2012 Draft: Day 1 Recap

The first day only includes the first round and then the "sandwich" round, so I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to go pick-by-pick through the first round. I'll take a page out of Allen's book, and offer arbitrary grades for every pick. Here we go, 1 through 31:
  1. Astros - Carlos Correa, SS - Top player on my board went first overall. Astros went against the grain too, as most thought the pick would be Appel or Buxton. The Astros might have themselves a keeper at GM, as well as at shortstop. Grade: A
  2. Twins - Byron Buxton, OF - Hurt to see both Correa and Buxton go before the M's. My sinking heart told me what I needed to know about this pick. Grade: A
  3. Mariners - Mike Zunino, C - The M's have a looming logjam at catcher, and I wanted more upside with this pick too. The pick makes sense with how the top two picks played out, and it's not really a reach with this draft. Still, I would have gambled with Almora or Cecchini's upside. Grade: D
  4. Orioles - Kevin Gausman, RHP - Best college pitcher on my board, and the Orioles could use some pitching help. Grade: A
  5. Royals - Kyle Zimmer, RHP - Zimmer has a good arm, but there were better college arms available, and prep players that offered more upside. I don't think KC expected Mark Appel to fall, but I would have adjusted and taken him. Grade: D
  6. Cubs - Albert Almora, OF - The Cubs need some high-end talent to be good again. Almora can handle the pressure, and provide the upside. Grade: A
  7. Padres - Max Fried, LHP - I'm not Fried's biggest fan, especially so early in the draft. The team drafting him is banking on too much projection. Also, the Padres have NO hitting. Do they really need a projectable lefty with who else was available? Grade: F
  8. Pirates - Mark Appel, RHP - I have to give credit to Pittsburgh for jumping on Appel as he fell. Will they have the money to sign him? We'll find out. If they don't, they'll get this pick back, and next year's draft has a good chance to be stronger anyway. Appel would pair nicely with Gerrit Cole, no? Grade: A
  9. Marlins - Andrew Heaney, LHP - I'm a fan of Heaney, but this is too early for him to go. The Marlins have a young team though, so I see some sense in getting a polished product that might be able to join the nucleus they have. Grade: D+
  10. Rockies - David Dahl, OF - Fantastic pick! Dahl's got the athleticism to cover Coors Field on defense, and the big gaps are a great fit for his gap power and speed. Grade: A
  11. Athletics - Addison Russell, SS - I like the A's strategy, but this wasn't the right prep shortstop for me. That would have been Cecchini. Grade: D
  12. Mets - Gavin Cecchini, SS - There's the right strategy with the right player! Grade: A
  13. White Sox - Courtney Hawkins, OF - The idea of Hawkins hitting in U.S. Cellular Field is very enticing. Solid value here, and a good fit. Grade: A
  14. Reds - Nick Travieso, RHP - I don't know, I'm just not as high on Travieso as most, and I've got to like a prep arm to endorse the risk. Grade: F
  15. Indians - Tyler Naquin, OF - This looks like a replacement for Grady Sizemore. I like Naquin, but I don't love him, and I thought he had risen a little too high on draft boards. Then the Indians came out and drafted him ahead of where most had him going. Still, he'll probably provide some value. Grade: D-
  16. Nationals - Lucas Giolito, RHP - Giolito's big, injured arm was the biggest question mark of the draft. I'm curious to see how Washington plays this one. They've been big rollers in the draft for years now, and this fits in with their style. I think they are due to get burned though, and the money will probably be pretty high. Bold pick though, and I love how aggressively the Nationals pursue upper end talent. Grade: C
  17. Blue Jays - D.J. Davis, OF - This was a touch high for Davis for me, and he seems to duplicate Anthony Gose a bit, who is in AAA for Toronto right now. Grade: D+
  18. Dodgers - Corey Seager, 3B - I think the Dodgers got tremendous value here, but then I again I was quite high on Seager. Grade: A
  19. Cardinals - Michael Wacha, RHP - Wacha is a decent pick here, but I thought a power bat like Richie Shaffer's made more sense, particularly with the departure of Albert Pujols. Grade: D
  20. Giants - Chris Stratton, RHP - I thought a bat made more sense for San Francisco, especially with a guy like Richie Shaffer available. Grade: D
  21. Braves - Lucas Sims, RHP - This was a very Braves pick, and their high-upside strategy works out for them more often than not. They also do a great job of scouting their home state, which is where Sims hails from. I liked other prep arms, but I am more than willing to give Atlanta the benefit of the doubt. Grade: C+
  22. Blue Jays - Marcus Stroman, RHP - If Stroman was a few inches tall there's no chance he would have fallen this far. Tremendous value, and I especially like a proven college arm paired with Toronto's other first round pick, D.J. Davis. Grade: A
