It's finally here, ladies and gentlemen: draft day. Even with the class being weak—on paper, anyway—it is still a fascinating event that is sure to have its share of surprises over the next few hours, and days. And while we won't be able to judge the results of these picks for several years, we can certainly judge the process, and we can evaluate how a player fits into a system. So, we're going to do just that.
Here is our live pick-by-pick analysis of day one of the MLB Draft:
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
If you would have told me that Dansby Swanson was going to be the first selection in December, I would have laughed at you. For the last month however, it was a borderline foregone conclusion. Swanson has an above-average hit tool—arguably plus—and there's sneaky power in his right-handed bat as well. He's still new to the shortstop position, but he certainly has the arm strength and athleticism to handle the middle-infield. I would have taken Brendan Rodgers as I thought he was the best player in the class, but I really can't fault this pick. It'll be interesting to see what they do now at pick 43, as Swanson isn't likely to get anywhere near the allocated bonus—no prospect will anytime soon—but won't be a huge cost-cutting selection.
2. Houston Astros
Bregman was once considered by many to be the favorite to be the first pick of the 2015 draft after a monster freshman season, but saw his stock slip after a so-so sophomore campaign. It's fair to say that he reestablished that draft stock. The shortstop has an extremely quick swing and can hit line drives to all parts of the park, and once he gets on base his above-average speed plays up because of how smart he is on the bases. He may have to move to second base, but he's made improvements with the footwork, and there's a good chance he stays at shortstop for at least the short term.
The Astros pick again at pick five and 37. The best player is still on the board, but this is a promising start to an important draft.
3. Colorado Rockies
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (Fla.)
Rodgers is the most talented player in the class, and if there's such thing as a steal with the third overall pick, he is just that. The right-handed hitting shortstop is quick to the ball but gets extension, and because he transfers his weight and has above-average bat speed, he'll be able to hit for both average and power as he fills out. He's a solid-average defender at shortstop with a plus arm, but a loss in speed could see him have to move to third base. The bat will play there, but if he can stick at shortstop, he's a future All-Star.
4. Texas Rangers
Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
Tate is the most talented (healthy) hurler in the class, and it's not all that close. The right-hander has a fastball that will touch 98 and sit 93-95 mph, and when he finishes his delivery, he'll flash a plus-plus slider that has hard, late tilt that can get swings and misses from hitters at both sides of the plate. The issue right now is developing the third pitch—a fringe-average change that flashes 40 too often—and throwing more strikes. The upside is no. 1 starter, and if that third pitch doesn't come, he'll be a dominating high-leverage reliever.
Texas also has the 45th pick, but Tate is likely not a cheap signing, meaning they may have to get creative with that selection.
5. Houston Astros
Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant HS (Fla.)
The younger brother of former Florida standout and current Astro Preston Tucker, Kyle is one of the best "bat-first" players in the draft; a left-handed hitter with a picturesque swing that has some length, but also creates great leverage and shoots line drives all over the field. He has some power projection thanks to some loft and frame that should support weight, though asking for more than 55 is asking too much. He's a decent athlete with above-average speed, but he's not a great outfielder, and probably has to play a corner. It's a slight reach for me, but a justifiable one.
6. Minnesota Twins
Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
Now THIS qualifies as a surprise. Jay was rumored to go as high as pick number three, but most reports had him going in the 9-12 range lately. So much for those reports. The left-hander has a 65 fastball and 60 slider, and he'll also mix in a solid-average curve and average change to keep hitters off-balance. There are big questions about whether or not he can start—and he only started twice this year with one of those starts coming today—but he's a guy who can make an immediate impact in the bullpen maybe as soon as next year and then you can develop him as a starter.
7. Boston Red Sox
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas
This is the first real reach of the first round to me, as I had Benintendi as the 20th best player on my board, and it won't be the last. That being said, the industry is higher on Benintendi than I am, and Boston fell in love with the outfielder late in the process. A draft-eligible sophomore who hits from the left-side, Benintendi has a chance for above-average hit and power tools, though I have questions about the track record and upside. He should be able to play center field though and, as mentioned above, the industry is higher on him than I am. I just wouldn't pass on guys like Garrett Whitley and Ian Happ for him.
