Saturday, March 13, 2010
Season 15 Draft Recap - Omaha through Sioux Falls
--Heading into the draft, Omaha had to be hoping for something good with the #12 overall pick. What they came out with was a 1B with great skills vs. righties and a top batting eye, but otherwise lackluster abilities at the plate, especially for a power position. Snell has one of the oddest fielding skill sets that have ever been seen in a 1B prospect, with range, accuracy, and arm strength that could put him in the SS category, if only his glove didn't project to the upper 30's. Snell is truly a freak player without a true position. Supplemental pick Chili McGowan is a 2b with a hitting skill set more appropriate for a 2B, and the Sluggers other Supplemental round pick didn't sign, and the Sluggers didn't have any other top picks to make due to free agency signings. All told this has to be considered a disappointing draft when you consider the placement of the picks and the talent returned, even in a poor draft class such as this.
--The G-Maniacs were picking surprisingly early this season at #19 overall, but their draft pick was the type of player who usually gets taken around 32-50 in the draft. 2B Connie Strange projects to a high overall rating, but his bat is only above average, although capable at the major league level. Strange's glove should allow him to sub for CF if his range develops fully, and he has some very nice speed, although he is not so good in the head when it comes to base running. Supplemental pick 1B George Ingram was a very nice pickup at #37 overall and has much higher potential than many of the players selected before him. He is a nice hitting 1B with enough power to muster around 20 HR's a season. Supplemental pick SP Jason Wright is a marginal ML prospect, and after him there wasn't anybody worth writing about in the Pawtucket draft. All told this was a very average draft for the G's.
--#17 pick 2b Stone Cronin is about everything you would expect in a starting 2b. He has a capable but not great glove, good speed with average base running skills, good contact, average power, decent splits, and a batting eye that leaves something to be desired. He should be a regular in the majors at some point, but the odds of him ever being an all star are slim. Richmond had a host of supplemental picks, the first one being RP Sam Fingers, who has definite ML potential and is great vs. lefties with three quality pitches and good control. At #61 overall, supplemental pick SP Kane Rando might be the best value in the draft, as he could be a back end of the rotation starter for most teams in the majors. #62 overall 2b Sean Breen is probably destined for a bench role in the bigs, but at least he is a quality prospect. No one else in the top 5 rounds for the Cohibas projects to be a major leaguer, but props to Richmond for signing hands down the best name of the draft, CF Sticky McFeely, who is worth a whole letter grade by himself. This was a pretty decent draft in a poor class.
--Picking #4 overall the Pilots had the chance to nab one of the few elite prospects in this years draft. They succeeded in selecting 2b Bert Howell, a gifted fielding 2B who could probably do just as well in CF. Howell's bat is pretty good for this draft as well, with an exceptional batting eye. Howell also has elite speed and decent base running capabilities, and the durability to play 162 games. He is very similar in projected skills to current major leaguer Peter Mullin of the Toronto Blue Jays. 2nd round pick C Stump Janish has a great name and even better catching skills, with elite fielding and pitch calling abilities. His bat is ok, although he can't hit righties to save his life, but his glove makes up for that deficiency. The rest of the Seattle draft brought on board some good minor leaguers, but no other players with big league potential. This draft went about as good as could be expected for Seattle, but wasn't very deep.
San Francisco Earthquakes
--How bad was San Francisco's draft? So bad that they didn't even bother signing their first round pick, #20 overall, even though SS Terry Cannon was offering to sign for slot money. 2nd round pick SS Gil Wigginton might make it as a backup SS in the bigs someday, and 3rd round pick CF Jose Duran has a nice glove and good skills vs. righties, although his low contact and batting eye will lead to some .200 batting averages. Despite the fact that their few signed top round picks were actually decent value for where they were taken, not getting anything, even a compensation pick from the #20 overall, is just an unforgivable draft sin.
San Jose Tigers
--Even in a draft filled with flawed players, CF/2B Al Ramos is exactly what a #10 draft pick should be, an elite hitter for the position with a great glove and range. Ramos has more power than most CF's, and is very good vs. lefties. He is also a very durable everyday player, and should hold down a lineup spot in the outfield for many seasons. It's a good thing the Tigers drafted Ramos, because the rest of their draft is filled with minor league filler and potential diamonds in the rough. But having at least one elite ML player makes up for a lot in a draft like this one.
Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
--Picking at #7 overall, the Corn Cleats selected a top of the rotation starter in SP Davey Koch. Koch has the most impressive control of any pitcher in this years draft, good splits, elite velocity, and a good pitch selection. He projects to be a 1a level starter in the bigs. Supplemental pick CF Ralph Starr should be a quality major leaguer as well. He has elite defensive capabilities, is a very good base runner, and picks up right handed pitching very well. The rest of his bat is suspect, but he is a quality player regardless. The rest of the Corn Cleats draft brought on some minor league guys but no other big league projected players. Not a bad draft though considering the level of talent available.