Commentary

2009 draft in review: American League

No Leake or Strasburg here, but watch Mike Trout and Tanner Scheppers

Originally Published: May 26, 2010
By Keith Law and Jason A. Churchill | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesDustin Ackley was the first player drafted to an AL squad in 2009; so far, he's struggled.

When looking back across the drafts of all 30 teams last June (full coverage can be found here), one thing is clear: the main winner appears to be the Washington Nationals. They were not, of course, the only winner. (For fun: how we reacted on the live blog when the Nats took Stephen Strasburg can be found here.)

On the American League side, there's no Strasburg or Mike Leake, who skipped the minors entirely -- but there could be the guy who proves to be the biggest sleeper of this entire draft, in Angels prospect Mike Trout. Another AL West player, Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers, appears to be on a fast track to the majors. The highest-drafted AL player? Dustin Ackley, who is struggling in the minors.

What follows is a team-by-team look at the AL squads in relation to the 2009 draft, filed 351 days after the opening round last year.

Baltimore Orioles:
Only three of the Orioles' top eight picks from last year is currently on an active, full-season roster in the minors. First-rounder Matt Hobgood had a tough spring training with the O's, followed by a rough full-season debut with a 28-to-24 K-BB ratio in the Sally League, but he's also 19 (the youngest pitcher on Delmarva's staff), so it's early. Second pick Mychal Givens made his pro debut on Tuesday, while third pick Tyler Townsend has been out for a month with a hamstring injury and has just 10 at-bats on the season. Fourth-rounder Randy Henry has pitched well in relief for Delmarva, with a 30-to-5 K-BB ratio and a 53 percent ground ball rate. Ninth-rounder Ryan Berry, a likely first-round pick before he suffered the inevitable Rice-pitcher injury last spring, had a solid debut for Low-A Delmarva and has made one start in High-A, a level more appropriate for a pitcher with his age and experience.

Boston Red Sox:
First pick Reymond Fuentes is off to a .257/.307/.397 start as a 19-year-old in the Sally League with 42 whiffs and seven walks -- most maddening is that in 57 plate appearances as the leadoff guy, he drew a whopping one free pass. Second-rounder Alex Wilson has dominated the Sally League, but he's 23 and is far too experienced for the level. Kendal Volz, just a year younger than Wilson, has dominated the Sally League to an even greater extent, but again, it's not a good read on either guy's progress. Their big over-slot signing, third rounder David Renfroe, is still in extended spring training and is likely ticketed for Lowell this summer, and most of their other major high school drafts from last year are also still in Fort Myers, including Brandon Jacobs and Miles Head.