Draft Links: Rockies, Smith, Orioles, Rays, Manaea

Every team would love to find a gem like Matt Harvey in today's amateur draft, and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman breaks down how the Mets scouted and eventually selected the promising right-hander with the seventh pick in 2010.  "At the end of the day, we were hoping [Harvey] was going to be there," said Rudy Terrasas, then the Mets' scouting director. "There was a lot of luck involved….That's the guy we were hoping to get to us, and he fell into our laps. We weren't real happy with the other options."

There are the first of many of today's draft-related items…

  • The Astros and Cubs seem to be "in quandaries" over who they will select with the first two picks, Peter Gammons reports.  According to several GMs and agents, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow may wait until at least 3pm CST (three hours before the draft begins) before deciding between Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray or Colin Moran as the first overall selection.  (Both links are to Gammons' Twitter feed.)
  • Also from Gammons, the Rockies could be preparing to take high school first baseman Dominic Smith with the third overall pick.  ESPN's Keith Law (Twitter link) has also heard rumors to this effect.  It would be something of a surprise pick given that Smith hasn't been projected as a top-ten talent in most major rankings of draft prospects — Law ranks Smith 11th (ESPN Insider subscription required), Baseball America ranks him 14th and MLB.com ranks him 15th.
  • Heyman chimes in with CBS Sports' ranking of the top 30 draft prospects, with Appel topping the list (Smith, incidentally, sits at #20 in this ranking).  One AL scouting director has faint praise for this year's draftee, telling Heyman that the draft class “is not as bad as most folks are saying.''
  • The Orioles like high school catcher Nick Ciuffo, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko writes, though the club usually tends to look for pitchers in the draft.  The O's have the 22nd overall pick in the first round.
  • The Orioles' draft needs are discussed by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo in conversation with Daniel Gallen of the Baltimore Sun.  In general, Mayo says the Orioles are looking for players who can help them at the Major League level relatively quickly, with Kevin Gausman serving as "probably the best case scenario" in this regard.
  • The Rays are the only team who has yet to produce a Major League player from their last five amateur drafts, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times illustrates.  The main reason could be that the Rays tend to pursue players with the highest upside, rather than players who could make it to the Majors sooner but in less-impactful roles.
  • Baseball America's Jim Callis' final mock draft predicts that the Astros will take Gray with the first overall pick.  This is very much in flux, however, as Callis doesn't think Houston has yet decided on who it will select with the top pick.
  • Also from Callis, left-hander Sean Manaea's medical records indicated a labrum tear in his hip.  This latest injury concern causes Callis to drop the Indiana State product out of his first round mock entirely, though Callis has heard that teams with mid-first round picks like the Pirates or Phillies could potentially take Manaea.
  • Law's final mock draft (ESPN Insider-only) and Mayo's final mock draft for MLB.com offer differing choices for the Astros' top pick.

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