Monday, April 21, 2008

S8 Draft Review (Teams A through L)

To make the comparison’s go easier I’m using a simple star system to refer to prospects.

4 star prospects are sure thing prospects, perennial all-stars, potential HOF type guys. I usually would expect only 1 or 2 guys in a draft could get this.
3 star prospects are stud players that you would expect to make an all-star appearance. Usually all round very good ratings, or great ratings combined with a flaw
2 star prospects solid ML players that should be solid contributors.
1 star prospects will probably be ML players, but not exactly impact guys.

By the way this year my advance scouting is lower than in the past – so you might completely disagree about opinion, just going by what my scouts say they are.

Albuquerque – Has signed none of his first 5 players. Odd since he has must have about 9M left in cash for prospects. First round pick SP looks to be a decent middle of the rotation starter.

Anaheim – Had 3 picks between #28 and #41. Miguel Rijo is an OF that looks to very solid roll player, certainly a two star player maybe three. To be honest the next two pick Pellow and Bollivar are very similar type guys, each of them have solid offensive ratings, with some pop in their bat. 2nd round pick Zeke Pearson doesn’t have a lot of power, but should be a high OBP switch hitter. While they all should be ML players, I’m guessing if this was a live draft he would not have picked similar guys four picks in a row.

2nd Round pitcher Jon Rowan is a one star type pitcher. He’s not bad just the DUR is just too low to be a SP. C Julio Johnson will be a solid ML backup catcher.

Their 5th round pick is very interesting. Chris Franklin could be a 3 star prospect. He’s got power, good splits, his batting eye is not ideal but good enough. Sure he is a DH only type guy, but many NL clubs are finding success using these guys at 1B.

Arizona - Their first round pick still has not signed (Tim Prince) and their third round pick also says he has his heart set on college and is currently asking for $7.5M. He might be worth it though, I’m sure he’d get that if he were an IFA. There second round pick Fred Riley did sign, and I actually like him a lot. Good splits and good defense, though I don’t think his glove cuts it as a SS at the ML level. His DUR is a tad low, but for a second round pick they did very well. Certainly a two star prospect.

If those two pitchers sign it would be a very nice draft, a little iffy without them.

Atlanta - Kane Howard is a solid pitcher. He won’t walk many and has some good pitch ratings, but I just don’t use guys with sub 20 DUR as SPs, and certainly not without an upper 90s STA. Matty Lowell is a borderline 2 star prospect. His bat is a little light for a COF. Cookie Goodwin was not a great prospect, but an injury just crushed him. His health rating dropped 12 points. As a powerhouse Atlanta always picks very late in the first round, but I am frequently amazed at the guy that fall to them there. Unfortunately this year seems a little leaner than in the past.

Augusta – The surprise team so far this season was able to grab a future all-star in Matthew Carter I can see this guy battling for a batting title and I would consider him a 3 star prospect.

They also grabbed a RP Rube Hickman and 3B Piper Cornelius who isn’t much of a power threat, but should hit for average.

- Antonio Kelly is a very talented player. Good glove with a nice bat, but that health rating is Kerry Wood’ish. Raul Jose could be a gold glove type CF, and

Boise - #2 pick in the draft Al Valdez is a star in the making. Besides his great all round offensive ratings, he should be a quality 2B/CF and his DUR means he could play 162 games. It’s a very overlooked rating, but it could be a 15% boost in stat totals over a similar player with an 85 DUR.

Ed Crawford is an interesting player. He crushes LH pitching, but really might struggle against RH pitchers. It would be hard to platoon him being that he only really has a glove for DH. Then again it might work out well as 1B platoon against LH SPs and then use him as a pinch hitter when the RH SP is replaced by a LH RP. Morrie Hansell is another DH type, good offensive number, but health is a major concern.

This is one of the downsides to a pre-rank draft. Boise needed an impact bat, but after Valdez was drafted their next five picks are 1B/DH only type guys. They probably would have moved to another type of player if they saw what they had got.

Chicago – After a drought of not having their first round pick sign, Chicago finally found someone to take their money. The got switch hitting Wallace Christians who has great range, and could hit 40 HRs with a decent average. He’s a three star type prospect.

Ticked off at accidentally drafting a player in the first round that would sign, they signed a guy in the supplemental round that won’t. He says his heart is in staying at college his demands are $8M, so that’s the least amount he will sign for. Probably more if he signs at all, but seriously he might be worth the $8M because he was probably would have been drafted in the top 10 if he wasn't so stubborn about going to college.

In round two he got two pitchers, but both to me look like they have to low of control to make it in the bigs.

ClevelandIvan Ledee is a legit 3 star prospect. I expect him to be an all-star type guy with 1.000 OPS. His health rating is pretty bad, but the truth is you’re not going to get a guy of his caliber at #19 without a blemish.

With the 33rd pick in the draft Cleveland grabbed Sid Ducey He’s a good two star prospect that I expect to make the majors.

