Since 2013, Neal Huntington has drafted nothing but hitters with his first round picks. In 2013 he drafted Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire. He also added Adam Frazier in the sixth and Chad Kuhl in the ninth. Then in 2014 and 2015 Huntington invested in two shortstops in Cole Tucker and Kevin Newman. Also in 2015, they took Ke’Bryan Hayes with a first round compensation pick, and Connor Joe the year before with their 2014 comp pick. Last year Will Craig was chosen in the first, another hitter from Wake Forest. They did break the trend when they drafted Nick Lodolo at pick number 41, the very last pick in the first round. Still, that was 41 picks into the draft.
Overall, Neal Huntington has had a somewhat positive draft record. Although Pedro Alvarez never completely worked out, he still played in a Bucs uniform for 6 seasons. The jury is still out on most of his picks, so it is really hard to judge Huntington’s draft success 100 percent. Still, he looks to have drafted two top flight arms in Taillon and Cole, and very well could add two others in Kingham and Glasnow. Plus he was able to sway one of the top hitting prospects in 2011, Josh Bell, to forgo college.
If anything else, Huntington has not really made any questionable picks other than one year. His 2009 draft was by far the worst draft of his tenure. There are no notable prospects/players from that draft left in the organization. Tony Sanchez was a reach, and Huntington even admitted it after the fact. Still, outside of 2009, Huntington has seemed to have taken an aggressive approach to getting the best talent throughout each draft.