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1st Round Draft Signings

2012 June 13
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by Major League Draft Services
  1. Houston Astros - Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy - signed for $4.8MM
  2. Minnesota Twins – Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County High School (Ga.) – signed for $6MM
  3. Seattle Mariners – Mike Zunino, C, Florida
  4. Baltimore Orioles – Kevin Gausman, RHP, Louisiana State
  5. Kansas City Royals – Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco - signed for $3MM
  6. Chicago Cubs – Albert Almora, Mater Academy (Fla.)
  7. San Diego Padres – Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake High School (Calif.)
  8. Pittsburgh Pirates – Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
  9. Miami Marlins – Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
  10. Colorado Rockies – David Dahl, Oak Mountain High School (Ala.) – agreed to sign for $2.6MM
  11. Oakland Athletics – Addison Russell, SS, Pace High School (Fla.) – agreed to sign
  12. New York Mets – Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe High School (La.) - agreed to sign for $2.3MM
  13. Chicago White Sox – Courtney Hawkins, OF, Carroll High School (Tex.)
  14. Cincinnati Reds – Nick Travieso, RHP, Archbishop McCarthy High School (Fla.) - agreed to sign for $2MM
  15. Cleveland Indians – Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M
  16. Washington Nationals - Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake High School (Calif.)
  17. Toronto Blue Jays – D.J. Davis, OF, Stone County High School (Miss.) - signed for $1.75MM
  18. Los Angeles Dodgers – Corey Seager, SS, Northwest Cabarrus High School (N.C.)
  19. St. Louis Cardinals – Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M – agreed to sign for $1.9MM
  20. San Francisco Giants – Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State – signed for $1.85MM
  21. Atlanta Braves – Lucas Sims, RHP, Brookwood High School (Ga.) - signed for $1.65MM
  22. Toronto Blue Jays – Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
  23. St. Louis Cardinals – James Ramsey, OF, Florida State
  24. Boston Red Sox – Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
  25. Tampa Bay Rays – Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B, Clemson
  26. Arizona Diamondbacks – Stryker Trahan, C, Acadiana High School (La.) - agreed to sign for $1.7MM
  27. Milwaukee Brewers – Clint Coulter, C, Union High School (Wash.) - signed for $1.675MM
  28. Milwaukee Brewers – Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern - signed for $1.525MM
  29. Texas Rangers – Lewis Brinson, OF, Coral Springs High School (Fla.) – agreed to sign for $1.625MM
  30. New York Yankees – Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe High School (Okla.)
  31. Boston Red Sox – Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida
  32. Minnesota Twins (for Michael Cuddyer) – Jose Orlando Berrios, RHP, Papa Juan XXIII HS (Puerto Rico) - agreed to sign for $1.55MM
  33.  San Diego Padres (for Heath Bell) – Zach Eflin, RHP, Haggerty High School, (Fla.)
  34.  Oakland Athletics (for Josh Willingham) – Daniel Robertson, SS, Upland High School (Calif.)
  35. New York Mets (for Jose Reyes) – Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue - agreed to sign for $1.4MM
  36. St. Louis Cardinals (for Albert Pujols) – Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
  37. Boston Red Sox (for Jonathan Papelbon) – Pat Light, RHP, Monmount
  38. Milwaukee Brewers (for Prince Fielder) – Mitch Haniger, OF, Cal Poly - agreed to sign for $1.2MM
  39. Texas Rangers (for C.J. Wilson) – Joey Gallo, 3B, Bishop Gorman High School (Nev.) - agreed to sign for $2.25MM
  40. Philadelphia Phillies (for Ryan Madson) – Shane Watson, RHP, Lakewood High School (Calif.) - agreed to sign for $1.29MM
  41.  Houston Astros (for Clint Barmes) – Lance McCullers Jr., Jesuit High School (Fla.)
  42. Minnesota Twins (for Jason Kubel) – Luke Bard, RHP, Georgia Tech
  43. Chicago Cubs (for Aramis Ramirez) – Pierce Johnson, RHP, Missouri State – signed
  44. San Diego Padres (for Aaron Harang) – Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook
  45. Pittsburgh Pirates (for Ryan Doumit) – Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech
  46. Colorado Rockies (for Mark Ellis) – Eddie Butler, RHP, Radford - signed for $1MM
  47. Oakland Athletics (for David DeJesus) – Matt Olson, 1B, Parkview High School (Ga.)
  48.  Chicago White Sox (for Mark Buehrle) – Keon Barnum, 1B, King High School (Fla.) - agreed to terms for $950K
  49. Cincinnati Reds (for Ramon Hernandez) – Jesse Winker, OF, Olympia High School (Fla.) - signed for $1MM
  50. Toronto Blue Jays (for Frank Francisco) – Matt Smoral, LHP, Solon High School (Ohio) - agreed to terms for $2MM
  51.  Los Angeles Dodgers (for Rod Barajas) – Jesmuel Valentin, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy - agreed to sign for $985K
  52.  St. Louis Cardinals (for Octavio Dotel) – Patrick Wisdom, 3B, St. Mary’s - signed for $693K
  53. Texas Rangers (for Darren Oliver) – Collin Wiles, RHP, Blue Valley West High School (Kan.) - agreed to sign for $975K
  54. Philadelphia Phillies (for Raul Ibanez) – Mitch Gueller, RHP, WF West High School (Wash.) - agreed to sign for $940K
  55. San Diego Padres (for Brett Austin) – Walker Weickel, RHP, Olympia High School (Fla.)
  56.  Chicago Cubs (for Carlos Pena) – Paul Blackburn, RHP, Heritage High School (Calif.)
  57.  Cincinnati Reds (for Francisco Cordero) – Jeff Gelalich, OF, UCLA
  58. Toronto Blue Jays (for Jon Rauch) – Mitch Nay, 3B, Hamilton High School (Ariz.) - signed
  59.  St. Louis Cardinals (for Edwin Jackson) – Steve Bean, C, Rockwall High School (Tex.)
  60. Toronto Blue Jays (for Jose Molina) – Tyler Gonzales, RHP, James Madison High School (Tex.) - signed for $750K

