Thursday, March 4, 2010
Season 15 Draft Recap - Anaheim through Chicago
--Picking at #28 in a very weak draft meant that Anaheim didn't have much to choose from in the way of talent. What they ended up with was Orval Edmonds, the prototypical high health/durability 2B who is average at pretty much every other category. Edmonds will be just good enough to make an ML team eventually, but will probably just end up being a journeyman. Supplemental pick SP Lawrence Lofton has good ML potential as a long man or #5 starter thanks to his high control, and was as good as you could get at #90 overall. 3rd rounder Abraham Hill is a high end minor leaguer, as is 4th rounder Roosevelt Motte. Considering how horrible the talent in the draft was this season, this actually isn't a bad draft. But still, none of these guys are likely to impact the major league club in Anaheim.
--As their team starts to produce winning records, the management in Atlanta is starting to discover that drafting at the end of the first round is a whole new ballgame. What they ended up with this year was RP Brian Gang, taken at #24 overall. Gang has very limited stamina and durability, but has great skills elsewhere across the board. He projects to play like current ML relief pitcher Jose Rios, which means ATL should get about 40 high quality innings a year out of Gang if he matures fully. Supplemental pick RP Ross Brownson is a tweener pitcher, best suited to long relief thanks to his mid level stamina and durabilty. He has great pitches and control, which should offset his average splits. He has a good future as a ML setup pitcher. The rest of the pitchers taken in Atlanta's first five rounds will make excellent minor leaguers.
--When can not signing the #5 overall pick be considered a success? This year! Thanks to the horrible talent pool, the best Boston was able to draft was above average 1B Don Elster, who rejected the Loggers initial contract offer, thus ensuring that Boston will be able to have the #5 pick in next years draft, which will hopefully have better talent. That left them with their top pick being #48 overall RP Johnny Prince, a minor leaguer who may get a sniff of the majors should a catastrophic injury wave hit the ML squad of his franchise. 3rd rounder C Johnny Worrell is actually a viable ML talent thanks to his great bat and decent backstopping skills. Otherwise Boston brought home some good minor leaguers, but not much else in the way of ML talent.
Grade: D for this years talent, but an A for securing a high pick next season.
--Back in the good old days picking #15 meant you were going to get a stud player of the likes of Benito Rodriguez or Lyle Crudale. But with this draft it meant signing CF Edgar Romero, who while having some very nice qualities, isn't a player of the calibur of those mentioned. What Romero does have is an elite glove and a great batting eye, and pretty good speed. What he lacks is the range that is necessary for a CF in larger parks, and the rest of his batting skills are only average. But he could easily be a top tier defensive 2B for certain, and considering the talent in the draft was probably the best that was available to Chicago at his place in the draft order. The next two picks for Chicago, RPs Wellington Mendez and Don Long, both have great control and decent pitches, but have a few flaws that might impede their progress. The rest of Chicago's top picks were good minor leaguers who could fill in for the ML squad if it were desperate.