Thursday, June 5, 2008

With The First Pick In The 2008 Amateur Draft...

The Tampa Bay Rays select Tim Beckham, SS, High School. That's probably the right move on their part, even without considering Posey's huge bonus demands. I think Dioner "Bandwagon" Navarro is a quality back-stop, and so Posey isn't really a need. Plus, the Rays aren't going to be picking at the top of the round anymore, and so getting Beckham means that their system won't be that empty in a few years. Edgar Renteria as a low-end comp is what's being thrown around, and the Rays have to like that. Lots of tools, but already a solid player.

#2: PIT - Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt. Everyone "knew" they would take Alvarez, so it's no surprise here. He is a great hitter, and signing him will show that Pittsburgh fans that they are serious about turning the team around.

#3: KCR - Eric Hosmer, 1B, High School. The first two picks were pretty certain, but here's where it starts to get dicey. The Royals could have gone in a lot of different directions, but they take they guy who may have the most special bat in the draft - especially from a power aspect. It'll cost them a ton to sign the guy, and I would have assumed that they would have gone for someone with a little more polish (like Smoak). Still, Hosmer should end up being a great, great hitter.

#4: BAL - 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.

#4 (Shadow) - Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina. I wanted a hitter, and I prefer his switch-hitting, better fielding, and overall polish to Hosmer. O's need a power bat and soon. Switch-hitting Justin Morneau... sounds good to me.

#5: SFG - Buster Posey, C, FSU. Maybe not a great by the Giants (how many times have we heard that?). At his absolute best, he'll be a "290/.360/.475 catcher with Gold Glove defense", which is great an all, but not when you look at their offense. Smoak or Beckham (Gordon) may have been better here. Plus, we reportedly wants $12 million to sign, from a team that once intentionally signed Michael Tucker so that they would have to give up a draft-pick (and not pay the prospect).

#6: FLA - Kyle Skipworth, C, High School. The best prep catcher since Joe Mauer. He's a guy the Marlins have been on for a while, and definitely has some upside. He may not be able to stay behind the plate, but his bat should play at first or in the outfield, and he won't require too much to sign.

#7: CIN - Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami. This is surprising, as everything I heard pointed to an infielder. Alonso has a good bat and great plate discipline, though there are some questions about his ability to hit lefties. Also, with Joey Votto slugging the ball at first base in the majors and Alonso having an advanced approach at the plate, how are the Reds going to handle that? Votto has some speed, so he may be able to go to the outfield, but it's still a strange move. Plus, taking him over Smoak?

#8: CHW - Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia. Happy to see the Reds pass on him, the White Sox get a shortstop with pop, but some potential issues (his swing mechanics and if he can stay at short, mostly). "Comp I still like is Khalil Greene's bat with Jed Lowrie's glove." - KG. That's not something I'd be that excited about at #8.

#9: WSH - Aaron Crow, RHSP, Missouri. I'd heard that the Nats wanted Hosmer, so picking Crow instead of Smoak (who is insanely still on the board) is confusing to me. The guy throws hard and has three pitches, and the D'Backs' Max Scherzer is the comp I've heard. Great stuff, but may not pitch much past 27-28 years old.

#10: HOU - Jason Castro, C, Stanford. Seriously? Three catchers in the top ten? That isn't going to end well for somebody, and if I had to guess I'd say it'll be the Astros. There is a big drop-off after Castro at the position, but I have to think this is a major reach. Are JR Towles early struggles that bothersome? I think they would have liked to take Crow here. Also, SMOAK IS STILL ON THE BOARD.

#11: TEX - Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina. Not anymore. The Rangers get a steal, but I'm disappointed. I wanted Smoak to fall to the A's at #12 so that I could still cheer for him in earnest. Oh, well. Congrats Texas.

#12: OAK - Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami. The guy is an athlete just like his brother (Rickie), but without a bit of the pop and speed. He should be a better defender at second though. I am surprised by this one (I was expecting the power and walks of Wallace), but the A's did want a middle-infielder. He's got crazy tools. "There's more risk here than Beckham, for example, but Weeks has a higher ceiling for me." - KG.

#13: STL - Brett Wallace, 3B, Arizona State. So yeah, there goes Wallace. The Cards system is poor, so every little bit helps. The guy can really hit, but he will need to move over to first eventually. That spot is currently occupied though.

#14: MIN - Aaron Hicks, OF (and P), High School. The guy has lost of tools, and is a Twins kind of player. He's still raw, but has a lot of potential. "If you dream on him, it's 60 power, 60 speed, 70+ arm." - KG. That's All-Star level power/speed, with a cannon out in center.

#15: LAD - Ethan Martin, 3B (and P), High School. Another toolsy guy who may actually have a higher ceiling on the mound. He projects as a pretty good hitter, but throws 96 and has been compared to Nolan Ryan (which I think is kind of crazy). When the Dodgers picked James Loney, they wanted him to hit while other wanted to keep him as a pitcher. I think that has worked out well for them so far. Same thing with Kakes and the O's. [Edit: I found out later that they are making him a starter, which makes more sense here.]

