2010 First Round in Review
To begin our draft coverage for 2011, let's take a look at the first round of the 2010 draft and where each player stands today.
Obviously it is very early in the year and lots of things can change. The performance of the pitchers, in particular, with just a handful of innings under their belts, needs to be taken with large grains of salt. Nevertheless, we can at least get a feel for the strengths and/or weaknesses that a player has shown so far.
1) Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals:
Hitting .355/.456/.697 in Low-A. At age 18. So far, he's been everything advertised, raking with wood and showing that his performance for the JC of Southern Nevada last year was no fluke, not that anyone thought it was.
2) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Texas high school product just activated for Low-A West Virginia, hitting mid-90s already albeit with some command issues in his first outing. Fanned six with zero walks in four innings in his second outing yesterday. So far, nothing to complain about: he's huge, throws hard, and is overpowering when his command is on.
3) Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles
Florida high school product destroying Sally League pitching while playing strong defense. Hitting .349/.462/.640 for Delmarva, along with excellent defensive statistics. He's everything the Orioles expected.
4) Christian Colon, SS, Kansas City Royals
Cal State Fullerton infielder isn't thriving yet in Double-A for Northwest Arkansas, hitting .208/.310/.347 so far. Glove has been reliable. Strike zone judgment has been decent and hitting should pick up.
5) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Cleveland Indians
1.54 ERA with a 34/7 K/BB in 23 innings for High-A Kinston, 13 hits allowed. Power lefty from University of Mississippi won't stick around that level much longer considering his terrific performance thus far.
6) Barret Loux, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Texas A&M right-hander didn't sign with the Diamondbacks after he failed a physical exam. The Rangers ended up picking him up as a free agent at a reduced price tag. 3.72 ERA in four starts so far for High-A Myrtle Beach, 21/4 K/BB in 19 innings, 19 hits. Not bad. He's a good prospect if his arm doesn't fall off.
7) Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets
University of North Carolina product. 4-1, 1.37 ERA with 30/9 K/BB in 26 innings for High-A St. Lucie, 23 hits. Few problems here, stuff has been first class and command is coming along. Looks like a fine pick so far.
8) Delino DeShields, 2B, Houston Astros
Georgia prep with major league bloodlines is struggling so far: .200/.274/.307 for Low-A Lexington in the Sally League. Appears quite raw, has been caught stealing four times in ten attempts, has already made seven errors at second base, plate discipline poor.
9) Karsten Whitson, RHP, San Diego Padres
Didn't sign, went to the University of Florida. 6-0 in 11 starts, 2.02 ERA with a 56/20 K/BB in 58 innings, 47 hits for the Gators so far, one of the best freshmen in college baseball despite some command wobbles.
10) Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics
UT-Arlington outfielder hitting .235/.362/.459 in the High-A California League, has fanned 31 times in 85 at-bats but also drawn 17 walks. Power, walks, strikeouts, this is the expected combination.
11) Deck McGuire, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Georgia Tech ace has a 3.65 ERA with a 19/8 K/BB in 25 innings for High-A Dunedin thus far, 22 hits allowed. Nothing spectacular yet, but not terrible, either, and scouting reports remain positive.
12) Yasmani Grandal, C, Cincinnati Reds
University of Miami catcher hitting .273/.429/.571 in the High-A California League, showing expected combination of power and patience. Defense hasn't been as good as expected, too many passed balls and errors so far, but it's early.
13) Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox
Florida Gulf Coast University lefty is in the major league bullpen, 7.15 ERA with a 13/5 K/BB and 15 hits in 11 innings. High strikeout rate remains promising, but it will be interesting to see how much slack he gets.
14) Dylan Covey, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Didn't sign with Brewers after being diagnosed with diabetes. Now at the University of San Diego and is having a difficult freshman season, 7.60 ERA in nine starts with a 29/28 K/BB in 34 innings, hampered by serious command troubles.
