Day 1 Draft Recap

Well, that was fun. Let’s do it again today, please. Wednesday night was full of some big surprises early and a few later on, all of which are covered below. I’ll start moving drafted players onto their new teams over on The Board once I wake up, so make sure to take a peek at the farm system rankings as they currently stand — they’re about to change as the new prospects get moved over. Briefly, before I dive in, here are the states from which the most players were drafted yesterday:

States with the Most Players in 2020 Round 1
Players Drafted State
4 AZ, CA, NC, TX
3 TN
2 FL, GA

**Editor’s Note: This piece initially incorrectly stated that the Baltimore Orioles had absorbed their four corners area. It has been corrected. FanGraphs regrets the error.**

The lone surprise there is Arizona, notable because a couple of teams (the Yankees) have either “absorbed” their four corners area recently or have considered it, meaning they let go of their area scout there and had other scouts fill in, thinking the area doesn’t have enough talent to justify having that extra scout. Four kids from the area went on Day 1, and with a lot of junior college spillover expected next year (there are lots of southwest JuCos), it seems especially foolish for other teams to really consider such cuts. Plus, there’s so much low-level pro ball here, baseball for which amateur scouts have a great context since the players are about the same age as their usual coverage. That makes turning over rocks on the complex backfields inexpensive since most of the four corners scouts live in Phoenix. Okay, I’m done. On to my team-by-team analysis.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
18 23 45 Bryce Jarvis RHP 22.4 Duke FB carry, plus change, command
33 21 45 Slade Cecconi RHP 21.0 Miami Frame, velo, slider

As I mentioned in yesterday’s mock, Jarvis is very similar to the pitchers Arizona has acquired in recent drafts and trades. His fastball has impact vertical movement, he has a plus changeup, and his command will allow his breaking stuff to play above its raw stuff. He’s going to move fast. I had Cecconi ranked slightly ahead of Jarvis on The Board (same FV, though) based on his prototypical frame and superior arm strength and breaking ball. He’s raw from a control/command perspective, but Cecconi is only a draft-eligible sophomore and he missed time in high school due to injury, so I expect late growth.

Atlanta Braves
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
25 62 40+ Jared Shuster LHP 21.8 Wake Forest Deception, FB angle, breaking ball

If the four-start clinic that Shuster put on in his four 2020 starts is what he will be going forward, then I’m too low on him. He struggled with walks as an underclassmen, then started to improve on the Cape, then retained the strikes amid a serious stuff spike this year. He was throwing harder, his breaking ball had more power, and the extra velo helped the changeup, which is his best secondary.

Baltimore Orioles
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
2 7 50 Heston Kjerstad RF 21.3 Arkansas Power, plate coverage, SEC stats
30 32 45 Jordan Westburg SS 21.3 Mississippi State Contact, MIF fit

We should all wait until the end of the draft before levying an opinion on Baltimore drafting Kjerstad at two, presumably to sign him to an under slot bonus so they can do more damage on Day 2. He’s the right player with whom to execute such a maneuver, in my opinion, just as Kyle Schwarber was the right guy to do it with in 2014. I had Kjerstad in the 50 FV tier (Tork is in a tier on his own as a 55 FV, then have Lacy, Hancock, Kjerstad etc. as 50s) and he was likely to be the last of the 50s drafted. Taking $5 million or so (I don’t know the exact number but that’s what other clubs have speculated to me) is about $2.8 million below the slot at two, but it’s more than Kjerstad would have gotten for slot from pick nine on, which is where he was likely to go. He rakes, he performed against SEC pitching, and he doesn’t have the injury risk the pitchers do. It makes sense.

My sources with other teams thought Baltimore was trying to float Nick Bitsko to their second pick, 30th overall, for something close to $3.5 million. The Rays were a speed bump. The Orioles took Jordan Westburg instead. He’s one of the many very stable, up-the-middle college hitters who performed at a big conference his entire career. Baltimore will probably flex what I think is an extra $2.5 million in pool space today.

Boston Red Sox
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
17 78 35+ Nick Yorke SS 18.2 Archbishop Mitty HS (CA) Contact, MIF fit

On yesterday’s mock, I mentioned a rumor that Boston might cut under slot with a high schooler in the first round to scoop up a bunch of high schoolers with their later picks. I wasn’t sure if it was real because they don’t have a second rounder and a whole lot of players are going to come off the board before they pick again. I had Yorke ranked 165th on The Board. He’s a good player (35+ FV), a contact-oriented middle infielder from California with good infield hands and footwork, but limited physical projection. That’s what Indians shortstop Tyler Freeman was coming out of high school and I thought he was a reach. Now he’s a top 100 prospect. Hit tool high schoolers from Cali have been pretty popular high six-figure targets in recent years (Joe Naranjo, Cody and Tyler Freeman, maybe Thomas Saggese yet this year). Red Sox fans should be very intrigued by what might happen today. I’m not sure it’s going to work but it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the draft before because there are so few rounds.

Chicago Cubs
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
16 11 45+ Ed Howard SS 18.4 Mount Carmel HS (IL) Contact, SS lock, physical proj.

I think Howard is a dude, evaluated with the same FV as the kind of players who sit at the top of most international signing classes. He has feel to hit, is going to stay at shortstop, and he’s going to get stronger as he matures and hit for power without needing a swing overhaul. The latter is almost certainly true based on what the Cubs strength program has been able to do for Brennen Davis, Benny Rodriguez, Cole Roederer, and a lot of the other teenagers in the system. Howard almost went at 10 and was in Philly’s mix at 15.

Chicago White Sox
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
11 22 45 Garrett Crochet LHP 21.0 Tennessee Velo, breaking ball

There’s a non-zero chance Crochet can be stitched into the White Sox bullpen this year. He certainly has the stuff for it. He touched 99 in his lone 2020 start and has a 70-grade slider, a big hook rather than a small one (congrats to the five of you who get that joke). His delivery is kind of weird, but we all said that about Chris Sale, didn’t we?

Cincinnati Reds
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
12 13 45+ Austin Hendrick RF 19.0 West Allegheny HS (PA) Huge power

The Reds have had no qualms about taking older high schoolers (Tyler Callihan), even if they have swing and miss issues (Rece Hinds), so long as they have huge power. Hendrick does, perhaps the best power projection in the entire draft. His ability to rotate is like (gulp) Cody Bellinger’s, it’s just scary that Hendrick is both older and swung and missed a lot last summer against good high school pitching on the showcase circuit. Older + whiffs = bust risk, but Hendrick made adjustments to his swing throughout last summer so he should be able to get things dialed in, cut back on the strikeouts, and have a viable hit tool while getting to a ton of power.

Cleveland Indians
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
23 54 40+ Carson Tucker SS 18.4 Mountain Pointe HS (AZ) Athleticism, bat speed, MIF chance
36 56 40+ Tanner Burns RHP 21.4 Auburn Deep repertoire, SEC stats

Tucker’s deal is supposedly close to $2 million, which is about $1 million under slot at 23. I’m not sure if Burns is slot or above. He’s a Boras advisee, and pre-draft buzz was that it’d take first round money to sign him ($2.4 million is slot at the end of round one, $2 million where Burns went). Tucker is an athleticism and abstract projection prospect. He’s a plus athlete who can really rotate, but his swing was a mess last summer and he struggled to throw the ball from short to first base accurately. This spring he came out with a better swing and was putting down 70 run times. If shortstop doesn’t work out, the wheels play in center field. Between Tucker, Brayan Rocchio, Junior Sanquintin, Gabriel Rodriguez, Tyler Freeman, Angel Martinez and Jose Tena, Cleveland might be in violation of antitrust laws for monopolizing young, tooled-up shortstops.

