9:12 AM – I’ve got draft coverage on, and it is already known that Tim Beckham is going number one to the Devil Rays. I don’t know a ton about him, but the Rays have a loaded farm system right now, and after getting guys like David Price and Evan Longoria high in the draft the past couple years, they certainly can afford to take a chance on a young talent. This really puts the pressure on the Pirates with the second pick, because they are likely looking at college player that will come with a hefty signing bonus. They have not been willing to shell out big signing bonuses in the past, but the new leadership claims that they will pay what is needed for draft talent.
9:33 AM – I looked at Jonathan Mayo’s last projection, as of this morning. He has the M’s grabbing Ryan Perry, a flamethrower out of the
9:45 AM – I just checked Keith Law’s projection as of this morning. Last night, Mayo and Law had quite different looking boards but they look much more similar now. The draft may be crystallizing. However, Law has the Mariners taking a different pitcher, Tanner Scheppers. He is a college arm, and he may have a torn labrum. If the Mariners do pick him, they probably do not thing his injury is that serious.
9:49 AM – After taking a closer look at Scheppers, he does look like the kind of pitcher the M’s covet. He is tall, throws easy, but throws hard. Though he is a college arm, he has only been pitching a few years, so his ceiling may be higher than the average 21-year-old. His stats were good too. As long as the injury concerns around Scheppers are not that big of a deal (which sounds like a big if), I would prefer him over Ryan Perry.
9:54 AM – I took a look at Ryan Perry’s college numbers this year, and he did not get hit as hard as some scouts make it sound. His WHIP is right around 1.00, and he had good strikeout totals. However, he gave up 6 home runs in 70.1 IP, which is not horrible, but Scheppers gave up fewer in more innings. I am guessing Scheppers gets more ground balls than Perry, which would lead me to believe the Mariners would like Scheppers more.
10:02 AM – The Negro League “Draft” is starting. I am curious to see what it is all about. It is meant to be a tribute to the living Negro League players.
10:03 AM – Casey Stern is on the mic as the MC for this. Argh.
10:04 AM – The microphones are not exactly working so far. Hopefully they get the kinks worked out before ESPN starts covering the actual draft in about an hour.
10:05 AM – There we go, the podium mic is working now.
10:07 AM – It is great to hear good, old-fashioned baseball nicknames. The first two selections in the Negro League draft have nicknames “Peach Head” and “Red,” respectively.
10:09 AM – The Negro League draft is going fast. It is going to be over well before 11 AM, which I suppose makes sense. It may be done before 10:30 at the rate it is going.
10:12 AM – Add “Whip” and “Li’l Catch” to the list of awesome nicknames.
10:15 AM – I cannot get enough of these Negro League players! “The Knife,” “Bobo”…it just continues. Where did the great tradition of nicknames go in baseball?
10:20 AM – The Yankees just picked a player from the Cuban stars, and he got quite the ovation (the draft is at Disneyworld in
10:25 AM – The Mariners take John “Mule” Miles in the Negro League draft!
10:28 AM – The Nationals picked a woman who played in the Negro Leagues called “Peanut” Johnson!
10:29 AM – The Negro League draft is over, and Casey Stern has the mic in his hands again…
10:30 AM – Cool, he is going to introduce the dignitaries on hand. Each team has a representative at the draft, and they are meant to be noteworthy personnel from their past. The M’s have Harold Reynolds at the draft, and I know several other teams have Hall of Famers at the draft today. I hope this becomes a draft tradition, because it is a great way to connect baseball’s rich past with its future.
10:37 AM – The Astros, Royals, and Angels do not have honorary representatives. Lame.
10:40 AM – Tino Martinez is at the draft! He is representing the Yankees though.
10:43 AM – Harold Reynolds was just announced as the Mariners representative!
10:45 AM – Mark McLemore is at the draft with the Rangers!
10:46 AM – MLB.tv just aired an Ichiro ad
11:10 AM – ESPN’s buildup to the draft is long enough. The Rays aren’t even on the clock yet.
