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A.L. West

“Alluhring Strategy” 2017 MLB Draft Recap: AL West

Building a Dynasty with “Left Coast Bias”

American League


Many sports fans may not have noticed, but last week, Major League Baseball held its Amateur Draft. It may not be as sexy as the NFL or NBA drafts, but organizations can build their dynasty through a nice string of successful amateur drafts.

Sadly, most baseball fans and even fantasy baseball owners, don’t know the names of some the best draft prospects. Perhaps it is because they include a large number of high school players. Perhaps it is because the college game doesn’t have the national exposure that football and basketball does. Perhaps it is because it often take several years for top prospects to work their way through the many levels of baseball’s minor league system. Whatever the reason is, we at Major League Fantasy Sports always make it a point to break down some key players every June so that those in deep keeper and dynasty leagues can get some of these guys on their radar. In addition, baseball fans always love reading about the future of the team and this can bring some insight to what your team is thinking long-term.

I recently moved back to the West Coast and have been re-immersing myself into the AL and NL West culture. It was a natural fit to handle the draft coverage for the West divisions. Up first…


American League West

Overall, the division as a whole had a very strong draft. I don’t hate any of the team’s drafts, but I believe there were teams that did better than others. I want to recap each of the team’s draft and will give my draft grade based on fantasy potential. Teams that drafted defensive-minded players may not grade as well here as they did for their actual team. Here we go…


Houston Astros

1 15 7 Bukauskas, J.B. North Carolina RHP R/R JR 6’0″ 195lbs DOB: 10/11/96 Value: $3,588,200
2 53 92 Perez, Joe Archbishop McCarthy HS 3B R/R HS 6’3″ 210lbs DOB: 08/12/99 Value: $1,265,500
2 56 32 Martin, Corbin Texas A&M RHP R/R JR 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 12/28/95 Value: $1,178,600
CBB 75 62 Matijevic, J.J. Arizona 2B L/R JR 6’0″ 200lbs DOB: 11/14/95 Value: $767,400
3 91 Ivey, Tyler Grayson College RHP R/R J2 6’4″ 195lbs DOB: 05/12/96 Value: $597,800
4 121 86 Solomon, Peter Notre Dame RHP R/R JR 6’4″ 190lbs DOB: 08/16/96 Value: $437,400
5 151 Perry, Nathan Bassett HS C L/R HS 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 07/07/99 Value: $326,600
6 181 Adams, Jake U Iowa 1B R/R JR 6’3″ 240lbs DOB: 12/23/95 Value: $249,600
7 211 Mushinski, Parker Texas Tech LHP L/L JR 6’0″ 230lbs DOB: 11/22/95 Pick Value: $195,300
8 241 Julks, Corey Houston CF R/R JR 5’10” 185lbs DOB: 02/27/96 Value: $158,100
9 271 Papierski, Michael LSU C S/R JR 6’3″ 195lbs DOB: 02/26/96 Value: $141,600
10 301 Serrano, Kyle Tennessee RHP R/R SR 6’3″ 195lbs DOB: 07/06/95 Value: $133,500


The Astros seem to be focused on adding college talent, especially pitchers, that can be added to their budding dynasty in relatively short order. They were aided in the fact that they had a couple extra picks courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals and “datagate.” The group of college pitchers offer upside for sure, but all have the risk of becoming relievers at the Major League level.

J.B. Bukauskas was ranked the #7 draft prospect by and represents great value at the 15th pick. With two plus pitches (fastball, slider), he is an MLB-average changeup away from being a top Major League pitching prospect and front-end starter potential.

Joe Perez is the first of two prep hitters taken by Houston in the first 10 rounds (over 12 picks). This seams to be a reach as Perez was more known for his pitching which has already been shut down for overuse. He primarily played 3B and is probably at best a 3rd round value as a hitter. Perhaps, Houston still sees him as a pitcher. This is the only reason to take him this high.

Corbin Martin & Peter Solomon are both college arms that throw heat and flash at least one plus secondary pitch. Issues with these two is they can’t seem to throw strikes. If that can’t be straightened out in the first year or two in the minors, they are destined to be relievers.

J.J Matijevic is listed as a 2B, but played 1B most of the season. His emerging power and defensive limitations, likely keep him at 1B.

GRADE: B — Overall solid draft and some high upside, potential quick movers here. There is definitely potential fantasy impact in this class, but too many questions and J.B. Bukauskas the only blue chip potential leads me to a B grade.


Los Angeles Angels

1 10 21 Adell, Jo Ballard HS OF R/R HS 6’2″ 195lbs DOB: 04/08/99 Value: $4,376,800

Signed: $4,376,800

2 47 17 Canning, Griffin UCLA RHP R/R JR 6’1″ 170lbs DOB: 05/11/96 Value: $1,459,200

Signed: $1,459,200

3 85 56 Pearson, Jacob West Monroe HS CF L/R HS 5’11” 192lbs DOB: 06/01/98 Value: $656,300
4 115 Swanda, John Theodore Roosevelt HS RHP R/R HS 6’2″ 185lbs DOB: 03/18/99 Value: $463,900
5 145 Booker, Joseph T.R. Miller HS RHP R/R HS 6’3″ 190lbs DOB: 09/11/98 Value: $346,500
6 175 Todd, Jonah Auburn U CF L/L JR 6’0″ 180lbs DOB: 09/18/95 Value: $262,400

Signed: $210,000

7 205 Brady, Dennis Mercer County CC RHP R/R J2 6’1″ 200lbs DOB: 01/18/97 Value: $205,100 Signed: $200,000
8 235 Riley, Connor U South Carolina Aiken RHP R/R SR 5’11” 180lbs DOB: 05/07/95 Value: $163,800 Signed: $10,000
9 265 Hanewich, Brett Stanford RHP S/R SR 6’3″ 200lbs DOB: 12/15/94 Value: $143,900 Signed: $10,000
10 295 Procopio, Daniel Niagara RHP R/R SR 5’11” 185lbs DOB: 09/18/95 Value: $134,900 Signed: $10,000


The Angels took the opposite approach as the Astros and selected four high schoolers in their first five picks. One the worst farm systems in baseball, the Angels are content to let the prep prospects grow in the minors and bolster their organization depth. There is a ton of value in their first three picks who all could be significant MLB contributors one day.

Jordon Adell could have the best combo of raw power and speed in the draft. He can also flash the glove and has a cannon arm in centerfield. The 6’2” and 195 lbs frame is inconsistent, however, and subject to the strikeout, especially against off-speed pitches. He will need some time, but the tools are there to be a future fantasy stud.

Griffin Canning is a polished RHP out of UCLA. He has four legit pitches that he call all throw for strikes with a plus changeup. Considered a 1st Round talent that could move quickly through the minors likely dropped due to concern about his arm. Not sure there is anything to be worried about as he was a workhorse this season for the Bruins. Great value with mid-rotation projection.

Jacob Pearson is a left-handed hitting prep star that has a great mix of power and speed with 20-20 potential in his prime years. Another huge value for the Angels grabbing a 2nd Round talent at #85. The Louisiana State Prep Player of the Year just turned 19 which is old for High School athletes and his age may of scared off a few teams from drafting him earlier.

GRADE: B+ — In addition to these three high-upside talents, they drafted three consecutive college seniors in rounds 8-10 that enabled them to sign them for $10K each and save money to make a legit over to Pearson. As 19-year-old, he could go to LSU and enter the draft in two years instead of three like most high school prospects. They already signed Adell away from Louisville at slot value and with the savings late in Day 2 they could lock up the entire class which could bring their grade to a borderline A-.


Oakland Athletics

1 6 9 Beck, Austin North Davidson HS OF R/R HS 5’11” 175lbs DOB: 11/21/98 Value: $5,303,000 Signed: $5,303,000
CBA 33 51 Merrell, Kevin South Florida SS L/R JR 6’1″ 180lbs DOB: 12/14/95 Value: $2,033,500 Signed: $1,800,000
2 43 63 Deichmann, Greg LSU OF L/R JR 6’2″ 210lbs DOB: 05/31/95 Value: $1,597,300
3 81 30 Allen, Nick Francis Parker HS SS S/R HS 5’9″ 155lbs DOB: 10/08/98 Value: $697,500
4 111 196 Toffey, Will Vanderbilt 3B L/R JR 6’2″ 195lbs DOB: 12/31/94 Value: $482,600 Signed: $482,600
5 141 Sanchez, Santi Colegio Hector Urdaneta C R/R HS 6’1″ 197lbs DOB: 08/18/98 Value: $360,500
6 171 165 Salow, Logan U Kentucky LHP L/L SR 5’11” 185lbs DOB: 09/27/94 Value: $271,300 Signed: $100,000
7 201 Dunshee, Parker Wake Forest RHP R/R SR 6’1″ 205lbs DOB: 02/12/95 Value: $212,100 Signed: $25,000
8 231 Howard, Brian TCU RHP R/R SR 6’9″ 185lbs DOB: 04/25/95 Value: $168,300
9 261 Poche, Jared LSU LHP R/L SR 6’1″ 205lbs DOB: 11/21/94 Value: $145,500
10 291 Meggs, Jack Washington OF L/L SR 6’1″ 175lbs DOB: 04/18/95 Value: $135,900 Signed: $10,000


The Athletics followed a similar game plan as the Angels but executed slightly better. In fact, Oakland had one of the best drafts in the league. They scored five guys with Day 1 grades in route to one of the best mixes of high-upside prep prospects and polished MLB ready college guys. The sabermetrics which they are well known for is evident but there are also guys here set to put up counting stats as well.


