It's finally that time of year when I issue the first compilation ranking for the next MLB Draft. It's a little thing I like to do to stay up on who the big names are in the draft pool. What I do is take rankings from 6 different sources that I trust the most on the subject of draft prospects and I compile them into one board. I'll publish links below that will have last year's boards if anyone's interested in seeing those.
Ok, here's the first 2014 board:
|1||Carlos Rodon||SP||NC State|
|2||Jeff Hoffman||SP||E Carolina|
|5||Trea Turner||SS||NC State|
|14||Max Pentecost||C||Kensaw St|
|18||Michael Cederoth||SP||SD State|
|22||Luke Weaver||SP||Florida St|
|28||Brad Zimmer||OF||San Fran|
|31||Michael Conforto||OF||Oregon St|
|38||Matt Chapman||3B||CS Fuller.|
|46||Taylor Sparks||3B||UC Irvine|
|49||Chad Sobotka||SP||SC Upstate|
|50||J.D. Davis||SP/1B||CS Fuller.|
|52||Chris Ellis||SP||Ole Miss|
|59||Dylan Davis||SP/OF||Oregon St|
|62||Joey Pankake||3B||S Carolina|
|72||Casey Gillaspie||1B||Wichita St|
|82||Sam Coonrod||SP||So Illinois|
|85||Brett Austin||C||NC State|
|90||Trevor Megill||SP||Loyola M.|
|99||Mason Robbins||OF||So Miss|
It looks like college pitching could dominate the top of the first round with Carlos Rodon and Jeff Hoffman the consensus top two picks and guys like Tyler Beede, Sean Newcomb, and Brandon Finnegan also taking spots in the top 11. Rodon is this year's favorite to go 1-1...like a heavy, HEAVY favorite. He has been ever since his Freshman season at NC State. He's a 6'3" lefty that has a 95 MPH heater and slider that scouts practically drool over. By all accounts, he would have likely been the first player taken had he been eligible this year. It'll be interesting to see the bonus negotiations with Rodon, particularly whether he can negotiate an over-slot deal. Neither of the first two top picks in the new CBA have come close to getting full slot. The 2012 draft's number one pick, Carlos Correa, only got $4.8M when the slot was $7.2M and this year's number one pick, Mark Appel, only got $6.35M of $7.79M.
Beede is an interesting guy to me. The Vanderbilt stand out is a former first round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays who, when he went to Vanderbilt instead of signing, was the super-early favorite to be the first pick in 2014. He's failed to live up to that hype but has still been very good and has the kind of frame and pitching repertoire to entice another first round selection. Control has been the knock against him; he has this Spring to gain that desired control, otherwise I think he could tumble hard.
NC State looks like they'll be the school with the most players going in the first couple of rounds. In addition to Rodon, SS Trea Turner and C Brett Austin are strong possibilities of going early, particularly Turner. Trea is a burner with crazy athleticism and solid hitting skills but also is dealing with an ankle injury that could concern teams. Austin is a former first round pick of the San Diego Padres.
Another former first rounder I want to point out is Florida SP Karsten Whitson. He actually was eligible last year and was my early "draft crush", (the guy I wanted my team to pick). Prior to the season he was an early favorite to go in the first half of the first round. But shoulder issues ended the season before it began and he went undrafted in June. Now he's back and if he can rebound from this injury he has a chance of going in the first round again. Shoulder injuries are scary, though, for pitchers, much more so than elbows.
As for a Yankees spin, there's really not much to say right now. They're now without a 1st round pick thanks to signing McCann and I predicted earlier today that I find it more likely they sign one or more additional qualifying free agents, (thereby forfeiting additional picks and pushing them further away from the 1st round), than they receive a comp pick from losing a QFA. I guess we'll see.
I'll be back with another board in January or February when another wave of rankings come out due to the upcoming amateur baseball season.
2013 MLB Draft Comp Boards:
Comp Board #1 (April 6, 2013)
Comp Board #2 (April 20, 2013)
Comp Board #3 (May 11, 2013)
Comp Board #4 (June 5, 2013)