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June 10, 2009

Future Shock

First-Round Recap

by Kevin Goldstein

1. Washington Nationals
Pick: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State
Kevin Goldstein Says:
"Congrats Nats fan, you just got a potential franchise-changing talent. Now the REAL fun begins with the negotiation. I really should start a pool on bonus and total package. I'm guessing $8-9 million dollar bonus and total package around $25 million"
Quotable: "The first thing I'd say is 'good luck.' Then I'd say sit on the fastball, because at least you know he's going to throw strikes. So just step in there and compete and try not to strike out on three pitches."-Texas Christian infielder Ben Carruthers, on how to hit Strasburg.
Read more about Strasburg here.

2. Seattle Mariners
Pick: Dustin Ackley, OF/1B, North Carolina
KG Says:
"All of the rumors about them passing on him seemed like a smokescreen all along. He was announced as an outfielder, but as an aside, some teams have talked about seeing if his hands are good enough for a look at second base. Either way, his bat is going to be pretty special for the position. I think he could be a Grady Sizemore kind of player offensively with less power but a better batting average."
Quotable: "I don't know. I've never thought about that. I don't work on mechanics; I just go up there and swing the bat. I have nothing mechanical that I work on. When I'm not swinging the bat well, I'm probably putting pressure on myself because I haven't been getting hits. I'm probably pressing a little too much."-Dustin Ackley, on his hitting mechanics.
Read more about Ackley here.

3. San Diego Padres
Pick: Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS (GA)
KG Says:
"That's the highest upside they've maybe ever selected. Grady Fuson loved this guy from day one, and unlike the Matt Bush disaster, they actually got the approval to spend the money on the guy they like. MONSTER athlete."
Quotable: "I slightly prefer Sano because I think there's a better chance he hits. That said, Tate has the higher ceiling and is two years older, so it's very close."-Kiley McDaniel, on who he would prefer between Tate and international phenom Miguel Sano.
Read more about Tate here.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick: Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College
KG Says:
"The Pirates go with their late decision, Tony Sanchez. This is not a good pick, but it's too early to call this a bad draft, as they want to spend big internationally and look to slot bust later. The Pirates hope he can be a Molina-esque shut down defender with the ability to hit 15-18 home runs a year. If it doesn't work out, he's at least a backup."
Quotable: "I'm a grinder. It's about hard work and not letting anything get by you. You do your best work and try your hardest for those guys out on the mound, so they can do their job. If you do that, you're going to have success in most of your games."-Tony Sanchez, on his personality behind the plate.
Read more about Sanchez here.

5. Baltimore Orioles
Pick: Matt Hobgood, RHP, Norco HS (CA)
KG Says:
"Baltimore eyed young pitching all along, but in the end, they decided that the top guys weren't worth the coin as they take Matt Hobgood, A guy most people saw as a mid-to-late first-round kind of talent.
If you see the video on MLB, you can see why conditioning could end up an issue. MLB people talking about how he moved up, but there's only one reason-when teams called him, he didn't mention the name Rick Porcello."
Read more about Hobgood here.

6. San Francisco Giants
Pick: Zack Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding HS (GA)
KG Says:
"(San Francisco) takes Zach Wheeler, no big surprise there. The air goes completely out of the room in Atlanta, and that lack of oxygen could have them getting ready to make my least-favorite pick in the draft. Get ready for Minor. Interesting that the first two high school arms are not the two best, but the two best AFFORDABLE ones."
Read more about Wheeler here.

7. Atlanta Braves
Pick: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
KG Says:
"The Braves take Minor. It's indefensible. You don't want to take a high school kid, that's cool. You think he's better than Alex White, who I'm not even that high on, and you're nuts. Number Seven picks who profile as Number Four starters make no sense."
Quotable: "(Minor's) stuff, as you may have heard before: good command of a low-90s fastball, a PLUS change, and a solid developing curve. The progression of the latter pitch is why scouts really liked him near the end of the season… The negatives on Minor is that he offers very little upside, what you see is what you get. (Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim) Corbin says Minor's camp thinks he's going to add some velocity, but it's a longshot. Instead, his focus has to be to keep the fastball down in the zone better, and to keep going with the curve. I think wood bats are really going to help him, because a player is much more confident throwing a change against wood."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Minor here.

