As you all know I spend a lot of time at the Cary, NC team USA center to watch the high school and college elite play. I have seen nearly everyone in the first round play and I’d like to talk about the players I would collect, if I wasn’t in the middle of a bet with my wife.
Gerrit Cole – Pirates: I have mixed emotions about this pick as he was originally selected by the Yankees in 2008 in the first round. I like the Pirates and they are doing the right things and drafting the right talent. Cole is a flamethrower, and he is definitely a team leader. He was with the USA team both years he was on it and all the years he was with UCLA. He throws 95-96 comfortably and touches 100. I put him and fellow Bruin Trevor Bauer as the best pitchers in the draft. Of course he did have a rough season and his throwing motion is terrible, but if he can reinvent his delivery he could become a staff ace.
Trevor Bauer – Diamondbacks: He has all the tools to become the Freak 2.0. 6-1, 175 lbs and just a flamethrower. He is another pitcher with a wicked delivery that most scouts feel is going to hurt him in the long run. I see him as the best pitcher in the draft and for him to fall to three blows me away.
Dylan Bundy – Orioles: Definitely the best high school arm in the draft and the Orioles have decided to go all in since his bonus demand is very high. Of all the pitchers he might have the highest ceiling.
Bubba Starling – Royals: Best athlete in the draft, has a full ride scholarship to QB the Cornhuskers and play baseball there. The fact that the Royals picked him and it’s close to his home may help with his decision to go pro. If he goes pro he’s going to be a must collect guy.
Javier Baez – Cubs: People gave the Cubs a lot of crap for selecting him so early in the draft, but here are his senior season stats: He batted .771 (64 for 83) with 22 home runs, 20 doubles and six triples. Baez finished with 52 RBI, scored 46 runs, stole 28 bases, was walked 32 times and struck out three times.
I don’t care what the talent is like in Jacksonville, FL, those are Bryce Harper numbers (or better). He averaged a home run and a stolen base a game.
CJ Cron – Angels: Adam Dunn part 2. The guy is big and hits big! Probably the best power hitter of the draft and collectors love the long ball.
Kolton Wong – Cardinals: He’s a speedster with a solid bat that can hit for average and is an above average defender. Not flashy but he is very solid and one of my favorite plays in the draft. Plus he signed my U of Hawaii hat for me.
Those are my must have players for my personal collection. What about you? Who are your favorites in the draft?