Burns I’m not on as much. I have a 40 FV on him. He’s maxed out and has had some injury issues, but most clubs had him higher than I do and think he could have four average or better pitches and above-average command, which would be a 45 FV.

Colorado Rockies
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
9 5 50 Zac Veen CF 18.5 Sprice Creek HS (FL) Frame, power projection
35 66 40+ Drew Romo C 18.8 The Woodlands HS (TX) Glove, arm, switch-hitter

Veen is the top high schooler in the class, an arousing combination of present power, present feel to hit, and perhaps the best frame in the entire draft, which means he might grow into astronomical pop. Romo, for a while now, has been rumored to be headed to school but I imagine he’s signable here. He’s the best defensive catcher among the high schoolers and has the best arm. He also has rare physicality for a catcher, a walking embodiment of the state of Texas. He also switch-hits and has power, but there are real concerns about his ability to make contact, and that is what was driving teams to think he’d head to school. High school catching is scary and busts a lot. Go back and read any M.J. Melendez reports from a few years ago and it’s almost exactly the same. Romo might be the riskiest pick from Day 1 but he has All-Star ceiling.

Detroit Tigers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
1 1 55 Spencer Torkelson 1B 20.8 Arizona State Everything but defensive profile

I don’t have much to say here. Tork was the top player on my board and I’m lucky to lay my head six miles from where his office has been the last couple of years.

Kansas City Royals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
4 2 50 Asa Lacy LHP 21.0 Texas A&M Elite heat and slider
32 33 45 Nick Loftin SS 21.7 Baylor Contact, MIF fit

There are folks in baseball who think Lacy was the best player in the draft and some who were worried about his medical. I don’t know whether that had anything to do with why Miami passed on him at three but now the Royals have another really nasty young arm who is likely to move quickly, and their big league rotation might soon be packed with as many young, hyped prospects as those early 2000s Marlins and Cubs teams. (Royals fans old enough to drive probably remember Mike Montgomery, Aaron Crow, Luke Hochevar, John Lamb, etc. and know not to let their guard down, for such is pitching.)

It sounds like Loftin had an overslot deal somewhere in the comp round, something north of $3 million, but I’m not sure if it was here or elsewhere and the Royals just decided to take him. I’m lukewarm on Loftin. I think he can play short but I think his power is limited to his dead pull side only and that he can be pitched to.

Los Angeles Angels
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
10 10 45+ Reid Detmers LHP 20.9 Louisville Deep repertoire, plus command

Detmers is a perfect fit for the Angels and has a non-zero chance of pitching in the big leagues this year. His curveball is beautiful, a deadly rainbow that freezes lefty batters. Righties see it for a while because it’s so slow, but his command of a tailing (40 velo) heater, changeup, and cutter/slider should enable everything to work even if all the other stuff is average.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
29 27 45 Bobby Miller RHP 21.2 Louisville Arm strength, slider, on-mound makeup

This is just a good value pick for the Dodgers here. I’ve said it before in chats and whatnot: Miller is a great example of this draft’s depth because he is so much like 2019 Cubs first rounder Ryan Jensen (long arm action, upper-90s that he holds deep in games, goes right at hitters) except his secondary stuff is better.

Miami Marlins
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
3 8 45+ Max Meyer RHP 21.2 Minnesota Elite heat and slider

Meyer is going to move fast because his stuff is so good (control/command is not right now, though), he’s one of the best on-mound athletes in the class (a reason to believe the control will improve), and accelerating his timeline means it will line him up with the other good Marlins prospects who are already a few years in.

Milwaukee Brewers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
20 14 45+ Garrett Mitchell CF 21.8 UCLA Raw power, speed, PAC 12 stats

Mitchell is similar to former Pirates first rounder Travis Swaggerty (who I have toward the middle of my top 100). He’s a thick dude with plus-plus straight line speed, he has considerable raw power, and his college swing does not enable him to get to it. Mitchell is explosive but kinda stiff, so not everyone thinks he’s capable of making adjustments to get to the power.

Minnesota Twins
Pick Rank FV Team Name Position Age School Strengths
27 37 45 MIN Aaron Sabato 1B 21.0 North Carolina Power, ACC state

Pre-draft rumors had Sabato all over the middle of round one (Texas, Arizona, and I heard he was in San Francisco’s mix, too) but he falls to Minnesota, in a coup that feels similar to Trevor Larnach’s fall from a few years ago (I was higher on Larnach than Sabato, though).

New York Mets
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
19 25 45 Pete Crow-Armstrong CF 18.2 Harvard Westlake HS (CA) Glove, speed

PCA is the best defensive center fielder in the class, period. He also returned from the offseason having added a bunch of muscle, but the industry didn’t have enough time to see if it would manifest itself in games. His swing works a lot like Blake Rutherford’s, which is to say he’s capable of making sweet-looking oppo gap contact and golfing balls out to his pull side, but I’m not sure if he’ll be able to get to stuff at the top of the zone.

New York Yankees
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
28 40 40+ Austin Wells 1B 20.9 Arizona Power, young for class, Cape stats

Area scouts haven’t considered Wells a viable pro catcher since his senior year of high school, but some of that could be due to arm health issues that may be remedied with more time. He’s only a sophomore, after all, and athletic enough to roam the outfield and avoid first base. What the Yankees got here is a well-rounded lefty college bat with all-fields pop, who had one of the better 2019 Cape Cod statlines.

Oakland Athletics
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
26 20 45 Tyler Soderstrom C 18.5 Turlock HS (CA) Stick, might catch

Early intel on this one is that it’s over slot, so Oakland will have to cut today, maybe close to $700,000. They could do that with a $500,000 high schooler in round two, which is the player pool Boston seems to want to play in late. Soderstom is the anti-Drew Romo. He’s not a lock to catch, at least not every day; I love the idea of him receiving who he can then playing 3B/OF the rest of the time. Instead the carrying tool is the bat, among the most advanced in the high school class.

Philadelphia Phillies
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
15 9 45+ Mick Abel RHP 18.8 Jesuit HS (OR) Velo, spin, frame

A bunch of teams picking from seven through 17 are under new leadership, including Philly, which has been overwhelmingly college heavy since Matt Klentak took over. I think Abel is the best high school pitcher in the draft. At his best he was 93-96, up to 98, with a plus curveball and the occasional above-average changeup. His velo declined as last summer went on and I worried that he had thrown a lot, both that summer and the year before when he pitched until Labor Day weekend. The shutdown might have hurt his stock (he might have gone top 10 had he been seen this spring) but it also might have helped rest his arm.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
7 6 50 Nick Gonzales 2B 21.0 New Mexico State Hit/power combo, MIF fit
31 48 40+ Carmen Mlodzinski RHP 21.3 South Carolina Cape performance, cutter

Gonzales was good value where the Pirates got him. His New Mexico State stats are more Picasso than just a caricature, but he can hit and he does have relevant pop. Where he ends up on defense is TBD. He makes some great plays, but boots some easy ones. I had Mlodzinski ranked 15 spots below this based on looks from this spring, which were much worse than how he looked last summer on the Cape, where he was filthy.

San Diego Padres
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
8 15 45 Robert Hassell CF 18.8 Independence HS (TN) Contact, makeup, CF shot
34 36 45 Justin Lange RHP 18.7 Llano HS (TX) Elite velocity, frame

Hassell has the most polished hit tool of all the high schoolers in the class, well-timed, with laser-guided bat control. The industry is split about his ability to either stay in center, or grow into big power, or both. He’s an intense kid and works his ass off. Lange was 89-93 for me last summer, then got ripped during the offseason and came out throwing 96 and up this spring. He’s a plus athlete with an elite frame and elite arm strength; the Padres will have to develop the rest.

