2011 MLB Draft Coverage: Teams Drilling Deep For Talent On Day 2

The 2011 MLB Amateur Draft is underway! Stick with this StoryStream for news, analysis, picks and so much more.

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2011 MLB Draft: Top Talents Still Available On Day 2

Day 2 of the 2011 MLB Draft begins at Noon Eastern on Tuesday.

Top talents still on the board include Texas high school  left-hander Daniel Norris, Texas high school outfielder Josh Bell, California high school catcher Austin Hedges, Arkansas high school right-hander Dillon Howard, TCU lefty Matt Purke, and Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac.

All of these players had a complicating factor that prevented selection on the first day.

Norris has robust bonus demands as well as a Clemson scholarship to back them up. He is the best high school lefty available on talent, but apparently convinced teams he was more than willing to go to college if his asking price was not met. Teams picking near the top of the second round no doubt spent much of the overnight hours assessing how firm his negotiating stance is.

Bell has an extremely strong commitment to baseball at the University of Texas. His family is academically-oriented, and it is possible that no amount of money will change his mind about becoming a Longhorn. Hedges is similar: he has a firm commitment to UCLA, and given some lingering doubts about his bat, no one is sure he is worth the money it would take to buy him away.

Howard is another guy dropping due to his college commitment, to the University of Arkansas, and a big price tag, though he may be easier to sign than Bell and Hedges. Purke fell due to doubts about his shoulder, loss of velocity this spring, and sophomore negotiating leverage. Susac's healing hamate bone and sophomore leverage are factors, though they seem less of an issue than Purke's.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Compensation Round Summary

Compensation Round Summary

1-34) Nationals: Brian Goodwin, OF, Miami Dade CC: Very toolsy outfielder with good speed, patience at the plate, and moderate power. Needs work on defense but high ceiling.

1-35) Blue Jays: Jacob Anderson, OF, Chino HS, Chino CA: Somewhat raw, but the Blue Jays are sold on his power bat from the left side of the plate. Signable away from Pepperdine here.

1-36) Red Sox: Henry Owens, LHP, Edison HS, Huntington Beach, CA: Lanky 6-7 strike-thrower with average fastball but outstanding feel for pitching. Nice value here.

1-37) Rangers: Zach Cone, OF, Georgia: One of the toolsiest outfielders in the college ranks, but rather raw with the bat. High risk/high reward pick.

1-38) Rays: Brandon Martin, SS, Santiago HS, Corona, California: Fast-riser  up the draft boards due to his improved hitting and good chance to remain at shortstop.

1-39) Phillies: Larry Greene, OF, Berrian County HS, Nashville, Georgia: Raw prep outfielder with enormous power but may end  up as a first baseman or DH if he gets too slow.

1-40) Red Sox: Jackie Bradley, OF, South Carolina: This could be a steal if Bradley can return to the form he showed in 2010. Was it the new college bats or a bad wrist that hurt his numbers?

1-41) Rays: Tyler Goeddel, 3B, St Francis HS, Mountain View, CA: Good athlete with speed and arm strength, bat will need some development time as he is physically immature.

1-42) Rays: Jeff Ames, RHP, Lower Columbia JC: Power arm with mid-90s fastball, erratic breaking ball, may fit best in relief up the ladder but has the stuff to close.

1-43) Diamondbacks: Andrew Chafin, LHP, Kent State: Power-armed lefty is Tommy John survivor and had some bouts of soreness this year, but ceiling is excellent.

1-44) Mets: Michael Fulmer, RHP, Deer Creek HS, Edmond, OK: Overshadowed by Bundy and Bradley in Oklahoma but an excellent prospect in his own right, hitting the mid-90s.

1-45) Rockies: Trevor Story, SS, Irving HS, Irving, TX: Outstanding arm, can remain at shortstop, and has a chance to be a solid hitter as well.

1-46) Blue Jays: Joe Musgrove, RHP, Grossmont HS, El Cajon, CA: Big 6-5 guy with 90+ sinker and strong curve, should be signable away from San Diego State in this spot.

1-47) White Sox: Keenyn Walker, OF, Central Arizona JC: Blazing speed and greatly improved hitting skills, along with a solid glove, push him to the top of the White Sox draft list.

1-48) Padres: Michael Kelly, RHP, West Boca Raton HS, Florida: Big 6-5 right-hander with impressive arm strength but underdeveloped secondary pitches, high ceiling but will need time.

1-49) Giants: Kyle Crick, RHP, Sherman HS, Texas: Another power arm hitting 93-96 MPH and a promising curveball, should fit well into Giants farm system.

1-50) Twins: Travis Harrison, 3B, Tustin HS, California: Huge power and a strong throwing arm, but doubts about other aspects of defense kept him out of the first round.

1-51) Yankees: Dante Bichette, OF, Orangewood Christian HS, Orlando, FL: Very similar to his father with the same mixture of strengths and weaknesses if he develops as expected.

1-52) Rays: Blake Snell, LHP, Shorewood, HS, Shoreline, Washington: Very projectable lefty with low-90s fastball and more to come if he fills out as expected.

1-53) Blue Jays: Dwight Smith, Jr., OF, McIntosh HS, Georgia; Pure hitter who is similar to his father but should be/could be better overall. Buyable out of Georgia Tech in this spot.

1-54) Padres: Brett Austin, C, Providence HS, Charlotte, NC: Rather raw on defense but has a very promising bat, late helium and positional scarcity moved him up boards.

1-55) Twins: Hudson Boyd, RHP, Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, FL: Beefy as 6-3, 235, but has a live arm with a 90-95 MPH fastball and a very strong curve. Could be workhorse starter or closer.

1-56) Rays: Kes Carter, OF, Western Kentucky: Solid college player with good tools across the board, runs well, has power, draws walks, solid on defense.

1-57) Blue Jays: Kevin Comer, RHP, Seneca HS, Tabernacle, NJ: Somewhat raw and has a Vanderbilt commitment, but low-90s fastball, promising curve, and high ceiling make him interesting gamble.

