The 2015 Rule 4 Amateur Draft will begin tonight at 7pm ET, when the Diamondbacks will be on the clock with the first overall pick. For those who haven’t followed the draft to this point but are interested in a quick crash course on tonight’s event, MLBTR has you covered.
First, a brief recap. Each team has an allotted spending pool from which their signing bonuses come. The league has assigned a slot value to each pick in rounds one through 10, and a club’s draft pool is the sum of the slot values for each of their picks. Players selected after the 10th round do not count toward the pool, so long as they receive no more than $100K. Anything over $100K would count toward the pools. (e.g. Arizona signs 12th-round pick for $150K — $50K comes out of its draft pool.)
Should a team exceed its draft pool by five percent, it will pay a 75 percent luxury tax on the overage. A five to 10 percent overage results in a 75 percent tax and the loss of next year’s first-round pick. A 10 to 15 percent overage results in a 100 percent tax and the loss of a first- and second-round pick in 2016. And, exceeding the draft pool by more than 15 percent results in a 100 percent tax and the loss of two first-round picks.
However, teams are not bound to the individual slot values. For instance, the Astros could cut a deal with a player with the No. 2 overall pick ($7.42MM slot value) and sign him for $6MM, then use the $1.42MM they saved on that slot to entice tough-to-sign picks further down the draft board. (For those interested, I provided a breakdown of changes in draft pools from 2014 to 2015, sorted from largest increase to largest decrease, back in March.)
Under these rules, no team has been willing to pay the price of forfeiting a future pick, so no team has exceeded its pool by more than five percent.
All that said, here’s a rundown of the draft order, slot values, the top ranked draft prospects (via multiple outlets) as well as mock drafts from some experts who have devoted seemingly endless hours of their time over the past few months to provide the best insight possible.
Draft Order/Slot Value (slot values via Baseball America)
- Diamondbacks — $8,616,900
- Astros (compensation for failure to sign 2014 No. 1 pick Brady Aiken) — $7,420,100
- Rockies — $6,223,300
- Rangers — $5,026,500
- Astros — $4,188,700
- Twins — $3,889,500
- Red Sox — $3,590,400
- White Sox — $3,470,600
- Cubs — $3,351,000
- Phillies — $3,231,300
- Reds — $3,141,600
- Marlins — $3,051,800
- Rays — $2,962,100
- Braves — $2,842,400
- Brewers — $2,692,700
- Yankees — $2,543,300
- Indians — $2,393,600
- Giants — $2,333,800
- Pirates — $2,273,800
- Athletics — $2,214,000
- Royals — $2,184,200
- Tigers — $2,154,200
- Cardinals — $2,124,400
- Dodgers — $2,094,400
- Orioles — $2,064,500
- Angels — $2,034,500
- Rockies (compensation for loss of free agent Michael Cuddyer) — $2,004,600
- Braves (compensation for loss of free agent Ervin Santana) — $1,974,700
- Blue Jays (compensation for loss of free agent Melky Cabrera) — $1,944,800
- Yankees (compensation for loss of free agent David Robertson) — $1,914,900
- Giants (compensation for loss of free agent Pablo Sandoval) — $1,885,000
- Pirates (compensation for loss of free agent Russell Martin) — $1,855,000
- Royals (compensation for loss of free agent James Shields) — $1,825,200
- Tigers (compensation for loss of free agent Max Scherzer) — $1,795,100
- Dodgers (compensation for loss of free agent Hanley Ramirez) — $1,756,100
- Orioles (compensation for loss of free agent Nelson Cruz) — $1,711,900
Draft Rankings/Scouting Reports
Free Rankings/Scouting Reports
- Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel has created a sortable draft leaderboard, in which you can filter McDaniel’s Top 202 prospects by overall rank, risk factor, Major League ETA, future value (on the 20-80 scouting scale) and more. The leaderboard contains brief scouting reports and videos for many players, and there’s a separate tab to sort prospects by individual tools for those who wish to even further in-depth.
- Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com have ranked the Top 200 draft prospects, providing ratings for each players’ tools on the 2-8 scouting scale in addition to full scouting reports and video of each player.
Subscription-Only Scouting Reports
- Baseball America’s list of Top 500 draft prospects and video of the top 100 or so can be viewed by all. For their scouting reports on all 500 players, a subscription is required and highly recommended. BA’s list is the deepest of the bunch, and the rankings themselves (names only) are available for free to the public.
- ESPN’s Keith Law ranks his Top 100 prospects in this year’s draft class, and ESPN Insiders can see full scouting reports as well as current grades of individual tools on the 20-80 scale as well as future projections for each of those tools.
- Mayo and Callis published a dual mock draft today, with each taking his final stab at the first round. The MLB.com duo is in agreement that the first three picks will be Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson (D-Backs), Louisiana State shortstop Alex Bregman (Astros) and prep shortstop Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), respectively. The differences begin at No. 4, though, where Callis has the Rangers selecting UC Santa Barbara righty Dillon Tate, but Mayo feels Texas will select prep outfielder Daz Cameron (whose father played a game or two in his day as well).
- BA’s John Manuel has posted his sixth and final mock draft (he has links to all previous iterations within). He, too, has Swanson, Bregman and Rodgers with the top three picks, followed by Cameron, Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi (Astros) and Illionis southpaw Tyler Jay (Twins).
- Law’s final mock draft begins the same way — Swanson to the D-Backs, Bregman to the Astros and Rodgers to the Rox. However, he has the Rangers selecting prep outfielder and local product Trenton Clark before the Astros grab Benintendi, with Tate slipping to the Twins at No. 6.
- The top three picks in McDaniel’s final mock draft are the same as in the other three — Swanson, Bregman and Rodgers. Like Law, he has the Rangers nabbing Clark, but McDaniel is the only of the group to have the Astros selecting prep outfielder Kyle Tucker — the brother of current Astros outfielder Preston Tucker.