2014 MLB Draft Preview: Commodores Edition

A comprehensive Commodores draft guide, complete with educated guesses on who will be drafted, in which round, and whether or not they'll sign with the team that drafts them. Draft starts at 6pm CT on MLB network and MLB.com (draft preview will be aired at 5pm CT). I'll be here live-blogging it (though I'll open another page for that). Join us... join us...

With the 2014 MLB Rule 4 Draft (baseball has weird names for things) kicking off today at 6pm CT, I thought people might be interested in which of our draft eligible and/or future Commodores might be drafted and in which round they should expect to hear their names called.

Note that baseball has upwards of 50 rounds, and they literally keep going until all teams let the commissioner know they're tired of picking (not even joking).  Note further that all baseball players who get drafted will have agents who will set their price for them.  This is technically illegal for some reason, and all teams *wink, wink* their way past this rule, except, of course, the Phillies, who decided to be huge dicks last year for no apparent reason.  Note yet further still that most players picked in the top 10 rounds will sign with the teams who chose them, but if the teams don't meet the price set by the player's agent, they'll return to school (or attend the college they committed to if they're high school players).

The overwhelming majority of college juniors drafted will sign with their team, but high school players not picked in the first two rounds will often opt to play college ball.

Finally, some high school players will tell MLB that they're definitely going to college no matter what and, consequently, will be picked much later than their talent would dictate (when a team thinks they can still change that kid's mind by backing up a dump truck full of cash to their doorstep) or will be undrafted altogether.  If any of our recruits fall lower than the round predictions listed, there's a good chance they'll be coming to college (Ex: if you don't hear Justus Sheffield's name called on Thursday night, he's probably told teams he's going to play with his brother, and they can shove it).  Vanderbilt's been notoriously good at this, and a lot of teams won't even attempt to draft a Vandy commit.  However, the Toronto Blue Jays hate us with the intensity of a thousand stars, apparently, and will probably draft the whole damn class.

Draft Eligible Commodores:

Tyler Beede: RHP

BA Top 500 Rank: 15

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 1 (Picks 7-20)

John Manuel (BA): Rd. 1 Pick 20 to the Rays

Jim Callis (Mlb.com): Rd. 1 Pick 15 to the Angels

John Heyman (CBS Sports): Rd. 1 Pick 20 to the Rays

Patrick Ebert (Perfect Game): Rd. 1 Pick 14 to the Giants

Chances He'll Return: None

Adam Ravenelle: RHP

BA Top 500 Rank: 113

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 3-5

Chances He'll Return: None

Jared Miller: LHP

BA Top 500 Rank: 253

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 5-10

Chances He'll Return: Low

Vince Conde: SS

BA Top 500 Rank: NR

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 10-30

Chances He'll Return: Medium

John Norwood: OF

BA Top 500 Rank: NR

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 10-Undrafted

Chances He'll Return: High

Brian Miller: RHP

BA Top 500 Rank: NR

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 20-Undrafted

Chances He'll Return: High

Zander Wiel: 1B (Draft Eligible Sophomore)

BA Top 500 Rank: NR

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 20-Undrafted

Chances He'll Return: He's coming back.

Chris Harvey: C

BA Top 500 Rank: NR

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 20-Undrafted

Don't laugh.  This is an actual possibility, as he was a 5 star recruit who came to college early.  Scouts who had him earmarked three years ago as a guy to watch might go to bat for him towards the later rounds of the draft.

Chances He'll Return: Low.  He's been passed over by freshmen catchers Jason Delay and Karl Ellison, so if no team takes a flyer on him, he's a prime candidate to transfer.

*My Guess: There are far too many variables to know this for sure, such as how the season ends, which teams draft them, what offers are made, if the team that drafts them finds any medical red flags, if the team that drafts them wants to use their slotted amount in the "bonus pool" on some hot-shot 18-year-old who demands an over-slot bonus, etc.  Beede and Ravanelle are gone (pending a precipitous draft slide or a medical red flag).  Miller would normally be in the "medium" range on his return, but just like Kentucky basketball players look at the incoming recruiting class and decide they'll have a better shot at playing time in the NBA, Miller knows next year's rotation will be Fulmer, Buehler, Ferguson, and possibly one of the Sheffield brothers during mid-week games.  You can't blame him for pocketing the at least six figure signing bonus he'll command instead of competing with stud prospects to pitch against David Lipscomb on a Tuesday in February.  However, I think you can bank on Brian Miller and Zander Wiel being in black and gold next year, and there's a good shot both John Norwood and Vince Conde return, but for different reasons.

Think of them as Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski, respectively.  Like Harrell, Norwood's a physical specimen, and is even more toolsy than Connor was.  So toolsy, in fact, that he was drafted in the 12th round out of high school by Toronto (they literally draft all our recruits) and would have gone much higher if not for his commitment to Vandy.  Also like Harrell, as of his junior season, he hasn't quite put all of his talents together on a consistent basis.  MLB teams are going to want to see him make good on his promise before investing a top 10 round pick on him.  I'm betting Norwood bets on himself and has the kind of senior year that will rocket him up draft boards.  For comparison, in '12, Harrell was drafted by Detroit in the 31st round, came back to college, was drafted again by Detroit in the 7th round last year, and is currently batting .255 with 6 home runs for the Lakeland Flying Tigers (great name... no idea what it means) in high A ball.