1-58) Padres: Jace Peterson, SS, McNeese State University: Excellent athlete with football background has more polish than you might expect, solid bat and might stay at shortstop.

1-59) Rays: Grayson Garvin, LHP, Vanderbilt: Velocity boost pushed his fastball well into the 90s this year despite being overshadowed by other college arms. Not an overdraft here.

1-60) Rays: James Harris, OF, Oakland Tech HS, CA: Signable athlete seems like an overdraft but might not be: he's toolsy, has power and speed, and will take a wak.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Rangers Finish First Round With Kevin Matthews

33. Texas Rangers: Kevin Matthews (LHP, Richmond Hill HS, Georgia)

Your prototypical short (but not too short) left-hander, Matthews stands 5-11 (at best) but throws in the low 90s and has committed to the University of Virginia; in fact, his Twitter handle is reportedly "UVAbound11," but of course that might just be a clever negotiating tool.

Though not big, Matthews is plenty athletic and can supposedly dunk a basketball. His curveball is excellent for a high-schooler, and like most 18-year-old pitchers has plenty of work to do on his changeup. Then again, if he winds up in the bullpen - as some of the pundits expect -- he won't have much use for a changeup. His makeup is considered excellent, and he has the mound presence to thrive in relief if they do go in that direction.

The Rangers have selected live-armed-athletic-but-short southpaws(Robbie Erlin, Robbie Ross) in recent drafts, and Matthews fits well into that lineage.  

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Rays Continue with Jake Hager

32. Tampa Bay Rays: Jake Hager (SS, Sierra Vista HS, Las Vegas)

This pick is could be a reach, as Baseball America didn't list Hager among the draft's top 100 prospects. With a surfeit of picks - 10 of the first 60 - the Rays might be thinking about their draft budget, or they might simply believe they have the luxury of using one of those picks on a player who will take some time to develop. On the other hand, at least some scouts believe Hager was one of the potential bargains of the draft, as a scrappy player with underrated tools. He runs well, has a solid glove, and has a chance to be at least a decent hitter.

Hager's development will presumably be helped by his makeup, as he's another middle infielder with the reputation as a baseball rat.  Hager does have a commitment to Arizona State, but will likely be swayed if the Rays offer him first-round money, considering he probably wasn't expected to be drafted until the compensation round at the earliest.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Rays Nab LSU's Mikie Mahtook

31. Tampa Bay Rays: Mikie Mahtook (OF, Louisiana State University)

In a college season relatively starved for offense, due to the new rules governing the bats, Mahtook put up big numbers, including a .383 batting average, 14 homers and 56 RBI. He led the Southeastern Conference in slugging percentage, walks, and steals.

Wait, what? Slugging percentage and steals? Yeah. He also reached base in all 56 games in which he played this season. A legacy at LSU, Mahtook's late father and his uncle both played football for the Tigers. Mahtook does strike out some, and there's some question about his ability to stick in center field. Reports on his athleticism are mixed; some view him as a guy who is just a slightly above average athlete who might slow down a lot as he ages, while others believe his athleticism is underrated. Everyone agrees he's made huge progress polishing his game during his LSU career.


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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Twins Select Carolina Infielder Levi Michael

30. Minnesota Twins: Levi Michael (SS, Univ. of North Carolina)

What sort of kid is Levi Michael? He graduated from high school a semester early, and what should have been his senior season in high school instead became his freshman season in top-flight Division I college baseball ... and he batted .290 with 13 home runs and helped lead the Tar Heels to the College World Series.

Michael's been versatile, too. He played second base as a freshman, third as a sophomore, and shortstop this spring as a junior. Michael did play shortstop in high school, but there's at least some thought that he'll wind up at second base in the majors, with doubles power and enough pop to hit some home runs, too. His makeup is highly-regarded and he is a definite "Twins type" player. The system is short on infielders, so he fits well in that way as well.

He hit 300/.446/.456 with 47/41 BB/K in 217 at-bats this year, along with 15 steals.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Giants Snag Infielder Panik

29. San Francisco Giants: Joe Panik, SS, St. John's University

You like stats? Check this out. Panik hit .398/.509/.642 this year with 44 walks and 21 steals for the Red Storm. You want tools? Panik isn't the best athlete in the universe but he isn't a bad one either, and makes the most out of his tools with amazing baseball instincts.

He should have at least gap power in the pros, and his combination of plate discipline and ability on the bases will make him an asset at the top of the order. Although some scouts believe he'll have to move to second base due to his arm strength, but others believe his positioning and instincts are good enough to keep him at shortstop. Either way, his makeup is outstanding, and he has already proven himself with wooden bats in the Cape Cod League.

Panik has a lot of polish and shouldn't need an excessive amount of time in the minors.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Sean Gilmartin Goes To Atlanta

28. Atlanta Braves: Sean Gilmartin (LHP, Florida State University)
Gilmartin might not have been easy for the Braves to choose, as they hadn't selected a college player in the first round only twice since 1992. But the Braves know how to scout the South, and Gilmartin is a polished lefty who has patterned himself after Tom Glavine and Cole Hamels.

Like a lot of lefties, Gilmartin might not have a high ceiling, especially considering his unspectacular fastball. But he's got a great changeup and a solid breaking ball and everyone raves about his makeup. Plus, the Braves know as well as anyone that a polished left-hander doesn't have to throw 95 to win. As FSU pitching coach Jamey Shouppe recently said, "He's just got the professional approach that a guy like Nolan Ryan, as a 10- or 15-year veteran, had."

Gilmartin's statistical profile this year was outstanding: 12-1, 1.83 ERA with 122/20 K/BB in 113 innings.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Reds Select Prep Arm Robert Stephenson

27.  Cincinnati Reds: Robert Stephenson (RHP, Alhambra HS)
When scouts see an 18-year-old pitcher who stands 6-2 and can reach 98 miles an hour with his fastball but weighs only 180 pounds, the word "projectability" almost always comes to mind. If he can throw 98 now, what happens in three or four years when he's 6-3 and 220? Well, he's probably recovering from Tommy John surgery. But you makes your picks and you takes your chances, and you hope you're getting Dr. Jekyll rather than Mr. Hyde. Health-wise, anyway.