8. Chicago White Sox
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
This is a match made in heaven, though like Benintendi, I do think this is a reach—and a more substantial one than the Red Sox just made. There's no denying that Fulmer has electric stuff, with a fastball that has loads of movement and a nasty breaking ball that are both out pitches. There's also no denying that Fulmer's delivery requires loads of effort, and at 5'11", I have serious doubts about whether or not he can hold up to the demands of pitching in a starting rotation. Chicago has done a fantastic job of working with these type of players though, so if there's an organization I can trust to develop him into a guy who pitches every fifth day, it's Chicago. Just don't be surprised if his future is pitching in the ninth inning.
9. Chicago Cubs
Ian Happ, OF, Cincinnati
There are some guys who just get hitting. Ian Happ is one of those guys. The switch-hitting outfielder was the best pure hitter for me in the draft, and is a great pick for the Cubs (yes, I know, you wanted a pitcher). His swing is excellent from both sides of the plate, and there's sneaky pop from the left-side as well, with enough strength to drive into the gaps from the right. The question is whether he'll play second base or the outfield, but wherever he plays, he's going to hit. Another great pick from Theo Epstein and company.
10. Philadelphia Phillies
Cornelius Randolph, IF, Griffin HS (Ga.)
I loved the Phillies pick of J.P. Crawford
in 2013. I loved their selection of Aaron Nola
in 2014. I don't understand this pick at all. Randolph was a late first-round talent to me (24th on my board), and while I certainly think there's some offensive upside, I don't think he's going to be able to play shortstop and I don't think he has the power projection to play third base. If more power comes, I'll eat my words, but I don't see the projection to make him much more than a second-division regular at the position. There are still potential first-division regulars left, and I'm not sure why Philadelphia is passing on them.
11. Cincinnati Reds
Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (Ga.)
I'm not sure what they're putting in the water in Georgia, but it certainly is helping produce some good baseball players.
Stephenson is massive, but has a chance to stick at catcher because of his strong arm and improving receiving skills. His calling card is his power though, and it has a chance to be plus-plus because of his extension and lower-half strength. The hit tool is below-average and there's loads of swing and miss, but if he can stick at catcher—and it's 50/50 right now—I think this is a nice pickup, if a bit of a reach with talents like Garrett Whitley, Trenton Clark and Walker Buehler still on the board.
12. Miami Marlins
Josh Naylor, 1B, Joan Of Arc HS (Canada)
If Randolph was a massive reach with the 10th pick, Naylor is a…more massive reach. There's no doubt that the left-handed hitting Canadian has big power, but he also has big question marks about whether the hit tool will be even average, and there's Vogelbach-esque concerns about his weight and ability to play defense. This is clearly a money-saving selection, but you can save money on guys who belong in the first round. In my humble estimation, Naylor does not.
13. Tampa Bay Rays
Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna HS (N.Y.)
This might be my favorite pick of the draft. I had Whitley as the seventh best player in the draft, and procuring his services with the 13th pick is a solid move. The right-handed hitting outfielder has plus-plus speed and is a lock for center field. While there's a lot of work to be done with the approach, he's also got above-average to plus hit and power tools. He likely fell because of the northeast bias, but I think we've seen that guys from the northeast can do alright. Whitley isn't as talented as that one guy from New Jersey, but the upside is as good as any prep player not named Brendan Rodgers.
14. Atlanta Braves
Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS (Calif.)
Allard would have been a top 10 pick if he had stayed healthy all year, but a lower-back injury saw his season essentially end in March. He's the most talented prep hurler in the class though, and if he's right (a big if for any hurler, I know), he's an absolute steal. The left-hander has three pitches that will flash plus but typically are above-average, and his feel for pitching is off the charts for a prep arm. The big concern outside of the back injury is that his commitment to UCLA will not make the left-hander cheap, but Atlanta has a great deal of draft allocation, so they should be able to get him in the system. They may have to go the frugal route with one or two of their next selections, however.
15. Milwaukee Brewers
Trenton Clark, OF, Richland HS (Tex.)
