Thursday, May 28, 2009

Season 12 Draft Recap - NL West

NL West

Honolulu Islanders
--To date, none of the Islanders top 5 picks have signed. Nothing more needs to be said, really.
Grade: F-

Furio Kydd
Iowa City
Corn Dogs
Age: 21B/T: L/L
Born: Smithtown, NY
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Iowa City Corn Dogs
--With the #1 overall pick the Corn Dogs selected SP Furio Kydd, who is about as awesome of a SP prospect as Cobb World has ever seen. His stamina only projects to the mid 60's, but his stuff is so nasty he will probably only need 80 pitches a game anyways so that really isn't an issue. Think former Cy Young winner David Rosado, but with better control. Really, barring injury Kydd has Cy Young potential on a yearly basis, this was a very nice pick. 2nd round pick 2b Bruce Montgomery also has ML potential, most likely as a backup, but he is good enough to make it. 3rd round pick SS Ricardo Alvarado has an elite glove, and very good contact skills, and could make it to the bigs as a defensive specialist, with gold glove potential, he was a good value pick. 4th round pick RF Marino Ferrer also has the potential to be a ML regular, with projections similar to the retired Clyde Bird, who was productive for many seasons in Cobb World. 5th round pick SS Rick Grey also has an ML glove, and a good batting eye, and could make it as a backup. This was as good a draft as you could get this season, well done.
Grade: A+

Steve Morton
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Queens Village, NY
Position(s): 2B
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Omaha Sluggers
--The Sluggers pulled their usual solid draft with late picks, this time around selecting 2B Steve Morton at #31 overall. Morton projects to have CF range and glove, with splits vs. all pitching approaching 100. He's got some pop too, and should be able to be a very nice player in the bigs, especially with his speed. The next two picks yielded a pair of RP's who might make the bigs as setup men in the future, and after that it was pretty much minor leaguers for the Sluggers. This was a pretty solid draft for a consistently late picking team.
Grade: B

Matthew Jenkins
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Lanoka Harbor, NJ
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Salem Bitches
--With the #6 pick in the draft Salem added their newest Bitch in future ace SP Matthew Jenkins. Jenkins projects to have awesome control, great splits, and good pitches. Plus he's a workhorse who shouldn't have problems topping 200+ innings a season. He's just what this team needed in their farm system. 2nd round pick SP Alan Hubbell is also pretty decent and should make the majors at some point as well. The player quality starts to dip after that, but picking up two ML quality SP's in one draft is always a plus, especially when one of them is a #1 quality pitcher.
Grade: B+

Season 12 Draft Recap - AL West

AL West

Roscoe Jenkins
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Osborne, KS
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Anaheim Sharks
--Drafting at #27, the Sharks picked SP Roscoe Jenkins, a high control flame thrower with above average splits. On the downside he has low stamina for a starter, and his pitch selection isn't too great. But the total package should be enough to be a #4 or 5 starter in the bigs. Supplemental pick 2B Matty Hall was a nice pickup as well, and should be a backup in the majors at some point, as he has a decent bat and glove. The rest of the draft is pretty weak, but picking up to ML players at late spots in the draft order is a nice piece of work, even if they aren't going to be all stars.
Grade: B

Sean Holt
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Prinsburg, MN
Position(s): 1B
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Arizona Phoenix
--The Phoenix drafted every left handed pitchers worst nightmare in 1B/LF Sean Holt, a massive slugger who absolutely owns left handed pitching. His batting eye is superb, his power is Herculean, and his split vs. lefties is dynomite. The downside is that he hits righties worse than Pedro Serrano hits a curveball, and his contact is pretty much mediocre at best. Still he was a nice pickup at #16, a slugger who can run the bases smartly with good speed is tough to come by. Supplemental pick SP Brandon Kroeger is a fringe prospect who might make the majors as a relief pitcher or back end starter. 4th round pick Bob Hoover was a steal at the spot, as he has a bat better than 80% or more of the players selected before him. Not much else was had from the Phoenix draft, but it has to be considered a good one due to the 3 potential ML players, including a slugging regular.
Grade: B+

Gary Whitehill
Jerry Gang
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Philip, SD
Position(s): P (SP5)
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Tacoma Jerry Gang
--With the #14 pick in the draft, the Jerry Gang added just what their fans were clamoring for, a stud pitcher. Whitehill looks like he could develop into a very nice pitcher with his superior control, great splits, and 3 good pitches that complement his high velocity. Pitching in the Tacoma stadium should only highlight his skills. The only problem is his below average stamina, which could end up makin him a monster out of the bullpen, an RP with 150 inning potential. 2nd round pick RP Bobby Kelleher is another good looking relief prospect, who projects to be more of a setup man than a closer, but still good enough for the bigs. 4th round pick RP Bip Riley is also in the mold of Kelleher, but with better control, and also has big league potential. It was a nice haul of pitchers for Tacoma, with three solid bullpen arms.
Grade: B+

Enos French
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Harvey, ND
Position(s): CF
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Vancouver Grizzlies
--The Grizzlies picked up a very nice CF prospect in Enos French with the #15 pick in the draft. French has great range, speed, and a good glove. But what separates him from the pack is his superior power and ability to hit right handed pitching. He should hit for high power and average while playing a difficult defensive position, which is a type of player everyone would want on their team. Supplemental pick SS Jerry Walls wasn't as good a pick, an average glove with a weak bat who probably will top out at AAA. The rest of the Vancouver draft brought on some good defensive CF's and an RP prospect who might make the bigs, but nothing special really. In the end though this draft comes down to French, and he's pretty good.
Grade: B

Season 12 Draft Recap - NL North

NL North

Davey Thebeau
Fug Nuts
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Apex, NC
Position(s): SS
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Fargo Fug Nuts
--The Fug Nuts aren't known for their draft prowess, but they did an ok job this season by selecting SS Davey Thebeau with the #24 pick. Thebeau boasts one of the best gloves in the draft this season, and a very high batting eye. The rest of his hitting skills are suspect, but he shouldn't be an embarrassment at the plate. He seems well suited to NL style baseball, and could be a gold glove regular. Unfortunately for Fargo that's where there good luck ended and where they relapsed back into form with a procession of unsigned picks and minor leaguers. Chuck Biscuits found himself listening to Flogging Molly when he wrote this recap, singing along, "We find ourselves in the same old mess, singing drunken lullabies." How true.
Grade: C-

Bert Miceli
New York
Pick Pockets
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Pasadena, TX
Position(s): P (ClA)
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New York Pick Pockets
--With the #23 pick in the draft the Pick Pockets landed perhaps the best closer prospect in the draft with RP stud Bert Miceli. Miceli has it all in terms of closer material, with L/R splits projecting near 80/100, major velocity, two excellent pitches, very nice control, good stamina and durability, and a GB/FB rate good enough to make it happen. There is a big worry though about his health, as he might be spending a fair amount of time on the DL, but still, New York had to be very pleased with this pick, as it was great value for the spot. The rest of the draft features some good minor leaguers who probably will never see the ML squad. But still, Miceli has the potential to be as good as any closer in the majors today, which is a nice haul by any measure.
Grade: B-

Ozzie Ward
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 20B/T: L/L
Born: Galena, KS
Position(s): LF
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Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
--The Corn Cleats added another LF to their already overstocked farm system with Ozzie Ward, taken at the #30 pick. Ward was a decent value pick, with a nice bat in a weak hitting draft with all hitting skills projecting to 70 or above. 2nd round pick RP Candy Pressley is another one of the good crop of closing prospects, with elite pitching skills, but low stamina and durability. The rest of the draft is pretty much minor league material. But considering where they were drafting, the Cleats didn't do so bad in picking up two ML prospects.
Grade: B

Wascar Galvez
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Nocona, TX
Position(s): RF
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Trenton Lions
--The Lions have to be happy with the #3 overall pick, RF Wascar Galvez, a superior masher with impressive durability and health. Galvez projects to have incredible power, excellent splits and batting eye, and decent contact at the plate. His defensive skill set is pretty good for a RF, but really, that's not why the drafted him. The Lions picked him up because he has Jose Barrios potential, and really, who can argue with that? Moving on, 2nd round pick SP Jamie Carlson has ML potential based on his extremely good selection of pitches, which could counteract his average control and splits. The rest of the draft devolved into minor league players with no ML potential. But drafting a hitter the calibur of Galvez makes any draft a success.
Grade: A-