Stephenson, who like Joe Ross hails from the East Bay area, throws a devastating curveball and is considered highly intelligent, with a good chance of taking his big arm and his 4.12 GPA to the University of Washington. However, it is unlikely that the Reds would use a first round pick on him without a good read on his signability. In some drafts, he could have been a top ten pick.


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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Red Sox Pick Catcher Swihart

26. Boston Red Sox: Blake Swihart (C, Cleveland HS)

Swihart might have been drafted earlier - Baseball America listed him as the No. 17 prospect in the draft -- except he's expected to require significantly more than "slot money" to sign. Of course the Red Sox can certainly afford to pay higher than slot, and haven't shown much concern in the past for recommendations by the Commissioner's Office.

The product of a New Mexico high school, Swihart has committed to the University of Texas. A switch-hitter, Swihart's considered to have the athleticism for the outfield and the arm for third base, though the Red Sox would obviously love for him to develop as a professional catcher, considering their ongoing inability to develop a young player at that position. Most scouts seem to believe he can make it behind the plate, though he'll need time and patience. Everyone loves his bat; he's expected to hit for at least moderate power with a good batting average.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Padres Pick Up Joe Ross

25. San Diego Padres: Joe Ross (RHP, Bishop O'Dowd HS)

Ross, an Oakland native, is the younger brother of A's pitcher Tyson Ross. Joe throws his fastball in the mid-90s and has a strong curve, a decent changeup, and good control. Ross might have gone higher in the draft, but there are concerns about both his signability - he's committed to UCLA - and his health (he has a history of elbow soreness), but some say the latter concern has been overblown. As a pitcher, he's not particularly similar to his brother, and there's some thought that he might ultimately be best-suited to bullpen duties if durability becomes an issue.

Ross has excellent overall athleticism and also draws praise for his makeup, work ethic, and level of intelligene. It might not be cheap to sign him away from UCLA, but the Padres are unlikely to have used this pick on him without having a good read on his signability.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Rays Begin Draft Bonanza with Taylor Guerrieri

24. Tampa Bay Rays: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP (Spring Valley HS, Columbia, South Carolina)

In some draft classes, Taylor Guerrieri would be a certain first-round pick due to his mid-to-upper-90s fastball and nasty power curve. He hasn't needed much of a changeup yet, being too good for high school competition as-is, but the Rays excel at helping young pitchers develop,and if anyonoe can help him develop a third pitch, it's the Rays.

A fine athlete at 6-3, 195, Guerrieri has consistent mechanics although is control will wander on occasion. Again, that is something that will improve in time. There have been concerns about his makeup and off-field behavior, enough to turn off some teams but not enough to think he can't grow out of it. He projects as a number two starter if the third pitch comes around.

The Rays have a huge number of early picks this year, and headlining it with Guerrieri is a great way to start.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Nationals Select Alex Meyer

23. Washington Nationals: Alex Meyer (RHP, University of Kentucky)

The Nationals had been linked to Meyer for weeks, but it was too soon to pick him at sixth-overall. Instead they get their man at 23rd. A dominating presence on the mound at 6-9, 220, Meyer posted a 7-5 record with a 2.94 ERA and a 110/46 K/BB in 101 innings. He touches 100 MPH on his best days and works consistently in the mid-90s, mixing in a good slider and workable changeup.

Meyer still has command issues at times and doesn't always repeat his mechanics consistently, but his ceiling is one of the best in the draft. He's matured emotionally and how has a strong mound presence. Ideally he would develop into a number two starter, although if command is a long-term problem he could end up in a bullpen role. It is unusual to find an arm with this kind of upside with the 23rd pick in the draft, testimony to how deep this class truly is.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Cardinals Select Hawaii Second Baseman Wong

22. St. Louis Cardinals: Kolten Wong (2B, Univ. of Hawaii)

He's only 5-9 but goes 190 pounds and batted .378 this season, with a .492 on-base percentage. Peter Gammons calls him a baseball rat and John Hart isn't impressed with his tool package. But everybody says he can hit and everybody absolutely loves his makeup, which means you can put him in a box with Craig Counsell and David Eckstein and maybe, if everything works out perfectly, even Dustin Pedroia. His athleticism is good enough that he has also played the outfield, and has even taken a turn behind the plate.

Things probably won't work out perfectly, of course, and nobody's really expecting Wong to become a star. Of course, very few No. 22 picks become stars no matter position they play, or how tall they are. Wong's regarded as a safe pick, and at this point in the draft there's nothing wrong with playing it safe.


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2011 Draft Tracker: Blue Jays Select Prep Arm Tyler Beede

21. Toronto Blue Jays: Tyler Beede (RHP, Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts)

Like most top high-school players, Beede's signed a college commitment, in his case with Vanderbilt. In his last high-school start this season, Beede's fastball touched 95 and he's also got a decent changeup and a 12-to-6 curveball that he can throw consistently for strikes.

Like a lot of great young pitchers, Beede's athleticism is off the charts. He batted .481 in his senior season, played tight end on the football team, is an outstanding golfer, and swooshed down the expert runs the first time he went skiing. Not surprisingly, Beede comes from fine stock; his father Walter was drafted by the Cubs in the 13th round in 1981. Beede committed to Vanderbilt years ago and might be a signability problem, but we'll just have to let things play out. It is unlikely that the Jays would select him if they didn't think he was signable in this spot.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Rockies Select Oregon Lefty Tyler Anderson

20. Colorado Rockies: Tyler Anderson (LHP, Univ. of Oregon)   

The 6-4 lefty is the first Oregon Duck selected in the first round since third baseman Dave Roberts went first overall in 1972, to the Padres. The Ducks' No. 1 starter in every season since baseball was reinstated in 2009, Anderson's already a polished pitcher with a low-90s fastball and a robust secondary arsenal - slider, curve, changeup - that he wields with sharp control. He's supposed to have excellent makeup, too.