8. Cincinnati Reds
Pick: Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State
KG Says:
"We have our first somewhat sizable surprise here, as they were expected to take Alex White here, or Shelby Miller. I like this pick, even this high. The difference for me between Minor and Leake is the difference between a No. 4 and a No. 3, which is pretty sizable for me."
Quotable: "I love that Mike Leake was joking about wishing he could play two ways. He was brought to Arizona State to play shortstop, but Pat Murphy never let him do it regularly. When Ike Davis was hurt last season, Leake stepped in and played and did a nice job with the bat. I couldn't believe the Sun Devils didn't let him hit more this season, and I heard he wasn't happy about it. But he obviously focused his anger and translated it to the best numbers in college baseball."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Leake here.

9. Detroit Tigers
Pick: Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Academy (MO)
KG Says:
"Detroit does it again. Two years ago they got the best high school arm in the draft late with Porcello, this year they got the best high school arm in the draft at nine with Turner. It's VERY simple-David Chadd loves velo, and he got the money to spend in the end."
Quotable: "At what point do teams start pointing to Detroit as a model for first round drafting? '04: Verlander, '05: Maybin, '06: Miller, '07: Porcello, '09: Turner. Going over-slot like that isn't ideal, but they've had a huge ROI on these picks, and went slot in '08 to get Perry who is already in the big leagues."-Kiley McDaniel
Read more about Turner here.

10. Washington Nationals
Pick: Drew Storen, RHP, Stanford
KG Says:
"Could be a horrible overdraft, but they have a chance to look smart if they try to start him. As a reliever, he's not a closer, so you can't take him 10th."
Quotable: "Another guy I saw in Omaha last year, so I can speak with some knowledge about Storen. The Stanford closer has an absolutely dominant breaking ball, probably a 65 on the 20-80 scale from what I saw. My thought regarding Storen echoed what Jonathan Mayo just said on the MLB Network: With good command of his sinker, why not try Storen's hand at starting again in 2010? I think he could really succeed there."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Storen here.

11. Colorado Rockies
Pick: Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS (CA)
KG Says:
"Assuming money is no object, this is incredible value (on talent) at 12, and it's surprising the Colorado in the end turns into one of the slot busters. When you were looking for homes for those big money high school arms, Colorado never came up."
Quotable: "Matzek is a steal, great pick there if they pony up the cash. I should be able to repeat that sentence a few more times today with all this talent still on the board."-Kiley McDaniel
Read more about Matzek here.

12. Kansas City Royals
Pick: Aaron Crow, RHP, Ft. Worth Cats
KG Says:
"Royals take Crow at 12, so there is his home. I think this is a solid pick, neither good nor bad, and about where his talent lies at this point. Interesting to note that in the end they still went with an arm, but maybe Crow was too much to pass on. He turned down $3.5 million last year, I'll be surprised if it even gets that high this time around, so the holdout did not work especially well this time."
Read more about Crow here.

13. Oakland Athletics
Pick: Grant Green, SS, Southern California
KG Says:
"No surprise here at all, and a nice break for them. Last year, they hoped and prayed that Smoak would drop to them and just missed out, this year Green was the guy they hoped would fall, and he did. I think Oakland got away with a truckload here. Green is a better player than half the guys selected ahead of him."
Quotable: "It just made no sense to me. The guy enters the year as the consensus number-two pick, and all he does is have a really good season that didn't live up to expectations that were too high in the first place. If he's suddenly a mid-first-round pick, then we're all really bad at our jobs."-Anonymous Scout, on Green falling down draft boards.
Read more about Green here.

14. Texas Rangers
Pick: Matt Purke, LHP, Klein HS (TX)
KG Says:
"BOOM. Texas was thought to have economy issues, but in the end, they get the best lefty in the draft with Matt Purke. A steal at 14 on pure talent. When it comes to young power arms, the rich just got richer."
Read more about Purke here.

