5 Things You Need to Know About the 2015 MLB Draft Prospects

Here are 5 Things You Need to Know About the 2015 MLB Draft Prospects.

This years MLB Draft is a deep class, despite there not being a clear-cut number one. There are many polished players that could make a huge impact in the future. We have put together the top five things you need to know about this year’s MLB Draft Prospects.

#1: Injuries

The injury bug has really shaken up the potential first round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Starting with Duke’s ace Michael Matuella going through back issues, and now, along with fellow MLB Draft prospect Brady Aiken, going under the knife for Tommy John surgery. Prep pitcher Kolby Allard’s back injury has sidelined him for a good part of the season. Virginia’s outfielder Joe McCarthy had back surgery and missed the first part of the season, and shoulder issues have derailed Marc Brakeman’s year with Stanford. Just when power-prospect Gio Brusa from Pacific started to get things going he suffers a partial tear in his UCL, not bad enough to warrant Tommy John surgery, but it will set him back eight weeks, just long enough for the season to end.  The other top power-prospect in the draft, outfielder Chris Shaw from Boston College, suffered a broken hamate bone in his hand in early April and is out four to six weeks. Add Kep Brown (torn achilles tendon in early April), Dillon Tate from UC Santa Barbara (lat strain), Nathan Kirby of  Virginia (lat strain), and University of Houston’s Jake Lemoine (shoulder impingment) to the list and you can almost field an entire team of draft prospects missing significant time. Talk about a rough year.

MLB teams and scouting departments now have a tough task at hand weighing the options of a non-injured prospect with potential versus a recovering prospect with potential. As if their jobs were not hard enough.

#2: Astros Can’t Miss … again

This year the Astros have the good fortune of having two selections in the first five picks of the 2015 MLB Draft. Last season they selected #1 overall and picked Brady Aiken. Aiken was the top high school pitching prospect destined for stardom. Aiken and the Astros ended up not agreeing on a bonus over arm/shoulder issues that Houston revealed during a post-draft physical. This created quite the stir, and now a year later Aiken has had tommy john surgery. Perhaps a blessing in disguise.  The Astros have had the top overall selection that last three years in a row, and this year they sit at picks two and five. Their top selections have included Carlos Correa and Mark Appel. Correa is a budding superstar working his way through the minors. Appel, on the other hand, is a guy that some faithful fans think the Astros swung and missed on.

By missing out on Aiken last year, the Astros do not have time to waste with another high school product that is several years away from helping at the big league level. We project they select polished righty Dillon Tate from UCSB (MOCK DRAFT), the one guy who is the closest to being a finished product out of all of the pitching prospects. The Astros do not have room to fail in this year’s draft – their future depends on it.

 

#3: Drafted A Second Time

It’s not uncommon that high school and college players who are drafted put the brakes on beginning their pro career for various reasons. Many of these players believe that within a few years (or one year for college juniors) they can drastically improve their draft position. This year there is no shortage of those guys.

Going through the top 50 draft prospects (our Top 50 list) there are a total of 14 players who have been previously drafted. Here are the guys who look to be drafted again within the top 50 selections.

Walker Buehler- Vanderbilt- drafted: 2012, 14th round (#436)
Brady Aiken-IMG Academy- drafted: 2014, 1st round (#1)
Dansby Swanson- Vanderbilt- drafted: 2012, 38th round (#1158)
Carson Fulmer- Vanderbilt- drafted; 2012, 15th round (#481)
Alex Bregman- LSU -drafted: 2012, 29th round (901)
Phil Bickford- CC of Southern Nevada -drafted: 2013, 1st round (10th)
Kyle Cody- Kentucky- drafted: 2012, 33rd round (#1028)
James Kaprielian-UCLA- drafted: 2012, 40th round (#1211)
Jake Lemoine- Houston- drafted: 2012, 21st round (#666)
Richie Martin- Florida- drafted: 2012, 38th round (#1151)
D.J. Stewart- Florida State- drafted: 2012, 28th round (#877)
Gio Brusa- Pacific- drafted: 2012, 37th round (#1139)
Alex Young- TCU- drafted: 2012, 32nd round (996)
Chris Shaw- Boston College- drafted: 2012, 26th round (#800)
Andrew Suarez – Miami- drafted: 2014, 2nd round (#57)

That’s 14 guys who will be drafted again. Only two may have ended up hurting their draft stock: Aiken (Tommy John surgery) & Bickford (signability).

