High-upside picks highlight Day 3 of Draft

June 14th, 2017

The third and final day of the MLB Draft is a rapid-fire affair, with 30 teams drafting for 30 rounds, all crammed into one afternoon. The fast-paced exercise in farm system restocking was completed Wednesday on the heels of the Draft's exciting first two days, and rounds 11-40 did not disappoint.
Day 2 was full of high-upside picks, legacy picks, uplifting stories and college catchers, after two-way talent defined the first night of the draft. Day 3 was all about strategy, as teams weigh who they want against who they can sign, balancing their bonus money here and taking chances there.
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That led to plenty of good value being available throughout the day, as evidenced by the nine MLBPipeline.com Top 200 prospects selected over the first five rounds Wednesday.
College players were the main attraction early, as 112 of the first 150 players were working toward a degree. Of the first 300 selections Wednesday, 231 (77 percent) were college players, taken between rounds 11-20.
Overall, 44 of the 50 players still available and ranked in MLBPipeline.com's Top 200 were selected Wednesday, led by 11th-round picks Jake Holmes (Phillies) and Will Kincanon (White Sox). Three highly-rated players flew off the board in a row in the middle of the 12th round: The Phillies selected Ole Miss lefty David Parkinson No. 353 overall, the Brewers followed with high school center fielder Je'Von Ward, and the Angels took Creighton righty Keith Rogalla a pick later.
Highly-rated prospects, particularly high school players, frequently drop due to signability concerns. Teams tend to take more chances on players during Day 3 of the Draft, because there is no penalty for failing to sign a player after Round 10. If a team doesn't sign a player it selects in the first 10 rounds, it loses the bonus pool allotment for that round.
The question for most teams on Day 3 becomes as much "Who can we sign?" as "Who do we like?" An example of a tough sign may be Garrett Mitchell, the outfielder out of Orange Lutheran High in California whom the A's grabbed in the 14th round (No. 411 overall). He profiles as a star at the college level who could mightily improve his Draft position.

But as the Draft progresses, teams take more chances.
The Padres took a flier on high school outfielder Daniel Cabrera in the 26th round, and the Yankees did the same with high school righty Tanner Burns in the 37th. Both players possess top-five round talent, but also strong commitments to top college programs.
Teams took chances on three Top 200 players in the 33rd round, as the Reds drafted high school shortstop Brady McConnell, the Braves selected high school righty Chris McMahon and the Brewers took high school outfielder Kyle Jacobsen.
Six players ranked in the MLBPipeline.com top 200 were not drafted: Jackson Rutledge, Carmen Mlodzinski, Joe Lancellotti, Hugh Fisher, Philip Clarke and Alex Toral. The first four are high school pitchers, Clarke is a high school backstop and Toral is a high school first baseman.
Notable picks from Day 3:
Round 11 (No. 323 overall), Phillies -- Jake Holmes, SS, Pinnacle HS (N.M.) 
The Phillies could have really made a steal selection here with Holmes, who was ranked No.132 on MLBPipeline.com's pre-Draft Top 200. A 6-foot-4 shortstop, Holmes could outgrow the position, but he still has a bunch of tools you can dream on.

Round 11 (No. 327 overall), White Sox -- Will Kincanon, RHP, Indiana State 
Kincanon's stats weren't great as a junior, but he consistently sits 92-94 mph with a fastball that sinks, and he can get it up to 97 mph. Besides that, he also shows a wipeout slider and above-average changeup. Consistency is the big thing with Kincanon, and Chicago is looking to cash in on his big upside.

