Draft Recap: AL Central

Kiley brings us the his full breakdowns with reports and video from the draft classes from clubs in the AL Central. The Tigers doubled then tripled down on college arms, the Royals stuck with tools and projection, the Twins played the board but for one puzzling pick, Cleveland relied on prep picks for their upside and the White Sox took one of Kiley's favorite players.

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For a full list of picks in every round, check out MLB's handy Draft Tracker and for other content on the players listed below, clicking on their name or checking out Scout.com's Draft Central where you can find links for scouting videos for many players below and full scouting reports on every player in my Top 111 Draft Rankings and many others.

Chicago White Sox

I really love the Tim Anderson pick at 17 for the White Sox, obvious by my slotting Anderson 11th in my pre-draft rankings. I think he's unfairly maligned for being a junior college player and by scouts who are embarassed they didn't turn him in last year when he was at the same college. Despite his numbers being out of this world both this spring and last summer in the Jayhawk League, when scouts are inclined to not buy into a player when tools are there, Juco and lesser summer league numbers aren't enough to move the needle in most cases and I don't think Anderson should've slipped this far.

We'll see if he hits as well as I think he will, but the tools are there for .270+ average, 15 homers and 30 steals in an everyday shortstop, so the risk was worth it regardless. I've written tons about the Sox second rounder Tyler Danish (Florida signee), so just click on his name to see it all and watch the video. The short version is I think he's really good, has great makeup and #3 starter upside, but his frame, arm action, delivery, arm slot and age are all big concerns to where the million dollars Chicago handed him is a little over double what I would be comfortable paying. 3rd rounder Coast Carolina CF Jacob May (son of big leaguer Lee Jr.) is a plus running switch hitter with some bat speed that has everyday upside while I think 4th rounder TCU righty Andrew Mitchell was a steal. Mitchell was 93-95 with an above average curveball and changeup in a relief inning I saw early in the year and has closer or #3 starter upside depending on how the Sox want to use him, with relief likely being where Mitchell lands. Thaddius Lowry (Texas Tech signee) checks some boxes as a big righty with a fluid arm action and delivery that'll touch the mid-90's but needs to add some polish. Adam Engel has underwhelmed with the bat often times as Louisville's center fielder but is an athlete that can run and has gap power if he can make more contact. Trey Michalczewski (Oklahoma signee) is a loose, projectable prep athlete that likely moves to third base that has solid actions and power potential.

Cleveland Indians

Clint Frazier (Georgia signee) is the prize here as my 4th overall prospect that I would've heavily considered at #1 overall. Frazier was rumored to go anywhere from #1 (late buzz as a dark horse) to the early double digits, since he is a divisive player. Much like Danish above, I've written (and podcasted) a lot about Frazier this spring, so click on his name for all the details. The short version is I think Frazier's best comparison is Gary Sheffield all the way down to the bat speed, raw power, general swing mechanics and even the history in the infield (Frazier played shortstop until moving to center field last summer). I think Frazier will hit and hit for power with wood, just like he did every time he faced good pitching last summer and he will quickly rise like 2012 11th overall pick SS Addison Russell once he also puts up video game numbers early in his career.

