Sunday, January 13, 2008

Draft Recap - S7

Anaheim - Due to free agency Anaheim had 5 picks in the first 40 picks in the draft. Their first 9 picks were all pitchers. The got a future closer in Brantley. Another Closer/Setup in Tony Andrews. With picks #29, #38, and #39 Anaheim got three very similar pitcher. All seem to have decent enough ratings to get to the majors, but none of them have those ideal STA/DUR combos to anchor a rotation. In all I think 7 of their pitchers have a chance to make the ML (which is phenomenal), but I usually don't think a teams first two picks should be RPs.

Arizona - Got a quality 2B in Malcolm Christopher who has above average glove and bat. He also has 100 speed rating, but coupled with mediocre base running skills you wonder what difference the speed will make. SP Kipling and RP Santiago both have a good chance to make the majors,

Atlanta - Their first two picks Joe Welsh and Ben Damon are both quality pitchers. Welsh could have 4 pitches rated over 60 and one of those over 90. When you pick late in the first round though your highly rated pitchers almost always have a flaw and both of them do not have ideal stamina. Lopez is a fine OF, and Gonzales could be a RP can give you 45 IPs from the setup B role.

Austin - Hank Simmons is a true MVP type player, I would rate him someone above Yamid Sierra but not quite Carlos Johnson. Both of those guys are first basemen though, and Simmons actually can play defense enough to be a 3B or quality OF. He does have a potentially fatal flaw, and that is his very poor health rating. Hopefully we never have to do a "what if he had stayed healthy" report on him. Cy Purcell is a ok hitter, but doesn't look like he could make the majors as a SS. RP Roberts is decent, except his pitch ratings are barely average.

Boston - Dennis Perez is a great pickup at #13. He has phenomenal power and good L/R splits. His glove is versatile enough that you have places to play him. He compares well to Vance Damon of Chicago, so he can expect lots of all-star snubs too. Perez unfortunately has a little lower durability than you would like in a star. Buck Perkins and Ricardo Padilla look to be good RPs, but Padilla's STA/DUR is really going to limit him to an inning every 4 days.

Chicago - Didn't have a first round pick until #51 due to the Daniel Malone signing. At 51 they picked up Kevin Carter. He looks a hair below ideal range for a SS, but other than that it should be ok as a defensive SS. His bat is a little light, so he might end up as the teams ML backup SS. 2nd round pick Hal Throneberry is a 2B with an average bat.

Cincinnati - Juan Colome looks like a true star in the making, every offensive rating project to at least upper 80s except vR, and that is in the 70s. I don't see his 3rd round pick, but he's asking for $8.5 and that is not a good sign. Not too many 3rd rounders are worth that. In the 4th and 5th round Cincy picked up 2 very good defensive SS, with light bats, which I think is a great use of those rounds.

Cleveland - Tenidad Gomez is a solid SP that could end up being a #2 or #3 in the rotation. His stamina is a little low, but he got a very good durability for a SP that should overcome some of that. He's got pitches in the 90s, 80s, and 70s, with three good pitches and fourth pitch to go along with his great control and good splits he should do well. Pick #34 was a defensive wizard CF Wagner, who has great L/R splits. Zimmer will make the majors, I like my 1B to have a little more power, he's more of a Sean Casey/John Olerud type guy. I like his 2nd round pick Zapata and see him a quality contributor for a long time.

Colorado - SP Graves will be an anchor for their rotation for a long time. He's got everything you want in an SP, he's doesn't have those mind-blowing ratings in the 85+ range, but just as important every rating is solid and he doesn't have a weakness. SP Becker is good, but his pitch ratings are a little lower than you like. I also like his switch hitting CF Castillo.

Dover - Has some signing issues in a few of his guys. Rob Forest swings a nice bat, but I really am not sure he can make it defensively as a SS. Vin Jacobs is a masher who won't have great OBP, but with hit 40-50 HRs. I can't see three of his other players, but pick #61 is asking for $6.5M.

Florida - Chazzzzz is starting to get quite a stack of all-stars. Usually I would not suggest getting a catcher with the first pick, but Gerald Bradley look to be quite a catch (look what milbredhawk started with his puns.) He reminds me of a Joe Mauer or Scottsdale's Kyle Forrest (with a little less power.) He's that rare HBD catcher that has a quality bat, quality catcher skills, and high durability. 2nd Rounder Ray Anderson has a very nice glove, and a good bat to go with a great batting eye and some speed. CF Griffith has a great glove. I actually like his 5th round pitcher better than his 4th rounder.