In case you are curious, the average number of guys who are drafted twice per year is 12 since 2004.

#4: Who will be this year’s Brandon Finnegan?

Now this is a tough one. Finnegan made an extremely fast ascend to the big leagues last year as a reliever. Finnegan made just 13 appearances in the minors before being called up to the bigs. Showing the promise that the Royals saw in him, he made seven appearances during the Royals’ run to the World Series. He posted a 1.29ERA over those 7 appearances, over 7 innings pitched, 10K, 6 hits and allowed just 1 walk. As the first player to play in the College World Series and the Major League Baseball World Series, his meteoric rise was unbelievable.  He is currently at Double-A being groomed as a starter. So who will be this years “Brandon Finnegan”?  We would place that honor on the shoulders of Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer (Carson Fulmer BIO). A power-pitcher with above-average breaking pitches, Fulmer has the mentality and the make-up to succeed at the big league level. His mechanics have a lot of moving parts, but that creates a lot of deception in his delivery making him extremely hard to hit. If he pitches in short-stints as a reliever, he has the ability to get to the bigs this year.

 

#5: Pitchers, Pitchers & More Pitchers

We couldn’t help ourselves to add an additional point about this year’s draft class. There are a lot of pitchers that will be drafted this year, specifically with the first 10 picks – potentially the most since 2009.

Since 2010, an average of five pitchers have been selected within the top five picks of the MLB draft. This year, there will more than likely will be seven selected, tieing the 2009 draft. 7 out of the first 10 picks is a lot.

To put things in context, within the top 25 picks a whopping 15 could go this year. In 2011, 16 pitchers went in the first 25 picks, 2012 and 2013 produced 11 pitchers each year, and 2014 had 14 picked within the top 25 picks. As you can see it’s not uncommon that double-digit pitchers are selected with the top 25 picks, but within the top 10, 7 is a lot. Every team needs inexpensive, projectable pitching. There is a ton available in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Bonus #6: A Duel-Threat Athlete

In case you are not a college football fan, let me introduce you to Kyler Murray. Kyler is quite possibly the most polarizing college football prospect in the last 15 years. Murray attends Allen High School in Texas. He posted a 42-0 record as the starting quarterback for his high school and put up gaudy numbers: he threw for 10,386 yards and 117 touchdowns, and ran for 4,129 yards and 69 touchdowns during his career; talent so eye-popping that Kyler Murray MLB DraftGatorade named him the 2014 National Player of the Year. His physical attributes are off the charts; uncanny arm strength, vision, accuracy, and the mobility of a star running back. Kyler has football in his blood as his Dad, Kevin, was a quarterback at Texas A&M from ’83-’86. Kevin put up great numbers and even beat Bo Jackson and the Auburn Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.  During Kyler’s third and final championship game 52,308 fans packed into AT&T Stadium to watch him shred Cypress Ranch for the 6A Division Title. After the game, the majority of the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation. The Murray family clearly live in football country. On the diamond, he is an absolute beast. A true-five tool player with outstanding speed and pop from the right side.

As arguably the #1 QB recruit in the nation, it might be tough to pull him away from his Texas A&M commitment. Any team that drafts him will have to absolutely pull out all of the stops to sign him. If they do, they are getting a real speedster with lightning quick hands, and off-the-charts physical abilities. If he does choose baseball over football, there are 52,000+ people who will be quite upset. (photo courtesy of the DallasNews)

Kyler has fully committed to Texas A&M for football as of early May. That does not mean that he would not be drafted.

More MLB Draft Insight and Coverage:

-View Full MLB Draft Top 50 Draft Prospects
-View Top College MLB Draft Prospects
-View the Top High School MLB Draft Prospects
-For full scouting reports on current prospects grab the Prospect Handbook  from Amazon