The Dugout Doctors’ writer Steve Garrity presents his first round analysis of the 2011 MLB Draft.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
RHP Gerrit Cole, UCLA – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 220 B/T: R/R
A first round pick by the Yankees in 2008, Gerrit Cole has come a long way. He is equipped with some of the best pure stuff in the draft. His fastball has been clocked consistently in the high-90s and has touched triple digits. His secondary offerings include a slider and change, both are only average right now. Command and control seem to be Cole’s Achilles’ heel at the moment as he struggled some in 2011. However, with some seasoning in the minors, Cole has real ace potential.
2. Seattle Mariners
LHP Danny Hultzen, Virginia – Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 200 B/T: L/L
A surprise pick here. The Mariners were mostly connected to bats like Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, and Bubba Starling. Danny Hultzen is probably one of the safer picks and should be a quick mover in the minors. He has three potentially plus pitches in a low-90s fastball that has touched 96, a true plus-changeup with excellent life and fade, and a slider that has a chance to be plus in the future. Thinking about a future rotation of Felix Hernandez, Michael Peneda, and Hultzen has to make Mariners fan smile.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
RHP Trevor Bauer, UCLA – Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 B/T: R/R
Some clubs were scared off of Trevor Bauer because of his long-toss pitching regiment and his quirky personality. But he is dominant as he is odd. Bauer is a true student of pitching, studying everything from biomechanics to pitch tunneling. He mirrors himself off of Giants ace Tim Lincecum and his delivery certainly shows that. He has one of the largest bag of pitches in the draft including a fastball that sits in the 93-95 range with good life, and a plus plus curve, as well as an above average change, along with several variations of these pitches. He is possible the most Major League ready pitcher in the draft and has a chance to become a dominant number one starter at the next level.
4. Baltimore Orioles
RHP Dylan Bundy, Owasso HS (OK) – Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 200 B/T: S/R
The 2011 class has some the best collection of arms in quite a while, some have suggested Bundy might be the best out of the bunch. His size is not usually what you look for at the top of the draft at only 6’0’’, but he has outstanding strength. He can squat 500 lbs. and leg press 1200 lbs., which goes to show how strong his work ethic is. He has reached triple-digits with his fastball and already has a plus-cutter and curve, along with a slider. He has a big price tag associated with him but his brother is already in the Baltimore organization and for the right price could be bought away from his Texas scholarship.
5. Kansas City Royals
OF Bubba Starling, Gardner-Edgerton HS (KS) – Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 200 B/T: R/R
Possibly the best prospect in the entire draft. Bubba Starling is also a top quarterback prospect with a scholarship waiting for him at the University of Nebraska. The Royals were connected to college arms pretty much the whole way but grabbing the local product here almost made too much sense. Starling is a tremendous athlete with plus-speed and power potential, along with a plus-arm. Some scouts think he could of more of a future on the mound but for now, he will hit. He will be a tough sign but under GM Dayton Moore, the Royals have not been afraid to spend to get top talent with high ceilings. If everything falls into place, Kansas City has the chance to add a potential superstar to the deepest system in the league.
6. Washington Nationals
3B Anthony Rendon, Rice – Ht: 6′ Wt: 190 B/T: R/R
Anthony Rendon is the top college bat in the entire draft. He slipped slightly due to injury risks with his shoulder and ankle. The Nationals already have Ryan Zimmerman at third but Rendon could be moved over to second as he played some there this season. At the plate, Rendon has tremendous hand-eye coordination with excellent plate discipline and bat speed. He has the potential to develop 20-25 home run potential. In the field, he is an outstanding defender with above-average range and an outstanding arm. When he enters Washington’s system, he would automatically become the number 2 prospect behind Bryce Harper.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
RHP Archie Bradley, Broken Arrow HS (OK) – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 225 B/T: R/R
Archie Bradley is an interesting pick here. The Diamondbacks will not receive another pick next year if they fail to sign him. He has had high bonus demands attached to him, as high as $20 million. All along the D-Backs’ have mentioned that talent would reign supreme over signability here and in Bradley, they get one of the most athletic pitchers in the draft. He is another top quarterback prospect with a scholarship to Nebraska. He has outstanding size at 6’4’’ and 225 pounds and tremendous mechanics. His fastball has been clocked as high as 101 mph and he matches it with a devastating curve. If Arizona can get him in their system, they have another potential number one starter to go along with Trevor Bauer.
8. Cleveland Indians
SS Francisco Lindor, Monteverde Academy (FL) – Ht: 5’11” Wt: 170 B/T: S/R
Francisco Lindor is a rare high school shortstop prospect who actually has a chance to stick at short. Scouts have described him as someone who can do it all: he can run, field, throw, and hit. The only real question about him is how much power potential he really has. He’ll need some seasoning down on the farm but down the road, he has a real shot to be a top of the order threat and a Gold Glove defender.
9. Chicago Cubs
3B Javier Baez, Arlington Country Day School (FL)
Javier Baez is slightly below Lindor in terms of upside, though his power potential can’t be questioned. He may have the fastest bat in the entire draft. He is a shortstop now and has an outside shot to stick there but odds are, he outgrows the position and moves over to third, where he has more than enough power and arm strength to profile. The only real question about Baez is his makeup; those concerns have really turned off scouts. If he matures in the minors, he has the chance to become a real star.
10. San Diego Padres
SS Cory Spangenberg, Indian River State College – Ht: 6′ Wt: 185 B/T: L/R
San Diego was connected to Cory Spangenberg leading up to the draft. It makes sense with their compensation pick, as he shouldn’t be a difficult sign. His bat is definitely what will carry him; he squares up everything and should be a doubles machine. His swing lacks loft though so his power potential is a question mark. He plays second and third now but concerns about his footwork and infield actions make scouts believe he will probably have to move to an outfield corner position. He has tremendous speed and an average arm so he could be an average defender but the bat is what to watch.
11. Houston Astros
OF George Springer, UConn – Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 200 B/T: R/R
The Astros have one of the shallowest systems in all of baseball and rumors were they were going to go for another overdraft with Chris Reed here leading up to the draft. However they shrugged everyone off and took George Springer. A true five-tool potential player, Springer has plus raw power, a plus arm, is a plus runner, and a smooth defender. There are some questions about his ability to hit for average at the next level because he tends to swing and miss some. Springer has shown he can make adjustments in the past though. He gives Houston a real potential superstar prospect, something their system could desperately use.
12. Milwaukee Brewers
RHP Taylor Jungmann, Texas – Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 220 B/T: R/R
Taylor Jungmann saw his stock rise some leading up to the draft until a velocity dip brought up some questions. However, the Brewers obviously were not scared off. He is a proven winner who has great size at 6’6’’ and 220 pounds. His repertoire includes a fastball that sits at 90-93 and a solid slider and change. He commands his pitches well but his upside is somewhat limited despite being a safe pick. There is some concern about his delivery with an extreme head movement but he has been doing it his entire life. Even with all the questions, he is still one of the best college arms in this draft.
13. New York Mets
OF Brandon Nimmo, Cheyenne East HS (WY) – Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 B/T: R/R
Brandon Nimmo is the mystery man in this draft. Wyoming does not have high school baseball and as such scouts rarely got to see him play. His stock began to rise last summer after dominating the showcase circuit. He is raw but has proven he can handle top level competition. He is an outstanding athlete so he should be a very good defender in center and has tremendous hitting tools. He has a smooth left-handed swing that should allow him to hit for average and solid power. The only question with Nimmo is his price tag, rumored to be in the $3 million dollar range. The Mets have said they can go over slot to sign their pick but with their financial issues it remains to be seen.
14. Florida Marlins
RHP Jose Fernandez, Alonso HS (FL) – Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 235 B/T: R/R
Jose Fernandez is wise beyond his years. He tried to defect from Cuba three times and even spent time in a Cuban prison before finally making it to the states. He has proved it was all worth it and stood out this year among a strong high school pitching class. He has three potentially above-average offerings in a 90-95 mph fastball with very good sink, a sharp slider, and a curve that has flashed 12-6. He also has a change that is a work in progress. The Marlins love high school pitching and an arm like this in their backyard was too much to pass up. The only concern with Fernandez is keeping his 6’3’’ and 235 pound frame in check. If he can, Florida has a potential ace in the making.
15. Milwaukee Brewers
LHP Jed Bradley, Georgia Tech – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 224 B/T: L/L
Jed Bradley has some of the best pure stuff in the draft in 91-95 fastball, a potentially plus low-80s slider, and a change with great movement. Even after dominating the Cape League in 2010, Bradley was never really able to put together an outstanding season for the Yellow Jackets which caused his stock to drop some. He has a smooth delivery and has shown a strong work ethic. The Brewers hope with better coaching, he can finally become the ace he is meant to be.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers
LHP Chris Reed, Stanford – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 190 B/T: L/L
The Dodgers didn’t really have the money to sign any top tier talent and Chris Reed is a slight overdraft here as he was projected as more of supplemental round talent. However as Stanford’s closer, he has shown the stuff to potentially start at the next level. He has an above average fastball that sits in the 91-95 mph range with solid run, and a plus slider, as well as a potentially plus change. He has the fastball and breaking ball that could move him quickly through the Dodgers system as a bullpen arm. He hasn’t really pitched much; he only pitched around 30 innings before this season, which makes scouts think there is still more to come from Reed.
17. Los Angeles Angels
1B C.J. Cron, Utah – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 230 B/T: R/R
C.J. Cron is an odd pick for the Angels as they usually go for the high school talent. But he is one of the top college bats in the class; he makes some of the hardest, most consistent contact in the entire draft. He is below average as a runner and will probably be no more than an average defender at first, but his bat should allow him to hit for plus power and a solid average. This pick has to make you think what the futures of Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales are in the Angels organization.
18. Oakland Athletics
RHP Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt – Ht: 5’11” Wt: 180 B/T: R/R
This is a perfect Oakland A’s pick. Sonny Gray is undersized for a pitcher at only 5’11’’ but he has a bulldog mentality and gives his all the whole game. On the mound, he has a fastball that has touched 97 mph and usually sits in the 91-95 mph range, along with possibly the best curveball in college baseball. He has a developing change but it lags behind his other offerings, because of this some believe he could be a fast mover through the minors as a potential back end of the bullpen arm with closer potential. However, he will be given the chance to start and if he works on his third pitch, Gray has the ceiling of a number 2 starter.
19. Boston Red Sox
RHP Matt Barnes, UConn – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 203 B/T: R/R
Most had the Sox grabbing a college arm here. Alex Meyer was a former draft pick of theirs so he was an obvious fit but with Barnes falling to them here tough to not pounce all over him. In most classes, Matt Barnes would be a Top 10 pick easily, but with the depth of this class, he slips to 19 and it is Boston’s fortune. He has a solid three pitch mix with a mid-90s fastball, an outstanding curve, and a change that could be average down the road. His command is excellent and his frame offers good projection down the road. He has the chance to be a frontline starter and be a quick help arm in the bullpen.
20. Colorado Rockies
LHP Tyler Anderson, Oregon – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 215 B/T: S/R
Colorado was connected to college bats like Kolten Wong and C.J. Cron in the days leading up to the draft. However, Tyler Anderson saw his stock rise some after defeating Texas and Jungmann. He has very good size at 6’4’’ and 215 pounds and an outstanding feel for pitching. He has above-average movement on his fastball that ranges from 90-94, to go with two above-average secondary offerings in a slider and change. He will most likely have to scarp his curve and concentrate on one breaking pitch but he has the work ethic to move quickly through the minor leagues.
21. Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Tyler Beede, Lawrence Academy (MA) – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 200 B/T: R/R
This is an interesting pick here. Tyler Beede is mentioned to be one of the toughest sign in the entire draft, with an extremely strong commitment to Vanderbilt. Beede himself has said that whether he turns pro or not all depends upon money. But there is a reason Toronto was willing to take a risk on him this high in the draft. He has great size at 6’4’’ and 200 pounds, a frame that offers plenty of projection in the future. He also has outstanding mechanics and a quality three pitch mix with a fastball that can touch 95 mph, a curve that projects to be an above average pitch in the future, and a change. If the Jays are willing to open their wallets, they will get themselves a potential frontline starter.
22. St. Louis Cardinals
2B Kolten Wong, Hawaii – Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 190 B/T: L/R
The Cardinals usually like to go for top college bats and in a class where they are slightly lacking, Wong is right there near the top. One of the rare true second base prospects, Wong has extremely solid hitting tools. A potential doubles machine at the next level, he has a compact left-handed swing that should also allow him to hit for average at the next level. In the field, he is very versatile and could become a Gold Glove defender.
23. Washington Nationals
RHP Alex Meyer, Kentucky – Ht: 6’9″ Wt: 220 B/T: R/R
The Washington Nationals were looking at Alex Meyer as high as number 6 in the weeks leading up to the draft. Grabbing their guy here has to be a real coup. Though Meyer is still pretty raw, he has ace potential down the road. One of the bigger arms in the draft at 6’9’’ and 220 pounds, there is still room for weight to be put on. He has an extremely strong arm with a fastball that has hit triple digits but will need seasoning to work on his secondary offerings, command, and control. His slider however projects as a plus pitch in the future. The Nats will have to be patient with him but down the road he could fall right in line behind Strasburg as a top number 2 starter.
24. Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Taylor Guerrieri, Spring Valley HS (SC) – Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 180 B/T: R/R
Taylor Guerrieri fell some due to maturity issues, though they obviously were not enough to knock him out of the first round. He has some of the best pure stuff in the draft. Guerrieri has three potentially above-average pitches in the future in a fastball that has touched 98, a hard curve, a change. He also has a cutter. He has great size a 6’3’’ and 195 pound frame. The Rays were connected to arms at this pick and with Guerrieri, they get themselves another potential number one starter to add to their hoard of arms in the minors.
25. San Diego Padres
RHP Joe Ross, Bishop O’Dowd HS (CA) – Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 180 B/T: R/R
Joe Ross has a strong commitment to UCLA and could be tough to sign. Though with the Padres grabbing a solid bat at number 10, Ross is worth the risk here. His brother is already in the Oakland A’s system, so he has the bloodlines, but he is a prospect all his own. He has a solid pitching frame at 6’2’’ and 180 with plenty of upside down the road. He also flashes a 96 mph fastball, a curve with hard bite, along with a change that could be above average.