The Tribe followed the high upside prep pick with two college relievers, Louisville RHP Dace Kime (3rd round) and Virginia LHP Kyle Crockett (4th round). I'm never huge on drafting relievers in the top 5 rounds but Kime (regularly up to 96 with good curveball) has setup potential and Crockett (low slot, excellent command, sweepy slider) could move quickly as a lefty matchup guy. After locking up some late-inning arms and some potential, the Indians went back to the upside bin, tossing late 2nd round money at a player I've seen a lot of, Florida commit prep LHP Sean Brady. Brady was 85-89 mph with seemingly no projection over the summer/fall, then came out sitting 89-91 mph and hitting 94 this spring with above average stuff and at least average command. Texas prep righty Casey Shane showed similar stuff at his best (over the summer/fall) then took a step backward this spring when he showed up out of shape and the negatives snowballed on him. UCLA righty Adam Plutko is a gritty gamer with a high 80's heater, average off speed and solid average command while Pepperdine LHP Aaron Brown and Tennessee prep RHP Wil Crowe (South Carolina signee) are the upside plays late in the crop. Brown was a legitimate high-round, two-way player in high school and early in college, but his bat has been terrible in games and he's had trouble throwing strikes or staying healthy but flashes a plus fastball-slider combo when he's right. Crowe hit 95 mph midway through the spring and sits in the low 90's with an above average curveball but doesn't offer an physical projection and clubs are a little worried about his knees.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers went all-in on college arms and tabbed two power arms from traditional powers with their first two picks: Florida RHP Jonathon Crawford and Texas RHP Corey Knebel. I wrote about Crawford a good bit this spring as he went from a plus-plus fastball and slider late in 2012 to more of an above average to plus combo in 2013, which is still nothing to sneeze at. Some scouts weren't very enthusiastic about Crawford as his frame, arm action and delivery are less than what you want in round one, but the power stuff is hard to pass up and the changeup will flash 55 potential at times. Knebel got notoriety late in his campaign for multiple team suspensions, with the last reportedly over supplying his clean urine for a teammate's drug test. With his stock apparently down, Knebel seemed like more of a 2nd-4th round type guy, with a fastball living 92-96 mph and an above average slider but an arm-heavy delivery that seemed destined to stay in the bullpen. The Tigers looked past the suspensions and see Knebel as a starter long-term, something I hadn't heard brought up all spring, but the Tigers like power arms, the stuff is good and the arm is clean.

The Tigers took a bunch more college arms in a class full of guys I'm familiar with. Vanderbilt LHP Kevin Ziomek has advanced command of solid average stuff but some funk to his delivery that has some projecting him in the bullpen. Louisville RHP Jeff Thompson will show three average to above pitches and good plane/extensions at 6'6, 245 pounds but isn't incredibly athletic and is inconsistent. Rice RHP Austin Kubitza has been ridden hard like every Rice pitcher and his stuff was down a tick this spring after showing an 89-91 mph fastball and plus slider last spring and summer. Georgia Tech RHP Buck Farmer took a step forward this spring as a senior and hit 95 mph with solid average stuff but you're hoping for a back-end starter. Arizona Christian RHP Calvin Drummond has a wacky story as he didn't play in any games this summer when he was deemed ineligible after transferring from San Diego State, where he was kicked off the team and has already been drafted and not signed multiple times before. Drummond hasn't pitched in games for ages, turns 24 soon and needs to get moving but has hit 98 mph with an above average curveball. Vanderbilt OF Connor Harrell (big CF athlete with lots of swing and miss), Arkansas 3B Dominic Ficociello (super long frame, good athlete, lots of swing and miss) and LSU LF Raph Rhymes (very productive smaller guy that lacks power or speed to make impact) are more notable college guys with some sort of potential. Virginia Tech LHP Joe Mantiply (fringy stuff from lefty that battles), Florida State RHP Scott Sitz (fringy stuff from righty that battles) and Alabama RHP Charley Sullivan (fringy stuff from righty with inconsistent command) are three guys I saw this spring. Three late prep picks are all longshots to sign due to demands not lining up with present skills: Texas prep CF Torii Hunter Jr (Notre Dame football recruit, athletic son of Tigers OF Torii), Alabama prep CF Anfernee Grier (Auburn signee, very athletic but raw at the plate) and Iowa prep LHP A.J. Puk (Florida signee, projectable 6'6 with low 90's fastball and feel).

Kansas City Royals

Stephen F. Austin 3B Hunter Dozier going 8th overall is what everyone is talking about when they say anything can happen on draft day. It seems like that is the surprise that no one saw coming, even though it made some sense, no one saw that player at that pick as an option even as a below slot signing. It made sense because there were more than a handful of players with big price tags that should make it to the Royals next pick at #34 (and all but Phil Bickford did) where they could spend the savings. Dozier figured to be a long shot to make it to #34, so the plan is sound, clever and one we haven't seen employed yet under the new CBA. The Royals' reputation at least in the internet community is the opposite of that, so I went out of my way to praise the innovation in the Draft Recap Podcast. Dozier is a solid first rounder that's a potentially above average bat and glove at third that's a college SS at 6'4, 220 pounds. That saved money was used on Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea, yet another player I've written a lot about this spring, so click on his name to see all that information. He's a potential #1 starter if his stuff comes back, but his workload, delivery and various injuries all contributed to diminished stuff this spring which often never comes back for other pitchers.

