Highlights from Day 2 of the draft
Athletics, Rays nab potential first-round picks who fell
Updated: June 10, 2009, 9:15 PM ETBy Keith Law | Scouts Inc.
With Day 2 now in the books and just about all of the top prospects off the board, here are my takes on five teams' drafts so far: Pittsburgh's selection of Tony Sanchez at No. 4 overall on Tuesday was the most controversial pick of the day, but the Pirates did do one thing they promised, taking some tough-sign high school pitchers on Wednesday. Their philosophy is that high school arms are so volatile that paying premium prices in the first round is a poor strategy, and that the value of that first pick (when you might get a premium bat or college arm) is too high to surrender, so try to stockpile young arms in later rounds. Whether Sanchez was the best pick for slot is another question -- I don't think he was -- but the idea of adding young arms who fell due to signability reasons is a sound one, and they added four good ones, two from my top 100 in Jordan Cooper and Zach Von Rosenburg and two who would have ranked in the next 50 or so players in Colton Cain and Trent Stevenson. Stevenson and Cooper both looked like top-two-round picks last summer, but neither had a good spring, with Stephenson losing a little velocity and Cooper pitching very inconsistently until late in the season. If the Pirates sign three of those four kids, it's a great draft, and if they sign two, it's still a good one. The Athletics have had a strong but potentially expensive draft; they did go over slot last year for Brett Hunter and will have to do it again at least twice to haul in their top picks. Their first pick on Day 2 was a player in my overall top 20, Max Stassi, who fell largely on concerns about his bonus demands (which increased leading up to the draft but reportedly came down a little when he wasn't taken on Day 1). Stassi projects as an impact bat if he can stay behind the plate, and the only obstacle there is occasional arm soreness that had him DHing for part of the spring. They also took Illinois left-hander Ian Krol, also projected as a top-few-rounds pick, whose stock took a hit this spring when he was kicked off his high school's baseball team for being in a car where alcohol was present. Krol is committed to Arizona but should be an easier sign than Stassi. Of course, their first pick, Grant Green, is advised by Scott Boras, and also won't come cheap.
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2009 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT