Thursday, October 23, 2008

S10 Draft Review

This year my scouting was not as strong as it has been in the past so you might see your players significantly different than I saw them.

Top Ten Draft Prospects

#1 SP Russell Martin
#2 SP Andrea Eiland
#3 SP Marc Bunning
#4 SP Jermaine Knepper
#5 IF Curtis Shumaker
#6 SP Hector Bonilla
#7 SP Edwin McGowan
#8 IF Harold Diaz
#9 OF Duke Webster
#10 SP Tommy Blake

The biggest story of this draft has to be the depth of All-Star Caliber SP that came out. It is akin to the SP version of the 1983 NFL draft. On the flip side the offensive side seemed to lack much punch and that problem was exacerbated even more so by the shunning of a contract offer by super-star prospect Britt Robertson, whose offensive numbers read like 86 CON 88 POW 100 vL 86 vR 76 BE. Other than him I only saw 2 offensive prospects that might put up any sort of numbers that could get them Silver Slugger type awards.

Anaheim – A solid SP Brian Winn should make the majors but his control will keep him from being an all-star. About the best you can expect from the 24th pick.
In the supplemental round got a great 3B Paul Maduro that could have been picked higher.
Got a Gold Glove type CF in Craig Cooke with pick 41.
Another good player with their second round pick 1B Stuart Speaker
Got 2 good setup man in John Glanville and Carl Winn Then two defensive catchers in Charlie Blankenship and Santiago Martin later in the draft.
Wasn’t a draft full of all-stars, but it is possible his first 8 picks could contribute some way to the major league team one day. Did a great job of getting the most talent available when they picked.

- SP Wesley Piper was picked at number 13. He’s got a rubber arm and great control, but unless my scouts are way off I don’t see his L/R splits as major league material.
Again maybe it’s my scouts but I like his 3rd round pick Woody Martin looks much better than his 1st round selection.

Atlanta – An all round solid 3b Hersh Hodges looks like a typical solid draft pick from ATL again.

Solid hitting and decent glove C Adrian Parris was picked up in the supplemental round
Sam Reid was nabbed in the second round and should do well.
Another good draft by Atlanta.

Augusta – SP Eric Bell was picked 31. Decent splits and control, but pitch rating isn’t spectacular. Second round SP Al Valenzuela is almost the opposite. OK L/R splits, but great pitch ratings.

Austin – One of the stories of this draft is the big gamble to draft Britt Robertson. He probably had the biggest upside of any player in the draft. Personally I saw him as a 100 OVR player, but he said he was determined not to sign. Still I’ve seen these guys sign albeit to huge contracts. So teams had to decide to play it safe or potentially let a Randy Moss type player drop to teams below them. I personally think it was a good gamble since they had the prospect money available, but unfortunately it did not work out.

At least they got a dependable RP Cal Robertson, who even if he doesn’t develop already has 92 DUR/26 STA, so he can give you at least an inning in 90+ games a season.

Boise – This was a draft that was top heavy and had some great all-stars available early in the draft. Boise picked up one of those guys in Curtis Shumaker. He is ready to play in the majors today and will certainly be up in a season or two, I think he is the player in the draft that is closest to producing in the major leagues. What makes him so good is not just his great bat and solid glove; but he has superb durability, speed, and makeup. A true cornerstone player.
Picked solid hitting 1B Tony Humphries in the second.
Interesting RP George Ball looks to be a nice long relief type guy.

Boston – Almost seems unfair that a team this good got a very good SP Tommy Blake so late in the draft. Good splits, DUR/STA, and pitch ratings.
Then got a very nice closer in Anthony Montgomery with pick #69. This was a pretty good draft for where they picked.

Chicago NL – This team is going to have a scary pitching duo up in the majors very soon. With the fourth pick in the draft Russell Martin was choosen and will join Galahad Mercker as almost certainly the best young SP duo in the league. Even if they barely make the playoffs, who would feel comfortable facing them in a 5 game series? It would remind me of the 2001 Diamondbacks team that was a decent team but could throw Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling at teams during the playoffs. Obviously the 2001 Arizona team is their model, because they drafted a Tony Womacks clone Delino Gonzalez in the second round.
Just based on Martin alone this is one of the best drafts in the league.

Chicago NL – Grabbed a certain all-star SP in Marc Bunning who looks to be just a stellar prospect. Any team would have been happy with this pick at #5. No weakness in this pitcher, his great STA/DUR ratings mean he can easily pitch 220+ IPs. Control, vL, vR and pitch ratings all seem top notch.

Cincinnati – Sorry to say this, but Rick Starr just doesn’t have the control to be an effective pitcher. He really has some great ratings, but that control is too much to overcome.
Their second pick though seems to be a solid hitter in Kent Karl. Then 3rd round pick Tom Anderson looks to be at least a decent back of the order type pitcher.

