Editor's Note: The 2014 Draft Order for the first round is readily available, as it is based on the regular season records in reverse order, but I have read conflicting reports as to whether Major League Baseball is including Game 163, the regular season tie-breaker between the Rays and Rangers, in its draft order calculations. If you have sources on whether tiebreakers are included to determine next year's draft order, please chime in the comments below.
Current 2014 MLB Draft Order (Oct. 2013):
3. White Sox
9. Blue Jays
11. Blue Jays (for failing to sign 2013 No. 10 pick Phil Bickford)
22. Rays or Rangers
23. Rays or Rangers
30. Red Sox
It's possible (nay, likely) that the Rays will move higher in the order should other teams sign a free agent that had been extended a qualifying offer by their previous teams -- although the first eleven picks are protected. This year, that amount is estimated to be $14M, so the Rays are unlikely to sign such a free agent and lose their own first round pick, nor are they expected to extend such an offer to a departing free agent.
Looking forward, the draft is not scheduled until June 5 of next year, but Baseball America released their 2014 Draft Top 50 for October yesterday, and it is never too early to start reading up on the draftees to come.
It's worth noting that Rays 21st overall selection Nick Ciuffo was not included on leader boards as close as February of this year to last June's draft, and their 29th overall selection Ryne Stanek (a compensation pick for the loss of B.J. Upton to the Atlanta Braves) entered last year's draft season as a consensus Top 5 pick before some inconsistency at the collegiate level.
Baseball America ranked the Rays 21st and 29th overall selections 22nd and 13th on their leaderboards the day of the draft.
Some notables on BA's current list that caught my eye:
17. Kyle Schwarber, c/1b, Indiana: Physical lefthanded swing helps him hit for power and average; his best position is clearly the batter's box.
22. Cobi Johnson, rhp, Mitchell HS, Holiday, Fla.: Son of Blue Jays pitching instructor Dane offers athleticism, projection and command of a fastball that touches 93 mph and a potentially plus curveball.
28. Max Pentecost, c, Kennesaw State: Athletic for the position if he can stick there, and coming off a boffo summer when he won Cape Cod League MVP.
31. Sean Reid-Foley, rhp, Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville: Athletic righthander with a fastball up to 95 mph, above-average slider and average changeup with good control.
36. J.D. Davis, 1b/3b/rhp, Cal State Fullerton: Unsigned Rays fifth-rounder out of high school in 2011 offers power on the mound and at the plate.