The recent reviews of the early results from the 2015 MLB Draft, first and second rounds, have proven quite popular. We'll keep it going through at least the fourth round, moving forward with the third round pitchers. The original quick draft day commentary is in italics.
76) Diamondbacks: Taylor Clarke, RHP, College of Charleston: Exceptional pitchability with decent stuff, possible fourth starter. RESULTS: Pitched 21 innings in the Northwest League, allowing zero runs. Can't beat that, especially with a pretty 27/4 K/BB ratio. He relieved in pro ball but pre-draft most felt he profiled best as a starter. Should move quickly in either role.
77) Rockies: Hard-throwing University of Arizona commit, somewhat raw, should sign here. RESULTS: Pitched 34 innings in the Pioneer League, resulting in 6.82 ERA, 30/10 K/BB but unsightly 51 hits allowed. Sending a high school arm to the heavy-hitting Pioneer League results in outcomes like this. Pre-draft reports were more mixed than this original short comment indicates. Some sources said he was raw (reflected here), others said he showed impressive pitchability but needed to pick up more velocity. We'll know more in a year.
78) Rangers: Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke: Tommy John surgery ruined chance to go first-overall. RESULTS: Tommy John recovery, did not pitch.
82) Cubs: 6-7 lefty with extremely high upside. RESULTS: 6.2 innings in rookie ball, 5/2 K/BB, four runs, six hits. Sample too small to be meaningful but doesn't violate the narrative either for good or ill. Velocity varies but has a good breaking ball, easy to dream on the upside given his size and projectability.
86) Padres : Jacob Nix, RHP, IMG Academy: Could have gone 50 spots higher than this, good pick. RESULTS: Another small sample that doesn't violate the established narrative on the player either way, 20 innings in rookie ball with 5.49 ERA, 19/7 K/BB, 23 hits. Live arm, good body, still refining mechanics and secondary pitches, but a three-pitch workhorse starter if it all works out.
88) Mets: Projectable lefty but already shows decent command. RESULTS: 11 innings in rookie ball, 16/9 K/BB, two hits, five runs. Command (again in a tiny sample) was not as good as pre-draft reports implied, mechanics need more work than I thought, however he showed good dominance potential. A project, but promising.
89) Braves: Anthony Guardado, RHP, California HS: Pop-up pitcher with live arm, unknown until three months ago.
RESULTS: One inning, walked two guys in rookie ball. Reports say he can hit low 90s and is very athletic. It appears most sources thought he was going to college at Long Beach State so there was little pre-draft info on him. There still isn't much. Working on it.
90) Brewers: Nash Walters, RHP, Texas HS: RESULTS: 22 innings in rookie ball; 4.15 ERA but ugly 15/20 K/BB. I didn't have a pre-draft report on him. Subsequent information reveals that he is a hard thrower (no surprise) who was expected to attend Texas A&M but is very raw. Rookie ball data backs that up. Good size at 6-5, 215.
91) Blue Jays: Justin Maese, RHP, Texas HS: From El Paso, another pop-up who came out of nowhere over the last three months. RESULTS: 36 innings in rookie ball (a larger sample, thank you Blue Jays farm director), 1.01 ERA with 19/6 K/BB, 32 hits. Yet another Texas high school arm with a college commit (Texas Tech) but he signed very easily (just $300,000) and it could be a bargain. Strikeout rate is low but good control stands out, velocity erratic but has touched 96.
92) Yankees: Good choice here, had late first round potential, polished but has solid stuff as well. RESULTS: 12 starts, 32 innings in Appalachian League (thank you Yankees farm director), 3.94 ERA, 41/19 K/BB, 33 hits. First-round buzz until a late slump dropped his stock, looks like they may have a bargain here, potential mid-rotation type.
97) Athletics: Dakota Chalmers, RHP, Georgia HS: Potential first round arm, rather raw, but huge upside here.
RESULTS: 20 innings in rookie ball, 2.66 ERA, 18/17 K/BB, 15 hits. Like Finley he was a nice pick here though cost $1,200,000, fastball, slider, curve, change all flash big league quality but he needs better control.
99) Tigers: Drew Smith, RHP, Dallas Baptist: Can hit 99, closer potential, standard Tigers type pick. RESULTS: 0.29 ERA in 31 innings at three levels, mostly in the NY-P, 38/5 K/BB, 17 hits. Spectacular early numbers, secondary pitches and command were much better than anticipated.
101) Dodgers: Phil Pfeifer, LHP, Vanderbilt: Versatile arm from top program of course, could move fast in pen. RESULTS: Threw 1.2 innings in rookie ball, walked three, then shut down. Showed three quality pitches in college, could be fourth starter or a bullpen arm.
104) Angels: Grayson Long, RHP, Texas A&M: Throws four pitches for strikes, solid track record, back-end starter or reliever. RESULTS: 5.03 ERA in 20 innings in Pioneer League, 22/10 K/BB, 19 hits. 6-5 groundballer with average velocity but throws strikes with secondary pitches and keeps the ball down. Fifth starter projection, or perhaps more dominant if used in pen.
105) Cardinals (failure to sign Trevor Megill): Jordan Hicks, RHP, Texas HS: Raw, can hit 93-95, sometimes higher. Long-term project. RESULTS: Signed but didn't pitch in rookie ball so we don't know any more than we did before.