MLB Draft Coverage
2014 MLB Draft Reactions: Day One Live Blog
2014 MLB Draft Rankings: The Draft Board
2014 MLB Draft Podcast: Jim Callis
1. Gilbert Lara, 3B, Dominican Republic
Projected Bonus/Team: $3.2 million, Brewers
Confidence/Other Contenders: High, None
6'3/203, R/R, July 2nd Age: 16.67
Lara has plus bat speed and raw power, though almost all to his pull side with a swing that frequently is out of control. Scouts like his looseness and think his swing could be brought under control to reach his potential as a middle of the order run producer. Lara is a below average runner that has just okay hands and lateral mobility but a solid average arm, so third base is his fit now, though he may have to move to the outfield or even first base depending on how he develops physically.
2. Adrian Rondon, SS, Dominican Republic
Projected Bonus/Team: $3.1 million, Rays
Confidence/Other Contenders: High, None: bonus has been rumored from $3.0 to $3.5 million
6'1/175, R/R, July 2nd Age: 15.99 (eligible to sign July 7th)
Rondon is one of the youngest players in the class and flashes true shortstop actions with above average speed and arm strength with advanced feel to hit. He's still skinny and doesn't have much power in his game, though his body can add more weight and some scouts think he'll eventually move to third base with a Carlos Correa or Manny Machado type defensive profile, though Rondon isn't that tall right now. Hanley Ramirez has also been mentioned and Rondon may be the consensus best player in this year's class, but there's still a lot of ways this could end up and he's by no means a slam dunk prospect. July 2nd is about finding qualities, actions and projection you like and Rondon just happens to have more of those check marks in his favor.
3. Dermis Garcia, 3B, Dominican Republic
Projected Bonus/Team: $3.0 million, Yankees
Confidence/Other Contenders: High, None
6'2/185, R/R, July 2nd Age: 16.49
Garcia is easy to like as he has the best raw power in the class, with some tossing a 70 grade on it. He's a fringy runner that fits at third base long-term and has an average arm that plays up at times, though he could move off the position into the outfield if he puts on more eight. The question with Garcia is if his simple swing is loose enough and if he has enough bat control to hit different kinds of pitches. His mechanics are fine (though he gets pull happy at times) but some say his swing is grooved, which means he swings in the same plane at every pitch; most of these types of hitters top out at a cup of coffee.
4. Nelson Gomez, 3B, Dominican Republic
Projected Bonus/Team: $2.8 million, Yankees
Confidence/Other Contenders: High, None: bonus has been rumored from the low to high $2 million range with some saying it goes as high as $3 million, but the deal has been done for awhile
6'2/220, R/R, July 2nd Age: 16.73
Gomez has a more mature frame than most elite July 2nd prospects, but moves okay for his size and has good hands and above average arm strength, though Gomez's lateral quickness and body could push him to the outfield or first if they get any worse. Scouts give Gomez's power grades anywhere from 50 to 60, with those on the high end of the range better that his advanced bat and feel for hitting will allow his power to play up in games.
5. Brayan Hernandez, CF, Venezuela
Projected Bonus/Team: $2.2 million, Mariners
Confidence/Other Contenders: High, None: rumored to be in around $2 million, give or take a couple hundred thousand, but more likely above $2 million than below
6'1/170, B/R, July 2nd Age: 16.81
Hernandez was a fringe seven figure prospect before the heavily-scouting MLB Showcase in January, where the above video is from. He's an above average to plus runner that looks like he can stick in center field with a fringy arm. Hernandez made a lot of contact in games with above average bat speed and solid mechanics along with 12-15 homer power at maturity, though it isn't clear if he'll switch hit going forward.