11:11 AM – The draft has officially started. The Devil Rays are on the clock. It’s awesome to see this on ESPN2. I’m actually watching online, but it is ESPN2’s telecast. The only difference is the ads, which are outstanding. The A’s have a funny one with Mark Kotsay, and there’s a great one involving Johan Santana, Michael Cuddyer, and Juan Rincon trying to do a magic trick.
11:13 AM – Mariners ad! It’s Ichiro throwing pitches from the outfield! YES! Right before it was a good ad with Lyle Overbay at a wedding.
11:16 AM – Tampa Bay takes David Price first overall. Can’t complain with the pick. The Devil Rays can use pitching, and he was the best available. He should make it to the majors fast, and be good for a long time. He’s who I would’ve picked if I was in their shoes. He’s also the first of the 25 to watch (which will be referred to as 25TW from now on) off the board.
11:21 AM – The Royals take Mike Moustakas, a high-schooler. He’s got great power and had a great season. As far as high-schoolers go, he was one of the best available in my book. Given that the Royals have taken Hochevar and Gordon the last couple years, the risk is worth the reward here. I like Moustakas more than Dominguez, or even Vitters.
11:24 AM – The popular thinking is that the Cubs will take either Vitters or Jarrod Parker next.
11:24 AM – DOUBLE PLAY TWINS ON MLB.TV!
11:27 AM – Josh Vitters is now a Cub. No surprises yet in the draft, but it should get crazy soon. I’m not as high on Vitters as many (I’m a bigger fan of Jason Heyward), but we’ll see what happens. The scouting reports I read kept talking about how great he looks in batting practice, which scares me a little. I’d prefer to hear about how great Vitters looks in games.
11:30 AM – I don’t think anyone has any clue what the Pirates are going to do. I think they should go with the local high school catcher that’s been going up draft boards in a hurry, because it doesn’t sound like they have the money to sign a guy like Matt Wieters.
11:32 AM – The Pirates take Daniel Moskos, which is good news for M’s fans! Moskos, a southpaw out of Clemson, was a guy that’s been rumored to go to the Mariners, but I’m glad he’s off the board. He throws in the upper 90s, but the production does not match the stuff. There’s a reason he wasn’t on the 25TW. I’m glad the M’s won’t have the chance to take him. Sorry Pirates fans, this isn’t the greatest pick. The only reason he went this high is because he throws hard. He looks like a great player, but the stats just don’t match up with the talent.
11:34 AM – Another Mariners ad!
11:35 AM – Great Rockies ad with Brian Fuentes “saving everything,” from coupons to cats out of trees.
11:37 AM – Wieters goes to the Orioles! This is a surprising pick. Everything I saw had the O’s going with Ross Detwiler if he was still around. Wieters is going to take some money to sign, but he’s a great pick. The second of the 25TW is now off the board.
11:40 AM – Let’s see what the Nationals do. They are reportedly looking to make a splash, and the man that would’ve done that was Wieters. Could they surprise everyone and go with Rick Porcello? He’s got signability issues, but he’s the best high school pitcher out there.
11:43 AM – Detwiler goes to the Nationals, a solid pick. The Nationals desperately need pitching, and he should make it to the big leagues relatively soon. He’s the third of the 25TW off the board, and we’re only six picks in.
11:46 AM – Another M’s ad! Rauuuuuuul!
11:48 AM – The first shocker! Matt LaPorta goes to the Brewers at number seven overall! This is a big bummer for me, because he was the perfect pick for the Mariners. No projection had him this high. I don’t see how he’ll help the Brewers, given Prince Fielder is already entrenched at first, but his bat is unbelievable. Yet another of the 25TW is now off the board. I love LaPorta’s talent, and I’m curious to see how Milwaukee makes this work.
11:54 AM – The Rockies take Casey Weathers, the Vanderbilt closer. He’s the best closer out there, but this is too high for a reliever for my taste. This is another break for the Mariners, because he was rumored to be on their board and I don’t think it would’ve been the best pick. I don’t think it’s the best pick the Rockies could have made either, but he’s better than the guy they took last year second overall, Greg Reynolds. Given how the draft is unfolding, it’s looking more and more likely the Mariners will be picking a high-schooler. My eyes are now set on Jason Heyward.
11:56 AM – The Rockies have good ads. Another funny one just aired.
11:57 AM – Yes! The Ichiro ad again! MLB.TV loves the Mariners!
11:59 AM – Jarrod Parker goes to the D’Backs ninth overall. He was right up there with Porcello as the best high school pitcher, though he has fewer signability issues. Given the depth of the D’Backs system, they can afford to take a risk on a high-caliber young pitcher like Parker. This is a good pick. So far, I think teams have done a better job drafting this year than last. The only pick I really think is bad so far is Moskos.
12:02 PM – The Giants are an interesting team because they have so many early picks, and also an aging roster. They need prospects that will develop quickly, but they also have enough picks to take some high-risk, long-term projects. So, this upcoming pick is quite interesting.
12:04 PM – Madison Bumgarner, a high school pitcher, goes to the Giants. They’re going high-risk out of the gate. I don’t know much about this guy, but my initial reaction is that this pick could flame out. The M’s are now on the clock!
12:05 PM – Though plenty of my 25TW are available, I’d like to see the Mariners take Jason Heyward, a high school outfielder. Heyward is 6’4”, 220 pounds, so he’s already physically mature. Also, he has shown great power and plate discipline, and is left-handed. He fits a need in the organization, and he’s one of the few high-schoolers that I really like.
12:08 PM – Yes! The M’s rosin bag ad!
