It seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Marlins were going to draft Tyler Kolek just a few weeks ago but I was just told that the Marlins have been leaning heavily now toward OF'er Alex Jackson. It was described to me as "Kris Bryant heavy" in reference to how the Cubs revved up scouting efforts on the slugging 3B just as everyone was assuming they'd take whoever was left between Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray.
Jackson is the best hitter in this year's draft in terms of upside and has a lot of polish because he basically plays year round between the sunny California weather and the countless showcases he's been invited to attend over the past 2 years.
I'm told it's all about the bat for the Marlins and that they'd strongly consider taking him 2nd even as a corner outfielder.
The Marlins are said to also like Brady Aiken very much but it would seem that Houston will take him first -- it makes too much sense as I think he has clearly become the best player in the draft with Jackson now 2nd. The Astros will almost certainly see who will sign for less (with Carlos Rodon possibly part of that equation as well), but getting Scott Boras to go significantly underslot again could be a problem -- and if it is, then you have to go with the BPA, which is Aiken.
It also seems to indicate that teams have soured somewhat on Carlos Rodon, who had another pedestrian outing yesterday ( 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks on 27 batters faced. Finished w/ 11 swinging strikes. 109 unofficial pitches). I've actually been told for over a month that he could fall to #4 but it seems more plausible than ever of late and that is because the White Sox are making things interesting as well.
If Aiken goes first and Jackson goes 2nd, then the White Sox are left with a choice of Rodon, Tyler Kolek, and...Nick Gordon? I hear that the Sox still very much like Kolek, but may be down on Rodon (and it doesn't help that he's represented by Jerry Reinsdorf nemesis Scott Boras).
So scenarios are unfolding as follows...
1) Astros - Aiken
2) Marlins - Jackson
3) Sox - Kolek
4) Cubs - Rodon or Gordon
1) Astros - Aiken
2) Marlins - Kolek
3) Sox - Gordon
4) Cubs - Rodon or Jackson
If the pitchers go top 3, we revert to previous scenarios (G0rdon. Jackson, Nola, or a college hitter on a huge underslot).
This is fun, isn't it?
Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft