2012 MLB Draft: National League Western Division Analysis
Arizona Diamondbacks: This class emphasizes position players and looks average to me. First-rounder Stryker Trahan (C-OF, Louisiana HS) at 26th overall is a solid choice in my opinion, due to his strong offensive upside with a shot at being a catcher and enough athleticism to play OF if needed. Second-rounder (3B, California HS) has third base offensive and defensive tools but an erratic track record, while fourth round pick Charles Taylor (OF, Texas HS) is speedy but undersized. Third-rounder Jake Barrett (RHP, Arizona State) could be in a major league bullpen in less than two years with power stuff, while fifth rounder Ronnie Freeman (C, Kennesaw State) will certainly move more quickly than Trahan even if his tools aren't as impressive. Sleepers: Danny Poma (OF, Hofstra, 10th round), and Ben Eckels (RHP, California HS, 11th round).
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers went with hitting early, grabbing promising pep bats Corey Seager (3B, North Carolina HS) and Jesmuel Valentin (2B, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy), which should provide the foundation for a future infield. Fourth-rounder Justin Chigbogu was a bit of a surprise, but the monster power hitter (1B, Missouri HS) is signable and has loads of upside, as well as risk. Polished college arms Paco Rodriguez (LHP, Florida, 2nd round) and Ross Stripling (RHP, Texas A&M, 5th round) may not have huge upside but they also won't need very long in the minors. Third-rounder Onelkis Garcia (LHP, California) is a live-armed Cuban defector who could turn into anything. There was also a bevy of interesting college choices with some sleeper potential, including Duke von Schamann (RHP, Texas Tech, 15th round) and Jharel Cotton (RHP, East Carolina, 20th round) who provide some pitching depth to the system.
San Diego Padres: It always helps to have extra picks, and with three supplemental first-rounders the Padres had a chance to make a big splash. They chose one intriguing college outfielder, speedy Stony Brook product Travis Jankowski, but the biggest impact could come from three highly-promising high school arms: Max Fried (LHP, California HS), Zach Eflin (RHP, Florida HS), and Walker Weickel (RHP, Florida HS). Fried is the best of the group, but both right-handers were first round candidates a couple of months ago. This was followed by a pair of college bats: Jeremy Baltz (OF, St. John's) and Dane Phillips (C, Oklahoma City University) in the second round. Both of those guys have a chance to be major league regulars, at least projecting as role players with solid bats. Third round choice (3B, Central Arizona JC) hit well in a wooden-bat JC league at age 18, while another JC talent, OF Maallex Smith (5th round, Santa Fe JC) provides blazing speed. They also got the best name in the draft: Goose Kallunki, a 3B-1B from Utah Valley State, in the 27th round. Overall, I like this class a lot.
San Francisco Giants: College pitching is the theme here. Nabbing Mississippi State ace Chris Stratton at 20th overall in the first round could be one of the steals of the draft, while Martin Agosta (RHP, 2nd round, St. Mary's), Steve Okert (LHP, 4th round, Oklahoma), Ty Blach (LHP, 5th round, Creighton), Stephen Johnson (RHP, 6th round, St. Edward's), and E.J. Encinosa (RHP, 7th round, Miami) are all excellent values in those slots, with Johnson's upside standing out in particular. There isn't much hitting, with Wake Forest OF Mac Williamson (3rd round) the main hope. He's got a lot of power and draws walks, but also strikes out quite a bit. Sleeper: OF Tyler Hollick (14th round, Chandler-Gilbert CC) who has tools including very impressive running speed and a good track record of hitting.