15) Jake Skole, OF, Texas Rangers
Georgia high school outfielder hitting .264/.326/.356 for Low-A Hickory, five steals in six attempts. Showing speed and athleticism, no power yet, plate discipline has been shaky.
16) Hayden Simpson, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Southern Arkansas University superstar has a 5.06 ERA so far for the Low-A Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League, 20/6 K/BB in 21 innings, 29 hits. Throwing strikes but hittable. This was the most surprising pick in the first round and the Cubs have a lot of credibility riding on his performance.
17) Josh Sale, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Power-hitter from high school in Washington state playing in extended spring training. Most recent word is that the Rays are undecided about where he'll begin 2011. Most likely options include Princeton in the Appy League or Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League.
18) Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
Georgia high school prep currently in extended spring training. Will probably go to Orem in June.
19) Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Houston Astros
0-4, 5.86 ERA with 12/7 K/BB in 28 innings for Low-A Lexington, 30 hits allowed. Struggling thus far, but not out of expectation for an Illinois cold-weather high school guy who is just 19 years old. Reportedly very impressive in spring training.
20) Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Ball State University star is off to a good start, hitting .333/.384/.478 for High-A Salem. Plate discipline hasn't been too good (seven walks, 22 strikeouts) and he still needs work on his third base defense, but overall he's been successful.
21) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Walked six of six hitters in his first game on April 11th, then went on the DL with "flu-like symptoms." Rumors indicate that his mechanics and command are messed up, which is strange since they were consistent and outstanding in college for Ohio State. Stay tuned on this one. Biggest enigma of the first round so far.
22) Kellin Deglan, C, Texas Rangers
High school catcher from British Columbia hitting .244/.308/.333 for Low-A Hickory. Not much with the bat yet, has fanned 21 times in 45 at-bats. Defense gets good reviews.
23) Christian Yelich, OF, Florida Marlins
California high school product hitting .247/.333/.388 for Low-A Greensboro. Performance is mediocre so far, neither good enough for us to be impressed nor bad enough to cause genuine worry.
24) Gary Brown, OF, San Francisco Giants
Cal State Fullerton outfielder hitting .337/.417/.436 with 17 steals in 24 games for High-A San Jose. Blazing speed is obvious and he's showing some on-base skills to go with it. So far, so good.
25) Zack Cox, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals
University of Arkansas product hitting .287/.315/.307 for High-A Palm Beach. The batting average is pretty, but so far there is no power and no walks, just two doubles and four walks in 109 plate appearances. Defense has been decent but he needs to show more with the bat.
26) Kyle Parker, OF, Colorado Rockies
Clemson slugger hitting .366/.420/.563 for Asheville in the Low-A Sally League. Strikeout rate is high with 5/14 BB/K in 81 PA, but it hasn't hurt him yet. Has made four errors already in right field. Will be interesting to see how fast the Rockies move him.
27) Jesse Biddle, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Local area prep lefty struggling so far, 0-4, 5.91 in five starts with a 19/14 K/BB in 21 innings. Command has been the biggest obstacle, though he pitched better in his most recent start on May 2nd.
28) Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas high school right-hander is 3-0, 1.09 in five starts for Low-A Great Lakes in the Midwest League, 27/11 K/BB in 25 innings, 23 hits. Lots of strikeouts so far, will need to bring the walks down to maintain a low ERA, but overall he's been quite successful.
29) Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Georgia high school product in extended spring training.
30) Chevez Clarke, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Georgia high school product in extended spring training. Raw tools guy, probably begins at Orem in June.
31) Justin O'Conner, C, Tampa Bay Rays
Indiana high school product in extended spring training, will probably begin in the Appalachian League with Princeton in June.
32) Cito Culver, SS, New York Yankees
Extended spring training, likely heading to the New York-Penn League for Staten Island in June. The Yankees bucked consensus with this home-state prep talent, and it will be interesting to see how fast they push him. Other non-Yankee sources have mixed opinions, but some believe the Yankees were onto something.