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“Alluhring Strategy” 2018 MLB Draft Breakdown – AL West

When it comes to amateur drafts for professional sports, June is primarily known for the NBA draft. Although there is far less fanfare, the MLB amateur draft is a key element for organizations to build depth and/or a potential dynasty. In general, it takes longer for players to develop into a contributor at the Major League level as compared with other sports. That doesn’t diminish the value as the Houston Astros just proved how well patiently building through the draft can set a team up for a run at a dynasty.

This is not unlike the hardcore fantasy baseball owner who scouts prospects all the way back to the draft. They are always one step ahead with important stashes. Dynasty leagues maybe preparing to draft these players within the next year. Wherever you land on the spectrum it is fun to speculate on the next hot prospect and earn bragging rights when you hit on future stars. 

This week, we review the American League West…

 

Houston Astros
RD PICK RANK PLAYER SCHOOL POS B/T PLAYER INFO PICK VALUE SIGNING BONUS
1 28 45 Beer, Seth Clemson (SC) OF L/R 6′ 3 195lbs DOB: 09/18/96 $2,399,400 $2,250,000
2 66 93 Schroeder, Jayson Juanita HS (WA) P R/R 6′ 2 195lbs DOB: 11/14/99 $965,300
3 102 168 Pena, Jeremy University of Maine – Orono (ME) SS R/R 6′ 0 179lbs DOB: 09/22/97 $549,700 $535,000
4 132 97 McKenna, Alex Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo (CA) OF R/R 6′ 2 200lbs DOB: 09/06/97 $410,400
5 162 125 Deason, Cody Arizona (AZ) P R/R 6′ 4 205lbs DOB: 12/26/96 $306,100 $285,000
6 192 Freure, R.J. Pittsburgh (PA) P R/R 6′ 1 210lbs DOB: 07/06/97 $237,600 $348,800
7 222 Salazar, Cesar Arizona (AZ) C L/R 5′ 9 185lbs DOB: 03/15/96 $187,000 $160,000
8 252 Hansen, Austin Oklahoma (OK) P R/R 6′ 0 195lbs DOB: 08/25/96 $156,500 $156,500
9 282 Schreiber, Scott Nebraska (NE) OF R/R 6′ 3 230lbs DOB: 10/13/95 $144,100 $10,000
10 312 Taylor, Chandler Alabama (AL) OF L/L 6′ 1 210lbs DOB: 02/07/96 $136,800 $70,000

 

So after compiling years of high draft picks that they developed into a young powerhouse team, Houston has decided to build organizational depth through this draft. Now that they pick at the back end of each round the strategy has shifted. Nine of their first ten picks were college players. Of those seven college picks, four were OF and three were pitchers. All three pitchers were relievers although their 5th round pick, Cody Deason, will likely start out as a reliever based on his development over his time at Arizona.

 

Highest Ceiling: Seth Beer OF/1B, Clemson (1st Rd, #28)

Houston has done a masterful job building their core of position players over the last few years. On the downside, they have struck out (pun intended) with their power 1B/OF type players that had been top prospects in years past. The likes of Jon Singleton, AJ Reed, and Tyler White have all fallen short of their prospect projections. The Astros try once again to rectify this trend by taking Beer with their 1st pick. Seth is one of the premier power hitters in the draft. He does have some swing and miss but is extremely patient as evidence of his 54 walks to 36 strikeouts this season. He is an advanced bat with a polished swing and solid mechanics. He projects to have at least an average to above-average hit tool at the Major League level. His plus power will be his calling card. He is zero speed and no real position. He might be able to play 1B or LF but likely he ends up a DH in the long term. His bat should allow him to stick in the middle of the order, however, there is always a chance he busts out like those before him. He signed slightly below slot value and hit a Homerun in his pro debut. Good Start.

 

Favorite Pick: Alex McKenna OF, Cal Poly (4th Rd, #132)

McKenna is an athletic outfield that played CF in college but profiles more a corner OF in the pros. He has above-average speed and plus raw power, however, his plate discipline has held him back from being a more elite draft prospect. His electric swing and athleticism should allow him to have a successful career as an everyday outfield although not likely an All-Star. Solid pick at the end of the 4th round. He is not signed yet at the time of this publishing but it is likely they get it done, especially if 2nd round pick and only prep selection in their first ten picks, Jayson Schroeder, decides to go to college.

 

Most Useless Pick(s): Jean Carlos Correa (33rd Rd) and AJ Bregman (35th)

In a move that could only be for shits and giggles, Houston selected the brothers of the Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. I guess they were inspired by the Toronto model of developing the bloodlines former all-star players. They added grandson of former Astros “legend” Jose Cruz, Antonio Cruz, in the 37th round. All in all, neither Correa nor Bregman is likely to sign but go back to school to improve their draft stock.

 

Overall Grade: B

Houston had a plan and executed. It was rather conservative but should be effective. Several of their college arms have two plus pitches that could quickly develop into bullpen contributors.

 

Los Angeles Angels

RD PICK RANK PLAYER SCHOOL POS B/T PLAYER INFO PICK VALUE SIGNING BONUS
1 17 37 Adams, Jordyn Green Hope HS (NC) OF R/R 6′ 2 180lbs DOB: 10/18/99 $3,472,900 $4,100,000
2 57 57 Jackson, Jeremiah St. Luke’s Episcopal School (AL) SS R/R 6′ 0 165lbs DOB: 03/26/00 $1,196,500 $1,194,000
3 93 79 Hernandez, Aaron Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (TX) P R/R 6′ 1 170lbs DOB: 12/02/96 $604,100 $547,500
4 121 89 Bradish, Kyle New Mexico State (NM) P R/R 6′ 4 190lbs DOB: 09/12/96 $455,700 $397,500
5 151 English, William Western International HS (MI) P R/R 6′ 2 185lbs DOB: 12/22/00 $340,300 $700,000
6 181 Warren, Austin UNC Wilmington (NC) P R/R 6′ 0 170lbs DOB: 05/05/96 $260,100 $7,500
7 211 Wantz, Andrew UNC Greensboro (NC) P R/R 6′ 4 235lbs DOB: 10/13/95 $203,500 $10,000
8 241 Smith, Tyler Canisius College (NY) P R/R 6′ 0 230lbs DOB: 11/20/95 $164,700 $2,500
9 271 Lee, Jake Oakland University (CA) P R/R 6′ 4 215lbs DOB: 06/30/95 $147,500 $7,500
10 301 Morrison, Ben Western Kentucky (KY) P L/R 5′ 11 185lbs DOB: 01/20/95 $139,100 $2,500


The Angles spent the draft looking to build their pitching depth. After two hitters early on, they spend most of Day Two selecting pitchers. Picks three through ten were are pitchers and seven out of ten were college arms. Impressively, they have already signed their top ten picks with many at significant discounts. They had to save money for two special picks. They took a prep SS, Jeremiah Jackson, in the second round which could be risky. He is a solid all-around player, but unspectacular and I felt there was better value in the 2nd round. They paid nearly slot value for him which seems like an overpay with a player I consider to have a low ceiling.

 

Highest Ceiling: Jordyn Adams OF, Green Hope HS, NC (1st Rd, #17)

The Angles hit big last year with their selection of Jo Adell in the first round. The 19-year-old has been kicking ass and taking names and has already taken the top prospect spot in the organization. Adell has above-average to plus tools across the board and they are hoping that Adams followers a similar path. He is extremely athletic as a top football recruit with a commitment to UNC to play football. He was a top 10 talent, but the fear of him choosing football allowed him to still be on the board at #17. The Angels rolled the nice and came up a winner. Adams has already signed a significantly above-slot bonus ($4.1M). His passion is baseball and the Angels ponied up the money for him to focus on that full time now. His hit tool and power are still raw but projects at or near plus and he already shows plus speed and defense. He is not likely to progress as quickly as Adell due to his split loyalty of the past years, but he could be another potential stud OF.

 

Favorite Pick: William English, RHP/OF, Western International HS, MI (5th Rd, #151)

Although not in the top 200 draft prospects, English is a two-way player looking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Brendan McKay. They like his potential enough to pay double the slot value in order to lock him in and promised to allow him to “try” and pitcher and continue to play the OF. He has the potential to be a quality pitcher but is much more a development project at the plate. His athleticism gives him a shot to be successful at both.

 

Strangest Pick: Christian Reyes, RHP, NO SCHOOL (21st Rd, #631)

No buddy seems to be able to tell us how they found this guy, but the 23-year-old allegedly has been pitching in some independent league in Florida and was caught on video hitting the high 90s. This is a lottery ticket for sure but a cheap one at $50,000 signing bonus. Perhaps his 6’5″, 210 lbs. frame can produce a feel-good story for the Angels.

 

Overall Grade B+

Los Angeles had a very targeted plan and executed it well. There is risk for sure, but the few high caliber talents mixed with a solid array of cheap, immediate pitching help makes this a successful haul at this point. It might be 3-5 years before we know who good this draft class really is.