11:11 AM – Bud Selig is finally on the podium, but he has to give his two cents for why baseball is awesome. He loves trumpeting the competitive balance baseball has. It does look good this year, thanks the Marlins and Rays.
11:12 AM – The Rays are on the clock!
11:20 AM – I’m sure I’ve missed a ton at this point. My computer had a meltdown. I’ll catch up as fast as I can.
11:22 AM – I only missed Tim Beckham officially going to the Rays first overall. Now we shall see if the Pirates shell out some money and go for one of the top college prospects.
11:23 AM – The Pirates do by going with Pedro Alvarez. He is the first off of my board of college players to watch.
11:26 AM – MLB.tv seems to have roughly three ads, and they play them over and over and over. The ads are already old, and there is still plenty of draft to go. It is a bummer because the ads have been good the last couple years.
11:29 AM – Eric Hosmer, a high school first baseman, is the Royals’ pick. He is supposed to have big power, and he has been a good-looking pitcher when given a chance. Signability issues are not ruling the draft as of yet, despite three teams picking that do not spend a ton of money.
11:32 AM – Mariners.com thought the M’s may be picking around noon. There is no way that will happen at this current pace. 12:30 appears to be a little more realistic.
11:34 AM – The Orioles take Brian Matusz, a southpaw from the
11:36 AM – So far the mock drafts have been dead on. If they continue to be, the Giants will take Buster Posey.
11:39 AM – Buster Posey goes to the Giants.
11:40 AM – The Marlins are on the clock, and I would love to see them pick Alonso. They could use a first baseman, Alonso went to college at
11:45 AM – The Marlins select Kyle Skipworth, a high school catcher. He is highly thought of, and he does not come with such a hefty signing bonus as the premiere college players still available. The Marlins need catching help too, and the college catching crop is quite weak this year. All things considered, it is hard to argue with this pick. I still wonder what the Marlins would have done if they had more money.
11:48 AM – Once it was clear that Beckham would be the top pick, the whole top six seemed to solidify. However, the Reds seemed to be a little hard to figure out. This is where things may get interesting. I would take Gordon Beckham if I was running the team, and as of this morning I saw a projection with Beckham in this spot.
11:51 AM – The top player on my board, Yonder Alonso, is the Reds pick! Considering that
11:53 AM – The White Sox are on the clock, and I would be surprised if they do not pick Gordon Beckham. It has been fairly clear that they locked in on him and hoped that they could get him.
11:56 AM – It’s official, Gordon Beckham is
11:58 AM – Justin Smoak seems to be a popular projection for the Nationals, but Jim Bowden loves young, tools-laden players. I would not be shocked if
12:01 PM – The Nationals do go with an arm, and they go with Aaron Crow. He was the top pitcher on my board. In general I think Jim Bowden is a bad general manager, but this is a very nice pick.
12:03 PM – The Astros are on the clock, and popular thinking is that they would take Smoak if he fell to them.
12:07 PM – Well, the first pick that really surprises me is in. The Astros go with Jason Castro, a catcher from Stanford. He was the best college catcher behind Posey, but this is still a reach. He hit well in the Cape Cod League and he has a big arm, so that is how he climbed draft boards. However, I am not sold on his hitting ability, and he has not ever had to call a game. There were many better players available.
12:12 PM – Justin Smoak goes to the Rangers. They need pitching more than offense, but this is still a good pick. Smoak is way more talented than any pitcher available at this point, and
12:15 PM – I have not seen any rumors connecting Brett Wallace and the A’s, but it seems like an awfully natural fit.
12:17 PM – The A’s go with Jemile Weeks, who was someone that some had linked to this pick. Several teams were looking at him in the mid-to-late first round, so
12:22 PM – The Cardinals go with Brett Wallace! This is certainly a surprising pick, considering that Pujols is going nowhere at first base and they do not have a DH spot to play with either. Perhaps the Cardinals think he can stay at third base. They must have thought he was easily the best player left on the board, which I would agree with.