Austin Beck could have the best overall tools in the draft after Jordon Adell with a higher hit tool. He has been compared to a young and healthy Grady Sizemore. There is some concern as he has already had an ACL tear, but he has come back with a vengeance this Spring. A future star if he stays healthy.

Kevin Merrell signed under slot as a slight reach at #33 but with 75-80 speed with a solid hit tool, he projects to be a disruptive contributor near the top of the order.  

Greg Deichmann is developing into a prolific power hitter after shortening his swing and changing his approach at the plate. He went higher than expected, but Oakland obviously saw the changes to be substantial enough to roll the dice on early. Good low risk, high reward pick. Now as a Junior, he is likely to sign for a slightly below slot bonus to start his pro career.

Nick Allen is a steal in real life at #81 over 30 picks later than expected. He is known as one of the best defensive players in the draft. He has some speed and hit tools to go with the plus-plus glove and will likely need an above slot bonus to sign.

Will Toffey does not have the power than a traditional 3B has, but his plus hit tool and plate discipline make him a sabermetric stud. He should have excellent walk and strikeout ratios and the power could develop a little more as he has the frame for it. Intriguing pick could pay off in a major contributor in the near future.

Garrett Mitchell was drafted in the 14th round with a 2nd Round grade. The only reason is clubs are scared off by his Type 1 Diabetes. He was diagnosed in 3rd grade and has a fantastic grasp on it. The A’s have dealt with another prospect with Diabetes (Dylan Covey) and could certainly help him adjust to life in pro ball and managing the disease. If they can get him to sign, he offers potential five-tool output. It will be tough to keep him from UCLA without a substantial bonus offer.


GRADE: A — What a draft by Oakland! If they someone sign Allen and Mitchell this grade goes to an A+. Not only is this an extremely deep class including several polished college Seniors (Salow, Dunshee, Howard and Poche) that could impact the team within the next two years, there is a potential for three stars and a dozen regular contributors at Major League level one day.


Seattle Mariners

1 17 18 White, Evan Kentucky 1B R/L JR 6’3″ 177lbs DOB: 04/26/96 Value: $3,333,200 Signing: $3,125,000
2 55 15 Carlson, Sam Burnsville HS RHP R/R HS 6’3″ 193lbs DOB: 12/03/98 Value: $1,206,900 Signing: $2,000,000
3 93 Mills, Wyatt Gonzaga RHP R/R SR 6’4″ 185lbs DOB: 01/25/95 Value: $579,800 Signing: $125,000
4 123 161 Elledge, Seth Dallas Baptist RHP R/R JR 6’3″ 230lbs DOB: 05/20/96 Value: $428,900 Signing: $400,000
5 153 Banuelos, David Cal State Long Beach C R/R JR 6’0″ 205lbs DOB: 10/01/96 Value: $320,300 Signing: $300,000
6 183 147 Jaskie, Oliver Michigan LHP L/L JR 6’4″ 215lbs DOB: 11/17/95 Value: $245,600 Signing: $245,600
7 213 Roberts, Max Wabash Valley Col LHP L/L J1 6’5″ 160lbs DOB: 07/23/97 Value: $192,200 Signing: $192,200
8 243 Cooke, Billy Coastal Carolina U CF R/R JR 5’10” 175lbs DOB: 09/26/95 Value: $156,500 Signing: $150,000
9 273 Benitez, Jorge Leadership Christian Academy LHP L/L HS 6’2″ 155lbs DOB: 06/01/99 Value: $140,900 Signing: $150,000
10 303 Bell, Randy University of South Alabama RHP R/R SR 5’10” 190lbs DOB: 02/11/95 Value: $133,000 Signing: $10,000


Seattle’s draft strategy was to go heavy with advanced college prospects, but they scored the highest the only prep arm they took in the first two days. Grabbing Evan White (1B-OF) out of Louisville and Sam Carlson (RHP) from Burnsville H.S in Minnesota, the Mariners netted themselves two Top 20 draft prospects. Balanced draft was just what the organization needed to replenish a depleted farm system. They got some guys that they can groom this off-season to make the team out of camp, especially on the pitching side.


Evan White is a potential five tool player with plus hit, glove and speed tools. Currently his power is driving balls into the gap but he has the frame to develop that. Gold Glove potential at 1B and with only Daniel Vogelbach standing in his way, he could be manning 1B in Seattle as soon as 2018.

