Three Senior Circuit Clubs Trump Field
Now that most of the dust has settled and most of the top picks have signed with their new owners, we're still looking back and combing over the details of each MLB club's draft selections, especially with regard to how their restocking choices impact their overall farm systems.
We've already looked at the Astros, Cubs and Mariners, but those weren't the only clubs that excelled in last month's draft. Here's another quick look at three more ballclubs, all in the NL, who pulled in a bigger than average haul.
Nobody really expected Mark Appel, probably the best pitcher of the 2012 class, to fall so far, but when he did the Pirates really had no choice but to add even more depth to their ridiculous pitching stable. Given how much Appel represents, it's no shock that the club opted for more signable and less stellar players like Wyatt Mathisen, Jon Sandfort and Barrett Barnes after that. The Pirates haven't made any misteps in years, and are really looking like they'll be following the Nationals' route to success in the near future.
They always draft and develop well, so it's no shock that the San Diego Padres did well in the draft. From standout arms like Max Fried and Zach Eflin to solid hitters like Jeremy Baltz and Dane Phillips, the always-interesting ballclub has really loaded up again. They could be ready for serious NL contention by 2016.
Another always-good development system, the Atlanta Braves are known to be careful, conservative draft aces. Though they've been known to gamble with international talent, they've usually plucked only the readiest of college and prep players in the domestic draft, taking few chances. That changed a little this year, as the team reached for young local pitcher Lucas Sims in the first round, a very high-risk but high-ceiling prospect for a team that's usually allergic to such moves. Of course, old habits die hard: Alex Wood, a college lefty taken in round two, looks a little more like the sort of pick we always see from the safe-minded Braves of old. We like this mix of gambling and building a safe foundation, and it might be just what the Braves need to kick the team back to the high-octane levels of the 1990's.
As always, we're not saying that there aren't other ballclubs or prospects worth watching, but the Pirates, Padres and Braves really went above and beyond to make the draft interesting this time around, and they'll be getting a bigger than average share of attention because of it.
We'll look at three AL ballclubs later this week who also did very well, three who might not be the teams you expect to enter prospect discussions often.