MLB Draft Analysis: Red Sox Big Winners
So, who were the big winners? Which players did not go as high expected? What was the day's biggest stunner? Here are some notes from the first day as we look ahead to Tuesday's selections, which will take us from the second round to the 30th.
• The Red Sox continue to be a draft force with which to be reckoned, a trend that continued on Monday. By getting Kolbrin Vitek, Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo, they netted three of the best college players in the country and three guys that aren't that far away from the big leagues. Both Brentz and Vitek could make an impact in a hurry with the bat, and if Ranaudo is healthy, you can make the argument that he is baseball's best college pitcher. If they can sign all these guys, it was a tremendous day for the Sox.
• So where was Stetson Allie on Day 1? Nowhere to be found, that's where. Allie might have the best pure arm in the prep class, but his demands have caused him to slip. He is reportedly asking for upward of $3 million. At this point, he may slide into the later picks on Day 2 and could be picked by a big-market club that is willing to pay him what he wants.
• A theme on the first day of the draft was teams with multiple picks making the most of them. The Blue Jays in particular did an outstanding job of stocking up on a nice variety of players. In Deck McGuire and Asher Wojciechowski, they landed two potentially fast moving college arms, and in Aaron Sanchez and Noah Snydergaard, they landed two high school arms with big upside. It was an excellent day for the Jays.
• Who got the best crop of potent young bats on Day 1? It looks to be the Tampa Bay Rays. Netting Josh Sale, Justin O'Conner and Drew Vettleson, no team can top such a group of high school hitters. It's hard to get that much talent at the plate in the first 50 picks. This is quite a haul.
• Hats off to the Mets. There were some questions about their willingness to spend on the draft, and by taking Matt Harvey, it sure looks like they are willing to go above slot. Harvey has a sketchy track record, yes, but he is one of the few college arms in the class to show front-of-the-rotation upside. The Mets have to love the best case scenario for Harvey.
• Everyone likes to look for teams who played it safe on Day 1. You could accuse the Astros of that, but it's too early to jump all over them. Delino DeShields Jr., Mike Foltynewicz and Michael Kvasnicka are all quality prospects, but Houston clearly was not looking to make a splash or spend big money. The best prospect of the three may end up being Kvasnicka, however, and he was a compensation-round pick.
• The New York Yankees had a player they really wanted, regardless of where he was in the draft, and that was Cito Culver, who they picked 32nd overall. It's easy to bash, but teams have a solid feel for signability players who will be available further down the line. Culver was evaluated high on their board and got stellar grades from the MLB Scouting Bureau this spring, grades that could have pushed him into the top 25. This is an example of a club not worrying about public perception and taking the guy scouts evaluated as being best for the organization.
Frankie Piliere spent the last three seasons working as a scout, most recently in the professional scouting department for the Texas Rangers in 2009. He now serves as the National Baseball Analyst here at FanHouse.