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2010 MLB Draft Summary

by Steve Garrity on Jun. 10, 2010
With the 2010 draft more than 24 hours old, everything that transpired has had more than enough time to sink in and there are plenty of interesting things to note.

TOP NAMES AND SIGNABILITY
Most years it is easy to tell the names that will go early and where they will go. 2010 was not one of those years, with several top names falling. This year’s first round was all about signability, with some surprising selections. -

-The Arizona Diamondbacks got everything going with the sixth overall pick and were expected to go for a college talent. Certainly with names like LHP Chris Sale, 3B Zack Cox and RHP Deck McGuire still on the board they had plenty of choices. However they chose to buck each of them and grab a name that was expected to go in the later end of the round or perhaps the supplemental round, RHP Barrett Loux. It was clearly a signability pick as Arizona knew Cox has been rumored to be seeking a decent bonus and Sale and McGuire could make a case for top four money. This year's draft class, outside of the top three, seemingly lacked that player with star power and many assumed there could be some surprises, but the first round took on a mind of its own.

-After the Diamondbacks, the Texas Rangers selected at 15 and took OF Jake Skole, a player who was assumed to go in the second to third round range, even though some more highly ranked players were available in OF Josh Sale. This pick was compensation for not signing 2009 first round selection RHP Matt Purke and the Rangers needed to sign whom ever was selected here since they would not be compensated next year.

-With the very next selection the Chicago Cubs made the surprise pick of perhaps the last five years in picking Division 2 pitcher Hayden Simpson. Simpson was said to not be a priority player for many teams and could have been had in the sixth round or later as many did not have him in their top 250 names. The weekend before the draft, the Cubs were said to be going for names like C/SS Justin O’ Connor, Cox and perhaps the top college bat in the draft, OF Bryce Brentz, this pick caught everyone off guard.

-Perhaps the second biggest surprise of the first round was the New York Yankees selection. They held the 32nd pick in the draft and usually are in on every top name available regardless of price tag, making their pick of SS Cito Culver all the more surprising. RHP Stetson Allie and Anthony Ranauado along with OF Bryce Brentz were still available, and Culver is a player that could have been had in the third-fourth round range making it shockingly seem like a signability pick for New York.

NAMES THAT FELL

➢ C Yasmani Grandal reported to be going to the Royals at #4, fell to the Reds with the 12th pick.
➢ LHP Chris Sale went 13th overall to the White Sox after appearing settled in the top 10
➢ The Blue jays grabbed RHP Deck Mcguire at #11 when he looked like a top 6 pick
➢ St.Louis getting 3B Zack Cox at 25th, who was expected to be a unanimous top 10 selection
➢ The Boston Red Sox popped OF Bryce Brentz and RHP Anthony Ranuado in the supplemental first round; Both of whom had top ten considerations.
➢ Justin O’Connor, one of the hottest names in the draft and had an opportunity to go in the top 10 fell all the way to 31, where he was grabbed by the Tampa Bay Rays.
➢ RHP Stetson Allie was assumed to go in the 20-30 range. He fell all the way to the beginning of the second-round, where the Pirates picked him at 52.


WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE DRAFT

Winners
Washington Nationals
The Nationals had the first pick in the draft and grabbed the best player in the draft, OF Bryce Haper. He is expected to be a middle of the order bat with 40 homerun and MVP Potential; But that isn’t all. In the second round they grabbed LHP Sammy Solis who has a solid three pitch mix with a fastball with life, a curve, and a change with good command. If he is healthy he could move through their system quickly as either a starter or possibly move to the pen. In the fourth round Washington grabbed prep RHP A.J. Cole, who was considered a possible top 20 pick early in the season. In Cole the Nats get a young pitcher with a projectable 6’4 frame and a fastball that has touches 94 along with a power breaking ball. He could be a tough sign with the amount of money expected to go to Harper, but if the Nationals can reel in Cole they have three pretty good selections.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Leading up to the draft many were unsure what direction the Pirates would go. Some assumed they would go the safe route and take college LHP Drew Pomeranz, while most expected them to stay away from high school arm Jameson Taillon, a top three prospect. Yet with the number two overall pick, Pittsburgh grabbed the best arm in the draft in Taillon who gives them a future ace in the making. Jameson Taillon has tremendous size at 6’7 and 220 lbs with three plus pitches in a fastball, slider and curve along with a change that he did not have to use much in high school. In the second round they grabbed another prep arm in Stetson Allie. Allie has one of the strongest arms in the draft, getting his fastball up into the high 90’s and a plus slide. He has potential closer written all over him. In the third round they grabbed Mel Rojas Jr., son of former major league Mel Rojas. He is a toolsy outfielder, who could turn some heads in pro ball.

Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have been a tremendous drafting team under GM Andrew Friedman and 2010 was no different. With three picks in the first and supplemental round, they grabbed three very athletic bats. With their first pick (17) they grabbed one of the better power bats in OF Josh Sale. There were questions before the draft where he could play, but after working hard all season he has built himself into a prototypical right-fielder, and could hit for as much power as anyone in this class. With their second selection (31), they found one of the bigger surprises, Justin O’Connor, waiting for them. He is now the first catcher the Rays have selected in the first round and gives them another potential power bat. He is extremely athletic after converting from shortstop and could end up being the steal of the draft. In the supplemental round they popped OF Drew Vettleson at 42. He is one of the top two way players in the draft and moved up teams' boards in the weeks leading up. Interestingly he is also a switch pitcher being able to throw with both arms, although his future is at the plate, where he projects to be able to hit for average and some power. Tampa kept it going in the later rounds grabbing RHP Jesse Hahn in the sixth round. Hahn fell due to injuries but has the classic power pitchers build and when healthy can get it up in the mid 90’s and could be a potential back-end of the bullpen arm.