Round 11 (No. 333 overall), Mariners -- LHP JP Sears, The Citadel
A super-deceptive lefty, Sears leads all Division I pitchers in strikeouts this season. He fanned 20 batters against Virginia Military Institute in a game earlier this season.
Round 14 (No. 411 overall), A's -- Garrett Mitchell, CF, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.) 
The only likely way Oakland signs Mitchell away from his UCLA commitment is if it doesn't sign one of its top 10 picks. Mitchell, who was ranked the No.54 prospect in MLBPipeline.com's pre-Draft 200, is an elite runner who has suffered from Type 1 diabetes most of his life.
Round 15 (No. 438 overall), Padres -- RHP, Cole Bellinger, Hamilton High School (Chandler, Ariz.)
Bellinger is Dodgers rookie sensation 's younger brother, and their father and former World Series champion Clay Bellinger's son. The younger Bellinger is a right-handed pitcher committed to Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Round 15 (No. 454 overall), Cardinals -- LF Terry Fuller, Griffin (Ga.) High School
Fuller is raw, but possesses tremendous power for a high school player. The left-handed-swinging Fuller broke 's distance record at the 11th annual Power Showcase home run derby when he blasted a ball 527 feet to right field at Marlins Park. He's committed to Chipola College in Marianna, Fla.
Round 15 (No. 463 overall), Nationals -- RHP Bryce Montes de Oca, University of Missouri
The University of Missouri is known for producing pitching talent -- Max Scherzer, and , for example. The program had another hard-throwing right-hander, Tanner Houck, selected in the first round this year. Three years ago, and many scouts may have said Montes de Oca had more upside. The hard-throwing righty was a top recruit in the country, but he has been plagued by arm trouble. When he's healthy, his fastball reaches triple digits.
Round 17 (No. 518 overall), Orioles -- SS Greg Jones, Cary (N.C.) High School
Jones is a late bloomer by every definition of the word. He stood just 5-foot-5 and weighed 150 pounds midway through his junior year at Cary High, making it easy for teams to look past him heading into this season. But the UNC-Wilmington commit gained 20 pounds and grew six inches between his junior and senior years -- a growth spurt that also shot him up Draft boards. He's a switch hitter and was famously clocked at 3.85 seconds running from home to first, making him one of the fastest players in the Draft.
Round 17 (No. 524 overall), Rangers -- 3B Tyler Ratliff, Marshall University
Before an outstanding career at Marshall, Ratliff attended T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., the school made famous in the movie "Remember the Titans." Ratliff grew up playing on the field at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, the site of Wednesday's shooting where members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game.
Round 21 (No. 613 overall), Nationals -- RHP Jake Cousins, University of Pennsylvania
Jake Cousins is a cousin of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The righty was one of the top pitchers in the Ivy League, going 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA and three complete games in 11 starts.
Round 22 (No. 665 overall), Tigers -- 3B Colby Bortles, University of Mississippi
The football connections keep coming with Bortles, who is the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. The younger Bortles led the Rebels with 10 home runs this spring in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference.
Round 26 (No. 768 overall), Padres -- OF Daniel Cabrera, Parkview Baptist School (Baton Rouge, La.)
Cabrera, a two-way player who will probably rely on his bat as a pro, was considered as a potential second-round pick, but his strong commitment to LSU complicated things, and he fell all the way to the 26th round, where San Diego took a flier.

Round 27 (No. 823 overall), Nationals -- SS Darren Baker, Jesuit High School (Carmichael, Calif.)
Darren Baker has been famous since he was 3 years old, ever since J.T. Snow pulled him out of harm's way at home plate during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series. Nowadays, the son of Nationals manager Dusty Baker is a speedy infielder with a commitment to Cal.
Round 31 (No. 984 overall), Brewers -- OF Kyle Jacobson, Allatoona High School (Acworth, Ga.)
Jacobson has a strong commitment to the University of South Carolina, which is why he fell so far despite talent that would have otherwise likely seen him land in the top five rounds. The rare bats-left, throws-right player was ranked at No. 117 by MLBPipeline.com.
Round 37 (No. 1,112 overall), Yankees -- RHP Tanner Burns, Decatur High School (Ala.)
Burns drew comparisons to recent first-rounders due to his big arm and advanced command, but his commitment to Auburn must have been too strong for teams to take a chance on him early and risk losing the bonuses allotted for Rounds 1-10. Burns was the top-rated player available heading into Day 3.