The number one picks selected by the teams in the Central have had much more impact for their teams than the AL East. Perhaps that is why the AL East is no longer the dominant conference in the American League.
Chicago White Sox
2015 - Carson Fulmer (RHP) - Fulmer is having a little bit of a struggle after being promoted to AA to start the 2016 season (5.44 ERA). Command is a big issue with 36 walks in 52 innings. Based on these results he will not rise as fast as two other first round picks, Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon. His fastball hits the mid-90s consistently and he has a power curve, but developing a third pitch has been a challenge. Expect him to see a full season in AA.
2014 - Carlos Rodon (LHP) - Carlos has a devastating slider to go with a hard fastball. He is taking his lumps in the major leagues but eventually he will settle as a number two starter behind Chris Sale.
2013 - Tim Anderson (SS) - Jimmy Rollins is temporarily holding the shortstop position for Tim. The White Sox are in a pennant race, not the best time to debut a rookie shortstop, but with a .302 average in AAA that is better than what they are getting from Jimmy. The only down side is the 8/58 walk to whiff ratio which could lead to a low OBA.
2012 - Courtney Hawkins (OF) - He has had a roller coaster minor league career, hitting .178 in 2013 but with 19 homeruns. His strikeouts come in bunches so expect an average in the low .220s. Defensively he will not win any gold gloves so unless he is contributing offensively he will have a limited major league role.
2011 - No pick
2010 - Chris Sale (LHP) - He may have been slight of build but that has not prevented him from becoming the ace of the staff. There was a lot of early discussion about moving him to the bullpen because of durability concerns, but that is no longer an issue.
2015 - Brady Aiken LHP - The Astros made him the first pick in the 2014 draft, had some concerns with his arm and tried to convince him to sign a lower valued contract. The Astros failed to sign him and Aiken tried to pitch in an Independent League game but left after his first start and had Tommy John surgery shortly after that. He dropped to the 17th player selected and signed for $2.5 million, half of what the Astros had offered him last year in their revised contract. The 2016 season will be a rehab year for Aiken to recover the velocity on his fastball and the break on his curve. He has yet to make an appearance this year and probably won’t until sometime near the end of the season when the rookie leagues begin.
2014 - Bradley Zimmer (OF) - The younger brother of Kyle Zimmer who was drafted in the first round by the Royals in 2012. Bradley is the centerfielder of the future for the Indians, though myworld was not impressed with his defense in the one game we saw him play. He has a power bat and an arm that could shift to right if centerfield does not pan out. The 2016 season has been plagued by whiffs resulting in a .225 average, though more than half his hits have gone for extra bases. The power and speed are there to produce a 20/20 player.
Justus Sheffield (LHP) - A bonus pick for the Orioles signing Ubaldo Jimenez. The Indians will take that trade anytime. Not a tall pitcher at 5′10″ but he has some lefthanded heat. Pitching well in the Carolina League (3.10 ERA) but at 20 years of age the Indians will be patient with him.
2013 - Clint Frazier OF - Another option for centerfield, though his power bat fits better in right. He lacks the speed of Zimmer so his range would be limited. A good year in Akron (.304 average with .401 OBA) could result in a September callup by the Indians. Should give the Indians some 20 plus homerun power in the outfield something they are lacking this year.
2012 - Tyler Naquin OF - Got an opportunity to start in centerfield for the Indians this year. After a hot start he slowed down and was returned to the minors. May not have the range to stay in center or the power to be a corner. He returned to the Indians outfield and got on a power streak with homeruns in three consecutive games, elevating his average to .338. This should keep him with the big club but myworld projects his future as a fourth outfielder.
2011 - Francisco Lindor (SS) - Second in the rookie of the year voting to Carlos Correa last year. To prove the offensive numbers of last year were not a fluke he has repeated those numbers this year. One of the best defensive shortstops in the game who has found his bat once promoted to the major leagues. Expect some gold gloves in his future.
2010 - Drew Pomeranz (LHP) - The Indians packaged Pomeranz to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez. He has bounced around to a number of teams since that trade but this year is pitching well for the Padres with a 2.44 ERA in 12 starts.
2015 - Beau Burrows RHP - Beau has not allowed a run in his last three starts covering 16 innings. His fastball sits between 93-95 but his strikeout numbers are down when compared to last year. In 19 appearances and 17 starts over the last two years he has yet to give up a homerun.
