Last night, we watched as the first two rounds of this year’s Rule 4 draft hit the books. We tracked the first 42 picks (here and here), but of course another 33 choices were made after that. You can find the complete results of the first day at MLB.com.
Here are some links to check out as we look back at yesterday and look forward to the rest of the draft:
- Baseball America lists the best players still available, which includes names like high school righties Donny Everett and Dakota Chalmers as well as former Astros pick Jacob Nix.
- The most intriguing player still on the board, perhaps, is Duke starter Michael Matuella, who was at one point regarded as a possible 1-1 selection but underwent Tommy John surgery late in the season and has dealt with other injury issues. It has to be considered at least possible at this point that he’ll return to college for his senior year; indeed, he acknowledged as much recently, as Laura Keeley of the Charlotte Observer reported. “That’s definitely an option I’m evaluating,” said Matuella. “I’m hoping a good opportunity presents itself. I really haven’t come up with a certain [draft round] cutoff. I’ll evaluate it case by case and see if there’s a good opportunity for me.” Of course, it would not be surprising to see a team with a large bonus pool take a shot on him today.
- Diamondbacks scouting director Deric Ladnier says that the club has been locked in on first overall pick Dansby Swanson for some time, as Teddy Cahill of Baseball America writes in breaking down the first day of the draft. “This is the player we wanted,” said Ladnier. “We wanted him for a while.”
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells MLB Network Radio (audio link) that Houston saw second overall pick Alex Bregman (LSU) as a “no-brainer” of a selection, noting that the club believes Bregman is plenty capable of sticking at short. The team’s top baseball man noted that he’s not worried about the possibility of a future infield logjam. “The good thing about having guys at the premium positions is … their fall-back is to play another position,” said Luhnow.
- It goes without saying, really, that it’s too early to evaluate the results of day one, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com compares the Astros’ haul to their 2012 draft in terms of the volume of premium talent. Houston made plenty of noise yesterday — as might have been expected given its league-high bonus pool — in adding highly-regarded high school outfielders Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron to go with Bregman. Heyman also notes that the Dodgers seemingly achieved good value in nabbing righties Walker Buehler and Kyle Funkhouser with the 24th and 35th selections.
- Jim Callis of MLB.com pegs the Blue Jays’ selection of Missouri State righty Jon Harris (29th overall) and the Rockies’ choice of high school hurler Mike Nikorak (at 27) as two of the best three picks, joining Cameron. The biggest suprise, per Callis, was the Marlins’ decision to grab young first baseman Josh Naylor in the 12th slot.
- As a reminder, MLBTR’s draft primer contains links to many essential draft materials.