12:25 PM – Through 13 picks, the top 5 on my board are gone, and 8 total have been drafted. I have not agreed with the established baseball minds to this extent the last couple years.
12:28 PM – The Twin just took Aaron Hicks, a high school outfielder with impressive athletic ability. He has tools galore. He certainly fits the profile of a Twins prospect.
12:31 PM – The Dodgers like young guys with high ceilings and projectable bodies too. They like guys that light up the radar gun as well. A darkhorse for this pick might be Ryan Perry.
12:33 PM – The Dodgers go with high-school righty Ethan Martin. He has a projectible body and already throws in the mid-90s. He certainly fits the profile of a Dodgers prospect. Interestingly, he was announced as a third baseman, but most see him as a pitcher. Maybe the Dodgers like him as a hitter more.
12:37 PM – I’m not sure what the Brewers will do. History says they will take whoever is highest on their board. Christian Friedrich might be who they go with.
12:38 PM – The Brewers go with the guy that was hardest to project, Brett Lawrie. I had seen him listed as a shortstop, but he was announced as a catcher. Lawrie is Canadian and got on the radar by destroying international pitching with the Canadian national team. This is quite an intriguing pick. I really like the creativity that the Brewers have been showing in their recent drafts.
12:42 PM –
12:45 PM – The Blue Jays go with David Cooper, who I did not see anyone projecting to go this high. I really like him though, and I was pretty sure he was a guy that the Mariners could choose at 20.
12:50 PM – The Mets did pick Ike Davis. I really like Ike, and Carlos Delgado really looks old at this point. This is a wonderful selection for
12:54 PM – If I were the Cubs, I may look to the prep ranks. The college talent available is at positions that are strong for them right now. They can afford to take a higher risk player with a higher ceiling, if they feel one is out there.
12:56 PM – Instead,
12:57 PM –
1:01 PM – The Mariners select Josh Fields out of
1:06 PM – The Tigers go with Ryan Perry. That makes three straight relievers picked. He throws hard, but I think may give up more than his fair share of home runs.
1:11 PM – The Mets draft Reese Havens. Between Havens and Davis, the Mets have had an outstanding draft. They got good value at both slots, and filled positions of need. Havens has been a shortstop, but he could certainly become a good second baseman.
1:13 PM – Peter Gammons suggested that Reese Havens may get a look at catcher. That would be interesting. I could see that working.
1:14 PM – The Padres are on the clock, and in the past couple years they have drafted a ton of players on my draft boards. I have seen them linked to Shooter Hunt. They could really use some offense though, so I am not going to rule out a guy like Blake Tekotte going here (or to the Padres with a later pick).
1:18 PM – UNBELIEVABLE! The Padres go with Allan Dykstra. They have NO need for a first baseman with Adrian Gonzalez, so he must have been by far the highest player left on
1:19 PM – Now that Dykstra is off the board, I am curious to see what the Mariners do to get a first baseman. Of the players left on my list, only Nate Freiman and Sawyer Carroll have some experience at the position. Other players I looked at that could fill that need are Roger Kieschnick, Luke Anders, and Matt Clark.
1:23 PM – The Phillies pick Anthony Hewitt, a high school shortstop. He is supposed to have all sorts of potential with a ton of tools. According to Keith Law, he looks amazing in workouts, but not good in games. The Phillies could use some pitching, so this pick does not look good at all to me. Pat Gillick loves his tools. Though Gillick is still highly respected, his draft history is spotty at best, especially in recent years.
1:28 PM – The Rockies are suffering through a tough season, but they can take solace in the draft. Their first round pick is in, and they took Christian Friedrich, a left-hander from
1:32 PM – The Diamondbacks are on the clock, and they have drafted extremely well in recent years. They are well stocked, so there is no obvious need. I think they will stick close to home and pick Daniel Schlereth, unless they like Shooter Hunt a bunch more.
