Draft analysis of the first two rounds by Peter Van Stoeke, Hardball Scout Specialists, special to Cobb Times Herald.
Philadelphia Floppin' Phils
SP Josh LaRue, round 1, #12: B+
--Solid SP with good control and velocity. First two pitches are good, second two are suspect. Good vs. left handed hitting, struggles at times vs. righties. An innings eater who should make the big league rotation eventually. Potential injury problems.
Overall draft grade: C-
--The Phils picked up a quality pitcher with their first pick, but a lack of a second round pick and the quality of their subsequent picks leave something to be desired.
SP Gabby Baez, round 1, #22: B
--Solid but not spectacular across the board SP, with above average splits and pitches. Average control and stamina, but with four good pitches he should have no trouble making the bigs.
RP Willie Estrada, round 1, #35: A-
--Dominant closer with devastating movement and a near unhittable first pitch. Very good control as well. Could be the lights-out closer that the SSP have been looking for.
SP Sal Monahan, round 1, #40: A-
--Five pitch workhorse pitcher with above average control and splits. Four very good pitches should make life difficult for opposing hitters. Projects to a #3 starter in the bigs.
SP Keith Watson, round 2, #46: B
--Another quality SP with excellent control and 4 good pitches strengthens the farm system of the SSP. A little low on stamina for a starter, but has all of the other tools to make the majors in some capacity.
RP Burt Sutton, round 2, #66: B
--Setup man with two dominant pitches and high velocity. Excels vs. left handed hitting, but struggles at times with righties and his average control.
Overall draft grade: A
--Very good draft by the SSP, picking up quality pitching depth with five upper round picks. All five of their first picks should make the majors at some point, which is an unqualified success. Estrada and Monahan are easily the best prospects now in the SSP system.
RF Benji Ordonez, round 1, #1: A+
--Hard not to be pleased with the #1 overall pick. Barely a RF, Ordonez will eventualy settle in at 1B or LF. 90+eye, 87 contact 76 power and 1 99 split vs. righties serves notice that RHP should book an extended vacation beginning sometime in late Season 12. Could have gotten a bit more defense by taking the next 88-rated 2B, but The Cohibas were seduced by all the hitting prowess.
2B Geronimo Vizcaino, round 2, #45: B+
--Great eye on a solid, high contact banjo hitter. His defense is solid, all he lacks is power to be a top-tier 2B.
Overall draft grade: A-
--Hard not to go wrong with the #1 overall pick, and Ordonez is certainly worth it. Vizcaino is solid, and the drafting of defensive superstud Edgardo Olivares in the third round solidified Richmonds quality draft.
Santa Fe Wranglers
SP Ruben Gonzales, round 1, #2: A
--Stud SP Gonzales is worthy of the #2 overall pick with outstanding control, deceptive movent on both sides of the plate, and an electrifying first pitch. Projects to be a #1 starter in the majors, and a potential all-star.
SP Tony Sojo, round 2, #78: D+
--Sojo can eat the innings, but his movement is easily picked up by hitters, and his pitch selection leaves a lot to be desired.
Overall draft grade: C+
--Any draft that nets Gonzales is a success, but the rest of the draft for Santa Fe wasn't as productive, thus lowering the overall grade.