Sam Carlson should have been the Mariners 1st round pick. Now that they were able to sign him at a substantial over slot bonus, he may slot in as the organization’s top pitching prospect. He is very polished and already has a large frame for an 18-yr-old. However, playing in a cold-weather region has limited his reps and he will need a few years to develop into the grueling demands of pro ball. He sits in the low-90s with a sinking fastball which he has complete command over. He also can throw strikes with his slider and changeup which are all potential plus pitches at the MLB level. He mixes all his pitches well and doesn’t rely on one pitch too much keeping the hitter guessing.


GRADE: A- — What a coup scoring White and Carlson in the same draft. Both with be Top 100 prospects soon and are low bust potential. Although their contributions will likely pale in comparison to these two, they did pick up a few nice college arms (Seth Elledge & Oliver Jaskie) and a top defensive catcher with high OBP potential (David Banuelos) with their remaining high picks. Dare I say, 3rd round pick, Wyatt Mills out of Gonzaga, could be in the Seattle bullpen before the end of the season. It could also be said that his significantly below slot value bonus, provide over half the money needed to get Carlson signed. They have already managed to sign 3/4 of their entire 40 pick draft. Well, done!


Texas Rangers

1 26 26 Thompson, Bubba McGill-Toolen HS OF R/R HS 6’2″ 180lbs DOB: 06/09/98 Value: $2,450,100 Signed: $2,100,000
1 29 38 Seise, Christopher West Orange HS SS R/R HS 6’2″ 175lbs DOB: 01/06/99 Value: $2,238,900 Signed: $2,000,000
2 66 31 Crouse, Hans Dana Hills HS RHP L/R HS 6’5″ 190lbs DOB: 09/15/98 Value: $926,500 Signed: $1,450,000
3 104 104 Whatley, Matthew Oral Roberts C R/R JR 5’9″ 205lbs DOB: 01/07/96 Value: $517,100
4 134 Dease, Ryan TNXL Academy RHP R/R HS 6’3″ 175lbs DOB: 04/15/99 Value: $386,100
5 164 Latz, Jake Kent State LHP R/L JR 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 04/08/96 Value: $288,500  Signed: $386,100
6 194 Bremer, Noah Washington RHP R/R JR 6’5″ 200lbs DOB: 05/13/96 Value: $224,400 Signed: $150,000
7 224 Urena, Joel Monroe College LHP L/L J1 6’5″ 235lbs DOB: 08/17/99 Value: $176,800 Signed: $150,000
8 254 Reed, Tyreque Itawamba JC 1B R/R J2 6’2″ 260lbs DOB: 06/06/97 Value: $149,100
9 284 Gardner, Tanner Texas Tech OF S/R JR 5’10” 195lbs DOB: 09/28/95 Value: $137,800
10 314 King, John U Houston LHP L/L SR 6’2″ 215lbs DOB: 09/14/94 Value: $131,300


Finally we come to the Texas Rangers. They march to the beat of their own drum selected four prep prospects with four of their first five picks before having to make up the money by drafting a string of college prospects. Make no mistake. There plan was to grab three top tier prep stars and then fill out organizational depth. On the fantasy side, only two of these picks are worth breaking down as Chris Seise feels like just an average fantasy contributor but will be a much more valuable real life player.


Bubba Thompson was the Rangers target all along as they love his athleticism as two-sport star in High School that included a football state championship as the QB. There is some development needed, but 5 tools are definitely a potential here.

Hans Crouse was likely a surprise option for them at #66 overall in the 3rd round. He lead the country with the highest average velocity for a prep arm at 94.4 MPH and he reached the upper 90s. His fastball is already a plus pitch, but he needs to develop his curveball and changeup a bit more if he wants to make it as a starter at the Major League level. There is a lot of potential here to be a top of the rotation here, but there is also bust potential if he can’t throw his off-speed pitches for strikes.


GRADE: B — I think the Rangers got what they wanted. High risk but truly high reward guys with solid but unspectacular SS. Matt Whatley has potential to be an everyday catcher with his defense but his bat will show all or nothing power with no average. Noah Bremer could be a fast riser through the system to provide depth at pitcher and Ryan Dease could be a sleeper prep arm but will need a long time to develop. Overall decent draft as they got their top 3 picks signed.


Final Thoughts

Best Prep Arm — Sam Carlson RHP (SEA), Burnsville MN

Best Prep Bat — Austin Beck OF (OAK), Lexington NC

Best College Arm — Griffin Canning RHP (LAA), UCLA

Best College Bat — Evan White 1B (SEA), U of Kentucky

Best Value Pick — Garrett Mitchell CF (OAK), Orange, CA (if he signs)

Biggest Reach — Joe Perez 3B (HOU), Southwest Ranches, FL

Fastest to the Majors — Wyatt Mills RHP (SEA), Gonzaga


Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
Owner, League Developer & Executive Commissioner



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