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MLB Draft First Round Recap

by Photo of Erik Reitmeyer

2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft sees a changing of the guard.

MLB Draft First Round Recap

In what came as a shock to most, with the first overall selection the Houston Astros drafted 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.  Though considered one of the gems in this year's draft , Correa was never projected to go No. 1.  However, the tall, lanky infielder does makes sense for a team that's still years away from competing, especially after agreeing to join one of the league's tougher divisions next year, the AL West. 

The rest of the top ten rounded out as follows:

  1. HOU- SS Carlos Correa
  2. MIN- OF Byron Buxton
  3. SEA- C Mike Zunino
  4. BAL- RHP Kevin Gausman
  5. KC- RHP Kyle Zimmer
  6. CHC- OF Albert Almora
  7. SD- LHP Max Fried
  8. PIT- RHP Mark Appel
  9. MIA- LHP Andrew Heaney
  10. COL- OF David Dahl

What turned into one of the more exciting moments of the draft last night was watching Stanford University right-hander Mark Appel drop considerably from where he was projected to go.  Considered by many to be the best player in the draft, Appel didn't hear his name called until pick number eight when he was finally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  In Pittsburgh, he joins a farm system that already possesses some of the best pitching talent in the minors.  The Pirates selected UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the top selection in last year's draft, and the year before that they took high school flamethrower Jameson Taillon with the second overall pick.

Though Appel's plummet was somewhat surprising, it was hardly unexpected.  Appel's advisor, Scott Boras, is synonymous with tough negotiations and large signing bonuses, enough so to scare team's away from adding one of the best talents in the draft.  To help combat this predicament for smaller market teams, MLB decided to implement a new signing bonus constraint system which was agreed upon by the owners and player union in the latest labor deal.  

To aid clubs with smaller payrolls, teams now have a cap on the total amount of signing bonuses they have to work with when negotiating with their draftees.  Teams are assigned a signing bonus pool based upon the number of picks a team has and their win-loss record from the previous season.  For example, the Twin have $12.4 million to work with, which is the most because their record was among the worst in the league and they have a total of 13 picks.  The Angels on the other hand have the lowest amount with $1.7 million because they had one of the better records in the league and only possess eight picks.

This is still potentially problematic though seeing as how a team would still need to drain most of their allotted signing bonus pool just to sign a single player like Appel.  It makes the draft more strategic than ever; teams now not only have to scout players, but they also have to manage their selections more wisely because they're subject to a tax should they exceed their allotted signing bonus pool.  

It's still too early to know just how successful the new draft system will be and whether or not the Pirates will be able to sign their new stud pitcher, but there is one definite positive to take away from this year's event.  The 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft has been the most exciting MLB Draft in quite some time, and that's good news for a league that's trying to turn it into the spectacle the NFL and NBA has with their drafts.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see your favorite teams play this summer.

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