15. Cleveland Indians
Pick: Alex White, RHP, University of North Carolina
KG Says:
"Bryan and I both get it right, as Cleveland takes Alex White. Looking at where we were 10 hours ago, there must be a ton of high fives right now in Cleveland's draft room-crazy great get at 15, and he's signable. There is some weirdness however, as early indications have them trying him out initially as a reliever."
Quotable: "[Fresno State coach] Mike Batesole said he would be 'shocked if Alex White doesn't go first in the draft next year.' It's hyperbole, but it's amazing what White has done. A starter all year, Mike Fox called on White in relief for three consecutive days. He didn't have his best stuff today, but all weekend we saw a 93-96 mph fastball and a wicked slider. Steven Strasburg is in another tier, which Batesole might not realize, but Alex White certainly joins Grant Green as the guys right behind Strasburg. It will be a good year to draft in the top five, if nothing else."-Bryan Smith
Read more about White here.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Bobby Borchering, 3B, Bishop Verot HS (FL)
KG Says:
"Arizona takes Borchering at 16. He wants a little more money than this, but nothing crazy. A ton of heat in the last two weeks, and could end up being a great pick here. Really like this pick, John Hart gets it right that the defense could be an issue at third. That said, his bat, with the ability to hit for average and power from both sides of the plate, is impressive."
Read more about Borchering here.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: A.J. Pollock, OF, Notre Dame
KG Says:
"D'backs go with Pollock at 17, which for me is a significant surprise. He must of really had a killer workout for them, because other teams that he worked out for this week dinged him a bit as he showed much less power than expected."
Quotable: "For once, tonight, MLB Network hits the nail on the head with Pollock: this is a Cape Cod League-driven pick. Pollock did his job and performed well this season, but he made his name in the Cape. Pollock hit .377/.455/.556 in a league notoriously impossible on hitters. There's not a ton of upside here, but the list of hitters the played that well in the Cape and didn't perform in pro ball is awfully short."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Pollock here.

18. Florida Marlins
Pick: Chad James, LHP, Yukon HS (OK)
KG Says:
"James could turn out to be better than a lot of the bigger names. More projectable in the frame, velo just as good, lots to like here. It's hard to find young left-handers this good at No. 18 in most draft years."
Read more about James here.

19. St. Louis Cardinals
Pick: Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood HS (TX)
KG Says:
"Cardinals go slightly over-slot to take Shelby Miller, who is much better than the 19th overall talent. Outstanding selection for the Cardinals, and he's the best pitching prospect in the system the moment he signs."
Read more about Miller here.

20. Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: Chad Jenkins
KG Says:
"Whenever you do a mock, there's always some guy you're gonna be sorry didn't make it, and for me it was Jenkins. Truly one of the better sinker/ground-ball guys in the draft. Matt Hobgood body. I have neither good nor bad things to say about this pick. It just kind of makes sense here."
Quotable: "Chad Jenkins has become one of my favorite first-round arms, as I'm a sucker for a power sinker."-Bryan Smith
"He's a heavy ground-ball pitcher but he's also someone who has trouble against left-handed hitters, with a WHIP approaching 1.50 against lefties."-Joe Hamrahi
Read more about Jenkins here.

21. Houston Astros
Pick: Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita HS (CA)
KG Says:
"Jio Mier has tools for sure, but I was expecting an outfielder. Still, it's an up-the-middle player who is going to not only stay at shortstop, but play well there. I just worry that he hits seventh for you."
Read more about Mier here.

22. Minnesota Twins
Pick: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
KG Says:
"Twins take Gibson; that almost makes too much sense and I'm sorry I didn't think of it. Outstanding value with this pick and potentially a real coup for them."
Quotable: "Gibson is tall and skinny, and very projectable. Harang is, well, not skinny. I would think Gibson's slider should be better, and Gibson should be a bit less of a fly-ball pitcher. I gotta think there's a better comparison available."-Bryan Smith on comparing Gibson with Red's starter Aaron Harang.
Read more about Gibson here.

23. Chicago White Sox
Pick: Jared Mitchell, OF, Louisiana State
KG Says:
"That's upside, and that's up the middle. You just watch his video and you'd think he was a top 10 guy. Love, love, love this pick."
Quotable: "Mitchell could absolutely stick in center on speed alone, but he's going to need some instructions. He's a bit slow to react off the bat, so he needs that speed to make up for it. But with the power potential and the baserunning ability, the upside is so much better than Pollock. If you can't tell, Mitchell is one of my favorites in this draft."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Mitchell here.

