Analyzing the Draft by division: AL East
Breaking down the classes of the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays
MLBPipeline.com's experts will break down how each team fared in the recently concluded Draft, though we'll have to wait until the July 17 signing deadline to know exactly who will and won't turn pro. Here's our look at the American League East:
The Orioles began their Draft by taking Florida State OF D.J. Stewart, one of the top hitters in college baseball, with the 25th overall pick. Their next two choices bucked the industry consensus, as most teams saw Hagerty High (Oviedo, Fla.) SS Ryan Mountcastle (first round, No. 36 overall) as more of a third-rounder and Flowery Branch (Ga.) RHP Jonathan Hughes (second) as more of a fourth- to sixth-rounder.
Baltimore focused on high schoolers early in the Draft and got several interesting ones in the middle rounds. St. Thomas Aquinas (Dover, N.H.) OF Ryan McKenna (fourth) has all-around tools and a chance to stay in center field; River Ridge High (New Port Richey, Fla.) OF Jason Heinrich (fifth) possesses plus raw power; and West Memphis (Ark.) RHP Gray Fenter has a hard sinker and good feel for spinning a curveball.
Boston Red Sox
Picking seventh, matching their highest choice since 1967, the Red Sox landed Arkansas OF Andrew Benintendi. He's the consensus college player of the year and could have four plus tools with his hitting, power, speed and center-field defense. Boston didn't have another choice on the first day, forfeiting a supplemental first-rounder and a second-rounder to sign free agents Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.
Washington C Austin Rei (third round) was arguably the best all-around college defender at his position. The Red Sox also added a pair of potential center fielders in Missouri State's instinctive Tate Matheny (fourth), the son of Cardinals manager and former Gold Glove Award-winning catcher Mike Matheny, and West Ranch High's (Santa Clarita, Calif.) Jagger Rusconi (fifth), a switch-hitter with pop. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) LHP Logan Allen combines stuff and feel and could be a coup in the eighth round.
It remains to be seen how signable they'll be, but the Red Sox selected their usual bevy of intriguing talents after the 10th round, including Stanford RHP Marc Brakeman (16th), Longwood OF Kyri Washington (23rd) and Mater Academy Charter High OF Daniel Reyes (39th).
New York Yankees
The Yankees got two of the most polished pitchers available, one each from college and high school -- UCLA RHP James Kaprielian (first round, No. 16 overall) and Rancho Bernardo High, San Diego, LHP Drew Finley (third round), respectively. In between, they snared San Diego's Kyle Holder (first round, No. 30 overall), the best defensive shortstop in the Draft, and Indiana State LHP Jeff Degano (second), who misses bats with his lively fastball and hard slurve.
New York took college or junior college players with seven of its first eight selections and 24 of its top 27. Oregon State OF Jeff Hendrix (fourth) has hitting ability and the defensive chops to stay in center field, RHP Chance Adams (fifth) can hit 95 mph and was the most efficient pitcher on a talented Dallas Baptist staff, and Howard (Texas) JC 2B Brandon Howard was the best juco hitter in Texas.
Tampa Bay Rays
Without the benefit of any extra picks, the Rays assembled one of the best Drafts in baseball. It started with Niskayuna (N.Y.) High's Garrett Whitley (first round, No. 13 overall), whose ceiling rivals any prepster's in this Draft, and Wilson High's (Long Beach, Calif.) Chris Betts (second), the most dangerous hitter among available catchers.
Tampa Bay continued to stock up on position players, getting two more productive bats in Maryland 2B Brandon Lowe (third) and Virginia OF Joe McCarthy (fifth). Their first pitcher was Dallas Baptist RHP Brandon Koch (fourth), who could be a late-inning reliever, as could Tulane RHP Ian Gibaut (11th). They also added a pair of intriguing juco arms in Grayson County (Texas) CC Nicholas Padilla (13th), who's recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Crowder (Mo.) JC RHP Ethan Clark (15th).
Toronto Blue Jays
The biggest steal of the first round was Missouri State RHP Jon Harris falling to the Blue Jays at No. 29 overall. Harris may have lost a little off his fastball at the end of the college season, but he's still an athletic and projectable pitcher with the makings of four plus offerings. He figured to go in the upper half of the first round before his surprising fall.
After Harris, Toronto used three of its next four selections on prep right-handers: Eustis (Fla.) High's Brady Singer (second round), Yselta High's (El Paso, Texas) Justin Maese (third) and Colon High's (Juncos, P.R.) Jose Espada (fifth). Slugging College of Charleston 3B Carl Wise (fourth) was the Jays' lone position player from the first five rounds.