2014 Draft: First Day Thoughts

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

The first day of the draft is complete with 74 picks announced, taking us to the beginning of the third round. Things will restart Friday at 1 p.m. EST and take us through the 10th round. Here are some thoughts on the first day’s action, leaning heavily toward high school topics.

+ Since LHP Carlos Rodon (N.C. State) dominated as a freshman, we’ve been hearing that he was going to be the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. But with the step forward that LHP Brady Aiken (Cathedral Catholic HS, CA) took and inconsistent season for Rodon, that projection didn’t come true. And Rodon dropped to third overall with the Marlins jumping on RHP Tyler Kolek (Shepherd HS, TX). Aiken is a great example of a young player developing. He was pitching in the mid 80s as a rising junior, but a year later had slimmed down to a leaner frame and was pitching at 89-91 while showing very good feel for his secondary stuff. His velocity jumped again in the spring, into the low 90s, and his breaking ball and changeup improved as well. As projected by many for a couple weeks leading up to the draft, Aiken went first overall. I’ve been watching Rodon since he was in high school and always liked him. I wasn’t jumping ship on him as a prospect after a roller coaster season, but I love that the Astros took Aiken. I ran him up to No. 4 in the high school rankings in the fall and love the upside. All high school arms are risks and need some polish, but Aiken is further along than the typical prep arm.

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