Everybody loves his mechanics, and Anderson's rare among amateur pitchers if only because his changeup might be his best pitch. Nobody's expecting an ace, but if he's healthy projects as a solid No. 3 in the major leagues. Anderson's statistical perforamnce was impeccable: he went 8-3, 2.17 ERA with a 114/35 K/BB in 108 innings. He was first drafted in the 50th round by the Minnesota Twins back in 2008, out of high school in Las Vegas.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Red Sox Pick UConn Ace Matt Barnes

19. Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (RHP, University of Connecticut)

The Red Sox have a long-standing interest in New England talent, and they have a great one here with University of Connecticut ace Matt Barnes. Big and strong at 6-4, 205, Barnes works with a mid-90s fastball, mixing in a plus curveball and greatly improved changeup. His statistics are excellent: 11-4, 1.62 ERA with a 111/31 K/BB in 117 innings.

It is hard to believe that Barnes wasn't drafted out of high school, but he developed rapidly in college and thrived in the 2010 Cape Cod League, putting himself on the radar for this spring. His mechanics are clean and his command is very strong for a power pitcher. He profiles out as a number two starter, and was considered a candidate for as early as the sixth or seventh pick of the draft at one point. Boston fans should be very happy with this selection.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Oakland Picks Up Vanderbilt Ace Sonny Gray

Oakland Athletics: Sonny Gray (RHP, Vanderbilt)
Just 5-11-- that's listed, and might be generous -- Gray will almost certainly be the shortest pitcher drafted Monday, but Tim Hudson has showed everyone you don't have stand six feet tall to thrive in the major leagues. Like many shorter pitchers, he's a bulldog on the mound and it doesn't hurt that he routinely throws in the low 90s, occasionally touches 96, and also throws an outstanding curveball.

Because of his height, there will be questions about Gray until he actually reaches the majors and pitches well, and like most young pitchers he does still need to refine his changeup. So far this season, Gray's struck out 115 college hitters and walked 39 in 108 innings. As well as he's pitched, the A's will probably be tempted to shift him to the bullpen if he doesn't thrive as a starter in his first pro season or two. Scouts note that he thrives under pressure and could make a fine closer if the changeup doesn't come around.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Angels Select Utah Slugger Cron

Los Angeles Angels: C. J. Cron (1B, Univ. of Utah)      

Generally considered the best college power bat in the draft, Cron's got enormous raw power mixed with polished hitting skills, which resulted in a .434/.517/.803 mark this season, despite the NCAA's switch from "toy bats" - as Peter Gammons calls them -- to the less potent bats now in use.

At 6-4 and 230 pounds, Cron obviously fits the physical profile of the power-hitting first baseman, and considering Kendrys Morales' injury and Mark Trumbo's middling skills, the Angels will presumably have a place for Cron in their lineup if he's ready in two or three years. He comes from a baseball family: his father Chris was a major league player.

Of the two-time All-American, Utah coach Bill Kinneberg said, "On and off the field, he's as good as there is. He's as dedicated to baseball and to school as any guy we've had over the last three years."

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Dodgers Pick Stanford's Chris Reed

Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Reed (LHP-Stanford)

Everyone has wondered how the Dodgers financial problems would impact their draft strategy, and now we find out. There's nothing wrong with Stanford's Chris Reed as a prospect. He went 6-2, 2.80 ERA with a 47/13 K/BB in 45 innings this year, being used as a reliever. But Reed has a starter's arsenal, featuring an 89-94 MPH fastball along with a strong slider and a good changeup. Scouts anticipate that he'll hold up just fine under a starter's workload, thanks to his 6-5, 200 pound built and good level of athleticism.

He'll need some time to stretch out his arm to move into the starting role, but the Dodgers are well-aware of that. They have focused on prep arms and players in recent drafts, so while Reed is a fine prospect, this does represent a shift from their previous draft strategy, likely due to the monetary constraints. While Reed might be an overdraft, he's not a total reach.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Brewers Pick Georgia Tech Ace Jed Bradley

Milwaukee Brewers: Jed Bradley (LHP, Georgia Tech)

As stated earlier, the Brewers need everything, and a few weeks ago they wouldn't have expected Bradley to be available at this point in the draft. Bradley mixes an 88-94 MPH fastball, a plus slider, and a solid changeup, changing speeds with excellent command and throwing strikes with ease. His fastball has plenty of sink and hitters have a hard time driving it for extra bases; he's given up just one homer this year. He went 7-3, 3.49 ERA with a 106/31 K/BB in 98 innings this year. Big and strong at 6-4, 225, his size and pitch efficiency promise durability, though he wore down a little as the college season progressed.

In the Milwaukee system, Bradley should be expected to advance to the majors within two years. He isn't likely to develop into a number one starter, but he should be a solid number three type, throwing strikes and eating innings.

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MLB Draft 2011: Gerrit Cole And The Pittsburgh Pirates

Gerrit Cole was one of the top talents in the draft, but a lot of Pirates fans are a little wary of the pick. Are they right to be?

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Marlins Pick Up Florida Arm Jose Fernandez

Florida Marlins: Jose Fernandez (RHP, Alonso HS, Tampa, Florida)

The Marlins stayed in their home state by selecting this power arm from the Tampa area. A Cuban defector, Fernandez has a strong major league body at 6-3, 220 pounds, though he'll have to watch his weight as he gets older. He's already physically mature, already throws a 95 MPH sinker, and mixes in a solid curveball and slider. He even has a decent changeup. His feel for pitching is very solid for a young power pitcher, though he's a tad older than some of the other high school pitchers.

