Friday, June 7, 2013
Day two highlights and lowlights: NL
By Christopher Crawford
More draft content:
Pick-by-pick analysis | Top 100 | AL best second round | NL best of second round
It was an interesting day two, one that saw the new collective bargaining agreement draft rules play a key role in how teams went about their respective selections. Money had always played a vital function in the draft -- and always will -- but the new CBA has clearly escalated the function to new levels.
That being said, many teams did find quality value between rounds three and 10 today, with several players who were rumored to go in the first or second round falling into the laps of their respective clubs. Whether or not the teams will be able to sign said picks is another question, but the process of selecting the best playNational ers available in the draft is never a bad thing.
Here’s a look at some highlights and lowlights for League teams on day two.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the New York Mets' second-round selection (Andrew Church), but I think that New York has done a great job acquiring value throughout the day. Louisiana prep outfielder Ivan Wilson has as much raw power as any prep player in this draft, and has the arm strength to be a right fielder at the next level.
Casey Meisner offers a ton of projection in his right arm and could have a 70 (on the 20-80 scouting scale) fastball with average secondary offerings as well. The real steal here, though, was Kansas State's Jared King, an outfielder who I thought would go in the first 60 picks and is an absolute bargain (in terms of value) in the fifth round.
The Philadelphia Phillies have had some questionable drafts over the past few years, but I think this was one of their better efforts in terms of process. Cord Sandberg may have slid because of his commitment to play football at Mississippi State, but in the third round he’s an outstanding value player with good raw power, arm strength and speed. It was a little surprising that the Phillies took prep catcher Jake Sweaney in the fourth round after taking Cal backstop Andrew Knapp in round two, but Sweaney is a good enough athlete to play in the outfiel with a plus hit tool. Jan Hernandez was another solid selection in the third round with above-average tools across the board, and the bat should play if he is forced to move to third base later on.
The Chicago Cubs' draft is a good reminder that one reach does not necessarily equal a bad class. Chicago did take BYU center fielder Jacob Hannemann a few rounds earlier than his talent probably warranted (third round), but the rest of their picks were all solid in terms of value. Texas Tech's Trey Masek was a guy who I thought would go in the first three rounds with four average to above-average pitches, and he was nice value in the fifth round. Pepperdine's Scott Frazier had top-50 talk earlier in the year with a 96 mph fastball, so he could be seen as a steal in the sixth round. Keep an eye on fourth-round pick Tyler Skulina (Kent State), a guy who had decidedly mixed results but could be a solid mid-rotation starter with some coaching up.
I wasn’t in love with the Los Angeles Dodgers' first two picks on Thursday night, and that trend continued into Friday. Arizona's Brandon Dixon probably doesn't have the offensive upside to stay at third, and may have to move across the diamond as well. Some believe that Arizona prepster Cody Bellinger will develop power at the next level, but that’s asking a lot from a 6-foot-4, 180-pound first baseman. I think the best value of their selections today was Brandon Trinkwon (UC Santa Barbara), a good defensive player who projects as a utility infielder in the big leagues. You generally don’t want your best value in rounds 3-10 to be a utility infielder.
The Cincinnati Reds committed two of my cardinal sins on Friday, not acquiring value on the board and not acquiring much in terms of upside. New York high school hurler Mark Armstrong may have three average pitches at the next level, but was considered more of a sixth-round talent than a third, where he was selected. Ben Lively (Central Florida) has a good idea of how to pitch but doesn’t have the stuff to be more than a back-end guy should he reach Cincinnati. South Carolina prep shortstop Cory Thompson was decent value in the fifth round, but could be a difficult signing with his commitment to South Carolina.
When you take a kid who will be looking for first-round money at 54 (Devin Williams), and you have just over $3 million to spend in the draft, you have to go cheap, and that’s what the Milwaukee Brewers did. Third-rounder Barrett Astin (Arkansas) projects as more of a swing guy than a starter or a high-leverage reliever, and I would say the same for their next pick, Kent State’s Taylor Williams. One name to keep on is Joshua Uhen (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) -- a right-hander with good size who has been clocked up to 98, but had Tommy John surgery in 2011.