Handling MLB Draft Day

2012 May 29
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by Major League Draft Services

On the Day of the Draft:


  • Relax; you are prepared for this.
  • Spend time with close family and friends.
  • When scouts call, be courteous but stick to your plan.


  • Have a big Draft party. The Draft is too unpredictable for even the leading experts to anticipate. Having too many people around will only add to an already stressful day.
  • Talk to the media. If you are a high Draft pick, the club’s media director will contact you immediately following the selection.


The day after:

Call your college coach

Be honest with your coach about the situation. Realize that if he has been offered scholarship money, it can be used on another player if you sign a pro contract.


To read this article and many others, sign up for FREE

Can’t Argue With Free

2012 April 2
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by Major League Draft Services

Because of a generous investor, Major League Draft Services is opening up it’s doors for FREE to anyone and everyone that wants help regarding the MLB Amateur Draft.

This includes:

- The player profiler tool

- The comparable generator

- More than 100 tutorials on how to go through the process on topics like the mechanics of the MLB Draft, how to choose an agent, what scouts, look for, what showcases are important, how to get drafted, how to negotiate your signing bonus, and so much more.


All for free…

You can sign up for your full access HERE.

A 4 Minute Video Explains What We Do

2012 March 15
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by Major League Draft Services

Standard MLB Contract Language

2012 March 6
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by Major League Draft Services

There are a number of provisions within the standard Minor League contract that can be negotiated, but most contracts have standard inclusions:

  • The length of a Minor League contract is seven years, including the year the player is drafted by an organization.
  • Bonuses can be paid out from the time the contract is approved by MLB through December 31 of the following year.

