Draft Notes: Astros, Gausman, Twins, Red Sox

The MLB Draft got started last night and now the first round and supplemental round are complete. Here are some reactions to the events of day one before the action resumes at 11am CDT…

  • High school shortstop Tanner Rahier and high school outfielder Anthony Alford are among the top remaining players, Nathan Rode of Baseball America writes.
  • Keith Law of ESPN.com likes what the Astros (Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr.) and Pirates (Mark Appel) accomplished yesterday. Law's list of best available players features nine high schoolers including third baseman Carson Kelly and right-hander Kieran Lovegrove.
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com provides an overview of day one, including a preview of the interaction between the Pirates and Scott Boras, the advisor for Appel. Commissioner Bud Selig said he's "very optimistic" that the new system will work out, according to Crasnick.
  • McCullers and his father, Lance McCullers Sr., were selected 41st overall 30 years apart from one another, Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle notes (on Twitter).
  • Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish says college right-hander Marcus Stroman is very advanced, though not necessarily MLB-ready, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports.
  • Top Orioles selection Kevin Gausman said he's confident he’ll be able to reach a deal with Baltimore, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (on Twitter). The Orioles drafted Gausman fourth overall, making him the first pitcher selected.
  • Scouting director Deron Johnson said the Twins wanted Byron Buxton all along and had been targeting the high school outfielder since last summer, Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports.
  • Arizona State coach Tom Esmay says top Red Sox pick Deven Marrero is committed to improving his game, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes. Red Sox scouting director Amiel Sawdaye doesn’t sound concerned about the shortstop's unimpressive offensive numbers.


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19 Comments on "Draft Notes: Astros, Gausman, Twins, Red Sox"


johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

That was a nice and glossy piece on Marrero at WEEI earlier this morning about his ethic. How his freshman year he did hit well (different bats).. Was still looking for that impact style player in round 1 they always seem to take every year and it never came about.

Certainly there is still a chance for them to take someone still in that mold who falls down and could sign.. Noticed Brandon Kline is still around as an example who they drafted several years back in round 5-6 and turned down reportedly1m or so to go to Virginia.. He ain’t going to get that coinage now.. 

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

Not going to lie.  From a baseball operations standpoint, it feels like the tables have been turned on Boston.  It looks like they have Toronto’s baseball operations from five years ago and vice versa for Blue Jays.

Red Sox now seem to be very conservative while Toronto has Boston’s aggressiveness from five years ago.

MaineSox
3 years 2 months ago

Toronto picking all of those tough signs yesterday could come back and bite them really hard.  They lose the draft pool money from any player who doesn’t sign, so what they probably should have done was take a few tough signs and a few guys who would sign for under slot so they could save money to spend on the tougher signs.  They way they did it they can’t offer extra money to many (any?) of those guys to try to persuade them to sign, and they could potentially lose out on most of them and actually end up with a terrible draft.

Not say that that is what will happen, but it is a possibility with that strategy.  Toronto has a very intelligent front office, so they probably have an idea of what these kids will sign for and how they need to work it to make it happen, but all it takes is one kid changing his mind and demanding more, or just plain refusing to sign and it could potentially throw off their whole draft.

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

Yep, I understand the mechanics.  Just observing Red Sox front office now remind me of Blue Jays from five years ago.  Which is a pity for Sox fans, because I believe five years ago Boston’s front office was the envy of the league.  Probably the smartest baseball operations at the time.

MaineSox
3 years 2 months ago

Possibly, but I don’t know that this is really a good draft to judge a new baseball ops team on.  For one thing it’s the first draft under new rules, so teams are going to be figuring out the best strategy under new rules; and two, this is one of the weaker drafts in recent memory which sometimes causes teams to change strategy (take more sure thing major leaguers so you assure some value, rather than risky high ceiling guys and potentially not drafting any major leaguers).  The two things combined makes it hard to judge what their strategy would be in a “normal” year.

That being said, tons of people were speculating about the pirates taking Marrero at #8 as recently as yesterday afternoon (and he was rated as top 3 coming into the year, and was still rated by most in the early teens yesterday), so getting him at 24 was a pretty good deal, and is mostly the same strategy they used with Brentz, Ranaudo, and Bradley Jr.  And the other two guys went right in their presumed ranges, so it’s not like they were reaches.

