Thursday, June 17, 2010

Season 16 Draft Recap - Dover through Atlanta

Chuck Thomas
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Brighton, CO
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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Dover Dingos
--Thanks to their stellar efforts last season the Dingos had one of the last first round picks this year, with it they chose CF/2B Chuck Thomas at #34 overall.  Thomas has a very nice glove, but only average range defensively.  At the plate he has good contact, but is otherwise only average at best with the bat.  He'll be a decent backup at the ML level, but probably not much more than that.  2nd and 3rd round picks Kevin Killian and Marshall Carter not only continue the trend of picks with last names that could also be first names, but are both fringe prospects to hit the majors at some point, but will probably top out at AAA.  4th rounder Farmer Flair has one of the best names in the draft, but that's about it.  5th rounder Jhonny Rosales has a nicely mispelled first name, but is otherwise a minor leaguer as well.  If this were a draft graded on unique names, the Dingos would get an A+, but it's not, so they don't.
Grade: D+

Jayson Harvey
Age: 21B/T: L/L
Born: Oakley, CA
Position(s): P (SP5)
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Columbus HoundDogs
--With the final pick in the first round, the HoundDogs selected RP Jayson Harvey.  Harvey shows excellent control, above average splits, and great pitches.  He doesn't put much heat on the ball and serves up quite a few fly balls, but should still make the majors. There isn't much else to see in the Columbus draft, as after Harvey there is just a selection of minor league lifers.
Grade: D- 

Jerome McGrady
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Tarkio, MO
Position(s): P (SuA)
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Cleveland Steamers
 --The Steamers used the #30 pick on RP Jerome McGrady, a pretty solid setup man with closer potential in the right situation.  His stamina and durability will limit him to around 30-40 innings a season, but they will be high quality innings as his control, splits, velocity, and pitches are all very nice.  The rest of the Steamers draft netted some nice AAA talent but not much else, which given the talent in this draft is about par for the course.
Grade: D+

Augie Badilla
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Melrose, MA
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Charlotte Thunder
--The Thunder had a wealth of picks in this seasons draft, and used their first one at #16 overall on RP Augie Badilla.   Badilla is probably one of the top two relievers taken in the draft this season, with huge durability that should get him 80-100+ IP in a season.  He has elite control, splits, velocity, and great pitches.  His only flaw is that he does tend to give up the flyball.  #20 overall selection RP Gabe Kirby also has closer potential, with elite control, splits, and velocity.  His first pitch is electric, and he hardly ever gives up a flyball, which is what you look for in a closer.  He doesn't have the durability of Badilla, but will be a very good ML RP.  Supplemental pick RP Dom Lowell finished the Thunders trifecta of RPs in the first round, and while he doesn't have quite the potential of Badilla or Kirby, should still make the majors as a setup man.  Supplemental pick SS Jim Wyatt is an elite defensive SS, and can hit lefties very well, and is also an excellent bunter and baserunner, and will be a good National League SS.  Supplemental pick 2B Edward Nichols was a nice value pick, and has a pretty decent bat for this draft class, and a passable glove.  He could start if the situation is right, or will be a very capable backup. From there the Charlotte draft drifts into minor league territory, but for this seasons draft class this is a very nice haul and one of the top drafts.
Grade: A

Milt Ward
Age: 20B/T: S/L
Born: Chino Hills, CA
Position(s): P (SP4)
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Chicago Sabercats
--With the #14 overall pick in the draft the Sabercats selected lefty SP Milt Ward.  Ward is a crafty pitcher, with great control, above average splits, and four top notch pitches.  He should be a pretty solid #2 or #3 starter in the majors once he develops.  #27 pick Tom Phillips is a SS prospect with a 3B glove and unfortunately a SS bat.  He's a pretty weak hitter, and only an average SS defensively, so will probably struggle to find a spot in the majors.  Supplemental pick RP Ivan Darnell should make it as a setup man in the majors thanks to his very high control, but he'll have to spend a bit of time in the minors working on his splits in order to be effective.   Supplemental pick RP Phil Dong also has setup man potential thanks to his control and splits.  Supplemental pick RP Will Davidson will probably top out at AAA, and the rest of Chicago's picks are minor leaguers as well.  Not a great draft, but not horrible either, solidly average.
Grade: C