Season 12 Draft Recap - AL North

AL North

Bo Bianucci
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: El Dorado, KS
Position(s): 2B
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Chicago Sabercats
--With the #10 pick in the draft the Sabercats picked up 2B Bo Bianucci. In addition to having the most righteous Italian last name in the draft, Bianucci sports great plate awareness and sees right handed pitching better than anyone else in the draft. He only makes average contact with mediocre power, but he should be able to post a high OBP. His glove is pretty decent, and with some luck he could play 3b in addition to 2b, making him a nice support player who should hold down a spot in the everyday lineup. 2nd round pick RP Tyreace Perry is a fringe prospect who has the control but not the splits to stick in the bigs, and the rest of the draft is strictly minor league. We would have liked to have seen more of a superstar with the #10 pick, but Bianucci was a good pickup in a very weak hitting draft.
Grade: C+

Desi Mondesi
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Manchester, MI
Position(s): C
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Pawtucket G-Maniacs
--The G's had 5 1st round picks to play with this season, and unfortunately for them they kind of botched it. #24 pick Desi Mondesi was a nice grab, one of the better catchers in a draft that didn't have much, a player with pretty good hitting skills and nice defensive abilities. Where the draft gets dodgy for the Maniacs is at the #32 pick, where Pawtucket selected C Ken Canseco, who has some power but nothing else even remotely resembling major league talent. This projected 56 overall gem is likely to get somebody in the Pawtucket scouting department fired. Supplemental pick 3B Joe Carr is ok, but outside of his projected 100 power there really isn't anything remarkable about his skill set. Supplemental pick RF Larry Singleton has decent hitting projections, and might make the majors as a backup. Supplemental pick P Charley Clark keeps this draft from being a total bust with his tip top control, great splits vs. righties, and and some pretty nice pitches that should make him a regular in the ML bullpen. 2nd round pick P Matt Moss is a fringe player who might make the majors, but fellow 2nd round pick C Tommy Olsen has a big league bat and should be able to platoon at DH as his catching skills are only barely good enough to get it done at the ML level. Not much else is happening in the later picks of the Pawtucket draft. There are some nice players in here, but for having 5 of the first 42 picks, you would think that Pawtucket would have been able to do better.
Grade: C+

Rob Power
Cheese Steaks
Age: 22B/T: L/L
Born: Spokane, WA
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Philadelphia Cheese Steaks
--The Cheese Steaks had one good pick at #8, and the rest of their draft was sucked up by type A/B picks, leaving them with pretty much a one man draft. That man is RP Rob Power, who certainly has the power to pitch every day, with a 40 STA/99DUR combo that is hard to top. But that is where the elite skills stop and the average skills begin, as his control and splits are kind of scary for a closer, making it harder for his two nice pitches to be truly effective. He's ok, but is looking like a 1.50+ WHIP guy, which isn't exactly lock down status. Philly probably could have picked up a better player at the #8 spot in the draft, which negatively impacts their grade.
Grade: C-

Stan Wilkerson
Blue Jays
Age: 21B/T: S/R
Born: Fairbanks, AK
Position(s): SS
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Toronto Blue Jays
--Needing a big hitting prospect in the worst way, the Blue Jays took the best hitter available on their board with the #5 pick, SS Stan Wilkerson. The burly Alaskan SS is probably better suited to 3B defensively, but his bat should be good enough to merit a position at the hot corner, with power, splits, and batting eye all projecting near 80. He can also play every day, which is good for a team without much offensive depth. 2nd round pick LF Adam Munson was also a nice pickup, with huge power and good splits vs. left handed pitching. He suffers a lot vs. righties, but should flourish in a platoon. The rest of the Blue Jays picks either didn't sign or aren't quite good enough for ML duty. Still, this was a successful draft in adding hitting depth when there wasn't much to be had.
Grade: B+

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Season 12 Draft Recap - NL South

Allie Kingman
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Palos Heights, IL
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Huntington Hillbillies
When you have the #12 overall pick, you normall expect to get a pretty nice player. But Huntington dropped the ball with thier pick of SP Allie Kingman, who has a projected skill set of a 2nd rounder, not a high first round pick. He has pretty good control, velocity, and capable pitches, but his splits are mediocre to the point where it's hard to see him being anything other than a long reliever at the ML level. Supplemental pick RP Brett Douglass was another nice closer prospect, with great control, splits, velocity etc... After that there isn't much to speak about in the draft, with minor league lifers running amok. Hard to give this team a passing grade, but they just manage it thanks to Douglass.
Grade: D-

