Set to air live on MLB Network Monday night, and continuing through June 10th on MLB.com, the draft has become a bigger focus each and every year as time has gone by. With teams now counting on their first few picks to make it to the big leagues within a couple of years and have an immediate impact, choosing the right player for your organization has become a huge deal.
Already, two of the top picks in last year’s draft — Carlos Rodon and Brandon Finnegan — have made it to the majors, with numerous former first round picks making solid runs toward a big league call up this season.
This year’s draft is the 50th anniversary of the first draft back in 1965, and it has a fairly even mix of both pitchers and position players, making it a difficult decision as to whether to select a future ace or a future star slugger as a team’s first pick. But no matter which one teams choose, they’re likely to have that person making a big impact shortly down the road.
As I did last year, I’m planning to blog about the results of the draft, along with a few of my thoughts, the day after the first round takes place. With the first five picks going to the Diamondbacks, Astros (compensation for not signing their first pick from the 2014 draft), Rockies, Rangers and Astros, it should be interesting to see how teams play things, depending on their overall biggest needs that they need to fill for the future.
Though I’m not going to give any predictions for the order in which the players are chosen (I’m by no means a draft expert), I do want to talk a bit about the “experts’” picks for who will likely be some of the first off the board.
For the number one overall pick, there is no player that everyone whole heartedly agrees upon as being the number one pick, but for the most part people are banking on it being high school shortstop Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers has been at the top of many draft orders for the better part of the season, with him looking to become the first high school shortstop since Carlos Correa in 2012 to be the number one overall pick. With his strong arm and power bat at the shortstop position, it’s no wonder that he’s so highly thought of.
But there’s another draft prospect who is thought highly of as well. Dansby Swanson, a fellow shortstop currently with Vanderbilt, is projected to go second overall in the draft, but if the D-backs decide to do so, he could quite possibly be taken in front of Rodgers. While Swanson doesn’t have the same arm strength as Rodgers or the same pop in the bat, he may be able to hit for a higher average over the course of his career.
On the pitching side of things, Carson Fulmer is the highest ranked pitcher in the draft. Currently ranked as the third overall projected pick, you never know if the Diamondbacks will decide to pick up a star pitcher in the making instead of a position player as the number one pick. Like Swanson, Fulmer is finishing out his season with Vanderbilt, and with his above average fastball, great curveball and developing changeup, he could turn out to be a front of the rotation pitcher for years to come.
No matter which player is taken number one overall on Monday night, the entire draft is sure to be fun to watch. With so much fantastic talent, from position players to pitchers, the 2015 draft should turn out to be an extremely good one.