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The second day of the 2012 draft consisted of more than 400 selections. There were surprised on both sides -- some due to players being taken off the board higher than expected, some because big names continued to fall.
The top names off the board in the early going of Day 2 included the Houston Astros adding to their haul from Monday -- shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Lance McCullers, Jr. -- by selecting Florida shortstop Nolan Fontana in the second round and then taking a flier on two players considered to be tough signs.
Rio Ruiz, a USC commit, was the Astros' fourth-round pick but may require Day 1 money to skip college. He missed most of the season after needing a procedure to repair a blood clot, but he is a two-way prospect on the mound and at the plate, though most scouts see him as a bat.
Houston also tabbed left-hander Hunter Virant as its pick in Round 11, but he's virtually unsignable and is likely headed to UCLA. He's worth keeping an eye on as the signing deadline approaches on July 13, but he has a chance to be a top-15 pick in 2015 as he matures physically and potentially adds velocity.
The Pittsburgh Pirates took a few more intriguing names off the board, including catcher Wyatt Mathisen from Calallen High School in Texas. The second-round pick has played a lot of infield as a prep, but if he sticks behind the plate should have enough bat to get him to the big leagues. The Bucs also selected Georgia Tech outfielder Brandon Thomas in the fourth round, despite some evaluators believing he could have gone in Round 2. Thomas is a switch-hitter with some pop and a good defensive profile for a corner outfield spot.
If they can get him signed, Pirates 14th-round pick Walker Buehler is a steal. The right-hander from Clay High School in Kentucky is a Vanderbilt commit, however, and as we saw last June with Tyler Beede, Vandy always gets its recruits. Signability is why Buehler lasted this long in the first place.
Palm Desert High School (Calif.) infielder Tanner Rahier was a potential first-round pick coming into the draft but lasted until the second round -- No. 78 overall -- when the Cincinnati Reds called his name. He's signable there despite a full ride to the University of San Diego, but it may cost the Reds more than slot, which is just less than $650,000 for that pick.
The Cleveland Indians' plan for this draft may have been all about taking an under-slot player in the first round so they can add upside plays after that, and that's what they did. They selected Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin at No. 15 overall; he's a nice player, but that may be a little aggressive for a player of his abilities. On Day 2, the Indians pounded out some high-ceiling arms in Rounds 2 and 3 with Rochester Century High School right-hander Mitch Brown and Mission Viejo High School's Kieran Lovegrove. Brown was skyrocketing up some draft boards during the final weeks of the spring and Lovegrove, a favorite of Keith Law, offers big projection and was considered late in Round 1.
The Indians didn't stop there, however, adding intriguing arms, such as Dylan Baker from Western Nevada CC and an athletic outfielder in D'vone McClure. Sure seems to me the Indians had a plan and executed it very well during the draft's first two days.
Other interesting selections include the Washington Nationals taking Stanford southpaw Brett Mooneyham at No. 111 overall. There's some room for projection after he missed most of 2011 with a hand injury, and the payoff could be big for a third-round investment.
More of the tough-sign variety includes Boston's fourth-round pick, Ty Buttrey. The right-hander is committed to Arkansas and will be a challenge for the Red Sox to get under contract. There's potential for a first-round grade in three years if he heads to school, so that's what it may cost to get his name on the dotted line.
Two-sport star Jameis Winston, a toolsy outfielder, was the Texas Rangers' 15th-round pick, but he's headed to Florida State to play quarterback and that isn't likely to change, even if the defending American League champs offer high-round money.
One of my favorite players in the draft is Carson Kelly, a third baseman from Westview High School in Portland, Ore. He tweeted late Monday -- after not being selected in the first 60 picks -- that he was headed to Eugene to play for the Ducks in 2013, but the St. Louis Cardinals took him at No. 86. There's buzz that the asking price is between $1 million and $1.5 million, and if it stays there he's likely to see school -- and the draft again in three years.
Who is still left?
Among the best talents still on the board -- almost solely due to signability -- include California prep right-hander Freddy Avis, who is likely headed to Stanford, Texas commit C.J Hinojosa, Albuquerque Academy 2B/C Alex Bregman and Houston Christian High School right-hander Mitchell Traver.
Traver is signed on to play at TCU, while Bregman is committed to LSU. All of the above have a chance at the first round in 2015.