 

Oakland Athletics

RD PICK RANK PLAYER SCHOOL POS B/T PLAYER INFO PICK VALUE SIGNING BONUS
1 9 36 Murray, Kyler Oklahoma (OK) OF R/R 5′ 11 195lbs DOB: 08/07/97 $4,761,500 $4,660,000
2 50 32 Hannah, Jameson Dallas Baptist (TX) OF L/L 5′ 9 185lbs DOB: 08/10/97 $1,414,200 $1,800,000
CBB 70 29 Eierman, Jeremy Missouri State (MO) SS R/R 6′ 1 205lbs DOB: 09/10/96 $872,400 $1,232,000
3 85 110 Harris, Hogan University of Louisiana – Lafayette (LA) P R/L 6′ 3 230lbs DOB: 12/26/96 $683,800 $660,000
4 113 132 Rivas, Alfonso Arizona (AZ) 1B L/L 6′ 0 180lbs DOB: 09/13/96 $493,000 $446,500
5 143 Feigl, Brady Ole Miss (MS) P R/R 6′ 5 215lbs DOB: 11/27/95 $368,200 $300,000
6 173 Butler, Lawrence Westlake HS (GA) 3B L/R 6′ 4 185lbs DOB: 07/10/00 $278,000 $285,000
7 203 158 Cerny, Charlie University of Illinois at Chicago (IL) P R/R 6′ 5 230lbs DOB: 09/23/96 $217,200 $217,200
8 233 196 Schwarz, JJ Florida (FL) C R/R 6′ 2 215lbs DOB: 03/28/96 $173,000
9 263 Cohen, Chase Georgia Southern (GA) P L/R 6′ 1 183lbs DOB: 04/26/97 $150,700 $140,000
10 293 Cota, Clark UNC Wilmington (NC) P R/R 6′ 2 220lbs DOB: 10/06/96 $141,200 $150,000


After a fantastic draft in 2017, Oakland took a different approach to this year’s draft. Nine of their first ten picks were college players. Oakland has taken high upside prep players in recent years. This year they made an equally risky pick with college Junior, Kyler Murray. The reason this is a risky pick is that he is a likely replacement for Baker Mayfield as the starting QB for the Oklahoma Sooners. Oakland is paying nearly $4.7M in signing bonus AND allowing him to play football this year. This is a big risk and he is still somewhat of a project. They think he can develop into another super athletic OF for a solid young core coming through the ranks.

 

Highest Ceiling – Jameson Hannah OF, Dallas Baptist (2nd Rd, #50)

Hannah was a fringe 1st Round pick that offers great value at #50. He is a potential five-tool prospect with speed. His hit tool and defense should allow him to be a top of the order player with a solid line drive approach and developing power.

 

Favorite Pick – Jeremy Eierman SS, Missouri St (CBB, #70)

Another potential 1st Round pick, Eierman is a power hitting SS with speed and defense. He represents a great value at #70 and Oakland recognized that with a $1.2M signing bonus which is 25% over slot. He has been wildly inconsistent but the tools are there to be an incredible Major League SS. Eventually, he may move over to 3B due to his size and power, but his defense is good enough to stick.

 

Most Intriguing Pick – JJ Schwartz C, Florida (8th Rd, #233)

Schwartz was drafted twice prior (TB in 2017, MIL in 2014) but chose not to sign. As of this writing, he hasn’t signed with Oakland either. He is a rare power hitting catcher, but this is his only plus tool. If he can stick at catcher, this is a guy to keep an eye on. If he moves to 1B or DH, he loses the intrigue. Potential power-hitting catcher is worth keeping an eye on.

 

Overall Grade B-

Solid but unspectacular draft for Oakland stocks their system with many college players that can advance quickly through the system. I don’t love their top pick, but they got good value with the next two despite overpaying for it.

 

Seattle Mariners

RD PICK RANK PLAYER SCHOOL POS B/T PLAYER INFO PICK VALUE SIGNING BONUS
1 14 16 Gilbert, Logan Stetson University (FL) P R/R 6′ 6 225lbs DOB: 05/05/97 $3,883,800 $3,883,800
2 54 Stowers, Josh Louisville (KY) OF R/R 6′ 1 200lbs DOB: 02/25/97 $1,287,800 $1,100,000
3 90 150 Raleigh, Cal Florida State (FL) C S/R 6′ 3 215lbs DOB: 11/26/96 $632,700
4 118 169 Plassmeyer, Michael Missouri (MO) P L/L 6′ 2 197lbs DOB: 11/05/96 $469,400 $425,000
5 148 Hoffman, Nolan Texas A&M (TX) P R/R 6′ 4 190lbs DOB: 08/09/97 $350,600 $300,000
6 178 O’Brien, Joey College of Southern Nevada (NV) P R/R 6′ 2 215lbs DOB: 11/28/97 $266,600 $225,000
7 208 Anchia, Jake Nova Southeastern University (FL) C R/R 6′ 1 210lbs DOB: 03/05/97 $208,400 $200,000
8 238 126 Gerber, Joey University of Illinois (IL) P R/R 6′ 4 215lbs DOB: 05/03/97 $167,400 $167,400
9 268 McGovern, Keegan Georgia (GA) OF L/R 6′ 3 200lbs DOB: 09/13/95 $148,700 $65,000
10 298 Sanders, Matt Troy University (AL) SS R/R 5′ 8 175lbs DOB: 06/07/96 $139,800 $10,000


In following a common theme of the AL West, Seattle selected primarily college players. When I say that I mean they drafted only one in the first 35 rounds which was in the 11th round when they selected Damon Casetta-Stubbs an RHP from King’s Way Christian High School. The strategy here seems to get as many guys that are close to the Majors as possible. 

 

Highest Ceiling Pick: Logan Gilbert, RHP Stetson (1st Rd #14)

Seattle took Gilbert of Stetson where there have been recent successful pitchers: Corey Kluber and Jason DeGrom. They get him about exactly where he was projected and paid slot value. He has the highest ceiling because he already has four pitches that project as Major League average or better. The mix includes a plus fastball that looks faster than the actual velocity due to his 6’6″, 225 lbs frame. He could develop at least an above-average slider, curveball, and changeup to give him a ceiling of a #2 starter.

 

Best Story: Nolan Hoffman RHP, Texas A&M (5th Rd, #148)

Hoffman totally bombed at Texas A&M and he pretty much had given up on pitching. The coaching staff changed his delivery to side-arm and becomes a dominant closer. He could move through the system very quickly and could see Seattle in 2019.

 

Overall Grade C

I am not a fan of this draft. Seems like all the mediocre college talent that they socked up on was a desperate attempt to rebuild the system on the fly.

 

Texas Rangers

RD PICK RANK PLAYER SCHOOL POS B/T PLAYER INFO PICK VALUE SIGNING BONUS
1 15 9 Winn, Cole Orange Lutheran HS (CA) P R/R 6′ 2 190lbs DOB: 11/25/99 $3,738,500 $3,150,000
2 55 59 White, Owen Jesse Carson HS (NC) P R/R 6′ 3 170lbs DOB: 08/09/99 $1,257,500 $1,250,000
3 91 87 Ornelas, Jonathan Raymond S. Kellis HS (AZ) SS R/R 6′ 0 155lbs DOB: 05/26/00 $622,800 $622,800
4 119 114 Englert, Mason Forney HS (TX) P S/R 6′ 4 205lbs DOB: 11/01/99 $464,700 $1,000,000
5 149 Easley, Jayce Sandra Day O’Connor HS (AZ) SS S/R 5′ 8 145lbs DOB: 08/02/99 $347,100 $500,000
6 179 Chandler, Sean Iowa Western CC (IA) P R/R 6′ 5 200lbs DOB: 01/24/97 $264,400 $200,000
7 209 Brennan, Tim Saint Joseph’s (PA) P L/R 6′ 4 200lbs DOB: 12/18/96 $206,800 $206,800
8 239 Biggers, Jax Arkansas (AR) SS L/R 5′ 11 180lbs DOB: 04/07/97 $166,400
9 269 Sanburn, Chandler Wichita State (KS) P R/R 6′ 2 200lbs DOB: 07/08/95 $148,300 $15,000
10 299 Tejada, Leury Walton HS (GA) P R/R 6′ 1 160lbs DOB: 12/24/99 $139,500 $125,000

 

Finally, we get to the Texas Rangers. They took the greatest risk as they selected prep players in their first five picks. With great risk comes the risk for the greatest reward.

 

Favorite Picks: Cole Winn RHP, Orange Luthern HS (1st Rd, #15)

Their first selection, prep arm Cole Winn, was a great value at #15. He was one of the best prep arms in the draft and they get him almost $650K under slot. He features a plus fastball, curveball, and command. He is advanced for his age and experience.

 

Best Project: Mason Englert RHP, Forney HS (4th Rd, #114)

This pick was around its projection but he will need time to develop. The tools are there. He has a three pitch mix with command. They wanted to ensure he signed and gave him $1M bonus which was double the slot value. His easy, repeatable delivery along with his big frame allows his pitches to play up. He is a great long-term asset and Texas is clearly willing to be patient with this draft class unlike the other teams in the AL West.

 

Overall Grade A-

I really like what Texas did here. The only minus was due to large risk with so many prep picks especially with so many being pitchers. Add in another high prep arm in Owen White, Texas has put some high ceiling arms back into their system that was severely lacking them.

 

Next week, we wrap up the draft coverage with the NL West.


Bryan Luhrs

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

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