Thursday, November 20, 2008

Season 10 Draft Recap - Atlanta through Cleveland

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

The pundits all agreed that the season 10 draft class was without a doubt one of the worst ever seen in the history of baseball. Still, a few teams managed to get a player or two, but the odds of scoring anything higher than a B grade for most teams are slim. Lets take a look at how the franchises performed in this years draft.

Julio Olmedo
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Whitehall, MI
Position(s): P (SP3)
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Atlanta Pitbulls
--With the #14 pick in the draft the Pitbulls selected SP Julio Olmedo, a hard throwing righty with excellent splits, stamina, velocity, and a decent pitch selection. With his control projected to only reach the mid 60's, it is important that his splits develop fully. If they do he will be a solid #2 or #3 pitcher in the bigs. 2nd round pick C Graham Vining also has major league potential, but will probably never be a star. The rest of the draft featured borderline ML prospects or minor leaguers.
Grade: B

Shawn Nielsen
Angry Armadillo's
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Minooka, IL
Position(s): 2B
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Augusta Angry Armadillos
--The Armadillos took 2b/CF Shawn Nielsen with the #11 overall pick in the draft. Everything about Nielsen says "just slightly above average for his position," with range and glove projected near 80, and hitting skills projected in the mid 60's. He'll make the bigs, but a better value could have been had with the 11th pick. 2nd round pick C Luke Purcell has ML potential as well, and has pretty powerful bat if his batting eye can overcome his below average splits. His PC rating will never be elite however and he may have more of a future as a DH. The rest of the draft yielded some minor league filler for Augusta.
Grade: C

Clark Jensen
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Riverside, NJ
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Chicago Sabercats
--Chicago used the #10 pick on SP Clark Jensen, a ground-ball inducing workhorse with above average control and decent splits. He may never achieve #1 pitcher status, but he will surely have a spot in a ML rotation once he matures. The Sabercats other early round picks were all pitchers with subpar splits, making a ML appearance by any of them unlikely.
Grade: C-

Eric Holdridge
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Poland, ME
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Charlotte Dogs
--#12 overall pick SP Eric Holdridge has what it takes to be a #1 starter in the majors, with superior stamina, durability, splits, velocity, and pitch selection. His only concern is his only average control, but he should have enough tools to make up for it. A signing gamble, the Dogs got lucky and were rewarded with an excellent value pick. Supplemental round pick 2B Mike Watson's ability to hit right handed pitching should also put him in the bigs at some point. The talent level starts to drop with following picks, who all are AAAA players or worse. Still, this was one of the better drafts in an unfortunate draft year.
Grade: B

Gary Ferguson
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Wilmot, SD
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Cleveland Steamers
--The steamers had the #1 overall pick in the draft, and used it on the sure to be ace Gary Ferguson. Ferguson boasts unhittable splits, control, and velocity. His stamina and durability are also very good, but there is a major concern with his health, as he might be a major injury risk with his health only projected to reach the low 50's. But his upside is considerable, and if he can avoid the injury bug he will be a dominant pitcher. 4th round pick RF Bobby Romero was also a good value pick with his high splits, especially vs. right handed pitching. The remainder of the Steamers draft though is forgettable, as the rest of their high round picks were taken by type A signings.
Grade: B-

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