Winners – Arizona, Washington and Boston
The Arizona Diamondbacks took UCLA right hander Trevor Bauer with the No. 3 pick in the first round, they followed that pick-up with another right hander, Archie Bradley at No. 7, a big-bodied Oklahoma high schooler that has signed to play football with the Sooners. Although Arizona is confident that they’ll be able to sign him. These two guys replenish a farm system in Arizona that could use a influx of talent on the hill and these two pitchers instantly upgrade the position. Bauer went 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA this past season for UCLA as he is widely considered a more developed pitcher than fellow Bruin, and No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole.
The Washington Nationals had another top-rated pick fall to them at No. 6 in Anthony Rendon, the Rice third-baseman that fell mainly due to injury concerns, but the Nationals get “Baseball America’s” top-rated player for the third year in a row after drafting Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper the past two years. The Nationals could not have been happier to see Rendon fall all the way to their pick. The Nationals then had the pleasure of seeing 6’9 Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer sitting for them at No. 23. Meyer is a bit of a project, but at his size and the live arm that he brings with him, he has all the makings of being a big-time steal in this draft.
The Boston Red Sox walked away with the #9 prospect on ESPN’s Keith Laws’ top 100 with their No. 19 pick in Matt Barnes. The UConn right-hander that was once-considered a top 10 pick fell to a Red Sox team that was waiting with open arms to nab the Big East Pitcher of The Year. The Red Sox were also able to grab the top catching prospect in the entire draft in New Mexico high schooler, Blake Swihart with the No. 26 selection.
Losers – Los Angeles and The University of Nebraska
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been making plenty of headlines over the last few weeks, and it’s not for the right reasons. The ownership situation that has plagued this season and this team since spring training and is constantly giving the team reasons to answer questions not related to baseball. Now the team is going to have to answer why they took Chris Reed, the Stanford left-hander with the No. 16 selection. The hard-throwing lefty had a good year for Stanford out of the bullpen but prior to this season he had appeared in just 25 games for Stanford and carried a 7.05 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 17 walks. Reed may turn out to be a solid player for the Dodgers but the ceiling seems limited and nothing more than a set-up man, or at best, closer in the next few years. They could have done more with this selection.
The University of Nebraska was not happy with the Kansas City Royals selecting local phenom Bubba Starling with the No. 5 pick. They know he is a Royals fan and he’s been reported as saying that he would go to Nebraska, only if he wasn’t drafted by the Royals. The 6’4 200lb center-fielder is one of the rare 5-tool players that you hear referenced so often, but rarely does anyone actually fit that bill. Bubba Starling is that player. With a multi-million dollar offer on the way to Starling and agent, Scott Boras, Bo Pelini might have to find another quarterback for the future at Nebraska.