2012 MLB Draft: Day 1 Steals, Surprises

P Ty Hensley

Day one of the 2012 MLB Draft was an eventful one to say the least. Houston shocked the world by taking Carlos Correa, and from that point forward it was a day full of surprises. While it's unfair to grade teams as winners and losers at this point, we can look at which teams landed steals and which teams selected potential sleepers. We'll also examine some of the biggest surprises.

Steals


Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford | Picked By: Pittsburgh Pirates

Mark Appel's fall to No. 8 is great for the Pirates ... if they can sign him.


Day 1 of the draft can't really be properly discussed without touching on Appel. If Pittsburgh can get the right-hander signed, it's hard to argue that he's not the value pick of the draft at eighth overall. He was the consensus top talent in the country and has the polish, command and stuff of a future ace.

Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe H.S. (Okla.) | Picked By: New York Yankees

Hensley, if some late breaking draft rumors were true, was the second option for the Colorado Rockies with the 10th overall pick. The Yankees selected him at No. 30. That says a lot in itself. Hensley is a classic power right-hander with an easy delivery and an extra large frame. His 92-95 mph fastball and plus 12-6 curveball already give him a good formula for missing bats.

Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit H.S. (Fla.) | Picked By: Houston Astros

Most people didn't figure on McCullers and his 98-mph fastball making it out of the first round. He's likely going to be difficult to sign for Houston, but given the money they may be able to save on Carlos Correa, this may be doable for the Astros.

Joey Gallo, 3B, Bishop Gorman H.S. (Nev.) | Picked By: Texas Rangers

Typically, teams don't expect to land the best power hitter in the draft outside of the first round. But, the Rangers added just that when they landed Gallo. The lefty swinging Gallo has shown light tower power that has translated well to the wooden bat.

Matt Smoral, LHP, Solon H.S. (Ohio) | Picked By: Toronto Blue Jays

If not for the health questions surrounding his foot, Smoral would very likely have been off the board in the top 25 picks. Instead, he was available to the Blue Jays in the compensation round. The 6-foot-8 lefty projects big, and already has a fastball that sits at 90-93 mph.



Surprises


Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy | Taken By: Houston Astros

Correa clearly belonged in the top five conversation, but just about no one in the industry figured on him going first overall. What Correa does incredibly well, though, is showcase. His skills dazzle in infield practice and batting practice. The question, however, is how well those tremendous tools will translate into game action. The Houston Astros rolled the dice on this one and give them credit for being bold if nothing else. Correa could either be a bust or a superstar shortstop at the next level.

Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern | Picked By: Milwaukee Brewers

This is one of those surprises that could really pay off for the Brewers. If Roache had played a full spring season and had not injured his wrist, it's possible he could have played himself into a top-15 pick. With two picks in the first round, the Brewers were able to gamble on a potential impact bat with one of those selections. They did just that with Roache.

Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida | Picked By: Boston Red Sox

Make no mistake, Johnson clearly has the ability to be a first round pick. The left-hander's fastball is around 90-91 mph, and he knows how to locate his secondary pitches. However, Boston's selection of him comes as somewhat of a surprise. The Red Sox are not typically associated with conservative picks like this. What he does give them, though, is a fast moving lefty starter that could very quickly be a third or fourth starter in the majors.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M | Picked By: Cleveland Indians

Most pre-draft buzz had Naquin going somewhere late in the first round. As it turned out, the Indians drafted him right in the middle of the round. They are getting a very safe bet to advance quickly and become a big leaguer, but the question is about his upside at such a high pick. If Naquin cannot play center field as a professional, his offensive profile in a corner spot is very questionable.



Sleepers


Eddie Butler, RHP, Radford | Picked By: Colorado Rockies

Eddie Butler could be a big-time sleeper for the Rockies.


If you can get an arm like Butler outside of the first round, you jump at the opportunity every time. The rail thin righty cranked his fastball up to 97-98 mph this spring and lives at 94-96 with heavy sinking life. Couple that with his plus slider, and the worst case scenario is the Rockies landed a dynamic late inning reliever.

Jose Berrios, RHP, Papa Juan XXIII (P.R.) | Picked By: Minnesota Twins

It's very interesting to see a pitcher's raw stuff spike after he already seems to have a mastery of his pitches. Berrios sat around 90-93 mph last summer, showing an advanced feel and command for his breaking ball and changeup. This spring, we saw his velocity jump to the 93-95 mph range and he still showed impressive pitching skills.

Mitch Gueller, RHP, WF West H.S. (Wash.) | Picked By: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies love to take superior athletes, and this time they took a plus athlete that's going to make his living on the mound. Gueller works at 92-96 mph with his fastball, showing a fast arm and some feel for his breaking ball. He's not a finished product, but the upside is as exciting as any pitcher in the compensation round.

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