MLB Draft 2012; Previewing the Top Ten
While I’m on record as saying I’m not much for mock drafts, the reasons are more time related than interest. I do watch and dissect video and read the words of just about everyone with an opinion on the subject, but the process of knowing where and how a player fits into an organizational development theory is daunting enough. Combined with the changes initiated by the new CBA and the task becomes temporarily life changing.
By now we’ve all likely done our own research, and have started to formulate our own opinions on who fits where and why. Putting the draft changes aside though, this year’s event will be different than what we’ve seen in recent years in the sense there is no consensus number one choice. One has to go back to 2008 to find a group of players who have received so much attention as a possible first pick, and if the final result from that year is any indication, we’re all likely to be surprised anyway.
In looking through a mock draft database, Stanford righthander Mark Appel is the odds on favorite to go number one overall, with 39 of 55 guesses. Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton comes in a distant second with 14 votes.
Other consensus top five choices are LSU righthander Kevin Gausman, University of San Francisco righty Kyle Zimmer, University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino and high school shortstop Carlos Correa.
Some other names bandied about as potential top ten picks are outfielders Albert Almora and David Dahl, shortstops Deven Marrero and Gavin Cecchini, and pitchers Marcus Stroman, and Max Fried.
Below you’ll find video links for each guy, hopefully they’re a help when deciding on who Houston should take at number one (all video clips via You Tube unless credited separately).
Personally, for me, there’s one consideration for this draft which I think is being drastically overlooked when looking at Houston’s potential choice.
Houston, like every other team, isn’t drafting for this year or next, they’re drafting for mid-2014 at the earliest and opening day 2016 at the latest.
Where they will be playing in the American League West. Going from the National League Central to the AL West is such a monumental change it’s hard to put into words. I do believe, as a rule, low budget teams should focus their free agent budget on pitching and build their positional depth through the draft. While players such as Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are rare, they’re still a more common occurrence than guys like Strasburg or Justin Verlander.
There is a much higher likelihood Harper will provide a better long-term reward than will Strasburg, even knowing there’s no chance he’ll be able to attain what everyone outside the game thinks he should.
So, considering everything, if I’m the guy in charge for Houston, we’re taking Byron Buxton. I could be convinced to take Correa as well, but a potential middle of the order, Gold Glove caliber centerfielder is a safer bet than a top of the order, Gold Glove caliber shortstop with question marks on his bat. Don’t get me wrong, there’s question marks with Buxton’s offense too, but if Correa has to move off short at some point, his hit tool becomes more of an issue, and with sticking to a budget more of a concern nowadays, it’s not a risk worth taking.