Let’s face it, day three of the MLB Draft is not exactly must-listen/view entertainment. A large portion of these players will end up being organizational fodder—if that—and the players that you have heard of are likely going to attend college or return to their respective university.
With that being said, there’s a reason this day exists; and every year there are diamonds in the rough that slip into the late rounds that end up making a contribution at the big-league level. Here’s one player for each club that has a chance to do just that, ignoring the players who went late who have a snowflake’s chance in you-know-what of ending up with the respective organization.
Baltimore Orioles: Mike Oedenwalder, OF, Amherst
Oedenwalder is one of the most intriguing athletes in the entire class, as a 6-foot-6, 230-pound outfielder with above-average speed, plus power, and a cannon for an arm. We generally don't see guys who are built like power forwards end up in center `field though, and there's the obvious concerns about facing inferior competition. If there's a high-upside Division III player though, it's Oedenwalder.
Boston Red Sox: Marcus Brakeman, RHP, Stanford
Brakeman looked like a day-one lock after a promising sophomore season, but arm trouble limited the right-hander to under 10 appearances for Stanford in 2015. When he’s right though, he looks like a mid-rotation arm with a fastball that sits 93-95 and a change that flashes plus thanks to deception and sink. The size—or lack thereof—may limit him to relief, but he’ll contribute.
New York Yankees: Kolton Mahoney, RHP, BYU
Mahoney likely fell for two reasons: he’s already 23 years old, so there’s very little projection left, and he didn’t pitch well for most of the 2015 season. He was a standout in the Cape Cod League however, and with a 90-94 mph fastball and above-average slider, he could be a very serviceable reliever in the near future.
Tampa Bay Rays: Ian Gibaut, RHP, Tulane
It was a surprise to see Gibaut still on the board after day two, I knew of several teams that were discussing him in the first five rounds. He lacks the third pitch to start, but he has a chance to be a high-leverage reliever with a fastball that will touch 97 and a slider with hard tilt.
Toronto Blue Jays: Chandler Eden, RHP, Yavapai JC (Ariz.)
Eden was a highly touted prospect coming into the 2013 draft, but his commitment to Oregon State scared teams and he wasn’t drafted until the 36th round. He transferred from OSU to Yavapai last winter, and while some of the shine has worn off, he’s still an intriguing pitching prospect with a mid-90s fastball and above-average curveball, though too often he doesn’t know where those pitches are going.
Chicago White Sox: Taylore Cherry, RHP, UNC
This was the toughest team to find a future big-leaguer on, though me saying this probably means that all 30 guys will make some sort of contribution in the future, because that’s how life works. The best of the group though is Cherry, a former prep standout who hasn’t been dominant at UNC. But the 6-foot-9 right-hander gets downhill with his fastball and will show a competent slider, giving him a chance to pitch in a bullpen someday.
Cleveland: Ryan Perez, SHP, Judson (Ill.)
Not only does Perez throw from both the left and right side, he’s a switch hitter as well, making him a switch-hitter-switch-pitcher. The stuff is better as a southpaw, as Perez is 92-94 with a firm curveball. He’s not bad as a righty though, and with some mechanical adjustments he should be solid middle-reliever who can get both left and right-handed hitters out.
Detroit Tigers: AJ Simcox, SS, Tennessee
Simcox was one of the best defenders at short in the SEC, which is saying something considering how many shortstops from the conference were drafted. The bat is light though, so the glove will have to carry him to the big leagues. With good speed, strong instincts, and an above-average arm though, he’s got a good shot.
Kansas City Royals: Marquise Doherty, OF, Winnetonka HS (Mo.)
It’s very unlikely that the Royals sign Doherty, as the outfielder is not only a commit to play baseball at Missouri but football as well. Still, he deserves mentioning as a plus runner who has some strength in his swing, and the feel for hitting has improved steadily.
Minnesota Twins: Colton Eastman, RHP, Central HS (Calif.)
