Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Season 13 Draft Recap - Honolulu through Louisville

Ralph Walsh
Age: 22B/T: L/L
Born: Oxford, MI
Position(s): LF
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Honolulu Harriers
--The Harriers selected LF Ralph Walsh with the #9 pick in the draft. As you would expect for a top 10 pick, Walsh is an elite hitter and is probably the best power hitter in this years draft. With great contact, power, splits vs. righties, and above average speed and baserunning skills for a LF, Walsh is a definite stud in the making. The Harriers weren't so lucky with the #17 pick in the draft, where RP Lyle English refused to sign, robbing Honolulu of a decent setup man. Supplemental pick 1B Clinton Jones is a good hitter, but might not have enough power to man the 1B position, but still should make the bigs due to his bat. The only other top pick signed by the Harriers was 3rd round pick SP Denny Galliard, who is a potential long relief guy in the bigs but not much else. But grabbing a franchise hitter like Walsh was huge, and makes the draft a success.
Grade: B+

Huntington Hillbillies
--Thus far the Hillbillies haven't signed a single pick from the first five rounds, including 2 supplemental round picks. Whether the players asked for too much money or they just plain stink, the end result is the same.
Grade: F-

Michael Leonard
Iowa City
Corn Dogs
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Redford, MI
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Iowa City Corn Dogs
--The Corn Dogs had the #1 overall pick in the draft, and they took full advantage of it with the signing of SP Michael Leonard. Leonard projects to be an absolute beast of a pitcher, with the stamina and durability to pitch nearly 300 innings, and control, splits, velocity, and a pitch selection that will strike fear into opposing hitters. To put it bluntly, he's going to be damn good, and the thought of a Furio Kydd/Leonard tandem pitching at the same time is downright scary. The rest of the Hokies draft yielded some role players and minor leaguers, about what you would expect for where they were taken in the draft. But Leonard will be something special, that is a fact.
Grade: A

Jimmy Ellis
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Riverside, CA
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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Jackson Pollocks
--The Pollocks took 2b/CF Jimmy Ellis with the #18 pick in the draft. Ellis is a contact hitter with good enough splits and batting eye to be respectable at the plate, and tremendous range and very nice glove in the field. His speed and base running abilities are also nearly unmatched in the draft. He's a health risk though, and might spend some time on the DL in his career. The Pollocks other top picks brought on board some very nice defensive players and a few minor league lifers. This wasn't a great draft for Jackson, but it certainly wasn't horrible either, falling solidly in the average category.
Grade: B-

J.R. McClain
Kansas City
Age: 22B/T: S/R
Born: Louisville, NE
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Kansas City Express
--K.C. took SP J.R. McClain with the #7 pick in the draft, and were rewarded with a workhorse SP who can go very deep into games. McClain has three very good pitches, above average splits, and great control. He should definitely find a spot in the ML rotation when he is ready. The Express didn't sign any of their other top picks, leaving this a one man draft.
Grade: B-

Jesus Tabaka
Los Angeles
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Avon Lake, OH
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Los Angeles Leopards
--With the #6 pick in the draft L.A. took RP Jesus Tabaka. Tabaka has control projected as high as you could hope for, and great splits and pitches thrown with some heat. His big strength though will be the ability to use those skills for 3 innings every day, with his huge durability and near long relief capable stamina. Tabaka is truly a physical freak of nature. The Leopards other top picks are all minor league lifers, making this yet another one man draft.
Grade: B-

Nolan Payton
Las Vegas
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Jersey City, NJ
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Las Vegas Sinners
--With the #5 pick the Sinners selected their fans newest vice, SP Nolan Payton. Payton is a finesse pitcher in every sense of the word, with impeccable control, above average splits, perfect GB/FB skills, and five usable pitches. Especially tricky is his 4 seam fastball, which has put a hurting on hitters because it moves slower than a snail on flypaper. He should be a top of the rotation starter when he matures. Even though 2nd round pick CF Dave Joseph didn't sign, the Sinners still got two ML quality role players in 3B Justin Walters, who would be a great platoon player vs. lefties with his splits and power, and defensive SS Andres Sierra.
Grade: B+

Pedro Baez
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Scottsbluff, NE
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Louisville Dogs
--The Dogs selected RP Pedro Baez with the #8 pick in the draft. Baez is a traditional closer, with low stamina, high durability, great control and splits, excellent GB/FB ratio, high heat, and a sinker/slider combo that is devastating. The Dogs supplemental round pick CF Chance Klassen has a chance to be a ML backup, and the rest of Louisvilles top picks are all pretty decent minor leaguers, but not ML material. Not a bad draft by any stretch.
Grade: B

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