2011 MLB Draft Results and Reaction
1. Pittsburgh Pirates- Gerrit Cole, SP, UCLA- The easy #1 pick. They took the right guy. Cole and Taillon make a nice 1-2 punch in the future.
2. Seattle Mariners- Danny Hultzen, SP, Virginia- A shocker right off the top. NOBODY predicted that the Mariners would take a pitcher at #2 overall. Everyone had a hitter tied to them. They started the chain reaction of Anthony Rendon, who should have been the pick here, falling down in the draft. Rendon was the best player in this draft class and should have been taken by Seattle. However, I am a big fan of Hultzen’s and think he is a great pick. I’ve said a couple times that he will be the first guy from this draft class to make it to the big leagues. If the Mariners can hold on to them they will have an amazing 1-2-3 with King Felix, Hultzen, and Pineda. And yes I purposefully put Hultzen before Pineda’s name because he has more upside and potential.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks- Trevor Bauer, SP, UCLA- I will repeatedly say that Rendon should have been the pick here. The problem with the next two picks are that teams get so locked in with what they are going to do and do not play play the draft. When the best player falls you have to give up the guy you had your heart set on to take the better player. The D-Backs did not do that. You would think that they would have loved to get the 3B after trading Mark Reynolds to the Orioles this season. So instead they get Bauer and give UCLA two players in the top 3. Bauer could be solid sure, but it may have been a little early for him.
4. Baltimore Orioles- Dylan Bundy, SP, HS- Ever since Melvin Mora left the O’s have been desperate to find a good young 3B. They traded for and tried Josh Bell which didn’t work out. Then they trade for Mark Reynolds, who I am a big fan of, but isn’t really young himself. So the Orioles finally get the chance to take the steal of the draft and the best player overall in Rendon and what do they do? Just like the Diamondbacks they take the guy that they already had their heart set on. And that guy is a high school pitcher who is already demanding more money than Bryce Harper got. Maybe the Orioles took the guy with the intention of not signing him and having two high picks next season like Arizona this year? With Rendon on the board I hate this pick and think the O’s really dropped the ball. With Rendon not available I would have liked this pick. If he is able to be signed the Orioles get a 100 mph throwing high school arm that should develop through the system quickly much like Clayton Kershaw did out of high school. But in 4-5 years when Rendon is putting up Evan Longoria like numbers I’ll be saying, remember when that guy was the obvious choice and the Orioles let him go?
5. Kansas City Royals- Bubba Starling, OF, HS- I said he would be a surprise guy that would jump into the top 5 and he did. KC took him because he is a Kansas native. He is a 5 tool guy who will add to a great long list of prospects that they own. But, for the last time, Rendon? A much better prospect than Starling. Just like the Mariners, D-Backs, and Orioles the Royals fail.
6. Washington Nationals- Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice- Finally a team with common sense. They already have Ryan Zimmerman at 3B but they realize that Rendon should not have been on the table and had no choice but to take him. Because of their genius the Nationals have now gotten the best player in the country for the third consecutive year with Strasburg, Harper, and Rendon. Congratulations for being smarter than the previous 4 teams Nats.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks- Archie Bradley, SP, HS- Ehh a little early. So Arizona got two high upside pitchers in Bauer and Bradley to rebuild their organization. They chose two pitchers who were overshadowed by other guys around them (Cole and Bundy), but a pretty good draft nevertheless.
8. Cleveland Indians- Francisco Lindor, SS, HS- I said previously that whoever took this guy would be a draft loser so there you go Cleveland. Even though I predicted him to go here I don’t think he is the greatest pick. I see a guy with great defense, no power, and mediocre speed. Who wants the second coming of Alcides Escobar? Apparently Cleveland does.
9. Chicago Cubs- Javier Baez, SS, HS- I’m guessing since Lindor went the Cubs just went with a backup plan? I hear this guy has good bat speed but I don’t think he was anywhere near a top 10 pick. The Cubs really needed a good pick because they are struggling as an organization, yet they failed to make one.
10. San Diego Padres- Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Indian River State- Ummm ok. Decent pick I guess. Much better guys out there.
11. Houston Astros- George Springer, OF, Connecticut- There’s good and bad here. First lets start with the good. Springer is a fine pick and is better than a few guys in front of him. Nice job Astros. The bad is not taking native Texan Jungmann here. I really think he should have been their guy seeing how their pick fit perfectly with his value.
12. Milwaukee Brewers- Taylor Jungmann, SP, Texas- Houston passes so Milwaukee eats him up. Excellent pick for the Brewers. They already have a great rotation and Jungmann will be a nice addition in the future while they rebuild.
13. New York Mets- Brandon Nimmo, OF, HS- Looks like a decent young outfielder. There seemed to be too many hitters going early in a pitching heavy draft. The Mets really need pitching so there were plenty of better picks.
14. Florida Marlins- Jose Fernandez, SP, HS- They took a local high school pitcher. Nothing wrong with that except for good pitchers like Bradley and Meyer still being available who should have gone first.
15. Milwaukee Brewers- Jed Bradley, SP, Georgia Tech- Many kudos to the Milwaukee Brewers. They get Jungmann and Bradley at picks 12 and 15? That makes them (along with the Nationals) the official draft winners. Both of those guys should not have been available as late as they got them. Two nice college arms who should progress in a decent amount of time and help the team soon.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers- Chris Reed, SP, Stanford- Nice little sleeper pick.
17. Los Angeles Angels- CJ Cron, 1B, Utah- Excellent pick, a sleeper, and a steal. Besides Rendon he’s the strongest player in this draft. How teams still shy away from power like this and not learning their lesson with guys like Prince Fielder amazes me. The Angels got a strong 1B to replace Morales and make Trumbo trade bait.