Northwest Mississippi CC lefty Cody Reed (Ole Miss signee) came out of nowhere this spring to be a factor in the top 50 picks, adding more than a few ticks to his fastball that he now runs up to 95 mph most times out. Reed has #2/3 starter potential because of his strong 6'5 frame and new velo that he's still learning how to harness, with his above average slider and solid average changeup still having more room to improve. I'm told the Royals had their pockets picked with their first selection in day two as the Red Sox took Oklahoma prep C Jon Denney (Arkansas signee) right in front of the them. The Royals took projectable Texas prep RHP Carter Hope (Oklahoma State signee), who is one of those guys that is your generic athletic righty that's in the low 90's on a good day, checks all the boxes and could end up being almost anything. Georgia Tech C Zane Evans has potential everyday tools with a plus arm and above average raw power but the bat and glove are a little raw. If catching doesn't work out, Evans started relieving more this season and had been up to 97 mph, but doesn't offer much more than velocity on the hill right now. Georgia Juco LHP Javier Reynoso is a smaller arm strength guy that's regularly up to 95 mph while Sunshine State prep 3B John Sternagel (Florida signee) and New Jersey prep RHP Michael Shawaryn (Maryland signee) are two signability guys with top 5 round tools that are asking top top few round money.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins locked on to Texas prep RHP Kohl Stewart (Texas A&M dual-sport signee as QB and pitcher) early in the spring and the board shook out that he was on the board for what became one of the only picks in the first round seemingly everyone could predict. Stewart wasn't in the class of Appel, Bryant or Gray for me or most in the industry, but those three went in the top three picks and you could make a case Stewart was the 4th best player. He'll work 92-95, hit 97 mph and use a plus slider as his primary out-pitch. With his relative rawness given limited innings due to football, some scouts see his slider as a 65 pitch in time and his curveball and changeup as potential above average pitches, giving Stewart frontline potential. LSU righty Ryan Eades was the second pick and is another power righty that will get into the mid 90's with an above average breaking ball, but is nowhere near as talented as Stewart. At his best, Eades throws a flat fastball at 91-94 mph with an 55 or 60 curveball and a 50 or 55 changeup, but the consistency of his stuff and command need to improve to reach his mid-rotation starter potential.

The Twins also took a number of players I'm familiar with this year. Ole Miss C Stuart Turner is a good backup or low-end starter with advanced catch-and-throw skills, gap power and great barrel awareness but ordinary bat speed. San Diego signee prep LHP Stephen Gonsalves got some undeserved top three round hype over the summer and plateaued this spring, signing for early third round money in the fourth round. Gonsalves is 6'5, athletic and projectable with an 88-91 mph fastball, a solid average changeup and good command but no idea how to throw a breaking ball. I don't know what the Twins saw that I and many other scouts didn't see, but there is a potential back end starter if everything works out. Jacksonville signee prep C Brian Navarreto also had early round buzz and plateaued this spring, with his throwing mechanics falling apart and muting his plus arm while his average raw power was held back by contact issues, but everyday catcher potential remains. Four college players caught my eye: Samford RHP C.K. Irby, Florida Gulf Coast LHP Brandon Bixler, Fresno State RHP Tyler Stirewalt and Miami RHP Javi Salas. Irby is an athletic two-way player that's been up to 95 mph with an above average slider but has been better in relief and his velo was down this spring after some big pitch counts. Bixler showed above average stuff from the left side but injuries and command held him back. Stirewalt, a former college QB, sits 90-93 mph with an average slider but fringy command while Salas has #5 starter potential with a four-pitch mix led by an 88-91 mph sinker and solid average slider. Five high schoolers caught my eye in the later rounds: Florida prep RHP Taylor Blatch (Florida State signee), Georgia prep LHP Chris Erwin (Kennesaw State), Minnesota prep RHP Logan Shore (Florida), Pennsylvania prep RHP A.J. Bogucki (North Carolina) and Louisiana prep RF Steven Sensley (LSU-Eunice). Blatch hit 95 mph this spring and has shown an above average breaking ball and athleticism but is a 6'0 at best. Erwin was the ace for Austin Meadows' high school team and commands fringy stuff well. Shore had some helium with a spring velo bump from 87-89 to 90-92 mph hitting 94 but still has just solid average stuff and a big price tag. Bogucki is athletic and projectable but his average stuff never progressed this spring while Sensley profiles as a right fielder or first baseman but has the bat and power to not last long at Juco power LSU-Eunice, where Stuart Turner was last season.

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