Jackson Pollocks
The Pollocks took a risk in their attempt to sign the very talented SP pitching prospect Miguel Moreno at #11 overall. But that backfired and he hasn't signed, leaving Jackson with a collection of High A players at best from the draft. If Moreno would have signed it would have been an ok draft, without him it's ok to call it abyssmal.
Grade: F

Cesar Viriato
Age: 22B/T: S/R
Born: Fontana, CA
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Montgomery Burns
The Burns put their collective heads together to draft a very nice SP at #4 overall in Cesar Viriato. Everything about Viriato says "ace," and there is absolutely no reason to think that this pinpoint control pitcher with excellent splits and pitches won't be anything other than a future #1 starter in the majors. Supplemental pick SP Jerry Stein could make the bigs based on his pitch selection and control, and 2nd round pick SS Melvin Lemon has the glove to make it happen in the majors as well. 3rd round pick Pedro Matos also might make the majors as well, as he too has a great pitch selection and decent splits. After that the draft weakens a bit, but this was still a very nice haul for Montgomery.
Grade: A-

Rafael Terrero
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Daytona Beach, FL
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Richmond Cohibas
The normally solid drafting Cohibas misfired this season with their selection of SP Rafael Terrero at #13 overall. Terrero has 4 good pitches, but that's about it as his splits aren't that great and his control is pretty weak. Not at all what you would expect with the #13 pick. 2nd round pick SP William Shinjo looks good until you notice his pitches, of which he has 3, and only one of them projects above the 40's. Still, he might make it as long relief in the majors. The rest of the Cohiba draft is pretty much minor league for life. With Richmond's draft recapped it's pretty much safe to say that the NL South did not have a good year, and might need to hire some new talent scouts.
Grade: D-

Season 12 Draft Recap - AL South

Brutus Meyers
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Lafayette, CO
Position(s): SS
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Charlotte Dogs
The Dogs only had one pick before the 3rd round so they had to make it count, and they did in a big way by landing SS Brutus Meyers at #9 overall. Meyers is an extremely durable SS with a pretty good skillset, both in the field and at the plate. He has an exceptional batting eye, and owns left handed pitching, and is also a pretty fair runner on the base path. The rest of the Dogs draft was pretty worthless, but Meyers is an exceptional talent, which keeps the draft score respectable.
Grade: B-

Henry Kelly
Kansas City
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Somerville, NJ
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Kansas City Express
With the #2 overall pick in the draft, Kansas City needed to pick a franchise player, and they got what they needed in talented SP Henry Kelly. Kelly is a workhorse pitcher with near perfect control, electrifying speed, great splits, keeps the ball down, and has two very good pitches, and two capable ones. When he is ready to make the majors he will be a #1 quality starter for certain. The rest of the Express draft were either unsigned picks or minor league filler, which means the draft gets graded on Kelly, but he's good enough to make it worthwhile.
Grade: B-

Raymond Hawkins
Mexico City
Diablos Rojos
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Vancouver, BC
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Mexico City Diablos Rojos
At #21 overall, the Diablos Rojos took RP Raymond Hawkins, yet another great closer prospect from this years draft. All of his splits and skills are great, save for his tendency to give up the fly ball. But with control, velocity, and splits like his, the chances of a player making enough contact to get the ball in the air are pretty slim. Supplemental pick RP Felipe Gonzalez is another one of those freak pitchers with perfect control and mediocre splits who might make the bigs. After that the Mexico City draft degenerates into unsigned picks and minor league lifers. Hawkins is pretty good, but not enough to carry the score as high as Kelly or Meyers.
Grade: C+

Pedro Soriano
Rebel Riders
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Boonville, NC
Position(s): CF/1B/2B/LF/DH
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Nashville Rebel Riders
Soriano is a very nice defensive CF, with great range and good glove. He makes great contact on the ball, but has trouble some times seeing things at the plate. But he is a lightning fast baserunner with great instinct on the bases, and reminds the Times Herald a lot of current ML speedster Alfredo Cruz. Supplemental pick RP Max Flores is another potential closer, if he can get over his just barely adequate control, and the exact same thing can be said of 2nd round pick RP Herbert Christian. 3rd round pick P John Foster is intriguing because of the quality of his pitch selection, but the rest of the draft is strictly minor league. There are some decent players in this draft, but it doesn't look like there is a game changer in the bunch.
Grade: C+

Season 12 Draft Recap - NL East

Stan Paul
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Bode, IA
Position(s): LF
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Atlanta Pitbulls
The Pitbulls had 3 first round picks, including two in the top 20, so they were looking to come out of the draft with some big players. They succeeded for the most part, drafting solid LF Stan Paul at #18 overall, a durable OF with some pop and a decent eye. Their pick of Vinny Stuart at #19 though was a much better grab in terms of landing a solid bat. C/DH Stuart projects on the low end of the fielding scale for catchers, which means he may be better suited for DH or 1B. But his bat is about as good as it gets, and should get him to .330/3oHR/.950 OBP or better in the majors on a consistent basis. Supplemental pick Chris Towers could be a decent setup man in the pen at the big league level. 2nd round pick Lewis Waters is an anomaly, a RP with pretty weak skills vs. right handers, but projected 100 control. It will be very interesting to see if he can crack the majors. The rest of the Pitbulls draft yielded some pretty solid minor leaguers, making this a pretty nice draft for Atlanta.
Grade: A-

Craig Murray
St. Louis
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Plummer, ID
Position(s): P (SuA)
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St. Louis HoundDogs
The HoundDogs 1st pick was in the supplemental round at #36, where they took talented reliever Craig Murray. Murray has all the tools necessary to be a top of the line closer, lacking only in velocity, as he just doesn't have much zip on his pitches. But that's ok, because everything else on his projections looks to be stellar. 2nd round pick SS Raul Bennett has a ML Gold Glove, and a minor league bat. But he should make the majors as a backup for sure. The rest of the HoundDogs draft yieded some solid defensive players and some power bats for the minor leagues, but nothing of real ML potential.
Grade: B-

Nate Harper
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Gahanna, OH
Position(s): C
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Syracuse Beagles
The Beagles used the #28 pick in the draft on well rounded C Nate Harper. Harper projects to be very capable defensively, with excellent pitch calling skills. His bat is also pretty good too, with great skills vs. righties and a pretty good eye, which should allow him to hit for high average. Supplemental pick RP Ralph Hitchcock was yet another talented RP drafted in what seems to be a bumper year for future closers. Hitchcock has great control, splits, pitches, and velocity, making him very good but not Kirk White by any stretch. 2nd round pick RP Julio Delgado is another future closer if he can overcome his mediocre control, as all of his other essential stats are spot on. 2nd round pick 1b Raul Park has impressive power and splits just good enough to be an everyday player in the bigs. 3rd round pick 2b Vernon Walker was also a great value pick and could make the majors some day as well. After that the draft drops off a bit. Still, a very nice draft that yielded probably 3-5 big league players at late draft pick positions, well done.
Grade: A

Yannick Wells
Age: 20B/T: S/L
Born: Scranton, PA
Position(s): P (SuA)
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Wichita Wankers
The Wankers were the third team in the NL East to draft a RP with their first pick, in this case taking Yannick Wells at #29 overall. Wells is pretty good across the board, with better stamina and durability then the other RP's drafted in the division, but slightly lesser control. His pitches, splits, and velocity are all very nice and should make him a ML regular. Supplemental pick RP Ronnie McPherson is pretty much the same as as Wells but with much better control in exchange for slightly lesser splits and velocity. 2nd round pick RF Isaac Peters could be a ML regular if he develops his hitting skills fully, as his power and batting eye are very good. The rest of the Wankers draft brought some fringe players on board who might make the majors but are probably minor league lifers. Not a bad draft for where they were making their selections.
Grade: B+

Season 12 Draft Recap - AL East

Chuck Biscuits - Cobb Times Herald

It was a fairly deep draft in pitching prospects for Cobb World in season 12, but the hitting prospects weren't nearly as good. The Times Herald will be taking a division by division look at the franchises and how their drafts graded out. Up first is the AL East.