18. Oakland Athletics- Sonny Gray, SP, Vanderbilt- If you read my previous draft articles you’ll know I was very high on Gray. Leave it to the pitching experts the Oakland A’s to grab the best pitching deal in the draft. Oakland might have a dynasty with Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Sonny Gray. Not fair.
19. Boston Red Sox- Matt Barnes, SP, Connecticut- I hate to say it but all of the Red Sox picks were very nice. Barnes fell pretty far and for no reason. He is definitely a steal at this position and becomes one of the best valued first round picks.
20. Colorado Rockies- Tyler Anderson, SP, Oregon- Decent pick for this spot.
21. Toronto Blue Jays- Tyler Boode, SP, HS- Very risky pick. He fell because of sign-ability issues so we will see if the Jays actually pull this one off. If they do then they get a great value.
22. St Louis Cardinals- Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii- Well they middle infielders, they need a leadoff hitter, and they like personalities, so Wong should fit right in with their organization. Solid for the Cardinals.
23. Washington Nationals- Alex Meyes, SP, Kentucky- I was also high on this guy. Meyer was projected to go in the top 10 a few weeks back so this is another great value and another steal for the Nationals. This guy should not have been available here. The Nationals win the 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts.
24. Tampa Bay Rays- Taylor Guerrieri, SP, HS- I really hate admitting that every team in the Orioles division made nice picks. Guerrieri is another guy who fell because of sign-ability issues and has value much higher than where he went. If the Rays sign him, which they should because they are the Rays, then they get yet another solid prospect that they shouldn’t have gotten.
25. San Diego Padres- Joe Ross, RHP, HS- Tyson Ross of the Oakland Athletic’s younger brother. And the better of the siblings. Stay classy San Diego.
26. Boston Red Sox- Blake Swihart, C, HS- The top catcher in the draft and a good hitter. Yet another good pick by the Red Sox who desperately need a long term catcher.
27. Cincinnati Reds- Robert Stephenson, SP, HS- Decent young arm. The Reds know how to develop pitchers.
28. Atlanta Braves- Sean Gilmartin, SP, Florida State- They love taking pitchers from the south. They know how to scout and develop so I’m sure this kid will be a stud.
29. San Francisco Giants- Joe Panik, SS, St Johns- All of these teams down here are great at developing players and that’s why they pick down here. Panik is a very nice value and shouldn’t take long to develop. They need a SS for sure.
30. Minnesota Twins- Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina- Just because you need a SS doesn’t mean you have to take a mediocre prospect who plays there. Oh well, its the last pick in the first round.
There’s your first round. There was also a supplemental round that already took place as well. Boston did very well with those picks too. Matthew Purke from TCU is still available which is ridiculous. He was projected to go top 10 a few weeks ago. Whoever gets him in round 2 immediately gets the biggest steal of the round. Lets hope its the Orioles. That would be huge to have 2 potential top 10 arms in this draft with Bundy and Purke.
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More upside than Pineda? Pineda is the best pitcher to hit the big leagues in the last 10 years.
@upside – No that’s not true at all. Guys like Lincecum, Kershaw, and Hanson had and have more upside.
The Washington Nationals took Matt Purke. I said that whoever got him won the second round. The Nationals just put on a drafting clinic.
@The Fantasy God – except for his shoulder issues and the likelihood that he will go back to college since he slipped so low. Nats are going to have to pay a lot to sign him.
@Jeff Pilson – Not worried about the shoulder issues. The Nationals like to spend money and should spend money on this guy. He was already drafted in the first round once.
@The Fantasy God – I think a lot of other teams were worried about the shoulder issues, that combined with signability concerns is why he fell. I am not sure he would take 900K from the Nats if he thinks he cna have a great year next year and play his way back into the first round and a $3-$4 million pay day.
@Jeff Pilson – The Nats might as well pay him $3-$4 million then. It’s like getting another first rounder that won’t be available to them next year. Instead of having another great year at TCU why not let him have a great year for the Hagerstown Suns? They like spending money and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try.
@The Fantasy God – Can we get a little more explanation here? Pineda is younger than Hultzen and has a plus-plus pitch (fastball) while Hultzen does not. Are you worried about Pineda lefty platoon splits? the lack of a changeup? Handedness? I just don’t quite see it.
@Ross – First of all I like Pineda a lot. I told a lot of readers on this site to go get him as soon as he made the rotation, and they did. As good as Pineda is he is still overachieving a little. Young guys like him will get hit eventually. The second time he faces most teams he may struggle a little more than normal. His worst outing of the year was the second time he faced the Rangers this year. I just think Hultzen will be a little more solid and crafty long term. I can see him being a big game winning ace with a low ERA. Pineda I think will be as well. Pineda’s size worries me a little. I hope he can stay healthy. Most pitchers that big have trouble staying healthy. I have nothing bad to say about any of them. I think Pineda will always be a very strong #2 pitcher. The other guys I mentioned like Kershaw, Hanson, and Lincecum are all eventually #1 starters and Cy Young contenders.
@upside – Stephen Strasburg says hello.
cannot agree more about the disapointment about not taking rendon…as a huge O’s fan – i was excited when he dropped, though i knew it wasn’t likely they would take him. so frustrating.
@matt – I had my fingers crossed that Rendon would fall as soon as he slipped past #2. Then once he was there for the Orioles I couldn’t believe it. What I couldn’t believe even more is that they passed. The Nationals got it right by taking the best available and not drafting by positional need.
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