Clark is one of the most intriguing athletes in this class, and is solid value with the 15th selection. The left-handed hitting outfielder has an odd swing, with an even more odd grip, but he gets through the zone quickly and there's enough lower-half strength and loft to project above-average power and hit tools. The speed is plus, but the arm is below-average, so left field isn't out of the question in the long-term. After whiffing on their top-15 selection last year (Kodi Medeiros
), I think the Brewers did pretty well, and Clark immediately becomes one of their best offensive prospects.
16. New York Yankees
James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA
The Yankees were looking at college arms, and in terms of "safety," this is one of the very best on the board. Kaprielian will flash two 60 pitches in a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a change that has excellent deception due to his arm speed. He'll also show an average curve and solid-average slider. The command is inconsistent, but when he stays within his delivery, he throws all four pitches for strikes and there are no red flags in the arm path. There certainly are pitchers with more upside, but there's value in safety.
17. Cleveland Indians
I've never heard of this player.
Seriously, I'm not sure anyone is better at the draft right now than Cleveland is. When healthy, Aiken is the best player—not just pitcher—in the draft, with three plus pitches and command/feel for pitching that would make a veteran envious, much less a kid who still is a teenager. There are obvious questions here tha make him a high-risk selection, but the reward is a future ace. Getting one at the 17th pick is amazing. Great job, Cleveland.
18. San Francisco Giants
Phil Bickford, RHP, Southern Nevada CC
The Giants need pitching in the system, there's no question about that. I just don't think this is the right pitching. Bickford certainly has an electric fastball, a la Carson Fulmer, but the secondary stuff is light years away, and at best we're looking at 50's on both his breaking ball and change. There are also some maturity questions, and the delivery isn't exactly picture perfect. With arms like Jon Harris, Nathan Kirby
and Kyle Funkhouser
still on the board, I think this is a pretty substantial reach.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
If Cleveland is the best drafting team in the American League, Pittsburgh would be my choice for best drafting team in the NL, and this was another great pick. Newman is a lock to stick at shortstop, and as seen in his back-to-back batting titles, he has a very advanced hit-tool—possibly even plus-plus. The power is a 30 right now on the 20-80 scale, but some adjustments with the lower half could see it tick up a grade. I thought he was a top-10 talent, and getting him at 19 is a fantastic result for the Pirates.
20. Oakland Athletics
Richie Martin, SS, Florida
This isn't quite as big of a reach as Naylor to the Marlins was, but it's pretty close to me, as I had Martin as the 52nd best player on the board. The Gators' shortstop is a solid defender—maybe even plus—and he's a 60 runner who can steal 20 to 30 bases, but I'm not sure he's going to be able to get on base enough to do that, and the power tool is well below-average. He fills a system need, but there were certainly more talented players on the board, and that system needs pitching just as much as it needed a shortstop.
21. Kansas City Royals
Ashe Russell, RHP, Cathedral HS (Ind.)
Russell was one of the more "controversial" players with whom I spoke about to scouts; some believed he was the second-best prep pitcher in the class, some believed he was more of a late second-round talent. I split the difference, as I see a right-hander with a delivery that gives me sympathy pains because of his cross-body action, but also a pitcher with two 60 offerings and above-average command. The upside is as high as any prep left outside of perhaps Mike Nikorak, but there's also a lot of risk here.
Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford HS (Tex.)
For the 88th time in 89 years, Detroit is taking a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher. That might be slightly hyperbolic, but it sounds right. I actually was the high man on Burrows, as I see a hurler with a plus-plus fastball, and a chance for two above-average offerings with solid-average command. That being said, taking him over a guy like Nikorak or Drew Finley is a bit of a stretch to me—though I don't know what those players' bonus demands are. It's not a huge reach, but I wouldn't exactly call this a best-player-available approach.
23. St. Louis Cardinals
Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS (Mich.)
The Cardinals are pretty darn good at this whole draft thing, too. Plummer was the 10th-best player on my board, and while the finish in the swing isn't ideal, his feel for hitting is as impressive as any prep in the class, and there's a chance for above-average power as well. The question's come defensively, as the arm strength is average—at best—and the instincts aren't there to play anything but left field. That puts a lot of pressure on the bat, but in my humble estimation, he's got the offensive skill set to do just that.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers
Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Dodgers were rumored to take a pitcher with an injury history, but it's a little surprising that it's Buehler, as most—including me—didn't think he would be on the board. The right-hander has some size concerns, but he'll show four above-average pitches, and he has as good of command as any right-handed pitcher in this class. The upside is limited, but if you're looking for a pitcher who could move quickly through a system, Buehler could be that guy, and the Dodgers could use the pitching help behind Kershaw and Greinke.
I thought Stewart and Naylor were pretty similar in value, and while getting him 13 picks later is substantially better, taking a late second-round talent in the first round isn't exactly great process. The approach at the plate is impressive with an above-average hit tool, but the power is only average, and I really don't see any chance that he stays in the outfield long term. I'm not a fan of taking a medium-floor, low-ceiling player early, and to me that's what Baltimore just acquired with the 25th pick.
26. Los Angeles Angels
Taylor Ward, C, Fresno State
They say to save the best of the last. They lied. This is a huge reach, as Ward was a player that just barely made my top 100 (96) and possesses exactly one tool that isn't below-average in a cannon of a right-arm. Yes, the Angels were limited because of where they picked and the allocation rules, but taking a backup catcher in the first-round? That's awful process.
27. Colorado Rockies
Mike Nikorak, RHP, Stroudsburg HS (Penn.)
The Rockies were rumored to take a high-upside pitcher with the 27th pick, and they didn't disappoint. Nikorak gets downhill plane with his fastball, and that heater can be plus-plus at times, though the velocity isn't consistent. He'll also flash a plus hook and an above-average change, along with above-average control. The command is inconsistent at best, but some mechanical tweaks with the lower-half could see the right-hander improve both the velocity and command. Certainly not a fast-track guy, but he was the best pitcher left on my board by a substantial margin.
28. Atlanta Braves
Mike Soroka, RHP, Bishop Carroll HS (Canada)
I did mention that Atlanta was going to have go off the board after the selection of Allard, right? Soroka certainly isn't without talent; as the right-hander has a 91-93 mph fastball with some sink and the change is above-average thanks to its deception. The breaking ball needs significant work though, and there isn't a ton of upside in his pick. I don't dislike it as much as the Ward selection, but he's nowhere close to the 28th best player in this class.
29. Toronto Blue Jays
Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
We'll never know if it was Harris's struggles against Arkansas that caused his stock to drop, but I'm not sure Toronto cares either way. Harris has as complete of an arsenal as any hurler in this class, anchored by a 65 fastball and three 55 secondary offerings. Consistency has not been the right-hander's friend though, and the delivery does have some effort in it, so the bullpen isn't out of the picture despite the stuff. Though at this point, Toronto can afford to take the risk, knowing that a high-leverage reliever is a nice fallback option.
30. New York Yankees
Kyle Holder, SS, San Diego
Generally when you have two of the top 30 picks, you see at least one high-ceiling player come out of those selections. That didn't happen with the Yankees. Holder can pick it at shortstop with the best of them; he has plus speed, an above-average arm, and actions as good as any infielder in the class. The bat is extremely light though, and expecting anything more than a 45 hit tool and 40 power is a fool's errand. The defense at a premium position is important, but it puts an awful lot of pressure on the glove to be elite when your offensive upside is this low.
31. San Francisco Giants
Chris Shaw, 1B/OF, Boston College
If you like power from the left side, then Shaw is your guy. The left-handed hitting outfielder gets great extension with a strong lower half, and he's capable of hitting tape measure shots to right and right-center field. The hit tool is below-average however, and he's one of the slowest true prospects in this year's class. The power is nice, but this is a reach by a good half of a round. Of the teams who have picked twice, the Giants have easily my least favorite haul so far.
32. Pittsburgh Pirates
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran HS (Tex.)
There were rumors that the Pirates were interested in Hayes with the 19th pick, so they had to be thrilled that Hayes was still on the board at 32. The son of former Pirate, Charlie Hayes
, the standout tools are in the field, as he's one of the best defenders at the hot corner position in the entire class. He's not without offensive upside though, as his above-average bat speed—along with a lower half that works well—gives him a chance to hit for both average and power; though we're talking more solid-average than plus. The ceiling isn't as high as some of the other prep bats, but the floor is as high as any.