Scouts project Fernandez as a durable inning-eater who will dominate at times, or perhaps a power closer. He is driven to succeed and has a mound presence beyond his years. This is a good pick for the Marlins, having a local connection without sacrificing upside. He fits well into their system and could advance more rapidly than most prep arms.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Mets Nab Brandon Nimmo out of Wyoming

New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo (OF, Cheyenne East HS, Cheyenne, Wyoming)

The Mets have been conservative in recent drafts, but the new front office promises more investment in the farm system. This is a good test of that philosophy, for Brandon Nimmo has been floating large bonus demands to skip college ball at the University of Arkansas. The Mets are wise to invest in him: he's got an exceptional set of skills and tools.

A 6-2, 185 pound left-handed hitter, Nimmo is a one of the best athletes in the draft and features both above-average speed and power. Most surprisingly, he demonstrates excellent strike zone judgment and offensive polish, all the more remarkable given that his state lacks high school baseball. He does have experience in Legion ball and showcase events, and Nimmo has less risk than you might expect given his background.

Nimmo also offers excellent makeup, and this looks like a very fine pick for the Mets.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Brewers Select Longhorn Ace Jungmann

Milwaukee Brewers: Taylor Jungmann (RHP, University of Texas)

Depleted by trades and promotions, the Brewers farm system is very thin and they need help in all departments. Taylor Jungmann has dominated college competition for the Longhorns with a 90-95 MPH fastball, slider, and changeup. Although some scouts worried early in his career that his mechanics would result in an injury, he's been very durable thus far, and his 6-6, 220 pound body has absorbed innings without much trouble, though he looked a bit tired in his last start for Texas according to some observers.

Jungmann projects as a number two starter if all goes well. He isn't just a thrower; he's got a great feel for pitching, and has thrived under pressure in college. His statistical dominance makes him attactive from a performance basis. He instantly becomes Milwaukee's best pitching prospect as soon as he signs, and he could be in the majors within two years.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Astros Select George Springer

Houston Astros: George Springer (OF, University of Connecticut)

Looking for a big impact at 11th overall, the Houston Astros picked the best athlete in the college crop, University of Connecticut outfielder George Springer. Springer has the tools to be a 20/20 player, and he was very impressive performance-wise this year, hitting .351/.451/.632 with 30 walks and 37 strikeotus in 228 at-bats this year. He also stole 31 bases.

A 6-3, 200 pounder, Springer was inconsistent at times in college and scouts point to some questions about his swing mechanics. However, he made signficant progress smoothing them out this year and he has a good chance to live up to his full potential. He has a strong throwing arm and enough range for center field, and his makeup is well-regarded.

The Astros need impact players in their improving farm system, and Springer certainly qualifies. He imprsses scouts in the Cape Cod League in '10, giving hope that he can adapt to the pro game quickly.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Padres Snag Cory Spangenberg

San Diego Padres: Cory Spangenberg (3B, Indian River Junior College)

This is the first pick that could legitimately be considered an overdraft, although the Padres (obviously) and some analysts would dispute that. Spangenberg is a pure hitter with excellent on-base skills. He hit .477 with a .553 OBP and 33 steals this year for Indian River. Listed at 6-0, 185, Spangenberg is a line-drive hitter with gap power. He won't hit many home runs, but his skills are ideal for a leadoff hitter and some consider him the best bet to hit for a high average of any hitter in the draft.

He profiles best as a second baseman or perhaps a center fielder, so a position switch will be in order. He is definitely signable at 10th overall, and some felt he would fit best later in the first round or in the supplemental phase. However, the Padres were well-known to be heavily interested, and wanted to make sure they got their man.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Cubs Select Javier Baez

Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez (SS, Arlington Country Day School, Jacksonville, Florida)
Despite last-second rumors that they would go way off the board, in the end the Cubs went with Javier Baez, a Florida high-school prep originally from Puerto Rico, with the ninth overall pick. Baez features explosive bat speed and outstanding power potential. He may or may not have the tools to remain at shortstop, depending on what analyst you ask, but his range and arm strength will be sufficient for third base if he does have to change positions. He's 6-1, 205, and a solid overall athlete.

There have been questions about Baez's makeup that turned some teams off, but overall his excellent hitting overrode those concerns for most scouts. He has the kind of strength and pull power to exceed 20 homers annually, and he has a good chance to hit for a high batting average and on-base percentage as well. It's a sound pick.

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2011 MLB Draft Tracker: Indians Select Shortstop Francisco Lindor

Cleveland Indians: Francisco Lindor (SS, Montverde Academy, Clermont, Florida)
Although the Indians were rumored to be interested in fast-rising college pitching, they instead opt for the slick-fielding Francisco Lindor. Originally from Puerto Rico, Lindor has excellent actions at shortstop, and unlike many shortstops in this draft class, he has the tools and skills needed to remain at the position in the long run. He also has an impressive bat, with line-drive hitting skills and gap power, at least. He won't be a huge home-run hitter according to most scouts, but he should his plenty of doubles and post a sound batting average and OBP.

Listed at 5-11, 175, the switch-hitting Lindor will need development time, at least to develop his offense. Scouts are very high on his glove, noting excellent instincts to go with above-average arm strength and terrific range. The Indians have been college-oriented in recent drafts, but if you are going to go with a prep, Lindor is a great choice. 

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2011 MLB Draft: Arizona Drafts Oklahoma Prep Archie Bradley

Arizona Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley (RHP, Broken Arrow HS, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Although this is an unprotected pick, the Diamondbacks look to make a big impact by choosing Oklahoma prep fireballer Achie Bradley. He is a quarterback recruit to the University of Oklahoma, which will enable Arizona to stretch his bonus out over several years. 

Bradley has a mid-90s fastball, a plus curve, a developing changeup, and terrific athleticism at 6-4, 215. His velocity may increase with time, making him a future number-one starter if all goes well. He has a long-standing friendly rivalry with fellow Oklahoma prep Dylan Bundy, and Bundy is about the only reason Bradley wasn't considered the best high-school arm available.

With Bauer and Bradley in the same draft, the Diamondbacks have acquired two young pitchers who could both be rotation anchors. It won't be cheap to sign both of them, but the upside here is tremendous, and the front office must be ecstatic.

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2011 MLB Draft: Nationals Pick Up Rice Star Anthony Rendon

Washington Nationals: Anthony Rendon (3B, Rice University)
     
A 6-0, 190 pound right-handed hitter, Rendon was long projected as the top position player in the 2011 draft, thanks to his power, superior hitting skills, superb plate discipline, and excellent defense at third base. However, he was hampered by shoulder injuries all spring, limiting him to DH most of the time and causing teams to wonder if he can remain at third. Despite playing with a wounded wing, he still hit .332/.522/.531 with 79 walks in 211 at-bats, demonstrating his terrific batting eye as well as the respect college pitchers still show for him.
     Rendon's ETA to the major leagues, and perhaps even his position, will depend on how his shoulder recovers. Reports/rumors are mixed, but it seems that the Mariners (expected to pick him second overall) may have been scared off by his medical reports. If his arm is OK, Rendon has the tools and skills to reach the major leagues very quickly, within two years and perhaps just a single year without further physical setbacks.
     A healthy Rendon projects as an on-base machine with good power and excellent defensive ability at third base. The Nationals may have a steal here.

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2011 MLB Draft: Royals Stay Local, Select Local Star Bubba Starling

Kansas City Royals: Derek "Bubba" Starling (OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Gardner, Kansas)
Despite their professed interest in college pitching, in the end the Royals could not resist picking a local talent. But this was far from an overdraft: Starling is an exceptional athlete, a pure Five Tool player with power, speed, strength, a throwing arm, and outstanding overall athleticism. He's a Nebraska quarterback recruit and has leverage, but in the end it is very unlikely he will get away from Kansas City.

Starling is 6-5, 195. He has the ability to develop into a 30/30 player with excellent center-field defense. The main concern is simple polish: He didn't face good competition in high school, and while his ceiling is tremendous, there is also a chance he could be a bust, perhaps if his strike-zone judgment isn't up to snuff. However, Starling has the physical ability to be a superstar, and while he'll need some development time, the choice is completely justified.

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2011 MLB Draft: Orioles Select Oklahoma Fireballer Dylan Bundy

Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy (RHP, Owasso HS, Owasso, Oklahoma)

Rated as the best available prep pitcher in the 2011 class, Bundy impresses with a 95-100 MPH fastball. He isn't just a thrower, showing outstanding command of a plus curveball, plus slider, and solid changeup. He is a complete package and won't need as much development time as most high-school arms, possibly reaching the majors within two years. Bundy has robust bonus demands, but his brother Bobby pitches in the Orioles' system and perhaps that will help with his signability.

Bundy is 6-1, 205 and doesn't have the classic projectability of a high-school arm, but already has outstanding stuff, is a good athlete and very polished for his age. His draft slot is appropriate, and while pitching always represents an injury risk, Bundy is about as safe as it comes for a high-school pick. It seems unlikely that he will make it to college.

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2011 MLB Draft: Arizona Selects UCLA Dominator Trevor Bauer

Arizona Diamondbacks: Trevor Bauer (RHP, UCLA): The 6-2, 185 pound Bauer isn't huge physically but is a great athlete with an outstanding arm, using a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a nasty curveball, and a strong changeup. He put up better numbers than teammate Gerrit Cole, and draws Tim Lincecum comparisons due to his mechanics and long-toss training regime. Like Cole, he has number one starter upside. He went 13-2, 1.25 ERA with a 203/36 K/BB in 137 innings.

Bauer has exceptional makeup and is a student of pitching. Although some are concerned about his heavy workload, he's shown no ill effects in college, and his ability to repeat his mechanics so well should help him stay healthy. He shouldn't need much major-league time and could be in the majors very quickly, perhaps as soon as September.

This pick isn't unexpected, but it now looks like Anthony Rendon could slide ... How much chaos will this cause?

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2011 MLB Draft: Seattle Mariners Pick Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia

Seattle Mariners: Danny Hultzen (LHP, University of Virginia)
Considered the top left-hander in the 2011 draft by most experts, Hultzen went 11-3 with a 1.57 ERA and a 148/17 K/BB ratio in 103 innings this year for the Cavaliers. He features a 92-96 MPH fastball, a strong changeup, an improving slider, and very sharp control. He is expected to move through the farm system quickly and could be ready for the majors within two years. He projects as a number-two starter in the majors, and his game would play well in the pitcher-friendly confines of Seattle.

This was not the expected selection; most experts felt the Mariners would go with Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon. Pre-draft rumors indicated that Hultzen wanted up to $13 million to sign, but the Mariners are apparently not afraid of the monetary concerns. Other rumors indicated they were focused on offense even if they passed on Rendon, but those rumors proved false as well. 

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2011 MLB Draft: Pirates Select UCLA Ace Gerrit Cole

Pittsburgh Pirates: Gerrit Cole (RHP, UCLA)
As predicted by pre-draft rumors, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected UCLA ace Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick in the draft. A 6-4, 220 pound fireballer, Cole had an erratic season for the Bruins, going 6-8, 3.31 with a 119/24 K/BB in 114 innings.

But scouts remain entranced with him, focusing on his 95-99 MPH fastball, power slider, and excellent changeup.Despite his inconsistency this spring, his K/BB ratio was outstanding and reflects the excellent gains he made with his command and control in college. Although he showed a volatile personality in high school, he has emerged as a very positive makeup player and scouts have no doubts about his intangibles at this point. He's also smoothed out his delivery, enhancing his command.

Cole projects as a definite number-one starter in the majors. He turned down the Yankees as a first-round pick in 2008, 28th overall, and it looks like he made the right decision.