Incentive Bonus Plan (IBP)

A player receives a bonus (which varies depending on the level of the team they are playing for within an organization) for staying on an active roster for a period of 90 days:

    • AA- $1,000
    • AAA- $1,500
    • MLB- $5,000

The Incentive Bonus Plan Contract provision looks like this.

Note: If a player receives these bonuses, the funds are taken out of the College Scholarship Plan and converted to cash. There is no additional value added if College Scholarship Plan funds remain.

Learn more about other standard contract inclusions like:

The College Scholarship Plan
The Physical and Paragraph 17B
Forfeiture Language
Dual Sport Language

and much more by signing up FOR FREE.

MLB Draft Spending in 2011

2012 January 12
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by Major League Draft Services

2011 MLB Draft Spending

Heading into the 2011 MLB Draft, teams were eager to bolster their farm systems with amateur talent. Given the uncertainty of what changes the new CBA might bring to the Draft for years to come, it was predicted by some that teams would overspend in 2011 in order to ensure an accumulation of young prospects. Ultimately, draft spending reached new heights totaling $236 million, but let’s take a look to see if teams truly spent more in 2011 compared to previous seasons and which players reaped the benefits.


Draft Spending by Year






Total Spending





Average Spending






One way to analyze how teams treat the draft from year to year is to compare bonus expenditures to changes in revenue. When revenues increase, teams have more resources and are able to spend more money to sign drafted players. When bonus spending grows at the same rate as revenue, it means that teams dedicate a specific percentage of resources each year toward signing drafted players. However, when bonus spending grows at a greater percentage than revenue, it indicates that teams chose to direct more resources that year to signing draft picks. 2011 was predicted by some to be a big year for draft bonuses given the possibility of hard-slotting and other potential changes that the new CBA might implement. Let’s examine the table below to see how draft spending grew compared to changes in revenue over the past 4 years:


% Change in Bonus Spending


% Change in Revenue
























In 2011, teams opted to spend much more in the draft. For every $1 increase in revenue, teams directed $4.06 more into draft bonuses. Between 2008 and 2009, draft spending increased a marginal 0.55% and from 2009 to 2010, draft spending increased merely 3.41%. However in 2011, total draft spending increased 16.46% compared to just a 4.05% increase in revenue. Compare this to 2007-2008; revenues increased 6% but draft spending inched up just 0.55% meaning that for every $1 increase in revenue, teams spent only $.09 more on drafted players.

Given this data, it seems that every team must have increased draft spending in 2011, but is that true? From the chart below, it can be seen that there was actually a 50/50 split in teams choosing to increase or decrease bonus expenditures from the previous season. Bonuses highlighted in green indicate an increase in spending from 2010 to 2011 and bonuses highlighted in red indicate a decrease in bonus spending. So why did bonus spending increase so drastically if only 50% of the teams increased spending from the previous year? When averaged out, teams which increased spending spent over $4 million more in 2011 whereas teams who decreased spending cut bonuses by an average of just $1.9 million.






Amount Increased

Amount Decreased













Blue Jays





Red Sox
























































































































White Sox
































As we have learned, some teams increased and some teams decreased spending in the Draft. But which players were most affected by teams’ change in expenditures? In the table below, you will see that from 2010-2011, players selected in the 1st round and all players selected after the 10th round saw a huge jump in bonuses. With no indication of what the new CBA would bring, teams certainly wanted to sign their top draft choice as well as stock their farm systems with a surplus of players. Since it is more likely that players selected later in the draft will not sign, teams had to offer more money to later round picks so that they would sign to ensure there would be plenty of talent to fill out their minor league system.


Average Signing Bonus (Dollars)










































Average Signing Bonus (Percent Change)





































Many changes are coming to the Draft including an attempt by MLB to limit spending on amateur players. Though there is no telling how the new CBA will play out in terms of the draft, many are expecting bonuses to decrease for amateur players which could make it more difficult for MLB clubs to sign players into the professional ranks. For these reasons, it makes sense that teams would overspend in 2011 Draft, especially on 1st and later round players.


