So, the draft is tomorrow. Thanks to MLB trying to get it more publicity, they’ve split it into three days, with the first three rounds taking place tomorrow evening. The draft kicks off at 3 pm Seattle time. And, just for fun, the Mariners-Orioles game starts at 4 pm Seattle time. Apparently, MLB is not content with forcing us to deal with just draft-related traffic (which always crashes the server), but also wants us to have to deal with a game going on at the same time. Awesome.
So, yea, there probably won’t be a game thread tomorrow. And as always, we’ll ask that you please be kind to the blog – don’t just sit there and pound refresh waiting for updates. MLB.com is going to be streaming the whole thing live, and if you really need to get up-to-the-minute picks via a website, nuke their servers, not ours.
As for what the M’s are expected to do, here’s what I’ve gathered this morning.
Dustin Ackley is still the strong favorite to go #2. There’s a chance they could take Aaron Crow or Tyler Matzek instead, but Ackley is a good bet to be the pick.
At #27, the M’s will have a chance to select a premium arm if they want to gamble on signability a bit. Kyle Gibson was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his forearm, so there’s a chance he slides to #27. Likewise, Tanner Scheppers, James Paxton, and Matt Purke are asking for more money than teams want to give them, so they don’t have an obvious home in the first round right now. The front office will have a player on the board that shouldn’t be there on talent. If the rumors about a pre-draft deal being struck with Steven Baron are true, then the M’s will be saving money at #33, and could overpay at #27 while still being able to keep their total draft budget under control. That seems to be the path that most expect the M’s to travel.
However, that’s not a lock. Last week, I mentioned that I had heard high school shortstop Nick Franklin attached to the M’s at #51. As of this morning, I was told that he probably won’t last that long, so the M’s may consider him at #27 or #33. As a left-handed hitting middle infielder with some power and defensive skills, he’d provide something the organization badly lacks currently.
It will be interesting to see what transpires tomorrow. As long as you all let us keep the blog alive, we’ll provide analysis throughout the draft.