Fresno - They had the #3 pick in the draft, although I did not scout SP Hinske, it has been reported he is very good. Right now though he is holding out. 2B Darren Prior has a nice glove, but I expect at the ML level he plays the OF. Kenny Hill and Julio Miranda are both good glove CF/2B types that have adequate ML bats. Looks like the 2B/CF area is covered for a while in Fresno.

Hartford - Got a good slugging 3B Maxwell that should have a good BA, he's going to be an RBI machine for this team. Juan Solano is one of those monster power guys with a great BE, but he's really a DH so it looks like NL based Hartford is going to try him at 1B. He would hit 60 HRs at Hartford. 3B Branson and RF Manning are both solid players that don't do anything spectacular.

Houston - Another team that went all-in when it came to pitchers as his first 8 picks were pitchers. Len Phelps looks like a star in the making. He's got phenomenal L/R splits, to go along with very good control and pitch ratings. He can be an Ace on a staff, but like a number of SPs this year his STA/DUR combo is a little lower than you like. He looks like a 190 IP guy. 2nd rounder Miller has nice ratings, but will probably end up as a LRA.

Indianapolis - Stone Rivera is holding out right now, but I expect him to sign. He's got great ratings all around and is a franchise player. He is a true 5 tool type player. Pick #33 SP Prieto can pitch 220 IPs, but not sure if his L/R splits are going to be high enough to make the majors. Their next three picks Lofton, Mateo, and Dillon all have a chance to make the majors. I really like 3B Dillon's numbers for a 4th round pick.

Las Vegas - For the second season in a row Vegas has picked up a star SP in the first round. He doesn't have any of those pitching red flags, and he has 4 pitchers that should rate in the upper 70s. Picked pitchers until the 10th round, but their low scouting budget showed up in the later rounds. Used some of their draft picks wisely on some great FA pickups, I think most teams would trade their deeper drafts to get their hands on Gilbert.

Memphis - Got a solid player in Chris Yates. He does everything pretty good, but what could push him up into the list of good first round pick is those secondary ratings like durability, health, and makeup which all rate very high. It was a pretty well rounded first 5 rounds, got a SP and decent RP in the 5th round.

Milwaukee - I'll start off by saying I am not a fan of picking up closer type RPs with a top 10 pick in the draft. It is such a volatile position in HBD and in my opinion the hardest position to predict success even for veteran pitchers. Then closers might only affect 50 IPs a season so it is hard to make a case for them over 200 IPs SPs and 550 AB sluggers available at this spot. But since it is so unpredictable, if Milwaukee was able to find the Marianno Rivera of Morgan World and for 12 seasons this guy gives them 40+ saves with 1.10 WHIP, 2.25 ERA and solidifies the closers spot they will be happy with this pick. I do think he is the best closer I have seen in the draft. All the crucial number are in the 90s, his stamina is high enough to actually pitch an entire inning, and durability means he is ready almost every other game. I consider this the riskiest pick in the entire draft, but at the same time it could pay off very big. Bingo LeCroy is another quality RP, but his low STA/DUR will keep him from being an all-star. Shortstops Friend and Rushford both have decent bats, but their range is low for SS. For the 5th round Landrum is a good SP, he has very good STA/DUR numbers, and the very nice pitch ratings could overcome the lower L/R splits.

Minnesota - Didn't get a pick until #44, where they got a Juan Pierre like CF in Clint Clemens. He has a good glove, and great speed, but the bat is a little light. His next pick Reitz is almost the twin of his first pick.

Monterrey - I can't see is first pick Albert Sellers, but if he's 23 picks better than his supplemental pick he has to be something good. CF Tavarez is a very nice pick and one of the best CF in the draft, add to the fact that he was pick #35 and this was a steal. 3B Griffin is another solid well rounded player, while JD Loux is a pure power hitter. 4th rounder Yamamoto is a solid hitter, but he is really on a DH.

Nashville - SS Dickie Baxter is just a bit below ideal defensive numbers at SS, but his bat is so strong he is valuable wherever he ends up playing. The next four picks were pitchers, but their L/R splits are a little lower than I like.

New Britain - Steve Miceli is a solid all-round baseball player. He swings a bat that does everything well, but nothing excellent. Same for his glove, he probably won't be able to play SS at the ML level but he does have versatility. Pick #46 swings a similarly good bat, but is not nearly as versatile with the glove. Torres was a nice pick at #105, I can seem him as very nice leadoff hitter. He could bat .280 with 45+ steals. Cameron can smack around LH pitchers, so he might end up a great 1/2 of a platoon.