San Francisco Giants
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
13 12 45+ Patrick Bailey C 21.0 North Carolina State Stays at catcher, switch-hit, ACC stats

Some scouts think Bailey’s kind of a slow-twitch guy but I like him. He’s a polished switch-hitter who performed throughout his entire college career (.302/.411/.568) and plays a premium position. He’s a capable hitter from both sides of the plate, utilizing a gap approach from the right side and more of a pull/lift one from the left. He’s a fine receiver and blocker, catching on one knee until a runner reaches base. Most of Bailey’s good pop times rest around 1.95, which is about average. He has a very good chance to be an everyday catcher but likely lacks the offensive impact to be a star. Watch for the Giants to get creative on Day 2 since they have consecutive picks in the 60s.

Seattle Mariners
Pick Rank FV Team Name Position Age School Strengths
6 4 50 SEA Emerson Hancock RHP 21.0 Georgia Mid-90s, plus change, slider command

I think the teams picking at the very top of the draft were in to see Hancock in week one (since he was among the consensus top prospects) and he just didn’t pitch well that day, then never had an opportunity to recover in those clubs’ eyes. His fastball doesn’t work like Logan Gilbert‘s nor George Kirby’s — Hancock is a little different from a pitch data perspective — but there are still ways to optimize his stuff and approach to pitching, such as having him throw his changeup more. I think Seattle will make those tweaks.

St. Louis Cardinals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
21 41 40+ Jordan Walker 3B 18.0 Decatur HS (GA) Age, power, frame

At the end of last summer I had Walker in the 45+ FV tier with Hendrick and Howard. He came out this spring looking a little slower and like he might go the Sano route and be a defensive liability in short order. I slid him, perhaps overcorrecting. I still like Walker and even though you’d think a big guy with giant power would be more of a scout-y type, the model teams liked him due to his age and measurable thump.

Tampa Bay Rays
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
24 16 45 Nick Bitsko RHP 18.0 Central Bucks East HS (PA) Age, frame, velo, spin
37 77 40 Alika Williams SS 21.2 Arizona State Contact, MIF fit

You can arguably add Bitsko’s name to the Rays/Cardinals winter swap centered around José Martínez, Randy Arozarena, and Matthew Liberatore since the Rays acquired the comp pick that turned into Alika Williams and also facilitated the pool space flexibility for them to scoop up Bitsko as Baltimore tried to float him to 30. Bitsko’s foundation is strong. He has mid-90s heat, it has backpin, he throws quality strikes with the fastball, he’s got a big strong frame, and he can spin a breaking ball. Williams is an acrobatic defensive shortstop with great feel for contact. He’s not very strong and his swing is weird, unique in such a way that it’s hard to describe. I don’t think he impacts the baseball with power enough to play every day but think he’s a high-probability utility man.

Texas Rangers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
14 26 45 Justin Foscue 2B 21.3 Mississippi State Contact, MIF fit

Foscue projects as a steady everyday second baseman based on his terrific plate coverage and feel for contact, while the rest of his tools are in the 40/50 area. Most interesting here is that Texas was on this type of player rather than the typical huge-framed athletes they’ve targeted seemingly forever.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
5 3 50 Austin Martin CF 21.2 Vanderbilt Elite contact/approach, multi-positional

There are fair criticisms of Martin. He has modest power and nobody can really be sure where he fits defensively because he struggled throwing to first early this year and we never got an extended look at him in center field. But he has arguably the best approach in the draft, high-end bat-to-ball skills, and his swing has lovely natural loft that, in concert with the approach, ensures he’ll hit for power even though he’s not sending anything to space. And I believe enough in him as an athlete to think he’ll find a way to play a valuable defensive position rather than left field or something.

Washington Nationals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
22 17 45 Cade Cavalli RHP 21.8 Oklahoma Frame, arm strength, slider

I really liked this pick for Washington. Teams behind them were champing at the bit for Cavalli to fall. He was in the mix in the early teens all the way through St. Louis and somehow got here. I mentioned Cecconi was among the best-framed players in the class earlier; Cavalli is one of the others. He has mid-90s heat and a plus slider but his track record is a little shorter due to early-career time in the bullpen, and a mediocre strikeout rate last year.

