In the first part, we tried to explain, in NFL terms, the manner in which MLB draft picks are “deliberately underemployed” in order to “trade up” with dollars.
The picks still exist, but they are used for guys who will use up only a fraction of the allotted money. For whatever reasons, this only affects guys picked through Round 10.
So starting in Round 11, they stop with the “underemployment” of picks, and start seeking out the best talent again. It makes the draft hard to follow, but that’s how it works.
Also in the first part, we introduced this guy — Way-Overachieving Draft Blogger — who explains all of the above, and ranked and assessed signability of no less than 748 players. We call him “WODB.”
Now on to the thumbnail analysis!
11. Jay Muhammad, RHP from Florida high school. Fully employed. Teammate to 1st-round teen starter Touki Toussaint. He’s 6-5, 215 at age 19, and WODB slotted him in Rounds 6-9 based on his potential. Raw but interesting, and a bit Taijuan-esque. Here’s video:
12. Nelson Ward, SS from U. of Georgia. Fully employed. Middle infielder who can get on base from an advanced college program. Worth having.
13. Marvin Gorgas, RHP from Connecticut high school. Fully employed. Back in the northeast, with raggedy infields and parents in blankets watching from their folding chairs. The first bit is him hitting, but the rest is pitching.
WODB had him listed as top-10-rounds talent.
14. Chris Mariscal, SS from Fresno State. Fully employed. WODB had him ranked higher than 12th-round pick Ward, including him as a top-10-rounds talent.
15. Lukas Schiraldi, RHP from Texas. Fully employed. If the name seems familiar, his dad Calvin played with Roger Clemens for the Longhorns and again for the Red Sox, and was the losing pitcher in the infamous Bill Buckner game (though he was not on the mound at the time, he was responsible for Ray Knight the baserunner who scored). Anyway, Lukas is 6-4, 205 and was also ranked by WODB as a top-10-rounds talent. He will join the Longhorns this week at the College World Series, so watch for him.
16. Wayne Taylor, C from Stanford. Fully employed. Another solid citizen from a top college program. Also ranked as top-10-rounds talent by WODB. He hit a walk-off homer in a super-regional game on the day he got drafted. See it at the end of the highlight reel here. How perfect is that? Well, he’d already hit a three-run 8th-inning blast to keep their season alive in the regional a week before.
17. Trey Cochran-Gill, RHP from Auburn. Fully employed. Another smaller pitcher (5-10), opposite of our emerging Auburn alum Stephen Kohlscheen (who’s 6-6). But WODB has him also ranked as top-10-rounds talent.
18. Nick Keil, LHP from Bellevue College. Maybe about right. Local kid. Another small pitcher (only 5-9). Has signed to pitch for Missouri if he turns down M’s.
19. Rohn Pierce, RHP from Canisius. Maybe about right. Back to the Northeast (Canisius is in New York). They know how to pick these guys. Pierce is 6-2, 230 and had a great junior season (2.08 ERA). Faced No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon of N.C. State early in the season and whipped his backside, as reported here by Baseball America.
20.Hawtin Buchanan, RHP from Ole Miss. Fully employed. Six-foot-nine reliever strikes a lot of guys out (though he’s been pretty inconsistent). The Nationals picked him out of high school in 2011 in the 19th round. Here’s a report that likes his potential, and pegs him as having early-to-mid-round talent. The M’s do like to take chances on tall, power-arm guys as well. He will be joining Schiraldi at the CWS.
So you can see that you really do have to look past the 4-10 picks to get to the ones that are the guys they “actually want.” That’s how the “trading up” works. Rounds 11-20 are the “ones to watch.”