Catching up with MLB's 2007 draftees
First-round selections seeing varying degrees of success
They were taken early, in the opening round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Along with the large bonuses that come with being a first-rounder, that puts a fairly large spotlight on the 30 players listed below.
With the change in Draft rules, these players had to sign by Aug. 15, or go back into the Draft pool. Many of them waited until the last possible minute. Every single first-round pick signed, but many -- nine to be exact -- did so too late to play last summer. Let's take that first-round spotlight and shine it a little more brightly on where the first 30 picks are currently and how things have gone for them in the first month-plus of their first pro seasons.
1. David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
The elbow injury wasn't as serious as once feared, but he still hasn't pitched in a competitive game as of yet. He has thrown live batting practice and recently pitched two perfect innings in extended Spring Training. He should make a few more appearances there before heading to Class A Advanced Vero Beach sometime later this month.
2. Mike Moustakas, SS, Kansas City Royals
Full-season ball has been rough on the former California high school standout. He missed a little time with a hammy problem and he's hit just .198 through his first 24 games with Class A Burlington. Looking for a positive? He has drawn eight walks against 13 strikeouts.
3. Josh Vitters, 3B, Chicago Cubs
After hanging back in extended Spring Training for a little while, Vitters joined Moustakas in the Midwest League as a teenager. He'd played in just four games, going 3-for-4 with three doubles in his debut with Peoria before going 0-for-his-next-10. He's been out since April 21 with a hand injury.
4. Daniel Moskos, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Originally drafted with designs on having him be a short reliever, the new Pirates management decided to let the southpaw start. He's made six starts with Class A Advanced Lynchburg, going 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA in 29 2/3 innings. He has kept hitters to a .235 average and has a nifty 2.89 GO/AO ratio, but he's gone deeper than five innings just once so far this season.
5. Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles
The switch-hitting backstop has been as good as advertised, making his pro debut all the way with Class A Advanced Frederick in the Carolina League. He's hit .341 through his first 27 games, while sporting a .966 on-base plus slugging percentage that leads the league. He's also thrown out 40 percent of would-be basestealers.
6. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Washington Nationals
The surprise September callup last year began the season with Class A Advanced Potomac and has scuffled a little bit. In six starts, the southpaw has a 5.18 ERA over 24 1/3 innings. He's yielded 30 hits -- for a .309 average -- and walked 14, which hasn't helped.
7. Matt LaPorta, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Making his full-season debut all the way up in Double-A doesn't seem to faze LaPorta. Neither does moving from left to right field, evidently. LaPorta has hit .333 through 29 games, leading the Southern League in home runs (9), RBIs (32), slugging (.716) and OPS (1.147).
8. Casey Weathers, RHP, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies didn't hesitate to push Weathers, a college closer and senior, quickly moving him to Double-A to start the year. Though he's not closing, he does have a 1.54 ERA in 11 outings, holding Texas League hitters to a .171 batting average against.
9. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Parker's been everything the D-Backs had hoped for and more during his pro debut in the full-season Midwest League. The high school right-hander has a 1.31 ERA through five starts, slowly building himself up and going deeper in each game he's pitched. He's racked up 19 K's and walked just two, while holding hitters to a .226 average.
10. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Bumgarner won't turn 19 until August and he didn't make his pro debut until this spring, but the Giants still felt confident enough to let the southpaw make that debut with full-season Augusta. After allowing five earned runs over three innings in his first start, he's allowed just five more over the next 19 (2.37 ERA). He's struck out 25 in 22 total innings, while walking six.
11. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Seattle Mariners
The 6-foot-7 right-hander made his pro debut in the full-season Midwest League and has yet to give up an earned run over 14 2/3 innings. He's made just one start and four relief appearances as the Mariners must be trying to keep his pitch count down. He's given up just seven hits for a .135 average against, while striking out 15.
12. Matthew Dominguez, 3B, Florida Marlins
After getting into 15 games last summer in his pro debut, Dominguez's full-season start has been delayed by a case of mono. He's in extended Spring Training and the all-around third baseman should be ready to join Greensboro in the not-too-distant future.
13. Beau Mills, 1B, Cleveland Indians
Mills and his advanced bat got off to a slow start in his first month of the season, hitting .212 in April for Kinston in the Class A Advanced Carolina League. He began May going 3-for-8 and did have a two-homer game near the end of the season's opening month. His 20 walks vs. 18 strikeouts still give him a nice .371 on-base percentage.
14. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
The toolsy high school outfielder has made a fine impression during his full-season debut, hitting .310 and going a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen bases for Rome. He's hit three homers and six doubles for a .440 slugging percentage, but don't worry, the power will come.
15. Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds
While a couple of other first-rounders either began the year in full-season ball or joined those leagues a bit late, the high school catcher from Punxsutawney, Pa., is still getting some work in extended Spring Training and has yet to be assigned. It seems probable that he'll head to a short-season club in June.
16. Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
In case you haven't figured it out yet, the Midwest League is a good place to head to see 2007 first-round picks. Ahrens is in Lansing and handling himself just fine. The shortstop-turned-third baseman is hitting .292 through his first 28 games. He's yet to homer for the first time, but he does have 10 extra-base hits and an impressive .385 OBP.
17. Blake Beavan, RHP, Texas Rangers
The first of two high school flame-throwers the Rangers took in the first round last June, the hard-throwing right-hander was also the first to make his full-season debut. After hanging back in extended Spring Training for nearly a month, Beavan made his Midwest League debut at the end of April and tossed six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and walking none.
18. Peter Kozma, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
There was some concern among Cardinals fans that Kozma would be another middle-infield early-round bust for the organization. It's safe to assume he's put some of those fears to rest by hitting .320 over his first 28 games. He's also in the Midwest League top 10 in both on-base (.400) and slugging (.505).
19. Joe Savery, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Despite having some command issues (14 walks in 37 innings), the former Rice two-way player has pitched well in the Florida State League, posting a 2.92 ERA and striking out 31 in six appearances. While allowing a hit per inning, he's induced plenty of ground balls, with a 2.81 GO/AO ratio.
20. Chris Withrow, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The tall and projectable Texas high school product has been hanging back in extended Spring Training and appears to be on pace to play short-season ball with Ogden in the Pioneer League in June.
21. J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays
Arencibia made his full-season debut with Dunedin in the Class A Advanced Florida State League and the Tennessee product has hit .260 with four homers over his first 25 games. He's also thrown out just over 33 percent of would-be basestealers.
22. Tim Alderson, RHP, San Francisco Giants
With his maturity and advanced feel for pitching, the Giants sent the teenager to Class A Advanced San Jose for his full-season debut. He's rewarded their confidence by going 4-1 with a 3.03 ERA, good for sixth in the California League.
23. Nick Schmidt, LHP, San Diego Padres
Schmidt followed up a very successful season at the University of Arkansas by pitching in three games of Arizona League action last summer. He developed some elbow soreness and ended up needing Tommy John surgery in the fall, which will keep him out for all of 2008.
24. Michael Main, RHP, Texas Rangers
Main was likely going to be held back in extended Spring Training to start the year, much like Kasey Kiker a year ago and fellow first-rounder Beavan this year. A stress fracture in his rib cage clinched it. The hope was he'd be back by around the end of May. At this point, a trip to short-season Spokane may make the most sense.
25. Aaron Poreda, LHP, Chicago White Sox
Poreda was a rarity, a college pitcher who was a little on the raw side. Nonetheless, the White Sox sent him to the Class A Carolina League to begin the year. He's been a little hittable (.274 average against), but has posted a nifty 3.07 ERA and hasn't allowed a home run in 29 1/3 innings of work.
26. James Simmons, RHP, Oakland A's
Simmons made his pro debut in Double-A, then went to the Arizona Fall League. He's back in Double-A for his full-season debut and is currently second in the Texas League with a 1.45 ERA. A tremendous command pitcher, he's yielded just four walks in 31 innings, allowing 24 hits (.205 average) and striking out 28.
27. Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit Tigers
Porcello signed too late to pitch last summer, but the Tigers hopped him on the fast track by sending him to the Florida State League for his pro debut. He's held FSL hitters to a .198 average and posted a 2.37 ERA through his first six starts.
28. Ben Revere, OF, Minnesota Twins
The Twins held the surprise first-rounder -- and Gulf Coast League standout last summer -- back in extended Spring Training and the thought was he'd probably head to short-season Elizabethton in June. Instead, he went to Beloit in the Midwest League in late April and hit the ground running, hitting .393 over his first seven games there.
29. Wendell Fairley, OF, San Francisco Giants
Fairley didn't play last summer and some bumps and bruises this spring found him a little behind, so he's stuck around Scottsdale in extended Spring Training working on the nuances of the game and will be assigned to a team later in the season.
30. Andrew Brackman, RHP, New York Yankees
When the Yankees took the big right-hander out of North Carolina State, they knew he was hurt and signed him to a Major League contract with eyes wide open. He ended up having Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2008 season. You'll have to wait until 2009 to see if he can fulfill his immense potential.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.