MLB Draft: Best, worst and who's left
Tampa loaded up on Day 1, as did others; plus, who struggled and best players left
Day 1 of the 2011 MLB draft was full of surprises, with the Mariners shocking everyone by going pitcher (surprise No. 1) and making that pick Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen (surprise No. 2), probably scorching the Royals' long-held plan to grab a college pitcher with the No. 5 pick. But there were plenty of intriguing moves through the remainder of the evening, some I loved, some that had me scratching my head. I've also listed my top remaining players as the draft moves to Day 2.
Moves I liked
The picks: Taylor Guerrieri (24), Mikie Mahtook (31), Jake Hager (32), Brandon Martin (38), Tyler Goeddel (41), Jeff Ames (42), Blake Snell (52), Kes Carter (56), Grayson Garvin (59), James Harris (60)
Summary: When you pick as often as Tampa Bay did, you're bound to do something I can praise. And I did like the majority of the Rays' picks. Their first pick, Taylor Guerrieri, has top-half-of-the-round stuff but fell on some signability and makeup questions -- however, the Rays did their homework on the latter and are satisfied with what they learned. Mikie Mahtook fell because ... well, I have no idea why he fell, maybe "profit-taking." He's a balanced player who'll contribute on offense and defense and move quickly through the system, and he plays like his hair is on fire. Tyler Goeddel is an athletic, projectable bat who should end up in left field and provide average and power. Brandon Martin is a shortstop who should stay at the position and has a short swing to produce line-drive contact. Grayson Garvin is a polished left-handed starter whose velocity ticked up at year's end, and he comes from Vanderbilt, one of the country's best college programs for developing arms. The Rays took probability, they took ceiling, they took tough signs, they took quick signs. They built a portfolio among their picks, taking advantage of the control they had with all of those selections in a short period of the draft. By August, if they sign most of these guys, that farm system likely will be the best in baseball.
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2011 MLB Draft Content
The Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off the 2011 MLB Draft by taking UCLA SP Gerrit Cole. Insider's Keith Law leads the coverage from Cole through the first round and beyond.
2011 MLB Draft6/7: Churchill: Analyzing Rounds 6-25
6/7: Law's Best of Day 2: American | National
6/7: Churchill: Analyzing Rounds 3-5
6/7: Churchill: Highlights of the second round
6/6: Law: Best and worst of Day 1
6/6: Churchill: Sandwich round analysis
6/6: Law/Churchill: First round analysis
MLB Draft Essentials6/6: Final mock: Nats add more star power
6/4: Law's Top 100: Setting up the draft
6/3: Mock 3.0: Starling on the rise
6/3: Churchill: Best tools in the draft
6/1: Sackmann: Statistical red flags
5/30: Mock 2.0: Gerrit Cole to Pirates
5/28: Churchill: 2010 NL Draft in review
5/27: Churchill: 2010 AL Draft in review
5/17: First full mock: Hultzen goes No. 1
5/12: Top 100: Movement in top 10
5/12: Cole goes first in modified mock draft
4/29: Future Fifty 3.0: Purke falls out
3/22: Future Fifty 2.0: Cole takes the top spot
3/22: Law: The Draft is not a crapshoot
2/17: Future Fifty: Rendon tops season's first ranking
2/17: Draft Order: How the teams will pick in the first and supplemental round