The 2012 MLB Draft: Where are they now?
It has been more than a year since the 2012 draft. Here's an update on how the early picks have performed.
1) Astros: Carlos Correa, SS: From high school in Puerto Rico, Correa has been excellent with Low-A Quad Cities in the Midwest League, hitting .324/.406/.472 with 10 steals and 31 doubles, showing good plate discipline, and playing very well on defense. He's a complete prospect and doesn't even turn 19 until next month. He's lived up to everything expected and more and is a clear Grade A prospect.
2) Twins: Byron Buxton, OF: From high school in Georgia, Buxton is a Five Tool player who has actually exceeded expectations, hitting .330/.416/.522 on the season with 67 walks and 52 stolen bases between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers. His combination of speed, power, on-base ability, and stellar defensive play makes him the top prospect in baseball.
3) Mariners: Mike Zunino, C: From the University of Florida, Zunino showed power in Triple-A with 11 homers in 47 games but hit just .238. He struggled in the major leagues before going down with injury, hitting .242/.315/.343 in 29 games, and while it seems clear he was rushed, he still has to rank among the premier catching prospects in baseball.
4) Orioles: Kevin Gausman, RHP: The former Louisiana State star has been effective in Double-A and Triple-A (3.65 ERA, excellent 78/14 K/BB in 79 innings) but got knocked around a bit after being rushed to the majors (6.21 ERA in 33 innings). Scouts still love him and still see him as a future ace starter; he just needs a bit more experience.
5) Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP: From the University of San Francisco, Zimmer had problems early on with High-A Wilmington but turned things around in June, then earned a promotion to Double-A where he was overpowering in four starts before being shut down with a tired arm. His outstanding 140/36 K/BB ratio in 108 innings this season is more indicative of his talent than his 4.32 ERA, which was elevated by some rough games early. Like Gausman, he still projects as a top-of-the-rotation arm.
6) Cubs: Albert Almora, OF: From high school in Florida, Almora has been hampered with injuries but played well for Low-A Kane County when healthy, hitting .329/.376/.466 in 61 games. He's expected to continue hitting for average and power as he moves up the ladder.
7) Padres: Max Fried, LHP: A high school pitcher from California, Fried has been reasonably solid for Low-A Fort Wayne in the Midwest League, posting a 3.58 ERA with a 94/55 K/BB in 106 innings. He could stand to improve his command, but at 19 he's got plenty of time to do that. Athletic lefties with 90+ fastballs get lots of slack.
8) Pirates: Mark Appel, RHP: Stanford ace Appel didn't sign with the Pirates, a move which paid off in 2013 when he was drafted first-overall by the Houston Astros. He's looked good thus far down at Quad Cities in the Midwest League, with a somewhat misleading 4.18 ERA in 28 innings but a solid 24/6 K/BB, a strong ground ball tendency, and enthusiastic scouting reports.
9) Marlins: Andrew Heaney, LHP: Drafted out of Oklahoma State, lefty Heaney has had an excellent season but little fanfare, posting a 1.42 ERA with an 80/23 K/BB in 82 innings between High-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville. He has a 90+ fastball, a good slider and changeup, throws strikes, and has adapted rapidly to pro ball.
10) Rockies: David Dahl, OF: Drafted from high school in Alabama, Dahl had a spring disciplinary run-in with the Rockies, then tore his hamstring early in the season, leading to a lost campaign. He hit .275/.310/.425 in 10 games in Low-A before going down.
11) Athletics: Addison Russell, SS: This Florida high schooler kept his head above water despite being the youngest regular in the High-A California League, hitting .279/.370/.520 with 16 homers and 15 steals, unusual production for a shortstop. He'll reach Double-A next year at age 20 and is clearly one of the top infield prospects in the minors.
12) Mets: Gavin Cecchini, SS: From high school in Louisiana, he's hitting .286/.318/.333 in 39 games in the short-season New York-Penn League, drawing praise for his glovework and instincts. It is an open question if he'll hit enough at higher levels, but at age 19 he has time to develop.
13) White Sox: Courtney Hawkins, OF: A high school slugger from Texas, Hawkins was given a very aggressive assignment to High-A at age 19 and has suffered for it, hitting just .187 with 145 strikeouts in 342 at-bats. He's also slammed 19 homers. Most scouts felt Hawkins was too raw for this level and that judgment has been proven correct. His power remains impressive and he's quite young, but we'll have to see how the Sox handle him going forward.
14) Reds: Nick Travieso, RHP: From high school in Florida, Travieso has been somewhat disappointing for Low-A Dayton in the Midwest League, posting a 5.22 ERA with a 56/22 K/BB in 71 innings, allowing 76 hits. He's not throwing quite as hard as he did in high school and his secondary pitches need more refinement, but at age 19 he has time.
15) Indians: Tyler Naquin, OF: Rated as a polished hitter coming out of Texas A&M, Naquin has unexpectedly struck out 121 times in 481 at-bats this year over 116 games between High-A and Double-A, with an overall .279/.345/.426 line. He's hit 10 homers and stolen 15 bases. Ultimately he may profile best as a fourth outfielder.
16) Nationals: Lucas Giolito, RHP: From high school in California, Giolito would have gone 10-15 spots higher if not for an elbow injury which required Tommy John surgery. He recovered quickly and has looked good since retaking the mound in July, posting a 2.28 ERA in 28 innings thus far with a 29/10 K/BB between rookie ball and the New York-Penn League. His stuff is first class and if his command (and health) remains strong he could be a top ten prospect a year from now.
17) Blue Jays: D.J. Davis, OF: This toolsy outfielder from high school in Mississippi is hitting .253/.332/.455 with 10 steals for Bluefield in the Appalachian League. He's got some contact issues (62 whiffs in 198 at-bats) but his combination of speed and power potential is rare and the Jays will be patient.
18) Dodgers: Corey Seager, SS: From high school in North Carolina, Seager was excellent in the Low-A Midwest League (.309/.389/.529 in 74 games) which earned him a promotion to the High-A Cal League. The going is tougher there (.194/.296/.435), but overall this has been a very successful season. He combines pure hitting skills with good power, and has at least a chance to stay at shortstop.
19) Cardinals: Michael Wacha, RHP: This right-hander from Texas A&M has had a strong campaign, thriving with Triple-A Memphis (2.65 ERA, 73/19 K/BB in 85 innings) and holding his own in major league action (4.73 ERA but a solid 26/7 K/BB in 27 innings). He should be ready to take a larger role in the Cardinals staff next year as a workhorse starter, providing a very rapid return on the first round investment.
20) Giants: Chris Stratton, RHP: From Mississippi State University, Stratton has been effective for Low-A Augusta, with a 3.08 ERA and a 117/41 K/BB in 120 innings. He's performed well and in many organizations he would have been promoted by now, but the Giants have enough arm depth to avoid rushing people.
21) Braves: Lucas Sims, RHP: This home state high school pitcher from Georgia has been terrific for Low-A Rome, with a 2.78 ERA and a 121/44 K/BB in 107 innings, allowing a mere 74 hits. He's been particularly effective in August; don't be surprised if he ranks very highly on prospect lists entering 2014, despite not receiving quite as much hype as he likely deserves.
22) Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman, RHP: He may be just 5-9 but the right-hander from Duke has a great arm, posting a 3.22 ERA with an excellent 109/22 K/BB ratio in 95 innings for Double-A New Hampshire. At this rate we should see him in Toronto some time in 2014, although opinions remain mixed on his long-term role as starter or reliever.
23) Cardinals: James Ramsey, OF: The senior from the University of Florida had a fast start in High-A (.361/481/.557 in 18 games) but Double-A has been tougher, with a .245/.346/.427 line for Springfield. He's hit 15 homers but also fanned 101 times in 323 at-bats at that level. He can take a walk and profiles as a productive platoon player.
