AL East Round-up: Intriguing 2014 MLB Draft Picks Edition

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Jun 2, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach

Jim Hickey

(48) talks to starting pitcher

Alex Cobb

(left) on the pitching mound during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays

No team in the American League East has taken better advantage of the draft than the Tampa Bay Rays, and they’ve done a great job of shifting from picking from a top 10  spot to the latter half of the draft.  Because of this, the Rays have been able to provide a solid stream of talent to their Major League club without having to worry about splurging on free agents. That’s been due to having one of the smartest front offices in the game, with a keen eye for talent. That occurred again in this draft when they went out an drafted one of the most polished power-hitting prospects on the board in first baseman Casey Gillaspie, a talent that is comparing to

Mark Teixeira


Lance Berkman

. Those are pretty solid comparisons to draw and if the Rays get either out of Gillaspie, who should move quickly, they’ll have a winner.

However, the team’s most interesting pick came in the fourth round, when the Rays nabbed a polished high school arm in Blake Bivens, a pitcher that made quite a bit of noise as the draft neared. For a high school arm, Bivens has perhaps one of the best breaking pitches in the draft and the Virginia native has more polish than his age foretells. He looks to gain more velocity as his frame fills out and the addition of another secondary pitch will put the  right-hander on the same path of other pitchers developed in the organization like Alex Cobb.