Drumroll please…. We are LIVE from the NatsGM headquarters for our 3rd annual MLB Draft live blog. This year is slightly different, as the Nationals do not select until pick #68 this evening, so we will have to wait a few hours before we can meet the newest member of the Washington Nationals. That said, thank you for joining me as we count down until the Nationals select this evening, and in the meantime, critique and analyze each pick made tonight.
If you have questions or comments, I highly encourage you to share them in the comment’s section, via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @NatsGMdotcom.
Question… Rick via Email -> “Where do you expect the three excellent high school players from the DMV to be selected?”
Great question… Based on talent, MacPherson, McGuire, and Robinson should be selected in the first 5 rounds, as all have excellent talent and a chance to one day reach the major leagues. That said, from rumors it seems like MacPherson is the most likely to sign and begin his pro career, followed by McGuire then Robinson. I would expect MacPherson to be selected fairly early tomorrow, maybe 3rd round (?) and I do not have any idea on the others. Thanks for the question.
7:01pm -> Let’s do this! Pretty amazing how much better the coverage the draft is today than 5 years ago. Props to MLB for making this a much bigger extravaganza in recent years.
7:07pm -> If you heard a loud noise, it was me booing Bud Selig…
Houston Astros Round 1 Pick 1 -> Mark Appel RHP Stanford University
1 for 1! Houston took the safest player in this year’s draft in Appel and he could reach the majors this time next season. He might be the Astros best starting pitcher right now. Solid pick and it should be interesting to see how much Appel signs for this summer.
7:15pm -> Forgive all the typos I will have in the next couple days…
7:17pm -> A curveball Harold, really…! It’s the 2nd pick, how many scenarios did the Cubs need to prepare for?
Chicago Cubs Round 1 Pick 2 -> Kris Bryant 3B University of San Diego
And the dream of a perfect mock draft dies at pick #2. Good pick by the Cubbies, as they now have an excellent core of hitting prospects in the minors with Bryant, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora. Bryant has some swing-and-miss in his game, but he has legitimate 30+ home run power and should be able to produce a decent average. Guessing Gray goes to the Rockies here at #3.
Colorado Rockies Round 1 Pick 3 -> Jonathan Gray RHP University of Oklahoma
As expected, Appel/Bryant/Gray went in the top-3 selections, as they clear stood out as the 3 best prospects in this draft. Gray is a possible top-of-the-rotation type power arm the Rockies so desperately need in their home ballpark, and I think this is a great pick.
Twins are on the clock… Will they go with the safe college player Colin Moran or the high ceiling high school pitcher Kohl Stewart? I predicted Moran this morning, not sure I wouldn’t change my mind as of right now.
Minnesota Twins Round 1 Pick 4 -> Kohl Stewart RHP Texas HS
Guess the Twins can no longer be pigeonholed with a love for strike-throwing but mediocre fastball pitchers as they traded for Trevor May and Alex Meyer this winter and now select hard-throwing Kohl Stewart in Round 1. Good to see the Twins take the player they like the best, even if he might be slightly more difficult to sign.
Guessing Cleveland is ecstatic that Colin Moran is still on the board, and think he will be their selection here at #5.
Cleveland Indians Round 1 Pick 5 -> Clint Frazier OF Georgia HS
2 for 5, as I nailed Frazier in my mock draft earlier today. When you think of Frazier, think bat speed – it is truly breathtaking how quickly he can get the bat through the strike zone. Decent chance he ends up in left field as he fills out and reaches the majors, but he should hit in the big leagues.
No clue what the Marlins will do here at pick #6… I assume they look college player who will sign for slot, but who knows?
7:37pm -> Just saw the Nationals game was postponed. Good for me but bummer for everyone that drove down to the park.
Miami Marlins Round 1 Pick 6 -> Colin Moran 3B University of North Carolina
Good safe pick… He should sign for relatively close to slot value and he fills a major organizational need in Miami. He may not have the ceiling you would hope for of a #6 pick, but he has an extremely high floor and should be a productive above-average third baseman in about 2 years.
Does Boston go with ceiling here and take Austin Meadows or Trey Ball? Very interested which direction the Red Sox go here-
7:45pm -> Was hoping to make it through tonight without a cup of coffee… Good luck, Keurig, here I come!
Boston Red Sox Round 1 Pick 7 -> Trey Ball LHP Indiana HS
Interesting, I figured the Red Sox would take Meadows over Ball, but Boston has shown a preference for pitching at the top of the draft recently. Ball is an athletic, long, and projectable left-handed pitcher with a power fastball in the mid-90s, and was considered a top prospect as an outfielder also.