We hoped you liked reading Day 1 Draft Recap by Eric Longenhagen!

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Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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jdbolick
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Member

As an Orioles fan I feel completely demoralized. The team can’t realistically compete with New York or Boston financially, but it’s also losing the player development battle badly to Toronto and Tampa Bay. I don’t even see Kjerstad as a 50 given his questionable pitch recognition along with how his exaggerated load and leg kick affect his adjustment to off-speed pitches. The power is intoxicating but he has very limited defensive and base running value, so the hit tool has to justify taking him #2 overall and I don’t think it will. If they were going under slot, I would have preferred to take a chance on someone potentially great like Veen even if his risk is higher.

Then taking Westburg at #30 completely contradicted the point of going under slot, as he’s not someone who fell for signability reasons. He’s also oddly similar to the second pick by Elias in the 2019 MLB Draft as a shortstop who will almost certainly shift to third as he gets higher, while having some power in the bat but contact issues along with it. It appears that Elias gambled everything on Bitsko falling to #30 and that obviously didn’t happen. So in my opinion Toronto and Tampa Bay both picked better first rounders than Baltimore, which only expands the chasm between them in young talent.

Kvn
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Member
Kvn

Going underslot with Veen was never going to make sense because he had a home anywhere from 4 onwards and it wouldn’t have saved them enough pool to make it worth it. Clearly, the O’s are much higher on Kjerstad and maybe also lower on Martin. It’s easy to see Bitsko gone and write this off as a failure, but they could easily do what Boston is setting themselves up for and grab guys in rounds 2 – 5 that would be hard signs otherwise (if the $5MM number on Kjerstad is close to accurate and Westburg is slot to slightly below then they probably have at least $1.5MM more in slot than any other team in the draft/an average of something like a mid-40s slot per pick). The Orioles still need so much to even get close to sniffing relevancy and whatever you think of Martin vs. Kjerstand the difference between the two is not going to be the difference between success in failure. I applaud them for pulling out all the stops, they’re a team that needs to do it in my opinion. Now, this all depends on what they do today and I think we’ll find out very quickly @ 39. If they don’t allocate the pool then this is a horrible miscalculation at best and cheapness at worst and I’ll be out there lambasting them with the rest of the internet.

jdbolick
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Member

Kvn:

Going underslot with Veen was never going to make sense because he had a home anywhere from 4 onwards and it wouldn’t have saved them enough pool to make it worth it.

Veen wasn’t going to go as high as fourth if the Orioles passed on Martin, as we saw with his fall to ninth last night. We don’t know exactly what he would have asked for compared to Kjerstad, but it certainly would have been an under slot deal by more than a million, which would have given them some flexibility on later picks.

It’s easy to see Bitsko gone and write this off as a failure

Because it is one.

The Orioles still need so much to even get close to sniffing relevancy and whatever you think of Martin vs. Kjerstand the difference between the two is not going to be the difference between success in failure

That’s exactly why they needed to either take the best player available or if they were set on an under slot deal then go for the big upside play in Veen. Kjerstad doesn’t move the needle. He’s a corner bat with huge power but contact issues and below average athleticism who doesn’t walk enough. This draft put Baltimore even further behind Toronto and Tampa Bay in young talent.

Kvn
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Member
Kvn

I think you can argue all of that, I just think it’s a bit hyperbolic. Clearly they didn’t think Martin moved the needle either or they wouldn’t have gone underslot. You get a pool and you try to allocate it. If they think it makes more sense going 40% 1st pick/60% rest vs. the opposite then it’s simply a difference in preference assuming they get equivalent value. Like I said, if they don’t get that value then I’m right there with you. I just choose to trust them until proven otherwise.

jdbolick
Member
Member

You claimed that Veen wouldn’t sign significantly under slot, which is based on absolutely nothing and is almost certainly wrong. We also know that Westburg won’t require an over slot deal given that I haven’t seen anyone rank him as a top 30 prospect. And no one ranked Kjerstad higher than Martin. That means Elias intentionally took a worse prospect to save money that they didn’t use to get a better prospect at 30. So as of now the Orioles are worse off than if they had just taken the best prospects available.

