Stanford pitcher Mark Appel


The 2012 Major League Baseball Draft is scheduled for this evening.

Actually, for officially purposes, the First-Year Player Draft takes place Monday-Wednesday, with the first round tonight, beginning at 6 pm.

The Houston Astros have the first pick, and rumors continue to swirl that they are still considering five names.

Acadiana High School catcher Stryker Trahan is projected by a lot of people as a first round pick.

The draft is thought by many to be not as strong as previous years, but we all know it's a very inexact science, and it will be interesting nonetheless.

Let me take a crack at projecting the first round. I'll give a brief comment on the top ten, then just projections for the rest of the first round.

1)---ASTROS---Mark Appel---P---Stanford. Just as late as this weekend, many people continued to say that the Astros' pick would be one of five people; Mark Appel, Byron Buxton, Kevin Gausman, Mike Zunino, and Kyle Zimmer. I don't think the Astros have made up their minds, but I think it's between Appel and Buxton. Personally, I'd take Buxton, the five-tool high school outfielder from Georgia, who seems to have the most upside, but Appel, who has the stuff, and the make-up to advance to the majors quickly, looks to be the safer pick.  Appel is currently 10-1 on the year with Stanford, with a 2.27 era. He's allowed 92 hits, while striking out 127 batters in 119 innings.

2)---TWINS---Byron Buxton---OF---Appling high School (GA.). The Twins may have to wait five years to see him, but they could wind up getting the best player in the draft.

3)---MARINERS---Carlos Correa---SS---Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. I think this pick is either Correa, or Mike Zunino. Let's go with the shortstop.

4)---ORIOLES---KEVIN GAUSMAN---P---LSU. Gausman has a big-time arm. If he gets a little bit better command, he'll win a lot of games in the Major Leagues.

5)---ROYALS---Kyle Zimmer---P---San Francisco. The Royals have traditionally liked picking pitching early, and they'll likely do it again this year.

6)---CUBS---Max Fried---P---Harvard Westlake HS (CA.). The Cubs reportedly like Fried, and Albert Almora a lot. Also, they'll have to think about Zunino, if he does slip. Fried gets the nod, because he's a lefty with a fairly high ceiling.

7)---PADRES---Mike Zunino---C---Florida. The Padres are probably thinking they'll get Fried, or Almora, but Zunino, at this spot, is just way too good to pass up.

8)---PIRATES---Chris Stratton---P---Clemson. We've heard talk about the Pirates taking a shortstop, such as Devon Marrero, or Berbe's Gavin Cecchini, but they normally take pitching, and I believe guys Stratton, Michael Wacha, and Andrew Heaney are the safest bets.

9)---MARLINS---Albert Almora---OF---Albert Academy (FL.)---The marlins would be ecstatic to draft a tollsy outfielder from their own backyard.

10)---ROCKIES---Andrew Heaney---P---Oklahoma St. Heany is a lefty who won the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year award. He would not be a bad pick, at all, for the Rockies in this slot.

11)---ATHLETICS---Richie Shaffer---3B---Clemson

12)---METS---Devon Marrero---SS---Arizona St.

13)---WHITE SOX---Michael Wacha---P---Texas A&M

14)---REDS---Stephen Piscotty---3B---Stanford

15)---INDIANS---David Dahl---OF---Alabama

16)---NATIONALS---Courtney Hawkins---OF---Carroll HS (TX.)

17)---BLUE JAYS---Lance McCullers---P---Jesuit HS (FL.)

18)---DODGERS---Gavin Cecchini---SS---Barbe HS (LA.)

19)---CARDINALS---Tanner Rahier---SS---Palm Desert HS (CA.)

20)---GIANTS---Ty Hensley---OF---Santa Fe HS (OK.)

21)---BRAVES---Marcus Stroman---P---Duke

22)---BLUE JAYS---Corey Seager---Northwest Cabarrus HS (N.C.)

23)---CARDINALS---Zach Eflin---P---Hagerty HS (FL.)

24)---RED SOX---D.J. Davis---OF---Stone County HS (MS.)

25)---RAYS---Addison Russell--SS---Pace HS (FL.)

26)---DIAMONDBACKS---Joey Gallo---3B---Bishop Gorman HS (NV.)

27)---BREWERS---Lucas Sims---P---Brookwood HS (GA.)

28)---BREWERS---Tyler Nquin---OF---Texas A&M

29)---RANGERS---Stryker Trahan---C---Acadiana HS (LA.)

30)---YANKEES---Clint Coulter---C---Union HS (WA.)

31)---RED SOX---Hunter Virant---P---Camarillo HS (CA.)