Dingo Douglas
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Moncton, NB
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Burlington Champs
--With the #10 pick in the draft the champs selected a player that Dover would probably love to have, SP Dingo Douglas.  In addition to having a rocking name, Dingo is a workhorse SP with top control, great splits, and a great pitch selection.  He has #1 starter written all over him if he develops fully.  Burlington also had the #12 pick in the draft, which they used on another starter, Gene Burnett.  Burnett is also a workhorse, but doesn't have the control or splits of Douglas, although his pitch selection is just as nice.  He should be a solid middle to end of rotation starter in the bigs.  With the #19 pick the Champs took SS Willie Latham, a solid hitting SS with a capable but not great glove for the position.  If he is able to reach his defensive potential he'll be a great hitting SS, if not he'll be an average hitting 3B. Supplemental pick SP Dean Long is another SP in the vein of Burnett, but with worse control and splits, but slightly better pitches.  He could be a #5 starter on most ML teams.  2nd round selection RP Don Lukasiewicz is a nice value pick and should be a solid ML setup man.  From there it's strictly minor league for the Champs draft.  Considering the placement and number of 1st round picks Burlington had this season, they probably would have liked to have done better, but all told this was still a solid draft.
Grade: B

Felipe Costilla
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Canton, OK
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Atlanta Pitbulls
--Picking at #28, the Pitbulls selected SP Filipe Costilla, a workhorse with good control, above average splits, and some nice pitches.  He should be a solid ML SP, and projects to a #3 or #4 in the majors.   2nd round selection C Kareem Cox was an excellent value pick and is an excellent hitting and fielding catcher with good pitch calling skills.  He is also a lock to be the newest Pitbull to earn a plaque in the Wiki Vasquez Hall of Injured Greats thanks to his health rating of 18.  The rest of the Pitbulls draft brought on some minor leaguers but nothing else of note.
Grade: C-

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Season 16 Draft Recap - LA Sharks of Anaheim through Florida

Kevin Vickers
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Potter, NE
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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Los Angeles Sharks of Anaheim
--With the #16 pick in the draft the Sharks selected 2B/CF Kevin Vickers.  Vickers is a very solid defensive player with great range and a good glove.  He hits for high average and has good speed, and would be a pretty nice #2 hitter or bottom of the order batter.  He is a very versatile player, although he has limited durability.  Supplemental pick 3B Bubba Pisciotta is a solid backup prospect for the bigs, he as a decent glove for 3B, and has an average bat and doesn't quite have the power you would like to see at the hot corner.  Supplemental pick SP Manny Hollingsworth is a hard throwing lefty who will need to maximize his development to counteract his weakness vs. right handed hitters, but he is solid everywhere else and could be a #5 starter in the majors if things go right.  2nd round pick SP Frank McMasters would be great if his control weren't such a problem that it will prevent him from making the majors.  2nd round pick 1b/RF Darryl Spehr is a great contact hitter, but his splits are weak and he has little to no power, thus rendering him undesirable for those positions. 3rd round pick SS Garland Blank has a nice glove and could make it as a defensive replacement.  All told this draft was a mixed bag for the Sharks, yielding some promising players and some duds, but the good outweighs the bad for the most part.
Grade: C+

Jose Martinez
Los Angeles
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Whitehall, WI
Position(s): SS/IF/OF/DH
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Los Angeles Leopards
--In a draft filled with stinkers it is amazing that Jose Martinez fell to #8 overall.  Martinez is a slugging 3B/SS,  who has great potential at the hot corner thanks to his tremendous bat a glove that is good but not quite up to SS level.  His batting eye is supreme, and he should hit for very high average as well as power.  He doesn't see right handed pitching too well, but his plate discipline will more than make up for that. It is good for LA that they signed Martinez though, because their 2nd round selection is a minor league lifer and none of their other top round picks signed.  But it is pretty much a given that most teams would trade their drafts for this one this season because Martinez is such a nice prospect.
Grade: B+

Don Ross
Kansas City
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Mounds, OK
Position(s): 1B
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Kansas City Express
--The Express had the #3 pick in the draft, and were the first team to select a hitter this year, and they chose a beast in 1B Don Ross.  Quite simply put, Ross is everything you want in a 1B.  He hits for maximum power and average, and is very disciplined at the plate, and his glove is good enough to play competently in the field.  Barring injury he has 500HR potential.  2nd round pick RP Nap Dillon was also a nice find for KC that late in the draft.  With his control and splits he should have a nice career as a setup man in the bigs.  None of KC's other signed picks in the top rounds will amount to much, but netting two quality ML players this season is a victory, and Ross is tremendous and was a solid use of a top five pick.
Grade: A-

Vin Lunar
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Lamar, MO
Position(s): P (SP2)
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Jackson Pollocks
--The Pollocks had the top pick in the draft this season, and didn't waste it as they selected far and away the best pitcher in the draft in SP Vin Lunar.  Lunar's stuff is electric, he has impeccable control, extremely deceptive movement, and pitches good enough to make those skills very effective.  He is a true Ace #1 SP.  Supplemental pick CF Scott Taylor was a nice selection as well, with elite defensive skills for CF, and a pretty good bat vs. right handed pitching.  The next few picks yielded some AAAA players who could sub in the majors in a pinch if necessary in RP J.J. Rigby and LF Dustin Fick, but neither one of them will ever be starters.  Still, based on the strength of Lunar alone this was an awesome draft, as pitchers like him don't come around very often.
Grade: A