You defended that with the completely illogical argument that the difference between Martin and Kjerstad wouldn’t be enough to make the Orioles into a winner, therefore it doesn’t matter that they intentionally drafted a worse prospect. Mike Trout wouldn’t make the Orioles into a winner by himself, but that doesn’t mean the team should pass on the better player. In fact, because it is a bad team in the toughest division Baltimore needs to take the best player whenever possible.

Josh
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Member
Josh

Jdbolick, your point appears to be that you came here to complain and you just want everyone to agree with you. Considering you’re arguing against taking Baltimore’s entire draft into consideration (that is, waiting to judge until you’ve seen the complete picture), your stance seems reactionary and shallow. You may want to calm down.

jdbolick
Member
Member

Josh:

Jdbolick, your point appears to be that you came here to complain and you just want everyone to agree with you.

I appreciate disagreement if it is intelligent disagreement that points out things I hadn’t considered or didn’t know, but Kvn’s arguments weren’t that at all. He made a baseless claim that Zac Veen would not have accepted a deal much under slot, for which he provided no evidence to back up that claim and it is almost certainly not true. Then he also made the completely illogical argument that because the Orioles are bad that it doesn’t matter if they take a worse prospect at #2.

Considering you’re arguing against taking Baltimore’s entire draft into consideration (that is, waiting to judge until you’ve seen the complete picture), your stance seems reactionary and shallow. You may want to calm down.

I am taking the entire draft into consideration and always have. The Orioles took a worse prospect at #2 because Mike Elias assumed that Nick Bitsko would fall to #30. When Tampa Bay took him, it appeared that the Orioles had no backup plan given that they reached again at #30 and #39 rather than taking players who had fallen due to signability concerns.

bglick4
Member
bglick4

That’s part of the problem. Literally everyone saw Martin as the clearly better player. Maybe Elias and company is smarter than everyone and knows better, but I think it’s far more likely he and his team just screwed up. (Depending on their next pick).

jdbolick
Member
Member

Kvn, ready to admit it now that I was correct all along? 2, 30, and 39 were all reaches. It looks like the objective wasn’t to save money at 2 to spend more at 30 & 39, it was to save money period, just like when the Orioles dumped Jonathan Villar for nothing because they didn’t want to pay his salary.

docgooden85
Member
Member
docgooden85

In my experience, plenty of dumbasses think they are the smartest guy in the room. That overconfidence plus some cheapness maybe gives you the O’s draft?

bglick4
Member
bglick4

If they don’t go over slot at 39, I see no way to spin this as anything other than an incompetent attempt to get cute with slot caps or a shortsighted attempt to save a little money. Martin is clearly the better player.

bohknowsbmore
Member
bohknowsbmore

Looks like overslot money was allocated for Mayo and Baumler. Based on how quickly they signed (Mayo done, Baumler announced), it would appear they had deals agreed to prior to selection.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato

Kjesrstad vs Veen and Kjerstad vs Martin is much closer than is getting played

Veen could just as easily be similar to Kjerstad now, a clear corner slugger with some swing and miss issues but big power. Difference is Kjerstad did it in the NCAA for 3* years including a great showing with Team USA last Summer.

