Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MLB Draft Update #3


As the major league season starts, and the college season closes in on the half way point, there have been a few interesting developments in the June draft.
   ESPN's Keith Law no longer considers NC State lefthander Carlos Rodon to be a lock as the first overall pick.  His first six starts haven't lived up to the lofty expectations many had for Rodon, and Law observed that there were a number of area scouts and cross-checkers at his last home start for teams drafting outside of the top five, indicating perhaps that his stock has fallen slightly.
   Law attributes some minor delivery flaws as a reason for Rodon's decrease in velocity, although he still acknowledges Rodon's wipe out slider.  Law has also never been impressed with the command he has of his fastball.
   Leaping ahead of Rodon in Law's rankings are California prep lefty Brady Aiken, and Texas HS right-hander Tyler Kolek.  In our last update, we had grouped Kolek with a package of players who had separated themselves from the rest of the class, and Aiken appears to have joined them.  Initial reports placed Aiken more in the 10-15 range of the first round, putting the Blue Jays in prime position to select the long and lean hurler.  Sounds like he may be off the board when it comes time for the Blue Jays, who hold the 9th and the 11th (compensation for failing to sign their first pick last year) picks of the first round.
   A name that has been linked to the Blue Jays is East Carolina right-hander Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman was originally part of the elite group at the top of the draft, but his stock has dipped slightly since the beginning of the collegiate season.  Christopher Crawford of ESPN claims that Hoffman hasn't been missing many bats this spring, and while he has logged a high number of groundouts, his mediocre breaking ball has been the culprit behind the low strikeout totals.
   Crawford has also suggested that U of San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer may be a player the Jays are taking a long look at. The younger brother of Kansas City 2012 first round pick Kyle,  Bradley has been described by one scout as one of the few five-tool players in this year's draft class.  While his tools may not be overwhelming, some think that he will put up above-average offensive numbers.  At 6'5", Zimmer may not last at his current position of centrefield, and may move to a corner outfield spot.
  Florida HS shortstop Nick Gordon was linked to the Jays in our last update, but the emphasis on the moment seems to be on the scouting of collegiate players.  While things can change greatly in the upcoming weeks, we'll keep tabs on Hoffman, Zimmer, and Gordon, and whoever else gets linked to the Blue Jays.
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