Analyzing the best prospects chosen on Day 2
Reetz to Nationals, Ramos to Mets, Lemond to Padres stand out; Cubs, Phils score late
The First-Year Player Draft continued on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The Astros kicked off the second day of picks by selecting Cal-State Fullerton first baseman/right-hander J.D. Davis, who has power in his bat and right arm, while the Cardinals ended the proceeding by taking Stanford first baseman Danny Diekroeger, a senior sign.
Clubs made a total of 241 choices, and these were the best players who did or didn't hear their names called:
Top three prospects
1. Jakson Reetz, C, Norris HS, Firth, Neb. (Nationals, No. 93). Outside of pitcher, catcher was the deepest position in this Draft, which partially explains why Reetz lasted a round longer than he should have. Washington grabbed perhaps the best all-around high school backstop available, one with a track record of standing out against top competition. The Nebraska recruit won MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-America Classic and hit .435 to help the U.S. 18-and-under team win the World Cup. More athletic than most catchers, he has bat speed, power potential and solid arm strength.
2. Milton Ramos, SS, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. (Mets, No. 84) The best defensive player in the Draft, Ramos eventually could push New York 2012 first-rounder and fellow shortstop Gavin Cecchini to a different position. Ramos has everything scouts want in a shortstop: nifty infield actions, plenty of range to both sides, reliable hands and a strong arm. He'll have to prove he can hit, though, as he lacks strength and doesn't make consistent contact. He's committed to Florida Atlantic.
3. Zech Lemond, RHP, Rice (Padres, No. 86). San Diego took just one pitcher in the first five rounds, and it got a good one. Lemond broke the Rice saves record in 2013, eclipsing future big leaguers David Aardsma and Tony Cingrani, before the Owls moved him into their rotation this March. He maintained his 92-96 mph fastball and nasty spike curveball in his new role, though he got pushed too quickly and went down with elbow inflammation after five starts. He returned at the end of the season in a relief role but could get another shot as a starter in pro ball.
Top three prospects outside the third round
1. Carson Sands, LHP, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla. (Cubs, fourth round, No. 109). Chicago saved money on its first two selections, Indiana catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber (a mid-first-round talent taken at No. 4) and Maryland right-hander Jake Stinnett (a senior), and will probably invest some of that cash in Sands and Dylan Cease (see below). Sands throws strikes with all three of his pitches: a 90-94 mph fastball, a solid curveball and a promising changeup. He's strong and athletic, and he finished strong enough to go as high as the second round. Sands' North Florida Christian teammate and fellow Florida State recruit Matt Railey was another top Day 2 pick, with the outfielder going in the third round at No. 89 to the Diamondbacks.
2. Chris Oliver, RHP, Arkansas (Phillies, fourth round, No. 112). Oliver made a successful transition from reliever to starter this spring. He showed the ability to run his fastball into the mid-90s in his new role after peaking at 97 mph in shorter stints in the past. His secondary pitches remain works in progress, which is why he doesn't miss as many bats as his velocity suggests he should, though both his slider and changeup have potential. His stock took a hit when he was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated on Tuesday.
3. Dylan Cease, RHP, Milton (Ga.) HS (Cubs, sixth round, No. 169). Cease looked like a first-round pick until he partially tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in March, ending his senior season. Hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, he has opted for platelet-rich therapy instead. Before he got hurt, Cease had a 91-95 mph fastball that had topped out at 97 and flashed a plus curveball. He won't be an easy sign because he's committed to Vanderbilt.
Top three prospects still available
1. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Stone Bridge HS, Ashburn, Va. Bukauskas repeats here after ranking No. 1 on our list of the best players unpicked after Day 1. After reclassifying from a junior to a senior over the summer, he came out throwing 94-97 mph in his first start of the season and maintained that velocity all season. He projects as a reliever because he's a 5-foot-11, 190-pounder with a maximum-effort delivery, but he still could have been a Day 1 selection had he not emailed teams in May to ask that they not pick him. He's intent on attending North Carolina.
2. Keith Weisenberg, RHP, Osceola HS, Kissimmee, Fla. Weisenberg is ultraprojectable at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds and already touches 95 mph with his lively fastball. There should be more velocity in his tank when he fills out, and he shows signs of developing a solid three-pitch mix with his improving slider and changeup. Athletic for his size, he repeats his delivery and throws strikes, but he was inconsistent enough this spring to dissuade teams from buying him away from a Stanford commitment.
3. Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. Marshall helped Parkview win the 2012 national title and looked in line to follow in the footsteps of Panthers supplemental first-rounders Matt Olson (2012, Athletics) and Josh Hart (2013, Orioles). But Marshall didn't have quite the senior season he and scouts hoped for, in part because he pitched through an oblique injury. At his best, he shows a low-90s fastball and feel for a pair of potential above-average secondary pitches, a curveball and changeup. Now it's likely that he'll attend Louisiana State.
The Draft continues Saturday at 1 p.m. ET with Rounds 11-40, which MLB.com will stream live.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.