Analyzing the Draft by division: NL West
Breaking down the classes of the D-backs, Rockies, Dodgers, Padres and Giants
*** 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 National League West: ***
It's hard not to have a good Draft when you pick No. 1 overall, and the D-backs will be thrilled to bring Dansby Swanson into the fold once Vanderbilt is done with yet another College World Series run. Arizona continued along the college track, getting good value with TCU lefty Alex Young in the second round and Arizona State closer Ryan Burr in the fifth.
The D-backs didn't take a high school player until Round 12 (Austin Byler was a good-value college senior in round 11). Wesley Rodriguez from George Washington High (Bronx, N.Y.) put out a pretty high price tag, but he was up to 97-98 mph at times this spring. His negotiations might go up until the signing deadline, but it will be an interesting one to watch to see if Arizona can make a run at him.
With a new general manager in Jeff Bridich and a team in last place in the NL West, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if the Rockies had gone after safe, quick-to-the-big-leagues college talent. Instead, they targeted high-ceiling high school talent, especially early. It started, of course, with the decision to take Brendan Rodgers at No. 3 instead of a college arm like Tyler Jay.
But Colorado didn't stop there. The Rockies took high schoolers with their first five selections, scooping up right-hander Mike Nikorak, who perhaps has more upside than any pitcher in the class, one of the more consistent high school hurlers in righty Peter Lambert, and even intriguing Arizona prep right-hander Javier Medina. Throw in Phil Nevin's kid, Tyler, who's a third baseman, and the Rockies had one of the most intriguing hauls of any team over the first three rounds. Look for the Rockies to save enough money on some signings to get deals done with all of them.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers were thrilled when Vanderbilt right-hander Walker Buehler surprisingly was still available at No. 24. Picking at No. 35, they likely couldn't believe their good fortune to see Louisville right-hander Kyle Funkhouser still on the board, giving them two college starters many thought could be gone in the top 20 picks.
They weren't finished. Outfielder Mitchell Hansen, one of two high schoolers taken by L.A. in the first 10 rounds, is a solid all-around talent. Virginia closer Josh Sborz has been lights-out in the College World Series and was a good value at pick No. 74. They went senior-heavy later -- with Vanderbilt lefty Philip Pfeifer standing out -- which could allow them to make a serious run at 11th-round pick Imani Abdullah, an intriguing 6-foot-4 high school right-hander from California.
San Diego Padres
The Padres had forfeited their first-round pick by signing James Shields as a free agent, but even though they didn't pick until No. 51 overall, they made the best of what they had, especially at the top. Right-hander Austin Smith had been generating some first-round buzz thanks to his easy velocity and projectability. Many had projected righty Jacob Nix to go in the top two rounds, and he got paid as such as a third-rounder to the Padres.
Add in Austin Allen, a Division II catcher with a very loud bat, and toolsy high school outfielder Josh Magee, and the Padres showed you can have a successful top five rounds without a first-round selection.
San Francisco Giants
Outside of Georgia high school infielder Jalen Miller, who ended up with a bonus well above pick value in the third round, the Giants stuck with college players, taking only two more prepsters in the first 30 rounds.
Known for their penchant for drafting and developing pitching, San Francisco actually had a well-blended selection of draftees, hitting the junior-college ranks for top pick righty Phil Bickford and again in the fourth for lefty Mac Marshall, while nabbing the power of first baseman Chris Shaw with the No. 31 overall pick. They potentially got good value in toolsy Clemson outfielder Steven Duggar in the sixth round. They did take Brendan Little in the 32nd round, but the Pennsylvania high school lefty is likely headed to the University of North Carolina.