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2014 MLB Draft: Picks 11-20 – Jays add catcher with second first-round pick

Jun 5, 2014, 8:29 PM EDT

Max Pentecost Max Pentecost

No. 11 pick: Blue Jays select Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost
This was a compensation pick for not signing Phil Bickford after drafting him 10th overall last year. Pentecost is a true catcher, but also a fine athlete with good speed. The questions about his bat kept him out of the top 10 tonight, but he could be a solid regular two or three years down the line. He did hit .423/.483/.631 this season, but that was against lesser competition in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

No. 12 pick: Brewers select high school LHP Kodi Medeiros
He’s the first Hawaiian high schooler to go in the first round since 2001. The Brewers have whiffed on a bunch of first-round picks the last five years — no one they’ve picked in the first or supplemental round since 2009 has reached the majors — and here’s another high-risk selection for them. Medeiros has a great arm, with a moving low-90s fastball and a big-breaking slider, but with an odd delivery and mediocre command, he’s a long shot to reach his ceiling.

No. 13 pick: Padres select NC State shortstop Trea Turner
Turner is a speedster with the ability to last at shortstop, but he’s likely to be more of a No. 7 or 8 hitter than someone who will be an asset at the top of the lienup. At least he should work out better than the last two middle infielders the Padres drafted in the top 20: Matt Antonelli in 2006 and Cory Spangerberg in 2010. He should move quickly through the farm system.

No. 14 pick: Giants select Vanderbilt left-hander Tyler Beede
Beede was the 21st overall pick by the Blue Jays in 2011, but he opted to head to Vandy rather than sign. He goes 13th overall despite having the weakest numbers of the Commodores’ primary starters this season, finishing 8-7 with a 3.20 ERA and a 106/43 K/BB in 98 1/3 innings. Still, there’s more upside here than one might expect with a college pitcher.

No. 15 pick: Angels select Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb
Newcomb is a big lefty with a 91-95 mph fastball, and he went 8-2 with a 1.25 ERA and a 106/38 K/BB ratio in 93 1/3 innings for Hartford this year. Considering that he had little trouble overpowering rather weak college competition, the fact that he walked so many batters is rather discouraging. The talent is there for him to turn into something special, but he’s less polished than the college pitchers taken ahead of him.

No. 16 pick: Diamondbacks select high school right-hander Touki Toussaint
If Toussaint were a little bigger, he probably would have been right there with Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek at the very top of the draft. As it was, his slight build probably worked against him, with teams wondering how he’ll hold up. He has an electric arm; he throws in the 90-95 mph range with the possibility of more velocity as he fills out and his curveball is outstanding.

No. 17 pick: Royals select TCU left-hander Brandon Finnegan
Finnegan isn’t big at 5’11” and 185 pounds, but he can throw in the mid-90s and has a quality changeup. Because of his size and some past shoulder troubles, some think he’ll wind up in the pen, and if the Royals want, they could get him to the majors in short order as a reliever. They’ll almost certainly groom him as a starter, though.

No. 18 pick: Nationals select UNLV right-hander Erick Fedde
Fedde gets taken two days after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Nationals, though, have never been afraid of taking risks, and Fedde was a possible top-five guy before getting hurt. He throws in the low-90s with good command, and both his slider and changeup project as major league pitches. The Nats thought that was worth having stashed away, even if Fedde doesn’t pitch in a minor league game until 2016.

No. 19 pick: Reds select Virginia right-hander Nick Howard
Howard was the Cavaliers’ closer this season, saving 19 games with a 2.15 ERA and a 50/12 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings. He throws 94-98 mph as a closer, but he is a former starter and the Reds will almost certainly take a look at him back in the rotation. What will be interesting to see is whether they try him as a reliever this year first. If so, he could be a factor in the majors in the second half of the season.

No. 20 pick: Rays select Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie
Gillaspie, younger brother of White Sox third baseman Conor, hit .389/.520/.682 with 15 homers in 211 at-bats for the Shockers this season. He’s a switch-hitter with the swing to hit for both average and power. He’s not going to play anywhere other than first base, but the Rays obviously believe he has the bat to carry the position. They could certainly use a hit here after missing on so many first-rounders of late.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Pentecost is the second first round pick chosen by the Jays from Kennesaw State. In 2009, they took Chad Jenkins who is now in their bullpen. Jenkins pitched quite well against Detroit during their last 2 games.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Beede is also interesting to Blue Jay fans as he did not sign with the team despite being a first round pick. As compensation, the Jays got pick 22 in the following draft and took Marcus Stroman. Stroman is now in the Toronto rotation.

    • hittfamily - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Other teams overlooked Stroman. Like literally. (short joke).

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        He is listed at 5 feet 9 inches, but might be shorter. Call him Mighty Mouse! Here he comes to save the Jays, Mighty Marcus is on his way.

  3. natstowngreg - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Once again, Mike Rizzo uses his #1 on the high-upside guy who drops due to injury. It worked with Anthony Rendon, while Lucas Giolito is pitching well at Low-A Hagerstown (though he’s being brought along slowly).

    You can do this sort of thing in MLB. Unlike the NFL and NBA, where a top draft pick is expected to contribute immediately.

  4. hittfamily - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I’m torn about the Gillaspie pick. It’s nice to get a good fist baseman in the draft, because they are so expensive on the FA market. At the same time, every position player picked since Longo has been a huge bust. The pick reminds me too much of Richie Shaffer, who was “the best hitter of this draft class.

    The good news for Rays fans is that Ryan Stanek, their 2nd first round pick last year, is absolutely killing it in his first pro action. 1 run or less allowed in 4 of his 5 A-ball starts, including 1 run allowed in his last 12 IP. He fell from top 10 to the Rays at 28, and it’s sure looking like a steal. 2011’s first rounder Taylor Guerreri was #60 on BA top 100 list, and on a fast track to being a top 25 prospect until his failed marijuana test and TJ surgery.

    I’d have gone pitching here. Dancewith the girl that brought you, and pitching has been the keys to the Rays success.

  5. chargrz - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:45 AM

    PADRES suck

  6. flosox - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Careful what you say about the A-Sun. Chris Sale is an FGCU alum and KSU is raking it right now in the tourney. Lest we forget the FGCU sweet sixteen run and Mercer over Duke.

    Just sayin…

  7. tonyc920 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Brewers director of scouting Bruce Said will admit he likes high risk / reward selections. Actually the past few years the 1st and 2nd round selections are still developing but he’s hit some home runs with selections in rounds 5 – 10. Guys that are contributing in AAA and the Big Leagues.

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