The upcoming 2012 MLB Draft, held June 4th through June 6th, marks an exciting time for baseball fans. Every June, unlucky franchises get first crack at the brightest talent, and savor their chance to rebuild their future. The draft offers spectacular athletes with skill sets that elicit enthusiasm and anticipation from fans and ballclubs alike. More than just new beginnings, the draft also represents the fight between rich and poor, David and Goliath. Without getting too Moneyball-poetic, in short, small-market teams have an opportunity to obtain star-power they wouldn’t be able to afford on a competitive free agent market.
This draft is different from past years however, with a new system implemented to halt over-slot spending and to keep large-market teams from accumulating an undue share of the talent pool. Each team is allotted a pre-determined amount of bonus spending. Clubs that flex their financial muscles too hard will have to pay a luxury tax.
This draft class’s talent isn’t as impressive as those featured during the three previous summers. There’s no Strasburg, no Bryce Harper, and there isn’t a stock of pitchers that contains both Dylan Bundy and Gerrit Cole. Still, this year’s group is plenty gifted and particularly deep in advanced high school talent. Five-tool young guns like Byron Buxton and Courtney Hawkins are rare athletes while fireballers like Lucas Giolito and Lance McCullers were members of the 90 MPH Club before they were able to drive legally.
Below, you’ll find BaseballNewsHound.com’s “2012 MLB Draft: Top Prospects with Scouting Grades.” We’ve spent the past three months scouting players from across the country and have accumulated information on almost a couple of hundred players. To download the spreadsheet, simply click the link and save the Excel file to your computer. Check back on Saturday June 2nd for scouting reports on the top ten players. Enjoy.