Last night, the Rays made three picks. If you missed our posts on them, you can catch up:
The Rays can spend up to $5,848,400 on draft picks this year (plus 10% without incurring a penalty). The recommended values for those three picks are $2,035,500, $943,200, and $784,000 respectively. I can't see any of those players breaking the bank, and the Rays may be even able to lock all three of them up under slot.
If you want a refresher on the draft in general, hopefully our primer has you covered.
The draft restarts today at 1 PM, and it'll cover rounds three through 10. MLB.com provides a really nice tracker that also contains a link to a video stream with analysis if you're so inclined.
If I had to pick a team that did well last night without really diving into it too deeply, I might pick Cleveland. They had two extra picks which was pretty helpful, but Bradley Zimmer (21) could be a steal, and Justus Sheffield (31) could be a nice starter.
After the Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber fourth overall, it was assumed they would save money with that pick and get a little more aggressive after that. In the second round, they took Jake Stinnett, a college senior, albeit a talented one. That's another pick that shouldn't be difficult to sign, but they have to put those savings into use somewhere for this draft to look better.
Using Baseball America's draft database, these are the top players remaining with their overall rank in parenthesis.
High school arms
(33) RHP Jake Bukauskas: He's believed to be unsignable after he sent a letter to teams requesting that he not be drafted. That hasn't stopped players before though.
(53) LHP Carson Sands: He has three average or better pitches, but there are concerns that he's maxed out physically.
(57) LHP Mac Marshall: He has one of the best changeups in the class, something that surely interests the Rays.
High school bats
(48) SS Milton Ramos: He could be the best defensive shortstop in the class.
(59) LF Matthew Railey: Both he and Sands attend the same school and could have been drafted last night. He makes good contact.
(62) C Jakson Reetz: I don't think the Rays will be in the market for a catcher very early today, but he has a nice all-around game.
(45) RHP Michael Cederoth: A nice two pitch combo and command problems should land him in the bullpen.
(61) RHP Brett Graves: He throws strikes, but the secondary pitches need work.
(66) RHP Chris Oliver: And the award for bad timing goes to...
(69) 2B/OF Brian Anderson: His performance hasn't always matched the tools, and where he fits on the diamond is a question.
(86) C Grayson Greiner: He has experience catching a good college staff and can catch despite being 6'5 and weighing 220 pounds.
(89) RF Aaron Brown: He's a two way player at Pepperdine, and he could truly go either direction as a professional.
Day two picks
#96: LHP Brock Burke, Evergreen H.S. (Colorado) 6'2 170- committed to Oregon
He's not in the Baseball America top 500, but they did have this tidbit on him from last summer:
The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Burke generates downhill plane from a high three-quarter angle and hides the ball well with a high glove extension. His fastball sat 86-87 early in his outing but then ticked up to 88-89. Burke mixed in a 68-72 mph breaking ball and 76-78 mph changeup.
#127: RHP Blake Bivens, George Washington H.S. (Virginia) 6'2 205- committed to Liberty
BA ranks him 124th, so apparently the Rays are taking Kevin's advice and just subscribed there.
Bivens was one of the breakout stars at the World Wood Bat Championships in Jupiter, Fla., last fall, sustaining 90-92 mph velocity through six innings, after pitching at 88-91 over the summer. He has maintained that velocity this spring with a delivery that generates downhill plane from a high three-quarters arm slot. He also has an out pitch in a curveball that shows plus potential.
BA also notes that he hasn't been pitching since an infinity pitch outing earlier in the high school playoffs.
#157: 2B Michael Russell, North Carolina, 6'2 200, R/R
BA ranked him 134th, noting:
At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Russell doesn’t look like a shortstop, and his average arm and fringy actions eventually push him to third base or perhaps second, though he may lack the quick feet for the keystone.
MLB.com's report sums it up nicely:
Russell is the quintessential scrappy college shortstop. None of his tools grade as better than average, but scouts love the way he plays the game and think his work ethic and versatility could translate into a big league role as a utilityman.
Perfect Game ranked him 246th.
#187: C Mac James, Oklahoma, 6'1 195, R/R
James is not in BA's top 500. He walked 21 times and struck out just 13 with the Sooners, and he batted .330 with an OBP just shy of .400. This network's Oklahoma site had some nice things to say about him.
He played other positions in addition to catcher, but I can't say if that's a reflection on his ability behind the plate.
#217: RHP Michael Franco, FIU, 5'11 200
BA ranked him #431 in this draft:
Franco spent two seasons at Howard (Texas) JC before Tommy John surgery in 2012, making the 22-year-old a fourth-year junior. He had a solid inaugural campaign at Florida International but has broken out this year as a Friday night starter.
He featured plus command with both fastballs and spotted each to both sides of the plate. His slider was his most effective pitch on the night, and he added to and subtracted from the pitch throughout the evening, throwing it anywhere from 79-84 and keeping hitters off balance. It’s an above-average pitch with plus potential. He also featured a changeup that he threw consistently for strikes. It was a third average pitch.
#247: 3B Daniel Miles, Tennessee Tech, 6'2 190, R/R
BA did not have him in their top 500.
Jonathan Mayo notes that he batted .380 with 11 home runs.
#277: Chris Pike, Oklahoma City University, 6'0 175
Pike is not in BA's top 500, but Jim Callis noted that he sits 90-94 with a downhill plane on his fastball. His stats were certainly comically good; in 90.2 innings, he allowed 19 earned runs on 59 hits and 18 walks with 125 strikeouts. Not bad.
#307: RHP Bradley Wallace, Arkansas State, 6'2 175
Wallace is not in the BA top 500. He allowed 38 runs on 86 hits and 25 walks in 78.1 innings with 69 strikeouts.