1:33 PM – The pick is in, and
1:38 PM – The Twins just made a very interesting pick. They took Carlos Gutierrez out of
1:44 PM – The Yankees go with Garrett Cole, a flame-throwing prep right-hander. He has a violent wind-up and kind of slings the ball up to the plate. He definitely has one of the biggest arms in the draft, but I would not have drafted him. With Scott Boras as an agent, it will take some pretty serious money to sign him, and his mechanics scream arm problems to me, especially with how hard he throws. Cole’s mechanics will make it difficult for him to develop good command too.
1:49 PM – The Indians must have really been bent on adding a middle infielder. They went with Lonnie Chisenhall. He was at
1:50 PM – The Red Sox are certainly in good shape, so they can draft whomever they want. Shooter Hunt was not supposed to be available, and I would not be surprised to see him go right here.
1:55 PM – With the last pick of the first round,
1:57 PM – With the first round complete, 13 of the 25 college prospects on my list are still available, though the highest rated on my board remaining is Aaron Weatherford, ranked 10th.
2:14 PM – Shooter Hunt goes with the first pick of the compensation round, to the Minnesota Twins. He was the one guy on my list that I was surprised to not see go in the first round, based on the mock drafts I had seen.
2:20 PM – Conor Gillaspie goes to the Giants at pick 37.
2:25 PM – The Padres just picked, and did not take a player remaining on the list. Instead they went with a high school outfielder named Jaff Decker.
2:28 PM – The Padres are up again. Is this where Aaron Weatherford goes?
2:28 PM – It is not where Weatherford goes.
2:30 PM – The compensation round is over, and the second round won’t start for another 45 minutes. Two more players on my list were selected, so now 11 remain, with Aaron Weatherford remaining the best yet to be drafted. I do not expect him to last through the second round, but at this point I am not sure when the rest of the players on my list will get selected.
3:39 PM – The second round is well underway, but there has not been much to write about. The Dodgers just took Josh Lindblom, a hard-throwing reliever from Purdue. Aaron Weatherford is still available.
3:42 PM – Unless the Cubs pick Weatherford, he will be available when the M’s pick. It makes me wish that
3:43 PM – The Cubs pick Aaron Shafer, a right-handed pitcher from
3:44 PM – The Mariners select Josh Rabin, an outfielder from
3:45 PM – Looking at Rabin further, he has power, but also lots of concerns. He is patient, but apparently too patient as he hit in bad counts. He did not perform terribly well this year, though he had a back injury. I am not overly thrilled with this pick, but at least Rabin has power, some patience, and there is reason to believe he will bounce back from a sub-par junior season.
3:47 PM – The Padres selected James Darnell, a third baseman from
3:52 PM – The Rockies’ second-round pick is Charlie Blackmon, an outfielder from Georgia Tech. For a long time it looked like Blackmon was going to be on the 25-to-watch list. He had a great year, and has only recently switched full-time to the outfield from pitching. He obviously has a good arm, and he may just be starting to develop as a hitter. Ultimately, he was a bit too much of an unknown for me to feel comfortable putting him above the guys that I did put on my list, but he is worth watching. Blackmon is another guy I would have drafted before Josh Rabin.
3:54 PM – Scott Bittle goes to the Yankees with the third-to-last pick in the second round. He is the only guy on my board that has been selected in the second round. Last year, many of my players were taken in the second round. After a pick that I really did not like in the first round, the Yankees followed it up with a really good one.
3:56 PM – The second round is finished, and Bittle is the only guy to come off the board from the list.
4:00 PM – The Giants continue to have an outstanding draft. They just selected Roger Kieschnick, who was the last person off of the 25-to-watch list. He has produced throughout his college career, and he has quite a bit of natural talent. I certainly would have preferred Kieschnick over Rabin. The Giants may be having my favorite draft so far.
4:08 PM – After seeing so many players fly off my list in the first round, I figured the rest of the day would be fairly slow. However, this is remarkably slow. I am surprised that both Weatherford and Jacob Thompson are still around.
