2017 MLB Draft: Day 2 Thoughts

Wed June 14, 2017

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

With the way teams manipulate the slots in the draft, the second day almost feels like the start of another first round. Once the first day concludes, the anticipation and speculation builds as we wait to see which prospects that fell will get taken in the early goings. After getting OF Royce Lewis (JSerra HS, CA) with the first overall pick, OF Brent Rooker (Mississippi State) in the Competitive Balance A round and RHP Landon Leach (Pickering HS, ON) in the second, Minnesota got things off to an exciting start by taking RHP Blayne Enlow (St. Amant HS, LA) in the third. Enlow is arguably a first-round talent, having shown a plus fastball in the past to go with his plus curveball and advanced command for a high school arm. And, like the first day, the first three picks were high schoolers. The Reds took LHP Jacob Heatherly (Cullman HS, AL) and the Padres took OF Mason House (Whitehouse HS, TX). Heatherly had a roller coaster season, but when he’s right, he has a low-90s fastball and sharp breaking ball. House was a pop-up guy this spring, putting on power displays in batting practice with his electric left-handed bat.

After two college picks—LHP Charlie Barnes (Clemson) and 3B Andrew Bechtold (Chipola JC)—the Twins went back to the high school well and got SS Ricardo de la Torre (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, PR). De la Torre is a good defender with above-average speed and a whippy bat. Bechtold was a personal favorite of mine in high school because of his ability with the bat and he had a big offensive year at Chipola.

The Braves made an interesting selection with their third-round pick, taking RHP Freddy Tarnok (Riverview HS, FL). A Tampa recruit, it was widely known that Tarnok preferred to play a position, despite his upside on the mound. He has a wiry, projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and sits 92-93 mph, touching 94-96 with life. I think it’s safe to assume that the Braves made a convincing argument.

College coaches hold their breath through the early rounds of the draft, waiting to see if their recruits get taken. Louisiana State likely exhaled after Monday with four top 100 recruits still on the board. But the Tigers took a hit immediately on Tuesday with Enlow and OF Jacob Pearson (West Monroe HS, LA) getting popped in the third round. They’ll still get OF Daniel Cabrera (Parkview Baptist HS, LA) and RHP Nick Storz (Poly Prep Country Day School, NY) to campus, but getting just one of Enlow and Pearson would have been huge.

The fifth round had a significant surprise in it when the Red Sox took RHP Alex Scherff (Colleyville Heritage HS, TX). I felt like Scherff was a prospect that would command a significant bonus, like top-two-round money, and assumed he was ticketed for Texas A&M when he didn’t go on the first day. Instead, the Red Sox snagged him with a pick that has a slot of $296,500. It’s going to take more than that to sign him obviously, but I imagine he’ll get a fair amount less than what I was expecting.

Outside of that, it was a pretty typical second day for the draft. Several high school prospects went early—30 in the third through fifth rounds—followed by a ton of discount picks with college players. Four high schoolers were taken in the sixth, one in the seventh, two in the eighth, one in the ninth and none in the 10th. On the first day, 36 of the 75 picks were from high school. On the second day, it was 38 of 240.

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