CBA has major effect on MLB Amateur Draft

2011 November 23
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by Major League Draft Services

Major League Draft Services exists to ensure that you are prepared as possible for the MLB Draft. The new Collective Bargainidng Agreement was unveiled yesterday and we wanted to make sure that you were informed because you are the ones affected most by the changes. While there were minor reforms on the Major League level, the amateur draft will undergo some major adjustments…

While there are changes we could not have possibly anticipated, we predicted many of the CBA’s new rules on the MLB Draft… offers an in-depth look at the changes. The ones that most affect the Draft are below:

Amateur Draft Spending Limitations:

  • The sides added  restrictions on draft spending. Each club has a spending limit for the amateur draft that varies depending on when the club is scheduled to make its first ten selections.
  • Bonuses after the tenth round don’t count, as long as they’re under $100K.
  • Teams will face limits in the $4.5-11.5MM range, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).
  • Teams that spend more than 5% over-slot on the draft will face a 75% tax. Teams that go over slot by 5-10% face a 75% tax and the loss of a first rounder. Teams that go over slot by 10-15% face a 100% tax and the loss of a first and second rounder. Teams that exceed slot by 15% or more face a 100% tax and the loss of first rounders in the next two drafts. This set of rules will also reduce draft spending significantly, a bonus for owners.
    • Proceeds from the tax will go to clubs that did not over-spend via revenue sharing. Forfeited picks go to clubs “through a lottery in which a club’s odds of winning will be based on its prior season’s winning percentage and its prior season’s revenue,” according to the CBA.
  • There will be no more MLB deals for draft picks– only Minor League Deals.
  • The draft signing deadline moves to the July 12-18 range (the precise date will depend on the date of the All-Star Game). The original signing date was August 15th.

Competitive Balance Lottery 

  • Low-revenue teams obtain additional draft picks via lottery. The ten clubs with the lowest revenues and the ten clubs in the smallest revenues are eligible to win one of six draft choice that will be added after the first round. Teams’ chances of winning the lottery will depend on their winning percentage in the previous season.
  • The teams that don’t win additional picks and all other teams that qualify under the revenue sharing plan will be eligible for a second lottery for six more picks after the second round. Again, teams’ chances of winning the lottery will depend on their winning percentage in the previous season.
  • Teams can trade these draft choices.


Related articles

Predictably, Boras is against the new draft rules:

But Jim Callis argues that the cap may not be so harsh:

Other changes like the inclusion of HGH testing were also included:

Drawbacks of the new CBA: has their own analysis of the CBA:

There is lots to disagree with but the biggest losers appear to be the high-priced International players:

Putting the draft changes under a microscope

2012 MLB Draft: First Round Draft Order

2011 October 25
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by Major League Draft Services

Continuing our preview of the 2012 MLB Draft, we look into the 31 first round selections team-by-team, breaking down their potential strategy, their 2011 selections, and their past first round selections by position (since 2005).


1. Astros (56-106)

The worst team in baseball is unlikely to be a contender anytime soon, so they can afford to take a high-risk, high-reward pick and be patient with him. When looking at the Astros as a whole, they have deficiencies across the board, so they will likely go with the most talented, highest ceiling player available.

2011 First Round: No. 11, George Springer, OF, College

Past first round selections (Since 2005): RHP, OF, SS, C, C, RHP

2. Twins (63-99)

The Twins ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every pitching and batting category. They need help, and they need it soon.

2011: No. 30, Levi Michael, SS, College

Past selections: RHP, RHP, RHP, OF, OF, OF, RHP

3. Mariners (67-95)

Michael PinedaImage via Wikipedia

The lowly Mariners saw some signs of offensive hope in the waning games of yet another losing season; Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp swung hot bats, and the club is hoping that Justin Smoak and Trayvon Robinson will mature at the plate next season. With the emergence of Michael Pineda as a legitimate ace alongside King Felix Hernandez, the future looks bright in Seattle.