Christin Stewart OF - He hit a lot of homeruns in Georgia as a high schooler, setting the record with 26 as a junior. That homerun swing has not wavered as he starts his professional career. He hit 10 last year in 71 rookie ball games. This year he is battling for the minor league homerun lead with 16 in 56 games in the pitcher friendly Florida State League. A player to watch for a corner outfield spot.
2014 - Derek Hill OF - Hill has not panned out. He has burner speed to cover a lot of ground in center field, but he needs to hit better than his minor league career average of .227. He is still struggling in Low A while Stewart has surpassed him in High A.
2013 - Jonathan Crawford RHP - Included in the Alfredo Simon trade with the Reds. Last year he only started five games, ending his season for shoulder surgery. He has yet to pitch this year.
2012 - No pick.
2011 - No pick.
2010 - No pick
Kansas City Royals
2015 - Ashe Russell RHP - Failed to put up great numbers last year with a 4.11 ERA and 13/24 walk to whiff ratio in 36 innings. Has yet to pitch this year.
Nolan Watson RHP - His numbers were the same as Ashe (4.91 ERA with a 11/16 walk to whiff ratio in 29 innings). He was allowed to start in the Low A league this year and it has been ugly (1-6, 8.72). He may need to spend some time with Ashe in extended spring training. Not overpowering so if his stuff is lacking he becomes pretty hittable. Opponents are hitting .315 against him the last two years.
2014 - Brandon Finnagan LHP - The only pitcher to appear in a college World Series and a major league World Series in the same year. The Royals included him in a trade to the Reds for the brief use of Johnny Cueto for their World Series run. He should fit as a number three starter. The Royals bounced him around between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Foster Griffin LHP - Not a hard thrower like Watson so his numbers have been underwhelming. This year he had some success in Low A (3.38 ERA) but after a promotion to High A the struggles have continued (6.62 ERA with 13/14 walk to whiff ratio).
2013 - Hunter Dozier 3B - The Royals paid less for him than their second pick (Sean Manaea) who they eventually traded to the Athletics. Dozier has had trouble making contact, but this year he already has a career high 13 homeruns. He was initially drafted for his potential power but that power has been absent until this year. His .545 slugging average this year in AA/AAA is more than 100 points higher than his career average.
2012 - Kyle Zimmer RHP - He has trouble staying healthy, pitching 217 innings in three years. Shoulder and elbow issues have shelved him a number of times. When drafted out of college the Royals were hoping he would make an immediate contribution. Those injuries continue in 2016 with three starts and a little over five innings his only contributions for the year.
2011 - Bubba Starling OF - A local boy with lots of tools. The Royals still hold out hope the tools will come together but a .202 average in AA with a .276 OBA is not promising.
2010 - Christian Colon SS - The season ending injury to Mike Moustakas has given Colon an opportunity. For a corner infielder his power has been absent. He has close to 200 major league at bats and has yet to go deep. Expect Dozier to get an opportunity if the Royals continue to struggle and Colon continues to show the tools better utilized in a utility role.
2015 - Tyler Jay (LHP) - Last year all his games were in relief after a heavy college role. This year he is in the rotation and is doing well. He has not given up a run in his last two starts and his 2.44 ERA would be better if not for one poor outing. Eventually should work himself in a mid-rotation role.
2014 - Nick Gordon (SS) - The son of Tom Gordon and half brother of Dee Gordon is the future shortstop of the Twins. The Twins have no one there now but Nick is still a couple years away. His bat will not offer a lot of power and he needs to improve on his 7 for 14 success rate in stolen bases.
2013 - Kohl Stewart RHP - His numbers have failed to generate a lot of excitement. Still could win a role as a mid-rotation starter.
2012 - Byron Buxton OF - His tools have advertised a top five prospect the last couple years. His appearances in the major leagues have resulted in failure. Demoted again in 2016 an injury to Miguel Sano gave him another opportunity and Buxton is starting to show his potential. The Twins have a history of toolsy centerfielders taking time to make it in the major leagues, ala Denard Span and Aaron Hicks. Expect an All Star at this position.
2011 - Levi Michael SS - He’s still around but hitting .194 in AA. If he is lucky he will make it as a utility infielder.
2010 - Alex Wimmers RHP - Wimmers is in the bullpen in AAA. Myworld would be surprised if the Twins use a 40 man roster spot on Wimmers. Expect him to be a minor league free agent next year.