4:11 PM – The Dodgers select Kyle Russell with their third-round pick. He had a huge sophomore season, and followed it up with a pretty good junior campaign. He was eligible for the draft as a sophomore, but returned to college, and I do not think improved his stock all that much. He has shown great power in college.
4:13 PM – The Blue Jays just took Andrew Liebel, a righty from
4:16 PM – The Mariners made their third-round selection. His name is Ben Pribanic, a right-hander from
4:19 PM – Blake Tekotte just went off the board, to the Padres with 101st overall pick.
4:21 PM – I am not impressed with Pribanic at all. He had a 4.72 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 74.1 innings this year. Opponents hit .270 against him. The Mariners have made worse picks this early on (Ricky Orta and Nolan Gallagher come to mind), but there were certainly better options available.
4:21 PM – Aaron Weatherford is finally off the board! The
4:25 PM – The third round is complete, and eight players on my list remain. The highest remaining is now Sawyer Carroll, though I anticipate Jacob Thompson being the next player on the list selected.
4:29 PM – Well, Sawyer Carroll ended up being the next to go after all, to the Padres with the 111th pick.
4:31 PM – Clayton Shunick is now the best player available on my board.
4:43 PM – The Cardinals just selected Scott Gorgen, #24 on my list, with their fourth-round pick. The new Cardinals GM certainly runs drafts different from Walt Jocketty. Between Brett Wallace and now Scott Gorgen, he is not drafting prototypical bodies.
4:49 PM – The M’s latest selection is Steven Hensley, another pitcher, this time from Elon. Where is a first baseman? They REALLY could use one.
4:51 PM – I guess I like Hensley more than Pribanic, but not by much. Overall, his numbers are better, but he played in a smaller conference. Additionally, his home run rate was high. This draft looks worse and worse for the Mariners.
4:53 PM – Trevor May is the first Washingtonian off the board. He went to
5:00 PM – The fourth round is over. Only Scott Gorgen was selected off of my list in the round. Six players remain, with Shunick remaining the best available.
5:06 PM – Clayton Shunick was just selected by the Reds with their 5th round pick, 146th overall. The highest remaining player on my board is now Eric Thames.
5:07 PM – The White Sox selected Daniel Hudson, a right-hander from Old Dominion, with their fifth-round pick. I never seriously considered
5:09 PM – The fifth round is already more interesting than the last three rounds. The Astros selected lefty David Duncan with their fifth round pick. I have not liked
5:17 PM – Jacob Thompson finally is off the board. He goes to the Braves in the 5th round, 160th overall. I am curious to see if he will sign. There is a good chance he could bounce back in his senior season and be a much higher draft pick.
5:19 PM – The pick yet another pitcher in round five, Brett Lorin from Long Beach St. He is tall, and I will find out more later. I am disgusted with this first day. It is pathetic that they did not draft a first baseman, and only drafted one hitter period.
5:21 PM – Lorrin fits the mold of an M’s pitcher. He has good size, did not give up a ton of homers, but surprisingly did not strike out as many hitters as anticipated. My guess is that he throws fairly hard though. Lorrin was a draft-eligible sophomore. He started his career at
5:25 PM – The D’Backs just selected Collin Cowgill with their 5th round pick, 168th overall.
5:26 PM – I am trying to get excited over Dennis Raben, but it is hard. He put together a nice Cape Cod League, but he did not have good enough numbers this year to really warrant being selected as high as the M’s took him. Maybe the Mariners can luck out and find someone a bit later, but at this point Raben has to pan out for this draft class to look good, and I do not feel comfortable with that. There are plenty of rounds left, but realistically a vast majority of the Major League talent available in this draft is already off the board. The M’s really should have drafted at least one other hitter at this point.
5:45 PM – I like the Dodgers draft so far. They just picked Anthony Delmonico in the sixth round. He is a shortstop from
5:49 PM – The Mariners finally drafted a high-schooler, and finally took another position player. His name is Jarrett Burgess, and he went to high school in