2011: No. 2, Danny Hultzen, LHP, College

Past selections: SS, OF, RHP, RHP, RHP, C

4. Orioles (69-93)

The birds’ bats looked powerful in the closing regular season series that put the final nail in the 2011 Red Sox coffin.

2011: No. 4, Dylan Bundy, RHP, High School

5. Royals (71-91)

2011 was the year of the call-up for the Royals. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Johnny Giavotella all saw a ton of action and will form a powerful young offensive core moving forward. Kansas City’s pitching, however, struggled mightily in the wake of Zack Greinke’s departure.

2011: No. 5, Bubba Starling, HS, OF

Past Selections: SS, RHP, 1B, SS, RHP, 3B

6. Cubs (71-91)

2012′s draft will mark the first pick of the newly-branded Theo Epstein era. He needs to make this a good one for a team that has deficiencies all over the map.

2011: No. 9, Javier Baez, SS, HS

Past Selections: RHP, OF, RHP, 3B, OF, LHP

7. Padres (71-91)

The Padres have solid starting pitching and in their farm system from the deal that sent Mike Adams to the Rangers and yielded Joe Wieland and Robby Erlin. While any offense would generally have trouble generating runs in the spacious Petco Park, San Diego’s could use some improvement.

2011: No. 10, Cory Spangenberg, 2B, JC, No. 25, Joe Ross, RHP, HS

Past Selections: RHP, OF, 1B, LHP, 3B, RHP

8. Pirates (72-90)

Gerrit ColeImage via Wikipedia

The Pirates have two major pitching prospects waiting in the wings: Jameson Taillon and last year’s first overall selection Gerrit Cole. The future looks bright for a team that has been in the doghouse for decades.

2011: No. 1, Gerrit Cole, RHP, College

Past Selections: RHP, C, 3B, LHP, RHP, OF

9. Marlins (72-90)

Ozzie Guillen has come in as coach for the soon-to-be Miami Marlins. With a good crop of younger power hitters, the Marlins could opt for a safe pitching prospect that could be a piece of a playoff run in the next few years.

2011: No. 14, Jose Fernandez, RHP, HS

Past Selections: 1B, LHP, C, 3B, RHP, RHP, LHP

10. Rockies (73-89)

The Rockies have a major offensive duo in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. They could look to bolster their starting pitching, as their ace, Ubaldo Jimenez, was dealt away before the trade deadline.

2011: No. 20, Tyler Anderson, LHP, College

Past Selections: OF, LHP, LHP, RHP, RHP, SS

11. Athletics (74-88)

Moneyball, anyone? While Billy Beane’s tactics are now employed league-wide, can he stay ahead of the curve and find an undervalued gem at 11?

2011: No. 18, Sonny Gray, RHP, College

Past Selections: OF, SS, 2B, RHP, SS

12. Mets (77-85)

With an ownership mess and yet another injury-plagued, losing season, the Mets are becoming a punchline in NYC. Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Justin Turner all had breakout seasons, joining Jose Reyes and David Wright in the hit parade.

2011: No. 13, Brandon Nimmo, OF, HS

Past Selections: RHP, SS, 1B, RHP

13. White Sox (79-83)

Kenny Williams is usually pretty conservative in his draft selections.

2011: No selection

Past Selections: LHP, OF, SS, LHP, RHP, RHP

14. Reds (79-83)

The Reds have plenty of young, powerful bats in their lineup.

2011: No. 27, Robert Stephenson, RHP, HS

Past Selections: C, RHP, 1B, C, OF, OF

15. Indians (80-82)

While 2011 was a major upgrade from 2010, Cleveland will look to build on their success going forward.

