Saturday, May 16, 2009

Draft Report: Tucson, Vancouver, Wichita

Tucson Draft Report

1st Rnd, 5th, Adam Byrne Hard throwing right hander with a screwball to make Fernando green with envy. Will give up his fair share of hits but most certainly has the stuff to be a top 3 member of any staff.

2nd Rnd, 51st, Will Nation This young lefthander has 4 big league pitches and control to match. Will struggle daily against right handed bats but should slide nicely into the tail end of the rotation.

3rd Rnd, 83rd, Arthur Miller Another leftie SP, not nearly as crafty though. His control struggles will more then likely limit him to bullpen duties.

4th Rnd, 115th Jeremy Turner Pudgey rightie that will serve wellas a SuB type. Two solid pitches and decent control should be enough to overcome less then ideal splits.

5th Rnd, 147th Ollie Middlebrook Speedy, smooth fielding SS that may wind up as a defensive sub…or may end up in AAA with bunch of minor league gold gloves.

Draft Grade: B, Two major league SP’s, two bullpen pitchers and a defensive wiz. It would be tough to ask for anything more.

Vancouver Draft Report

1st Rnd, 17th, Willie Alarcon Last year Vancouver may have got the best SP, this year they grabbed maybe the best RP. A perfect slider, a rubber arm, pinpoint control and tough on both sides of the plate.

2nd Rnd, 63rd, Jim Tomberlin One of the best pure fielders ever. Could be a starter just because of his glove. If only he could run.

3rd Rnd, 95th, Brian Tatum a very solid fielding 3rd baseman, pretty quick and can hit for pretty good average as well. Probably a stop gap starter at best.

Draft Grade: B-, another solid draft for Vancouver, would like to see what he would do with extra picks one year.

Wichita Draft Report

1st Rnd, 9th, Mike Garland, Sweet swinging SS that can steal…but not for Wichita. Looks like he will be playing Basketball somewhere.

1st Rnd, 33rd, Scott Bonds Interesting RP, great splits, 4 good pitches but his arm doesn’t seem to have the juice to pitch very long…or often.

1st Rnd, 41st, Phil Bannister Closer of the future. Throws hard, and where he wants to. Two good pitches but sometimes lets up and allows batters to get to many good pitches to swing at. Still a closer for sure.

2nd Rnd, 56th, Willis Riley Crafty lefthander that can mix in 4 pitches that are all very good. Has lots of problems with right handers but should still grab a spot in the rotation.

Grade: B, Another good draft for Wichita, had they been able to sign Garland they may have had the best draft of all teams. The future is very bright in Wichita.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Draft Report: St. Louis, Syracuse, Toldeo, Toronto

St. Louis Draft Report

1st Rnd, 18th, Cesar Mesa Probably won’t ever be an ace, but will be the next best thing. His pitches range from awesome to terrible and his control will only ever be average but does know who to get people out regardless. A potential 15 game winner every season.

2nd Rnd, 64th Corban Cooke Anyone who hails from Skidmore Texas better not have high expectations about life. The same should be said for their baseball career. Has very good control and 4 useable pitches but just doesn’t know how to get people out. Could find his way as a 5th starter on a desperate team.

3rd Rnd, 96th, Joaquin Martinez Another potential mop up pitcher. Might be slightly better then Cooke, but that difference won’t make to much impact on the scoreboard.

4th Rnd, 128th, Sal Tewksbury A very soft tosser but has a couple of good pitches that will make up for his inability to keep from getting hit really hard. Another contestant for the 5 spot in the rotation.

5th Rnd, 160th, Darin Dunn Good control is his strength, weak pitches and lack of ability to get people are out are his weaknesses. Could be a SuB.

Grade: B-, they are 5 potential major league pitchers, only one of any real ability but 5 pitchers none the less.

Syracuse Draft Report

1st Rnd, 22nd, Greg Shelley Future stud closer. An A+ sinker with solid curve will have batters swinging and missing plenty. Great control and does a superb job at shutting down right handed batters.

1st Rnd, 43rd, Humberto Astacio Sinker is almost as good as Shelleys, and mixes in a mid 90’s fastball. Will get hit a little more often but has the arm that can see him eat innings like crazy out of the pen. Syracuses bullpen will be set with these two.

