The first round of the MLB draft kicks off at 6pm CST today. Links to start you off, with new ones being added to the bottom of the post:
- MLB.com's Mark Newman prepares you for the festivities by outlining MLB's many facets of draft coverage. Here's a reminder of the draft order.
- The Pirates pick second, and Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes they're leaning toward shortstop Manny Machado over pitcher Jameson Taillon. GM Neal Huntington explained that they will have no problem selecting a Scott Boras client. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles would then take Taillon, who they favor anyway. Jim Callis of Baseball America has a different point of view, saying the Pirates lean toward Taillon.
- The Blue Jays have the #11 pick. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests they have a big draft budget and an eye on Delino DeShields, Jr., Josh Sale, and Deck McGuire as potential first-round picks. Scouting director Andrew Tinnish is emphasizing athleticism and upside, as well as up-the-middle positions.
- Dodgers assistant GM Logan White hinted that they could again take a high school pitcher, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. The Dodgers have the #28 pick in the first round.
- The Tigers start at #44, having given #19 to the Astros for Jose Valverde. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press quotes scouting director David Chadd: "We have a history of being aggressive. I don't see that changing."
- Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever told Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team will take the best available player early and will lean toward catching, lefthanded pitching, and middle infielders later. The Phils' first pick is #27.
- The Rockies are at #26, and Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says they've scouted Aaron Sanchez, Nick Castellanos, and Kevin Gausman heavily. Links on player names in this post go to MLB.com scouting reports.
- John Maffei of the North County Times deduced that the Padres might take a center fielder like Michael Choice or Kolbrin Vitek, but MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets his opinion that they will take a pitcher such as Karsten Whitson. The Padres have the #9 pick.