Thursday, May 21, 2009

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+

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