Monday, June 4, 2012

Picks 25-31

With the twenty-fifth pick, the Rays chose Richie Shaffer, a right-handed third baseman from Clemson University.  Shaffer has fantastic power but questions exist about his contact ability.  He's expected to move to first or a corner outfield spot as he's blocked by Longoria at third.  Shaffer has a high upside and, if he can make the necessary contact while avoiding high strikeout numbers, could be an excellent addition for the Rays.  He fits a need and could come quickly, plus he's a bargain this late.
Grade: B+

The Diamondbacks used the twenty-sixth pick on left-handed catcher Stryker Trahan from Acadiana High School in Louisiana.  Many comps have suggested Brian McCann and that seems fitting, although he's probably a better defensive catcher now than McCann was at this point.  Arizona recently extended Miguel Montero, so it's unclear whether they will move Trahan from behind the plate to start with him there with the flexibility to move him.  Either way, the 6'1", 215-pound slugger should hit all the way through the minors and could be a relatively early contributor.  I like this pick a lot, depending on where Trahan ends up defensively.
Grade: A-

The Brewers chose right-handed catcher Clint Coulter from Union High School in Washington with the twenty-seventh overall pick. He's a power hitter all the way and could catch or play a corner outfield spot in the future.  Coulter is a big kid with some strikeout concerns, but is a good athlete who has plenty of growth left in his game.  Solid pick by the Brew Crew, albeit a little risky.
Grade: B

With back to back first round picks, the Brewer used the twenty-eighth overall pick on Victor Roach, a right-handed outfield from Georgia Southern University.  Despite a broken wrist in February, Roache managed to sneak into the first round.  He was considered a top ten prior to the injury and if he gets healthy, could be a total steal.  Roache possess excellent power and is an athletic player, although not an overwhelming one.  He profiles as a left fielder and he's a value at this point in the draft, provided he gets back to form.  Risky, but I like it.
Grade: B+

The Rangers chose Lewis Brinson with the twenty-ninth overall pick, a right-handed outfielder from Coral Springs High School.  He's considered a Cameron Maybin clone with more pop.  Brinson is a fantastic upside pick and his athleticism is very similar to Buxton's.  He's a project, make no doubt about it, but they can afford to move him slowly.  I think he can be a center fielder long term, adding to his value.  Nice pick here despite the fact that it won't likely pay off for several years.
Grade: B+

Pick number thirty was used by the Yankees to select right-handed pitcher Ty Hensley from Santa Fe High School in Oklahoma.  A great athlete, he's exactly what you're looking for in a pitcher at 6'4" and 220-pounds.  His fastball and curveball are advanced and if he can develop a feel for the changeup, he could move quickly.  This is a high-ceiling kid that the Yankees will either be able to hold onto for the future or trade for elite MLB talent as many teams would love to have this kid.  Nice pick here for the Yankees.
Grade: A-

With the last pick in the first round, the Boston Red Sox selected Brian Johnson, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Florida.  A former Team USA player, he's struggled this year for the Gators, especially in the SEC.  He has limited upside and only sits high 80's/low 90's with the fastball.  His breaking stuff is excellent, however, and he has the stuff to be a big-league contributor, probably in the form of a back-end starter or lefty reliever.  He's signable, but there were other options here that were much more compelling.  A safe pick, but not an exciting one.
Grade: C

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