2017 MLB Draft Breakdown
Here’s a little breakdown of the MLB Draft for y’all. Friday evening sports reading, if you will, because this is Barstool SPORTS, not Barstool TMZ. Spent all afternoon on this because I’m resting up this weekend for my big Windy City Thunderbolts tryout Monday morning. If you never hear from me again it’s not because I quit, it’s because I retired from the blogging game to play professional baseball. Just be forewarned.
Anyways, with the White Sox being in a rebuild, myself and other fans are straight up thirsty to acquire the newest future HOF prospect, whether it be via trade (Sale, Eaton) or signing (Robert) or draft (Burger). I watched legit hours upon hours of video from most projected 1st round talents and basically know more about each of these players than Jim Callis does. Here is everything you need to know about the 2017 MLB 1st Year Player’s Draft
Future Superstars of the Class
Austin Beck, Oakland
Beck was the one player I fell in love with this draft. He doesn’t have the huge fastball that Hunter Greene does, the lightning 60 times that Royce Lewis has, or the college polish that a lot of the rest of the top 10 has, or the physical projectability that Jo Adell has… but this kid was by far and away my favorite player in the draft. He has lightning quick hands, plays a premier defensive position in CF and has a swing that can translate to + power as he develops. His one knock is that he hasn’t played great competition yet due to an ACL tear his junior year of HS. That said, I think this kid will be a very good CF for a very long time.
Mackenzie Gore, San Diego
Gore possesses a frame scouts love in HS left handed pitching prospects at 6’2”, 170 pounds with a loose, effortless delivery. His funky leg kick isn’t really necessary IMO, as I don’t think it’s a way for him to generate momentum and linear action towards the plate, but is nothing that can’t be subtracted once he enters San Diego’s system.
It only took one clip for me to say “this kid is going to be a stud”. That’s it. (enter changeup gif)
It is extremely rare that a HS kid possesses a changeup this polished. His arm action is identical to that of his fastball and once he settles in at the 92-94MPH fastball range as he fills out and tightens up in his hips, core and arm, those two pitches will make for a lethal combination to attack hitters with. That, and apparently his slider projects as a + pitch as well. A cheap and easy comp is Cole Hammels
The “Something Fucked Up Will Have to Happen To Not Be Big League Regulars” Crew
These players were more or less the cream of the crop of the college crew. Each of them has at least one plus tool that will allow them to rise through their respective systems quickly and see The Show sooner than later.
There are pros and cons to selecting college players:
Pro: they have faced the best amateur competition possible, and most likely dominated it
Con: they’re probably maxed out physically
Jake Burger, White Sox
Gotta start with my guy “Beef”. No, Beef doesn’t have a great body. He’s not 6’3”, 210 pounds of lean muscle. That said he has a really nice swing that should translate to a lot of contact, gap power and since he’s 240 pounds of farm boy strength, hopefully hope runs. Middle of the order bat. Sneaky athletic. Solid pick, though probably not spectacular. You can read my entire breakdown of Burger on Carl and I’s Chicago baseball blog by clicking this link
Pavin Smith, Diamondbacks
Probably the most polished bat in the draft, but the least sexy at the same time. Pavin Smith has an extremely high floor but also a limited ceiling. His tools grade out to a tick above average across the board but he never figures to be a .300/30/100 guy. More like a .270/20/85 guy who plays a good 1b. I’d ideally prefer my 1b to have more power, and Smith might prove everyone wrong and hit for power, but as of now he’ll be a middle of the order bat that doesn’t strike out and hits a lot of doubles. Not a bad thing, just a thing. Could very well be the first of these guys to make the show due to said polish
Evan White, Seattle
Really similar to Smith. Makes a ton of contact, hits gaps and could be good for 20 bombs a year. That said, apparently he’s crazy athletic. He manned 1b for Kentucky and didn’t commit an error all year. Apparently he could shift to CF on a whim and be extraordinary there as well. Again, not a sexy player but one that would make any lineup better. Figures to be another fast riser.
Brendan McKay, Tampa
McKay was the best player in the draft. He dominated on the mound and as a hitter at Louisville and could have arguably gone 1st overall as either a hitter or a pitcher. I know a Brewers scout who checked him out a ton this year in hopes he’d fall to them and he said he’s a Jose Quintana clone. Nothing flashy about him; just attacks hitters, hits spots and has three major league ready pitches. But…. Minny selected him as a hitter. And I would have too. This is a kid who could be a legit .300/30/.375 threat for them in the not-too-distant future. Kid is as legit as they come.