Eastman is likely headed to Cal-State Fullerton, but I wouldn’t call it a foregone conclusion like some other names called today. He’ll sit 88-92 mph with his fastball with some sink, and both the slider and change flash solid average, giving him a chance to start.
Houston Astros: Johnny Sewald, OF, Arizona State
The Astros can’t really afford to take signing risks because of how much they’re going to have to spend to bring their first three picks into the fold, so it’s no surprise that they don’t have a ton of upside in day three. Sewald is solid value as a potential fourth outfielder with good bat-to-barrel skills and a chance to be a plus defender at all three outfield positions.
Los Angeles Angels: Kenny Towns, 3B, Virginia
Towns has no standout tools—in fact, he has no offensive tools that would be graded even average for me—but he has a plus throwing arm and can pick it at third base, so he has a chance to become a solid bench option if the offense can justify carrying him on a roster.
Oakland Athletics: Brett Siddall, OF, Canisius
The only reason I had heard of Siddall was because he was brought up when I asked an area scout about Garrett Whitley. His stock never quite reached helium status because of concerns about the lack of quality competition, but Siddall has plus raw power from the right side, and holds his own in right field with an above-average throwing arm.
Seattle Mariners: Jio Orozco, RHP, Salpointe HS (Ariz.)
Orozco is one of the youngest player’s in the class, as the right-hander won’t turn 18 for another two months. He’ll show three above-average pitches, led by a 91-93 mph fastball that he can cut and move, and the slider and change aren’t terribly far behind.
Texas Rangers: Xavier Turner, 3B, Vanderbilt
Turner gets overlooked largely because he plays on one of the most loaded college baseball teams in terms of prospects in recent memory, and he doesn’t have near the upside of Dansby Swanson or Walker Buehler. Still, Turner is a smart hitter who could have an average hit tool, and many scouts I’ve spoken with believe there’s more power coming. If it does, Turner is a steal.
Atlanta Braves: Chase Johnson-Mullins, LHP, Shelton State CC (Ala.)
Mullins is massive—listed at 6-foot-9, 270 pounds—and as you might expect, the southpaw has a plus fastball that will get up to 95 mph. He’ll also show an above-average curveball with hard spin, and while he hasn’t used it much, scouts tell me there are the makings of a decent change. He may be able to start, but if I’m the Braves I’d fast-track the arm and see what I have in relief, as there’s a chance the stuff plays up considerably.
Miami Marlins: Ryan McKay, RHP, Satelite HS (Fla.)
If you’re looking for a right-hander who offers projection, McKay is your guy. The fastball will sit 88-91 mph, but the frame and arm strength suggests more is coming, and both the change and breaking-ball have flashes of brilliance. A long way to go, but the reward could be big—especially for a day-three selection.
New York Mets: Vincent Siena, 2B, Connecticut
UCONN is one of the more underappreciated baseball programs in the country—at least in terms of developing players—and Siena has a chance to be among the better players to come from the school. The bat speed is plus, and while he does have some swing and miss because of the swing’s length, he has a chance to have an above-average hit tool with average power as well. He dropped because of his 5-foot-10 height and questions about where he’ll play on the diamond. Ultimately though, he should be a quality bench bat who can spell at several positions, and he should be a lefty crusher, as well.
Philadelphia Phillies: Austin Bossart, C, Penn
Bossart isn’t completely bereft of offensive ability, but he has a chance to be a big-leaguer because of his defense. His reaction times are top notch, and his footwork and receiving skills both get rave reviews, as does his strong throwing arm. Neither the power nor hit tool projects at average, but because he’s strong behind the plate, it doesn’t have to for him to become a member of a 25-man roster.
Washington Nationals: Max Schrock, 2B, South Carolina
Second basemen who can hit for power don’t usually make it to the 404th pick, but that’s exactly what happened with Schrock. The left-handed hitting middle-infielder has above-average bat speed and strong wrists, and the power tool projects to be at least solid average, maybe even above. He’s a poor defender with below-average speed though, so expecting him to be a regular is expecting too much.
