Some storm-dodging draft musings
UPDATE, 5:30: MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has posted his latest mock draft, and he has the Rays with these picks:
21: OF Josh Hart, Parkview (Ga.) HS
29: LHP Cody Reed, Northwest Mississippi CC
And here are the projections from Perfect Game, through Baseball Prospectus:
21: SS Tim Anderson, East Central (Miss.) CC
29: OF Josh Hart, Parkview (Ga.) HS
DEVELOPING: As Tropical Storm Andrea blows through St. Pete, some draft day musings with the action set to start shortly after 7 p.m. tonight.
The Rays have two first round picks - No. 21, which they earned, and No. 29, which they got as compensation for the loss of free agent CF B.J. Upton. They also have the No. 60 pick, then the draft continues on Friday and runs through 40 rounds on Saturday.
* Baseball America's Jim Callis posted an updated mock draft this morning, and it has the Rays taking C Nick Ciuffo from South Carolina's Lexington High School at 21 and Stephen F. Austin State SS Hunter Dozier at No. 29. Those are the same names ESPN's Keith Law had in his most recent mock draft. Jonathan Mayo of mlb.com had the Rays taking Ciuffo at No. 21 and RHP Phil Bickford, from California's Oaks Christian High, at No. 29.
* ESPN.com has an interesting piece on the pitfalls of drafting high school catchers, which is of note since Ciuffo seems to be such a popular choice for the Rays. It's an Insider only piece, but the basic points are that high school catchers typically don't develop into big leaguers and that teams may be better off moving a better prospect to catcher.
* This is the first year of the so-called competitive balance draft picks, though through MLB's format, the Rays - who would seem to be the kind of franchise the idea was made for - don't get one. Those picks, six after the first round, six after the second, were awarded through a lottery system based on market and revenue size. Also, those picks, and only those picks, are tradeable. And while the Rays didn't get a pick, the Tigers did. yes, the Tigers. So do the Diamondbacks and the Oriioles. Here is the full draft order.
* Here is a link to our story in Thursday's Times, noting the Rays are the only team without a player in the majors from their 2008-12 drafts, and looking at the reasons why. Also, here is a detailed look at the Rays picks in the first 10 rounds of the last five years and where they are now.
* The Rays insist they don't draft for positional need, which means even though it would seem they need catchers, for example, they won't necessarily go in that direction.
"I think one thing we do a really good job of is that we don't really have hard and fast rules about anythng,'' executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "So we try very hard not to come into these meetings with preconceived notions or trying to fill an area that someone might think is deficient just because that's a really dangerous mindset. For us, analyzing any draft is always relative to itself, and so for us it's about lining up the board and lining up the players in terms of who we think has the best chance to impact a major-league team, and that's really our thought process. We try not to factor in anything about our organizational depth, anything we wish we had more of or anything we think we have surplus of because surpluses can be fleeting and deficiencies can change over night. t's just one of those things, maybe we're not smart enough to determine that. But I think the most dangerous thing is when you get outside of the current draft that you're analyzing.”