I get what you’re saying though, there were higher ceiling (and incidentally, lower floor) guys available at 31 and 37 and they passed over them.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Toronto has a decent system already, even with the loss of no Beede signed last season but still strange they drafted so many.

They must be thinking if they can just get a couple inked it is a coup and might have to agree there with just Strohman and Davis alone.

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

Yep, I am seeing it the same way.  The let’s get half of them approach seems to be out of Friedman’s playbook.  He did this in 2009.  He drafted a lot of top high school talent.  Stuck to his guns on price.  Ended up signing half his picks. 

Edit – Just reviewed 2007 draft. Bosox spent no more than half of what Jays & Yanks spent signing players and yielded Middlebrooks and Rizzo. Ranaudo didn’t sign that year and got picked up by Bosox in a future draft. Not bad in my opinion.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 ’07 wasn’t a bad draft. Those 2, they got Drake Britton at #17 for 700K and he is one of their top pitching prospects. The #1 was fireballing lefty Nick Hagedone.. A key piece in the Tribe’s BP and was used in the VMart deal.. That was about an average pre CBA draft.

I would be happy, after seeing how this one has started for it to end up that way.

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

Keep in mind, VMart yielded Matt Barnes and Henry Owens in 2011.  In addition, having those extra picks in 2011 put Boston in a stronger negotiating position when dealing with all their picks.  This has to be considered a multiplier effect on 2007.

MaineSox
3 years 2 months ago

Sure, and if they don’t sign guys they get a comp pick next year (well, not the Beede comp, or the sup. round guys, but the other 1st round guys), but it’s certainly a risky proposition because it only takes one guy to mess everything up for this year.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Liked how Roache in his interview after the Brewers took him on MLB said he thought was going to Boston… Sure the Brewers and MLB didn’t care for that slip, but was a shame cause kind of was hoping Boston would grab him with Strohman gone by then.

Sure thing on being risky by Toronto, but then look at how Boston does have (ATM) a fairly loaded lower level system and it was not inconceivable for them perhaps to try that as well.

What is your take on Boras representing Marrero.. This could get nasty here. I don’t think he gets full, 1.7m slot, much less Boras perhaps wanting others taken short changed for even more.

MaineSox
3 years 2 months ago

I’m sure it goes to the deadline, but I don’t think it’s an issue to get him to sign.  He doesn’t have a ton of leverage as a college player, and he was taken high enough that the bonus would be acceptable to him.  Probably not an under slot guy (or not by much), but really not an over slot.

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

OK We are back to old Bosox in rounds three and four.  I stand correctedd.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Agree if they can find the money.

They need to make incognito deals under the table with ’em both, or make a serious low ball offer to especially Johnson and a 1.2m-1.5m offer to Marraro..

Maddux and Buttery are the heart of the draft IMO and Callahan isn’t any slouch at #2.

I have a hard time still with those 1st 2 picks, even after reading that glowing article at WEEI after seeing picks in rounds 2-4.

johnsmith4
3 years 2 months ago

OK now Jays and other teams drafting college seniors who aren’t listed in Baseball America’s database of 1,000 prospects. Now we know how everyone gets signed.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

Yeah.. I was scrounging the net for some of those guys also.. It was like.. HUH?? The hedman’s of the Sox system… College Sr’s to sign cheap and just hang around 2-4 years maybe.

MaineSox
3 years 2 months ago

Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected (or at least hoped for).

3 years 2 months ago

A few speculated the Astros might take a player at 1-1 they could sign for below the $7.2 million slot and then use the savings to sign above slot on the supplemental pick. That theory seems to be playing out. There’s some talk that Correa might sign for as little as $6.5 million and that the savings would be spent to sign McCullers.

If so, this could work out brilliantly – like getting the 1st and 15th picks of the NFL draft because many had McCullers as a high first-rounder last fall before his stock slipped a little.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says he had brief discussions with Scott Boras, McCullers’ adviser, before drafting him which means they think McCullers can be signed within the cap space available despite being the 41st pick.

And, if it means anything, McCullers’ father was drafted 41st overall and signed straight out of high school rather than going to college. 

seanbergmanrules
3 years 2 months ago

More recent speculation puts Correa at between 4.5m and 5.0m, which (in addition to the 5% overage allowed before picks are forfeited) would likely give Houston room to sign McCullers, Ruiz and Phillips.