Various trends, MLB kin highlight Day 2
College arms dot second round; a dozen shortstops go in third
NEW YORK -- With the glitz and glamour of the first round behind them, Major League teams began re-stocking their farm systems in earnest on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday. The micro view -- that of teams focusing on a few premium prospects -- yielded to the big picture on Tuesday, with more than 25 rounds worth of players expected to flesh out the lower levels of the Minor Leagues.
Tuesday's action started in the second round, and it would continue all the way through Round 30 before the day was complete. Washington was on the clock again as the day began, choosing left-handed pitcher Sammy Solis out of the University of San Diego with the top pick of the second round. That kicked off a trend that saw teams reaching for experienced college arms, with 12 pitchers from four-year universities getting picked in the second round.
Boston nabbed Brandon Workman out of the University of Texas with pick No. 57, ending his drop from the first round, where some thought he might go. Seven high school pitchers were also taken in the second round, creating a run on the best available arms.
And just like that, it was over. The momentum swung the other way in the third round, and then in a third direction in the fourth. The third round saw 23 hitters -- 12 from universities, 10 from high school and one from junior college -- taken, with 12 of them being shortstops. Teams started scarfing up older players in the fourth, with 17 of the 30 players drafted coming from the major college ranks.
Those were just a few of the trends that manifested themselves early on Tuesday, when teams began fleshing out the weak points of their respective organizations. Toronto, for instance, continued down a path it had started on Monday night. The Blue Jays added four pitchers in the first round and first compensation round, and then they took three more arms between the second and the fourth rounds.
Toronto also added potential blue-chip talent in prep infielders Kellen Sweeney and Christopher Hawkins, taking advantage of a bounty of extra draft picks, acquired as a result of losing several players to the free agent ranks. The Red Sox, after taking Workman with their first pick of the day, added prep shortstops Sean Coyle and Garin Cecchini -- heretofore an avowed Yankees fan -- in the third and fourth rounds.
The Pirates, who chose top-rated prep arm Jameson Taillon in the first round, went right back in the same direction on Tuesday. Pittsburgh was able to draft Steson Allie with the second pick in the second round, giving the team two potential difference-makers in the pipeline.
Amazingly, top pick Bryce Harper's school was one of the top nine in the country -- regardless of level of competition -- in graduating talent to the Draft. The College of Southern Nevada tied with three other schools (Louisville, Arkansas and Oregon State) in sending eight players to the pro ranks in the first two days of the Draft. Three schools (UCLA, University of San Diego and Auburn) managed to have nine draftees, and Georgia Tech and Arizona State tied for the top spot by having 10 players drafted in the first 30 rounds.
James Paxton, who lost his senior eligibility at the University of Kentucky over the use of an advisor, was drafted in the fourth round, ending a long year for the left-hander. Paxton was drafted 37th overall last year by the Blue Jays, but he didn't sign and opted to play Independent League baseball to shore up his resume. Paxton was drafted by Seattle this time, adding another footnote to his bio.
A few college relievers were picked on Tuesday, with Texas Tech's Chad Bettis going to Colorado and Arizona State's Jordan Swagerty going to the Cardinals on back-to-back picks in the second round. Another reliever, UCLA's Daniel Klein, went in the third round to the Orioles.
Several college catchers were also drafted early on Tuesday, with four of them going in the third round. The Mets kicked off that run by choosing Blake Forysthe out of Tennessee, and Louisiana State's Micah Gibbs went to the Cubs eight picks later. Detroit nabbed Rob Brantly out of UC Riverside later in the round, and Philadelphia chose Cameron Rupp out of Texas to complete the catcher's casting call.
Several family connections were drafted early on Tuesday, with Sweeney -- brother of Oakland outfielder Ryan Sweeney -- serving as the top pick among them. Former pitchers Mel Rojas and James Baldwin saw their sons (Mel Rojas Jr. and James Baldwin) drafted, as did ex-slugger Greg Vaughn, former manager Jerry Narron and former infielder Dickie Thon (Cory Vaughn, Connor Narron and Dickie Thon Jr.).
Narron will get the opportunity to pursue his big league dreams with the Orioles, while Sweeney and Thon could play together in Toronto's organization. Vaughn was drafted by the Mets, while Rojas Jr. went to the Pirates and Baldwin to the Dodgers.
A few more family connections were sown later in the day. Cincinnati took Drew Cisco -- grandson of former big league pitcher and pitching coach Galen Cisco -- in the sixth round. Roberto Pena, son of former Astro Burt Pena, was drafted by Houston in the seventh. Prep outfielder Benjamin Gamel, brother of Milwaukee prospect Mat Gamel, was drafted by the Yankees two rounds later.
Five managers -- Detroit's Jim Leyland, Chicago's Ozzie Guillen, San Francisco's Bruce Bochy, Colorado's Jim Tracy and Steve Buechele, the manager of Double-A Frisco -- had the pleasure of seeing their sons drafted by their respective organizations on Tuesday.
Leyland's son Patrick, a catcher, was taken in the eighth round. College infielder Garrett Buechele was drafted by Texas in the 18th round, and pitcher Brett Bochy was drafted by the Giants in the 30th. Ozney Guillen, a prep outfielder from Miami, was taken by his father's team in the 22nd round. Mark Tracy, a college catcher from Duquesne, was picked by the Rockies later in the same round.
Perhaps the most impressive of the legacy picks was high school shortstop Dillon Moyer, son of active pitcher Jamie Moyer. The elder Moyer -- who has been the oldest player in the National League for three consecutive seasons -- might have to play to the age of 50 to play with his son. Moyer is 47 years old, and his son will likely need to serve, at least, a three-year apprenticeship in the Minor Leagues.
Harper drew a lot of scout's eyes this season, and may have helped teammates Donn Roach, Kenneth McDowall and Aaron Kurcz gain wider notoriety just from his presence. Roach was chosen by the Angels in the second compensation round, and McDowall went to the Mets at the top of the eighth round. Kurcz, a pitcher like Roach and McDowall, was drafted by the Cubs in the 10th round. Another one of Harper's ex-teammates -- right-handed reliever Tyler Hanks -- was selected by his new team, the Nationals, at the top of the 17th round.
The baseball hotbed of Puerto Rico sent six high school players to the first 10 rounds on Tuesday, and Eddie Rosario was the highest player picked (No. 135) from among that group. Three of those players -- Rosario, Boston draftee Henry Ramos and Cubs draftee Ivan DeJesus -- play the outfield, while another two (Thon and Milwaukee draftee Yadiel Rivera) play shortstop.
Jake Eliopoulos, a second-round draftee from 2009, who never signed and went right back into the Draft, was chosen in the 15th round on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Eliopolous pitched at Chipola Junior College this season but left his team before the year was done. The left-hander will have the option of signing or looking for another college program to pitch for next season.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.