OK, so they aren’t exactly “grades,” but Andy Seiler at MLB Bonus Baby has given every team a thumbs up or thumbs down based on the picks they made on the first day of the MLB Draft. They are as follows:
Arizona – Down (Barret Loux)
In a crazy draft, the Diamondbacks jumped higher on a pitcher no one expected in Barret Loux, leaving a better college arm in Chris Sale on the board.
Atlanta – Up (Matt Lipka)
They weren’t picking until #35, but they got a premium athlete with big potential in Matt Lipka.
Baltimore – Up (Manny Machado)
It’s hard to go wrong when you pick the best available player on almost everyone’s board, and that’s what they did when they got Manny Machado.
Boston – Up (Kolbrin Vitek, Bryce Brentz, Anthony Ranaudo)
They got three first round candidates with only one first round pick, and all three players had been discussed in the top ten at some point this season.
Chicago Cubs – Down (Hayden Simpson)
You know you’re in trouble when Jim Callis is on tv and isn’t sure enough of your pick’s handedness.
Chicago White Sox – Up (Chris Sale)
The White Sox got a potential top five talent to fall to them at #13, and they were aggressive enough to take him.
Cincinnati – Up (Yasmani Grandal)
The Reds got the best college catcher at a value, and they weren’t afraid to pull the trigger.
Cleveland – Up (Drew Pomeranz)
Drew Pomeranz was being discussed as high as #2 to the Pirates only 3 weeks ago, so this was an excellent pick.
Colorado – Up (Kyle Parker, Peter Tago)
They are seemingly not afraid of paying out high bonuses, as they took a solid two-sport star and a high school pitcher with a serious college commitment.
Detroit – Up (Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin)
They got a potential top 15 pick in the supplemental first round in Castellanos, then followed him up with perhaps the best college reliever available.
Florida – Down (Christian Yelich)
Yelich was considered the top high school first baseman available, but without premium raw power and a position switch, it’s going to be interesting.
Houston – Up (Delino DeShields, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Kvasnicka)
Though I’m not as high on their first pick in DeShields, they added depth and balance, with a high school bat, arm, and a college bat.
Kansas City – Down (Christian Colon)
I’d give a thumbs sideways on this one, as I know there’s more spending to come from this club that wanted monetary value in this slot.
Los Angeles Angels – Up (Kaleb Cowart, Cam Bedrosian, Chevez Clarke, Taylor Lindsey, Ryan Bolden)
It’s hard to say thumbs down when you have five picks, and they’re all toolsy or strike-throwing.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Up (Zach Lee)
I’m split on this, as they took the best player available, but there are a few whispers that signing him will be impossible and they knew that when it happened, though I don’t think the baseball men want anything other than signing him.
Milwaukee – Down (Dylan Covey)
They were the first significant surprise, and they left a lot of talent on the board to pick a relatively safe high school arm.
Minnesota – Up (Alex Wimmers)
They had Wimmers as their target coming into the day, and they got him.
New York Mets – Down (Matt Harvey)
I’m not a Harvey fan personally, and they passed up a number of arms I rated more highly.
New York Yankees – Down (Cito Culver)
Everyone thought the Yankees would pay out big money, but they went with an in-state unknown that projected to go as many as 3 rounds later.
Oakland – Up (Michael Choice)
They got someone being discussed as high as #5, and he was arguably the best player on the board.
Philadelphia – Down (Jesse Biddle)
Going for a local kid is always a good idea, but when there are a few better names available by a significant margin, you have to leave him on the board.
Pittsburgh – Up (Jameson Taillon)
There was a clear number two behind Bryce Harper, and the Pirates got him.
St. Louis – Up (Zack Cox, Seth Blair, Tyrell Jenkins)
They got a steal in Cox, then added two names being discussed at the end of the first round.
San Diego – Up (Karsten Whitson)
Whitson was recovering value, and he was easily the best prep arm behind Taillon.
San Francisco – Down (Gary Brown)
Brown offers speed and defense, but there were better bats available.
Seattle – Down (Taijuan Walker)
They had a few better arms on the board, but went with the project who will take a long time to mature.
Tampa Bay – Up (Josh Sale, Justin O’Conner, Drew Vettleson)
Best draft of any team so far.
Texas – Down (Jake Skole, Kellin Deglan, Luke Jackson, Mike Olt)
Wasn’t a big fan of their early picks, as they’re either too projection-oriented or lacking in secondary tools.
Toronto – Up (Deck McGuire, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Asher Wojciechowski)
They got a steal in McGuire, then filled in with three solid arms with upside.
Washington – Up (Bryce Harper)
They only had one pick, and they nailed it.
Head to MLB Bonus Baby for continuing coverage of the MLB Draft.