We are T-minus three hours before the start of the 2011 Rule 4 draft and thing still aren't clear. It appears that Gerritt Cole will indeed be the No. 1 overall pick. After that? Things get...interesting.
- It appears the Mariners have settled on Anthony Rendon at No. 2, but there are plenty of rumors connecting them to Francisco Lindor and Bubba Starling. There's enough talk there to make me think this is possible, but not probable. Of course, I'm hoping against hope that Lindor does go No. 2, eliminating the chance that the Astros take him and letting guys like Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley drop.
- It also looks like Danny Hultzen is dropping quickly, as Arizona seems to have settled on Trevor Bauer at No. 3. This is a pretty big reversal, but it's not surprising given Bauer's upside and the fact that he could be ready fairly quickly. Arizona would have a nice rotation with him slotted in there.
- After that, things get crazy. Who knows what Baltimore will do now? They've been in on Archie Bradley pretty heavily lately, but is that just a smoke screen for the inevitable Dylan Bundy pick? Who knows?
- If Bauer does go No. 3 to the Diamondbacks, that could mean the Royals snap up Hultzen at No. 5, leaving Washington to go after Jed Bradley, Matt Barnes or Taylor Jungmann as their polished college arm.
- That brings us to the Astros. It's looking more and more like Archie Bradley won't be there at No. 11, so it may be a moot point for Houston to draft him. However, many mocks have them going with Jed Bradley as a college lefty, which is apparently what they're interested in. At least, that's the latest rumor, according to Frankie Piliere.
- If that's the case, my thinking is that the Astros would take Oregon's Tyler Anderson. He makes more sense than Chris Reed at No. 11, is a well-developed left-handed starter in college and isn't much of an overdraft at No. 11. Also, we haven't heard ANYTHING about him being there, which fits the Astros secretive nature in their actual picks. I'm still not 100 percent sure the Chris Reed thing has been disproved to my satisfaction, but Anderson seems like a very viable pick, assuming that Jed Bradley is already gone.