Chuck Biscuits - Cobb Times Herald
The season four draft marked the first draft where the talent wasn't as good as the previous season. There were some decent players taken, and one major hitting star in Chipper Harper selected in the second half of the first round. This was also the draft that introduced the world to Skeeter "Bling Bling Skeet" Robertson, one of several good pitching prospects in the draft. There were probably more duds than studs in this draft, but there was one incredible steal however, read on to find out all about it.
Season Four Draft
Top Pick: Omar Lewis - Oakland Frozen Koreans - For the third straight season a SS was taken with the top pick this time Omar Lewis by the Oakland (now Tacoma) franchise. Lewis turned out to be a decent fielding SS, but has yet to win any awards in 6+ ML seasons, and his career OPS is only .741, not at all what you would expect from the top pick in the draft. While Lewis is a capable player, as a #1 pick he is a dud.
Biggest Steal: Patrick Lamb, #90 - Helena Hellraisers - It must have been his durability that scared off the rest of the scouts, because Lamb has been a beast since he entered the majors, making multiple All Star squads, mashing the ball out of the park, and posting a ML career OPS of 1.029. He's been able to average about 450 AB's a season, which for an elite slugging catcher who is also pretty good defensively is a very nice total. At the #90 pick Lamb is almost as big a steal as Kory Arnold was in season two.
Best Hitters: #23 Chipper Harper, #90 Patrick Lamb, #3 Tanner Durham, #7 Dennis Ashby, #17 Albert Burnett, and #36 Clay Henry
Best Pitchers: #2 Skeeter Robertson, #4 Zephyr Burns, #6 Andres Quixote, and #13 Santos Diaz
Duds: There were a lot of duds in this class, but the biggest has to be #5 pick SP Francis Ford by the Florida Hurricanes. Ford has been a major disappointment, posting a ML record of 21-38 with an ERA of 5.31. Not exactly the stuff aces are made of.
Honorable Mention: #9 pick SS Clarence Jackson, #12 Pick RF Brett O'Keefe, and #14 pick SS Jalal Smith are the other worst offenders in a draft full of duds.
Unsigned Picks: #21 pick P Eric Rose was the only unsigned 1st round pick.
Prime Studs of the Draft: In a draft class that really lacked impact players, Chipper Harper beats out runner up Patrick Lamb as the best hitter in the bunch. His numbers in the majors are clearly superior to his draft compatriots, and he has the MVP hardware to prove it, so the Times Herald has selected him as the Prime Hitting Stud of the draft. On the mound it's a bit closer call, as Zephyr Burns, Santos Diaz, and Andres Quixote are all pretty good, but Skeeter Robertson, while he might not have as many wins, has been the better pitcher statistically since hitting the big leagues.