- 06/05/2012, 12:27AM ET
Mrlns Fn said 06/05, 12:27 AM
Carlos Correa going first overall.
Not because Correa isn't going to be a good player; just because there were two players who seemed to be 1A and 1B in terms of projected draft position.
1A, Mark Appel, ultimately went eighth to Pittsburgh while 1B AKA Byron Buxton went second overall to Minnesota.
Appel was the consensus number one pick because he's the most MLB ready. Dude could probably be a full-time starter by next year. Appel features a plus fastball (mid-to-upper 90s) and a sick breaking slider.
Buxton is considered to be the mos talented player out of the whole lot with many scouts comparing him to both Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. Buxton is the prototypical 5-tool outfielder and combines blazing speed, a cannon arm, and a bat that promises to hit for average AND power.
Yet the Houston Astros, who picked first overall, decided to go with shortstop Carlos Correa.
Now Correa is no slouch either; he's an outstanding fielder with a great arm and his ability to hit the ball has been improving over the last year. But he's no Mark Appel and he's definitely no Byron Buxton.
Not sure what the 'Stros were thinking, but taking Correa first was surprising.
Bigalke said 06/05, 12:50 AM
Look, Marlins, I understand where you're going with Correa. But ultimately what Houston did isn't that surprising... they're doing exactly what NBA teams did when they drafted Kwames straight from preps to pros, projecting greatness based on potential. At 6'4", 190, he's already bigger and has more power than any guy at SS on the Astros depth chart... and he's just 17. They're hoping that another 20-30 pounds of weight room growth can elevate his warning-track power over the fence...
Now, in my opinion it was a story you glanced over that was the MOST surprising story of the draft's first day. I'll let you reiterate the bare essentials:
"Appel was the consensus number one pick because he's the most MLB ready. Dude could probably be a full-time starter by next year. Appel features a plus fastball (mid-to-upper 90s) and a sick breaking slider."
Yet not one, not two but THREE pitchers went ahead of Appel as he slid down to the Pirates at 8th. To take a page out of your book, Kevin Gausman, Kyle Zimmer and Mark Fried are no slouches... they're all great pitchers with loads of potential. But they're certainly not Mark Appel.
Mrlns Fn said 06/05, 02:57 AM
Good choice; I almost went with that angle myself but ultimately decided against it. The reason? Because there's a precedent for one guy sliding in a given draft. It happens all the time in the MLB draft, mainly due to signability issues and whatnot. There are numerous examples which I'm not going to list here because I think it's relatively common knowledge that players slide in the MLB draft when there are concerns about the potential difficulty in coming to a monetary agreement with said player. It happens, and frequently.
It happens in other sports too, like when Aaron Rodgers went from the potential number one overall choice all the way to the twenty fourth overall choice. Granted three QBs weren't taken before him, but Alex Smith sure was.
What's more surprising about Correa going first overall is the fact that two perceived stars-to-be were passed over. Appel was the consensus number one, but Buxton is believed to be the most talented of the lot. Scouts are absolutely raving about this kid, and rightfully so. He certainly has the tools and if not for questions about how long it'll take for him to be MLB-ready it was thought that he'd go first.
Bigalke said 06/06, 10:36 AM
Correa has been vaulting into people's consciousness over the past few weeks; by the time of the draft, he was being spoken about in the same tones as Buxton or Appel. The combination of size, projected power and his youth all factored into the decision to take him first. And the Astros have been talking him up since they got to work him out.
Sure, there's precedent for players sliding down a draft board. But it doesn't make it any less surprising when you see a surefire top pick freefall behind multiple players at his position. What is so surprising about Appel's drop to 8 is not that being signed with Scott Boras can cause you to plummet from your natural slot in the draft. What is so surprising is that, like I said before, three other pitchers went ahead of him.
Further, just what is it about Correa that makes his selection so surprising? That he snatched away the top spot from Buxton and from Appel. Buxton's readiness, as you mentioned, was the issue behind his not being picked first. For Appel, it's all about dollars and sense (or a lack thereof) in a system that no longer puts all the contract-negotiating leverage in the player's hands.
Mrlns Fn said 06/06, 11:30 PM
Well it's pointless to post any stats here since Buxton and Correa didn't play against the same level of competition, but I just don't see how anybody could've thought Correa was the same level of prospect as Buxton. People are comparing Buxton to Matt Kemp. Matt ****-ing Kemp. Correa is more of a Brandon Inge-type player; a solid defensive player with a rocket for an arm but a lot of holes in his swing. Sure, some people think Correa will develop power down the road but as of right now he's an extremely limited hitter who plays excellent defense.
Just don't see how a prospect like that measures up to Matt Kemp 2.0, at all.
Thing is, I could see Houston skipping Buxton for Appel, because Buxton won't be MLB ready for a long time. But they didn't take Appel; they took Correa, a seventeen year old kid. If you're gonna draft a minor, someone who won't make the Show for years to come, why pass on Kemp lite for Inge lite?
Although personally I still think Appel should've gone first. He's a great talent and he's basically MLB-ready.
Anyhoo, it's been real TDing with you, Zach, and I wish you luck in the voting.
Many thanks for the good TD.
Bigalke said 06/07, 09:45 PM
There you have it... in both Buxton and Correa, the hype is centered around potential. While Buxton's potential is projected to have a higher ceiling, Correa has upside at a position of need for the Astros. It isn't that surprising that they would turn this direction...
What IS surprising, though, is not that Appel didn't go first. Sure, a lot of smart people -- including my opponent -- "still think Appel should've gone first". But what is surprising is that he not only dropped out of first, but that three other teams decided to go a different direction with their pitching selections despite the most MLB-ready arm being available.
Sure, the fact that Appel is a client of Scott Boras played a role in this drop. But with MLB's new draft caps, the excuse that a player and his agent could strong-arm a team out of their price range is laughable. The teams have the leverage now, and Appel's only recourse is to go back to Stanford if he doesn't like the deal... only to get something similar the next year.
So, when all is said and done, it isn't the guy who went first but the guy everyone expected to go first that is the biggest surprise in this draft...
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