AL East

Reid Barrett
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Robbins, NC
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Boston Freedom
--After last seasons draft disaster where their first round pick refused to sign, the Freedom took a more conservative approach with their two first round picks at 46 and 49. #46 pick SP Reid Barrett projects to be a solid back end of the rotation starter with above average but not great control and splits, elite velocity, and a pretty good pitch selection. But it is doubtful he will ever achieve ace status. #49 pick SP Al Rhodes also has the same projection level, with better pitches than Barrett, but the flip side is he gives up more fly balls than you would like to see in a SP. 2nd round pick SS Shannon Sosa has ML potential, with an elite fielding skill set, and good enough splits vs. right handed pitching to be effective in the lineup. The rest of the Freedom's draft yielded some good minor leaguers, but no other players with ML potential. Still, nabbing 3 players who can contribute to the ML squad with nothing but late picks isn't that bad.
Grade: B-

Damaso Guapo
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Santa Fe Sprin, CA
Position(s): P (SuA)
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Cleveland Steamers
The Steamers were hoping to have better luck with their draft picks this year, and hope that none of them go down with a season ending injury in the first inning of their first game like their top pick from last season did. They certainly achieved a healthier pick with the drafting of RP Damaso Guapo at #22 overall. Guapo has all of the tools necessary to be a closer in the league, even if his splits vs. right handed hitting only just make the cut. His other skills, including devastating velocity and pinpoint control should help to overcome that one weakness. 2nd round pick Bo Hurst is a nice pickup, but his stamina issues will probably limit him to 30 innings a season max. The rest of the Steamers draft were all pitchers who probably won't make it out of the minors. Guapo is nice, but the rest of the draft isn't deep enough to be considered anything other than average.
Grade: C+

Damaso Pizzaro
Raging Slowheads
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Rose Hill, KS
Position(s): P (SP3)
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Indianapolis Raging Slowheads
The Slowheads continued the trend of drafting first rounders with the first name of Damaso with the selection of Damaso Pizzaro with the #17 pick. The Times Herald likes this Damaso a bit better than the Steamers version, due to his excellent splits, velocity, GB/FB, and 2 first pitches. His stamina and weak 3rd pitch aren't the best however, but if Flip Heathcott could get it done with similar stats, then there is no reason Pizarro can't be an all star someday. Supplemental round pick SP Leon Strong was a bit of a disappointment, but 2nd round pick 2b Carl Barfield has ML potential. The rest of the draft wasn't that productive for Indy, but Pizzaro could be quite good, and makes this draft acceptable for the slowheads.
Grade: B

Justin Perez
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: San Diego, CA
Position(s): P (ClB)
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Pittsburgh SSP
The SSP took the best RP they had available on the board at the #20 pick with Justin Perez. Perez has the tools to be a closer in the vein of Bobby Davidson, although you would like to see just a little more stamina and durability from the flame throwing hurler. Still, he should be pretty good at the end of games, with his excellent control, splits, velocity, GB/FB and great pitches. 2nd round pick 2b Ricky Henderson might make the bigs as a backup, but beyond that there wasn't much going on in the SSP draft.
Grade: C+

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ask Dr. Lars - NL North

Dr. Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Fargo Fug Nuts (57-32, 1st place)
Ailment: None, save #5 starter Sean Monroe and a finally healthy Sioux Falls team in 2nd place.
Prescription: The Fug Nuts don't have much in the way of depth to replace a struggling Monroe. Kind of like a patient who is down to his last kidney, you can't just tell him that it's ok to cut it out because there is another one waiting to go. So Dr. Lars recommends adjusting the rotation to skip as many of his starts as possible.
Outlook: 1st place, by a hair. If there is one thing Dr. Lars has learned through his years of intense medical studies, it is that Fargo is a patient that is nearly always going to get a clean bill of health.

Sioux Falls Corn Cleats (51-38, 2nd place)
Ailment: A horrible start to the season and some early injuries to key players put Cleats in a tough spot. Victor Gandarillas has been a sore spot as well.
Prescription: Ride the now healthy Ben Harris, Vance Weaver, and Marino Sierra in addition to the rest of the powerful lineup and rotation and hope for some extended losing streaks by the Fug Nuts. Dr. Lars likes how the lineup looks with lots of power and run producing potential, and the rotation is solid outside of a suddenly shaky Gandarillas, but he can be replaced with Wally Moore if need be.
Outlook: 2nd place, with a wildcard spot being a real possibility. The Cleats are now healthy and the lineup is starting to produce like it should, which is a bad thing for the rest of the league. Unfortunately Fargo got too big of a head start and Dr. Lars doesn't think the Cleats can catch them.