26. Boston Red Sox
C Blake Swihart, Cleveland HS (NM) – Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 175 B/T: S/R
Before the draft, Blake Swihart asked teams not to draft him because he wished to go to the University of Texas. Most however think that was all a ploy, letting teams know it would take a lot to sign him. Naturally, most think the Sox are the team to pony up that cash. He has been a target of theirs for a while and there are plenty of reasons to see why. He has above-average hitting tools and should hit for a good average at the next level and has 25-plus HR potential. He is a catcher now and obviously has more value there, but may have to move off the position. He is a solid athlete with plenty of arm strength for a corner outfield position.
27. Cincinnati Reds
RHP Robert Stephenson, Alhambra HS (CA) – Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 190 B/T: R/R
Throwing back-to-back no-hitters this year, Robert Stephenson added to his already impressive resume and saw his stock rise all year. He has a lean 6’2’’ frame. His fastball has already touched the high-90s and with a smooth delivery, he may have more velocity in him. He packages it with a developing curve and change. The Reds were said to be looking at college lefties here, but in Ross, they get a kid who is lauded for his makeup and has the makings of a potential number 2.
28. Atlanta Braves
LHP Sean Gilmartin, Florida State – Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 195 B/T: L/L
The Braves are a team that rarely goes the college route early. Sean Gilmartin is a slight reach here as he was seen as more of supplemental round talent. However it is tough to argue with what Atlanta does in the draft; they have built up a top three farm system through the draft. Gilmartin has been compared to another Braves arm, Mike Minor. He has solid size for a lefty at 6’2’’ and 195 pounds and a smooth, athletic delivery. His fastball is only average at 89-91 but he has a plus pitch in his change and an average slider. He commands them all well. He has the makings of the middle of the rotation arm.
29. San Francisco Giants
SS Joe Panik, St. Johns – Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 193 B/T: L/R
Tough to agree with John Panik in the first round. The Giants rarely seem to get it correct in terms of grabbing position players in the first round. He is a pretty big reach here but Panik does have talent. His bat is his only above average tool. He has very good plate discipline and strike zone awareness, so he should hit for a decent average at the next level. With his size, 6’2’’ and 195 pounds, he could be compared to former Giants second basemen Jeff Kent without the power. Panik is a solid bat but with Mahtook and Michael still on the board, it is hard to agree with this selection.
30. Minnesota Twins
SS Levi Michael, North Carolina – Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 220 B/T: R/R
Most had the Twins looking at college pitching at this pick but with Levi Michael still here it is hard to argue. Michael has played all over the field with the Tar heels, meaning he has the versatility the Twins love. He settled on short this year and scouts have recently said he has a chance to stick there at the next level. When it is all said and down he most likely settles in at second where he could become an above-average defender. At the plate, he is a patient hitter with a keen-eye and should hit for a solid average. He also has some solid power. Overall he has the chance to become a top-tier top of the order bat for Minnesota.
31. Tampa Bay Rays
OF Mikie Mahtook, LSU – Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 192 B/T: R/R
Mikie Mahtook fall was surprising. Most had him pegged as a mid-first round selection and the Marlins were said to really like him at 14. However once again, the Rays showed great patience and get another excellent pick here. Mahtook is an Eric Brynes type of player with more talent. He has five-tool talent as he should be at least average across the board. He no doubt will give his all every time he plays, wherever he plays. He is in center now and has the arm strength and power projection to handle a corner outfield spot. This is just another case of the rich getting richer.
32. Tampa Bay Rays
SS Jake Hager, Sierra Vista HS (NV) – Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 170 B/T: R/R
All the rumblings suggested the Rays would select a slight reach here. With the amount of picks that they had in this draft, they no doubt had to spread the wealth around. Jake Hager’s stock was on the rise leading up to the draft, so he is not an extreme reach here. He has all the intangibles you want in a shortstop. He has an extremely strong arm, smooth actions. At the plate, he allows the ball to travel well and hits line drives to all fields. He is committed to Arizona State but First round money should make him turn pro.
33. Texas Rangers
LHP Kevin Matthews, Richmond Hill HS (GA) – Ht: 5’11” Wt: 180 B/T: R/L
Interesting to hear Kevin Matthews name called here. The Rangers said signability would not be an issue with who they grabbed with the 33rd pick. Matthews will most likely not be a problem to sign, there just happened to be better prospects still on the board. He is however still a solid prospect. He does not have great size at only 5’11’’ and 180 pounds but he can still get his fastball into the low-90s, along with a big curve, and a solid change. He has a good feel for pitching and could start or become a backend of the bullpen arm.