Like Yaz, Conde's got leadership skills out the yin yang, a baseball IQ that's off the charts, and is a max effort player.  However, his "tools" are not going to blow anyone away (though, in my opinion, he's slightly more toolsy than Yaz).  He'll probably get drafted around the same round whether he signs this year or next, as teams will probably think he's reached his ceiling.  The reason he might return is the same reason Yaz ultimately chose to return - he thinks this Vandy squad can win it all next year with him on the team.  For comparison, Yaz was drafted in the 36th round by Boston out of high school, the 30th round by Seattle in '12, and the 14th round by Baltimore last year.  He's currently in A ball, batting .303 with 8 home runs (not a typo) with the Delmarva Shorebirds, and should be looking at a promotion soon.

Commits:

Touki Toussaint: RHP, 6'2", 195, R-R, Coral Springs, FL

BA Top 500 Rank: 12

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 1 (picks 7-20)

John Manuel (BA): Rd. 1 Pick 13 to the Padres

Jim Callis (Mlb.com): Rd. 1 Pick 13 to the Padres

John Heyman (CBS Sports): Rd. 1 Pick 11 to the Blue Jays

Patrick Ebert (Perfect Game): Rd. 1 Pick 13 to the Padres

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (1st Team All American)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Low

Justus "Gatorade National POTY" Sheffield: LHP, 6'2", 195, L-L, Tullahoma, TN

BA Top 500 Rank: 49

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 2

Jim Callis (Mlb.com): Rd. 1 (Supplemental) Pick 34 to the Cardinals

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (1st Team All American)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Low to Medium

Cody Reed: LHP, 6'3", 200, R-L, Athens, AL

BA Top 500 Rank: 52

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 2-3

Perfect Game Grade: 9 (Southeast Region 1st Team)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Low to Medium

Dylan Cease: RHP, 6'2" 180, R-R, Milton GA

BA Top 500 Rank: 77

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 2-5

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (1st Team All American)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Medium

Jeren Kendall: OF, 5'11", 180, L-R, Holmen, WI

BA Top 500 Rank: 88

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 3-5

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (2nd Team All American, Central Region 1st Team)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Medium

Isan Diaz: SS/2B, 5'10", 170, L-R, Springfield, MA

BA Top 500 Rank: 145

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 5-10

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (2nd Team All American, Northeast Region 1st Team)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: Good

Will Toffey: SS/2B, 6'2", 200, L-R, Barnstable, MA

BA Top 500 Rank: 353

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 10-20

Perfect Game Grade: N/A, (Northeast Region 1st team)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: High

Brendan Spagnuolo: RHP, 6'2", 190, R-R, Masapequa, NY

BA Top 500 Rank: 491

Projected Draft Slot: Rd. 10-20

Perfect Game Grade: 9 (2nd Team All American, Northeast Region 1st Team)

Chances He'll Come to Campus: High

Commits Not on BA's Top 500 (All should be coming to campus):

Liam Sabino: SS, 6'1", 185, R-R, East Stroudsburg, PA

Perfect Game Grade: 10 (3rd Team All American, Atlantic Region 1st Team)

Kyle Wright: RHP, 6'4", 200, R-R, Huntsville, AL

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Southeast Region 1st Team)

Matthew Ruppenthal: RHP, 6'4", 230, R-R, Bloofield Hills, MI

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Central Region 1st Team)

Keenan Eaton: OF, 6-0, 200, R-R, Parker, CO

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (West Region 2nd Team)

**Update: Eaton switched his commitment to Wichita State a week before the draft due to scholarship issues**

Joey Abraham: RHP, 6'0", 190, Little Rock, AR

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Southeast Region 2nd Team)

Tristan Chari: C, 6'2", 192, S-R, Nashville, TN

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Southeast Region Honorable Mention)

Collin Snider: RHP, 6'4", 205, R-R, Murfreesboro, TN

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Southeast Region Honorable Mention)

Joe Mundy: 3B, 6'2", 200, L-R, Melbourne, FL

Perfect Game Grade: N/A (Florida Region Honorable Mention)

*My Guess: Toussaint goes in the first 15 picks and is not passing up $2.5-3 million.  Signs.  Sheffield's a bit of a long shot, but we've got the "come play with your brother" angle that got Aaron Nola to play for LSU (he was picked in the 22nd round by Toronto due to obvious signability concerns, and was offered back end of the first round money, so he would likely not have gotten out of the top 2 rounds if teams thought he was signable).  That keeps us in the game.  There's all but certainly going to be a team that drafts one of these guys a lot higher than I've projected, and that kid's going to jump at the money.  If I had to bet, I'd say that's Dylan Cease or Isan Diaz this year.  I really hope it's not Cease.

I'll be live-blogging the draft starting at 6pm CT tonight (I'll open a new page for it close to 6pm), so come back to this site then if you want to talk draft, or even if you just want to collectively cross your fingers and pray we don't hear Justus Sheffield and/or Dylan Cease's name called tonight.

*Bonus Crap*

*Updated after Parlagi's comment* Jim Callis's final Mock Draft from MLB.com

John Manuel's Mock Draft from Baseball America

John Heyman's Mock Draft from CBS Sports

Patrick Ebert's Mock Draft from Perfect Game

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