Mack Ade – Feb 1 Pre-Season Draft Trends
Everything’s about to come full circle for both the high school seniors and college juniors that are eligible for the June draft. The high school kids will continue to try and come up with ways to showcase themselves while the college guys will stand by the results of their upcoming season.
There will be factors though. First, the injuries will begin to drop players into later rounds. Stanford’s A.J. Vanegas has already fell out of the first round due to back problems he began to suffer from in the last Cape Cod season. Remember when TCU’s Matt Purke was the odds on favorite for the first pick before his arm went lame? What about LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo who was going to be the first overall pick in 2010 but then went down with an elbow injury. Shit happens in this game and injures are shit to baseball.
This has been a quiet “off-season”. Most of the mock drafts being created now are only one round and, frankly, everyone seems to be using the same pool of around 70 players to determine the top 32. We are; however, beginning to see some trends that will be interesting if they continue.
In no particular order:
- 1. Stanford RHP Mark Appel is quietly dropping out of the top five picks. This could a combination of factors. Some may just be of writing the same name first all the time. Others aren’t that thrilled with his agent and influences their mocks with non-playing factors like that. I happen to think that Appel is the most talented RHP in this year’s draft, but I’d probably pass on him so I could get more bang for my buck. The new limits placed on signing bonuses are not agent-friendly, especially for guys like Scott Boras.
- 2. There are only six sure fired first round RHPs this year, the lowest I remember since I started doing this. Most years have six in the first ten picks. I’m sure there will be more, but, right now, the weath is spread around.
- 3. St. Pius X HS (TX) Kohl Stewart has leveled off in the mid-first round, Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek has taken over the lead dog RHP and Florida’s Jonathan Crawford has slowly grown to a projected top ten pick.
- 4. No one has benefited more from a great showcase season than Tray HS (CA) LHP Jonah Wesely, who wasn’t even on the map when his junior year ended. At least one third of the past two month’s mocks have him as a late first round pick.
- 5. Three months ago, half of the people picking Chrysler HS (MI) Trey Ball had him listed first as an outfielder. Now, he is 100% projected as a LHP and has solidly become one of the top eight picks.
- 6. The ‘mock’ season started with everyone a little catcher crazy. Early projections had up to six going in the first round, many being some of the very talented members of the high school class of 2012. That being said, everyone has now agreed that only two, Kentwood HS (WA) Reese McGuire, and Yukon HS (OK) Jonathan Denny, are guaranteed first round picks. Past that, only Mater Dei HS (CA) Jeremy Martinez has a chance, though he’s currently trending down.
- 7. Serra HS (CA) 1B Dominic Smith is trending way up and now looks to be a guaranteed first round pick. One mock has him 4th overall. Normally, teams don’t look to pick first basemen in the first round; however New Mexico’s D J Peterson is trending up and could also go this early (half project Peterson as a 3Bman).
- 8. Speaking of third base, pundits are starting to project San Diego’s Kris Bryant as an outfielder, a position I believe he has never played an inning as.
- 9. Trending up big time is James Madison HS (VA) SS-OF Andy McGuire, which began once everyone was sure he was once again healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken as the second SS, after Gaither HS (FL) Oscar Mercado.
- 10. This will be a big time outfielder draft with up to nine going in the first 31 picks. Hottest uptrend right now is Samford’s Phillip Ervin and Mater Academy William Abreu.
- 11. Down trending is Stanford OF Austin Wilson who some are whispering has some work related issues.