24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Pick: Randal Grichuk, OF, Lamar Cons HS (TX)
KG Says:
"He really didn't have any first-round buzz until maybe the final week or so leading up to the draft. His private workouts did wonders for him, as the power suddenly looked like a real plus tool."

25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Pick: Mike Trout, OF, Millville HS (NJ)
KG Says:
"Angels absolutely LOVE Trout-worst-kept secret around. Trout has been the high school player attracting the most heat in private workouts, showing plus-plus speed, surprising strength in his bat, and very good outfield skills. None of that is a big surprise to anyone, but for a guy that has a reputation for being raw, he's looking very polished in front of decision-makers. In a draft with little separation among the top 30 talents, the recent workouts and off-the-charts makeup should move Trout up."
Read more about Trout here.

26. Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana
KG Says:
"Absolutely solid pick for the Brewers. He's Harold Reynolds #2 pitcher on video, for whatever that's worth. If he had a longer track record, he could have gone higher and this is a solid selection."
Quotable: "I heard some tout Arnett for not having a lot of mileage on his arm, but he's actually a player whose workload worries me quite a bit. Arnett pitched 66 innings his sophomore season, and jumped up to 108 this season. That wouldn't be so bad by itself, but he threw 140 pitches against Purdue, then 128 against Northwestern, then sat out for the last weekend series of the year. He's a great arm, but I'm doing a lot of medical work before I sign him."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Arnett here.

27. Seattle Mariners
Pick: Nicholas Franklin, SS, Lake Brantley HS (FL)
KG Says:
"Mariners take Nick Franklin, a fast-rising prep shortstop from Florida. It's a surprise to see him get into the first round. He's solid across the board, but spectacular nowhere. Just seems like a second-division starter to me. Maybe they're hoping he can help them on the statistical analysis side as well, as he went to the same high school as not only Rickie Weeks, but BP legend Keith Woolner."

28. Boston Red Sox
Pick: Reymond Fuentes, OF
KG Says:
"There's Fuentes, to Boston. If you got all the way through my mock this morning, Fuentes was the guy with the most helium in the draft due to some monster private workouts. I like this pick, but I can be a sucker for tools."
Quotable: "When I play, I get very focused and do what I have to do. I don't pay any mind to anything outside the game. I just play ball. I consider myself very similar to Carlos [Carlos Beltran, his cousin], because when he plays, he just plays the game, and nothing else."-Reymond Fuentes, on his style of play.
Read more about Fuentes here and here.

29. New York Yankees
Pick: Slade Heathcott, OF, Texas HS (TX)
KG Says:
"38 hours ago, a little bird told me that the Yankees liked Heathcott, more than even a signability guy who might fall. He's going to require patience, but the upside is significant."
Read more about Heathcott here.

30. Tampa Bay Rays
Pick: Levon Washington, OF, Buchholz HS (FL)
KG Says:
"High School athlete for the Rays (big shocker) with Levon Washington-a burner high school infielder. He's been playing second base all spring due to a shoulder injury, but he'll get moved to center as a pro."
Quotable: "Love me some fast-twitch athletes. Maybe a little high for LeVon Washington, but really like the pick for the Rays here. A Rays type of player."-Kiley McDaniel
Read more about Washington here.

31. Chicago Cubs
Pick: Brett Jackson, OF, California
KG Says:
"Cubs take Brett Jackson from Cal, who seemed to be in the mix for every team [picking] in the 20s. He's either a star or the next Tyler Colvin. That's really the range here as a risk/upside college guy."
Quotable: "Brett Jackson is sort of like how KG described Wheeler-he gets a lot of power-speed credit, but in two years, he hasn't hit more than eight home runs or stolen more than 12 bases in a season. Plus, I've heard a lot of question marks about his ability to stay in center. I think there's a pretty decent chance the Cubs just drafted a fourth outfielder."-Bryan Smith
Read more about Jackson here.

32. Colorado Rockies
Pick: Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento State
KG Says:
"The first round ends with Tim Wheeler from Sac State. He gets a lot of attention for having good power and speed numbers, but he's a 50-55 runner with just average power. He's not toolsy, just solid, and that's why he''s still on the board."
Read more about Wheeler here.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

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