OK, we know, the first day was only the first 18 rounds of the 50-round draft, but for all intents and purposes for the average fan it was over after the first round and for us die-hard fans it was over after the 4th round. You see the 4th round was the last selection by the Devil Rays in which the player actually had a profile on MLB.com. If the “experts” don’t know anything about the players selected after the 4th round, it is hard to get too excited. And yes, we know that great players are often selected in later rounds in all sports. Players like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who was selected in the 6th round and is now in the midst of a hall-of-fame career. But everytime one of those players makes it big, it is about 90% luck. Sure, the Patriots saw something they liked in Brady, but if they knew how good he was going to be, they wouldn’t have waited till the 6th round to take him. The way we see it, the first pick should be a potential all-star. The 2nd and 3rd round picks should make it to the big leagues. Everyone else? Hope one or two make it to the show and don a Devil Rays uniform, and call it a bonus.
More news on the Rays’ first round picks Evan Longoria...The Devil Rays had a contract worked out with Longoria about an hour after the draft, which leads us to believe that signability and value were key components to this pick. Andrew Friedman announced during the Rays’ game last night that Longoria will report to single-A Visalia as early as next week. He will play 3B with the Oaks and for the rest of the season. After the season, Longoria will participate in the Fall instructional league where he will play SS and 2B, as the team tries to determine what position is best for him.
As for the rest of the picks. The team did try to stockpile young pitchers as 11 of the 18 picks were pitchers with 6 from college and 5 from high schools. Here is a nice recap of all the first day draft picks of the Devil Rays.
A call to arms for the Rays [devilrays.com]