33. Kansas City Royals
Nolan Watson, RHP, Lawrence North HS (IN)
Watson had as much "helium" as any player—pitcher or hitter—in the class over the past month, so it's no surprise to see the right-hander go in this range. The fastball sits 91-93 mph, touching 95, and he'll show three average secondary offerings in a slider, curve and change, with the slider occasionally flashing above-average. He doesn't have the same kind of stuff as his fellow Hoosier State resident Ashe Russell, but he might be the "safer" prospect, and if I was betting on one to move quickly through the system, I'd bet on Watson.
34. Detroit Tigers
Christin Stewart, OF, Tennessee
Yes, he has the same name as the not-so-good actress from those vampire movies. He's a lot better of a baseball player than she is though, probably. Stewart is a well-built outfielder who's best tool is potentially plus power from the left side, but there's some feel for hitting, and if the patience can improve, the hit tool could reach average. He's a terrible defender in the outfield though, and asking him to play anything but left field would be asking way too much. The bat can play in left field, but he'll have to max out the offensive tools to be a regular.
35. Los Angeles Dodgers
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
Well, it's probably safe to say that the Dodgers didn't feel great about their pitching ranks, of course it could be they just didn't like the bats in the class. At one point, Funkhouser was a lock for the top ten, but the command is woefully inconsistent and too often we'd see a 55-50-45 pitcher rather than the 60-60-50 that we saw in glimpses. At 35th overall, he's nice value because if he does move to the pen it's not a huge reach, and there still is No. 2 upside in his right arm.
36. Baltimore Orioles
Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Hagerty HS (Fla.)
Well, now the Orioles have the worst draft of any team that had two picks so far. Mountcastle did not make my top 125, and while I admire the bat speed and the chance to hit for power, I have serious concerns about where he'll play defensively and if the hit tool can even get to fringe-average. This isn't as big of reach as the Marlins taking Chase Anderson
with the 36th pick last year, but it's at least three rounds too early.
37. Houston Astros
Dazmon Cameron, OF, Eagle's Landing HS (Ga.)
Man, what a haul. Was Daz Cameron slightly overrated based on lineage and the fact that he appeared in seemingly every summer showcase from 2012 on? Yes he was, but that doesn't mean that Cameron isn't one of the most talented offensive player's in the class. There's potential four above-average tools, and if everything goes right, he's one of the few players in this class who has a chance to be a five-tool player. Add that in with Bregman and Tucker, and you have one of the most impressive draft classes of the past few years.
38. Colorado Rockies
Tyler Nevin, 3B, Poway HS (Calif.)
The son of the former first-overall selection, Nevin has four average tools, and he should be able to stick at third base. Scouts rave about his make-up.
39. St. Louis Cardinals
Jake Woodford, RHP, Plant HS (Fla.)
Woodford was the prep teammate of fifth overall pick Kyle Tucker, and while he doesn't have that upside he is an intriguing hurler with a 60 fastball and solid-average slider.
40. Milwaukee Brewers
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Virginia
Kirby's stock fell as much as any pitcher this year—including Funkhouser—as both his command and stuff backed up this year. When he's at his best he'll show three above-average pitches and plus command, so he's potentially a steal if he can find that stuff again.
41. Atlanta Braves
Austin Riley, 3B, DeSoto Central HS (Miss.)
Riley was one of the draft's true few two way prospects, but at neither third base nor on the mound was he a top 45 talent. Another reach for Atlanta after the Allard selection.
42. Cleveland Indians
Tristan McKenzie, RHP, Royal Palm Beach HS (Fla.)
I thought Cleveland might go cheap after selecting Aiken, but McKenzie is solid value with the 42nd pick. There's a ton of projection left, but there's already a 55 fastball and he'll flash a plus hook as well. Another quality pickup for the Cleveland system.
43. Arizona Diamondbacks
Alex Young, LHP, TCU
Young has a chance to start because of two above-average pitches and solid command, but he'll need to improve his change if he's going to stay in a rotation. The bullpen fast-track is definitely an option here.
44. Colorado Rockies
Peter Lambert, RHP, San Dimas HS (Calif.)