Their 2nd round pick is very interesting. Antonio Maduro has MVP like batter ratings. He will crush everything while he is on the field. How do you pick up a guy like this with the 51st pick in the draft? Well he’s got the glove of a DH. Cleveland could decide to play him at 1B, but the other problem is his DUR rating means it will be a stretch for him to get 375AB. I think it’s a good pickup with a second round pick because he could platoon with another guy, PH some, and then play a rested playoff series. And it looks like they could have picked up the right handed platoon for him 13 picks later in Antonio Maduro

Good draft for Cleveland offensively (half a point deduction for drafting a guy with a 1 Control rating in round 4 Virgil “If it weren’t for gravity…” Candelaria)

– Grabbed a heck of a closer in Cooper Moore. Reminds me a lot of my own closer in Vancouver Will Monroe, except I think Moore will be even better. He’s a solid all round RP and really doesn’t have much if any flaws.

Pick #39 Jason McCartin is a solid all round 1B prospect.

With pick #58 They grabbed another top end RP in Travis Jarvis. He doesn’t have quite the mind blowing numbers of Cooper Moore, but honestly he is good enough to close for most teams.

Lee Erdos isn’t a bad pickup for the 90th player overall selected. He is a 1 star type SP/LRA prospect. He doesn’t blow you away, but he has an 80, 70, and two 60 rated pitches. He’s a serviceable back of the rotation SP or long relief option.

– With the first pick in the draft Florida selected Jesse Richardson. He has great L/R splits, makeup, and outstanding control. He seems like the perfect pitcher to pair with a low PC catcher that can hit. I do have one concern about him, and that is what I see as his Durability topping out at 17. If that is accurate (which certainly might not be) it could keep his pitch counts in the 90s which puts his IPs around 180-190 (similar to another very good SP Willie Pena,) He was certainly deserving of the first pick, and particularly for a team that has some stellar talent at position players, but needed an Ace SP. If I my scouting is off on DUR then I would give him 4 stars, but if its accurate I would have to give him 3 ½ stars.

2nd round pick George Crawford is a CF with superb speed. He got a good BE and contact (the latter being something I think HBD has given more weight to recently), so he could be a leadoff hitter or bat “leadoff” from the 9th spot.

4th round pick Bob Denny might be a one star prospect. He could find himself at the back of the rotation or maybe as a LRA type guy.

Hartford – Didn’t pick until 25, but got an interesting guy in Rudy Duran. He certainly won’t be an SP at the ML level (unless he was a tandem guy) but he should be able to give Hartford 100 very good innings.

Their second round pick was Lewis Risley, and I think this was a very good pick at this spot. I find it hard to believe 69 other players were better than him. He doesn’t have any single rating that jumps out at you, but every rating is solid. He could play either CF/2B, and his offensive ratings are all in the 50s and 60s. At the very least he is a super utility guy you can play everywhere except SS/C and he hits well enough to not kill your team. A solid 2 star prospect.

Amos Petersen is very similar to their first round pick, he is one of those “tweener” pitchers with sub 20 DUR and sub 60 STA. But he has great stuff and should give them another 50-80 IPs of solid numbers.

Clinton Meyer is a more traditional RP. His control is a little lower than ideal but he has very nice splits and good pitch ratings. He should make a good setup guy.

Hartford didn’t get a HOF player, but as I look at their guys I thought almost all of the guys they picked should have been gone before they had a chance to grab them.

Houston – At #30 Houston grabbed Rickey Bagley. He’s a solid RP that has very nice pitch ratings.

Late second rounder Russell Montgomery is a solid back of the rotation/LRA type guy. Its hard to grab decent SPs this late, but he should be able to contribute somewhere. Very good control, decent splits, and average pitch ratings.

Huntington – Late first round pick Jimmy Wolf is a SS that has some power and hits lefties very well. His BE rating is pretty low, but if he is able to play SS you usually give up some offensive skills for a good glove.

Unfortunately after that they picked four SPs that had great stamina, durability, and control, but their L/R splits are just to low to be effective at the ML level.

Indianapolis – They grabbed the premier catcher in the draft with the 6th pick Pedro Arroyo. He projects to a quality defensive catcher, and has outstanding offensive ratings. Then add that he project to 100 DUR, Indy won’t have to worry about a catcher for the 10 years. He is certainly a 4 star prospect.

George Reynolds just doesn’t seem to have the control to make it as a ML SP.

Lenny Robinson is a decent CF, but I still only project him a 1 star prospect

Las Vegas – I didn’t scout their first round pick, but he hasn’t signed yet so that’s a bad sign for him signing at all. They have a second round pick, and the next three pitchers they grabbed probably won’t make the majors. Another tough draft for Vegas. But it was a poor draft that also didn’t sink much money into – which beats a poor draft that costs a lot of money in scouting. They have obviously employed a strategy of not putting much into the draft, try and land a decent first rounder, and spend the rest of the money on free agents. While its not the strategy of most owners it isn’t a method without some merit.

Little Rock – They needed pitcher, and their first 6 picks were just that. Clint Hernandez was their first pick. He has great pitch ratings and control, and his L/R splits are pretty good. Still unless his DUR gets a boost I just don’t see him as a SP. Currently no pitcher being used as a SP in the world has a DUR rating that low (I don’t count Horacio Rosario, he’s been throwing 50-60 pitches a game and still can’t recover to 100% by the time it is his turn in the rotation)

Keith Becker is an interesting pitcher. His splits are just so-so, but he has good control and two highly rated pitches. He can save a bullpen though with his mid 40s stamina and mid 80s durability. So he is almost always available to pitch 2 innings if you need them.

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