Cleveland - Daryl Simms looks to be the typical high quality speedy defensive player that Cleveland likes to build their team around. So is second round pick Pepper Buchanan.

Colorado – Unfortunately this is another team that just seemed to ignore the control rating for a pitcher. Tom Morris has decent SP ratings except he is going to walk about 6 guys every 9 innings, which is deadly in Colorado.

– Picked up a very good SP in Edwin McGowan. His pitch ratings keep him from being on par with a couple of the spectacular SPs drafted earlier, but he’s worth the pick at number 9.
OF/1B Kris Harper seems to be a nice high OBP kind of guy.

– Sam Wood hasn’t signed and wasn’t even offered a contract since Florida signed IFA Orber Pulido. Well if Florida traded a team Wood for Pulido and a first round draft pick next year I think it would be vetoed so I think it was a smart move dropping Wood to get Pulido.
Then grabbed a nice DH Jerry Richardson in round 2 and a decent hitting 1B Vic Arias in round 3.

– SP Harry Gonzales doesn’t have ideal control for an SP, but his splits and pretty good pitch ratings might be enough to overcome it.
Oddly enough 2nd round pick is the exact opposite. Bubba Nash has pinpoint accuracy, but his splits are pretty average. Still a decent pick for selection number 74.
For being the 106th pick in the draft I actually like Jamey Koch. Decent splits and good enough control, his flaw is obviously below average stamina that will probably relegate him to long relief or setup duties, still I’m sure if needed he could fill in to start a game or two if needed.

Helena – With the first pick in the draft Helena choose Hector Bonilla. He will certainly have a long career in the big leagues, and he could probably throw 250 innings a season which will save their bullpen. I still don’t think he was the best pitcher in the draft and probably not even the second best. But in HBD we don’t get to see every prospect so I don’t fault Helena with who they choose. Bonilla will anchor the rotation for many seasons.
While I don’t think number 1 pick Bonilla was the best player in the draft, I think Helena had one of the best drafts based on both getting him and getting the best supplemental round SP in Braden Friend. He could have easily been picked 15-20 spots sooner. Then they got one of the best closers in the draft 3 picks later in Tarrik Munoz.
Add a quality setup men Cedrick Jenkins and Carl Greenwood then a Long Relief/Mopup guy in Todd Parker and you have in my opinion one of if not the top draft in the league. I realize that it doesn’t seem like I’m really going out on a limb giving the guy with the first pick in the draft the best grade, but I have seen plenty of times a team take the first pick and then completely drop the ball on the rest of the draft. Helena got ½ an entire pitch staff in one draft which is an impressive feat.

Iowa – with the 15th pick in the draft Iowa selected Harold Diaz. He’s a great looking IF that has a great bat. His health and durability probably lead to him dropping to #15. He’s playing SS in the minors, but he just doesn’t have the glove to be a SS in the majors.
2nd round pick Harold Diaz is a very similar player, good bat but not really a SS.
He’s not a star, but 3rd rounder Jordan O'Neill also has a shot at the majors.

Kansas City – Got a really nice leadoff type 2B in Josh Donahue, he looks like a .400+ OBP guy with some speed.
In the second round they got a solid 3B in Jimmie Ordonez, who isn’t spectacular at anything, but does everything above average.
They got one of the best defensive SS’s in the draft in Paulie Byrdak with the 96th pick. His bat will never be an asset, but his glove might be so good he gets in a lineup.

Las Vegas
- Stevie Park looks like a quality player with a good future. Like his contact and BE rating. Looks like Les Weber too me.

CF Andrew Davis was picked in the supplemental draft, should do well and has some nice pop in his bat.

– The 16th pick in the draft was Howie Oliver. As far as pure “stuff” goes I like him as a pitcher. He’s got great control, good splits, and nice pitch ratings. What I don’t like is that he’s a tweener pitcher. His DUR rating means he can’t start on regular rest, and he doesn’t have great stamina either. So at best he throws 105 IPs a season or so, kind of like a Warren Nielsen type guy. We don’t know what players the owner saw available here, and he will be a useful player, but at #16 it seems a little high for me.
Their next pick was the third round and they got Grant Dixon. He looks like a pretty good pitcher for the third round. Oddly enough I only think he is a notch below their first round pick, but being picked 94th makes me give it a much better grade.
Their fourth round pick is in the mold of the first two picks they had, still any chance to get some production out of the fourth round is decent and Harold Moss has a shot at the majors.
5th round selection looks a lot like guys I select around then, Danys Chavez. Great power and BE so he will probably be a HR champ at AAA, but his chances of hitting above .230 in the majors is slim.