Andre Penny
Iowa City
Corn Dogs
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Winthrop, IA
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Iowa City Corn Dogs
--The Corn Dogs selected SP Andre Penny with the #24 pick in the draft this season.  Penny projects to have #5 starter or long relief potential, as there really isn't anything truly outstanding in his skill set.  There isn't anything really deficient either, making him a solid but not notable pitcher.  The rest of Iowa Cities draft wasn't that remarkable either, bringing on a bunch of quality minor league players, but nobody who really has a realistic shot of making the major leagues.  This was a pretty forgettable draft for the Corn Dogs.
Grade: D

Miguel Gomez
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Hannibal, OH
Position(s): P (P)
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Florida Almendares
--The Almendares had two 1st round picks this season at #38 and #56.  Their first selection refused to sign, leaving them with a top pick of RP Miguel Gomez.  Gomez keeps the ball down, has great velocity and a very nice first pitch, but not enough else to distinguish himself in the major leagues, should he make it.  If he does it will probably be as a setup B pitcher.  Of the rest of the Almendares selection of draft pitchers, none of them really show enough potential to make the majors, although 3rd rounder Will Harnisch might make it as a long reliever.  Not the best draft for Florida this season.
Grade: D-

Season 16 Draft Recap - Pawtucket through Montgomery

Pedro Rosado
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Chester, SC
Position(s): SS
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Pawtucket G-Maniacs
--With the #22 pick in the draft the G's selected slugging SS Pedro Rosado. Rosado boasts an elite glove and tremendous power at the plate. His defensive skills are more than worthy enough for the major leagues, while his power bat is an unexpected bonus for the position. He won't hit for average though, and is very sluggish on the basepath. 2nd round pick 3B Anthony Remlinger is a good but not great 3B prospect, with a good glove for the position and good power, but the rest of his bat is average to suspect. 3rd round pick Kevin Jordan was projected initially as a SS, but realistically is only a 3b defensively. He has a bat in the same vein as Rosado and Remlinger, great power but suspect skills elsewhere. No other top round picks signed for Pawtucket, leaving them with three players of essentially the same type, with Rosado having the best chance at being a ML regular.
Grade: C+

James Quinn
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Satellite Beach, FL
Position(s): SS
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Omaha Sluggers
--The Sluggers selected SS James Quinn with the #17 overall pick in the draft this season.  Quinn actually seems much better suited to play  3B at the ML level, but will be a very good defensive 3B with a great ML bat showing good power and pretty good skills elsewhere at the plate.  The Omaha draft drops considerably in talent from there however, with the subsequent picks being little more than minor league filler, leaving this to be a one man draft. Quinn was a good pick though, and keeps this draft from being a waste for Omaha.
Grade: C

New York Pick Pockets
--In the long history of draft reviews that I have done for the Cobb Times Herald, I don't think I have ever had to review a draft this awful.  New York has had some winners, notably the Vasco Bennett pick, which at the time was called quite possibly the worst top round draft pick in history, but this years draft as a whole is a new level of futility.  To start there were no first or second round picks due to type A free agent signings in the offseason, which is forgivable.  What isn't forgivable is using the 3rd round draft pick on a projected 56 overall setup man who is demanding 8.5 million dollars.  Obviously he didn't sign, and the Pick Pockets were left with two minor league scrubs in the 4th and 5th rounds.  Until further notice this draft sets the bar for worst in Cobb History.
Grade: F--

Charley Knapp
New York
Age: 20B/T: L/L
Born: Hackettstown, NJ
Position(s): P (SP1)
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New York Expos
--Going into this years draft the Expos had a bunch of picks to work with, including the #4 overall selection, SP Charley Knapp.  Knapp is a workhorse SP, with huge stamina and above average velocity, splits, and control.  His pitch selection is weak, but in this years draft he was one of the better starters out there to choose from.  Supplemental pick CF Brad Giambi is weak defensively for the position and might be better suited to 2B, but has a nice bat and hit righties pretty well and is a threat on the base path.  Supplemental pick SP Lyle Wolf looks like a lock to be a ML long reliever some day, as he has great pitches, but only slightly above average splits and middling control.  2nd round pick SP Lou Barker is another one that has a future in long relief thanks to his high control and good pitches but weak splits.  The same can also be said of fellow 2nd round SP Denny Tomlin.  From the 3rd round onward for the Expos the draft yielded some AAAA pitchers and career minor leaguers.  Not the best draft for the number of picks allotted to them, but the Expos did sign at least 2-3 future major leaguers, including a nice starting pitcher.
Grade: B-