12:09 PM – Amazing ad with Johan Santana and Joe Nathan driving. All Johan Santana does is “change speeds.”
12:10 PM – The Mariners take Phillipe Aumont, a Canadian high school pitcher. Though I would’ve preferred Heyward, Aumont is a nice pick. He’s tall, right-handed, and throws hard. He’s rough around the edges, but the talent is there and he’s flashed dominance at times. He’s a better pick than Moskos or Weathers would have been. Given who was available, this is a nice pick. If Aumont develops, the idea of him, Felix, and Brandon at the front of the rotation is awesome.
12:15 PM – The Marlins took Matt Dominguez. I was scared the M’s would take him. It’s not that Dominguez is real bad, but I think he’s a poorer version of Matt Tuiasosopo right now.
12:21 PM – Beau Mills goes to the Indians. His numbers are amazing, but it’s at such a low level, and though he played really well at Fresno State, my rating system just didn’t have him that high. He was worth a pick in a later round. This is way too high for him, though I’m certainly in the minority. He did do well in the Cape Cod League, which is worth something. It’s not that Mills wasn’t worth a pick, but I think he’s out of his league this high.
12:26 PM – The Braves go with Jason Heyward. This is an excellent pick, especially for the Braves because he’s from Georgia.
12:31 PM – Devin Mesoraco goes to the Reds. He was the best high school catcher out there. I don’t know much about him, but we’ll see how he does. I would go with some college catchers before him.
12:37 PM – The Blue Jays take Kevin Ahrens, another high-schooler. I don’t know anything about this guy. He’s been heralded as a great hitter. The Blue Jays took a great-hitting high-schooler last year, Travis Snider, and he hasn’t disappointed. The Rangers might be disappointed, given that Ahrens is from Texas.
12:48 PM – Ok, back from making lunch. Rangers take a high school pitcher, Cardinals a high school hitter. This is definitely a young draft.
12:53 PM – Finally, a college player! The Phillies took Joe Savery, a two-way player at Rice. His hitting is better, but he’s not amazing at either hitting or pitching. Maybe he’ll be better focusing on one.
12:58 PM – And the Dodgers go with Chris Withrow, another high-schooler I have limited knowledge of.
1:04 PM – The Blue Jays went with a catcher, J.P. Arencibia. I like Canham better, but Arencibia is a real good pick.
1:09 PM – The Giants take Tim Alderson, a flame-throwing high-school righty. It looks like the Giants are going with high-risk young guns and hoping that they pan out. Given the volume of picks they have, it may work for them.
1:15 PM – The Padres go with Nick Schmidt. This is a very good pick. He wasn’t supposed to last this long. The Padres took a bunch of the guys I liked last year, and they’ve taken another guy I like this year. Schmidt is the fifth of the 25TW off the board. It’s surprising he lasted this long. I would’ve been happy if the Mariners had picked Schmidt at 11.
1:20 PM – Michael Main goes to the Rangers. It’s yet another projectable high-schooler that can throw really hard. Some teams liked him as an outfielder, so he is a great athlete, which bodes well for him. It makes him a safer pick than some high school pitchers. I don’t think the Rangers pitching staff has the time to wait for high-schoolers to develop though.
1:25 PM – The White Sox take Aaron Poreda with the 25th pick. He’s a college lefty that throws hard, but like Moskos he hasn’t produced. On top of that, he’s got a bit of a weird wind-up that I think will always limit his control. This is the range Poreda was projected to go, but I think it’s too high. There isn’t a guy that throws harder available, but there are plenty of better pitchers out there at this point.
1:31 PM – The Athletics pick James Simmons, a righty from UC-Riverside. He was on the 25TW list. He’s got great command, and I think he’ll throw a little harder and develop into a quality pitcher. He’s as safe of a pick as they come. Great pick.
1:34 PM – Six of the 25TW have been picked so far. I don’t anticipate any more going in the first round, though Canham may be going in the sandwich round. As for the rest on the list, I am not sure when they will be picked.
1:36 PM – The Tigers take Rick Porcello, a guy who only fell to the Tigers because of signability issues. This looks similar to when Miller fell to Detroit last year. The Tigers have a way of signing guys with signability issues, and if they get Porcello under contract, this is an amazing pick.
1:41 PM – The Twin take a high-school outfielder, Ben Revere. I know nothing about this guy. He’s 5’9”, 152 pounds, and apparently runs well. My first reaction is that this isn’t a good pick.
1:44 PM – Sometimes when I hear Steve Phillips talk I realize why he was fired by the Mets. He was talking about how the Twins need to play small ball because they don’t have power bats, and that’s why Ben Revere is a good pick. First of all, they have Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, and Joe Mauer, all pretty darn good hitters (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Cuddyer either). Furthermore, the Twins could have power bats if they tried drafting some! It’s this kind of backwards thinking that drives me nuts about Phillips.
1:47 PM – The Giants take Wendell Fairly, another high-schooler. He’s a toolsy outfielder that was deemed the best athlete in the draft. This sounds like a high-risk, high-reward pick, and it seems that the Giants’ strategy is to acquire raw, young talents in this draft. It’s a risky way to draft, but as I’ve already said, the Giants have enough picks to allow for some complete busts.
1:52 PM – The Yankees take Andrew Brackman with the final pick of the first round. He was supposed to go higher, but hurt his elbow. Due to the injury, it’s a bit of a risky pick, though I also expected him to perform a little better. If he recovers and is healthy, this is a great pick. However, there are a number of reasons he almost fell out of the first round.
2:15 PM – Well, I think I’ll post the notes from the first round here. I’ll be following the whole first day, so expect more tonight.