High-ceiling talent awaits as Draft resumes at 12:30 ET
Clubs with one pick on first day may make bold selections starting in Round 3
A total of 75 picks are in the books, but there's still a whole lot of Draft to come.
Day 1 of the Draft on Monday covered the first two rounds as well as the Competitive Balance A and B rounds, setting the stage for what really is the bulk of the 2015 MLB Draft. After the MLB.com preview show gets underway at 12:30 p.m. ET, Round 3 will begin at 1 p.m., with pick-by-pick coverage coming live on MLB.com through round 10.
There is always talent to be found in Day 2, with plenty of the top talent in the 2015 Draft class still available. Gary Carter was a third-round pick; so was Eddie Murray. Both are in the Hall of Fame. Whether there are future Hall of Famers or All-Stars to be found remains to be seen, but given that the strength of this Draft before Monday it was its depth, there should be good value to be found, starting when the D-backs make pick No. 76.
There is an array of guys considered to be "Day 1 talent" who didn't come off the board on Monday, for a variety of reasons. Tennessee high school pitcher Donny Everett sits atop the "best-available-player" board, ranked No. 23 on the Draft Top 200 rankings. The big right-hander belonged in the conversation with some of the better prep arms in the class, ranking higher than Day 1 selections like Beau Burrows and Austin Smith, both high school right-handers. But Everett has a commitment to Vanderbilt and reportedly put out a high price tag, so it's possible his name won't be called for a while.
If Michael Matuella had stayed healthy, he could have potentially been the No. 1 pick in the Draft, or at least been seriously considered for the top 10. The big Duke right-hander has the size and stuff teams love in a college arm at the top of the Draft. But teams needed to see Matuella pitch this spring after he hadn't amassed many innings during his first two years and didn't pitch over the summer.
Matuella battled lat discomfort as a sophomore and then was diagnosed with spondylolysis, a manageable defect of the vertebra in the lower back. Matuella's right elbow then required Tommy John surgery, and he's thrown just 141 innings during his three years at Duke. Still, many thought the No. 28-ranked player had a chance to go on Monday, perhaps to a team with multiple picks. Matuella is still on the board, leading one to wonder if teams didn't like his medical report or if it will take a larger bonus to get him to leave Duke. It's still possible a team will make a run at Matuella on Tuesday, finding a way to be creative with pool money to get a deal done.
It's not a big surprise that Justin Hooper, ranked No. 31, didn't get taken in the top 75 picks, even though he's one of the better high school lefties in the class. Hooper tweeted out on Sunday that he was looking forward to honoring his commitment to UCLA in the fall.
The top 10 players, according to the MLB.com rankings, still on the board, are:
23. Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville (Tenn.) HS
28. Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke
31. Justin Hooper, LHP, De La Salle HS (Concord, Calif.)
33. Dakota Chalmers, RHP, North Forsyth HS (Forsyth County, Ga.)
39. Jacob Nix, RHP, IMG Acadamy (Bradenton, Fla.)
41. Jalen Miller, SS, Riverwood International Charter School (Sandy Springs, Ga.)
45. Riley Ferrell, RHP, TCU
47. Blake Trahan, SS, Lousiana-Lafayette
54. Luken Baker, RHP/1B, Oak Ridge HS (Conroe, Texas)
55. Cole Sands, RHP, North Florida Christian HS (Tallahassee, Fla.)
There are 36 players from the Top 100 still on the board. Undoubtedly, several are high schoolers whose signabilitiy may be the key and who may head to college. But teams are looking forward to the chance to collect more talent, especially those teams that weren't particularly busy on Monday night. The Seattle Mariners, for example, didn't pick until No. 60, nabbing Georgia high school right-hander Nick Neidert with that pick in the second round, then staying in the Pacific Northwest by taking Andrew Moore with pick No. 72 in Competitive Balance Round B. The Mets and Padres also didn't pick until Round 2, and each had only one pick on Monday.
Such teams are looking forward to being on the same footing as everyone else on Tuesday and Wednesday, with plenty of legwork to determine the signability of remaining players on the agenda. All picks made on Tuesday count toward the Draft bonus pool of each team, so if teams save money with early Day 1 picks, they could aggressively pursue some of the remaining high-end talent. For Day 3 of the Draft, which covers rounds 11-40 and can be heard live on MLB.com starting at noon on Wednesday, teams can spend up to $100,000 on each player, with any overages counting against the pool for the top 10 rounds.
"We set up our board like we had a first-round pick," Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara said. "The remaining depth is good. There are lots of phone calls to be made."