Thursday, March 11, 2010
Season 15 Draft Recap - Charlotte through Florida
--The Thunder sure picked a bad year to have multiple compensation picks due to free agent losses. As a result they only signed two of their six 1st and 2nd round picks. The first signing was #13 overall, SS Jack Holt. The Thunder wisely moved him to 2b right off, as is the theme in this draft, Holt was flawed for his projected position, having great fielding stats save for his glove, which only projects to a 70, not nearly good enough for an ML SS. His bat is pretty nice for a SS, but only average for a 2B. So the end result is that Charlotte got a light hitting 2B who should be great defensively at that position. The Thunders other signed 1st round pick, CF Jose Reyes, was taken at #43 overall. He is a fine defensive CF, and has great ability to hit lefties and is a top baserunner. His lack of contact skills and inability to hit righties well could limit him to platoon duty in the majors however. The rest of the Thunders draft produced some capable minor leaguers, but nobody who is truly capable of making the big leagues otherwise. This draft has to be considered a disappointment for the Thunder considering the volume of high picks they had going in vs. the return they got coming out.
--The HoundDogs took a gamble by sacrificing their first round pick to sign free agent SP Tony Cho. In hindsight that turned out to be a pretty good move, as the talent they probably could have signed at #27 overall wouldn't have been very good. What they ended up with in the 2nd round onward was a draft that pretty much is unremarkable and average at best. None of their picks will make the majors, although Galahad Hutchinson and Cookie Coleman do have very cool names, some of the best in the draft. But in the ranks of draft history, this one is pretty forgettable.
Grade: D- for their picks, A+ for getting Cho instead of a chump who probably would have never made the majors
--Usually when you draft a relief pitcher who will in all likelihood top out at Setup B role on the big league team, it isn't a good thing. But with the talent in this years draft it was actually as good as could be expected at #29 overall in the draft, and the Steamers ended up with Sherm Truman as a result. Truman's best quality is his durability and stamina, but his pitches in combination with a lack of velocity and tendency to give up the fly ball will probably keep Truman from ever being an effective big league pitcher. Supplemental pick CF Juan Espinosa however is a keeper, and has a chance to be an elite defensive CF at the ML level, with a bat that is good enough to justify a spot in the lineup. His high contact bat and elite baserunning abilities make him a legit prospect, although he is a very light hitter and will probably only manage a .270 average and .650 OPS at best in the bigs. The rest of the Cleveland draft brought on board some very good minor leaguers, but no other big league talent. Not a great draft at all, but certainly better than some others this year, with the Espinosa pick keeping this from being a total waste.
--With the #26 pick in the draft, the Dingos selected a top defensive SS in Howard Spivey. Spivey also has some good contact at the plate and a decent eye, but is slow as molasses and couldn't hit a right hander if the game were slow pitch softball. Supplemental pick Keith Sveum was good value for his location in the draft, and if his splits were a little higher would be a potential all star. But as it is he will need to develop fully in order to just be a long reliever in the majors. If he matures he looks to be kind of like a Zeus Stewart type of pitcher. 2nd round pick 1b J.P. Gibbons was good value for the location as well, but his bat isn't quite good enough to be a regular in the majors. The rest of the draft for Dover featured some good minor leaguers who were good value picks, but none of them will ever see a ML roster. Despite the flawed nature of their top two picks, this draft was par for the course this year in terms of talent.
--Florida spent a gazillion dollars on scouting this year, almost to see it go to waste thanks to a flurry of type A free agent signings. But then they got lucky and scored a compensation pick of their own, at #60 overall in the 1st round. They used their scouting smarts to select RP Jordan Walker, who has some of the best splits in the draft, and projected control near 100, which is as good as you can get. He also has one of the best pitch selections in the draft. But how did he drop to #60 then? His extremely limited stamina and durability is the culprit. He's limited to basically 40 innings a year tops, but they should be 40 very good innings for what it is worth. The Almendares only signed one other top round pick, and he is only going to be good in the minors. Despite their huge scouting investment, Florida has to be happy they didn't have to depend on it this year thanks to the very poor talent pool.
Grade: D+ for the picks, A+ for the free agent signings that prevented them from having to draft.