New York Pick Pockets (48-41, 3rd place)
Ailment: Fausto Rodriguez's 60 day DL stint isn't helping a team that can't afford to lose any of its starters in order to try and keep pace with Fargo and Sioux Falls. The pitching has also been only slightly above average, and Omar Rosado isn't having his needed MVP calibur season.
Prescription: Hope the pitching staff picks it up, especially former Cy Young winner Juan Moreno. If they don't have some shutdown games the Cleats will put too big of a gap on the Pick Pockets and steal the 2nd wildcard spot from them.
Outlook: 3rd place, again. New York is rapidly closing the gap, but like many aspiring bodybuilders they have a little more to go before they reach the Lou Ferrigno and Arnold status of the top two teams.

Trenton Lions (27-62, 4th place)
Ailment: It's not just one ailment, the whole ML franchise is on life support! The only thing keeping this team alive is the load of talent in the minors.
Prescription: Take two draft picks and call Dr. Lars in the morning. That and international signings of high quality are what will make this team healthy again.
Outlook: 4th place, really no surprise here. The Lions are getting some very nice young talent into the system, but don't have enough built up to be dismissed from the hospital yet.

Ask Dr. Lars - NL East

Dr. Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

As Lars was unfortunately caused to miss his season preview deadlines by the birth of his daughter, he has made sure that he can assuage his readers with a midseason checkup on the two divisions he missed, the NL East and NL South. So Dr. Lars hopes that your insurance is current, and that you follow his prescriptions for better baseball health.

Syracuse Beagles (61-28 1st place)
Ailment: None! This team is one healthy squad, and passes it's physical with flying colors.
Prescription: As with all his patients who are in excellent health, Dr. Lars recommends the continuation of a healthy diet and regular exercise. But other than that it is hard to prescribe anything else, as this team is as good as it gets right now. Tito Shigetoshi is a bit weak for a 1B, but if that is the worst thing that is wrong in Syracuse, life is pretty good.
Outlook: 1st place at the seasons end by 5-10 games, even though the rest of the division is pretty good.

Atlanta Pitbulls (53-36, 2nd place)
Ailment: The Pitbulls suffer from an extreme case of talented divisional opponants and previous lack of regular season success.
Prescription: Dr. Lars orders a healthy dose of Beagle losing streaks, coupled with the continued resurgence of veteran C Vernon Jones and steady bullpen action of Sean Hill. Dr. Lars is concerned with the production of #2 starter Wesley Hull, who has been just brutal this season, but otherwise the Pitbulls don't need much of of a change.
Outlook: 2nd place, with a wildcard spot and the first playoff appearance for the former perennially mediocre franchise.

St. Louis HoundDogs (46-43, 3rd place)
Ailment: Some seriously bad bullpen meltdowns, a bit of underproductive bats, and some power outages in the lineup, all at inconvenient times, all resulting in a mystery illness for the best fielding team in the league that is also a top five hitting a pitching squad.
Prescription: Dr. Lars isn't quite sure what to prescribe here as on paper everything looks good. A good suggestion is to use modern medical technology to clone Chipper Harper and the Elvis tandem and go from there. Otherwise Dr. Lars suggests trying to get some power in the lineup through a trade or two.
Outlook: 3rd place, really close to Wichita. For whatever reason, this is just not the HoundDogs year, and it is beyond the good doctor why.

Wichita Wankers (43-46, 4th place)
Ailment: The pitching is only average, but the real illness factor is a lineup that is dead last, getting outhit by the likes of Kansas City, Iowa City, and Trenton.
Prescription: Try putting all of the studs on the trade block to see if that lights a fire under the lineups collective behind, as it seems every single star on the Wankers has decided to have an off year. When a player of level of Grant Keats can only muster a .234 average, there is a problem in the lineup. If the trade block idea doesn't work, perhaps a lineup shift is in order.
Outlook: 4th place, as there is no way the Wankers can keep the division from going to the dogs if their bats don't improve.