We’re just over a month away from the 2015 amateur draft, and here’s the latest about some of the players and teams who will be in the news on June 8…
- Florida high school shortstop Brendan Rodgers tops Baseball America’s latest ranking of the top 100 draft prospects. Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson, UC Santa Barbara righty Dillon Tate, Louisville righty Kyle Funkhouser and LSU shortstop Alex Bregman round out the top five.
- The ranking aside, this year’s draft class has even more difficult than usual to evaluate, as Baseball America’s John Manuel writes. Several of the top prospects have thin or unconventional track records, while others have seen their draft stock drop due to injuries.
- “Expect the Braves [to] buck that [industry] consensus early and often,” Manuel writes. This will be a big draft for Atlanta, as the Braves have six of the first 89 picks and the fourth-highest draft bonus pool of any club.
- The Diamondbacks have had discussions with right-hander Garrett Whitley and catcher Tyler Stephenson about making either high schooler the first pick in the 2015 draft, Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel reports. Whitley, Stephenson and outfielder Daz Cameron (another high schooler) are named by McDaniel as the co-favorites to be the #1 pick, with Tate and Swanson as longshot options. While Whitley, Stephenson and Cameron aren’t at the top of most draft boards, the D’Backs may be looking to take an unconventional choice ifrst overall and then sign the player to a “cut rate” contract at below slot value. This would free up more draft pool money for Arizona to spend on their later selections. McDaniel speculates that Whitley or Stephenson could accept a deal worth less than half the $8.616MM slot value for the first overall pick since they otherwise might not be taken in the top seven.
- Rodgers, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be an option for the D’Backs, as McDaniel reports that the team haven’t scouted many of his games.