2nd Rnd, 68th, Ossie Bradshaw 11-0 at rookie ball. Probably won’t ever play that well at any other level. Could be a solid 4 or 5 starter though. Will pile up innings, has superior control and two major league plus pitches.

Grade: B, Not the depth of St. Louis but plenty of talent. Two bullpen studs and a SP that will start every 5th day.

Toledo Draft Report

1st Rnd 20th, Sammy Brito Projects to be a pretty solid 2nd/CF type player. .275+ avg, with 15 homers and 30 steals. His defense is probably better suited for 2nd base though. Is only about 2 seasons away from being ready.

2nd Rnd, 66th, Roosevelt King Another 2nd sacker, who is probably better suited for 3rd base. Might be of some use as a utility player but lack of speed/power/defense will hold him back.

3rd Rnd, 98th, Samuel Ward a catcher who cant hit for power or call a good game is like a dog with no home. Ward does have some skills but I really don’t know in what situation they will come into play.

4th Rnd, 130th, Terry Plesac A slick fielding shortstop who doesn’t hit well enough to even platoon. Best bet is to be a defensive sub and hope for an injury to the starter.

Grade: C+, Brito is just shy of being an all-star, after that is pretty slim pickings for Toledo.

Toronto Draft Report

1st Rnd, 26th, Tim Logan Might be the best pure hitter in the draft. Safe projections have him hitting .330 with 40+ homers and a +.400 OBP. Several years away but will be worth the wait.

1st Rnd, 35th, Paul Blalock The ultimate platoon catcher. Gold Glove type defense behind the plate and raw extreme power to the 10th degree. Could easily swat 40 homers in 400 atbats.

1st Rnd, 45th, Nelson Averill OF platoon part One we will call him. Kills lefties, hits for power and steals at will. If given 200 ab’s against lefties 15 homers/20 steals and a .280 avg are not out of the question.

2nd Rnd, 55th, Bob Fornataro Isnt anything extraordinary but with the state of Torontos pitching staff he could slide in the top 4. He does have two very good pitches and solid splits.

2nd Rnd, 72nd, Pete Williams OF platoon Part Two. Very fast and heady baserunner, ability to play all 3 Of spots if needed and can smack righties around pretty well.

3rd Rnd, 104th, Ed Wilkinson If either of the first two platooners fail Wilkinson could slip in nicely. Can play LF and hits lefties and righties equally well. Not a real power threat but a smart baserunner who will do nicely off the bench.

4th Rnd, 136th, Eduardo Barajas Looks like a solid set up man, two nice pitches, solid splits and decent control. A nice find in the 4th Rnd.

Grade: B+, did a good job of replenishing a tired minor league system. Also grabbed two potential Major league Stars.

Draft Report: San Diego, San Jose, San Juan

San Diego Draft Report

1st Rnd, 2nd, Junior Valdivia Stud, the most talked about pitcher in the draft. Was a lock to go 1st or 2nd. Only weakness is his very average 3rd pitch. Will be great regardless.

No other players of note were drafted and or signed, they did however land one of the bigger international Free Agents, Ramon Wang After starting off very well in Low A, blew out his shoulder and may take some time to get back to form. Does project to be a very good 2 or 3 SP as he has excellent control and a great one two punch with his Sinker, Slider combo

Grade: factoring in Wang: B+, two top line starting pitchers is great a little extra depth would have been greater.

San Jose Draft Report:

1st Rnd, 14th, Phil Corino Only noticeable weakness is his stamina. His stuff is as good as anyone else in the draft and because of that will be in big leagues as a starter in a few seasons. Don’t count on many complete games.

2nd Rnd 60th, Paul Bonds is a massive DH prospect that could hit 50 homers if he ever signed…but he won’t.

3rd and 4th Rounders have yet to sign.

5th Rnd, 156th, Dan Aldridge Defensive minded 2nd baseman that also has pretty good pop. Could work in a leftie platoon at 2nd/3rd/CF and could hit 10-12 homers in 200 at bats.

Draft Grade: C+, I really like Corino and Aldridge is a pretty nice pick at 156th. Did miss out on three potential solid players though….but Vin Escobar did sign for 15 million as a international Free Agent. Will be a COF that will hit 35+ homers and bat around .300 with a solid OBP. Add him to the equation and the Giants score an A-.

