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First-round winners and losers from the MLB draft

Jun 4, 2012, 11:33 PM EST

Marcus Stroman AP

Sure, one generally has to wait four or five years to really sit back and analyze how a draft turned out. But why let that stop us from picking some winners and losers from Monday evening’s first round.

Winners

Dodgers – Corey Seager will likely prove to be a tough sign, but the high school shortstop had the talent to go well above pick No. 18. Kyle’s younger brother has superior power and rates as one of the class’s few potential All-Stars, though it will probably be at third base. Now the Dodgers only need to ink him.

Lucas Giolito – Despite missing his entire senior season with a sprained UCL — that’s the Tommy John ligament — Giolito got taken 16th overall by a Nationals team that could well prove aggressive enough to sign him. Giolito, a right-handed pitcher out of Harvard-Westlake high school in California, was a favorite to go first overall before the injury. The Nationals may have just gotten the draft’s most talented player for the third time in four years.

Marcus Stroman – The one pure reliever drafted in round one, Stroman went to a team in the Blue Jays that isn’t afraid to be aggressive with top prospects. It could lead to him making his major league debut later this year. Stroman, a 5’9″ right-hander out of Duke, has closer potential with his mid-90s fastball and power curve. The Jays made him their second first-round pick, taking him 22nd overall.

Yankees – The Yankees have made a lot of questionable first-round picks in recent years — Ian Kennedy rates as their best since Derek Jeter in 1992 — but they appeared to get very good value with high school right-hander Ty Hensley at No. 30 overall tonight. Most expected the big right-hander to go in the middle of the round.

Losers

Mark Appel – Most every mock draft had the Astros taking the Stanford right-hander first overall, but the team made the last-minute decision, according to GM Jeff Luhnow, to go with Correa instead. Whether that was because of Appel’s bonus demands is something that could become clear in the coming days. Regardless, it seems clear Appel was none too happy to fall to the Pirates at No. 8. He declined to talk to the press afterwards, instead releasing a statement that read: “I’m currently concentrating on winning a national championship and finishing my academic endeavors at Stanford. I will address the possibility of a professional career in due time.”

Cardinals – St. Louis got to draft 19th and 23rd overall, but failed to come away with a particularly exciting prospect. RHP Michael Wacha, the 19th pick, went about where most believed he would, but outfielder James Ramsey, a college senior, was considered an overdraft. Perhaps the Cardinals were thinking ahead: they did take well regarded third baseman Stephen Piscotty in the supplemental round and could use some Ramsey savings on him.

Jesus Montero – He wants to be a catcher, but the Mariners’ selection of Mike Zunino third overall suggests that Montero is bound for the DH spot. Zunino is an above average defensive catcher with pretty good power from the right side of the plate. He doesn’t project as an All-Star, but he should be a very solid regular.

  1. biasedhomer - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Mark Appel really took offense to dropping to 8th huh? Maybe you shouldn’t count the chickens before they hatch

    • Old Gator - Jun 5, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      The question is, did he take offense at falling to eighth, or at being drafted by the Pirates?

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jun 5, 2012 at 7:53 AM

      I think he took offence to going to Pittsburgh. Nothing against the city or it’s fans, but the Pirates haven’t won anything since the early 90′s. I live in Indianapolis, so I’ve had the horror of watching so-called prospects shuffle through their AAA team for the last few years. I knew McCutchen was the real deal, but guys like Alvarez and Tabata are marginal at best, and don’t get me started on Bullington. :) I miss the days when the Indy Indians were with Montreal (Randy Johnson, Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, etc), and Cincy (Sean Casey, Aaron Boone, Brett Boone, Pokey Reese), and later Milwaukee (Ben Sheets, Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Cory Hart).

      • istillbelieveinblue - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:03 AM

        Edit: Fielder never played here, which generated some animosity between the Indians’ long time owner and the Brewers.

  2. RickyB - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    FYI, Stroman is a Dookie, not a Clemson Tiger.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      Thanks. I have no idea how that happened.

    • motherscratcher23 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      LOL….Dookie

  3. mjay424 - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    I saw media reports projected David Dahl to the Rockies but his actual selection at 10 was an overdraft. His ceiling is low. Colorado passed on Lucas Gioloto, Richie Shaffer, Michael Wacha and even Nick Travieso That will prove yet another costly first-round mistake.

    Colorado Rockies Prospects Report

  4. kingdavid56 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    How did my Cubs do tonight in the draft?

  5. kingdavid56 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    How did my Cubs do tonight in the draft?

  6. hittfamily - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I think the Rays won this, hands down. They got a guy who was expected to go 10-20 with the 25th pick. He has the most power of any college player available (he won the HR Derby for the Cape Cod league). The only reason he fell so far was because teams were afraid he may not last at third base, and may need to move to the OF or 1st base. What don’t the Rays need? A third baseman. What do the Rays need? A power, impact bat at first. What is the most expensive position to fill? A power impact bat who plays first.

    Score!!!!

