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2014 MLB Draft Grades: NL West

October 11, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments Comments Off
Touki Toussaint was the top pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Touki Toussaint had a tough time in his pro debut. (Michael Schennum/azcentral sports)

Our recap of the 2014 MLB Draft wraps up with an analysis of how the National League West teams did this past June.

Previous parts:

American League

East
Central
West

National League

East
Central

Arizona Diamondbacks

Total Picks: 42

Pitchers Taken: 22

Notable Selections: Touki Toussaint (first round, RHP, Coral Springs Christian Academy, Florida); Marcus Wilson (CB B, OF, Junipero Serra HS, California); Isan Diaz (CB B, SS, Springfield Central HS, Massachusetts)

The Skinny: Touissant was a very intriguing name heading into the draft, and the Haitian-born righty has a power arm but needs to develop his secondary pitches. Like Touissant, Wilson is 6’3”, but weighs just 175 pounds and needs to complement his velocity by adding bulk to his frame to become more durable. Diaz is coming off one of the most impressive offensive seasons in Western Massachusetts high school history, but he profiles better as second baseman.

Bottom Line: Touissant will make or break this class. He has tremendous ability (see video below) but how he develops remains to be seen. Cody Reed was a second-round pick who has added some velocity to his southpaw arm.

Grade: C+

Colorado Rockies

Total Picks: 41

Pitchers Taken: 22

Notable Selections: Kyle Freeland (first round, LHP, Evansville); Forrest Wall (CB A, 2B, Orangewood Christian HS, Florida); Ryan Castellani (second round, RHP, Brophy Jesuit Prep School, Arizona).

The Skinny: The Rox have a possible gem in Freeland, who improved vastly in 2014 with an outrageous 128-to-13 K-to-BB ratio and has continued to dominate since turning pro. He has a deceptive delivery, making his low-90s fastball look faster. Wall is a prominent hitter who slipped in the draft because of two different shoulder issues. Castellani is a polished pitcher who relies more on getting groundball outs than the K.

Bottom Line: Freeland and Castellani have a chance to be front-of-the-rotation arms, and Wall’s health will go a long way towards determining whether he’ll be swatting balls out of Coors Field any time soon. If nothing else, this is a class that presents a ton of upside.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Dodgers

Total Picks: 40

Pitchers Taken: 21

Notable Selections: Grant Holmes (first round, RHP, Conway HS, South Carolina); Alex Verdugo (second round, OF/LHP, Sahuaro HS, Arizona); Jeff Brigham (fourth round, RHP, University of Washington).

The Skinny: The Dodgers added some quality players to an already deep farm system. Holmes has an electric arm capable of touching triple digits with his heater and he complements that with a power curveball. Verdugo is a solid pitcher with room to grow because he is just now focusing solely on the mound rather than being a two-way player. Brigham has some health concerns but also a high-90s fastball and good groundball-inducing ability.

Bottom Line: The Dodgers came up with another excellent draft, at least on paper. Because of the success of the Major League club, these youngsters should have time to develop properly, even if they are in a crowded group of prospects.

Grade: B+

San Diego Padres

Total Picks: 42

Pitchers Taken: 22

Notable Selections: Trea Turner (first round, SS, NC State); Michael Gettys (second round, OF, Gainesville HS, Georgia); Zech Lemond (third round, RHP, Rice).

The Skinny: Turner is considered by some to be the best position player in this year’s draft, a tremendous speedster with great contact skills. Though he needs to cut down on his swing, he profiles as an on-base machine. Gettys is a speedy outfielder with a tremendous arm that has also made him an outstanding pitcher. Lemond stepped up big for Rice in setting a school record with 14 saves last season.

Bottom Line: Turner, Gettys and Lemond are all possible studs that represent hope for a Padres franchise in search of some stability. It could take a few years, but this trio represents a bright future for San Diego.

Grade: A-

San Francisco Giants

Total Picks: 40

Pitchers Taken: 21

Notable Selections: Tyler Beede (first round, RHP, Vanderbilt); Aramis Garcia (second round, C, Florida International); Dylan Davis (third round, RF, Oregon State).

The Skinny: Beede is no stranger to being picked in the first round considering he was taken 21st overall in the 2011 draft. It’ll come down to control for the hard-throwing Beede, who also features a tremendous curveball. Garcia experienced a rise in his draft stock when he won the 2013 Sun Belt Commissioner’s Award and is a smart, polished backstop. Davis is a power-hitter with a strong outfield arm, but what makes him all the more intriguing is a mid-90s fastball on the mound.

Bottom Line: The Giants seem to find success in their drafts in all rounds, but they have plenty to work with in this year’s top selections. True to its nature, San Francisco selected talented players that are also smart and team-oriented, so Beede, Garcia and Davis all should help out sooner rather than later.

Grade: B+

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below how you think your favourite NL West team did in the draft.

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October 10, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
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