Thursday, December 10, 2009
Season 14 Draft Recap - Columbus through LA Leopards
--With their two late first round picks, the Columbus HoundDogs picked up a pair of nice OBP machines in LF Les Cooper and 2B Merv Curtis. Both of them are average defensively for their positions, and have very similar hitting skills with above average splits and power, with outstanding batting eyes. Curtis has superior speed and base running ability, and should be a threat at the top of any order. 2nd round pick SS Dicky Connell has a nice glove, and might be a ML backup if his lackluster bat can be stomached. The same can be said of 4th round pick SS Jerrod Henry. The rest of the Columbus draft was pretty much minor league material. This was a nice draft though bringing in two ML starters and two potential backups with late round draft picks.
--The Steamers selected 2B Tony Dellaero with the #29 pick in the draft. On the upside, Dellaero has excelent range, makes great contact at the plate, and has elite speed. On the downside however is his lackluster splits, below average health and durability, and weak glove for the position. He could be a solid role player or utility man, with numbers similar to current Steamer Cory Lowry. 2nd round pick RP Ben Adams has great control, nice splits, good velocity and two excellent pitches, but has limited stamina and will probably be only good for 25 innings in a season. 3rd round pick C Allen Osborne is another in the long line of Steamers backstops who can call the best game in the world, but can't hit their weight. The rest of Clevelands draft is pretty anemic. There weren't any stars in this bunch, but there were some solid roleplayers who fit the Cleveland system.
--The Dingos used the #21 pick in the draft on future closer Erubiel Cordero. Cordero is a hard throwing southpaw with elite splits, pitches, and velocity. His control is above average, and he has incredible durability. He gets into trouble sometimes with the fly ball, but should be a nice reliever in the majors. SP Howie Mays was taken at #25, and he is a workhorse SP who could make it to the majors as a #5 starter or very good long reliever, but his limited pitch selection and control will keep him from moving much higher than that. He also sports some nifty spectacles. Supplemental pick Barney Perry is a utility IF with some pop, and could be a valuable bench player in the majors. 2nd Round pick SP Art Howard has ML potential as well, and might be a better pitching prospect than Mays if he develops fully. After him though the Dover draft drops off in quality and enters minor league territory. Still, not a bad draft that brought on board some good prospects.
--Florida selected slugging SS Nicky Lewis at #24 overall in the draft. Lewis boasts a very nice glove, has elite range, arm strength, and accuracy, and can play every game if needed. He also has more power than most shortstops in the majors. That being said the rest of his hitting skills are lacking, so while he is a legit prospect, to expect him to hit for average is foolhardy. 3rd round pick SS Ivan Ohman was good value for the round, and has ML potential as a defensive specialist, as does 4th round pick SS Patrick McGowan. But that's about it for the Florida draft.
--The Whalers selected RP Rich Taylor with the #15 pick in the draft. Taylor has all the makings of a solid ML reliever, but might not have quite the elite edge to succeed at the closer position, as his velocity is suspect, and he would need to maximize his development to make a real impact in the big leagues. Taylor does have good control, decent splits, and good durability, but taking him at #15 may have been a bit of a reach. 2nd round pick SP Wally Howard has a very nice pitch selection, great splits, but has some control issues that might limit him to long relief in the majors. The rest of the Whalers draft was pretty much minor league.
Iowa City Corn Dogs
--The Corn Dogs drafted a very solid SP prospect in Josh Biddle with the #11 pick in the draft. Biddle features elite control, velocity and pitch selection, and has pretty good splits as well. He is also a workhorse and is capable of pitching a lot of innings in a season. It's a good thing for the Corn Dogs farm system that they had such a dynamite first pick, because the rest of their draft was entirely uninspiring.
--The Pollocks selected a very nice reliever in Junior Cela at #19 overall, a pitcher who projects to have perfect control, nice splits, and three good pitches. He will need to maximize his control in order to offset his tendency to give up the fly ball, but otherwise you couldn't ask for much more in a reliever. The rest of the Pollocks draft continued to focus on pitching, and yielded a selection of nice looking long relievers and setup men, all of whom are fringe prospects thanks to their pitch selection, but probably won't be much more than AAAA players. Of special note is RP Jon Bonds, who boasts a stamina/durability combo of 4/56, which will limit his otherwise pretty nice looking skill set. This is the kind of draft that while on paper doesn't look too exciting, really added to the depth of the farm system overall.
Kansas City Express
--The Express had big hopes going into the draft, holding the #4 overall pick, but unfortunately for their fans didn't manage to bring home the stud the team was looking for. What they got instead was a solid but not spectacular SP in Doug Dreifort, who has above average control, velocity, pitch selection, and decent splits. While not elite in any category, he is solid and will be a ML starter in the future for sure, just not the ace the team was hoping to bring home. None of the KC's other top round picks signed, so this has to be considered a disappointing draft for the franchise.
Los Angeles Leopards
--The Leopards had the #1 pick in the draft, so it is to be expected that they signed a stud, which of course they did in RF Napoleon Graves. Graves is undoubtedly the best hitter in the draft, with a scary contact/power combo with great splits and batting eye. His glove is weak, but seeing as how he is a corner outfielder all that matters is his bat, and the fact that he can play every day, which he can. 3rd round pick LF Aaron Cole has a nice batting eye, and might make it to the bigs as a backup, but the rest of the LA draft is pretty uninspiring. But they didn't mess up the pick that counts, which is the most important thing.