With the new collective bargaining agreement, the deadline for draft picks to sign was moved up a month from August 15th to July 15th. As a result, we now get (relatively) meaningful samples for these players to see what they can do before having to try and review them during the offseason. This also means that you have that much more information to work with when your minor league draft comes up during the offseason. I looked at the top 5 picks in the draft on Wednesday, so let's look at 5 more of the first round picks today.
Colin Moran - Miami Marlins - 6th overall pick
Stats: 20 games, .257/.310/.405, 2 home runs, 11 RBI, 7 walks, 13 strikeouts
Current Assignment: Low-A Greensboro (South Atlantic League)
There had been talk before the draft of a slight chance that Moran went #1 overall, but he fell more in line with what was expected by going to the Marlins at #6 overall. Considered the most polished college bat in the draft, Moran has the added bonus of also being one of the youngest college draftees. Moran's performance hasn't been exactly amazing so far, given that polish and that he is a college draftee and not a high school one. However, Sam Evans of Fish Stripes has a good post with some reasons for that. I still can see him being a quick mover in their system, reaching AAA potentially by the end of 2014.
For more on Moran and the Marlins, check out SBNation's Fish Stripes.
Trey Ball - Boston Red Sox - 7th overall pick
Stats: 3 starts, 4.1 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts, 3 walk, 0.80 GO/AO ratio, 5 hits allowed, 1 HR allowed
Current Assignment: Red Sox' Rookie Affiliate (Gulf Coast League)
Ball has thrown just over 4 innings now, so there's REALLY not a lot to learn about him from that sample. Ball was considered an elite draft pick as a pitcher, but also would likely have been a high draft pick as an outfielder as well. It appears that he will be brought along slowly this season, and I'd love to be able to tell you a lot more about him, but there just doesn't appear that a lot has changed since he was drafted. At this point, I would probably speculatively put him on a timeline that brings him to the Majors by 2017, but until we get a better idea of what will happen next for him, it's really a semi-educated guess.
For more on Ball and the Red Sox, check out SBNation's Over the Monster.
Hunter Dozier - Kansas City Royals - 8th overall pick
Stats: 44 games, .292/.385/.506, 6 home runs, 33 RBI, 3 for 3 stolen bases, 26 walks, 25 strikeouts
Current Assignment: Short-Season Rookie Idaho Falls (Pioneer League)
Dozier was a surprise at this pick during the draft, mostly because he was expected to be available later. However, the team signed him to a bonus that saved almost $1 million in slot money, which allowed them to splurge on their next pick, LHP Sean Manaea. Even so, Dozier is cruising along in Idaho Falls, and could be a very interesting name for OBP leagues if his skills continue to translate as he moves up. There's not really anywhere to put Dozier yet, unless they want to move him straight to High-A to finish the season. Otherwise, I could see him getting his feet wet in Low-A next year, with the potential to leapfrog (or move in sync) with Raul A. Mondesi.
For more on Dozier and the Royals, check out SBNation's Royals Review.
Austin Meadows - Pittsburgh Pirates - 9th overall pick
Stats: 28 games, .315/.392/.550, 3 home runs, 13 RBI, 3 for 4 stolen bases, 13 walks, 24 strikeouts
Current Assignment: Pirates' Rookie Affiliate (Gulf Coast League)
Taken with the compensation pick for not signing Mark Appel last year, Meadows was considered to be a safe pick in the first round, as he had shown a lot of polish, especially for a high school hitter. He is expected to provide enough offense to hold down a corner outfield spot in the long term, although Baseball America noted in their original draft profile that there are concerns about how his swing will translate that power ($). Another player we don't have a ton of new information about, Meadows seems likely to me to be sent to full-season West Virginia to start his 2014 campaign, so we are probably not likely to see him until 2017 either.
For more on Meadows and the Pirates, check out SBNation's Bucs Dugout.
Billy McKinney - Oakland Athletics - 24th overall pick
Stats: 33 games, .313/.371/.414, 2 home runs, 15 RBI, 4 for 4 stolen bases, 11 walks, 23 strikeouts
Current Assignment: Athletics' Rookie Affiliate (Arizona Rookie League)
Since the #10 pick didn't sign (and since someone asked about him in the previous post), I included A's top draft pick Billy McKinney as the last prospect on this list. (And really, it's not like I need an excuse to want to talk about an A's prospect.) The numbers look solid so far for McKinney, who has been hitting better of late in the Arizona League, and I wonder if he ends up starting the 2014 season in full-season Low-A. He's expected to move into a corner outfield spot long-term, but has been playing center field so far. Long term he is expected to be carried by his bat, but it should still play very well in a corner slot.
For more on McKinney and the Athletics, check out SBNation's Athletics Nation.