Jeren Kendall, Dodgers
Best “tools” in the draft. One could argue that he should be in the grouping below, as he might not ever hit enough to even make it to The Show for more than a cup of coffee. The thing with Kendall is, is his other tools are so loud that that’d be almost impossible. He’s a ++ defender, with ++ speed and a + arm who has the frame and fast twitch actions that could translate to a true 5 tool talent. The thing is… he struck out at a 30% clip in the SEC last year for Vandy and has a lot of refining to do in his swing and approach. That said, his other tools are so great that he should at least stick, bare minimum, as a 4th OF who plays 130 times a year as a defensive replacement or pinch runner
Tanner Houck, Red Sox
Houck was my favorite college pitcher on the board. Big fastball, sharp slider, average to better changeup and very good command of all three of those pitches. I’d imagine he’ll rifle through the system quickly and probably starts next year in class A Greenville with a 2019 ETA in Boston. I think he’ll be a very solid 2 or 3 one day. Boston fans should really, really like this pick.
The “Could Be a Superstar, Could be a Bum” Crew
Hunter Greene, Reds
By far and away the loudest tools in the draft. Could (should?) have gone 1st overall as a pitcher and would have gone mid-1st round as SS. Crazy athletic, great swing, great hands and an absolute peashooter of an arm. Reportedly touched 102 off the mound this year, prompting the Reds to take him as a starting pitcher. BUT – HS kids who throw that hard scare the absolute shit out of me. Tyler Kolek is a perfect recent example. The body just isn’t meant to throw that hard, that young. He’s more or less maxed out physically, so his muscles are probably as tight as they’re going to get, but should he stay healthy he has the potential to be a grade A superstar.
Jo Adell, Angels
Another player with loud, loud tools. Great speed. Crazy power. Great frame. He has all the ingredients to be maybe, just maybe be a 30/30 threat. That said, once he got on the summer showcase circuit he apparently had trouble making contact against the country’s best competition, let alone hit for power. The Angels have their work cut out for them, but should that hard work pay off a Trout/Adell OF combo could be one of the best in baseball.
Royce Lewis, Twins
Admittedly I haven’t watched much of Lewis at all. His MLB Pipeline grades are… off, if that’s the right word, for a 1st overall pick to me though. Yeah, he looks athletic and his swing is fine and possesses a fram and lateral agility to stay at SS, but there’s not much power potential in his swing or frame IMO. Could be a solid SS, but in the Golden Age of SS’s, I don’t ever see him being in the upper echelon.
Alex Faedo, Tigers
Has good stuff, but he’s skinny fat. Currently has a kinda sloppy frame and has poor posture. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a middle reliever. Just looks really, really bland to me. But, should he get whipped into shape as he progresses through Detroit’s system, he could be a backend starter. That would be a very, very good thing for any 18th overall pick.
Adam Haseley, Phillies
Dominated at UVA this year. Wasn’t figured to be a 1st round pick by any means until this season where he absolutely fucking raked in one of the best conferences in the country. That said, his swing is uuuuugggggllllly. But he didn’t strike out at all?? It makes zero sense to me. He hit home runs this year and was constantly living in the gaps (insert sex joke here) but I have a feeling his swing can and will be exploited in pro ball. Maybe not though. No idea. Could carry over his Sr. year into a solid career. Could fizzle out in AA. Again, no idea
The “Hello Tommy John” Crew
JB Bukauskas, Astros
Nasty, nasty shit. Small frame. High effort delivery. Poor mechanics that most likely will NOT allow for 200IP and could very well lead to arm issues. He short arms the ball like a catcher and leads with his elbow. On his breaking pitch there is just so much torque on his arm it makes me cringe. That said, he could very well be the first player in this draft class to reach the Bigs. Though not likely, he might even help Houston out of the pen down the stretch this season. I see him as a high leverage reliever should he stay healthy.
The “Boring AF” Crew
Nick Pratto, Royals
Just such a boring pick to me. 1st round HS 1b have rarely fared well in MLB. They bust more often than not. The Royals system is very thing at the moment and they needed to hit a home run with this pick and I don’t think they did. He has a good hit tool but doesn’t figure to have much power and isn’t too athletic. In a few years he could be the most anonymous name in this entire draft class
Alex Faedo, Tigers
See above. The most bland pitcher I watched extensive video on in this class. Not a fan at all
There were obviously omissions of players in this blog. Either that player A. had no chance of falling to the Sox so I didn’t watch a lot of them or B. They were never going to be remotely considered drafted at 11. Nevertheless, hope you enjoyed.