    • hittfamily - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:49 AM

      2 up, 7 down. I’m not against this. I’m against no one saying why they vote me down. There are really only a dozen or so teams that can “win” this. Those are the teams that will have fairly immediate impact, and fill a need they have. When I say the Rays “won” this, I don’t think they got the best player. How could I? They had the 25th best pick. I think they won this because they have a means to an end. By 2017, the Astros might have the best player. By 2014, the Rays still have a Championship team, and they just added the best collegiate hitter to that squad. They have the internal SS, 2b,3b. They have the internal OF. They have the internal rotation. They have 2 needs. C and 1b. They killed it. At 25, they got the same player they would have taken with the 10th pick. For that reason, I say the Rays killed it!

      • dan1111 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:27 AM

        People seem to vote down any bias in favor of (or enthusiasm for) one’s own team. My guess is that is the reason. I think it is rather silly, but that’s the way it goes.

  7. atteckus - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    I might suggest the Red Sox (my favorite team) as big losers. They passed up the chance to nail down HS studs like Stryker Trahan at 24th and Zach Elfin at 31st for an offensively declining shortstop and a projected middle of the rotation lefty. Its clear that the BoSox area scouts emphasize far too much on Cape League stints and don’t spread their emphasis wide enough.

    There’s the possibility that the BoSox hope to sign both Deven Marrero and Brian Johnson at less than slot-recommended bonuses and save some of that money for use in later rounds, but the fact is that they had the chance to add guys who were going to be at the perimeter of the BA Top 100, right off the bat and, for whatever reason, opted elsewise.

    • dan1111 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:09 AM

      I think it’s too soon to make this judgement. There are too many variables. For example, Stryker might not even sign–he’s committed to attend Mississippi. That has to affect the logic of picking him. On the other hand, defense at shortstop is quite valuable, and Marrero’s defensive reputation is outstanding.

      “[T]hey had the chance to add guys who were going to be at the perimeter of the BA Top 100, right off the bat and, for whatever reason, opted elsewise.” The whatever reason is probably that they like these guys better. I doubt that they were trying to save money on bonuses.

    • Ari Collins - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Marrerro was seen by many to be a mid-first-round talent in this draft, so him falling to the Sox is actually a minor steal. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but is very likely an average ML shortstop, which is nothing to sneeze at. Yes, you might get more upside at #24 in a regular draft, but this draft was fairly weak (while last year’s was the strongest since ’05). Most teams who didn’t have a top ten pick did not have strong drafts when you compare them to past years.

      They also got an extra sandwich or second-round talent in the fourth round with Ty Buttrey. It was a strong draft considering their draft position and the overall quality of the class.

  8. redguy12588 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I think Boras is more upset than Appel is, being that Appel tweeted how happy and blessed he was right after he got picked. Boras is starting the negotiations early. The Pirates are in a no lose situation here.

    • Cris E - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      If I’m in Pittsburgh I just leave a message for Scott B saying I’m going to start signing guys Monday and whoever gets to the money first can have it. Sign a couple middle rounders for $75000 to tighten up the budget and throw down a slot-plus-25% opener. If he holds out just say two first rounders next year is better than one overpriced guy this year and none next year and sign another late rounder.

  9. randygnyc - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Well, which is it? Did Appel issue that terse, disrespectful statement or tweet sentiments of gratitude?

    That he fell to #8 tells me that the teams that passed on him were concerned about something more than his bonus demands. Perhaps his overall diva attitude? Sure the kids got talent, but who wants a young child, just a few years removed from diapers and pacifiers, dictating demands to a billion dollar organization? I think the teams who passed on Appel automatically get a “plus” grade on this years draft.

    • jdd428 - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:23 AM

      I’m not convinced the teams that passed on Appel had concerns per se. I think many teams were pretty sure he’d be gone by the time their pick came up so they focused their pre-draft attentions elsewhere.

      A couple of the No. 2-7 teams (Twins, Mariners, Cubs) had been locked in to a specific choice, while Baltimore, Kansas City and San Diego may just felt more comfortable with what they were expecting predraft instead of changing course when Appel was still on the board.

      • dan1111 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:22 AM

        I’m pretty sure that teams are always ready if one of the top guys drops unexpectedly. They probably just didn’t think Appel was the best choice. The pre-draft speculation of who will go number one is just that: speculation. It is created by the press, not by the people who actually will make the picks.

    • dan1111 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:19 AM

      That’s an awfully quick judgment to make of the guy. We really don’t know what his character is like. A lot is being read into that statement, which, as Redguy noted above, might not even be his doing.

      Appel was not exactly Stephen Strasburg. There was no slam dunk first choice this year; there were plenty of question marks about all of the early picks. In Appel’s case, he only had one really dominant college season.

  10. ningenito78 - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I don’t know the entire story on Appel, but if the jist of this article is right, he deserves everything he got. First of all, if you really have your heart set at going number 1, don’t hire Boras unless you have been on the cover of SI before the draft. Hes a total cash monkey that does absolutely nothing but get you bottom line. He takes literally nothing else into consideration. So either Appel has a Colby Rasmusian father or the kid is delusional. As for ‘Dookie’- it’s ‘Dukie’ or ‘Dukey” Clemson guy.

