Teams search for diamonds in rough on Day 3
Who will be next late-round Draft steal like Bautista, Buehrle?
NEW YORK -- Is the next Jose Bautista still on the board? Or perhaps another Mark Buehrle? The third day of the First-Year Player Draft will begin at noon ET on Wednesday, giving teams a chance to scour the country for overlooked prospects who may just become the stars of tomorrow.
The Draft will wind from Rounds 16-40 on Wednesday, and while many of the most heralded prospects have been picked, there's still a chance for some surprises. Bautista (20th round) and Buehrle (38th), in fact, are just two examples of how a late-round pick can yield huge dividends.
There's also productive outfielders like Jason Bay and Logan Morrison -- both taken in the 22nd round of their respective Drafts -- and relief arms like Brian Wilson (24th), Sergio Romo (28th) and Jonny Venters (30th). The precedents are there, and the potential remains for more of the same.
And while most of those names turned themselves into prospects with hard work over pedigree, there are still some highly touted players available. Two players from the MLB.com Top 100 -- Freddy Avis and Mitchell Traver -- did not get picked in the top 15 rounds and remain on the board.
Avis, an athletic right-handed pitcher, is committed to Stanford University and may be difficult to sign for any prospective team that drafts him. The youngster has an above-average fastball and the makings of a plus curveball, but he needs to refine the latter pitch and improve his consistency overall.
Traver, meanwhile, has committed to Texas Christian University. Gifted with a massive pitching frame -- he stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 250 pounds -- Traver has been known for plus velocity as a prep hurler. He also has a changeup and curveball, but both offspeed pitches lack refinement.
There are also some familiar names based on bloodlines. Ryan Garvey, son of 10-time All-Star Steve Garvey, will be available on Wednesday, and so will Jordan Hershiser, son of former pitcher and current ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser. Tate Matheny -- son of St. Louis manager Mike Matheny -- has just wrapped up a standout prep career in Missouri and could wind up drafted Wednesday.
MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
So far, the Draft has revealed some interesting trends. There have been 246 position players and 242 pitchers drafted in the first 15 rounds of the Draft, and prospects from four-year universities (272) have easily outstripped those from high school (166) and junior colleges (48).
The teams have taken three times as many right-handed pitchers (182) as lefties (60) in the first two days of the Draft, and the most heavily populated positions have been catcher (47), shortstop (48) and center field (45). There have been 17 first basemen and 17 second basemen drafted.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.