We continue our re-draft of the 2012 amateur draft with picks #11-20. You can find #1-10 here.
#11 Athletics: LHP Max Fried
Actual Draft Slot: #7 San Diego Padres
Player Actually Drafted Here: Addison Russel
Only 19 years old and still with a lot of room to fill out, not a lot was expected from Fried statistically this season. Which is why it was an added bonus when he put up a 3.49 ERA over 23 A ball starts. With a fastball that should be in the mid 90’s by 2015, a biting curve and a good change, he has three potential above average pitches. He ranked #30 on MLB.com’s top 100 2013 midseason prospect list and has the capacity to be a number one, although a number two or very good number three are more likely.
#12 Mets: SS Corey Seager
Actual Draft Slot: #18 Dodgers
Player Actually Drafted Here: Gavin Cecchini
The Mets are constantly on the lookout for young hitting, and their farm system, or any farm system for that matter, would benefit greatly from the addition of Seager. The teenage shortstop has done nothing but rake in his professional career, hitting .309/.383/.520 in rookie ball last year before posting a near identical line in the 74 Midwest league (A level) games this season. He looked over-matched in a brief stint in the California league (A+ level) at the end of this year but he should improve next season as he adjusts to older competition. His thick 6’4 215 lb frame will likely force a move to third, but his bat will service him well there, offering plus power, good plate discipline, and a ..285-.310 average.
#13 Chicago White Sox: RHP Lucas Sims
Actual Draft Slot:#21 Braves
Player Actually Drafted Here: Courtney Hawkins
Sims rises eight spots because he performed as any of his 2012 draft peers in the year since. He shut down the Sally League (A ball) this year, putting up a 2.62 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with excellent peripherals – 3.5 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9. With low 90’s fastball that he can reach back to touch 97, a potentially plus curve, and acceptable command, Sims has all you could ask for in a teenage pitching prospect. Should his changeup come along, he’ll fit nicely as a number two starter in any rotation.
#14 Cincinnati Reds: OF David Dahl
Actual Draft Slot: #10 Rockies
Player Actually Drafted Here: Nick Travesio
Dahl’s stock may have plummeted this year thanks to a toxic combination of maturity issues, off the field concerns, and injuries, but there’s no denying that the kid can flat out rake. He missed all but ten games this year, but in half a season in 2012, he hit .379/.423/.625 with nine home runs, 22 doubles and ten triples. Those numbers are no fluke, Dahl has a line drive swing, with potentially above average pop, a good eye, and above average speed which could lead to 20+ stolen bases down the line. If he can get his health and personal life back on track – a big if – he has the potential to morph into one of the game’s best young hitters going forward.
#15 Indians: RHP Lance McCullers
Actual Draft Slot: #41 Astros
Player Actually Drafted Here: Tyler Naquin
McCullers was one of the most well regarded arms in this draft, but fell because of signability concerns. The Astros picked him up at #41, giving him a well above slot deal of 2.5 million (Naquin’s was only 1.75 million), and they have not regretted it since. The 19 year old used a high-90’s fastball and a domineering curve to make quick work of A ball, putting up a 3.18 ERA with 117 strikeouts in 104.2 innings. As is the case with most high profile teenagers, his control is spotty (4.2 BB/9) but that should improve as he progresses and molds into a powerful number two starter. If it doesn’t or if he fails to ever find a feel for his changeup, he has the complete arsenal for an impact closer.
#16 Nationals: RHP Jose Berrios
Actual Draft Slot: #32 Minnesota Twins
Player Actually Drafted Here: Lucas Giolito
The Nationals would much rather their actual pick of Giolito, but Berrios is about as good as consolation prizes get. Just barely breaking six feet, he slid into the sandwich round largely because conventional wisdom that small right handers can’t make it as durable starters (its the same reason that Tim Lincecum fell to #10 in the 2006 Draft). For the time being, though, Berrios is making many GMs rethink their decision to pass on him. His 93-96 MPH fastball and potentially plus power curve led to a 3.99 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, and 8.7 SO/9 in 19 A ball starts, and a spot on MLB.com’s top 100 (#76). Although only a teenager, Berrios could progress quickly, and find a home in the middle of a Minnesota rotation or the end of a Twins bullpen before long.
#17 Blue Jays: RHP Eddie Butler
Actual Draft Slot: #46
Player Actually Drafted Here: Tim Anderson
Having taken one with their first two picks in each of the last three drafts, the Blue Jays generally prefer high school players, but if they knew how Butler would perform in his first full minor league season, they would have been forced to select the college righthander with the 17th pick in 2012. After shutting down rookie ball last year, Butler started this year at A ball. He then proceeded to post a 1.66 ERA there, prompting a promotion to A+ where he put up a 2.39 ERA, leading to another promotion to AA where he was even better, dominating his way to an 0.65 ERA and 4.17 K:BB Ratio. While he has a plus fastball and slider, his third pitch – a changeup – is still fairly rudementary, and his peripherals in the minors aren’t as stellar as his ERAs. Still, its hard to argue with his results thus far and the pitching starved Rockies will give him every chance to start for moving him to the bullpen.
#18 Los Angeles Dodgers: 3B Joey Gallo
Actual Draft Slot: #39 Rangers
Player Actually Drafted Here: Corey Seager
With Seager already off the board, the Dodgers will have to settle with a different powerful infielder: Joey Gallo. Only 19, Gallo probably has more raw power than any player in the minors and he used it all last year, becoming the first teenager to hit 40 home runs in a minor league season since 1962. The biggest knock on him, and the reason that he slid out of the first round in 2012, is his ability to make contact, as he struck out an Adam Dunn-esque 172 times last year, leading to a .251 average. I’m higher on Gallo than most, but just modest improvement in his strikeout rate would make Ryan Howard comparisons feasible.
#19 St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Marcus Stroman
Actual Draft Slot #22 Blue Jays
Player Actually Drafted Here: Michael Wacha
Wacha was a steal with the 19th pick, so naturally he gets taken higher in this redraft and the Cardinals are stuck with a different college right hander in Stroman. He is even more undersized than Berrios, but had a better statistical performance this season, going 9-5 with a 3.30 ERA, 10.4 SO/9, and 2.2 BB/9 in 20 AA starts. With control of three average or above pitches in his fastball, slider and cutter, he was arguably the most major league ready player when this draft took place. He proved that by dominating AA in his first full season, and he could be in a rotation by next summer.
#20 San Francisco Giants: OF Courtney Hawkins
Actual Draft Slot: #14 White Sox
Actual Player Drafted Here: Chris Stratton
Its easy to write off Hawkins as a bust already as he had one of the worst seasons of any player in the minors in 2013, hitting an anemic .178 while getting on base at ridiculously low .249 clip and striking out 160 times. The only positive positive that can be salvaged is that he displayed competent power, hitting 19 home runs in 103 games, good for third in the Carolina League (A+). Yet I can’t blame Hawkins for the crime of his organization as White Sox Management should never have let the 19 year old play at the A+ level before he got through low A. He still has plenty of tools, cheif among them pop and defense, and he’s liable to get his career back on track with a better performance in 2014.