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2011 MLB Draft: Cuban Defector Onelki Garcia Speck <i>Not</i> Draft-Eligible

Baseball America is reporting that a Cuban defector named Onelki Garcia Speck is drawing late interest from several clubs. Speck is a live-armed left-hander, approximately 23 years old, who reportedly has a 90+ fastball and a big-breaking curve. Draft expert Frankie Piliere is reporting that the Cubs, picking ninth in the first round, have strong interest, although money's an issue.

That tearing sound you just heard is coming from every draft expert in America ripping up the mock drafts they spent hours compiling. Cell-phone and internet traffic in the United States just jumped 30 percent as everyone tries to track down a scouting report. If this rumor pans out, it will send ripples through the first round, and make Chicago's Hayden Simpson pick in 2010 look like no big deal. Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken is known for making bold choices outside of consensus, and the selection of a pop-up arm like Speck this early in the draft would certainly qualify.

Update: MLB has ruled Garcia ineligible for the Rule 4 draft, pending an investigation of his residency status.

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Before The 2011 MLB Draft, Some Things You Should Probably Know

The MLB amateur draft is a hype machine discussed in its own language. Let's try to get to the heart of where everything comes from, and what so many statements actually mean.

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MLB Draft: A Look Back At The Best, Worst Drafts Of All Time

The best and the worst single-team drafts of all-time. One led to four pennants, and one was a waste of ink.

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2011 MLB Draft: Latest Rumors And Implications

With five hours to go until the beginning of the 2011 MLB Draft, rumors are flying fast and furious about how things will play out.

The strongest indications are that the Pittsburgh Pirates will take UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the first overall selection, and that the Seattle Mariners will take Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon at number two overall. However, the Mariners' pick may not be set in stone just yet, given Rendon's enigmatic shoulder injury, and there is some thought they may turn to Florida high school shortstop Francisco Lindor.

If Rendon is not the number two choice, chaos will ensue. Even if Seattle does go with Rendon, subsequent selections are no longer as certain as they seemed 48 hours ago. University of Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen, long linked with Arizona at number three overall, has reportedly floated large bonus figures, and the Diamondbacks are now looking extremely closely at UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer.

Likewise, the Baltimore Orioles at fourth-overall are no longer certain to pick Oklahoma prep right-hander Dylan Bundy and his hefty bonus demands, and could opt for home-state rival Archie Bradley instead, or perhaps a college pitcher who would sign for slot money. No one seems to know what the Royals, picking fifth overall, will do. They seem interested in college pitching and have numerous options available, but could still go with local high school tools monster Bubba Starling.

Basically, aside from the Pirates picking Cole number one, the top of the draft, which seemed locked down 48 hours ago, is now in flux. Stay tuned!

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MLB Draft 2011: Tampa Bay Rays Lead Way With 10 Day 1 Draft Picks

Unlike most sports, in Major League Baseball there can be a huge difference in the number of early draft picks owned by the varying franchises. This year the Tampa Bay Rays have nine of the first 60 picks in the 2011 MLB Draft, while the Tigers are completely bereft of early choices, left only to twiddle their thumbs on Day 1 of the Rule 4 draft. Below, a quick rundown of every team with at least two draft picks among the first 60 picks, covering the 33-pick first round and the 27-pick compensation round (which includes so-called "sandwich picks" used to compensate teams that lost Type A and Type B free agents after last season).

Tampa Bay Rays (10): 24, 31, 32, 38, 41, 42, 52, 56, 59, 60
The Rays' unprecedented haul of first- and compensation-round picks is the result of losing Carl Crawford and the great majority of their relief-pitching corps to free agency last winter.

San Diego Padres (5): 10, 25, 48, 54, 58
Despite nearly winning the National League West last season, the Padres have the 10th pick in the draft because they didn't sign their first-round pick a year ago. They've also got compensation choices for the losses of Type B free agents Jon Garland, Yorvit Torrealba and Kevin Correia.

Toronto Blue Jays (5): 21, 35, 46, 53, 57
Aside from their "normal" first-round pick, the Jays have compensation picks for losing Type A free agent Scott Downs, and Type B's John Buck, Kevin Gregg and Miguel Olivo.

Boston Red Sox (4): 19, 26, 36, 40
Yes, the rich get richer as the Red Sox a) have the 19th and 36th picks because Type A free agent Victor Martinez signed with the Tigers, and the 26th and 40th picks because Adrian Beltre signed with the Rangers.

Arizona Diamandbacks (3): 3, 7, 43
They haven't gotten the publicity the Rays have, but having two of the first seven picks is quite a blessing. The No. 3 pick is the result of the Diamondbacks' 97 losses last season, and the No. 7 pick is compensation for not signing their first-round choice last summer. And finally, they picked up the No. 43 pick when free agent Adam LaRoche signed with the Nationals.

Washington Nationals (3): 6, 23, 34
The Nats choose sixth because they were lousy last year, and they pick 23rd and 34th because they let Adam Dunn get away ... which is, to this point in the season anyway, looking like an exceptionally wise decision.

Minnesota Twins (3): 30, 50, 55
Those latter two picks are the result of losing Type B free agents Orlando Hudson and Jesse Crain.

Milwaukee Brewers (2): 12, 15
That second pick is compensation for not signing their first-round choice in 2010.

New York Mets (2): 13, 44
The 44th choice is compensation for losing reliever Pedro Feliciano -- who has of course spend most of this season on the Disabled List, to Brian Cashman's dismay -- to the Yankees.

Colorado Rockies (2): 20, 45
The Rockies picked up the No. 45 pick with the departure of free agent Octavio Dotel, now struggling as a Blue Jays reliever.

Texas Rangers (2): 33, 37
The Rangers gave up their "natural" first-round pick (No. 26) when they signed Adrian Beltre, but gained the No. 33 and No. 37 picks when Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies.

San Francisco Giants (2): 29, 49
The 29th pick is natural, the 49 compensation for losing Type B free agent Juan Uribe.