#16: MIL - Brett Lawrie, C, Canada. They guy is a classic Brewers pick - can swing the bat (lots of power) but with no defined position. He played some catcher, but probably projects as a second or third baseman, or in the outfield. I've heard very good things about him, and the Reds were apparently considering him at #7.

#17: TOR - David Cooper, 1B, CAL. Brett Wallace lite, I guess. He has the power and the walks, but Wallace (The Walrus, apparently) is the better hitter overall. He may have been a slight reach here, but the guys the Jays really wanted were already gone.

#18: NYM - Ike Davis, 1B, ASU. Another powerful first-baseman, and possibly another reach. Guess the Mets are tired of seeing Delgado out there. I saw him described as a possible "college hitter", who may struggle with the adjustment to wood bats. He may be the seventh first-baseman taken so far.

#19: CHC - Andrew Carshner, RHRP, TCU. He is a hard-throwing closer, but there is talk about trying to convert him to starting (which may not work out very well given his lack of past success starting, despite his three pitches). Very strange that the third pitcher taken in the draft is a reliever - also that he is only the third pitcher taken in the draft.

#20: SEA - Joshua Fields, RHRP, Georgia. Another closer, but this one will stay in the pen. Enjoy your offense Seattle, because help isn't on the way. (That is a ridiculous statement, but that time is too horrible to pick a reliever). At least they'll get to pick higher in the draft next year. Fields should move quickly though.

#21: DET - Ryan Perry, RHRP, Arizona. This isn't a fantasy draft, but there is a run on closers going on. Their pen is struggling, but it's not like that rotation is doing so well either and there are still a lot of starters on the board. He throws hard, but I don't think he could make it in the rotation either. The Mets were apparently in on Perry, but decided to wait to see if he was still around at #22.

#22: NYM (from ATL for Glavine) - Reese Havens, SS, South Carolina . Not a toolsy guy, but a solid shortstop in the Jed Lowrie mold who should move quickly through the system. With Jose Reyes around, Havens may be moving to second base sooner rather than later. Boston was looking at Havens as well, so you know he is a pretty good player.

#23: SDP - Allan Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest. The guy does have a ton of power, but wasn't though of as a first round pick - especially this high. The Padres already have Adrian Gonzalez, but they can use as much power as they can get.

#24: PHI - Anthony Hewitt, OF, High School. He's a five-tool player, but is very raw and a long, long way away from the majors. He might have the highest upside in the draft, but is far from a lock to reach it. I'm confused by the lack of pitchers being taken. Now I really wish the O's had taken Smoak, since there may have still been a highly regarded starter around for their second pick.

#25: COL - Christian Friedrich, LHSP, EKU. He doesn't have the big fastball, but his curve is fantastic and he was supposed to go closer to the #10 pick. I can understand a little why he dropped, as he doesn't project to be a top of the rotation starter.

#26: ARI - Daniel Schlereth, LHRP, Arizona. Another reliever, but at least this one's left-handed. He does throw hard, and it's not exactly like the D'Backs have a lot of holes to fill. Drafting the local boy makes good PR, but it may be a reach here.

#27: MIN - Carlos Gutierrez, RHRP, Miami. Another reliever, and not a particularly great one. This one came completely out of left field. "Sinker/slider guy, not sure it's closer-worthy stuff, set-up man ceiling -- why in the first?" - KG.

#28: NYY - Gerrit Cole, RHSP, High School. Signability (Scott Boras) and character issues caused him to fall, but he is definitely a top talent with a power arm. It was thought that the Yankees would take him if he fell this far.

#29: CLE - Lonnie Chisenhall, SS, Pitt CC. This is a surprise, as Lonnie wasn't ranked that highly. Pretty solid hitter, but no real position yet. Couldn't afford to take another player maybe? Don't know, but Cleveland is a smart organization (who drafts poorly - not much since Sabathia).

#30: BOS - Casey Kelly, SS, High School. Great pick for Boston, getting a talent that slipped because of signability issues. He is athletic but, like many high schoolers, still raw.

End of the first round. Good picks by Texas and Boston, and maybe Colorado and the Yanks. Poor picks by Houston, Seattle, and maybe the Mets. Time for the supplemental round.

#31: MIN - Shooter Hunt, RHSP, Tulane. Hunt feel much further then anticipated. He has good stuff, but is still learning how to pitch. Why didn't they pick Hunt at #27 and get Gutierrez here? It works out the same, but that would have made more sense.

#32: MIL - Jake Odorizzi, RHSP, High School. He has pretty good stuff now, but may be able to add more to it as he gets older. Solid command; good mechanics; nice pick.

#33: NYM - Brad Holt, RHSP, UNC. Good fastball and developing breaking-ball and change.

#34: PHI - Zach Collier, OH, High School. Another toolsy high-risk, high-reward pick for the Phils.

#35: MIL - Evan Fredrickson, LHSP, USF. Big lefty with good stuff but so-so command.

#36: KCR - Mike Montgomery, LHSP, High School. Another projectable lefty, but with lesser stuff.

#37: SFG - Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita St. It was thought that he might go in the first round, but the Giants get a very good pure hitter, though one without a lot of power potential.

