Thursday, May 27, 2010

Season 16 Draft Recap - Tampa Bay through St. Louis

Bryce Fife
Tampa Bay
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Islip, NY
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Tampa Bay Beagles
--With the #26 pick in the draft Tampa Bay selected SP Bryce Fife.  Fife projects to be slightly above average in splits, velocity, control, and stamina, and has some pretty nice pitches.  But he doesn't really impress enough to really be more than a long reliever or spot starter in the majors.  2nd round pick RP Luke Feldman has some nice control and pitches for a reliever, but he will have to maximize his development in order to become anything other than a setup B type pitcher or AAAA player in the future.  The rest of the Beagles draft was pretty anemic and didn't produce any players with major league potential.
Grade: D

Chris Withers
Jerry Gang
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Hudson, IA
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Tacoma Jerry Gang 
--The Jerry Gang picked late in the 1st round at #29 overall, which didn't bode well for a good pick considering the talent, but they managed to score a very nice closer prospect in RP Chris Withers.  Withers shows elite control, great splits, velocity, and pitch selection for the position, and is pretty durable to boot, making him a nice find at #29.  Supplemental pick SP Matthew Padgett doesn't have quite the upside that Withers does, but is intriguing and could make it in the majors thanks to his precise control and four quality pitches.  His fifth pitch is a bit worrisome however and hopefully will be dropped down the line, and his splits are only average at best.  2nd round selection LF John Torrealba was a great value pick, a fine leadoff hitter with great contact and splits vs. righties.  He isn't very good vs. left handed pitching, and doesn't have the power you would normally associate with a COF spot, but could be a sparkplug in the lineup if given the chance.    2nd round choice SS John Shipley also has ML potential thanks to his top notch glove, but he will be limited to the role of a defensive replacement thanks to his lackluster bat.  The Gang didn't sign any of their other top round picks, but that is ok as the ones they did all can play in the bigs someday, making this a pretty nice draft all things considered.
Grade: B+

Gabby Hudson
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Kenyon, MN
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Syracuse Sympathizers
--The Sympathizers were sitting pretty this year for the draft, going in with the #6 and #9 overall picks, and looking to nab a couple of studs for the future of the franchise.  How did it work out?  At #6 they selected SP Gabby Hudson, a fine starter who is pretty good in all key categories, but really isn't the dominant type of player you would expect to get with the sixth pick in the draft, and really only has #3 or #4 potential in the majors.  They did much better with the 9th pick, selecting SS Luke Colangelo.  Colangelo has an average glove, and would be a very fine 3B if he doesn't maximize his defensive growth potential.  His stick is pretty good, and .280/25/100 out of him should be the norm in the majors, with the potential for greater numbers if he has protection in the lineup.  He's pretty quick too, and a decent base runner as well.  2nd round selection CF Al Ibarra is a decent hitter, not great but not horrible, and has a good glove for the position.  He could be a valuable backup at CF and 2B in the majors.  3rd round selection RP Alex Blanco was quite a find at that spot, and has great potential to be successful in the majors with is top splits and pitch selection, if he can overcome the occasional control issue.  The rest of the Sympathizers draft was minor league lifers.  All told this was a successful draft, but one that could have been much better had they been able to score a player of the type you normally get at #6.
Grade: B+

Tris Flair
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Lehi, UT
Position(s): C
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Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
--The Corn Cleats went into the draft with the most 1st and 2nd round picks thanks to the loss of several type A free agents in the offseason, and were hoping to bolster their minors and not suffer the fate the Wichita Wankers did in season 15, where they had the misfortune of a lack of talent with tons of picks.  The results were pretty good all things considered.  Their first pick was at #25 overall, where the Cleats selected slugging C Tris Flair.  Only an average defensive catcher, Flair's main upside is in his tremendously powerful bat, which is very good vs. lefties.  With his low durability he'll probably be limited to platoon duty in the majors.  Supplemental pick 2B Virgil Snelling may be the steal of the draft, selected at #43 overall.  Projected to top out at an overall of 87 according to Times Herald Scouts, Snelling has an elite glove, decent power, and great splits and batting eye.  He also has top speed and baserunning skills, and should be a starter in the majors someday, being capable of playing every position save for SS.  Supplemental pick 1B Seth Feldman was also a nice choice, a great contact hitting 1B who should be able to hit for average and OBP in the bigs at an elite level.  He doesn't have top power, but 15-20 homers a year isn't out of the question for him.  Supplemental pick RP also has the potential to be a ML regular, thanks to his top splits, velocity, GB/FB, and pitch selection.    Supplemental pick CF Fred Benoit has ML backup potential thanks to his great glove and speed, but his bat is average at best.  2nd round pick CF Spud Harvey has the same batting skills as Benoit, but his glove isn't nearly as nice.  2nd round pick SP Laynce Chase could potentially make it as a long reliever, but his ceiling is pretty limited.  The remainder of the Cleats draft saw three more players with ML potential, LF Everth Hernandez, a 3rd rounder with a decent bat who could possibly see time as a backup, and two defensive shortstops in 4th and 5th round picks Davey Baerga and Alex Jacquez.  So the grand tally for SXF in this years draft was 4 players with definite ML starting potential, and six with the potential to be role players off the bench.  This was a haul by anybodies standards in a draft lacking depth in talent.
Grade: A

Kirk Barnes
St. Louis
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Boswell, OK
Position(s): P (SP1)
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St. Louis Tweakers
--Picking at #11 this year, the Tweakers selected SP Kirk Barnes, a crafty lefty with great splits.  Barnes shows decent promise with his pitch selection, although none of them can be considered elite pitches.  Barnes true strength lies with his deceptive movement, although he sometimes experiences control issues.  He's a workhorse too, and if his game is on is a complete game monster on the mound.  2nd round pick LF Chris Rigby is a platoon managers dream, showing incredible power and skills vs. right handed pitching.  He'll strike out a lot, and can't hit lefties worth a lick, but his bat shows tremendous value depending on the matchup.  3rd round choice DH Sid Priest adds some depth off the bench should a bat be needed, as his is decent but not elite.  4th round pick CF Wiki Molina is a nice defensive CF, but his bat might prevent him from ever seeing the big leagues.  Not a bad draft for the Tweakers, netting some players with enough upside to overcome their flaws. 
Grade: B

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Season 16 Draft Recap - Wichita through Toronto

Seth Shipley
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Citrus Heights, CA
Position(s): P (LRA)
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Wichita Wankers
--Picking late as usual, the Wankers selected SP Seth Shipley at #31 overall in the first round.  Shipley is a very hard throwing righty with great splits, huge velocity and movement, and 3 good pitches and fourth pitch that is average.  Also average to below average is Shipley's control, but if he can maximize his progress with that facet of his game he should have a career in the majors in the starting rotation.  Supplemental pick SP Eddie Brooks, taken at #44 overall, is slightly above average in all key skills but really doesn't excel in any one particular area.  He should be able to crack the majors as a long reliever/spot starter, but a regular rotation spot seems unlikely.  Supplemental pick SP Anthony Ledee, taken at #56 has some nice potential to make the majors as a quality long reliever or #5 starter.  His control is pretty good, his splits are reasonable, and he has a very nice first pitch.  2nd round selection SP Spike Sutton was a good value pick, and has the same long reliever/spot starter potential as the supplemental round choices for the Wankers.  3rd round pick 1B Ellie Donatello was a nice value pick, esp. given the dearth of overall talent this season in the draft, with good power and decent skills vs. lefties.  After Donatello there really isn't anyone else in the Wankers draft with real major league potential, but all told this was a decent draft under the circumstances for the Wankers.
Grade: B

Joseph Sasaki
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Baton Rouge, LA
Position(s): SS/3B/2B
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Vancouver Grizzlies
--The Grizzlies forfeited their 1st round pick in favor of signing FA Bosco Simon, but did have two supplemental round choices in this years draft.  The first, SS Joseph Sasaki, is an above average fielding SS with some pop in his bat and a decent batting eye.  His contact and splits aren't the best, but  he should be a serviceable utility man in the majors.  The Grizzlies other supplemental choice, SS Darryl Montgomery doesn't really have the skills to cut it at the major league level, with a glove best suited for 3B but only a very average bat.  3rd round pick SS Joe Percival was a tremendous value pick, with a gold glove caliber defensive skill set and an elite batting eye.  The rest of his hitting skills are pretty anemic, but he has definite ML starting potential depending on the team, but will at the very least be a very good backup SS in the big leagues someday.  No other picks in the Vancouver draft really impress, leaving the Grizzlies with an average haul this year, with the Percival selection keeping this draft respectable.
Grade: C

Billy Campbell
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Providence, RI
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Trenton Lions
--The Lions were hoping to use this draft to bolster their minor league pitching, but unfortunately there wasn't a lot of depth at that position this season.  That lack of depth showed as the Lions managed a selection of a decent but not truly notable pitcher at #15 overall this year in SP Billy Campbell.   Campbell has above average control and splits, low velocity, and average to below average pitches.  He projects to be a #5 starter or thereabouts in the majors.  Supplemental pick C Mitch Schafer was a nice pick at #40, a very solid hitting catcher with average defensive skills.  He has a great contact bat and is very durable behind the plate.  2nd round pick SP Ruben Parra could make it in the majors as a long reliever, and fellow 2nd round selection RP Mule has fringe potential to make the ML bullpen.  The remainder of the Lions draft netted some pretty nice minor league players but no further prospects with ML potential.  Overall the Lions have to be disappointed with being unable to land a better pitcher at #15 overall this season, as usually there are some pretty good players around at that spot in the draft.
Grade: C

Willis Theriot
Blue Jays
Age: 22B/T: S/R
Born: Glen Cove, NY
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Toronto Blue Jays
--With the #18 overall pick in the draft, the Blue Jays selected elite closer prospect Willis Theriot.  Theriot has the distinction of not only having elite control, splits, velocity, and GB/FB ratio, but of being a true five pitch closer.  All five pitches are effective, and his sinker, curve, and slider are all elite.  Supplemental pick RP Pete Wallace also has ML potential, but is more suited to a setup B or long relief role in the majors.  Thanks to his stellar control, 2nd round selection Matty Slocumb should have a future in the ML bullpen, as should fellow 2nd rounder SP Neil Peterman.  Peterman will probably be more of a long reliever/spot starter, but is a nice value pick.  After Peterman the rest of the Blue Jays draft is pretty much minor league filler, but getting a shutdown closer like Theriot in draft as poor in talent as this seasons is makes this draft a success for Toronto.
Grade: B