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National League East Draft Impressions

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National League East Draft Impressions:

Atlanta: Mike Minor in the first round isn't a typical Braves young upside draft pick, but his pitchability and experience should get him to the majors quickly as a mid-rotation starter. Third round pick David Hale out of Princeton has command issues and hasn't always performed well, but he can also hit 97 MPH and has considerable upside. Fourth round Miami Dade CC infielder Mycal Jones is toolsy and fast, though it's a bit unclear exactly how he is going to develop and there is mixed opinion about what kind of player he'll become. The Braves like to mine the junior college ranks and did so again this year, selecting three toolsy position players in the seventh, eighth, and ninth rounds (Robert Hefflinger OF, Kyle Rose OF, Matt Weaver, SS) who didn't get a lot of pre-draft hype but fit the mold Atlanta looks for. An interesting late-round sleeper is Tyrelle Harris, 19th round RHP from the University of Tennessee, who didn't pitch that well in college for a disappointing team but has enough stuff to succeed in pro ball.

Florida: The Marlins front office has Oklahoma ties, and made an expected and widely-predicted pick with Chad James, OK prep lefty in the first round. Nothing wrong with that; he can hit 95 MPH and has the chance for a good curveball and changeup too. Second round pick Bryan Berglund, a California high schooler, does not throw hard right now but is a classic projectable right-hander who should/could throw harder as he fills out his body and already knows how to pitch. Third round choice Da'Shon Cooper, a high school outfielder from California, is a very toolsy and very raw outfielder whose best attribute is speed. Fourth round pick Dan Mahoney out of UConn has a 90+ fastball and could advance quickly in relief if his command is there. Fifth round Elon shortstop Chase Austin and sixth round Baylor first baseman Dustin Dickerson produced good numbers in college. They aren't spectacular prospects but provide some experienced leavening for the younger players and have good track records. 8th round pick Stephen Richards out of Arkansas could move fast as a lefty reliever with decent stuff. One of the best names in the draft is Sequoyah Stonecipher, drafted in the 14th round out of Grossmont JC. He has a good bat to go with his name, but scouts don't love his tools. All in all, this is a typical Marlins draft, long on tools and arms, with a couple of polished guys mixed in.

New York: With their first pick (second round), the Mets stayed local and picked New York high school lefty Steve Matz, who has a live arm and some projectability but needs polish with his mechanics and command. Florida Southern shortstop Robbie Shields was the third round pick; he had a disappointing spring but is athletic and has performed very well in the past. Fourth round Columbia CC outfielder Darrell Ceciliani runs well and is athletic, but scouts have doubts about his power and he might be an overdraft here. Fifth round Texas prep RHP Damien Magnifico can hit 95 MPH but is raw. Sixth round David Buchanan, RHP from Chipola JC, is similar: arm strength, but needs more pitchability. Seventh round Kutztown lefty Darin Gorski is a soft-tosser but has excellent college stats. I can't say that this class really impresses me. Matz and Shields are interesting, but both come with questions. I do like the raw arms in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Philadelphia: Second round pick Kelly Dugan headlines the draft class. He is toolsy, fast and strong, but the California prep outfielder is considered rather raw and was considered likely to attend college at Pepperdine before going this early. Third round pick Kyrell Hudson, out of high school in Washington, is even toolsier. . .and even rawer than Dugan; there are also concerns about his work ethic. He could be excellent, but he could also fizzle out in A-ball. Fourth round Cal Poly second baseman Adam Buschini put up excellent college statistics, and most scouts believe he can be a decent hitter. Fifth round Washington State southpaw Matt Way has a mediocre fastball, but his outstanding changeup made him very successful in college. Brody Colvin could be a bargain in the seventh round, if the Phillies can sign him. He has an LSU scholarship and was expected to go as high as the supplemental round. If he signs, he would help make up for the lack of a first round pick. This draft is long on tools and short on polish, typical for the Phillies in recent years.

Washington: Stephen Strasburg gets more hype than Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Drew Barrymore combined. And he's worth it, too. Expect him to sign right before the August deadline. Drew Storen has already signed, and I think he's just fine as the 10th overall selection, likely to help in the majors fairly soon. Jeff Kobernus in the second round is an overdraft by a round or three, but given the money they will need to sign Strasburg, that's OK. He's a Tony Graffanino type. Trevor Holder in the third round, RHP from Georgia, has a decent arm but is another overdraft, again understandable. A.J. Morris in the fourth round from Kansas State is a good choice, provided his arm doesn't fall off from the abuse he took this spring. Fifth round Texas prep Miguel Pena has average stuff but is a projectable lefty and could be a sleeper. If Strasburg turns into everything he should turn into, anything they get from the rest of the class is just icing