christopher Crawford