Eric Dreifort
Rebel Riders
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Gilcrest, CO
Position(s): SS
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Nashville Rebel Riders
--Picking very late in the 1st round at #32 overall, the Rebel Riders were just hoping that someone with a modicum of ML potential would be available.  They found a player in SS Eric Dreifort, who projects to be a nice backup SS at the ML level, and a player who can start in a pinch.  Dreifort has an average to slightly below average glove for SS, and a slightly above average bat, making him either a weak hitting 3B or a good hitting SS with defensive liabilities. But he is a legit ML prospect nonetheless.  3rd round pick SS Milt Lloyd has a nice glove, and some pop at the plate but seems best suited to a backup role, and is the only other ML calibur prospect netted in this years draft for the Rebel Riders, making the net haul pretty thin.
Grade: D+

Sherman Rogers
Age: 18B/T: S/L
Born: Portland, CT
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Montgomery Burns
--The Burns were looking good with the #2 overall pick this year, and with it they signed arguably the second best available SP in Sherman Rogers.  In addition to his Eric Collins like mustache, Rogers has good control, splits, and pitches, and really keeps the ball down.   He's a pretty solid pitcher who projects to be a #1 or #2 depending on the rotation he's put in.  But in the Times Herald opinion they actually netted a better player with the #21 pick in the first round, C Terry Bannister.  Bannister is quite simply a beast at the plate, with off the charts power and batting eye, and great contact and splits.  He also calls a pretty good game for a slugging catcher, and was a real find and better than many players selected before him, making him a top value pick.  2nd round selection RF Al Wagner was a nice value pick as well, with good hitting skills vs. righties and a decent glove for the OF.  All told this was a very nice draft for the Burns, mostly due to the unexpected gift at #21 in Bannister.
Grade: A 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Season 16 Draft Recap - Santa Fe through Richmond

Milt Romero
Santa Fe
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Red Oak, OK
Position(s): 2B
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Santa Fe Greyhounds
--The Greyhounds had the #7 pick in the draft this season and bet the farm on signing risk SS Phil Beltran.  Predictably Beltran gave the Greyhoundsthe proverbial middle finger and decided to go to college, leaving Santa Fe with nothing to show for a top ten pick other than a type D pick next season.  Supplemental round pick CF Milt Romero is a decent backup at CF, with a glove that is average for the position and a bat that is ok but not really outstanding.  Supplemental pick SS Edwin Potvin would be a nice SS if his glove weren't going to top out at levels more suited to the outfield.  3rd round pick Lawrence Blair could make the majors as a long reliever/mopup man.  All told this wasn't the best draft Santa Fe has ever had.
Grade: D-

D'Angelo James
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Westborough, MA
Position(s): RF
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Seattle Pilots
--There weren't many impact bats in this years draft, and Seattle managed to sign one of them in RF D'Angelo James.  James is a true beast at the plate and barring injury will be a dominant hitter, even in the vacuous Seattle stadium.  There is nothing wrong with his hitting skills at all, and he is a decent defender for RF, making him a true stud.   Supplemental pick LF Bill Tracy is an above average bat, and was a pretty good value pick at #50 overall, especially in a talent thin draft.  Tracy isn't quite the bat you would like to see at LF, but his baserunning skills are top notch and he will be a solid top of the order hitter.  2nd round pick 2B Randy Rodgers was also a very nice find, a great contact hitter with top speed, another leadoff threat that should make the majors someday.  4th round pick C Eric Sheffield is a top defensive catcher, his bat isn't too great but he might be the best field general behind the plate in this years draft.  The rest of the Seattle draft features players who will be career minor leaguers.  This was as good a draft as you could get this year and was well done.
Grade: A

Jim Pelfrey
San Francisco
Age: 20B/T: L/L
Born: Tacoma, WA
Position(s): P (SP5)
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San Francisco Earthquakes
--Sometimes despite the best efforts of management, a draft just doesn't go the way you want it too.  That is the case with San Francisco this season, as their top pick, SS Pedro Guerrero refused to sign.  The Earthquakes didn't have a 1st round pick this season, which left them with  future AAA starter Jim Pelfry as their top pick who signed.  Pelfry can't pitch to right handed batters, which means that he might even struggle at AAA.  The rest of the players in the Earthquakes draft are average minor league fodder.  There's always next year.
Grade: F

Don Maurer
Age: 21B/T: S/R
Born: Glendale, AZ
Position(s): 2B
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Richmond Cohibas
--Another team without a 1st round pick, the Cohibas top selection was 2nd round 2B Don Maurer.  Maurer could actually play 3B, but his bat is pretty weak and will probably keep him stuck in the minors for his career.  3rd round pick SS Julian Buscher is one of the best value picks in the draft, having some of the best potential defensive ratings of any SS in the game today, which should land him a spot on a ML team in the future.  No other players in the Richmond draft really impress or look to emerge from the minor leagues.  Bushcer saves this draft from being a complete disaster.
Grade: D+