Have to think Kansas City takes Nevada pitcher Shipley here at #8
Kansas City Royals Round 1 Pick 8 -> Hunter Dozier SS Stephen F. Austin
Didn’t see that one coming…. I know his name has been rising up draft boards, but I did not think he would get picked inside the top-10. I have to think they have a under-slot agreement with Dozier as they have a few picks later tonight. Very surprised they passed on Shipley’s live arm.
I think Shipley or high school catcher Reese McGuire make a lot of sense here for Pittsburgh, as does Meadows mentioned earlier.
Pittsburgh Pirates Round 1 Pick 9 -> Austin Meadows OF Georgia HS
A phenomenal athlete with a sweet left-handed swing, there is a ton to like about Meadows. He may not hit for a ton of power, but he could be a solid defensive centerfielder with the potential to bat .280 or higher. One of my favorite players in this draft, this is a great addition to a strong farm system for the Pirates.
Guessing McGuire to Toronto here at pick #10
8:03pm -> The Dozier pick by the Royals probably all but ends the possibility Sean Manaea reaches Washington at pick #68.
Toronto Blue Jays Round 1 Pick 10 -> Phil Bickford RHP California HS
Surging up draft boards the last few weeks, Bickford has a massive fastball, and a good changeup, but a below-average curveball. His supporters love the velocity and think the curve will improve with refinement and his detractors fear the mediocre breaking pitch. Big risk and big potential reward here by Toronto.
New York Mets Round 1 Pick 11 -> Dominic Smith 1B California HS
Some scouts thought Smith was the best high school hitter in this draft, and while he will likely be limited to first base, he is said to be an outstanding defender there. Definitely some risk in taking a first baseman in Round 1, as they have to hit so much to fulfill the profile, but this is an excellent young man with a sweet lefty swing.
Lots of good choices still available for Seattle here at #12…
Seattle Mariners Round 1 Pick 12 -> D.J. Peterson 3B University of New Mexico
I expected Seattle to want a hitter here, and I am guessing they were hoping Dom Smith was still on the board, but Peterson is one of the most polished college bats in this year’s draft. The question is his eventual defensive position, as some feel he will have to move to first base, but he has a quick bat and should hit his way to the big leagues. At which position, I am not sure. Solid pick here but I would have preferred a bit more upside in Shipley or McGuire this high in the draft.
San Diego Padres Round 1 Pick 13 -> Hunter Renfroe OF Mississippi State University
One of my favorite players in this draft, I have watched him closely for two summers in the Cal Ripken league as a member of the Bethesda Big Train. An athletic player with plenty of thump in his bat, Renfroe is a difficult player not to like. Congratulations to Sal Colangelo and the Bethesda Big Train for helping to develop a Top-15 pick in the Draft. Great pick for the Padres and he should move fairly quickly through the minors.
8:27pm -> Only 2 for 13 thus far on my Mock Draft… Good to know all the other experts are doing equally as poorly.
Pittsburgh Pirates Round 1 Pick 14 -> Reese McGuire Catcher Washington HS
Great pick for the Pirates, as McGuire is the clear top catching prospect in this year’s draft. Pirate fans should be excited with the addition of Austin Meadows and McGuire to their farm system that has some pitching coming in the near future. Really impressed with the Pirates thus far.
Arizona DBacks Round 1 Pick 15 -> Braden Shipley RHP University of Nevada
Great pick by the Diamondbacks to get this live-armed pitcher. Originally a shortstop as a freshman, he broke up last summer in the Alaskian Summer League. He has a monster fastball, and a power breaking pitch, but needs to refine and polish his changeup. Shipley might move a little slower than the average college pitcher, but he is extremely athletic and a good value here at pick #15.
Philadelphia is now on the clock and I am curious if they can pass on the toolsy high school shortstop Crawford here at pick #16.
Philadelphia Phillies Round 1 Pick 16 -> J.P. Crawford SS California HS
Nailed it in the Mock! Sure I am 3 for 16 but Phillies fans, give me my props… Excellent pick as a high upside athlete who should have little trouble staying at shortstop as a pro. This is a typical Phillies pick, taking the highest ceiling player available… Great pick here in the middle of the 1st round.
Chicago White Sox Round 1 Pick 17 -> Tim Anderson SS East Central CC
Solid pick for the White Sox, and fits with their general modus operandi of drafting relatively easy to sign players. This is a terrific athlete with great speed and scouts do not question if he can stay at shortstop, he definitely will. A fair amount of boom or bust with Anderson, but solid value here in the middle of Round 1.
I guessed Sean Manaea for the Dodgers here at pick #18 earlier in the mock draft… Maybe? Possibly…
Los Angeles Dodgers Round 1 Pick 18 -> Chris Anderson RHP Jacksonville University
Solid collegiate pitcher who has moved up draft boards this season, Anderson has a strong fastball but struggles with consistency. This pick makes a lot of sense, and is a good value selection here at #19, though I am a little surprised they didn’t go with a slightly bigger name.
St. Louis is now on the clock, and it would make a ton of sense if they picked up Ryne Stanek from Arkansas.
St. Louis Cardinals Round 1 Pick 19 -> Marco Gonzales LHP Gonzaga College
Solid polished collegiate pitcher, this pick makes a ton of sense and fits the general mold St. Louis sticks to of refined collegiate players. A strong fastball and excellent changeup, Gonzales has a fairly high floor but may not have the ceiling of other pitchers still available. Nice pick for St. Louis-
Detroit Tigers Round 1 Pick 20 -> Jonathon Crawford RHP University of Florida
A polarizing prospect with many fans and equally many detractors, Crawford has a thick, powerful frame and can pump a fastball in the mid-90s. He also has an excellent swing-and-miss slider, but his changeup lags significantly behind his other two pitches and his arm motion has plenty of effort. I am a huge fan of his and think some time with a good pitching coach could allow him to develop into a workhorse mid-rotation starter. I like this pick more than the consensus, good pick Detroit-
Curious to see who Tampa Bay selects here… Lots of interesting high school pitchers on the board.
Tampa Bay Rays Round 1 Pick 21 -> Nick Ciuffo Catcher South Carolina HS
Thought the Rays would lean toward a pitcher, but Ciuffo was expected to be selected in this area of the draft and has a monster ceiling as a possible everyday professional catcher. Ciuffo is a quality athlete behind the plate and represents a high ceiling/high risk prospect Tampa tends to select in the draft.
Plenty of good collegiate arms available for the Orioles… Wonder if Eades or Stanek is too tempting with the possibility of pairing one of them with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the future.
Baltimore Orioles Round 1 Pick 22 -> Hunter Harvey RHP North Carolina HS
Son of former reliever Bryan Harvey, Hunter has a massive fastball in the upper-90s, and has a breaking pitch that is sharp but inconsistent. There is a fair amount of effort in his delivery, but he has plenty of projection left and has room to improve. I was expecting the Orioles to select a college pitcher who would be quicker to the majors, but this pick fits with the mold of a typical Orioles selection.
Texas Rangers Round 1 Pick 23 -> Alex Gonzalez RHP Oral Roberts University
Great value pick, as many including myself expected him to be off the board a few picks earlier. A long, thin frame and possessing 4-pitches, he needs development time in the minors leagues but this is a great pick by the Rangers in the back-half of Round 1.
Oakland Athletics Round 1 Pick 24 -> Billy McKinney OF Texas HS
Good looking athlete with a sweet swing, I am surprised Oakland has taken back to back high school players in Addison Russell and McKinney in the past two years. Guess the Moneyball draft philosophy has changed… McKinney figured to be picked in this area of the draft and seems like a good pick late in Round 1.
Giants on the clock…
9:32pm -> Guess it is pretty cool, but MLB Network is really pushing this “Now put your name on the board” with the players attending the draft.
San Francisco Giants Round 1 Pick 25 -> Christian Arroyo SS Florida HS
Had to happen, first player I know nothing about… Not atypical of San Francisco to go off the board, but he is said to be able to stay up the middle as a pro. Strange pick and will be highly scrutinized by draft experts and questioned by myself.
Yankees are up, and I am thinking Stanek or Eric Jagielo – Both would be outstanding picks.
New York Yankees Round 1 Pick 26 -> Eric Jagielo 3B University of Notre Dame
The Yankees have been linked to Jagielo for a while, but many thought he would not reach them at pick #26. He is not an elite defender, but he should be able to stay at third base as a pro, and has a solid bat with some pull power. If you like Colin Moran, you should like Jagielo. Solid floor, and a terrific value this late in Round 1. Props to the Yankees for possibly finding A-Rod’s future replacement at 3B.
Cincinnati Reds Round 1 Pick 27 -> Phillip Ervin OF Samford University
A breakout star on Cape Cod last summer, Ervin is an outstanding athlete with a strong arm who should stay in center field in the future. He has a solid ability to hit the baseball and has some pop, but scouts question how the power translates in the majors, because he is not the biggest kid around. Good pick at this point in Round 1, and could have gone 5-7 picks earlier.
St. Louis Cardinals Round 1 Pick 28 -> Rob Kaminsky LHP New Jersey HS
A shorter left-handed pitcher with a powerful frame, Kaminsky has a power mid-90s fastball, and a hammer curveball, and a good idea of how to pitch. A fairly mature high school pitcher with polish, this is a good pick by the Cardinals, who could move relatively quickly for a high school pitcher from the Northeast.
Tampa Bay Rays Round 1 Pick 29 -> Ryne Stanek RHP University of Arkansas
Slowly clapping… Outstanding pick and the steal of the draft so far. Stanek struggled a bit this season, seeing his stuff tick down a bit at the beginning of the year, but he has the potential to be a #2-#3 starter in the future. This is a great fit for both Stanek and Tampa, as he can use some polish and refinement, and Tampa has an outstanding track record developing pitchers. Just a great pick by Tampa-
Texas Rangers Round 1 Pick 30 -> Travis Demeritte SS Georgia HS
Demerritte was connected to the Rangers in many pre-draft rumors, and this is a good choice for the Rangers, who is a great athlete with the potential to stay at shortstop as a professional. Lots of tools with this young player, good value late in Round 1, especially considering how overdrafted shortstops tend to be… Just look at pick #25 for example-
Atlanta Braves Round 1 Pick 31 -> Jason Hursh RHP Oklahoma State University
Huh, didn’t see that one coming… He does have a monster upper-90s fastball but he does not have much of a breaking pitch and has undergone Tommy John surgery. The Braves do well developing pitchers, but I am surprised this was the college arm they selected here at #31. Likely reliever down the road, but tough to find guys that can throw that hard.
New York Yankees Round 1 Pick 32 -> Aaron Judge OF Fresno State University
Monster kid with true plus power, maybe the most pure power in the entire draft, and the ability to be an asset defensively in right field with good speed and a strong arm. The reason he is still available this late in Round 1 is that scouts question the hit tool, and whether he will make enough contact against better velocity. His swing is long-ish, but it is difficult to find true elite power in baseball, and Judge has plenty of that. Boom or bust, but a good pick here at #32.
New York Yankees Round 1 Pick 33 -> Ian Clarkin LHP California HS
A hard-throwing left-handed pitcher with plenty of projection, Clarkin was rumored to be off the board much earlier than #33, and the Yankees should be thrilled to grab such a talented pitcher this late in Round 1. I am surprised a lefty with this type of talent was still available, as teams tend to covet LHPs like shortstops and catchers. Excellent value in Round 1, and likely makes the Yankees one of the winners of Day 1 of the draft.
10:31pm -> The rest of the picks tonight should happen significantly quicker than those in Round 1… I won’t be giving as much analysis between picks. By the way, if you are still following along, cheers to you! What you drinking?
Kansas City Royals Comp A Pick 34 -> Sean Manaea LHP Indiana State University
The mystery ends, and was easy to predict when the Royals selected Dozier for an expected underslot bonus at pick #8. If he is healthy, Kansas City got a steal in Manaea, a projected top-5 pick prior to this season. Great pick at #34.
Miami Marlins Comp A Pick 35 -> Matt Krook LHP California HS
Arizona DBacks Comp A Pick 36 -> Aaron Blair RHP Marshall University
Polished college pitcher with a big fastball and a track record in the Cape, Blair is a solid value here in the Compensation round.
Baltimore Orioles Comp A Pick 37 -> Josh Hart OF Georgia HS
Talented athlete with a center field profile, Hart has impressive talent but has a strong commitment to Georgia Tech. Expect the Orioles to sign him and get him into their system – solid value outside the 1st round.
Cincinnati Reds Comp A Pick 38 -> Michael Lorenzen RHP Cal State Fullerton
I wrote about Lorenzen at length on Tuesday in my hitters preview, but many teams preferred his power arm as a pitcher. He has a monster upper-90s fastball and a strong slider and should be a fast moving reliever in the minor leagues, but I am slightly surprised he won’t be developed as a centerfielder.
Detroit Tigers Comp A Pick 39 -> Corey Knebel RHP University of Texas
Houston Astros Round 2 Pick 40 -> Andrew Thurman RHP UC Irvine
Chicago Cubs Round 2 Pick 41 -> Rob Zastryzny LHP University of Missouri
I feel awful for the Cubs bloggers and beat writers that have to spell that correctly in the future. Good prospect and pick, “80” grade name-
Colorado Rockies Round 2 Pick 42 -> Ryan McMahon 3B California HS
Minnesota Twins Round 2 Pick 43 -> Ryan Eades RHP Louisiana State University
I wrote about Eades on Wednesday… He has struggled a bit with some injuries but he has great stuff and the potential to be a #3 starter if things come together. An excellent value pick here at #43, and another hard-throwing pitcher to add to the Twins farm system.
