This was the big day for organizations. Here are my day two winners:
- Rays: I loved their first day, and they kept the ball rolling. 3B Derek Dietrich, INF Ryan Brett, RHP Austin Wood, RHP Jesse Hahn, OF Michael Lorenzen, 3B Phil Wunderlich, and 1B Kevin Patterson were all picks that jumped out to me at the point the Rays got them. I wonder if they can sign all their high school picks, but that is a worry for another day.
- Pirates: I have been plenty hard on Pittsburgh under Neal Huntington, but his drafts have been solid. This one, however, is outstanding. Their top two picks today, RHP Stetson Allie and OF Mel Rojas Jr. are superb. Tallion (their first pick) and Allie were probably the consensus two most powerful arms in this entire draft, so to come away with both of them is a coup. I also love Rojas's speed, and if he pans out, a top of the order with him and Andrew McCutcheon is super exciting.
- Cubs: Their first two picks today, Reggie Golden and Micah Gibbs, were excellent value for where they were at. Near the end of the day Chicago also grabbed Bryan Harper, who I was surprised slipped as far as he did.
- Angels: After picking all high-schoolers with their five picks yesterday, they grabbed predominately college players today. They picked three guys on my radar, RHP Donn Roach, OF Drew Heid (from Gonzaga), and LHP Aaron Meade. The Angels rarely pick players I have looked at, and they tend to pick prep guys early, so they stayed true to form.
- Athletics: They seemed pretty focused on adding power to their organization. I was disappointed (the ultimate complement from a rival) when they grabbed 3B Yordy Cabrera. I would have picked him over their first round guy, Michael Choice, straight up. Other guys they picked that I looked at were 3B Chad Lewis, 3B Tony Thompson, 1B A.J. Kirby-Jones, RHP Matt Thomson, RHP A.J. Griffin, 3B Scott Woodward, and 2B Ryan Pineda. Of that group, Lewis and Kirby-Jones interest me the most. I think Oakland had a pretty nice mix of prep and college talent, though I think they should have addressed the middle infield a little more than they did.
- Rangers: Texas was all about upside, picking lots of young, projectable guys. Even some of their most noteworthy college guys are ones that have reputable ability, but bad production. Their day may be decided as much by how many of the prep guys they are able to sign as the caliber of talent they picked. Guys the Rangers picked that I looked at are RHP Cody Buckel, RHP Justin Grimm, 1B Andrew Clark, CF Ryan Strausborger, and OF Brian Ragira. Honestly, based on the guys I am somewhat acquainted with in the Rangers draft class, I am unimpressed with how they have done. However, I think their real magic is in player development, because I am yet to look at a Texas draft and be blown away, but the results are there.
I will recap the Mariners in a separate post, and it will probably hit the blog late tonight or early tomorrow morning. My initial impression is that it was a good day for them, but not a great one like last year was. However, that's as much a reflection of the epic draft I think they had last year as it is a commentary on this year's picks.
Finally, for you hardcore folks, the following is a handful of players to watch for on day three. These are mostly players from small schools that have put up big numbers, but a few bigger school guys are thrown in. Since they are such late picks (or maybe guys that don't get picked at all), I feel compelled to give them some time in the sun. Each has a brief write-up:
- Paul Hoilman, 1B, East Tennessee State - All the guy does is hit, as evidenced by his .421/.526/.860 line, and he has put up massive numbers his whole college career. He might be best served going back to school for his senior season to try to raise his draft stock.
- Jordan Ribera, 1B, Fresno State - Ribera really busted out this year, so there may be worry that he is a one year wonder. I see signs that the power has always been there though, and this year he became more disciplined. I am a little surprised a guy with 27 homers from a program like Fresno State is still on the board.
- Mike Nemeth, 1B, Connecticut - Posted a .386/.470/.650 line with decent power (15 home runs) and nice plate discipline (38 BB, 24 K).