San Juan Draft Report

1st Rnd 25th, Phil Brush Could be the 2nd coming of Tommy Herr. Good glove and can spray the ball around well enough to bat around .280. Does the little things well also, bunts as well as anyone and runs the bases with a heads up style that could have him grab 20+ steals a season. Prototypical number 2 hitter.

1st Rnd, 34th, Bernard Torres Looks like a solid utility player that could handle some time at 3rd and 2nd and the Outfield with out too much trouble. Should hit around .280 but his lack of power or speed will keep him from being a regular member of the starting lineup.

1st Rnd, 44th Houston Egan A bulky hard throwing right hander. Stuff isn’t good enough to close but should settle into a SuB spot pretty nicely. Especially tough on righties and does a good job at inducing groundballs.

2nd Rnd, 53rd, Andy Corey Ate up batters at Rookie Ball and looks like a good bet to do more of the same in the big leagues. Two plus pitches, good control and for a lefty does very good at handling right handed batters. A top 4 of the rotation Starter.

2nd Rnd, 71st, Vic Ugueto Could start in a pinch at 3rd or RF but is probably better suited to work in a platoon situation playing against lefties. If given 200 ab’s against them could easily hit .300 with 7-10 homers. Isnt awful against righties so could be a very useable bench player.

3rd Rnd, 103rd, Rolando Ortega Another platoon type player, doesn’t hit well enough though to play 1st base. Could see time in LF as he is serviceable there and is also very fast. Once again would have to play mostly against left handers and could bat around .275 and steal 10-15 bases off the bench. Still a bit of a long shot.

4th Rnd, 135th, Joe Valent Could be a horse out of the pen due to his rubber arm. Should not be counted on to pitch in the big game, but is a nice addition if you need someone to eat up innings.

Grade: B+, I don’t see any superstars, but this is one of the deeper drafts by a team in the league. Very good draft.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Draft Report, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia

New York Draft Report

1st Rnd, 16th Milt Blake A very deceptive left hander. Has 3 major league pitches and top tier control. Will always have troubles against the better right handed batters but should will out a 3 or 4 spot in the Torrones rotation for sure.

3rd Rnd, 94th Chip Blankenship Could be anything from a 5th starter to a solid closer. 2 above average pitches and a third one that is solid. Doesn’t have the legs to pitch more then 5 or 6 innings and probably not the stuff to be a dominant closer. Probably best suited to pitch out of the pen for 2 or 3 innings at a time.

Grade: C as they have been able to sign any of their other picks it is hard to grade them any higher despite the fact that they did get 2 very solid pitchers.

Norfolk Draft Report

1st Rnd, 8th, Daniel Poppell Drafted as a SP but will have to pitch out of the pen due to his inability to get past 4 innings. Does have very good stuff, buth 8th overall might have been a little early for a mid-relief pitcher.

2nd and 3rd Rnd picks unsigned.

4th Rnd, 118th Raymond Palmer Looks like a part-time catcher, defense is average at best and while he is very good at putting the ball in play will never hit for a great average due to minimal power. Could bat .250-.260 off the bench.

Draft Grade: D+, after a very good draft last year when they picked extremely late…didn’t seem prepared when they had high picks. This draft looks like a missed opportunity.

Philadelphia Draft Report

1st Rnd, 10th, Heath Donovan Wowee, wow wow. Talk about climbing the ladder quickly. After 4 scoreless innings in AA this 20 year old went straight to the majors, and succeeded. Saved 4 games and had a 2.10 era in 25 innings. Still has a long way to go to reach projections but can and should be a stud closer.
3rd Rnd, 88th Pablo Castilla Another draftee who has quickly climbed, this time to AAA. A potential gold glover at SS and has ability to steal every time he is on base. Luckily for the opposition that won’t be very often as he will hit about .250 with a .310 obp.

4th Rnd, 120th Tyrone Johnson By no means an ace but for the rebuilding Hawaiians he could be a solid back end of the rotation starter. Equally tough on righties and lefties with two solid pitches.

5th Rnd, 152nd, Jeff McLemore Score again! He just went 5-2 at AAA and looks like he could be ready for big league service in another season. Pitch selection for him will be key as 4 of his 5 pitches are less then average.

Grade: B+, a nice turn around from last years draft. Can’t say I agree with the quick promotions, but the players do seem to be responding well. 4 solid major leaguers is always a good draft.