Losers
Chicago Cubs
The Scouting Director for the Cubs, Tom Wilkins will usually take whichever player he likes the best, like in 2006 when he selected Tyler Colvin out of Clemson. Many thought he reached but the selection paid off and is now on the Major League roster contributing. 2010 could end up surprising people but now it can’t be looked at that way. Chicago had the 16th selection in the draft and were connected to C Justin O’Connor, who would have provided the Cubs with an athletic bat in the system. However they went in a completely different direction when they selected division 2 RHP Hayden Simpson. Some drafts experts mentioned they hadn’t heard scouts mention Simpson’s name since March and many teams expressed he was not a priority player and could have been had past the fifth round. Simpson may turn out to be a solid contributor but it is tough to agree with this pick with so many more highly ranked players available. In the second round, the Cubs selected a bat that is extremely raw, OF Reggie Golden. After selecting Simpson in the first round, it might have been wiser to go with more of a sure thing.

Los Angeles Dodgers
It is tough to argue against the players Los Angeles selected. In the first round the Dodgers grabbed RHP Zach Lee. Lee is one of the most athletic players in the draft as he is also a top quarterback prospect and comes with an advanced feel for pitching for such a young player. He almost certainly would have been a mid-first round pick were it not for his scholarship to LSU to play football and baseball. However, with the Dodgers financial matters up in the air, Lee could be the toughest sign in the draft and a price tag of $3-5 million has been floated around. It has also been suggested that Los Angeles selected Lee knowing he couldn't be signed, saving them money and giving them an extra first round selection in a stronger 2011 class. The Dodgers continued the selecting of players that could be tough signs with second rounder OF Ralston Cash who has a strong commitment to Georgia and sixth rounder RHP Kevin Gausman. Scouts have been mixed on Gausman with some thinking he can’t pitch and he has a strong commitment to LSU. It would almost certainly take more than sixth round money to sign him. If the Dodgers plan on being big spenders this could give them one of the best drafts. However with things up in the air in the organization, they could have put themselves in a difficult situation

STEALS OF THE DRAFT
1) Justin O’ Connor, C– First round – 31st pick – Tampa Bay Rays –
Justin O’Connor was rumored to be a mid-first round selection and seemed to be forgotten as the draft went on. The teams that passed him over could end up paying for it if he ends up where many think he will as a power hitting, athletic catcher with arm strength.

2) Bryce Brentz, OF – Supplemental first – 36th pick – Boston Red Sox-
Boston lucked out and grabbed three players with their first three picks that were considered in the top ten. Brentz was the second of those selections with many expecting him to going anywhere from 9-17. Boston grabbed him in the sandwich round and now gives the Sox potentially the top college bat in the draft. He is a Nick Markakis type player and will give the Red Sox hustle, arm strength, and power in right field.

3) Jesse Hahn, RHP– Sixth round – 191st pick – Tampa Bay Rays –
The Rays got themselves a pitcher in the sixth round that will light up radar guns and hit the mid-high 90’s. With Hahn’s new found feel for pitching, he could be a solid bullpen arm or a potential closer down the round.

4) Robbie Aviles, RHP – Seventh round – 210th pick- Cleveland Indians –
Aviles is an intriguing pick. He was a name that was moving up draft boards as a high school arm with an advance feel for pitching at such a young age. However in a playoff start for his high school team he injured his arm and may potentially need Tommy John Surgery. Similar to Nick Adenharts story as a 14th rounder by the Angels, the Indians could sign Aviles and allow him to work with their doctors. If this is case they could end up grabbing themselves a very good starting pitcher down the line.

5) Austin Wilson, OF – Twelfth round – 379th pick – St. Louis Cardinals –
Austin Wilson is a first round talent that fell due to a strong college commitment and signability concerns. The commitment to Stanford has always been a concern for teams and many thought he would fall but not this far. If the Cardinals are willing to open the bank to sign him, they will get themselves an extremely talented outfielder with speed and plus power as well as a strong arm. He profiles as a prototypical right fielder.

6) Jacoby Jones, SS – Nineteenth round – 573rd pick – Houston Astros –
Jacoby Jones is not the usual player you find in the 19th round. He is in the Manny Machado mold with an athletic build and motion, and a smooth swing with power. He has everything he needs to stick at shortstop having soft hands and very good range. The Astros have used this draft to rebuild their farm system, taking several young, upside players. If they are willing to pay, they have their shortstop of the future.

PLAYERS THAT HAVE SIGNED

1) Jake Skole OF – Texas Rangers
-The Rangers have given Jake Skole a slotted bonus of $1.557 million as the 15th pick in the draft.

2) Kellin Deglin C – Texas Rangers
-Deglin and the Rangers have agreed to a below slot $1 million dollar bonus as the 22nd pick in the draft.

3 Jesse Biddle LHP – Philadelphia Phillies
-The Phillies have given Biddle a slotted bonus of $1.16 million dollar bonus as the 27th pick in the draft.

4) Perci Garner RHP – Philadelphia Phillies
-Garner and the Phillies have agreed to terms, the bonus is unknown. Perci Garner was picked in the second round as the 77th overall pick.