Saturday, June 1, 2013

Feeling a draft: Five days to go

Jonathan Gray has emerged this spring as a prime candidate
to be the first overall pick in the MLB draft next week. Some
mock drafts say the Twins will have a chance to take him
with the fourth overall pick.
The baseball draft isn't as intensely anticipated as the NFL draft or even the NBA draft — and for good reason, since the high picks in those drafts will go directly into starting lineups and the high picks in the MLB draft will go directly to the minor leagues.

But for those of us who care, there are plenty of mock drafts to mimic that speculation.

The consensus of the most prominent baseball mock drafters has the Twins selecting Kohl Stewart, a high school right-handed pitcher from Texas. Stewart is also a prime football recruit (a quarterback signed with Texas A&M), and, apparently, a Type 1 diabetic. But he's considered signable (if he does go to A&M to play quarterback, he'll be stuck behind the defending Heisman Trophy winner, and he'll have turned down several million for the privilege), and the Twins don't seem too concerned about the diabetes.

The mock drafters don't agree on how the Twins will get to Stewart.

Keith Law of ESPN apparently believes the Houston Astros (with the first pick) will attempt to reprise last summer's budgetary strategy and use the first pick on a cheaper sign in order to save draft pool share for later rounds. (I say apparently because I'm too cheap to pop for Insider status on and thus don't have direct access to Law's reasoning.)

Jim Callis of Baseball America thinks the Astros will play it straight and select one of the two college pitchers generally deemed the prizes of this draft class, Mark Appel of Stanford or Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma.

If Law's right on the Astros' plan, the Twins will have a choice between Stewart and Gray. Off what I know — and I don't know as much as the Twins scouting staff does — it's hard for me to imagine the Twins passing on Gray if he falls to No. 4.

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