Lambert was the "other" pitcher in San Diego that impressed scouts, and he has a chance to be a quality mid-rotation starter with a 60 fastball and two solid-average secondary pitches. Another nice pick from the Rockies.
45. Texas Rangers
Eric Jenkins, OF, West Columbus HS (N.C.)
There were rumors that the Blue Jays were going to take Jenkins with the 29th pick, but this is more where his talent suggests. He's a plus-plus runner with a contact-geared swing, and there's sneaky power in his bat.
46. Houston Astros
Vaughn Eshelman, RHP, Cal-State Fullerton
Simply put, Eshelman has the best control of any pitcher in the class, and the command is plus-plus, too. The stuff is mediocre though, so if that command drops at all, he won't be able to start. Also he's currently pitching on one day's rest, because college coaches are sometimes quite often the worst.
47. Chicago Cubs
Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida
I'm a big fan of this Cubs class.
Dewees can really hit, with some dropping a 65 hit tool on him. I think it's closer to 60, and it wouldn't shock me if he was a leadoff hitter who can play
center field someday. That's pretty good in the second round.
48. Philadelphia Phillies
Scott Kingery, 2B, Arizona
I like this pick a lot more than the Phillies first-round pick, though that's not saying a whole lot. Kingery—like Dewees—has a chance to have a plus hit tool, and though he lacks power like his double-play partner Kevin Newman, he does have plus speed, and he's a solid defender at second base who may be able to play center field if the Phillies chose that path.
49. Cincinnati Reds
Antonio Santillan, RHP, Seguin HS (Tex.)
Santillian doesn't have any projection left, but he doesn't need much as when he's at his best he's got a 70 fastball and 60 curve. Too often though he loses his delivery, and he'll need to add a third pitch to start.
50. Miami Marlins
Brett Lilek, LHP, Arizona State
I'm starting to wonder if the Marlins and I see the same game. Lilek was a fifth-round talent to me—at best—with no above-average pitches and only average command.
This was the Padres first pick because they had the audacity to try and improve their roster through free agency. The fastball is plus-plus, but he'll need to improve the secondary offerings to start. At 18 years old, there's plenty of time to do that.
52. Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (Calif.)
This is a heck of a pickup for the Rays. Even if Betts can't stay behind the plate, he's a guy many believe has two plus tools in the power and hit, and even if he has to move to first base, he's a potential regular. That's pretty nice value with the 52nd pick
Desmond Lindsay, OF, Out-The-Door Academy (Fla.)
Like the Padres, the Mets were punished for their free agency crimes, but this isn't quite as good of value as the Padres got with Smith as there's a lot of work to be done to get anything but the speed tool to become even average. A lottery ticket, but there were better lottery tickets on the board.
54. Atlanta Braves
Lucas Herbert, San Clemente HS (Calif.)
Hey, it's Allard's catcher, that's fun. Herbert has only fringe-average hit and power tools, but he has a chance to be the best receiver in the class with a plus arm.
55. Milwaukee Brewers
Cody Ponce, Cal Poly Pomona
Ponce was rumored to be a first-round pick, but makes more sense in this range as a hurler from a small school with a big fastball, but serious questions about the command and off-speed offerings.
56. Toronto Blue Jays
Brady Singer, RHP, Eustis HS
Singer's stock fluctuated a ton over the spring as his secondary pitches never really showed consistency and the command is well below average, but there's elite arm strength here and there's a chance for plus-plus fastball as he fills out.
57. New York Yankees
Jeff Degano, LHP, Indiana State
Degano saw his stock rise as much as any left-handed pitcher in the class, and with two 55 pitches in his fastball and slider along with a 50 change and average command, he has a chance to stick in the back of a rotation.
58. Washington Nationals
Andrew Stevenson, OF, LSU
Hey, welcome to the draft, Washington. Stevenson can really go get it in center field and is a plus runner, and despite an ugly swing he has a chance to possess an average hit tool because of his hand-eye coordination.
Juan HIllman, LHP, Olympia HS (Fla.)
Yep, another steal for Cleveland. Hillman's feel for pitching is outstanding from the left-side, and he'll show three above-average pitches—and the curveball will flash plus.
60. Seattle Mariners
Nick Neidert, RHP, Peachtree HS (Ga.)
