Catching up with 2011's first-round Draft picks
Of the 27 players taken in the first round of last year's First-Year Player Draft, a large majority are in Class A or lower. Twenty-six are in Class A Advanced, Class A or extended Spring Training waiting for an assignment. Five are in Double-A and one didn't sign.
With this year's Draft approaching, it's an appropriate time to take a look at what last year's first-rounders are up to.
To find out how this year's Draft turns out, coverage of the Draft begins with the first round and Compensation Round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. Rounds 2-40 will also be streamed live on MLB.com on June 5-6.
MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list, Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, and Draft Caster. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. Get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's are the top 33 picks from a year ago (statistics as of Monday):
Gerrit Cole, RHP, PIT, Bradenton (A+): The big right-hander went right to the Florida State League to begin his pro career. He's thrown fairly well, leading the FSL with a 10.93 K/9 ratio, holding hitters to a .202 average and producing a 1.58 GO/AO ratio.
Rankings: Top 100 (#10) | RHP (#6) | Top 20 Pirates (#2)
Danny Hultzen, LHP, SEA, Jackson (AA): This advanced college lefty has done just fine leaping to Double-A, leading the Southern League in BAA (.142), standing sixth in ERA (2.35) and striking out 10 per nine innings.
Rankings: Top 100 (#14) | LHP (#3) | Top 20 Mariners (#1)
Trevor Bauer, RHP, ARI, Mobile (AA): Bauer joins Hultzen all over the Southern League leaderboard, topping the league in strikeouts (51) and standing fourth in ERA (1.96) and BAA (.188). He also leads the league in walks with 25.
Rankings: Top 100 (#8) | RHP (#4) | Top 20 D-backs (#1)
Dylan Bundy, RHP, BAL, Delmarva (A): Being brought along slowly by the O's, Bundy has been virtually perfect. The right-hander has allowed just one hit (.020 BAA) and two walks while striking out 25 in 17 innings in the South Atlantic League. He's yet to give up a run.
Rankings: Top 100 (#9) | RHP (#5) | Top 20 Orioles (#2)
Anthony Rendon, 3B, WAS, Potomac (A+): Rendon was just getting started in the Carolina League when he suffered a partially fractured ankle that will cause him to miss most of the season.
Rankings: Top 100 (#25) | 3B (#3) | Top 20 Nationals (#2)
Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI, South Bend (A): With only nine hits allowed in 31 innings, the "other" Oklahoman is doing just fine, leading the Midwest League in BAA (.093) and ranking fifth in strikeouts to go along with a 2.03 ERA.
Rankings: Top 100 (#18) | RHP (#9) | Top 20 D-backs (#2)
Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE, Lake County (A): Any concern with sending a player this young to full-season ball has been answered quickly as Lindor is seventh in the Midwest League with a .309 average, tied for the league lead in hits (38) and is fourth in total bases (56).
Rankings: Top 100 (#30) | SS (#3) | Top 20 Indians (#1)
Javier Baez, SS, CHI, Ext. ST: Baez is still in Mesa, Ariz., working on his all-around game and awaiting an assignment, likely to a short-season club.
Rankings: Top 100 (#57) | SS (#8) | Top 20 Cubs (#3)
Cory Spangenberg, 2B, SD, Lake Elsinore (A+): This talented hitter got off to a slow start in the California League and was hitting just .200 on April 26. Five multi-hit games over his next nine (15-for-37) raised his OPS by more than 125 points.
Rankings: Top 100 (#77) | 2B (#1) | Top 20 Padres (#1)
George Springer, OF, HOU, Lancaster (A+): This UConn product has gotten off to a solid if unspectacular start in the California League, hitting .274 with limited power so far (.444 SLG). He is 6-for-6 in stolen-base attempts.
Rankings: Top 100 (#80) | Top 20 Astros (#3)
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, MIL, Brevard County (A+): Recently added to the Top 100, this Texas product has already shown an ability to be durable, going at least five innings in each of his first seven starts. He's compiled an impressive 2.93 ERA and 2.39 GO/AO ratio.
Rankings: Top 100 (#98) | Top 20 Brewers (#3)
Brandon Nimmo, OF, NYM, Ext. ST: The Mets are allowing Nimmo, who hails from Wyoming, to develop slowly, having him work in extended Spring Training before sending him to a short-season club.
Rankings: Top 20 Mets (#4)
Jose Fernandez, RHP, MIA, Greensboro (A): Sent straight to the South Atlantic League, Fernandez has more than held his own and currently leads the league in strikeouts (45), is fourth in BAA (.176) and fifth in ERA (1.75).
Rankings: Top 20 Marlins (#3)
Jed Bradley, LHP, MIL, Brevard County (A+): This Georgia Tech product didn't allow an earned run over his first three starts, spanning 19 innings. He then yielded 13 earned runs over his next three starts (16 innings). He still has a 4.0 K/BB ratio and a 1.45 GO/AO.