Chicago Cubs: Kyle Twomey, LHP, USC
Twomey was a third-round selection by the A’s in the 2012 draft. Hopefully he had a good time in college, because the projection that made him a high selection never came to fruition while a member of the Southern Cal rotation. That being said, Twomey has the stuff to become a backend member of a rotation, with an average fastball and above-average change along with solid command.
Cincinnati Reds: Alexis Diaz, RHP, Juan Jose Maunez HS (Puerto Rico)
It was a down year for Puerto Rican prospects, but Diaz is a talented hurler, and more than a consolation prize as the best arm from the country. He needs to develop a third pitch, but Diaz already touches 92, his body oozes projection, and he shows the makings of an above-average breaking ball as well.
Milwaukee Brewers: Tyrone Perry, 1B, Lakeland Senior HS (Fla.)
The Brewers took a boatload of talented players in the later rounds like Donny Everett and Justin Hooper, but there’s almost zero chance those player sign. Perry should sign however, and while there are concerns about his conditioning (listed at 260 pounds) and defensive profile, the raw power is plus-plus, and the bat speed gives him a chance to hit for average as well.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Logan Ratledge, 2B, NC State
Rutledge was one of the top senior bats eligible this year, and despite a lackluster final college season, he was excellent value for the Pirates in the 13th round. He doesn’t have the speed or range for shortstop, but he’s an excellent second baseman with a quick first step and solid throwing arm. His bat is ahead of the glove though, as Rutledge can get extension and drive the ball into the gaps, but he’ll need to trust his swing more and become more comfortable hitting the ball the other way.
St. Louis Cardinals: Carson Cross, RHP, Connecticut
This could have been Pacific outfielder Gio Brusa, but I was told by a source that Brusa will be returning to school. Cross doesn’t have Brusa’s floor or ceiling, but he’s a quality bullpen arm thanks to his deceptive delivery and his ability to keep the ball below the knees with a solid sinker and slider combination.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Austin Byler, 3B, Nevada
After being undervalued by the industry and going in the ninth round in 2014, I thought Byler would be one of the first seniors off the board in 2015. It turns out teams still aren’t big believes in Byler, but Arizona did very well acquiring one of the few true-outcome players
Colorado Rockies: Michael Zimmerman, LHP, Gulf Coast HS (Fla.)
Zimmerman is your typical projection-first lefty who you see so often go in the later rounds, but the upside is substantial. He’s only 88-89 now, but he’s sure to add weight to a 6-foot-3 frame and that should see his fastball get into the above-average—and maybe plus—range. His feel for pitching is plus, and both his curveball and slider are solid-average offerings.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Nolan Long, RHP, Wagner
Long is one of the tallest pitchers in the class, coming in at 6-foot-10, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he can get downhill with the fastball. The right-hander will touch 95, and when he stays on top of his secondary pitches the curve and change are both competent offerings. There’s some work to be done for that to happen on a consistent basis though, so don’t expect Long to be pitching in Los Angeles anytime soon.
San Diego Padres: William Headean, LHP, Illinois State
If I was betting on a day-three pick to reach the majors relatively quickly, it’d be Headean. The southpaw has two above-average pitches in his fastball and curve, and he throws both pitches for strikes. The Padres may want to see if he can start, but if they do put him in the bullpen, it could be a quick advance.
San Francisco Giants: C.J. Hinojosa, SS, Texas
Simply put, 2014 was not a strong year for Hinojosa, as the shortstop posted just a .734 OPS over his junior campaign. The talent suggests it was just an off-year for the young Texan though, as Hinojosa has above-average bat speed and a chance to hit for power while playing a premium position. There’d be a lot of risk here if he was taken in the first five rounds, but in the 11th round Hinojosa’s medium-ceiling is very nice value.
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