Memphis – Hasn’t picked this high in the draft since season 1 when they got Glenn Kubenka. While Glenn became the face of this quality franchise, I just don’t think Preston Forrest will be that guy for them. Maybe it is my less than stellar scouting, but to me it looks like his control, and L/R splits are all just barely average.
In the second round they got a tweener pitcher in Joe Hogan, but he really has good ratings other than STA/DUR so I think he will do fine in the big leagues.
3rd rounder 2B J.T. Roth is interesting because so many of his numbers or either huge (like his contact and range in the 90s) or tiny (power less than 10 and AS in the 40s) I actually like offensive players that excel in something even with a weakness over a guy that is just average in many things.
5th round pick Wayne Collier I see as a utility infielder type guy.

Milwaukee – In one season Milwaukee went from picking 2nd, to picking 29th. So they actually had to work to find talent instead of trying to pick which all-star they wanted. Ben Hennessey won’t be a cornerstone player like they have drafted in recent years, but he’s a decent RP that can throw a few innings.
Barney Shaw is a power hitting COF/1B, but has health issues and it’s already bit him.
4th round pick Wayne Durbin looks like a 25th guy on the roster type guy.

Minnesota – SP Gabe Curtis is a solid, but not spectacular a SP. A fine pick for very late first round pick.
With the 41st pick they got Reagan Cassidy who is a not quite as good as their earlier pick, but might be a back of the rotation type guy.
Nashville – SP Jermaine Knepper looks to be an ideal starter. Great STA/DUR combo, excellent contact and L/R splits. The pitch ratings are a bit low, but his contact and splits are so high I don’t think it’s a huge concern.
2nd round pick Phillip Carr is a decent hitting IF. Not an all-star, but should be a decent roll player.

NY (AL) – IF Eric Anderson is a solid hitting IF with a glove just a bit below SS standards. Great pick for #30 and should be a asset for this team for many years.
Six picks later they got CF Edwards Terry, another fine role player on a good team. Doesn’t blow you away with any of his ratings, but has nice rating everywhere and is another piece of the puzzle toward a championship.

Salem – Picking 12th is usually around the beginning of the time that all the perennial all-star type guys have been grabbed and teams are trying to pick from the best of the second tier guys. Albert Richard is a switch hitting RF that has some pop. Reminds me of Homer Monroe.
I really like C prospect Isaac Hernandez, he’s an excellent defensive catcher who has enough of a bat that he could be in the starting lineup.
5th round pick Wally Harmon actually has a shot of being on the major leagues one day.

Scottsdale – Having a hard time judging their draft. First round pick has not signed and I did not scout him. Second round pick looks good except for that bad control rating. This team actually put a lot of money into prospect budget, so my guess is they are waiting for a big IFA fish to come along.

Scranton – Picking third in the draft they got franchise SP Andrea Eiland who was yet another fine SP in this draft. There is not much bad you can say about him. Easily will pitch 250+ innings a seasons, 270 wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility and he should be an all-star numerous times.
Next they grabbed a very nice RP Everett Winston. Now his control is decent, and L/R splits good, but his STA/DUR is phenomenal and so are his pitch ratings. Great pick at #49.
IF Bret Duffy is a decent guy.

Texas – Loves drafting big hitting sluggers, and that’s what Duke Webster is. I don’t consider him the best overall player in the draft, but he could easily be the guy the puts up the gaudiest offensive numbers. Reminds me of Steve Taylor but it’s scary how close his projections are to Yamid Sierra. One of the few quality sluggers available in the this draft.
With the 39th pick in the supplemental round they got a solid RP Jacque Radke.
2nd round pick Sam Nielsen looks like a decent big leaguer as does OF Chuck Vogelsong.

Toronto – First round pick hasn’t signed yet, second rounder SP Steven Wolf looks decent for the back of the rotation.
3rd rounder CF Charles Daniels is a speedster with a great glove, but his bat will keep him on the bench most of the game.

Vancouver – Had 3 picks between 32 and 43, and proceeded to use all of them on RPs. Decent group of setup type guys, Tom Smoak and Don Pettibone are very similar type pitchers. One of their advantages is they both project to DUR in the 90s, so a rested bullpen is almost a sure thing. Felipe Cruz is more of that tweener type SP/RP.
2nd rounder Paul Cannon is a defensive wizard, but the bat is just ok. A backup in the majors is about all he can expect.
Rob Turner is an interesting prospect because he is so raw. Maybe my scouting is off on him because his current ratings are just ok, but power and BE projections are off the charts, and contact and L/R are decent. He might never make the majors, but if he develops in 5-6 seasons he might actually be a force in the majors.

Washington – The poor showing in the draft wasn’t due to this owners fault. Our pleas to WifS were not heard to get the former owner replaced before the draft occurred. Wayne Enders was taken in the first round and he just doesn’t have the L/R splits to be a ML pitcher.
2nd rounder Dan Brocail actually might be a decent RP eventually.

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