The Day After: Scattered Thoughts on Day 1 of the Draft

  • Gerrit Cole went 1.1 like everyone expected. I don't think he's the best talent in this draft, or even a top 3 talent in this draft, but it's hard to argue with the ceiling. All that's really missing is fastball command and working in the change more often; if he can do both, he will move very quickly through the system and emerge as a premier starting pitcher. The only problem is that whether he actually does find that command that he currently lacks is a complete unknown at this point. Without it, I see him more as a frustrating #3 starter that continually pitches below his stuff.
  • Danny Hultzen is a stud. He doesn't have the pure ceiling, but he's the best bet to turn into an MLB #2 starter in this draft. His stuff gets understated because of the polished aspects of his game. A low 90s fastball, an above-average slider and a potentially plus-plus change from the left side is very good stuff. I wouldn't have taken him over Rendon or Bundy, but Seattle made a good selection.
  • Speaking of Rendon, his slide is interesting. The medicals had to have played a part for Seattle, Baltimore & Kansas City to pass on him. Still, I love the pick for the Nationals. It still doesn't make any sense for the shoulder to be structurally damaged, and I will be very interested to see what comes out once he signs a pro contract. Strasburg, Harper & Rendon in consecutive years? Damn.
  • Archie Bradley with an unprotected pick is a bold statement by the Diamondbacks. Definitely didn't expect it.
  • I love Javier Baez's bat speed. If he can make enough contact that will be a nice pick for the Cubs.
  • George Springer is just what the Astros's organization needed. He has one of the highest ceilings in this draft. It was also reported that he felt a some tightness during the game last night and was removed for precautionary reasons. Hopefully we don't hear anything more about it and he's in the lineup for their Super Regional matchup against South Carolina.
  • Chris Reed is a slight overdraft. However, I absolutely buy into his chance to start in pro ball. He looked good during that first game against Rice, showing plenty of velocity and two potentially good off speed pitches. The command will have to tighten up significantly, but the stuff is there.
  • Value picks ruled the day. Boston landed three of them: Matt Barnes, Henry Owens & Jackie Bradley Jr. Oakland landed one with the Sonny Gray pick. And the Rays landed three with Guerrieri, Mahtook & Garvin. I'm not sure why some of those guys dropped (Gray is really the only one I expected), but they should get a ton of credit for scooping them up.
  • The Rays drafted like a team that had 10 picks in the top 60. They took some interesting prep prospects a bit higher than their talent warranted in order to save some money. It may not be what Rays fans wanted them to do, but it's not a bad thing either. It's just the reality of the situation. I wouldn't be surprised if they took a big ticket early in day 2 either.
  • I don't like Sean Gilmartin that high, but I've learned my lesson and know better than to doubt the Braves. He is actually very similar to Mike Minor as a draft prospect, primarily just a plus change-up with good fastball command. If he has a similar significant uptick in stuff once he enters pro ball, well I don't know what I'll do... probably just shake my head in slight disbelief.
  • I'm not an Alex Meyer fan, but that is a nice place for him. The stuff is really good. The Nationals put together a very high upside Day 1.
  • Joe Panik in the first round?
  • I definitely did not expect to hear Kevin Matthews get called. I figured he would fall way down in the draft given how strong his commitment to UVa is. I am surprised that Texas went after him. If they wanted to drop some cash, I would have thought it would be Bell... maybe it still will be Bell.
  • Michael Fulmer was a great get for the Mets. I'm sure Mets fans everywhere rejoiced when they heard that one... I know JD Sussman did.
  • The Blue Jays are following the same path that they did a year ago, taking interesting prep talent. I love the Beede and Musgrove selections.
  • I did not care at all for the Dante Bichette or Travis Harrison picks. They have power, to be sure, but I need something more than just power to draft either that high. Harrison reminds me of Zach Wilson, a big right handed power threat who will be limited to LF or 1B and swing and miss often. I think Steve Carter summed up Dante Bichette best with his tweet:

    "Pick a day. Any day. Dante Bichette Jr. will have a different swing each day."
  • Daniel Norris's Clemson commitment must be legitimately strong for him to drop out of Day 1.

Continue reading for my top 25 talents remaining going into day 2:

Top 25 Remaining:

  1. Daniel Norris, LHP, Science Hill HS (TN)
  2. Josh Bell, OF, Dallas Jesuit HS (TX)
  3. Andrew Susac, C, Oregon State University
  4. Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina University
  5. Austin Hedges, C, Junipero Serra HS (CA)
  6. Dillon Howard, RHP, Searcy HS (AR)
  7. Aaron Westlake, 1B, Vanderbilt University
  8. Matt Dean, 3B, The Colony HS (TX)
  9. Josh Osich, LHP, Oregon State University
  10. Matt Purke, LHP, Texas Christian University
  11. Granden Goetzman, OF, Palmetto HS (FL)
  12. Jorge Lopez, RHP, Academia la Milagrosa HS (PR)
  13. Derek Fisher, OF, Cedar Crest HS (PA)
  14. Johnny Eierman, OF/SS, Warsaw HS (MO)
  15. Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt University
  16. Williams Jerez, OF, Grand Street Campus HS (NY)
  17. Julius Gaines, SS, Luella HS (GA)
  18. Brad Miller, SS, Clemson University
  19. Charles Tilson, OF, New Trier HS (IL)
  20. Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Bishop Verot HS (FL)
  21. Nick Ahmed, SS, University of Connecticut
  22. Senquez Golson, OF, Pascagoula HS (MS)
  23. Dillon Maples, RHP, Pinecrest HS (NC)
  24. Riley Moore, C, San Marcos HS (CA)
  25. Ricky Oropesa, 1B, University of Southern California
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