- Kevin Tokarski, 2B, Illinois State - To this point, Tokarski is a one-year wonder, and there are good reasons to think his .420/.545/.695 production is a fluke. What if it isn't though? He is only a junior, so a strong senior campaign should vault him up a draft board. However, I think his speed is for real (33 for 39 on stolen bases this year), he plays up the middle, and his story is amazing. The article linked to doesn't do the injury justice; it was career threatening, and then this dream season happens.
- Carlos Alonso, 3B, Delaware - Carlos is the prototype for my kind of draft pick this late. He is a senior, put massive numbers in a lesser-known conference (.389/.462/.708 slash line), and did it while hacking away to a certain degree, with a relatively modest 25 walks.
- Phil Cerreto, 3B, Longwood - Playing in obscurity, Cerreto put up some big numbers. He doesn't appear to have much power or speed, but his .414/.477/.715 is awfully impressive, and his numbers have improved throughout his career. If you haven't noticed, I'm all about rolling the dice on small school guys with huge numbers when we get near the end of the draft.
- Pete Greskoff, 3B, Brown - Pete is only a junior, and I have a hard time believing he will walk away from an Ivy league education this late in the draft. He could also become Brown's all-time home run leader if he goes back too, and it is his power that got him mentioned here.
- Mark Micowski, INF, Georgia State - Nothing too fancy to this guy's game. Solid approach at the plate with decent speed. Batted .392 with 36 walks 18 Ks, and 17 for 20 on stolen base attempts. Hardly overwhelming numbers at his competition level, but suggestive of a skillset that could provide organizational depth.
- Trey Karlen, INF, Tennessee Martin - Possibly a one-year wonder, but he has 30 stolen bases and 14 homers...along with 56 strike outs. There are clearly question marks in his game, and without other seasons to look at, there could be lots of luck mixed in too. However, he has some speed and some power, and that's even with holes in his swing and approach at the plate.
- Trevor Knight, OF, James Madison - 13 home runs and 15 of 16 on steals this year. He also has pitching experience, and has racked up big strikeout totals. That leads me to think his arm is an asset in the outfield too.
- Corey Taylor, OF, Binghamton - 14 home runs and 20 of 23 on steals this year, so I see a bit of an intriguing power/speed combo for this late in the draft. He also hit for a high average with only 22 walks, meaning his .370/.440/.679 slash line a product of hitting talent, not just plate discipline.
- Eli Boike, OF, Michigan State - Boike really emerged as a senior this year, posting a .384/.453/.611 slash line in the Big 10 after being the MVP in the Cal Ripken Sr. league over the summer. I think there is a little more speed in him than his stolen bases indicate, and he will need it because of he has limited power. Still, an MVP in any league with a 1.000+ OPS in a BCS conference warrants a pick.
- Chad Salem, UT, Manhattan - Salem hasn't really found a home defensively, though he looks like he has played a fair amount of shortstop. That at least suggests he has some athleticism. I'm interested in his bat anyway. Not a ton of speed, but a .383/.519/.717 slash line. He raked against his competition.
- Kenny Long, LHP, Illinois State - He could be a one-year wonder, but there aren't many southpaws still available with numbers like this: 65.1 IP, 44 Hits, 22 Walks, 72 Strikeouts, and no home runs allowed
- Eric Erickson, RHP, Miami FL - Finesse guy that gets by on control. He is coming back from a big injury, which early on would make him a ridiculous risk to take, but at this point makes him a guy that could perhaps be better than expected as he bounces back from the injury. Considering his success in a major program, I am a little surprised he is still available.
- Rye Davis, RHP, Western Kentucky - In relief for a smaller program, Davis has put up great numbers: 49.2 IP, 46 hits, 20 walks, 66 strikeouts, no home runs
- Christopher Manno, RHP, Duke - Posted a 6.17 ERA in relief, but that is very misleading. His FIP is 2.36. Manno's walk rate is high, but all the other numbers are solid to good, and he plays in the ACC. I think he slipped through the cracks.