There weren't a ton of surprises in the first day of the draft, aside from the Royals saving slot money with Hunter Dozier, and the Giants going off of everybody's board the entire time. The Mariners made a pair of nice picks in DJ Peterson and Austin Wilson that provided good value and the chance for some bats in needed positions.
Thanks to a late run of players I was set to preview, the reloaded list is shorter than I anticipated. Time is running thin before I need to go to bed though, so this list will have to suffice. There is plenty of talent yet to be picked.
Still available from my top 33:
10. Zane Evans, C, Georgia Tech
13. Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
15. Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (CA)
22. Sam Moll, LHP, Memphis
25. Kyle Crockett, LHP, Virginia
29. Zach Farmer, LHP, Piketon HS (OH)
32. Anfernee Grier, OF, Russell County HS (AL)
Others worth noting:
Mike Alexander, C, Delaware State - Small school, but surprising speed with good hitting ability, though not much power.
Frank Schwindel, C, St. John's - Decent production in a decent conference at a premium position (if he can stick at catcher).
Clinton Freeman, 1B, East Tennessee State - Lots of dingers, though in a small conference at a position where power is needed to provide value.
Daniel Palka, 1B, Georgia Tech - Solid power in the perpetually strong ACC.
Ben Verlander, 1B, Old Dominion - Ben is Justin Verlander's younger brother, and he's got a bit of pop in his bat. He also recently switched to hitting full-time.
LJ Mazzilli, 2B, Connecticut - Mazzilli is a senior that made my top 31 last year. He is what he is, a solid player without much upside but the chance to contribute to a MLB roster.
Conrad Gregor, 3B, Vanderbilt - Lacks power, but solid production in a strong baseball conference.
Brandon Dixon, OF, Arizona - Dixon is a first-year starter and blossomed at the plate. He was one of the more productive Pac-12 hitters with an intriguing blend of hitting and speed. Maybe he's a one-year wonder, maybe something clicked. His defense is suspect at best, which is why I see him moving to a corner outfield spot.
Jared King, OF, Kansas State - No big strengths or weaknesses for King. He's a decent all-around prospect.
Ben McQuown, OF, Campbell - McQuown leads the nations in steals. I love the speed. Can he do anything besides run?
Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford - Wilson has tools that scouts really like, but he's yet to turn them into production.
Trey Masek, RHP, Texas Tech - Masek is a solid pitching prospect flying a bit under the radar. He doesn't stand out, but doesn't have many obvious flaws or concerns either.
Kyle McGowin, RHP, Savannah State - McGowin will likely be the highest drafted player from Savannah State ever. He is a highly productive pitcher that I considered for my top 33.
Bryan Radziewski, LHP, Miami (FL) - Radziewski doesn't have size, an impressive physique, or great stuff. He also has an injury history. But at the end of the day, he was among the most productive pitchers in the ACC this year, and he's a lefty. He's worth a look.
Dan Slania, RHP, Notre Dame - Slania is a good reliever with good numbers in the Cape Cod and this spring in the Big East.
Bryan Verbitsky, RHP, Hofstra - I kind of like Verbitsky as a sneaky sleeper prospect. He is a small school reliever with big-time production, even over the summer in the Cape Cod league.
Austin Voth, RHP, Washington - Voth trailed off near the end of the season, but not too much. He logged time in the Cape Cod league over the summer and held his own. For me, he is in the second tier of Pac-12 pitcher this season, and by second-tier I mean the guys that aren't Mark Appel.
Taylor Williams, RHP, Kent State - Believe
it or not, Williams graduated from Camas High School, right along the
Washington-Oregon border. How does a pitcher go from a small town in the
Pacific Northwest to mid-major program in the midwest? Not very
directly. Williams started out at Washington State, but got tired of
riding the pine. Over the summer he played in a league where many of his
teammates happened to play for Kent State. They swore that Williams was
good enough to help the team out. Unbelievably, the coaching staff
offered him a scholarship only based on what the players said, without
ever seeing him for themselves. Williams has been better than anyone
hoped for, quickly asserting himself as the ace of the Kent State staff.
He features a fastball that sits in the low 90s with good command. Williams was a late cut from my top 33, hence the long write-up.
I am curious to see where the Mariners go in day two. I could see them snagging a potentially tougher prep sign. They worked out first basemen Rowdy Tellez late in the draft process, and he could be a logical target to start day two if he is available. Pitching would make sense too, given that the first two picks were hitters.
The body of this year's draft class takes shape tomorrow.