  23. Cardinals - James Ramsey, OF - I couldn't believe the Cardinals took Ramsey. He was college baseball's most productive player this season, but he's a senior. That matters as far as prospect status goes. I don't see a big-time tool either, the kind that will let him fly through a minor league system. This was too early for him to go. Grade: F
  24. Red Sox - Deven Marrero, SS - Marrero might not hit much, but he can field at a premium defensive position. This is good value at this point in the draft, although Shaffer was an even better value that was still available. Grade: A-
  25. Rays - Richie Shaffer, 3B - It's not fair that a slugger like Shaffer can fall to an intelligent team like the Rays. These guys are too smart when the odds are stacked against them, but they got a cooky here, and took it. Grade: A+
  26. Diamondbacks - Stryker Trahan, C - Arizona just invested in Miguel Montero, and I'm not as big of fan of Trahan as most anyway. Prep player at a premium position was a good idea, but I'm not sure this was the right fit. Grade: D
  27. Brewers - Clint Coulter, C - I like the local pick, and I'm also a believer in Coulter's power potential. Milwaukee needs to replenish its farm system with high-end talent. Nice pick. Grade: B
  28. Brewers - Victor Roache, OF - The Brewers focused on power, going with Coulter and then Roache. Like I said, the Brewers need to replenish their farm system with some high-end talent. Although Roache is a college player, he's got huge power. This pick makes sense, especially with Culter. Another solid pick. Grade: B
  29. Rangers - Lewis Brinson, OF - I didn't have much of an eye on Brinson, but he's very toolsy, and completely fits the Texas type of prospect. Jon Daniels and his staff have a great vision about what they are looking for, and it's clearly working. This is another pick that I will give the benefit of the doubt. Grade: C+
  30. Yankees - Ty Hensley, RHP - I like Hensley, and almost put him in my top 31. This is about the right range for him talent-wise, and a good team like the Yankees stays good by developing upper-end talent. Good pick all-around. Grade: B
  31. Red Sox - Brian Johnson, LHP - This pick doesn't make sense to me. Boston needs some pitching, but there were better options here. I know Johnson has hit and pitched, so maybe he really develops once he focuses on pitching. I wouldn't bet as much as Boston did. Grade: F
Here are a few thoughts about the compensatory round:
  • I didn't like San Diego's first round pick, but they took care of business in the second round. The did great picking up RHP Zach Eflin, OF Travis Jankowski, and RHP Walker Weikel. Jankowski's offensive game translates well in Petco, and adding two more projectable prep arms to Max Fried rounds out the top end of their class nicely.
  • The Mets are off to a fantastic start. They added C Kevin Plawecki, who pairs wonderfully with Cecchini. Plawecki is an advanced college bat, Cecchini a prep player with upside, and both play premium defensive positions.
  • I'm pissed surprised that 1B Joey Gallo fell to the Rangers. He's got holes in his swing, but big-time power, and Texas knows how to develop young talent. I keep waiting for the day that the Rangers stop blistering the baseball, but it doesn't look like it's coming soon.
  • The Twins reached twice for pitchers in the compensatory round, first with Puerto Rican right Jose Borreas, and then really badly with Georgia Tech righty Luke Bard. Bard is Red Sox starter Daniel Bard's younger brother. Luke put together a nice year in relief, but he doesn't have the same caliber of stuff that Daniel has, and I didn't see anything that really excited me. I think his name boosted him up the draft board quite a bit. I had him on my radar, but I couldn't believe he went off the board tonight.
  • I thought the Cubs picked up a nice righty in Pierce Johnson with pick 43. The Theo Epstein Cubs are off to a very good start in their initial draft.
  • The White Sox went with mega power potential again in the compensatory round, snatching 1B Keon Barnum. Hawkins and him are an imposing duo, and could make U.S. Cellular Field look even smaller than it already is. They clearly made power a priority, and they've put themselves in good position to get some with their first two picks.
  • I didn't like the Cardinals two first-round picks, and they didn't get any better in the compensatory round. They had three more selections, and got 3B Stephen Piscotty, 3B Patrick Wisdom, and C Steve Bean. Piscotty was their best pick of the day in my eyes, and I'm not even as big a fan of Piscotty as most. Wisdom had a down season at St. Mary's, and didn't need to be drafted this high. Bean sounds like a defense-first catcher, but I have to admit I don't know much about him. St. Louis had an opportunity to do a ton with five picks today, the most of any team. I'm not sure they did much of anything though.
About 3% of the draft is done. That means there is still 97% remaining! Check back tomorrow for some thoughts on day two.