Five years later and this draft class still looks about the same. Big-time talent at the top. Big-time drop off at the bottom.
With just hours before the 2017 draft class starts getting their names called on the MLB Network, we wanted to take a look back to see how things have changed with the draft class with which it’s been most compared. A lot can happen in five years. In fact, a lot can happen in three years as well (the first time we redrafted the 2012 crop was back in 2014). So we assigned 35 picks to BP authors and re-drafted from scratch, selecting only from the pool of players who were both selected and signed in 2012. Here's how the new draft shook out:
1:1 Houston Astros Actual Selection:Carlos Correa, SS Re-Draft Selection:Carlos Correa, SS (2012 no. 1 pick) Draft Position Change: 0 Explanation: Well, then. As it was in June of 2012, compelling arguments can be made for other players. The differences between Carlos Correa and Corey Seager are nearly impossible to express quantitatively. But Correa, already a star, nonetheless stands out as a singular player who most frequently causes involuntary raising of the eyebrows. The suspicion, the conviction, that there is another explosive level of stardom here keeps Correa in the No. 1 slot. —Zach Crizer
1:2 Minnesota Twins Actual Selection: Byron Buxton, CF Re-Draft Selection: Corey Seager, SS (2012 no. 18 pick) Draft Position Change: +16 Explanation: Like Correa, Seager is a large physically imposing shortstop that faced a lot of questions about whether he could stick at the position. Well, Seager has proven he can handle short, and the bat might be even better than we thought. He was supposed to be his brother, Kyle, with more power, but has become his brother, with a better average. Either way, his offensive profile plays in heart of the Dodgers lineup for years to come. —J.H. Schroeder
Just short of 20 shortstops landed on the BP Top 101. Did we put them in the right order?
There are 19 shortstops in this year’s BP 101. I know that not just because I contributed to the making of said list, but because I hit CTRL+F and searched for “, SS” and it came up 19 times. Obviously the position is a premium one, but nearly 20 percent of the list coming from one position seemed a notable number.
And so, this got me to thinking. With so much of the list coming from one place, how does the industry view the position? A few months ago we ran our “Ask The Industry" series, but this is a much larger spectrum to work with, and I was curious to see whether the industry agreed or disagreed on how we viewed the shortstop prospects of today.
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The Cubs have the luxury of getting creative in solving a problem other teams wish they had.
This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.
Through Monday, Javier Baez was batting .311/.388/.522 in his first 103 plate appearances of the season at Triple-A Iowa. Despite dealing with the tragic loss of his younger sister at the beginning of the season, and taking time away from the team to share in his family’s grief, Baez appears to have absorbed (and made solid, critical strides toward implementing) the changes in approach and swing mechanics that became obviously necessary during his difficult rookie season.
Notes on the prospects who stood out over the weekend, including Reds right-hander Robert Stephenson and four top shortstops.
Friday, April 4
Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (Norfolk, AAA): 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Gausman was on a strict pitch count, leaving the game after 71 pitches, and it’s likely that the Orioles are going to build his endurance up early in the minor-league season so that he has something left in the tank for when he’s in the majors down the stretch, hopefully in meaningful games.
From Xander Bogaerts to Gary Sanchez and everyone in between.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2014, our second-annual prospect book, which will collect all of BP's offseason prospect content (plus exclusive prospect and fantasy offerings) in book and e-book form. Here's a look at last year's book; expect an even more meaty offering this time around.
In an age where there’s more statistical information available on players than ever before, you’ve come to the right place to differentiate yourself from your league-mates. Even if you don’t play in a keeper or dynasty league where you can own minor leaguers without wasting roster spots, the importance of reading scouting reports and knowing who these players are becomes obvious when a few years later you are faced with the dilemma of choosing them for your roster.
So instead, I bring you the return of the Minor League Update. In case you missed it, I was lucky enough to be chosen to take over the MLU last October just in time for the start of the Arizona Fall League. It was a good chance to get my feet wet and figure out just how to bring you the best and most important prospect happenings each night in this space (although you read it the following morning). The result is a cacophony of prospect information intended to keep you informed and entertained throughout the season.
Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras leads the way as the first 28 prospects come off the board.
Sometimes there’s just a more fun way to do things. I am currently in the final stages of drafting my Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list (which will hit BP in mid-February), but everyone does lists. What everyone doesn’t do is gather together a whole bunch of experts across the industry, from both a fantasy and scouting perspective, to gather in one e-mail chain and draft 140 of their favorites. Last month, I sent out the bat signal to people who really know and love prospects—and from that alarm, a group of 14 have assembled to carry out this exercise with much aplomb. We hope you have half as much fun reading about this draft as we had carrying it out.
But first, we must examine the parameters. There are always parameters. These were the instructions for the participants of this draft, straight from the email I sent out prior to kickoff:
Notes on 12 prospects, including Athletics shortstop Addison Russell and Cubs right-hander Dallas Beeler.
Hitter of the Day: Addison Russell, SS, A’s (Mesa Solar Sox): 3-5, R, 2B, K. There were a few questions about Russell when he was drafted in 2012, but there are very few surrounding him now. Still shy of his 20th birthday, Russell has handled every assignment put in front of him to this point and is now hitting .307 in the AFL. The strikeouts are a little bit of a concern, but as long as he keeps producing, no one will notice.
Pitcher of the Day: Dallas Beeler, RHP, Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Coming off a start in which he allowed seven unearned runs, Beeler was strong on Monday, pounding the strike zone and generating weak contact.