24) Red Sox: Deven Marrero, SS: A slick fielder from Arizona State, Marrero has hit .253/.333/.324 on the season between High-A and Double-A, with 22 steals in 24 attempts. His lack of power is a significant hindrance, but his defense and speed will get him to the majors in at least a utility role, and it's not impossible that he'll hit enough to start.
25) Rays: Richie Shaffer, 3B: The former Clemson star hasn't hit with the expected authority in High-A, batting .252/.309/.402 with 11 homers, 34 walks, and 102 strikeouts in 433 at-bats for Charlotte in the Florida State League. His glove has been decent but he has to improve his hitting to make it as a corner infielder.
26) Diamondbacks: Stryker Trahan, C: The high schooler from Louisiana is hitting .259/.338/.466 for Missoula, which isn't great by Pioneer League standards. He's also given up 15 passed balls and 11 errors in 35 games behind the plate. He still has the potential to be an impressive hitter with power and patience, but it remains to be seen where he winds up on defense.
27) Brewers: Clint Coulter, C: A high schooler from Washington state, Coulter got off to a slow start in Low-A (.207/.299/.345 in 33 games) but has hit more effectively since being sent to rookie ball, hitting .350/.409/.617 in 17 games in the Arizona League and .333/.375/.444 in 10 games in the Pioneer League. Like Trahan, his defense is very raw and he may not stick behind the plate long-term.
28) Brewers: Victor Roache, OF: Drafted out of Georgia Southern, Roache had to shake off the effects of a serious wrist injury and hit just .209/.303/.341 in his first 50 games this year. He turned that around in his next 57, hitting .263/.325/.504. Overall he's hit 20 homers on the season and excites the Brewers with his power, but will have to watch his strikeout rate at higher levels.
29) Rangers: Lewis Brinson, OF: From high school in Florida, super-toolsy Brinson is hitting .236/.320/.431 in the Low-A Sally League, showing power and speed with 20 homers and 20 steals, but also a serious contact problem with 179 strikeouts in just 415 at-bats. His defense draws raves and he's very athletic, drawing comparisons to Mike Cameron, Chris Young, Drew Stubbs, and Devon White. Such outcomes are plausible if the strikeouts don't eat him up in the minors.
30) Yankees: Ty Hensley, RHP: This hard-throwing Oklahoma prep right-hander missed the entire season following spring hip surgery.
31) Red Sox: Brian Johnson, LHP: An advanced lefty from the University of Florida, Johnson has a 2.87 ERA with a 69/28 K/BB in 69 innings for Greenville in the Low-A Sally League. He's performed well, but a pitcher with his polish should be expected to at this level. He missed all of June with mild shoulder trouble but has pitched well since his return.
OTHER SUCCESS STORIES: Three players who were not first round picks have already reached the major leagues.
Paco Rodriguez, LHP, Dodgers: Drafted in the second round from the University of Florida, Rodriguez has had an outstanding season in the major league pen, with a 1.94 ERA and a 54/13 K/BB ratio in 46 innings, allowing only 22 hits. He's picked up two saves and looks like a key component of the Dodgers bullpen going forward.
Michael Roth, LHP, Angels: A ninth round pick from the University of South Carolina, Roth has spent most of 2013 with Double-A Arkansas (4.43 ERA, 43/33 K/BB in 69 innings) but did make 15 relief appearances with the Angels, posting a 7.20 ERA. The soft-tosser projects as an 11th man on most pitching staffs.
Alex Wood, LHP, Braves: This second round pick from the University of Georgia has been outstanding in 58 major league innings, used as both a starter and reliever, posting a 2.50 ERA with a 61/16 K/BB ratio and a .221 average against. Like Wacha with the Cardinals ,Wood provided a quick return on investment by the Braves and should be in the rotation for 2014.
More from Minor League Ball:
- The 2012 MLB Draft: Where are they now?
- Prospect of the Day: Chad Bettis, RHP, Colorado Rockies
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 21
- Astros sign Mexican slugger Japhet Amador
- Prospect of the Day: Ethan Martin, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
- Prospect Retrospective: Jeff Kent
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 20
- Prospect Note: Leury Garcia, INF, Chicago White Sox