2011: No. 8, Francisco Lindor, SS, HS

Past Selections: LHP, RHP, 3B, 1B, OF

16. Nationals (80-81)

Halfway through 2011, the Nats looked like they were on the verge of a playoff charge. That could happen next year, with a healthy Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper on the cusp.

2011: No. 6, Anthony Rendon, 3B, College, No. 23, Alex Meyer, RHP, College

Past Selections: OF, RHP, RHP, RHP, LHP, OF, RHP, OF, 3B

17. Blue Jays (81-81)*

Toronto has two selections in the first round, on account of Tyler Beede’s decision not to sign. The Jays have the largest scouting staff in MLB and they will be sure to sign their man this time around.

2011: No. 21, Tyler Beede, RHP, HS

Past Selections: RHP, RHP, 1B, C, SS, OF, LHP

18. Dodgers (82-79)

Having selected six pitchers in the first round for the past six years, the Dodgers seemingly will look to acquire a bat to jump-start their sputtering offense (despite Matt Kemp’s best efforts).

2011: No. 16, Chris Reed, College, LHP

Past Selections: RHP, RHP, RHP, RHP, LHP

19. Angels (86-76)

With a powerful farm system and baseball’s no. 1 prospect in hand (Mike Trout), the Angels’ new GM has some pieces to work with.

2011: No. 17, C.J. Cron, 1B, College

Past Selections: OF, RHP, RHP, OF, OF, C

20. Giants (86-76)

With Brandon Belt’s on-and-off production, the team with baseball’s second-best starting rotation need to go big bat or go home. These pitchers desperately need run support.

2011: No. 29, Joe Panik, SS, College

Past Selections: OF, RHP, C, OF, RHP, LHP, RHP

21. Braves (89-73)

2011 saw the Braves collapse in spectacular fashion and then subsequently get overshadowed by the Red Sox, which could be a good thing for this talented squad. Atlanta has a fearsome pitching core, with young guys like Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy more than carrying their fair share of the load (along with their relief trio).

2011: No. 28, Sean Gilmartin, LHP, College

Past Selections: LHP, OF, OF, RHP

22. Blue Jays (compensation pick for Tyler Beede)

*See No. 17

23. Cardinals (90-72)

This year’s Cinderella story comes from the franchise with the second-most World Series wins.

2011: No. 22, Kolten Wong, 2B, College

Past Selections: 3B, RHP, 1B, SS, RHP, SS, OF

24. Red Sox (90-72)

This Draft needs to make a big splash for Sox fans. This will be the first pick for Ben Cherington in the post-Epstein, post-Francona era.

2011: No. 19, Matt Barnes, RHP, College, No. 26, Blake Swihart, C, HS

Past Selections: 2B, OF, SS, RHP, OF, RHP, OF

25. Rays (91-71)

The Rays have had one of MLB’s strongest farm systems this decade. The rich keep getting richer, but they need all the help they can get in the AL East.

2011: No. 24, Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, HS, No. 31, Mikie Mahtook, OF, College, No. 32, Jake Hager, SS, HS

Past Selections: OF, 2B, SS, LHP, 3B, RHP

26. Diamondbacks (94-68)

Arizona could go either way. The D’backs could grab a power hitter; the ball flies further in the dry Phoenix air. However, their starting pitching drops off abruptly after Hudson, Kennedy, and Collmenter.

2011: No. 3 Trevor Bauer, RHP, College, No. 7, Archie Bradley, RHP, HS

Past Selections: RHP, OF, 3B, LHP, RHP, RHP, RHP, LHP, OF

27. Tigers (95-67)

Dave Dombrowski is never afraid to spend big bucks when Boras pulls the strings to make sure his clients to drop to DET.

2011: No selection

Past Selections: RHP, RHP, RHP, LHP, OF

28. Brewers (96-66)

With Prince Fielder likely out the door, the “Brew Crew” may need to start reloading for another run in a few years.

