When you're Byron Buxton, Baseball America selecting you as the No. 1 overall prospect in the upcoming MLB first-year player draft foretells an enormous payday ahead.
When you're a Georgia baseball fan, Buxton's presence on the cover of the publication's annual draft preview presents a more ominous suggestion. It means that David Perno's program will almost certainly lose its top signee before he ever reports to campus -- not that such a possibility was unexpected.
And Jeter did that. He did all of it. The Yankees drafted him 20 years ago after losing 91 games. The season before, they lost 95 games. It was the lowest point of the franchise in almost 30 years. And while it was going on, the Yankees had high draft choices that allowed their fans to think "Man, wouldn't it be something if this kid could turn the franchise around." And after he showed up, they never had a losing season again. They missed the playoffs once.
This makes Jeter the best draft pick ever.
The Astros appear to have narrowed their focus for the top selection in tonight's First-Year Player Draft to Stanford pitched Mark Appel and Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton, and a report indicated Appel will be the No. 1 pick.
The Astros are expected to select Appel, a source told ESPN senior baseball analyst Jim Bowden, the former general manager of the Nationals and the Reds. The Astros intend to keep their choice under wraps until they make the first selection at 6 p.m. CT tonight.
Thirty out of the past forty-six years, players selected with the 25th pick have made the major leagues. Some, like Matt Cain, Matt Garza, Mike Trout, and Bill Buckner, made (or will make) an impact at the MLB level. Most did not. Such is the way with the MLB draft. Many players are selected, yet few make the major leagues. Because of the long odds, drafting and developing these players is a highly sought after skill.
The Nationals will join the rest of Major League Baseball on Monday night in the first draft since this winter’s new collective b argaining agreement changed the rules about how much money clubs can spend on the draft. The Nationals, picking 16th overall, will be allotted $4.4 million for their first 10 picks, the result of baseball’s effort to restrain the kind of draft spending the Nationals employed for the past three years.
MLB Draft First Round
1. Houston Astros
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Kansas City Royals
6. Chicago Cubs
7. San Diego Padres
8. Pittsburgh Pirates
9. Miami Marlins
10. Colorado Rockies
11. Oakland Athletics
12. New York Mets
13. Chicago White Sox
14. Cincinnati Reds
15. Cleveland Indians
16. Washington Nationals
17. Toronto Blue Jays
18. Los Angeles Dodgers
19. St. Louis Cardinals
20. San Francisco Giants
21. Atlanta Braves
22. Toronto Blue Jays
23. St. Louis Cardinals
24. Boston Red Sox
25. Tampa Bay Rays
26. Arizona Diamondbacks
27. Milwaukee Brewers
28. Milwaukee Brewers
29. Texas Rangers
30. New York Yankees
31. Boston Red Sox (J. Papelbon - PHI)
"It's a below-average draft as far as drafts go, and it's certainly down from last year as far as depth and premium players in the first round," said Sean Johnson, Minnesota's West Coast scouting supervisor. "It's lean in certain spots."
But there is certainly some solid talent available. Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, Florida catcher Mike Zunino, LSU righty Kevin Gausman and Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton are expected to be among the players picked early.
6. Cubs should select... LHP Max Fried, Harvard Westlake HS (Calif.)
At this point, the industry expectation is that the Cubs will select prep outfielder Albert Almora, but I think that Fried would be the better pick. Obviously I have more faith in the Cubs' front office than I do in my own eyes, but scouts love Fried's combination of stuff and build, plus the Cubs don't really have an elite young pitcher like him in their organization.
Only in the past few years has the MLB Draft become an event worthy of major attention from the public, something that even remotely emulates the popularity of drafts in other major sports. There are some very good reasons for this, the most obvious being that amateur baseball players simply aren't capable of immediately succeeding at the sport's highest level.
At the same time, though, it's impossible to argue that the draft isn't ultimately the key ingredient to any successful franchise.
The Picks: The Red Sox have three picks in the first round and its subsequent "sandwich" round. The first, the #24 pick, is Boston's, the one they would have simply for being a draft participant. The second and third of these first-round selections come courtesy of Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies. The Red Sox have the #31 pick in the draft, which was formerly Philadelphia's, and also the #37 selection, as additional compensation for losing the last of the Type-A relievers under the old collective bargaining agreement.
It’s draft day today, or more specifically, the first draft day with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein manning the club’s draft board...Epstein treats draft week like most kids regard their birthday and Christmas, or the feeling that adults get when the tax return hits the bank account. To Epstein there is promise and potential ahead since there will be a lot more toys to play with very soon.