NY - Cortez is great bat and will produce big things in that Funk lineup. He has excellent L/R splits, and enough power to hit 25-30 HRs. He also has great secondary ratings (the health, durability, and makeup) They also got a great leadoff hitter/CF in Whitman. He is a 40 SB kind of guy that can get on base. His next three picks all have a decent chance of contributing the ML level. I think NY really benefited from so many teams focusing on pitching in the draft they got some position players that project better than their draft slot.

Sacramento - Butch Hoffman has a good bat, but his glove probably won't be good enough to play SS in the majors. Still his range is good enough to maybe play CF. Ricardo Martin could be the best hitter in the draft, but he is a DH only kind of guy. I think Sacramento is pushing to allow 3 DHs in the game for future seasons. Picks #65 Groom, #74 Knight, and #106 Speaker I also consider major league material and certainly scout as high quality for where they were drafted.

Salem - This was a tough draft for Salem. I think they had the worst "first pick" position in the draft due to signing Brian Scott (who has done very well.) Couple that with going the "only draft pitchers" until rd 8 strategy that some other teams employed and well most of the good SPs were gone by their first pick.

Santa Fe - I really like the Dickie Snyder pickup. He's a solid #2 or #3 SP (which is the best you can hope for when picking in the 20s) his splits are above average, but he has two pitches over 70 and all five are over 50. He's got good control and GB/FB ratio which are key to success in Santa Fe. They got a great defensive C with pick #45, and his power could even project to HR totals in the 40s. Buzz Kramer could be a decent RP, and Beltre has solid hitting numbers if he could crack Santa Fe's solid lineup.

Scottsdale - With the last pick in the first round Scottsdale picked Kennie Mullin, he's a quality SP with good control and L/R splits. One pitch hits the upper 90s, and two more are above 60. Obviously he fell due to his less than ideal STA/DUR combo and health, but he might get 190-200 IPs a season. After that is Thurman Robbins who could be a good ML starter, but he is very raw and has a lot of room to grow before he will make it. RP Carrasquel has good control and two great pitches, but his L/R splits are mediocre. David Taylor is a dark horse to one day be a 5th starter at the ML level/

St. Louis. A peculiar draft. He has yet to sign any players before round 17. I only scouted one of his top 5 players and he won't sign. Hopefully he at least makes offer to some of these guys.

Texas - Pierzynski is one of the most complete hitters in the draft, contact, power, vL, vR, and BE all project above 80. You can build a lineup around this guy and I am sure he will be an all-star. I think Trujillo who is a ok defensive C with a decent bat was picked a bit early. But then at picks #91 and #123 they picked up some very good RPs that should be quality players. Very few people must have scouted them because I was surprised guys that talented were still left on the board.

Toronto - Ramon Martin has pretty average L/R splits, but his speed, contact, power, and batting eye are all very strong. I haven't seen many player that are good at everything except L/R splits so it will be interesting to find out what his production looks like. 2nd round and 3rd round picks Joel Branson and Billy Hamill both are good hitters, but that is not much diversity in their top 3 picks.

DC - Picked up a very nice power hitter in Rudy Lee, he is going to tear LH pitchers up. Then picked up one of the best defensive SS in the game, who has enough of a bat to get him to the big leagues. Then must have picked up 1st round pick Rudy's brother in Tony Lee, another RF that kills RH pitchers. There is an outside chance SP Arias makes the big, but it will be a back of the rotation kind of guy.

Wichita - Jumbo Alfonseca will be a SP at the major league level for many years, he has good control and respectable splits. Still with a top 10 pick I think most people are hoping to land a much stronger SP. To be honest I'm not sure if I don't like SP Jesse Reynolds who they got with at #50 better than pick #7. In the 5th round they got a decent CF in Herb Christensen. In round 4 they took a flyer on SS Bartolo Cruz. He says he won't sign and is asking for $5M for the 122th pick in the draft. His glove is outstanding and is probably just a couple of points away from being the best SS glove in the draft. His bat is good enough to keep him in the majors with that glove. Usually past the supplemental round the occasional outrageous contract demands players ask for are an easy "No thanks" choice for owners, but I can see this guy getting signed for $5M as an IFA. If no great IFAs come by signing him might be a good option

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