Friday, May 9, 2008

S8 Draft Review (teams M-W)

Memphis – With pick #22 Memphis picked Carl Osborne. He’s a raw player at 18, and he might be 4-5 seasons away from contributing but he looks like a very good leadoff hitter. What I like about him as a leadoff hitter is not just his speed, but he’s a switch hitter and has 90+ rating at both durability and health. So he could be a 650 AB per season kind of guy.

2nd round pick Kip Haynes has a solid bat, but his glove is not good at all. If he can only play 1B his bat is below average for a 1B. He probably would steal more bases than any other 1B though.

Milwaukee – This team has certainly invested in the future. Spending over $5M each on the their first two picks and another $1.5M on a third rounder. Everett Sanders is a SS, with a good bat. That would be a very good bat if he can stay at SS. His range isn’t ideal, but his other defensive ratings are SS quality.

Interestingly enough 45 picks later they got almost an identical player in Jeremy Bird. His bat is just a hair lighter than Sanders, but still ML quality. Obviously his signability was a factor in him dropping as he got $5.5M for being the #52 pick. With him signing it looks like a good gamble, I suspect Bird would have gotten more on the IFA market.

I’m not usually a fan of a team first two picks being the same position, but two SS or two SPs are usually valuable enough and versatile enough to be exempt from that.

- Walter Reith looks to me like one of the stars of the draft. To get a legit star SP to fall to a team at #18 is just amazing. Maybe my scouting has overrated him, but to me he looks like a pitcher with 4 pitches all projecting over 60, good L/R splits, pin-point control, and ideal STA/DUR combination to pitch 220-240 innings per season. Add very good health along with good enough makeup and he has the look of a SP that will anchor a team. I do have one concern about him though, and it surprises me. He is really get shelled on the mound. 1.75 WHIP and 6.00 ERA are scary numbers to post against rookie hitters over 15 games.

Roger Dillon was their second round pick. I’m a little torn on whether this guy becomes a solid producer at the ML level. His contact rating is amazing, and in my opinion they tweaked the sim a bit and contact rating has more effect than it used to have. His splits are good, but his BE and power ratings are low. If his glove work is good enough to play 2B in the majors then I think he’s a good pick, if he can’t make it as a 2B and has to move to the outfield his bat will be considered a little light.

3rd round pick Tom Buckley looks like a backup SS or platoon against LH pitchers.

Monterrey – This is one of those teams that has not seen much success at the ML level, but keeps drafting stars and soon enough they are going to be fielding a powerful team. Todd Russell is a top of the line SP. He should give them about 210 quality innings. He also could have two pitches rated 90+, which is something no SP in this league currently has. Very interesting pitcher and he should do well.

Hideki Dong is also a very good pick at #50. He projects to a quality CF/2B and his bat is very strong, reminds me of Kiki Lopez.

Anthony Bruske is a speedster that might make it as a 24th or 25th guy on the roster.

– With the 9th pick in the draft, Nashville picked up a 4 star player in Zeus Affeldt who offensively compares well to Rafael Cedeno, but with a better health rating. On the negative side Zeus is an atrocious bunter, but that really shouldn’t keep him from being a MVP ballot type guy.

CF Ryan Kent was chosen at #54 and he should be able to make it to the majors one day.
SS Bill Sanford is a 3rd rounder that looks to fill the backup SS role. If called upon he could probably fill a starting SS role without killing a lineup with his bat. Overall a good pick for #86. Then their next pick James Glynn seems to fill a very similar role as a 2B instead of SS.

New York- NL
If I’m not mistaken Kennie Hentgen is the first player from the S8 draft to make it to the big leagues. He was the eighth pick, but outside of Tacoma IF Les Park, Kennie was probably the most ready to play in the big leagues of any player in the draft. While he was the most ML ready of any player, his ceiling isn’t particularly high. I really don’t think the early promotion hurt his chances of developing his bat; he actually already looks pretty close to his projections in that area. His glove certainly needed some improvement, and is no where close enough to having a SS quality glove now or in the future. Good player, but I don’t think he’s all-star material.

New York – AL The Funk took a gamble taking SS Neal Rose in the first round. He projects to being a great SS with a great bat. But the gamble is his truly awful health rating and a durability rating that for now is 40. This has already bit the Funk in the arse when Rose found himself on the 60 day DL. I think Neal Rose will eventually make the majors (but probably not as a SS) and could even have a number of productive seasons, unfortunately I think he will be one of those “if only he had stayed healthy” kind of guys when you look back at his career

R.J. Washington looks like a speedy leadoff type COF.

Ted Moore could find himself as a defensive replacement type MIF, but his bat isn’t strong enough to be a full type starter at the ML level.

Sacramento – They had 3 picks between #29 and #42, and a total of 8 picks in the first five rounds. Dante Bradley is a switch hitting slugger in the mold of current Sacramento all-star Benj Clark. Dante is a DH/1B type of guy, and his average could get affected by the fact strong armed outfielders should be able to throw him out at first base with his 0 speed and 11 base running ratings. There is no denying he is an impact bat and should do well for them.
At pick #36 they got a gold glove type catcher in Alex Cervantes. He is stellar behind the plate, but his great 99 durability rating is somewhat offset by the fact he would really need to be platooned against LH pitchers.

Osvaldo Martin was picked at #42, he’s a quality RP that I’m sure would have gone much higher if he didn’t have such low DUR/STA. He’ll probably only be able to give 40 IPs a year at most. I think this was the perfect spot for him because Sacramento could “blow” a first round pick on 40 IPs a year as it had two other first rounders, and as a playoff fixture a guy like this gets even more valuable come the post-season with the extra days of rest.