2011: No. 12, Taylor Jungmann, RHP, College

Past Selections: RHP, RHP, 3B, 1B, RHP, 3B

29. Rangers (96-66)

Two World Series in as many years means that something is clicking in Arlington. The Rangers have dominated the Latin market. They are going to be good for a while.

2011: No. 33, Kevin Matthews, LHP, HS

Past Selections: C, OF, LHP, 1B, RHP, RHP, LHP, OF

30. Yankees (97-65)

Like the Red Sox, the Yankees’ obvious deficiency is starting pitching. Let’s just say that A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon’s days in MLB are numbered.

2011: No selection

Past Selections: SS, RHP, RHP, SS

31. Phillies (102-60)

What is there to say? The Phillies, on paper, looked unstoppable. But, they were stopped. That is baseball.

2011: No selection

Past Selections: LHP, SS, LHP, RHP


For more information on the MLB Draft, check out some of these links:

Rules & Eligibility

Draft Landscape

MLB Draft Compared To Other Sports

Importance Of Draft Position

How Many Players Sign?

Re-Drafted Players

Future Of The MLB Draft


2012 Draft Watch: Lance McCullers, Jr.

2011 October 17
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by Major League Draft Services

Lance McCullers, Jr. pitches and plays shortstop for Tampa Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. This fire-balling, two-way prospect has been on the radar for the 2012 MLB Draft for several years. While it looks like he’ll go early in the first round, the high school senior will have a choice ahead of him, as he has already committed to the University of Florida after graduation.

A lot of hype has surrounded McCullers; it is rare to find a prospect with such high caliber arm strength. Those who watch him in action come away with glowing praise and comparisons to Josh Beckett.

By the age of 16, McCullers he was throwing fastballs that registered 96 mph on radar guns, virtually assuring himself a spot in the first round of the Draft on power potential alone.

His father, Lance McCullers, Sr., was an MLB reliever. He pitched for four teams in his career, most notably for the San Diego Padres, over a span of seven seasons. His father likes to note that at age 16, his son was pitching with the same velocity as he was at 25. McCullers, Jr. has what scouts like to call, “good stock,” and will likely join the short list of fathers and sons that have played in the big leagues.

As a junior last season, McCullers, went 5-3 from the mound, with a 2.02 ERA and 79 strikeouts and carried the Tigers to their second consecutive class 4a state championship.

Most of the hype surrounds his wicked fastball that regularly registers in the high-90s, occasionally touching 99 and even 100 on radar guns. But the kicker is that this pitch has a ton of movement on it, breaking hard and late, baffling high school hitters and likely to hold up against Major League hitting. He also has a wicked breaking ball in the low- to mid-80s, and his change-up is developing quickly into a reliable part of his arsenal.

McCullers currently sits at no. 6 in Perfect Game’s Top 300 prospects (was all the way up at no.1 back in February) and ranks in at no. 7 in our own rankings compilation from last week. In addition to the Jackie Robinson Award, given by Perfect Game to the top baseball prospect of the year, the 18-year-old has won over ten awards and has been given countless accolades.

While so much of the buzz pertains to his performance on the mound, many overlook that he also swings a powerful bat. The left-handed hitter averaged .422 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 24 RBIs, and 46 runs scored for Jesuit. While McCullers could find success through his power hitting, his fielding skills are sometimes called into question. He’ll most likely wind up making his bread on the mound, as his arm is a rare commodity.

In the last few months, McCullers has seen his rankings slide. Big college arms like Mark Appel and Lucas Giolito have stolen headlines and the top rankings. His detractors point to his lack of command, which could very well be the reason for the slight slide we’ve seen. But, as is the case with young, powerful arms, the command is frequently the last thing to develop. While it no longer looks like he’ll go no. 1 in next year’s draft, he will likely go in the top ten.

He will have a tough decision next year when the MLB Draft rolls around, as he’ll have a great amount of negotiation leverage as a high school athlete with the option to go to school. Will he take the college route or will he opt for the large signing bonus he’s slated to receive?