Rankings: Top 100 (#92) | Top 20 Brewers (#2)
Chris Reed, LHP, LAD, Rancho Cucamonga (A+): A reliever at Stanford, Reed is starting in the Dodgers' system and clearly his stuff has been just fine, with a 9.9 K/9 ratio in the California League to go along with a 2.13 GO/AO and .214 BAA.
Rankings: Top 20 Dodgers (#5)
C.J. Cron, 1B, LAA, Inland Empire (A+): Fully recovered from offseason knee surgery, Cron surprisingly struggled to start his full-season debut, hitting just .239/.300/.385 in the California League. But he began to break out in May, hitting .400/.500/.550 in his first six games.
Rankings: 1B (#3) | Top 20 Angels (#3)
Sonny Gray, RHP, OAK, Midland (AA): An advanced righty out of Vanderbilt, Gray was pushed to Double-A to start his first full season and he's dealt with some bumps, resulting in a 4.62 ERA through his first six starts. He has gone at least six innings in all but his first start and has a solid 1.96 GO/AO ratio.
Rankings: Top 100 (#81) | Top 20 A's (#4)
Matt Barnes, RHP, BOS, Salem (A+): An argument could be made that no one in this group has had a better debut than this right-hander from UConn. He gave up one earned run in five South Atlantic League starts, earning a promotion to the Carolina League, where he yielded one run in his debut. Combined, he has a 0.55 ERA and a .142 BAA.
Rankings: Top 20 Red Sox (#13)
Tyler Anderson, LHP, COL, Ext. ST: This lefty out of Oregon was taken as an advanced college southpaw, but he's yet to pitch, instead building up arm strength with the hope of joining a full-season club by June.
Rankings: Top 20 Rockies (#5)
Tyler Beede, RHP, TOR, Did not sign: Beede went to Vanderbilt instead. He's the Commodores' Saturday starter.
Kolten Wong, 2B, STL, Springfield (AA): Another recent addition to the Top 100, Wong is among the top four in the Texas league in average (.320), OBP (.409) and runs scored (22). His .480 SLG is also impressive for a middle infielder. He's on the fast track.
Rankings: Top 100 (#100) | 2B (#4) | Top 20 Cardinals (#6)
23. Alex Meyer, RHP, WAS, Hagerstown (A): The power stuff is very good, as evidenced by his 10.87 K/9 ratio, fifth-best in the South Atlantic League, but his 4.28 ERA is less than dominating for the level. His first start of May was his best, perhaps a sign of things to come.
Rankings: Top 100 (#79) | Top 20 Nationals (#3)
Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, TB, Ext. ST: The Rays have a good track record of developing young pitchers, so it's no surprise they're taking it slow with Guerrieri, letting him work in extended Spring Training before assigning him somewhere.
Rankings: Top 100 (#94) | Top 20 Rays (#6)
Joe Ross, RHP, SD, Fort Wayne (A): The Padres challenged Ross with a full-season assignment and while his overall numbers (6.26 ERA, .297 BAA) don't look pretty, he's had more good starts than bad and if you take out his first outing of the year, his ERA is a much more respectable 4.50.
Rankings: Top 20 Padres (#10)
Blake Swihart, C, BOS, Greenville (A): It's hard enough to hit going from high school to full-season ball. Adding catching duties to the list makes it even more challenging. Swihart has scuffled with the bat (.189/.240/.270) but he has thrown out close to 30 percent of would-be basestealers.
Rankings: Top 20 Red Sox (#12)
Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN, Ext. ST: Like many of the young pitchers on this list, this right-hander is trying to get a handle on the nuances of being a professional pitcher.
Rankings: Top 20 Reds (#3)
Sean Gilmartin, LHP, ATL, Mississippi (AA): An advanced college lefty, Gilmartin has been pushed aggressively and has held his own in the Southern League, with a 3.55 ERA, and thanks to a very low walk rate, the fifth lowest WHIP (1.05) in the circuit.
Rankings: Top 20 Braves (#51)
Joe Panik, SS, SF, San Jose (A+): While many believed he'd be moved to second base, Panik is still playing shortstop in the Cal League, making just three errors in 28 games. The bat hasn't been as strong, though he was starting to turn it around in May (.771 OPS in six games).
Rankings: Top 20 Giants (#7)
Levi Michael, SS/2B, MIN, Ft. Myers (A+): This University of North Carolina product has played both shortstop and second base with the Miracle. He's hit just .222/.333/.303, though he's been much better when playing second base (.326) than shortstop (.143).
Mikie Mahtook, OF, TB, Port Charlotte (A+): After a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, this LSU product went straight to the FSL, where he got off to a solid start but has struggled lately. He's been better against right-handers (.683 OPS) than against lefties (.508 OPS).
Rankings: Top 100 (#91) | Top 20 Rays (#5)
Jake Hager, SS, TB, Bowling Green (A): The Rays believed Hager could handle a full-season assignment but he's struggled thus far, hitting .182/.229/.221 in the opening stanza of his career.
Rankings: Top 20 Rays (#16)
Kevin Matthews, LHP, TEX, Ext.: Matthews has yet to make his 2012 debut, working instead in extended spring training and awaiting an assignment.
Rankings: Top 20 Rangers (#12)