Chuck Biscuits - Cobb Times Herald
--With the #20 pick in the draft the Sharks selected SP Torey McFarland. McFarland is a quality SP top to bottom, and while not lights out in any of his particular abilities, his entire skill set adds up to a ML starter, probably slotted in the 3 to 5 positions in the rotation. 2nd round pick RP Ryan Post probably doesn't have what it takes to make it out of the minors, but 3rd round pick SS Justin Callaway is intriguing thanks to his excellent glove and very nice split vs. right handed pitching. The rest of the Sharks draft was pretty much minor league filler, but the two ML prospects they did pick up are pretty decent for where they were selected.
--The Tigers took LF Pablo Rosa with the #10 pick in the draft. Rosa is a physical specimen who can play every day, and the work he puts in the offseason is showing in his muscles, as he has pretty nice power as well at the plate. He makes good contact and has a good eye, which is about all you can ask for a corner OF position, especially as his glove isn't an embarrassment. The Tigers enjoyed another nice 1st round pick at #18 with the selection of RF Stubby Grabowski, another hard hitting prospect similar in skills to Rosa. Grabowski isn't quite as lethal at the plate, but is immeasurably faster on the bases. The Tigers continued their run of quality picks with 2nd round pick SS Steve Harris, a nice defensive SS with some skill at the plate as well. 3rd round pick SP Dustin Rolle also has some nice potential to make the majors thanks to his wonderful control and pitch selection. Netting 4 future ML players made for a very nice draft for Arizona.
--Heading into the draft expectations were high for Atlanta, thanks in part to their four first round picks. The first of those was 2B Pat Chong, taken at #27 overall. Chong is a very nice power hitting 2B, and reminds the Herald Times of Joseph Funaki with his hitting skills, but with only a little less power at the plate. His glove is adequate for the position. SP Brady Hartzell was taken at #37, and he is a future starter with his impeccable control, velocity, GB/FB ratio, and five above average pitches. He's definitely a nice pickup for Atlanta. SP Tripp Jefferies, taken at #42 overall, also is a bona fide ML starter in the making, with nice control, splits, velocity and pitches. The SP bonanza continued for Atlanta at #52, as Don Matthews was yet another talented prospect taken by the Pitbulls. While not as skilled as Jefferies or Hartzell, Matthews still has the stuff to make the majors. Atlanta drafted yet another nice SP prospect in the 2nd round with their choice of Daniel Olson, who has more upside than Matthews, and is similar in skills to Jefferies. The rest of Atlanta's draft was very deep with quality minor league players who could also make the majors in a backup capacity at some point through all 5 first rounds. If you are a GM looking at how to draft, look no further, this is as good as it gets.
--The Loggers took a very nice catching prospect at #5 overall with the selection of Steven Nielsen. Nielsen can flat out rake the ball vs. lefties, and is very nice vs. righties as well, and has a good batting eye. Behind the plate he is solid as well, and shouldn't be a defensive liability. He can also DH effectively for an AL squad. 2nd round pick RP Adam Robbins has yet to sign, but if he does he has very good skills for a closer if he can overcome his control issues. 3rd round pick SP TJ Farr is great value for the round, as he has ML potential and could possibly be a #5 starter for most squads. This was a solid but not spectacular draft for Boston.
--The Sabercats took a gamble with their first pick at #14, when potential superstar SS Doc Mabry unexpectedly dropped to their slot. Superbly talented, but a huge signing risk, Mabry could change the fortunes of the Chicago franchise if he signs, as he is very good in the field and at the plate. He's the complete package and a legitimate star if he signs. For the Sabercats sake Mabry had better sign, as the rest of their draft wasn't very impressive, bringing on board a bunch of minor league scrubs with no ML potential. So this is a one man draft for Chicago.
Grade: A if he signs, F if he doesn't.
--The Thunder made a very nice selection in P Harry Mendoza at #13 overall. Mendoza has the most electrifying stuff of any pitcher in the draft this year, with out of this world control, splits, and velocity. His durability and pitch selection will probably funnel him towards the bullpen, but he could be as good as Kirk White in the closers role, and brings a much needed pitching prospect to the Thunder franchise. The rest of Charlotte's draft brought on some fringe pitching prospects, who might make it as long relief but not much else. But drafting Mendoza makes up for a lot.