2011 MLB Draft: Live Blogging the Rays First-Round

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Update 9:17: Rays Select Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Spring Valley High School (SC)

Looks like Brad Matthews was the scout in the South Carolina area where Taylor played.

Keith Law's analysis:

Guerrieri is one of the top prep arms in this year's draft, showing huge velocity with a knockout curveball and a good frame. I've had scouts tell me it's the best raw stuff of any high school pitcher in this draft, sitting 92-97 in most outings with a knockout breaking ball and a body to match.

Guerrieri's fastball is heavy, even when I saw him at just 90-94 working on short rest, and the curve has tight rotation and a well-defined break, but his command of the two pitches isn't there yet.

He can struggle with his landing point and needs to get that front foot down consistently toward the plate. Otherwise his delivery is very easy, with a moderate stride, not much hip rotation or torque, smooth arm action with early pronation, and just generally low effort from start to finish.

He'll need to throw more quality strikes and develop a consistent third pitch, but the arm strength and potential for a plus breaking ball is very enticing.

Kevin Goldstein's analysis:

I would run out of time before I could list all of the names that have been rumored to be in the Angels' sights. When that happens, “best player available” is the likely option.

Baseball America analysis:

Guerrieri will be one of the toughest calls for clubs in the first round. He has one of the draft's best arms, and among preps he ranks behind only Oklahomans Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley in pure stuff. Guerrieri has a pitcher's body at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with long arms, coat-hanger shoulders and present strength. Getting his "man strength," to use the scouting term, has allowed him to maintain his delivery better, and his stuff has improved as a result. At his best, Guerrieri's fastball touches 98 mph and sits in the 93-96 range. He throws his curveball with power as well at 80-83 mph. He flashes a changeup and a cutter in side sessions but rarely uses them in games. Like most high school pitchers, his velocity can vary from start to start, but he still sits 91-93 on his off days. His athleticism and strength allow him to repeat his delivery well, though his command is a question. A South Carolina signee, Guerrieri could go in the first 10 picks if teams are sold on his makeup, but many are not. He's on his second high school thanks to off-field incidents at North Augusta (S.C.) High, and scouts continue to research his decision-making.

Update 8:38: The Angels just took C.J. Cron, 1B from Utah. Keith Law had him going to the Rays in his last mock draft.

Update 8:36: Picks slowly falling off left and right. P Chris Reed, who Jim Callis had the Rays taking in his mock this afternoon, just taken at #16.

Update 8:22pm: Jose Fernandez, a Tampa high school pitcher, gets selected by the Marlins. Good for him.

Update 8:12: Booooo: @keithlaw: Mets will take Brandon Nimmo. Huge pick for them - finally drafting for ceiling!

Update 8:06: I feel bad for Jonathon Mayo. He's stashed away somewhere on the MLBN set instead of being with the talking heads.

Update 7:45: Arizona selects Archie Bradley. I'm not drafting anyone named Archie in 2011. Not a strong name #analysis

Update 7:34: The Royals take local product Bubba Starling, who most people didn't forecast happening.

Update: 7:30:  Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen and Trevor Bauer taken 1,2,3. There's nothing quite like following fans of a team on Twitter when that take surprises them with that pick. Mariner fans, thank you.

7:00 PM: As you're probably well aware, today is one of the most important days in the Rays' franchise history. The draft starts at 7pm and we'll be here providing you with updates throughout the night. Feel free to have any discussions you'd like regarding the draft in the comments.

The Rays first pick isn't until 24th overall, so you have time to prognosticate to your heart's content.

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