Day 2 ofis in the books, with rounds three through 10 being completed on Tuesday afternoon. Come Wednesday, teams will finish their drafts by selecting through the 40th round. But before we prepare to bid adieu to this draft, we wanted to recap seven takeaways from day two.
Note that you can find the day one version of this piece by clicking here.
1. Mets gamble on Allan
With their first pick of the day, the Mets drafted prep right-hander Matthew Allan. Many scouts and analysts graded Allan as a first-round talent thanks to his size, arm strength, and power breaking ball. He remained on the board entering round three due to signability concerns, as he reportedly wants $4 million to pass up on attending the University of Florida.
Elsewhere, we tackled why the move was risky for the Mets, given they have just more than $8 million to spend this draft. The Mets drafted nothing but college seniors after taking Allan, suggesting they’re loading up on underslot deals so they can afford to meet Allan’s ask. Provided that gets done, New York’s risky pick could pay dividends for years to come.
2. Cubs grab viral reliever
The Cubs were one of the teams connected to Allan on Monday. They passed then, but didn’t get the chance to pass on Wednesday. Nonetheless, Chicago took a well-known pitcher with their first pick of the afternoon in Louisville’s Michael McAvene.
That name may sound familiar because McAvene is best known as the pitcher who was recently ejected (with two outs in the ninth inning) from a regional game for daring to utter “That’s horrible” in response to an umpire’s call:
While McAvene has served as a reliever this season, there’s a chance he moves back to the rotation as a professional. You can click here to read more about him.
3. Rays cross fingers with Stinson
There was a time when Duke left-hander Graeme Stinson profiled as one of the best pitchers in the class. Unfortunately, his season was hampered by a hamstring issue that limited his velocity and availability throughout the spring, causing him to slide into the second day of the draft.
The Rays, who loaded up on pitchers in the early going, popped Stinson in the fourth. It’s a decision that could prove to be smart in due time.
When right, Stinson has a high-grade slider that could make him a high-leverage weapon out of the bullpen if he proves unfit for the rotation. There’s a better chance of that outcome than you might think, as scouts have questioned whether his limited athleticism will enable him to hold up under a starter’s workload.
Be it as a starter or reliever, Stinson has the raw materials to contribute down the road. He just has to stay on the mound if he’s to live up to his promise.
4. Red Sox remain opportunistic
Speaking of American League East teams drafting potential values, the Red Sox entered the draft with modest expectations. After all, Boston had just two picks in the top 100, and none in the top 40.Yet the Red Sox exited day two having selected five of MLB.com’s top-150 draftees.
Those five are Cameron Cannon, Matthew Lugo, Ryan Zeferjahn, Noah Song, and Jaxx Groshans. Four of those five players — Lugo (38), Song (68), Cannon (79), and Zeferjahn (84) — were ranked in the top 100. Pre-draft rankings mean only so much and blah blah blah, but that’s a healthy 2:1 ratio in terms of top 100 prospects versus top 100 picks.
The Red Sox will take it.
5. Fates of other top remaining players
When Day 1 came to a close, our Mike Axisa highlighted who the best remaining players were. Some of Axisa’s top talents were, predictably, prepsters with signability concerns. But many of them, like the aforementioned Allan and Stinson, were picked on day two.
Let’s briefly update the status of the rest of Axisa’s top remaining players. Note that the players are ranked in order of how MLB.com graded them entering the draft.
Maurice Hampton, OF, ranked No. 29 by MLB.com: Undrafted; will head to LSU.
Jack Leiter, RHP, 33: Undrafted; will head to Vanderbilt.
Hunter Barco, LHP, 34th: Undrafted; will head to Florida.
Tyler Callihan, 2B/3B, 35th: Selected by the Reds in the third round.
Osmond Bryce, RHP, 53: Undrafted; will head to Oklahoma State.
Drew Mendoza, 3B, 55: Selected by the Nationals in the third round.
Erik Miller, LHP, 61: Selected by the Phillies in the fourth round.
Will Holland, SS, 62: Selected by the Twins in the fifth round.
Ethan Hearn, C, 67: Selected by the Cubs in the sixth round.
Spencer Jones, 1B, 71: Undrafted; will head to Vanderbilt.
Ryan Pepiot, RHP, 72: Selected by the Dodgers in the third round
Matt Cronin, RHP, 73: Selected by the Nationals in the fourth round.
Jack Kochanowicz, RHP, 75: Selected by the Angels in the third round.
Kyle McCann, C, 88: Selected by the Athletics in the fourth round.
You can read more about those players by checking out Axisa’s writeup.
6. Best remaining undrafted players
Naturally, we wanted to address who the best remaining players were heading into Day 3. We’ve done so in a handy list format below, noting everyone who MLB.com ranked as a top-100 talent that remains on the board. Note that these players are highly unlikely to sign, even if they are picked at some point on Wednesday. Otherwise, they’d be off the board by now.
29. Maurice Hampton, OF, LSU commitment
33. Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt commitment
34. Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida commitment
37. Lee Brooks, SS, Cal Poly commitment
53. Bryce Osmond, RHP, Oklahoma State commitment
66. Jerrion Ealy, OF, Mississippi commitment
71. Spencer Jones, 1B, Vanderbilt commitment
80. Will Rigney, RHP, Baylor commitment
86. Riley Cornelio, RHP, TCU commitment
93. Brett Thomas, RHP, South Carolina commitment
94. Brennan Milone, SS, South Carolina commitment
96. Chris Newell, OF, Virginia commitment
You can see MLB.com’s full list of undrafted ranked players here.
7. Plenty of family connections
It wouldn’t be the baseball draft without a slew of legacy players being selected, and we’re going to touch on three players who have somewhat familiar names.
First up is Glenallen Hill Jr., whom the Angels plucked in the fourth round. You know his father, Glenallen Hill Sr., from his 13-year career that saw him hammer nearly 200 home runs, including this moonshot at Wrigley Field:
Amusingly, Hill Jr. isn’t a hulking slugger. He’s listed at 5-foot-9 (nearly a half-foot shorter than his 6-foot-3 father). While Hill Jr. features raw power, his best-case scenario is to wind up as a strong defensive center fielder.
Several picks after Hill, Cleveland chose prep infielder Christian Cairo. That this Cairo is described as having a good feel for the game should be no surprise: His father, Miguel, played in parts of 17 big-league seasons and now serves as an infield coordinator with the Yankees.
Lastly, there’s Grant McCray.
McCray actually went in the third round, before either Hill or Cairo, but we’re saving him for last because you may know his father, Rodney, from this play:
Yup, the son of the outfielder best known for running through a well was drafted on Tuesday. That, in our book, qualifies it as a good day.