Q & A with Prospect Interviews


Baseball Factory Under Armour All-America


Hate the column? Love the column? Let us know at office at

Dean Karoliszyn is a blogger for Major League Draft Services.


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A Look Ahead To The 2012 Draft Rankings

2011 October 5
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by Major League Draft Services

We’ve reached that special time of year again. The verdant green of summer has given way to the crisp golds, oranges, and reds of autumn…and we’re readily throwing ourselves on the couch for the eternal spectacle of playoff baseball. But never mind “fearing the beer” against the “Brew Crew” or witnessing the soul-crushing stuff of Justin Verlander and his resurgent Tigers…we here at Major League League Draft Services live by the slogan “it’s never too early,” as in “it’s never too early to prepare for the Draft.”

We have written about the predictive power of showcase rankings, but this list is a compilation of mock drafts of 2012 mock drafts and preliminary player rankings from around the web. So, without further ado:

Major League Draft Services’ Preliminary 2012 Player Rankings Compilation - MLB Draft First Round Projections

1. Mark Appel – RHP – Stanford – Average Ranking: 2.14

2. Lucas Giolito – RHP – Harvard-Westlake School (CA) – Average Ranking: 3.00

3. Devon Marrero – SS- Arizona State – Average Ranking: 4.14

4. Kevin Gausman – RHP – LSU – Average Ranking: 7.00

5. Mike Zunino – C – Florida – Average Ranking: 7.29

6. Nick Williams – OF – Ball HS (TX) – Average Ranking: 7.57

7. Lance McCullers – RHP – Jesuit HS (FL) – Average Ranking: 8.14

8. Trey Williams – 3B – Valencia HS (CA) – Average Ranking: 12.57

9. Gavin Cecchini – SS – Barbe HS (LA) – Average Ranking: 13.14

10. Byron Buxton – OF – Appling County HS (GA) – Average Ranking: 13.57

11. Victor Roache – 1B – Georgia Southern – Average Ranking: 14.86

12. Kenny Diekroger – SS – Stanford – Average Ranking: 15.86

13. Michael Wacha – RHP – Texas A&M – Average Ranking: 16.86

14. Joey Gallo – 3B – Bishop Gorman HS (NV) – Average Ranking: 18.14

15. Brian Johnson – LHP – Florida – Average Ranking: 20.00

16. (tie) Jake Barrett – RHP – Arizona State; David Dahl – Average Ranking: 20.71

18. Carlos Correa – SS – Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (PR) – Average Ranking: 21.71

19. Lucas Sims – RHP – Brookwood HS (GA) – Average Ranking: 21.86

20. Walter Weickel -OF – Olympia HS (FL) – Average Ranking: 22.43

21. Addison Russell – 3B – Pace HS (FL) – Average Ranking: 22.57

22. Max Fried – LHP – Harvard-Westlake School (CA) – Average Ranking: 22.71

23. Albert Almora – OF – Mater Academy (FL) – Average Ranking: 22.86

24. Stryker Trahan – C – Acadiana HS (FL) – Average Ranking: 23.00

25. Tayore Cherry – RHP – Vandalia Butler (OH) – Average Ranking: 23.70

26. (tie) Hunter Virant – LHP – Camarillo HS (CA); Rio Ruiz – 3B – Bishop Amat Memorial HS – Average Ranking: 24.57

28. (tie) Kayden Porter – RHP/1B – Spanish Fork HS (UT); Chris Beck – RHP – Georgia Southern – Average Ranking: 24.86

30. David Thompson – 3B – Westminster Christian (FL) – Average Ranking: 27.14

31. Marcus Stroman – RHP – Duke – Average Ranking: 27.30


(Note: A ranking above 31 or no ranking at all was counted against the average as a 32 by default)


Rankings compiled from the following websites:

Up-to-date 2012 Mock Drafts:


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