The MLB Draft gets underway at 6 pm CT. MLB Network will have the first 60 picks tonight and a pre-game show starting at 5 pm. I'll be updating this thread regularly, but first a few links.
- Baseball America Top 500 Prospects (subscriber)
- MLB.com Top 100 Prospects
- Baseball America Draft Blog
- MLB.com Draft Tracker
- Watch live online on MLB Network
Scroll for updates.
1. Houston Astros: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
He already has a big league body at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, yet he's light on his feet and shows fluid actions with a cannon for an arm. For those reasons, the team that drafts him will allow him to stay at shortstop. While he may get a little bigger, his tools would also allow him to be a premium defender at third base. Correa has garnered comparisons to both Troy Tulowitzki and Ryan Zimmerman. At the plate, Correa shows excellent balance and rhythm, as well as patience, to go along with exciting bat speed and natural loft. — Baseball America
High school middle infielders who have the tools to stay at shortstop long term aren't always easy to find. That's a big reason why Correa is so high on Draft lists at this point.
Defensively, Correa is above average across the board — range, arm and actions — leaving no question about his ability to stay at short. He can swing the bat, too, with the potential to be an above-average hitter with outstanding power. He's a solid baserunner who is better underway and has off-the-charts work ethic and baseball instincts.
Correa's swing can get a little long at times and he will occasionally get out of his game plan at the plate. But that's just nitpicking and the only thing that could keep Correa from being the highest draftee from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy is his commitment to Miami. — mlb.com
2. Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS, Baxley, Ga.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder has a high-waisted frame that oozes projection. He hasn't hit for big power this spring, with just two home runs, though he flashes plus raw power in batting practice and was runner-up (to Lewis Brinson) in last year's home run derby prior to the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field. Buxton's speed plays more presently, as he steals bases easily and covers acres of ground in center field. Some scouts have given him top-of-the-scale grades for both his speed (others call it well above-average) and at times for his throwing arm. — Baseball America
There may not have been another player who helped his stock more over the summer than Buxton, the toolsy Georgia high school outfielder. Buxton performed well at a variety of showcases, particularly the East Coast Showcase, to put him firmly at the top of many prospect lists.
Buxton's best present tool is his speed, which is plus, and should serve him very well both as a basestealer and an outfielder. He's not just a runner, though, showing some ability with the bat. He's got a line-drive stroke with gap power right now. The ball can jump off his bat at times. Defensively, he has the chance to be above-average across the board.
Buxton is still more tools than polish, but the more he plays, the better he gets and many teams will gladly bring him into the fold and allow him to develop into an impact-type player. — mlb.com
3. Seatle Mariners, Mike Zunino, C, Florida
Mike has been a three-year starter for the Gators and was the Southeastern Conference player of the year in 2011, when he ranked seventh in Division I with 19 home runs. Zunino doesn't wow scouts with tools but beats opponents steadily with his strength, solid catching ability and professional approach. Zunino's bat projects to be above-average for a major league catcher. He has excellent strength in his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame and has a short swing when he's locked in. Scouts generally give him 50-55 grades for his bat and 55-60 grades for his power on the 20-80 scouting scale. — Baseball America
Zunino is no stranger to the Draft, taken out of the Florida high school ranks three years ago. His father, Greg, was a 1981 draft pick who played for two seasons in the Yankees system and has been a scout for the past quarter-century.
Zunino is the best catcher in this Draft class and he has the potential to be a very good everyday big league backstop. While he does have a bit of a long swing and can struggle with offspeed stuff at times, he has bat speed and loft, meaning he should have plenty of future power. With some more consistency with his swing, he could be a middle of the order bat. Behind the plate, he's a natural leader who can run a pitching staff. Zunino has a very good and accurate arm, good hands and agility, giving him a a package of plus catch and throw skills.
Zunino's dad currently scouts for the Cincinnati Reds. They have the 14th pick in the 2012 Draft and it's looking very unlikely the team will have the chance to unite father and son in one organization. — mlb.com
4. Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
Gausman headed to LSU, where he's made a leap forward after pitching for USA Baseball's College National Team last summer. New pitching coach Alan Dunn also has made some subtle tweaks to Gausman's repertoire this spring, shelving his slider earlier in the season in favor of a curveball before bringing back his slider later in the season. At his best, Gausman has two premium pitches with a fastball that sits 94-96 mph, touching 98, and he mixes in a low-90s two-seamer to get something with some armside run. Gausman's 85-86 mph changeup is a second plus pitch — BA
Coming out of Colorado as a high schooler, scouts liked Gausman's arm strength but an inconsistent spring and signability issues caused a slide until the sixth round, where Gausman reportedly turned down an above-slot offer from the Dodgers. Now he's back just two years later as a Draft-eligible sophomore.
Gausman still has the electric stuff, this time with a little more polish. He'll run his fastball up to 94 mph and he's still projectable given there's plenty of room on his frame to add strength. The heater has plenty of life to it and gets on hitters quickly thanks to a loose and easy delivery. His breaking ball has the chance to be an average offering and he now throws a changeup that fades and sinks and could be an above-average pitch.
The right-hander still struggles a bit with command, particularly with his breaking pitch and the delivery on his changeup doesn't always work. But with his size, mound presence and arm, he has all the makings of a frontline starter, one who shouldn't stay on Draft boards for very long if he has a productive sophomore season. — mlb.com
5. Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, University of San Francisco
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Zimmer is extremely athletic. Along with baseball, he also played basketball and water polo in high school. His father played baseball at UC San Diego and his mother ran track for San Diego State. Zimmer's little brother, Bradley, is a highly-touted outfielder for the Dons. Kyle was recruited as a position player and only pitched five innings his freshman year before transitioning into the role full-time last year and now he's a candidate to be picked first-overall. Zimmer's fastball typically sits in the 94-96 mph range and gets as high as 99 and his hammer curveball is just as good. — BA
The University of San Francisco has had a fair share of pitching taken highly in the Draft in recent years, with Aaron Poreda (No. 25, 2008) standing out. Zimmer has the chance to potentially beat Poreda with a strong spring.
Zimmer has the makings of four pitches that could be at least Major League average. Any talk about the strong, durable right-hander has to begin with his plus fastball that he can run up to 97 mph. He maintains velocity deep into his starts and he has pretty good run and sink to it. His curve is a power breaking pitch, one that could be an out pitch at the next level. He also throws a slider that's very effective when he throws it right. Zimmer doesn't throw his changeup much, but he does have one and it looks like it can be deceptive with sink if he starts throwing it more consistently. He is a very consistent strike thrower.
Zimmer will pitch all year at age 20. With his size, stuff and pitchability, there's little question decision-makers will be flocking to Northern California to get multiple looks at him. — mlb.com
6. Chicago Cubs