Martin has questions about his power and position, and unlike other top college bats never hit well with wood bats. Kjerstad’s power simply outclasses him and for all the knocks about approach because of Ks, he logged a .400+ OBP in college in every showing

Kjerstad isn’t as exciting a draft prospect as either but his chances of becoming an impact bat aren’t really worse than either of those guys

With DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez in their system, I’m not against skipping on Lacy. Hall is as close to Lacy as anyone in the minors, amazing stuff and dominant performances from the left side

Rutschman, Kjerstad, Hall, and Rodriguez is a quality group to build around, and Westburg as JJ Hardy potential

jdbolick
Member
Member

Kjesrstad vs Veen and Kjerstad vs Martin is much closer than is getting played

Eric is the only prospect analyst I’ve seen who even had Kjerstad on the same tier as Martin and Veen, as everyone else had him a tier below. And for good reason, because Kjerstad is a below average athlete with pitch recognition issues and a complicated swing that will always make it difficult for him to adjust to anything off-speed.

Veen could just as easily be similar to Kjerstad now, a clear corner slugger with some swing and miss issues but big power. Difference is Kjerstad did it in the NCAA for 3* years including a great showing with Team USA last Summer.

Veen is certainly riskier than Kjerstad, as any high school player would be, but his ceiling is dramatically higher than Kjerstad’s. He could end up becoming the best player out of this draft while there is no chance of that happening with Heston.

for all the knocks about approach because of Ks, he logged a .400+ OBP in college in every showing

True, but that’s only because he was oddly proficient at getting hit by pitches. He had thirty three HBPs at Arkansas compared to 54 walks. We’ll see if that can induce them at a similar rate as a professional.

Kjerstad isn’t as exciting a draft prospect as either but his chances of becoming an impact bat aren’t really worse than either of those guys

The thing you’re missing is that Kjerstad is only the bat. He’s a worse athlete than the other two and may or may not be able to remain an outfielder. So you’ve got a guy who is a decent RF in the best case scenario who doesn’t add value on the bases, has contact issues, and doesn’t walk that much. I agree that Martin has question marks surrounding his power and that he very likely cannot handle shortstop, but his hit tool is so good that he’s probably the safest pick in this draft. Veen is much riskier, but he is a better athlete than Kjerstad while having the potential to have as much power as Kjerstad with a better hit tool.

Westburg as JJ Hardy potential

I would love for that to happen but I don’t think Westburg is ever going to be a regular starter in the major leagues. He doesn’t have the glove for short or the bat for third.

SenorGato
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SenorGato

Veen’s floor is also dramatically lower, and they are not crazy far apart on the body either. Veen’s already a COF prospect, more Jayson Werth than Christian Yelich

Torkelson’s way safer than Martin

I’m not gung-ho about Westburg but am fan of big SSs who hit and hit in the CCBL

jdbolick
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Member

Veen’s floor is also dramatically lower

Veen’s floor is lower than Martin’s but not lower than Kjerstad’s. Kjerstad has a significant chance of being a 1B/DH type who doesn’t hit or walk enough to have positive value at all.

Torkelson’s way safer than Martin

He’s a better prospect because of his power but not a safer one due to the lack of defensive and base running value.

SenorGato
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SenorGato

Veen’s floor is not making the MLs at all. I don’t think it’s wild to take a hit on perceived upside for a little more real certainty so high

Worrying what defensive and baserunning value Martin and Torkelson provide is cart before the horse, particularly since no one seems to think Torkelson is standout bad at either of those things

willl
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Member
willl

Drafting Wilcox at #39 might help? But yeah, while the people in the O’s org change, the results seem to stay the same: consistently bucking conventional wisdom then not have the results work out.

I wonder if we’ll look back on this like when the O’s took Hobgood in 2009, and watched Zach Wheeler, Mike Minor and Mike Leake (all much more highly regarded at the time) get taken immediately after, and put together very good MLB careers, while Hobgood stalled out in A ball.

SenorGato
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SenorGato

Tbf Westburg has a better shot at SS than you might think

bglick4
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bglick4

Yeah, scouts are mixed on this. I like that pick, but they should have taken Martin or Lacy at two.

jeffston
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Member
jeffston

I predict Kelly being picked second today and making the whole thing worth it.