    • atteckus - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:51 AM

      How about just, don’t hire Boras until you’re on the verge of free agency, after demonstrating a stellar 6 years of service time.

    • jwbiii - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      Boras has generally done a good job at getting his draftees good bonus money. The draft sort of hard slotting system that has been put in place will limit his, and and other agents’, ability to do this in the future.

      Hes a total cash monkey that does absolutely nothing but get you bottom line. He takes literally nothing else into consideration.

      Didn’t Mark Teixeira and Adrian Beltre (twice) take less than the biggest deals they were offered? It seems like he takes his clients’ wishes and nothing else into consideration and most of his clients want maximum cash. Some want to re-establish value, some want to play for a World Series contender.

      • jwbiii - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        If you’re interested in this sort of thing, here are the 1 and 1-S picks with their “advisors”:

        http://www.sportsagentblog.com/2012/06/05/2012-mlb-draft-round-1-advisorsplayers-list/

    • RickyB - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      I stand by my derogatory spelling of that school in Durham. And I am nothing close to a “Clemson guy.”

  11. howiehandles - Jun 5, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    This is a pure speculation. Of all the drafts, none is a bigger crap shoot than the MLB draft. It was kind of funny, and pathetic, seeking the MLB, and MLB network, try to make that on par with the NBA and NFL drafts. They really need to find a way to spice it up, maybe have former players announce the first round, as Selig has about as much personality as my left shoe.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was kind of nice to see MLB get into the new century, but the average fan has no idea who the majority of these kids are, and as usual, the bust factor is inordinately higher in the baseball draft than the other sports.

  12. fivetoolmike - Jun 5, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    I don’t get how you’re categorizing Marcus Stroman as a pure reliever; he started and relieved at Duke, and the Blue Jays said they’ve not decided how they’ll use him. I’ve read he’ll likely be a reliever ultimately, but that doesn’t really translate to “pure reliever.”

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      It has to do with height. The # of successful pitchers <6' is few and far between. I know Kevin Goldstein, and possibly Keith Law, mentioned on twitter last night that the Jays could fast track Stroman and have him in the bigs this year, especially with the faster signing deadline.

      • fivetoolmike - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

        Sure, absolutely; that doesn’t change the fact he shouldn’t be categorized “pure reliever.”

  13. natstowngreg - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    One could argue that Mike Rizzo took the best player 4 years in a row. Anthony Rendon was a potential #1 overall pick last year before getting hurt.

    I like that the Nats, having improved enough to drop down to mid-round 1, took a chance on a very talented pitcher. As shown with Zimmermann and Strasburg, elbow problems can be overcome.

  14. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Put the jays and their entire organization down as the biggest losers, you will never hear from any of the guys they drafted again after today. within the next 5 years they will be joining the expos finally

    • Ari Collins - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      Oh, Harry. You never let facts get in the way of a good trashing, do you.

  15. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Put the jays and their entire organization down as the biggest losers, you will never hear from any of the guys they drafted again after today.

    Jared (CT) Guesses on first guy from this class to make the majors?
    Klaw (1:20 PM) Marcus Stroman. Gets there this year.

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/44021

    22. Toronto Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
    Stroman seemed to be the Plan B player for any number of teams in front of this pick, and this could be a steal here. If the Blue Jays sign him quickly and commit to a bullpen role, Stroman could be pitching important big league innings by September.

    Kevin Goldstein – http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17250

    Stroman gets strikeouts both with his fastball, which sits 92-94 mph, and he has added a changeup and cutter in the last year as he evolved from an infielder/closer into a starter. He always has had his wipeout slider that can make hitters look silly. He should be one of the fastest players to the majors in this year’s class, and some scouts think he can start. But they all know he can be a big league reliever in short order.

    John Manuel – Baseball America – http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/06/toronto-makes-marcus-stroman-dukes-first-first-rounder/

    So which scouting organization do you work for?

    • wlschneider09 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Harry’s a long time member of Trolls Inc.

  16. aglumac - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    As a long time suffering Pirates fan there is some substantial hope on the horizon for the first time in forever. Much of it the last few years was false hope, but at this point it seams very real. The Buccos are only 3 or 4 games out of first, and over .500, with a lot of talented pitching in the minor league system. Cole, Taillon, Heridia, and now Appel, if at least two of those guys become top of the rotation fixtures, it will be a huge asset to the organization. They have a few position players in Marte, Grossman, and Bell, that are exciting too, plus the C they took in the 2nd was supposedly the 2nd best catching prospect in the draft, after a good start Sanchez, a former 1st rounder has fallen out of favor. I hope Boras, who has represented Pirate 1sts before–Cole, realises that his leverage isnt the same as it was in the past. I envy the Nats, they grabbed the guy that I think was the biggest risk reward with Giolito. He and D.Bundy from last year may make the Bucs wish they took a different course, here is to hoping that they dont lol.

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