If given a choice Sacramento always go for the guy with power, 2nd round pick is a 2B/COF Roger Webster that chicks dig because the long ball. Ditto for Sandy Stairs.

Salem – Picking 17th they grabbed SP Roger Darnell. Roger is a dichotomy of pitching extremes, my scouts see his L/R splits as projecting to more than 30 point difference. Then he has 2 pitches that project to at least upper 80s and 90s, and then three pitches that project to 40s, 30s, and 20s. It will be interesting to see what his career ends up looking like. So far he has a tough go of it in Lo-A.

Interestingly enough they grabbed another SP in round 2 Rollie Bale, he doesn’t have Darnell’s upside, but his low ratings are not as low either. Looks like a LRA type guy at the major league level.

Norberto Baerga in the 4th round looks like a solid backup type catcher player. Neither catching nor hitting skills blow you away, but they should be acceptable enough to rest starters without worrying to much.

San Juan – Picking 24th after winning a world series in Boston, San Juan chose IF Bill Lowe. If it were not for his sub-par range he would be a SS, as it is he probably ends up playing spectacular defense at 3B at the ML level. He’s got a solid bat, and his durability, health, and makeup are good. I see him very much like a LH version of Stan Easley.

When looking at their second round pick Edgardo Nunez its hard not to compare him to their first round pick. He’s not quite as good, but similar in many ways.

In the third round they got RP Michael Robbins, who has a shot as a Setup B type guy.

Tacoma – With the third pick in the draft Tacoma picked up Les Weber. I certainly think he was deserving of such a high slot. He was drafted as a SS, but I’m not sure he really projects to that at the major league level. Maybe if he was a 18 years old his glove would progress, but he’s already 22 and his glove rating is 56. The truth is he is probably can’t sit in the minor waiting for his glove to develop because his bat is just too good, he could hold his own in the majors today (not that I wouldn’t suggest giving him some time in the minors to progress more.) Many SS I penalize in reviewing when they look like they just won’t be able be able to make it to ML standards defense ratings. If you can play a good gloved SS that has offensive ratings that are all around 60 then he is ahead what the rest of the teams can put on the field. But once he moves over to a less demanding defensive position the bar moves up on what is considered good batter ratings. Les Weber you could play at first base and he still would be ahead of most teams, any defense you get from him is gravy. I wouldn’t call him the best bat taken in the draft, but I think he has the best bat/glove combination.

At pick #48 they go SP Alex Guerrero. He’s not a bad choice and was probably one of the best SPs available at this point in the draft, but we’ll have to see if he pans out and makes it as a major leaguer. Same goes for third round pick Andrew West.

Daniel Daly is not better than either of their first two SP picks, but for being a fifth rounder I think he has the best shot of any 5th SP of making the majors.

Texas – At my initial glance at first round pick Paxton Thompson I was a little disappointed. He would definitely be on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of defensive ability if he plays 2B. Then his L/R splits are in the 60s. That’s good, but doesn’t blow me away for being the 12th pick in the draft. But when you dig a little deeper you see some of those ratings that make a good player great. His contact and power are obviously great, along with his very good batting eye. His health and durability ratings are superb, that probably bumps him up 50-75 ABs per season. He has good base running skills so he gets you some SBs – he really is a complete player. Ideally I think if things go right for him he could be a Derrick Flynn type guy, which I’m sure would be fine with Texas.

They got another good player in the second round, Hub Walton is a COF with a very nice bat. Of course good bats in the second round always have a wart, and his has to be his health rating.

Kent Dykhoff has a look of a utility type guy that makes the team as a decent backup.

Toronto – With the 20th pick in the draft Toronto selected rubber armed SP Angel House. He has the ability to easily throw 240 innings fully rested. The question is do they want him out there that much. He has very good control, decent splits, his pitch ratings worry me a bit. One pitch over 80 and three pitches that might not make it to 40 could make it rough on him.

There second round pick is similar, Brett Dixon can throw a ton of inning, but how effective will he be at the ML level. He has done well so far in the minors.

I really like their 4th round choice in Wilt Swann. He’s no all-star, but for a 4th round pick he is very good. He has one of the best gloves in the draft, and honestly his bat isn’t that bad. He might only his .210, but with that glove some teams could decide to play him.

– with the 32nd pick in the draft Vancouver picked Glenn Nixon. He’s got great “stuff” and has had an excellent rookie campaign, but he is not without flaws. He has yet to pitch into the 5th inning as a starter this season. He might be able to be a spot starter one day, but the truth is he is probably a long relief type guy with his less than ideal STA/DUR.

After that Vancouver drafted numerous HOF potential guys – sadly due to a international scout eagerness to impress the owner he oversold IFA Guillermo Roque as a future all-star, they blew their budget and did not sign any players picked from the supplemental round to round 23.

Wichita – The 4th pick in the draft was James Chen, who is a capable SP. He’s got good control and nice splits. Three pitches for an SP in this game always worry me a bit, particularly when none are really dominating and one is poor.

I like their 3rd round pick Angel Dawkins He has a potential to get his stamina in the upper 20s to low 30s, and a durability of 95+. Decent splits and a couple of good pitches means he can really anchor a bullpen so you don’t have to throw any tired pitchers out there. Reminds me of a Tom Waterson type guy that could give you 75-100 innings of relief.

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