The last of our reviews of the divisions number one picks the last five years. A slight delay in putting this one together because of my travel schedule. The Marlins, Nationals and Mets each picked up a franchise player from this time period. The Phillies hope to have one. The Braves hope to see their franchise players via the trade market.
2015 - Kolby Allard LHP - Back problems sidelined him early in the season. He has returned to pitching at Low A but his first two starts were a struggle. He was recently sent to rookie ball to work on his pitches. In his last two starts covering 9 innings he has struck out 11 hitters without walking a batter.
Mike Soroka RHP - The Canadian is not overpowering, with a fastball in the low 90s, but he has excellent command of his pitches. Only one of his pitches in 112 innings has left the park. Wins have been difficult in Low A (2-6) but he has been having success.
2014 - Braxton Davidson OF - The Braves first round pick is a bit overshadowed by all the number one picks the Braves have traded for the last couple years. He has some pop to hit balls over the fence but this year is having trouble making contact. Last year his walk to whiff ratio was 84/135 which gave him an acceptable .381 OBA despite a .242 average. This year it is 34/90 in just 71 games giving him a .337 OBA and a .235 average. He has the arm for right but needs to make more consistent contact to give him the bat for the position.
2013 - Jason Hursh RHP - The Braves have moved Hursh to the bullpen where his fastball has more velocity. A struggle with the strike zone and a lack of a third pitch foiled his ability to continue as a starter.
2012 - Lucas Sims RHP - Not overpowering, AAA was a bit of a challenge for him this year (7.56 ERA in 10 starts). Giving up a long ball every four innings did not help the ERA. A demotion back to AA where he had some success last year has been met with success this year (2.29 ERA) with 32 whiffs in just 19.2 innings. It will be difficult for him to make the rotation with all the new talent the Braves have moved to the organization.
2011 - Sean Gilmartin LHP - The Braves traded him to the Twins in 2013 for catcher Ryan Doumit. The Mets acquired Sean in the Rule V draft in 2014. Myworld saw him pitch for the Mets last night. He had some success with the Mets in the bullpen last year but the Mets sent him to Vegas to start this year only recently calling him up to help in the pen. At best a back of the rotation pitcher of middle inning reliever.
2010 - No pick
2015 - Josh Naylor 1B - A second Canadian drafted in the first round. Naylor has tremendous power with the ability to make contact. At 6′0″, 225 Josh is a big boy who doesn’t move fast, despite his 9 stolen bases this year. Now that he is in full season ball his average has dropped 70 points (.327 to .257) but he is still showing an ability to make contact.
2014 - Tyler Kolek RHP - Another big boy at 6′5″ 260 pounds with a triple digit fastball coming out of high school. The Marlins will have to wait to see what they have with him. Tommy John surgery will force him to miss the 2016 season. He was quite hittable the last two years (.261 average) with a paucity of whiffs for a pitcher who shows his velocity (6.8 K’s per 9 innings).
2013 - Colin Moran 3B - He led the college circuit in RBIs in 2013. The Marlins traded him to the Astros for Jarred Cosart. May lack the power to fit at third base. He also has a number of talented prospects in the Astros system that will move him back on the depth chart.
2012 - Andrew Heaney LHP - Andrew was packaged to the Dodgers to acquire Dee Gordon in 2014. The same year the Dodgers traded him to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. He will fit in the middle of a rotation though injuries have sapped him of his effectiveness and limited him to just one start this year. Instead of Tommy John surgery he is exploring stem cell to heal arm.
2011 - Jose Fernandez RHP - A true ace. An automatic win for the Marlins when he is on the mound. The problem is they will not sign him after he becomes a free agent so they may have to trade him.
2010 - Christian Yelich - A weak arm prevents him from playing centerfield. Lacks the traditional power of a corner outfielder, but provides centerfield defense and has the potential to win batting titles. A solid pick.
New York Mets
2015 - No Pick
2014 - Michael Conforto LF - Not a good defensive player but the Mets love his power. He shined with them last year and after a good April he nose dived to a .150 average after that month. Perhaps the Mets rushed him. He has been sent back down to the minors to find his bat.
2013 - Dominic Smith 1B - Despite the injury to Lucas Duda the Mets were not confident to give him the first base job. A solid defensive firstbaseman lacking a power bat. He could become a James Loney type player but needs to improve the .259 average.
2012 - Gavin Cecchini SS - Another player that should have seen a call up if the Mets were confident in his ability to handle the position. A second straight .300 average (.327) with a 24/26 walk to whiff ratio is impressive. Many feel he lacks the range to play shortstop, but his power is absent to play third. If he continues to hit .300 the Mets will find a position for him.
2011 - Brandon Nimmo OF - The first player from Wyoming to be drafted in the first round. He was called up to replace Michael Conforto in the outfield. Myworld thought he would be playing centerfield instead of Yoenis Cespedes, but the Mets have put him in left field. If he can’t beat out Cespedes in centerfield and needs to play a corner he may lack the power to play the position.
2010 - Matt Harvey RHP - The Mets ace with a fastball at 95-98 miles per hour.
2015 - Cornelius Randolph OF - Cornelius needs to hit for power if he plays a corner outfield. A sore shoulder has prevented him from playing since April. He was only hitting .240 with a .340 slugging when he got hurt.
2014 - Aaron Nola RHP - Aaron had some success pitching in the major leagues last year and early this year. In his last four starts he has not reached the fourth inning, giving up at least four or more runs in those starts. Not an overpowering fastball so without command he can give up a lot of hits. Aaron may need some more time in the minors to find his stuff.
2013 - J.P. Crawford - The future shortstop of the Phillies recently promoted to AAA. The Phillies have no reason to promote him and eat up valuable service time. Needs to figure out AAA (.219 average) but expect a September promotion.
2012 - No Pick
2011 - No Pick
2010 - Jesse Biddle LHP - The local boy never quite made it. The Phillies traded him to the Pirates this year for much released Yorvis Medina. The Pirates took him off the 40 man roster and the Braves picked him up on waivers. Probably will not pitch in 2016 because of Tommy John surgery.
2015 - No Pick
2014 - Erick Fedde RHP - He doesn’t have the talent of Giolito but the Nationals drafted him in the first round despite Tommy John surgery delaying his debut until 2015. Lacks the fastball of Giolito but he commands it well.
2013 - No Pick
2012 - Lucas Giolito RHP - He was rumored to be the first pick of the 2012 draft but arm issues and a commitment to Stanford dropped him down to the Nationals. He did have Tommy John surgery delaying his start until 2013. Lucas made his major league debut last night showing a fastball that sizzles at 95 thrown from a 6′6″ frame.
2011 - Anthony Rendon 3B - The Nationals starting third baseman has been hampered by injuries.
Alex Meyer RHP - The Nationals traded the 6′9′ giant with the triple digit fastball for Denard Span. His inability to find the plate appears to cement him in a bullpen role. The Twins hope to make him a closer. Continues to battle arm injuries.
2010 - Bryce Harper - Not much needs to be said about the MVP last year.