The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have made loud noises during the current baseball offseason with left-and-right acquisitions of big names to improve their chances of reaching the World Series, and ultimately win it. But what about the teams like the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins, who started and finished their campaigns last season languishing in the cellar? Is there hope in these teams’ immediate future?
The upcoming MLB Draft offers a source of needed prospects for teams looking to turn around their fates. The possibility that one of the talents in the draft grows into a pivotal piece for a team like the Marlins, who are +10,000 in the MLB futures odds, is a salivating thought for any team’s front office and fans.
With that, let’s peek at some of the prospects that bad clubs ought to pick in the June draft.
The Astros lost more than 111 games last season and 324 in the last three seasons overall. But this embarrassing trend may start to change for the better in couple of seasons with much-hyped farm system starting to get ripe. For this draft, the Astros could select either LHP Carlos Rodon or SS Trea Turner, both from North Carolina State and Top 5 draft prospects. Rodon is described as the “best college left-hander since David Price” by MLB.com. The mention alone of Price’s name in the same sentence with Rodon’s makes the college star a can’t-miss pick.
Like the Astros, Miami has many holes to cover, but the two teams differ in the sense that Miami doesn’t have a platter-full of top-notch prospects in their farm system. The Marlins, who are picking second in the draft, could opt for C/OF Alex Jackson out of Rancho Bernardo HS in California. Jackson has right-hand power, and has the age to give more time to polishing and developing his skills.
Chicago White Sox
Next to Rodon, RHP Jeff Hoffman, is the most drooled upon pitching prospect in the coming draft. The White Sox could net the 6’4”, 200-pound right-hander Hoffman if the Astros and Marlins pass on him. After all, the team has shown propensity to select college players in the first round over the last 14 years. Since 2000, the White Sox have drafted a college standout 13 of 17 times in the first round.
RHP Tyler Beede was drafted in the first round in 2011 but decided to go the college route instead. His decision to play for Vanderbilt did not disappoint as he set a Commodores’ record as a sophomore with 14 wins and posted a 2.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 103 K/63 BB over 101 innings.
The 6’6”, 250-pound man-child RHP Tyler Kolek is another high school out of Texas with a blinding fastball that reaches triple-digits in scouts’ radar guns. With his velocity intact and a much raved-about athleticism, the Twins could mine gold by selecting of Kolek.