Well, the community has spoken, and Bryce Harper has been chosen as the #1 overall pick given the scenario I posted yesterday.
The Pirates are now on the clock in this scenario, and we're going to pick for them, too. This is a little trickier, since I know the majority of people are going to say Jameson Taillon, and the odds of him going to the Pirates is so low that I'm not even going to include his name here. That might upset a few of you, but it's simply the truth, and I'm trying to keep this as realistic as possible.
Since you now pick for the Pirates, here's the new situation:
You have $9.5 million total to play with. This is up slightly from a year ago, and that is due to having a first round pick two spots higher. Keep this total budget in mind when making this pick.
You have narrowed down your choices to four players, and it's time to make the final decision. The first player you are interested in is Ole Miss left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz. You believe that Pomeranz is going to be a #2 starter in the future, but you have some concerns about his arm action. You think he's a little stiff, and the odds of him coming down with an arm injury within the reasonable future is high in your estimation. However, you think he offers the best upside and relative safety of the early college arms, and you're not going to be scared off by the injury factor, since your department firmly believes that all pitchers are susceptible to injury anyway. Pomeranz is willing to sign for close to slot money, which is around $3.5 million.
The second player you've been interested in is Florida prep shortstop Manny Machado. Like the Nationals, you believe that Machado has distanced himself from the prep hitting field, and you are also looking for a franchise shortstop to make it to the Majors in the timeframe that the team is going to be competitive, which is considered slightly farther away than the Nationals in your estimation. You believe Machado will need three full years in the minor leagues, and he's going to struggle for the first two years in the Majors. However, you believe that he'll stick at shortstop in the long-term, even as he fills out. You love his makeup, and you fully believe he'll fit well in your player development system. As was the case with the Nationals, Scott Boras tells you it will take $8 million to sign Machado, though that's above where you think he'll actually sign. You think you can sign him for between $5 and 6 million, and a Major League contract won't be needed. This pick offers you the most upside offensively of your choices.
A third choice is Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon. Unlike with Machado, you really feel that Colon is going to be a second baseman by the time he reaches the Majors, but you believe he'll hit and will provide badly-needed leadership and accountability coming out of a rigid Fullerton program. You think he'll only needed a year and a half in the minors, and you would put him in the Arizona Fall League after signing him in August. While you don't necessarily think his tools are worth of such a high pick, you think his floor is quite high, and he'll at least give you league-average production offensively at second with above-average defense. Scott Boras is also Colon's adviser, and he says that Colon will sign for $4 million, though you think you can split the difference with slot money at $3.75 million. He might be able to sign fairly quickly as a result, which you deem important, as Tony Sanchez proved last year. No Major League contract will be needed.
A fourth choice is someone you've been looking at for awhile in Zack Cox. You like the difference in floor and ceiling he provides compared to your other two offensive options in Machado and Colon. You believe he has a higher ceiling Colon and a higher floor than Machado, and there's a good chance he'll turn out to be the best offensive option of the bunch. You fully believe he'll stick at third base in the long run, and you don't feel that way about your best current prospect Pedro Alvarez. In addition, if you want to keep current third baseman Andy LaRoche, Cox is versatile enough to move to second base and play league-average defense there. You like the tools, and while you don't believe his power will be elite, you think he'll easily show 25 home run power in his prime, and he'll provide a .300 batting average with above-average patience. He would sign for right around slot immediately and head to Low-A, and you look at this choice in a similar manner to your pick of Tony Sanchez last year.
Who do you choose and why? What's your reasoning behind it?