I thought it might be fun to take a look at how the first-round picks from last years draft have performed to start the 2012 campaign. So, I made this. I hope you like it.
Please keep in mind that it’s the day after tax day, and that the most important thing to be looking at is the process. Results are fun, but the process, my friends, that’s the bees knees.
1. Pittsburgh — Gerrit Cole/ RHP/ UCLA: You have to like the strikeouts — eleven in seven innings — but he’s giving up a lot of hits and has been hurt by the home run ball. No cause for concern at all.
2. Seattle — Danny Hultzen / LHP / Virginia: Struggled a bit in his first start, but he was very good in his second outing, and could be in a Mariner uniform sometime this year.
3. Arizona – Trevor Bauer / RHP / UCLA: I still worry about his work load — and the walks — but the stuff is legit.
4. Baltimore — Dylan Bundy / RHP / Oswasso HS (OK): Absolutely sensational. There’s nothing else that needs to be said. There’s no reason for him to be in Delmarva at this point.
5. Kansas City – Bubba Starling / OF / Gardner Edgerton HS (KS): He’s starting the year in extended spring-training. There’s no rush, nothing to see here folks.
6. Washington — Anthony Rendon / 3B / Rice: He’s going to miss at least six weeks with the partial-ankle fracture, which is too bad for numerous reasons, including the fact that was hitting the tar out of the baseball.
7. Arizona — Archie Bradley / RHP / Broken Arrow HS (OK): When the command comes close to matching the stuff, he’ll be an ace, as evident by his start in South Bend.
8. Cleveland – Francisco Lindor / SS / Montverde Academy (FL): Decent start for the shortstop, and the doubles and triples will turn into bombs as he gets stronger.
9. Chicago-NL — Javier Baez / SS / Arlington County Day HS (FL): I wasn’t a huge fan of this pick last year, and it’s a bit disappointing that a guy who signed last year is starting the year in extended spring training. No reason to panic, but it’s a little off-putting.
10. San Diego — Cory Spangenberg / 2B / Indian River State College (FL): After walking 31 times in 122 plate-appearances for Eugene, he’s only walked 16 times in his next 250, and without them he’s a marginal talent.
11. Houston — George Springer / OF / Connecticut: He’s in the California League — aka hitters paradise — so you have to skew the numbers a bit, but if he can stick in center, there’s a chance that he’s one of the steals of the draft.
12. Milwaukee — Taylor Jungmann / RHP / Texas: Good ERA, but giving up a ton of base-runners. We’ll see which one is the mirage.
13. New York -NL — Brandon Nimmo / OF / East HS (WY): Starting the year off in extended spring training as well. No rush, and he’s significantly more raw than Baez, so I won’t nitpick this much.
14. Miami — Jose Fernandez / RHP / Alonso HS (FL): This was higher than I thought Fernandez should have gone, but he’s looked very good to start the year, he probably won’t be in Greensboro much longer. There is that age question still hanging over his head, however.
15. Milwaukee — Jed Bradley / LHP / Georgia Tech: The breaking-ball is working, and he no longer plays behind a disaster of a defense. Add the two together and you see why he’s been so good to start the year.
16. Los Angeles-NL — Chris Reed / LHP / Stanford: Strikeout totals are good, everything else is not. Even if he was pitching like Bundy or Bradley, this would still be the worst pick of the first-round.
17. Los Angeles-AL — C.J. Cron / 1B / Utah: Lots of extra-base hits in a very hitter friendly ballpark, the only thing missing for Cron is the walks.
18. Oakland — Sonny Gray / RHP / Vanderbilt: I am a huge fan of Gray’s, but the walks have to come down if there’s any chance of him becoming a top of the rotation arm.
19. Boston — Matt Barnes / RHP / Connecticut: Of all the guys who are a level too low, Barnes is probably the most deserving of a promotion. He’s been great, but he’s a 21 year-old with plus stuff pitching in the Sally, that’s not exactly a challenge.
20. Colorado – Tyler Anderson / LHP / Oregon: After the pelvis injury last year, the Rockies are taking things very slowly. He’ll be in A-ball sometime next month, I assume.
21. Toronto — Tyler Beede / RHP / Lawrence Academy (MA): The only first-round pick who didn’t sign, currently at Vanderbilt.
22. St. Louis — Kolten Wong / 2B / Hawaii: I hated this pick last year, and so far, all Wong has done is made me look stupid.
23. Washington — Alex Meyer / RHP / Kentucky: He’s struggled early on, but again, no real reason for concern, his stuff is too good.
24. Tampa Bay – Taylor Guerrieri / RHP / Spring Valley HS (CA): Starting the year in extended spring-training, which shouldn’t shock anyone. There is zero rush with this type of arm.
25. San Diego — Joe Ross / RHP / Bishop O’Dowd HS (CA): His first start — seven runs and only four outs — was a disaster. His second start — one run over five innings with six strikeouts — was much more like it. It wouldn’t stun me at all if Ross was a quick advance, his mechanics and polish are outstanding.
26. Boston — Blake Swihart / C / Cleveland HS (NM): He’s showing good patience, but the hits aren’t dropping as of yet. Still stunned that twenty-five teams passed on him.
27. Cincinnati — Robert Stephenson / RHP / Alhambra HS (CA): Extending spring-training. No surprise or shock again, the mechanics need a lot of work.
28. Atlanta — Sean Gilmartin / LHP / Florida State: Only three strikeouts in twelve innings, but he is getting batters out. I have my doubts about whether or not that can continue.
29. San Francisco — Joe Panik / SS / St. John’s: Some of you will remember that I had Panik as one of my sleeper guys, but I was thinking more along the lines of the second or third round. That being said, he’s getting on base, and apparently playing a decent shortstop.
30. Minnesota — Levi Michael / SS / UNC: It’d be nice to see some extra-base hits, but when you get on-base forty-five percent of the time, you can’t really complain.
31. Tampa Bay — Mikie Mahtook / OF / LSU: He’s getting on-base, but a surprising lack of power so far. Have I mentioned that it’s really early yet?
32. Tampa Bay — Jake Hager / SS / Sierra Vista HS (NV): Struggling with the bat (.646 OPS) and glove (already three errors in thirty-five chances) to begin the year.
33. Texas — Kevin Matthews / LHP / Richmond Hill HS (GA): Extending spring-training. He’s light-years away.