Here are the 15 franchises with only one choice among the first 60: Pirates (No. 1), Mariners (2), Orioles (4), Royals (5), Indians (8), Cubs (9), Astros (11), Marlins (14), Dodgers (16), Angels (17), Athletics (18), Cardinals (21), Reds (27), Braves (28), Phillies (39), White Sox (47), Yankees (51).

And again, Tigers are both without draft choices among the first 60, because they signed Type A free agent Victor Martinez and didn't lose any Type A or Type B's.

Original version of this story listed Yankees as having no first- or compensation-round picks.

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2011 MLB Draft: Pirates Reportedly Set To Select Gerrit Cole

Via MLB.com, a report cites a “baseball source” saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates will select UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 selection in the 2011 MLB draft, set to begin at 7 p.m. ET Monday evening.

Cole, a 6-4, 225-pound righthander, is a power pitcher who can throw 95-96 MPH. Despite that, he’s had a rather pedestrian 6-8 record for the Bruins this season with a 3.31 ERA. Why the unimpressive numbers?

Scouts think there are two reasons for the less-stellar results. One was a mechanical flaw in his delivery, in which he was opening up his front side too soon. His release point was right down the middle, meaning his stuff was getting too much of home plate, especially when he tried to come inside to a right-handed hitter. His slider often flattened out, as well. Control wasn’t a problem — he doesn’t walk many — but command within the strike zone was.

Pirates fans might be excited by this choice, since mechanics can be corrected, but this article indicates that they might be a little afraid, too:

… it goes without saying that Pirates fans are a little more gun shy than most. The last time they had the draft’s top pick — 2002 — they selected Bryan Bullington, another big college righthander. Bullington didn’t get his first major league win until last season (while pitching for the Kansas City Royals) and now plays in Japan. If it wasn’t for San Diego and Matt Bush in 2004, he’d be the most notable No. 1 draft bust in the 2000s.

We’ll await further word and the official selection of Cole (if that’s who it is) by the Pirates this evening.

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2011 MLB Draft Prospects: Gerrit Cole Leads List Of 40 Top Amateur Players

The 2011 MLB Draft looks like one of the strongest classes in the last 20 years. Although there is no off-the-charts prospects like Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper towering above their peers, this draft is quite deep, especially in pitching.

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2011 MLB Draft Order: Pirates First On The Clock At 7 P.M. ET

The 2011 MLB Draft will begin Monday evening at 7 p.m. ET; unlike drafts in other sports, baseball teams can draft through as many as 50 rounds. In reality, many of those players will never sign with the teams that select them. Drafting will continue through Wednesday.

It's the first round that will attract the most attention and get, presumably, the top amateur players to the 30 MLB teams. TV coverage starts Monday night on the MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET; the draft itself is being held in the network's Studio 42. We will have continuing coverage of the draft as each choice is made, in this StoryStream, with analysis of each player picked by John Sickels from SB Nation's Minor League Ball.

Here is the MLB Draft order for the first round Monday evening, along with an explanation of how teams got picks that appear to be "out of order":

1. Pirates
2. Mariners
3. Diamondbacks
4. Orioles
5. Royals
6. Nationals
7. Diamondbacks (compensation for unsigned 2010 first-round pick Barret Loux)
8. Indians
9. Cubs
10. Padres (compensation for unsigned 2010 first-round pick Karsten Whitson)
11. Astros
12. Brewers
13. Mets
14. Marlins
15. Brewers (compensation for unsigned 2010 first-round pick Dylan Covey)
16. Dodgers
17. Angels
18. Athletics
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Type A free agent Victor Martinez)
20. Rockies
21. Blue Jays
22. Cardinals
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Type A free agent Adam Dunn)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Type A free agent Carl Crawford)
25. Padres
26. Red Sox (from Rangers for Type A free agent Adrian Beltre)
27. Reds
28. Braves
29. Giants
30. Twins
31. Rays (from Yankees for Type A free agent Rafael Soriano)
32. Rays
33. Rangers (from Phillies for Type A free agent Cliff Lee)

There is also a "supplemental round" of picks that teams have received as compensation picks for various free-agent signings, that will go before the official second round. It's nearly as long as the first round itself:

34. Nationals (for Adam Dunn, Type A, to White Sox)
35. Blue Jays (for Scott Downs, Type A, to Angels)
36. Red Sox (for Victor Martinez, type A, to Tigers)
37. Rangers (for Cliff Lee, Type A, to Phillies)
38. Rays (for Rafael Soriano, Type A, to Yankees)
39. Phillies (for Jayson Werth, Type A, to Nationals)
40. Red Sox (for Adrian Beltre, Type A, to Rangers)
41. Rays (for Carl Crawford, Type A, to Red Sox)
42. Rays (for Grant Balfour, Type A, to Athletics)
43. Diamondbacks (for Adam LaRoche, Type B, to Nationals)
44. Mets (for Pedro Feliciano, Type B, to Yankees)
45. Rockies (for Octavio Dotel, Type B, to Blue Jays)
46. Blue Jays (for John Buck, Type B, to Marlins)
47. White Sox (for J.J. Putz, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
48. Padres (for Jon Garland, Type B, to Dodgers)
49. Giants (for Juan Uribe, Type B, to Dodgers)
50. Twins (for Orlando Hudson, Type B, to Padres)
51. Yankees (for Javier Vazquez, Type B, to Marlins)
52. Rays (for Brad Hawpe, Type B, to Padres)
53. Blue Jays (for Kevin Gregg, Type B, to Orioles)
54. Padres (for Yorvit Torrealba, Type B, to Rangers)
55. Twins (for Jesse Crain, Type B, to White Sox)
56. Rays (for Joaquin Benoit, Type B, to Tigers)
57. Blue Jays (for Miguel Olivo, Type B, to Mariners)
58. Padres (for Kevin Correia, Type B, to Pirates)
56. Rays (for Randy Choate, Type B, to Marlins)
60. Rays (for Chad Qualls, Type B, to Padres)

In our next post, we'll have team-by-team information on numbers of picks and draft positions.

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