Miami Marlins Round 2 Pick 44 -> Trevor Williams RHP Arizona State University
Boston Red Sox Round 2 Pick 45 -> Teddy Stankiewicz RHP Oklahoma CC
Kansas City Royals Round 2 Pick 46 -> Cody Reed LHP Mississippi CC
Toronto Blue Jays Round 2 Pick 47 -> Clinton Hollon RHP Kentucky HS
New York Mets Round 2 Pick 48 -> Andrew Church RHP Nevada HS
Seattle Mariners Round 2 Pick 49 -> Austin Wilson OF Stanford University
GREAT PICK! Tons of power, great kid, and should be an above-average defensive player in right field. Excellent value in Round 2 to find a kid capable of hitting 30+ home runs.
San Diego Padres Round 2 Pick 50 -> Dustin Peterson SS Arizona CC
Pittsburgh Pirates Round 2 Pick 51 -> Blake Taylor LHP California HS
Arizona DBacks Round 2 Pick 52 -> Justin Williams SS Louisiana HS
Philadelphia Phillies Round 2 Pick 53 -> Andrew Knapp Catcher University of California Berkeley
Well, Harold Reynolds likes him, so I guess that means…. Good value in Round 2 to find a switch-hitting catcher with defensive potential, good value (ugh) for the Phillies here at #53.
Milwaukee Brewers Round 2 Pick 54 -> Devin Williams RHP Missouri HS
Chicago White Sox Round 2 Pick 55 -> Tyler Danish RHP Florida HS
Los Angeles Dodgers Round 2 Pick 56 -> Tom Windle LHP University of Minnesota
Good value pick by the Dodgers here in Round 2, as I thought Windle would be off the board 15-20 picks earlier this evening. Good college left-handed pitcher with some improvement left, good pick-
St. Louis Cardinals Round 2 Pick 57 -> Oscar Mercado SS Florida HS
Detroit Tigers Round 2 Pick 58 -> Kevin Ziomek LHP Vanderbilt University
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Round 2 Pick 59 -> Hunter Green LHP Kentucky HS
Tampa Bay Rays Round 2 Pick 60 -> Riley Unroe SS Arizona HS
Baltimore Orioles Round 2 Pick 61 -> Chance Sisco Catcher California HS
Guess the Orioles liked the high school crop this year, huh… Interesting pick here, will need time in the minor leagues but a talented player in Round 2.
Texas Rangers Round 2 Pick 62 -> Akeem Bostick RHP South Carolina HS
Oakland Athletics Round 2 Pick 63 -> Dillon Overton LHP University of Oklahoma
San Francisco Giants Round 2 Pick 64 -> Ryder Jones 3B North Carolina HS
Atlanta Braves Round 2 Pick 65 -> Victor Caratini Catcher Miami-Dade CC
New York Yankees Round 2 Pick 66 -> Gosuke Katoh 2B California HS
Cincinnati Reds Round 2 Pick 67 -> Kevin Franklin 3B California HS
WASHINGTON NATIONALS Round 2 Pick 68 -> Jake Johansen RHP Dallas Baptist
A monster frame with a huge fastball, Johansen fits the mold of the type of arm general manager Mike Rizzo covets in his pitchers. He will need plenty of development in the minor leagues, as he has little in terms of secondary pitches, but the Nationals did well to get someone with such a powerful, lively arm late in Round 2.
I will have a full analysis of this pick in the morning, but instant reaction is mixed but fairly positive. What do you think Nats fans?
San Diego Padres Comp B Pick 69 -> Jordan Paroubeck OF California HS
Colorado Rockies Comp B Pick 70 -> Alex Balog RHP University of San Francisco
Oakland Athletics Comp B Pick 71 -> Chad Pinder 3B Virginia Tech University
Milwaukee Brewers Comp B Pick 72 -> Tucker Neuhaus SS Florida HS
Miami Marlins Comp B Pick 73 -> Colby Suggs RHP University of Arkansas
With this pick, we have completed Day 1 of the 2013 MLB Draft. I will be back tomorrow with a full analysis of the Nationals 1st selection, Jake Johansen, and preview Day 2 of the MLB Draft. Thanks for joining me tonight, and please join me tomorrow at 1pm as we Live Blog Rounds 3-10.