Day 2 of Draft delivers bevy of talent
MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects fly off board as teams stock up for future
NEW YORK -- Plenty of talent has been distributed, and plenty of talent remains.
Major League Baseball rolled through the second day of its First-Year Player Draft on Friday, and 10 rounds of prospects have gone in the books. Houston got the Draft off to a familiar start on Friday by nabbing southpaw Kent Emanuel, the team's third college pitcher in the first three rounds.
The Astros selected Stanford ace Mark Appel with the first pick of the Draft on Thursday night, and took Andrew Thurman with the top pick in the second round. Emanuel, a junior out of the University of North Carolina, gave the Astros' farm system safety in numbers.
But that was just the first pick in a day devoted to stockpiling players for the farm system. Much of the premium talent was selected in the first two rounds and two competitive balance rounds on Thursday night, but 41 from the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list remained on Friday. Only four of those names were college position players, and all four went off the board by the end of the fifth round.
The first to go was center fielder JaCoby Jones out of Louisana State University, and he was selected by the Pirates in the third round. Michael O'Neill, the nephew of former Yankee Paul O'Neill, was selected at No. 103 by the Yankees, and first baseman Brian Ragira was nabbed by the Giants in the fourth round. The last of the college standouts, Jared King, went to the Mets in the fifth round.
Only one player in MLB.com's top 50 -- No. 39, Ryan Boldt -- was still on the board after 10 rounds. Boldt, a prep outfielder from Minnesota, missed most of his senior year with a knee injury. Boldt has committed to the University of Nebraska, an interesting fallback if he doesn't sign this year.
Some interesting trends have developed through 10 rounds. Right-handed pitchers have been the dominant asset in this Draft, with 120 righties going in the first 10 rounds. Only 145 position players have been taken so far, and a full one-third of them (49) have been outfielders.
There have been 31 corner infielders taken -- 13 first basemen and 18 third basemen -- and 42 players that are regarded as middle infielders. Thirty-three shortstops have been drafted, but just nine second basemen. Catcher, always a position in demand, has seen 23 players drafted this year.
College players have also been dominant so far, with 187 players coming from four-year institutions. Ninety-nine players have been taken out of high school, and another 29 have a junior college pedigree. Only one player -- ninth-round draftee Chad Jones -- has no school affiliation.
Two universities (Georgia Tech and Louisana State University) tied for the most draftees (five), but two high schools (Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., and Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz.) have managed to have two prospects taken in the first 10 rounds of the Draft.
California has been the predominant hotbed with 60 draftees, and only two other states -- Florida (31) and Texas (37) -- have even made it halfway to that astounding total. Four Canadians have been drafted, and there have been two players from Puerto Rico and one from the Bahamas.
The third round presented much of the intrigue on Friday, and many of the top remaining players quickly went off the board. Jon Denney, ranked at No. 20 in the MLB.com Top 100, went in the third round to Boston. Denney, a prep catcher, is regarded as a solid defender with power.
The third round yielded an even split in talent, with 16 pitchers and 17 position players taken. Seventeen of the draftees in that round went to four-year universities, and 14 came from the high school ranks. Only one player -- pitcher Keynan Middleton -- came from a junior college.
Emanuel's selection kicked off the proceedings Friday, but there were a few other noteworthy picks. The Cubs selected Jacob Hannemann, a freshman outfielder out of Brigham Young University, with the second pick of the day. Hannemann, born in April of 1991, served two years of a Mormon mission before enrolling in college and being named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
The Mets took prep outfielder Ivan Wilson with the third pick in the third round, and Colorado followed with the selection of southpaw Sam Moll from the University of Memphis. Stuart Turner, a catcher from the University of Mississippi, went to the Twins with the fifth pick of the third round.
Center fielder Cord Sandberg, a two-sport star who may be in line to play football for Mississippi State University, was drafted with the 89th pick by Philadelphia. Another two-sport star -- outfielder Thomas Milone from Connecticut -- was selected by Tampa Bay near the end of the third round.
Drew Ward, a prep third baseman taken by the Nationals, became the first player to take advantage of a new rule that allows you to be eligible for the Draft if you graduate high school in three years and fulfill a series of procedural requirements. Ward, an Oklahoma native, won't turn 19 until November.
L.J. Mazzilli, son of former Mets standout Lee Mazzilli, was selected in the fourth round by his dad's former team. Mazzilli, a senior, had been drafted in the ninth round last season. Jacob May -- grandson of former All-Star Lee May -- was taken by the White Sox in the third round.
Two sets of twins are available in the Draft, and both have encountered the same phenomenon: One of the twins was drafted, and one still remains available. David Ledbetter, a right-handed pitcher from Cedarville University, became the first draftee in his school's history on Friday. His twin brother Ryan -- an infielder and right-handed pitcher -- is still waiting to hear his name called on Saturday.
The same story played out for the Parr brothers -- Justin and Jordan -- from the University of Illinois. Justin Parr, a senior outfielder, was chosen by the Phillies in the eighth round on Friday. His twin brother Jordan was drafted in the 26th round last season, but didn't sign. Now he's waiting to hear his name again. The Parrs have another brother, Josh Parr, who plays in Arizona's farm system.
One player from a service academy -- catcher Garrett Custons from the United States Air Force Academy -- was selected by the Blue Jays in the ninth round on Friday. Army and Navy both had players selected last year, but neither institution has had a player picked yet in 2013.