Historically, there hasn’t been a lot of players drafted on Day 3 (Rounds 11-40) that have been solid contributors at the Major League level. Once in a while, a team hits the jackpot, like the 1990 New York Yankees’ draft where the were able to land Andy Pettite in the 22nd Round and Jorge Posada in the 24th. The went on to form the closest thing to a dynasty baseball has had in the last 20 years. Generally, teams will use Day 3 to fill out the organization minor league system with depth or taking a chance a high school prospect with a strong college commitment has a moment of weakness and a decent bonus might lure them away from school. Day 2 (Rounds 3-10) is typically ripe with serviceable major league talent as well solid contributors to your fantasy teams. For the purposes of this piece, we will look at college players that have potentially quick path through the minors. Let’s take a trip around the league and look at some potential Day 2 gems to keep an eye on for your dynasty and deep keeper leagues.
American League Gems
Greg Allen (CLE) Rd 6 – #188, San Diego St. – I loved the Indians Day 1 draft, picking up big sticks, Bradley Zimmer and Mike Papi. Cleveland continued adding quality hitters in the 6th round by selecting Greg Allen who may develop into a pro-typical lead-off hitter.. He is never going to hit for power, but he a good line-drive swing that should find the gaps and promote many extra base hits. He has borderline plus speed which will see him swipe a few bags, advance a few extra bases and help him play an above average Center Field. He had a great start in his first week of pro ball in Low A by slashing .368/.478/.474 in 24 plate appearances.
Jose Trevino (TEX) Rd 6 – #186, Oral Roberts University – I like Trevino’s chances of impacting at the Major League level because he has played several positions, including catcher. He played extensively at 3B, SS and C during his college career. In addition he has potentially two plus tools: Power and Arm. Scouts like him because he has excellent work ethic and is willing to do whatever is asked. In 12 games at Low A ball since the draft, Jose has slashed .320/.358/.520 which includes 2 HRs and 7 RBIs. He has played multiple games at C, 2B, and 3B in his short pro ball career. He is a potential high impact player if he sticks at catcher. WIth his build, 5’11”, 195lbs., Texas may be looking to develop him into a 2B with some pop, but that would waste his arm strength.
Jordan Foley (NYY) Rd 5 – #152, Central Michigan University – Most sites had Foley as a Top 100 draft eligible talent. Yankees might not have had a first round pick, but they had grabbed a nice run of arms in Day 2. Jordan could fast track to the Bronx if he worked out of the bullpen, but he has three-four legit pitches that could keep him developing in the rotation with a ceiling of a #3 starter. He has a decent fastball the sits in the low-90s and could be in the mid-90s if a reliever. Fastball has some sink and deception, but his splitter and slider could develop into plus pitches. He also has a changeup that could work well out of the bullpen with a high velocity to his fastball. Either way, Foley has a chance to impact fantasy rosters in the future.
National League Gems
Chris Diaz (ATL) Round 5 – #163, University of Miami – Diaz was a great value in the 5th and could take a quick path to Atlanta due to exceptional command and polish. Went from no name as a freshman to pitching for the U.S. National team. He was a reliever for the National team, but the Braves are likely to develop him in the rotation due to three average to above average pitches that could serve him well as a middle of the rotation pitcher. He throws a sinking fastball, slider and changeup which he all throws for strikes. He could be a steady innings-eater in the Major Leagues.
Sklyer Ewing (SF) Round 6 – #178, Rice University – Ewing could be a boom or bust type player. He moved behind the plate as a Junior and was adequate there, but he developed plus power while becoming an everyday player between 1B and C. He got the chance to shine after putting on a show at the Cape Cod league Home Run derby in 2013. He struggles a bit with off-speed pitches so that will have to develop for him to a have shot at the big leagues. He has been pretty dreadful out of the gate after a week of Rookie Ball and has played exclusively at 1B. It is obviously too early to rush to judgements but he would offer much more value to a fantasy roster if he was able to make it as a catcher.
James Norwood (CHC) Round 7 – #199, St. Louis University – If you have been reading my other articles on the draft, you would know that I have been waxing poetic over the Cubs draft. Although, Norwood was a 7th Round pick, this is another example of why. I spent many years hating AND respecting Theo Epstein for his work in Boston. He is once again, patiently build his organization through the draft and international amateur signings. Norwood already has a plus fastball that should sit in the mid-90s and hit the high-90s when needed. It does have some movement and he has great command of it. He secondary pitches are weak for now, and their development likely will determine if he is destined for the rotation or bullpen. Either way, he was drafted several rounds below his projection (MLB ranked him # 119) and provided a great value for a low-cost so that Theo could sign all his high-ceiling prep arms in the mid Day 2 Rounds. Keep your eye out for Norwood who should progress much faster than the rest of the Cubs draft class.Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & League Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty