By Danny Knobler
SECAUCUS, N.J. -- We knew this draft would provide some surprises.
We never thought the surprises would start so soon.
After the Pirates opened the draft by picking UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole, as expected, the Mariners followed by choosing University of Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen with the second pick.
Hultzen wasn't a pick out of the blue. The Pirates went to the final weekend before deciding between Cole and Hultzen at No. 1.
But in every pre-draft scenario discussed among officials at the draft, the pitching-rich, offense-poor Mariners were going to take Rice University third baseman Anthony Rendon.
"Completely unexpected," Hultzen told MLB Network after the pick was made.
The Diamondbacks followed by taking UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer, also as expected.
Rendon went to the Nationals, with the sixth pick.
At that point, the six players expected to go 1-6 had gone 1-6. In that sense, the draft was going as expected.
But who knew the Mariners would pass on Rendon and take Hultzen?
Other first-round thoughts:
-- The Orioles took high school pitcher Dylan Bundy, who some scouts considered the most talented pitcher in the entire draft.
-- As recently as Sunday, the Royals were expected to stay away from local high school product Bubba Starling, not because they didn't like him but because he has a football scholarship to Nebraska and they weren't convinced he wanted to sign. Eventually, the Royals took Starling, possibly because he convinced them or maybe because their preferred picks were taken before they drafted. Kent Babb, a writer for the Kansas City Star, wrote on Twitter that Starling told him two months ago that "it would make it very difficult to go to Nebraska if the Royals picked him."
-- Two picks after Nebraska's next quarterback went to the Royals, Oklahoma's next quarterback went seventh overall when the Diamondbacks used their second first-round pick on Archie Bradley. Bradley is also well-regarded, enough so that there was talk before the draft that the Orioles would take him with the fourth pick.
-- UCLA became just the second school to have two of the first three picks. Arizona State did it in 1978, with Bob Horner going first overall to the Braves and Hubie Brooks going two picks later to the Mets.
-- Bundy and Bradley didn't go to school together, but they have worked out together for years. In an interview on MLB Network, Bundy said they were "pretty much brothers."
-- As advertised, this was a pitcher-heavy draft. The first four picks were all pitchers, for the first time ever. But it also points up another general problem baseball has right now, which is that there aren't enough good young hitters in the game right now. It's one of the reasons that offense is down in the big leagues, and it's one of the things scouts covering the minor leagues talk about.
-- Baseball has improved the visibility of the draft in recent years, almost all for the better. But it probably wasn't a great idea for one of the MLB Network guys to walk to the front of the media section and yell to the fans sitting behind that they should applaud every pick: "Even if it's fake, it looks good on TV."
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.