#38: HOU - Jordan Lyles, RHSP, High School. Great athlete, but a big reach here.

#39: STL - Lance Lynn, RHSP, UMiss. A guy with pitchability but not exceptional stuff.

#40: ATL - Brett DeVall, LHSP, High School. Braves use their first pick on a typical lefty; good command and change-up, with an OK fastball.

#41: CHC - Ryan Flaherty, SS, Vanderbilt. Good hitter, but light on power and may not stick at short.

#42: SDP - Jeff Decker, OF, High School. Compared to Matt Stairs, which is both good and bad.

#43: ARI - Wade Miley, LHSP, Southeastern Louisiana. Pretty good stuff for a lefty, but control not great.

#44: NYY - Jeremy Bleich, LHSP, Stanford. Throws three pitches but not are exceptional. Not expected to go this high.

#45: BOS - Bryan Price, RHSP, Rice. Used as a reliever in college, but has three pitches and so will be tried as a starter.

#46: SDP - Logan Forsythe, 3B, Arkansas. Pretty good athlete, but not very toolsy. Solid hitter with a good approach at the plate.

That's it for the supplemental round. Surprised Tim Melville is still on the board. He was projected to go in the first round.

#47: TBR - Kyle Lobstein, LHSP, High School. Projectable lefty with a lot of talent.

#48: PIT - Tanner Scheppers, RHSP, Fresno Stat. Lot of upside, but is injured and thus very risky.

#49: KCR - Johnny Giavotella, 2B, New Orleans. Little guy has good plate discipline.

#50: BAL - Xavier Avery, OF, High School. Good athlete without much power projection. A Carl Crawford type guy, which doesn't excite me that much. It might be a bit of a reach, but it's not that bad a pick.

#50 (Shadow) - 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.

#51: PHI - Anothony Gose, OH, High School. Has great speed, but other parts of his game are undeveloped. Philly seems to like these guys.

#52: FLA - Brad Hand, LHSP, High School. Throws pretty hard with good stuff, but is still raw as a pitcher.

#53: MIL - Seth Lintz, RHSP, High School. Solid pitcher with some upside.

#54: MIL - Cutter Dykstra, OF, High School. Lenny's son is a good athlete with some pop.

#55: WSH - Destin Hood, OF, High School. Toolsy athlete with some signability issues.

#56: HOU - Joe Austin, OF, High School. Houston's poor draft continues, as the reach for a guy that isn't a particularly good hitter.

#57: TEX - Robert Ross, LHSP, High School. Two good pitches, but not much projection left.

#58: OAK - Tyson Ross, RHSP, UC Berkley. Big hard-throwing starter.

#59: STL - Shane Peterson, OF, CAL St. Good athlete that can hit for average, but the power is questionable.

#60: MIN - Tyler Ladendorf, SS, Howard. Good pick here, as he is a talented player and can still be productive if he can't stick at short.

#61: LAD - Joshua Lindblom, RHRP, Purdue. Powerful reliever.

#62: MIL - Thomas Adams, RHSP, Southern Illinois. ?

#63: TOR - Kenneth Wilson, OF, High School. ?

#64: ATL - Robert Stovall, LHSP, High School. ?

#65: CHC - Aaron Shafer, RHSP, Wichita St. ?

#66: SEA - Dennis Raben, OF, Miami. Lots of raw power, but not a great approach.

#67: DET - Cody Satterwhite, RHSP, Mississippi. Raw talent, but poor mechanics.

#68: NYM - Javier Rodrigues, OF, High School. ?

#69: SDP - James Darnell, 3B, South Carolina. Good contact hitter with line-drive power.

#70: ATL - Ezekial Spruill, RHSP, High School. Good fastball, but still a bit raw.

#71: PHI - Jason Knapp, RHSP, High School. ?

#72: COL - Charles Blackman, OF, Georgia Tech. ?

You know, I'm getting kind of tired of this. I'll just go over the O's picks.

#81: BAL - 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. No set position yet.

#81 (Shadow) - 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. Smoak, Melville, and Kieschnick make it potentially three first-round talents for the shadow O's.

Round 4

#116: BAL - 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 $8 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.

#116 (Shadow) - Alex Meyer, RHSP, High School. Big strong righty, with a good fastball. I'd like to take a college pitcher at some point, but this draft would have some serious upside.

Round 5

#146: BAL - Greg Miclat, SS, Virginia. Scrappy utility-type player, apparently. I say boo.

#146 (Shadow) - Daniel Webb, RHSP, High School. Another hard-throwing righty who can be a workhorse starter. I don't want more pitchers, but he is a top two round talent. This draft would cost the O's a lot of money, but they are saving a lot with the major league team so I'm OK with is.

Round 6

#176: BAL - Richard Zagone, LHSP, Missouri.

#176 (Shadow) - Isaac Galloway, OF, High School. Eh. This is a high-risk, high-upside draft for me, but I'm OK with that. All six guys are top 50 talents. 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?

That's it for today, but I'm zeroing in on Harold Martinez (HS 3B) tomorrow.

No comments: