Future 50: Gerrit Cole is still No. 1
Dylan Bundy continues rise into top five while Matt Purke falls off the list
We're now just six weeks away from this year's Rule 4 draft, and it's shaping up to be a huge pitching bonanza but much lighter on bats than anyone expected. If you like velocity, present or projected, this is a draft class for you. If you're looking for a position player, especially one in the middle of the diamond, however, you may want to avert your eyes.
The biggest changes to the top 50 this time around are due to injuries. Matt Purke, who may pitch this weekend, is off the list until there's some evidence that he's healthy; the diagnosis of bursitis is often (though not always) a precursor of -- or cover for -- a more serious shoulder injury. Jackie Bradley Jr. is most likely out for the spring after tearing a ligament in his left (non-throwing) wrist while diving for a ball against Mississippi State last weekend. Andrew Susac broke his hamate bone and will probably be missing some of his power (due to reduced hand strength) when he returns. Brandon Nimmo had a rough showing in Arizona earlier this month due to tendinitis in a knee he'd hurt previously. Even two position players I haven't moved down, Anthony Rendon (shoulder) and Bubba Starling (quad), have been slowed by injuries.
This will be the last pref list with just 50 names on it; I'll probably blow this out to 100 for the next update, with more scouting reports, as well. You can click on any highlighted name here to view a scouting report, although I've written shorter capsules on players I still plan to see in May, primarily Sonny Gray, Alex Meyer, Bubba Starling and Danny Hultzen.
Analysis: Cole is still the top player in the draft but has had some trouble recently with command up in the zone; premium stuff is a lot less premium when it's left up and over the plate. Previous Rankings: 3 | 1
Analysis: No one is quite sure what to make of the situation with Rendon's shoulder, but the raw talent is intact and there doesn't seem to be any sentiment that the injury is serious. Previous Rankings: 1 | 2
To see the updated top 50 rankings from Keith Law, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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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