Draft Notebook: Golden drawing buzz
Prep outfielder needs refining, but could go late in first round
The Draft Notebook will appear each Thursday from now until the week prior to the First-Year Player Draft.
Whether it's about the best performers, guys rocketing up the charts, amateurs seeing their stars fading, prospects sitting out because of injury or rumors about the names expected to go at or near the top of the first round, you'll be able to find it all right here.
MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire Draft on June 7-9. Round 1 and Compensation Round A will be held on Monday, June 7, at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J. Those 50 selections will be broadcast on MLB Network and simulcast live on MLB.com/Live. Coverage begins with the Draft preview show at 6 p.m. ET.
On Tuesday, June 8, at noon, the Draft will continue with the rounds 2-30, via conference call from MLB Headquarters in New York. Rounds 31-50 will be on Wednesday, June 9, beginning at noon. Both days will be carried live on MLB.com/Live.
Sometimes, a player can have helium come to him. In other words, it's not always a player's performance that creates buzz.
Case in point: Alabama high school outfielder Reggie Golden. His helium generates more from who's talking about him than anything he's done between the lines. The toolsy but raw Golden seems to be drawing interest from some teams as high as the back half of the first round. While he might have a way to go to refine his skills, he's considered by some to be one of the more intriguing high-risk, high-reward players in the class.
A team like the Philadelphia Phillies, picking at No. 27, has a reputation for liking toolsy players, and they are a team being talked about as one with an interest in Golden. So might a team with multiple picks, like the Los Angeles Angels. Word was the Angels had met with Golden, among other players, and they've never shied away from high school talent. With picks at 29 and 30 in the first round proper, then at 37 and 40 in the supplemental round, Los Angeles could potentially have four spots with which to consider taking Golden. It's the kind of situation in which if a team like that believes a player it covets won't be around until its next pick, the club will reach a little bit and draft him earlier. It's by no means a slam dunk, but it is a scenario that could find Golden gone in the opening round.
Lead balloon update
Over the summer, big Colorado high school right-hander Kevin Gausman impressed on the showcase circuit with his arm strength, cranking up his fastballs into the mid-90s.
The one drawback of the showcases is that they're like all-star games in that pitchers will only go for an inning at a time. Guys who can light up a radar gun will often stand out, as did Gausman. Unfortunately for him, it hasn't carried over in terms of results this spring. His secondary pitches are all well behind his fastball, and he has trouble commanding them. He was rated highly for a long time, largely based on his summer standing. But his stock has slipped as teams finally realized that while his arm strength is still intriguing, Gausman didn't belong in the elite prep high school category.
Something to prove
He was on the shelf for a few weeks with a forearm problem, but Virginia Tech's Jesse Hahn did come back to make two starts at the end of the regular season. The results -- nine runs allowed (eight earned) in 8 1/3 innings -- were encouraging to the team, but weren't exactly comforting to scouts. The right-hander, who shot up Draft boards with his early-season performances, went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits against North Carolina last Sunday. He walked one and struck out four. It was the fourth straight loss for the Hokies, not exactly the way a team wants to head into its conference tournament.
Hahn will get the chance to redeem himself during the ACC Tournament. He's slated to start Saturday against North Carolina State. Depending on what happens in the first two games of pool play, that Saturday game could decide whether the Hokies make it to the championship round. There's sure to be plenty of scouts on hand to see if Hahn can show the stuff that was on display earlier in the season.
On the shelf
It was a bit of a disappointing trip for scouts who went to Hoover, Ala., for the SEC tournament. Sure, they got great looks at Drew Pomeranz and Anthony Ranaudo, among others, on the first day of action on Wednesday. But it was the depth of talent that made many believe it was the best one-stop shopping for the week.
In the end, though, there were some key parts missing, as a trio of Arkansas players were sitting out the tourney. The most prominent of them was third baseman Zack Cox, who had missed three out of the four games against Vanderbilt last weekend with a ribcage injury. Cox tried to play in one of those games, aggravating the injury. The Razorbacks are all but guaranteed to host a regional, so their showing in the SEC Tournament was not of the utmost importance. So the decision was made to let him rest so he'll be back and ready to go for regional action.
Cox was not alone. Brett Eibner, a two-way standout, was also likely to rest for the tournament, with the exception of perhaps making a short relief stint. And solid lefty Drew Smyly wasn't going to start as he tried to get past some blister issues.
Where to be: ACC Tournament, Greensboro, N.C.
There are plenty of college tournaments this weekend with lots of talent to be found all in one stadium. But with the top two SEC arms having already pitched and the aforementioned Arkansas trio out of action, the ACC is the place to be starting on Thursday.
Virginia Tech meets Georgia Tech on Thursday, giving Hokies standout outfielder Yasmani Grandal and Virginia outfielder Jarrett Parker to consider. All of them are first-round or first-round supplemental level talents and, of course, there's plenty more later-round talent to evaluate in the high-stakes atmosphere of a conference tournament.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.