This year's first round was unusual in a number of ways. We had five college relievers taken, beating the previous record of three (set in 2003). We also saw eight corner infielders taken and four catchers, meaning those three categories accounted for more than half of the 30 picks in the round, which usually is dominated by starters, shortstops and center fielders.
The surprising, and generally positive, trend this year was for teams selecting near the top of the draft to take the best player available. The Pirates, Royals, Giants, Nationals and Reds all took players in the top 10 picks who are seeking premium bonuses well in excess of slot recommendations. If the draft is supposed to encourage parity by steering the best players to the worst teams, by and large this year's first round did just that. That trend might break down in later rounds as small-market teams limit the number of tough-sign players they'll draft, but at least the top-tier players are headed to the teams most in need of their services.