A few thoughts on the draft
As everyone speculates on the impact of the positive Adderol tests on Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray and Marshall’s Aaron Blair. My take is that the Astros have done enough background work on Gray to know his makeup, and ESPN's Keith Law is probably right—the revelation will give them the hammer in negotations with the first pick that they would never get on Mark Appel and Scott Boras. “I get all that,” says one crosschecker, “but Appel is far and away the best pitcher I saw all year—98 with an unhittable slider. Absolutely the best out there.”
If Houston does opt for Gray or North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, the Cubs may well take Appel, even though as a senior he isn’t bound to the July signing deadline and can take negotiations right down to the 2014 draft. The Cubs at this point seem perfectly happy to get Appel, Gray, Kris Bryant or Moran. Clubs see Bryant ending up with Colorado, which sees him as a Troy Glaus hitter who can play right field.
The player who seems to have risen the most in the closing weeks is Gardena, Cal. first baseman Dominic Smith. One scouting director says “he had the best interview I’ve conducted in three years,” and Smith wowed one National League general manager, who compared his makeup to that of Darin Erstadt. Smith is considered a James Loney defender with huge power potential, and that power was put on a very impressive display this past weekend in Dodger Stadium. “I would not be surprised to see the Pirates or even the Red Sox take him in the top ten,” says one GM. That GM adds that lefthanded pitcher Trey Ball of New Castle, Ind. is the best lefthander in the draft, Houston high schooler Kohl Stewart the best high school righthander.
One of the biggest wild cards is 6' 5", 245 pound Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson. He is very smart—sure, every team needs a Science, Technology and Society major. He has great tools, but between injuries and uneven performance, some clubs have shied away. But doctors at Stanford have Wilson on a program that helps his body absorb the physical strains of his size and 4% body fat (a problem that has plagued Giancarlo Stanton) and his second half performance has taken off.