Analyzing the 2011 MLB Draft: 1st Round Steals and Misses

Tuesday June 7, 2011

 

 

MLB reports:  Day one of the 2011 MLB Draft is now in the books and we are moving on to Round 2.  The most hyped draft in recent memory did not disappoint, as the results of Round 1 featured many surprises and shockers.  With the amount of mock drafts and industry experts covering the big event, you would think that the first round results would have been more predictable.  But many teams took diverse routes in making their selections in the first round and now the second-guessing begins.  While the analysis may look very different in 1-5 years from now, the day after the draft- we take a look at the highlights of the first round and our most noted steals and misses.

 

STEALS

6.  Washington Nationals:  Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

A team is simply not supposed to land the top hitter of the draft at the #6 slot but that is exactly what the Nationals did with Rendon.  If not for injury concerns, Rendon would have gone as one of the first two picks.  While Rendon does carry some risk, the Nationals loved his upside and had to make the selection.  The best pick of the draft for the slot in my opinion.

 

12.  Milwaukee Brewers:  Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas

15.  Milwaukee Brewers (for unsigned 2010 first rounder Dylan Covey):  Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

The Brewers really cleaned up by landing not one but two top-ten starting pitchers by drafting Jungmann and Bradley.  Jungmann is the 6’6″ gunslinging Texas pitcher and Bradley is one of the top lefty pitchers.  Just like that, in one round the Brewers began the process of restocking their farm system with top pitching prospects.

 

19.  Boston Red Sox (from Tigers for Type-A Victor Martinez):  Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn

26.  Boston Red Sox (from Rangers for Type-A Adrian Beltre):  Blake Swihart, C, Rio Rancho (N.M.) Cleveland HS

The mighty Red sox were at it again by landing a top-ten starting pitcher and the top catching prospect in the draft with the #19 and #26 picks.  Barnes was considered to go high, considering his 6’4′, 205 lbs frame and fluid delivery.  Then Swihart, whom the Red Sox were known to have targeted at #19, fell all the way to them at #26.  A great day for a team that knows how to draft well, plain and simple.

 

24.  Tampa Bay Rays (from Red Sox for Type-A Carl Crawford):  Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley HS

31.  Tampa Bay Rays (from Yankeesfor Type-A Rafael Soriano):  Mikie Mahtook, OF, LSU

With ten top picks, the Rays were armed with the means to obtain prospects and they got two great ones in Guerrieri and Mahtook.  Maturity issues dogged Guerrieri and based on talent alone, he should have gone in the top-12.  Mahtook was seen as a possible Mets pick at #13, with a solid glove, bat and speed.  Possibly the next Carl Crawford, the Rays showed that good scouting pays off even when you draft late.  The Rays may have lost Crawford and Soriano to free agency but they will have the last laugh when both Guerrieri and Mahtook make the majors one day.

 

MISSES

13.  New York Mets:  Brandon Nimmo, OF Cheyenne East (Wyo.) HS

Nimmo was picked for the most part based on signability and cost.  With the Mets in financial limbo, the team passed on many far superior talents to take Nimmo at #13.  The kid is considered a project as he never played high school ball and should have been a 2nd round pick.  For a team that desperately needs to rebuild its system, this pick will be a miss.

 

16.  Los Angeles Dodgers:  Chris Reed, LHP, Stanford

See Nimmo at #13.  The Dodgers are in poor shape financially and like the Mets made their selection based on cost and signability.  For another kid that was projected to be a 2nd round pick and also likely to be a reliever, this draft slot was too much of a reach.  Overall a great opportunity for Reed, but a huge blow to the Dodgers farm system.

 

18.  Oakland Athletics:  Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt

Reports have Oakland viewing Gray as a starter, but I see the #18 pick likely as a future reliever.  Based on his size (5’11”), there will be questions of durability and ability to succeed at the major league level.  With so many quality prospects still available, the jury is definitely out on this pick.

 

29.  San Francisco Giants:  Joe Panik, SS, St. John’s

The media will have a field day with this pick as the Giants appear to have made a “Panik” move with the selection of Joe Panik in the first round.  In desperate need of offense, the Giants opted to grab a shortstop late.  With Josh Bell still on the board, a higher risk/reward pick may have been in order.  Panik has a strong glove and decent bat, but does not project to have first round type talent. 

 

30.  Minnesota Twins:  Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina

See Panik at #29.  The Twins were in the same boat as the Giants when making their selection.  However, the difference is that the Giants are open to spending on draft selections while the Twins tend to be more fiscally responsible (cheap).  With the new ballpark in place, the Twins should have gone after a selection with higher upside.  They played it safe with Michael, but the ceiling is not high enough to warrant the selection with Bell and Purke still available.

 

 

Previous Draft Articles by MLB reports:

The 2011 MLB Draft:  Recap of the Results, 1st Round Picks and Future Stars

Updating the 2011 MLB Draft:  Baseball Prospects and Draft Projections

The 2011 MLB Draft: The Report and Inside Scoops

 

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Posted on June 7, 2011, in On the Verge: MLB Prospects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Truth on the Mets pick – Nimmo will command one of the larger signing bonuses in the draft, so he was not selected because of cost.

    Biggest need in the Mets organization was an impact bat. At pick #13 who else had a higher upside as a hitter and was available?

    Nimmo will be a middle of the lineup left-handed hitting CF with considerable speed and a compact swing with a projectable body.

    Would you have preferred a conservative pitcher out of a cold weather college with a #3/#4 SP upside? PASS An undersized future relief pitcher = PASS…..

    You said: (Mets – 13 – Nimmo): Nimmo was picked for the most part based on signability and cost. With the Mets in financial limbo, the team passed on many far superior talents to take Nimmo at #13. The kid is considered a project as he never played high school ball and should have been a 2nd round pick. For a team that desperately needs to rebuild its system, this pick will be a miss.

    • Thank you for the message Joe. Are you a friend or colleague of Mr. Nimmo ;)

      The Mets are in need of help in every area, not just hitting. There were many solid pitchers still on the board when the Mets picked and would have provided greater upside than Nimmo. Everything I have read about Nimmo leads me to believe that this was a signability and cost pick, plain and simple. If you have more material on the subject, I would be happy to read it. If you are a big fan of the Mets, I would heavily advise you check out Howard Megdal’s new book, “Taking the Field.” A must own for all Mets fans and baseball fans at large. I think you will appreciate the analysis in the book on the state of the Mets and how they develop their players, among many other topics.

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