Alex Kielar | June 14th, 2020
The MLB Draft is now over and it is time to hand out grades for every team. There were a few surprise picks and steals, and mostly every team had at least a couple of solid selections. Keep in mind these grades are initial reactions without putting any potential futures into the equation. Let’s continue the draft grades with the American League East, as the Orioles picked second in the draft.
Baltimore Orioles: C+
Best Pick: Jordan Westburg, SS, Mississippi State
The Orioles grabbed Westburg with their Competitive Balance A selection. He has solid power potential with great bat speed and strength. The fourth-year junior also has solid arm strength for short but with his power potential, he could move to third. He could be a great fit to play in Camden Yards.
Jordan Westburg hits dong shots. pic.twitter.com/6BMjnx8pSI
— Barstool Are Dee Tee (@editti22) June 11, 2020
Worst Pick: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
Austin Martin was the obvious pick with his versatility and all-around ability. Instead, the Orioles drafted a power guy who is definitely not bad, but as a rebuilding team, they should have gone with the best available and overall player over basically a one-trick pony.
Toronto Blue Jays: B+
Best Pick: Austin Martin, SS/3B/OF, Vanderbilt
I am still extremely shocked that Martin fell right into the Blue Jays’ laps. As I said, he was the best all-around hitter and player in the draft; the Jays didn’t have to do any thinking once they saw him still on the board. Toronto will have a potential infield of Martin, Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the future, with Vlad Jr. likely being moved to first. If Guerrero stays at third (unlikely), then Martin can easily play the outfield.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 11, 2020
Worst Pick: Trent Palmer, RHP, Jacksonville
Palmer projects to be more of a reliever than a starter, but he could still get stretched out by the Jays as he did start in college. That being said, spending a third-round slot on a pitcher who doesn’t look set to be a starter, is semi-questionable. Nevertheless, it was a solid draft overall for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays also drafted Zach Britton with their final pick. I know what you’re thinking. Did Yankees’ reliever Zack, formerly known as Zach, Britton, switch his name back to Zach and go to Louisville? Well no, he didn’t. The guy who was drafted is a hitter and a pretty good one with a college career slash line of .280/.455/.395. Go ahead and cringe at that one, I’m sorry you had to see that.
Boston Red Sox: B+
Best Pick: Blaze Jordan, 3B, DeSoto Central HS (MS)
This is quite possibly the biggest steal of the draft for the Sox as they get a kid with massive power who was ranked as the 42nd best player and went to them in the middle of the third round. If he signs, which the Red Sox have the money for after trading away Mookie Betts, this will be a huge selection for them. It certainly justifies their worst pick which they may have made to save more slot money for Blaze. Check out him showing off his power at the 2019 MLB High School Home Run Derby below, as he took home the trophy.
Worst Pick: Nick Yorke, 2B, Archbishop Mitty HS (CA)
If Boston can get Jordan to sign, this pick is justified, as I said. But if he doesn’t, that puts a whole damper into their plans this draft, and this pick wouldn’t help that. Not that Yorke is anything close to a bad player, but it is a big reach in the first round. He has plus hitting potential but just doesn’t have much pop. Again though, we won’t know for sure how justified it is unless Blaze signs.
Tampa Bay Rays: B-
Best Pick: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks HS East (PA)
A great pick for the Rays in the second round as I had him going in the top 20 in my mock draft. Bitsko was my third-ranked prep pitching prospect going in and the Rays have a great track history of developing pitching. Bitsko pairs a 92-96 mph fastball (touches 97) with a hard 78-82 mph breaking ball that gets a lot of swing-and-misses.
👏 Doylestown native and CB East HS pitcher Nick Bitsko picked in 1st round by Tampa Bay tonight!
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) June 11, 2020
Worst Pick: Ian Seymour, LHP, Virginia Tech
You can’t really fault the Rays with any of their other picks, as they had to go the safe route after using a lot of slot money on Bitsko. Seymour could be used by the Rays in a number of ways with the type of pitcher they look for, but his ceiling is not very high.
New York Yankees: B
Best Pick: Austin Wells, C/1B, Arizona
The Yankees’ first selection in Wells was questionable at first given he was a catcher. But he can move off the catcher spot, and he will most likely succeed more off of it anyway. He has the power that is built for Yankee Stadium as a lefty and I see a potential Kyle Schwarber type player in him. If he could give them 30+ homers a year playing a corner infield spot or the outfield, they would be very happy.
Austin Wells is really good pic.twitter.com/O3NuQVOtgN
— max (@MaxWildstein) June 11, 2020
Worst Pick: Trevor Hauver, 2B, Arizona State
With just three picks, the Yankees had to be precise with each selection. I think they could have done a little better with their second pick here. Hauver has some solid hitting tools and could project to be a good hitter at the next level with a solid approach. But there were other more advanced players available, as Hauver is not the best defender and it’s not clear where he will fit. His former teammate Gage Workman was still there, and he is the more advanced hitter and player, he was also ranked in the top 80 players going in.
Draft grades will continue with the NL East as the Marlins had the third selection in the draft.
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