Every Draft produces big league talent, some of the All-Star caliber, some just contributors to Major League rosters. Patience is often the most important virtue in waiting for that to happen, for allowing the development process to unfold so players can turn themselves from top amateurs to top professionals.Some move
Every Draft produces big league talent, some of the All-Star caliber, some just contributors to Major League rosters. Patience is often the most important virtue in waiting for that to happen, for allowing the development process to unfold so players can turn themselves from top amateurs to top professionals.
Some move faster than others, and while it's not the most important quality in evaluating talent for the Draft, acquiring players who move quickly through a farm system can be a huge bonus. To date, no one from the 2015 Draft has made his Major League debut, though four in the top 10 -- including the No. 1 and 2 picks, Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman, respectively -- have reached Double-A. The 2014 Draft has already seen nine reach the highest level, starting with Brandon Finnegan, who made it up the same season he was drafted.
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There might not be anyone taken in the top 10 rounds of this year's Draft who will make a Finnegan-like rush to the Majors, but there are several who definitely fit the "quick to the big leagues" label. Most are college pitchers, and those who are relievers -- or profile better as bullpen contributors -- are the easiest choices for this kind of categorization. The top three fit that description, with a college starter, the top college hitter and then a bonus high school pitcher for good filling out the list.
1. Zack Burdi, RHP, White Sox (Round 1, No. 26 overall)
The plan is to keep Louisville's closer as a reliever this summer. There are some who think he can start, given his ability to throw three pitches for strikes. The White Sox would then figure out what's best for him and the organization heading into next Spring Training. If he gives starting a try, it will take him longer to establish himself, but don't be shocked if you see him in Chicago's bullpen before this season is over.
2. Shaun Anderson, RHP, Red Sox (Round 3, No. 88 overall)
Anderson closes games for Florida, but many think he can start, with the Gators' deep staff the main reason Anderson found a niche in the late innings. Anderson has a four-pitch mix -- fastball, slider, cutter, changeup -- and he throws strikes, all with a delivery that can work as a starter. Like with Burdi, that would slow down his development process.
3. Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs (Round 3, No. 89)
While Duplantier bounced back from injury in 2015 to have a huge '16 as a starter for Rice, his injury history/durability concerns, combined with his electric stuff, have many thinking a career in a bullpen would suit him. Duplantier's sinking fastball would uptick even more velocity-wise and his power curve would work as a potential out pitch.
4. Eric Lauer, LHP, Padres (Round 1, No. 25)
Unlike the first three on this list, Lauer definitely has a future in a rotation. The inclination is to pick a pitchability college starter, with polish carrying him to the big leagues quickly. But finesse guys often run into trouble in the upper levels, so having an advanced feel for pitching along with the ability to miss at least some bats is important for a fast riser. Lauer struck out nearly 10.8 batters per nine innings over his last two seasons combined.
5. Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds (Round 1, No. 2)
Considered the most advanced bat in this Draft class, Senzel hits for average, with power to come. (He's a doubles machine right now.) He has bat speed, works counts and hits the ball to all fields. Senzel has the best chance to follow a Kyle Schwarber or Michael Conforto type path to the big leagues, though expecting that might be a bit too ambitious.
6. Braxton Garrett, LHP, Marlins (Round 1, No. 7)
No, Garrett won't be one of the first players overall to make it up, but he has to be the odds-on favorite to be the first high schooler to do so. With an outstanding three-pitch mix that will only get better to go along with a clean and balanced delivery, it would surprise anyone to see Garrett beat some of the college arms taken early to the Major Leagues.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.