Thursday, June 5, 2008

Draft Recap (Day 1)

I can't say that I'm happy with the O's draft, but it isn't horrible. Mostly it's the later picks that don't have any upside that I don't like - I'd rather take a guy who has a smaller chance of getting to the majors, but who could actually be a starter when he gets there. Joe Jordan has probably earned the benefit of the doubt - we'll see.

1: Brian Matusz, LHSP, San Diego
2: Xavier Avery, OF, High School
3: Jerome Hoes, 2B, St. Johns High School
4: Kyle Hudson, OF, Illinois
5: Greg Miclat, SS, Virginia
6: Richard Zagone, LHSP, Missouri

1-4: Brian Matusz, LHSP, San Diego. He's the guy that's been talked about for the O's for a while now. I'm a little disappointed, but I'm sure I'll feel better once he's leading the rotation ahead of Tillman, Spoone, and Arrieta. "He's not a pure power guy, and not a pure finesse guy, but he's above average in both areas and he'll torture minor league hitters." - Kevin Goldstein. Jim Callis tabs him as the safest bet to be an All-Star. I'm feeling better about it already.

2-50: Xavier Avery, OF, High School. Good athlete without that a lot power projection. A Carl Crawford type guy, which doesn't excite me that much. He has the tools, but I think this was a bit of a reach. Not a bad pick though.

3-81: Jerome Hoes, 2B, St. Johns High School. He isn't ranked that highly, but is a good athlete that does a lot of things pretty well, but nothing exceptionally. No set position yet. Being a local boy should help with signing him quicker.

4-116: Kyle Hudson, OF, Illinois. Tim Melville went one spot before the O's could pick, though I doubt they would have taken him. Apparently, he has said that he is going to college, but I think putting $6 million in front of him would change his mind. Anyway, Hudson is another speedy center-fielder. He doesn't have the power potential of Avery, and may not end up being more than a fourth outfielder (especially on this team). I don't get this pick at all, but boy can he run.

5-146: Greg Miclat, SS, Virginia. Scrappy utility-type player, apparently. I say boo. Why not pick a guy who might be able to start?

6-176: Richard Zagone, LHSP, Missouri. Not great numbers in college, and probably will end up in the pen if anything. Why pick him over guys with way more upside?

Now for my shadow drafting. They say draft the best player available, and that's generally what I think I did. All of the hitters are college (or junior college) guys who should help in the majors sooner, while the pitchers are split between a high-upside high school guy, and a polished college guy. I got some power at first (where it was needed) and in the outfield (where maybe it wasn't but that's OK) and a couple of middle infielders who may not stay at their current positions but hit pretty well. There are still a lot of good players left, including Isaac Galloway (HS OF), Alex Meyer (HS RHSP), Harold Martinez (HS 3B), Brett Mooneyham (HS LHSP), Sonny Gray (HS RHP), Jeremy Hamilton (Coll. 1B), Zach Cox (HS 3B), Nick Maronde (HS LHSP), Eric Thames (Coll. OF), and several more. With four college hitters in hand, taking a chance or two on some high-risk high-upside position players (Galloway, Martinez, etc.) will be OK. Not to sound cocky, but I think this beats the actual O's draft.

1: Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
2: Tyler Ladendorf, SS, Howard College
3: Roger Kieschnick, OF, Texas Tech
4: Scott Gorgen, RHSP, UC-Irvine
5: Daniel Webb, RHSP, High School
6: Alex Buchholz, SS, Delaware

1-4: Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina. I wanted a hitter, and I prefer his switch-hitting, better fielding, and overall polish to Hosmer (as well as Alonso). O's need a power bat and soon. Don't draft for need, I know, but I think Smoak and Matusz are pretty much equivalent. Switch-hitting Justin Morneau... sounds good to me.

2-50: Tyler Ladendorf, SS, Howard College. Everything is pretty good here. He can hit, hit for power, run some, throw, and field OK. The only concern is that he may outgrow short, but he's fine there for now. SS or possibly 3B of the future.

The guy I wanted to pick here was Tim Melville, RHSP, High School. (The guy is a mid-first-round talent with very good stuff. I guess the signability thing is big for him, but I'd give him the money. Maybe there's something else going on that I'm not aware of.) It seems that he really is going to college, unless he's given like top 5 money. Oh well. Good luck KC.

3-81: Roger Kieschnick, OF, Texas Tech. He went a pick after Hoes to the Giants. He's an outfielder with a power bat that should have gone in the last round. He profiles as a right-fielder (sorry, occupied) but I won't worry about that now. After switching off Melville, I considered a pitcher here. The availability of a lot of quality prep arms let me hold off, since there wasn't a college pitcher I really liked at this spot. This is the first place I diverge from Greg Pappas at He picked College lefty Tim Murphy, who is a pitchability lefty with four non-exceptional pitches. If he was available in the fourth, I probably would have taken him there, but I'd prefer the power bat in the third.

4-116: Scott Gorgen, RHSP, UC-Irvine. Small stocky righty has a great change-up and can throw three pitches for strikes. I wanted a college pitcher, and I got a good one here. Lossing out on Melville made me be safer with my pitching selections (orginally I wanted HS RHSP Alex Meyer here, but I wasn't aware of potential signability and attitude complications - he'll be considered for later).

5-146: Daniel Webb, RHSP, High School. A hard-throwing righty who can be a workhorse starter. His secondary pitches and control aren't great, but in the fifth round it's cool. He may be a top two round talent. (He didn't get drafted in the first six rounds.)

6-176: Alex Buchholz, SS, Delaware. The MD native wouldn't be too hard of a sign, and though he slumped this past year (maybe due to his shin injury) he was very good the previous year. He has good bat-speed and shows some pop, as well as a good arm. He may not be able to stick at short, but he would make a good offensive second-baseman. Let's say James Hoes lite(ish), but three rounds later.

Originally, this was: Isaac Galloway, OF, High School. (Galloway is a potential five-tool outfielder and isn't that raw, though may have some holes in his swing. How is he still on the board? Signability concerns, I guess.) Then I considered the guys I've already taken, and so wanted to go with a safer/cheaper pick.

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