Hey, welcome to the draft, Seattle. Neidert had some elbow trouble that likely caused a drop, but he'll show a 65 fastball and two solid-average secondary offerings.
61. San Francisco Giants
Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami
Suarez was the Nationals second-round pick last year, and he ends up right around the same spot. He has quality feel for pitching, but also has elbow AND shoulder issues, so I don't see the risk being worth the reward. This is not my favorite class, as you can tell.
62. PIttsburgh Pirates
Kevin Kramer, SS, UCLA
Kramer isn't going to be able to stick at shortstop, but he's got a chance to be a starting second baseman with a solid-average hit tool and sneaky power from the left side.
63. Oakland Athletics
Mikey White, SS, Alabama
I told you that shortstop was the strength of this class. White gets rave reviews for his baseball acumen and hustle, but he's not without talent as he possesses a solid-average hit tool and fringe-average pop. He'll likely have to move to second base, though.
64. Kansas City Royals
Josh Staumont, RHP, Azusa Pacific University
Staumont's fastball is easily plus-plus—maybe even an 80 pitch at times as he can hit triple-digits—but he has no idea where the ball is going too often, and the secondary offerings are lacking. It's an interesting risk at 64.
65. Detroit Tigers
Tyler Alexander, LHP, TCU
Alexander wasn't in my top 200. All I can tell you is he's 88-90 mph, and that he wasn't in my top 200.
66. St. Louis Cardinals
Bryce Denton, 3B, Ravenwood HS (Tenn.)
Denton can really hit, possessing above-average bat speed and a chance for plus power thanks to his strong wrists. The question is where he'll play defensively, but I'd give him a chance to play the hot corner.
67. Los Angeles Dodgers
Mitchell Hanson, OF, Plano HS (Tex.)
Hanson was one of the most consistent performers of the prep class, and he's good value at 67 as he has a chance to have five 55 tools when all is said and done. A very nice draft from the Dodgers, again.
68. Baltimore Orioles
Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Flowery Branch HS
Hughes has a plus fastball at times, but he struggles to maintain the velocity and the secondary pitches all project to be 45 or below. This was at least a round too early, maybe more.
69. Washington Nationals
Blake Perkins, OF, Verrado HS (Ariz.)
Perkins best tool is his speed, and he should be an above-average defender in center field. I have big questions about the bat though, as neither the hit or power project to be more than fringe average at this point.
70. Los Angeles Angels
Jahmai Jones, 2B, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
If you reversed the Angels first and second round picks, it actually makes some sense. Jones is a plus runner with an above-average arm who should be a quality second baseman or center fielder in time, and there's average offensive potential in his right-handed bat. That's good value with the last pick of the second round.
71. Cincinnati Reds
Tanner Rainey, RHP, West Alabama
Rainey is an excellent athlete, and he'll flash a 70 fastball and above-average slider with some tilt. He also hit 19 homers, so there's a chance the Reds could convert him to the outfield if the pitching thing doesn't work out. I think the pitching thing will work out though.
72. Seattle Mariners
Andrew Moore, RHP, Oregon State
The Mariners like to go the local route, but in doing so, they've made a pretty substantial reach. Moore has no plus pitches, and while he has above-average command of all four, asking him to be more than a fifth starter is asking too much for me. I'm not taking a potential five starter with the 72nd pick.
73. Minnesota Twins
Kyle Cody, RHP, Kentucky
Cody was considered a first-round lock coming into the spring, but the stock dropped precipitously after inconsistent results in the SEC play. He's got a 65 fastball and a 55 slider, so he could move quickly through the bullpen. The Twins will likely give him a chance to start, however.
74. Los Angeles Dodgers
Josh Sborz, RHP, Virginia
Sborz has been borderline dominant after being moved to the bullpen, and he could advance quickly with two above-average pitches and solid-average command.
75. Atlanta Braves
A.J. Minter, LHP, Texas A&M
This was not the arm I expected to be the second Tommy John hurler selected. When he's healthy he'll show a plus-plus fastball and solid-average slider, but the arm path screams reliever, and, well, Tommy John surgery.
That'll do it for tonight. Thanks for following along with me, and we'll have more good draft stuff all week.
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