05 June 2008

2008 Shadow Draft

***At 2:4(#50) the Baltimore Orioles Select ____________ ***

5:45pm Unfortunately, we will not be able to go live with our second Shadow Pick, but this is currently the five we are looking at for 2:4(#50):

1. Jordy Mercer (SS) Oklahoma State University
2. Tim Melville (SP) Holt High School (Missouri)
3. Dennis Raben (OF) University of Miami (FL)
4. Roger Kieschnick (OF) Texas Tech
5. James Darnell (3B) University of South Carolina

We're leaning towards Melville (pictured above), a pre-season top 10 pick, though the preference was to take a bat with this pick. Mercer makes the most sense in that regard, but Raben, Kieschnick and Darell all profile as above-average hitters with power.

5:28pm I will be called away shortly, but will try to stick around long enough to put in our second Shadow Pick. Upadates will continue later this evening, including a Day 1 Draft Wrap. Thanks for following along!

5:14pm The first round concluded with the following picks:

1:26 ARI -- Daniel Sclereth (RP) University of Arizona
1:27 MIN -- Carlos Gutierrez (CP) University of Miami (FL)
1:28 NYA -- Gerrit Cole (SP) Orange Lutheran High School (Calif.)
1:29 CLE -- Lonne Chisenhall (SS) Pitt Community Coll.
1:30 BOS -- Casey Kelly (SS) Sarasota High School (Florida)

The last five picks feature three pitchers that all project to be power relievers (Cole still has starter potential) and two interesting picks at shortstop. Chisenhall began at South Carolina, hitting third between the likes of Smoak, Havens and James Darnell. At the beginning of conference play in his first season, he was arrested for grand larceny and burglary and was subsequently dismissed from the team. After pleading guilty and receiving six-months probation, he surfaced at Pitt and re-dedicated himself. He is a bat-first infielder that probably projects best as a 2B.

Boston stayed true to form selecting a high-ceiling player that will be difficult to sign (Kelly has a scholarship to both play baseball and quarterback the Tennessee Volunteer football team). In Gerrit Cole (pictured above), the Yankees have a power HS arm with what some have described as questionable make-up. He could move quickly as a reliever, though the Yankees will likely start him off in a rotation if for no other reason than to get him his innings. Sclereth may be the current over-pick in the draft, as most had him going in the mid- to late-second round.

4:25pm At 1:21 the Tigers grab a solid right-handed starter in Arizona Wildcat Ryan Perry. Perry sports a plus-plus fastball though it lacks deception, causing it to play down. He has a serviceable changeup, but his power fastball/slider combo have most projecting him as a closer. Reese Havens (SS) University of South Carolina goes to the Mets at 1:22. Havens profiles as a shortstop at the ML-level and should hit towards the front of a ML-lineup. Allan Dykstra (1B) Wake Forest University (pictured left) goes to San Diego at 1:23. Dykstra didn't give scouts a ton to go on because he was stuck in a weak-hitting Demon Deacon lineup, making him easy to pitch around. There is plus-power in his bat and his 6'5" 240 pound frame, and an advanced approach at the plate. On knock is that he tends to be overly-patient, and could benefit from being a little more aggressive early on fastball counts. Philly grabs Vandy commit Anthony Hewitt (OF/SS) Salisbury (Conn.) School. Signability concerns make this a high-risk/high-reward pick in the first round. More info on Hewitt is available in our Draft Preview Scouting Report: Rounds 2-3. Christian Friedrich (SP) Eastern Kentucky University is officially the first steal of the draft, going to Colorado at 1:25. A case could be made for him going in the top 10, as he combines a power curve, a low-80s slider, a low-90s heater and an advanced approach on the mound. Coming into today he was clearly the second best lefty available in the draft.

4:03pm Had to briefly step away. One surprise in the top 10 as Houston selects Jason Castro (C) Stanford University. Castro was a consensus 1st round pick, but few if any saw him as a top 10 talent. Further confusing the matter is the fact that Houston promoted their top prospect this year, J.R. Towles, a hitting-first catcher. Picks 1:8 and 1:9 were reasonable selections with Gordon Beckham going to the White Sox and Aaron Crow heading to the Nats.

1:11 TEX -- Justin Smoak (1B) University of South Carolina
1:12 OAK -- Jemile Weeks (2B) University of Miami (FL)

1:13 STL -- Brett Wallace (3B) Arizona State University
1:14 MIN -- Aaron Hicks (OF) Woodrow Wilson High School (Calif.)
1:15 LAN -- Ethan Martin (SP) Stephens COunty School (Georgia)
1:16 MIL -- Brett Lawrie (C) Brookswood SS (Brit. Col.)
1:17 TOR -- David Cooper (1B) University of California (Berkley)
1:18 NYN -- Ike Davis (1B) Arizona State University
1:19 CHN -- Andrew Cashner (CP/SP) Texas Christian University

1:20 SEA -- Josh Fields (CP) University of Georgia

It's a bit surprising to see Smoak falling out of the top 10 -- Texas faired pretty well with there last switch-hitting 1b selected in the first round. Jemile Weeks (pictured above) goes about five picks earlier than I expected. He does not have the power potential of his older brother, Milwaukee Brewer 2b Rickie Weeks, and is a bit of a reach this high with so many impact bats still available. Weeks should be a solid MLer, but I don't think he's the impact player you look for this high in the first round. Fields is a solid pick for SEA and has the stuff, command and poise to be pitching out of a ML bullpen right now.

2:54pm The top two catchers in the draft go 1:5 and 1:6 as the Giants select Posey and the Florida Marlins select Kyle Skipworth (C) Patriot High School(Calif.). The first surprise of the afternoon goes to Cincy, as the Reds opt for Yonder Alonso (1B) University of Miami (FL). Alonso is one of the best college bats in the draft, projecting to hit for power and average. Aside from Alvarez, there is probably not a more Major League-ready bat than Alonso. He should hit for a little more average than Smoak but is a far inferior defender. It will be curious to see what the Reds do, as they have young stud Joey Votto at the 3-spot right now. If Alonso signs early he could be ML-ready by some time next season.

2:34pm***At 1:4 the Baltimore Orioles Select (Actual: Brian Matusz (SP) University of San Diego; Shadow: Brian Matusz (SP) University of San Diego)***
Matusz is at the top of our draft board and we're excited to add the talented lefty as the first prospect in our shadow farm system. We've discussed him a fair amount already so I'll forgo the rest of the analysis until next week when we start our draft review.

2:28pm At 1:3 the Kansas City Royals select Eric Hosmer. Looks like the board is going as expected. Baltimore is up!

2:24pm At 1:2 the Pittsburgh Pirates select Pedro Alvarez. Apparently Beckham was not slipping past Pittsburgh, as word has come out the two were deep into their negotiations last night in-case Tampa opted for Posey at 1:1. As far as the Pirates are concerned, they are at Boras's mercy as they cannot afford to let Pedro's demands get in the way of signing him after last year's debacle (passing on Wieters for Moskos).

2:15pm At 1:1 the Tampa Bay Rays select Tim Beckham (SS) Griffin HS (Georgia). No surprises here.

1:40pm Word is still that Pittsburgh is locked in on Pedro Alvarez. Nothing more out of the Kansas City camp, but the odds still favor selection of Eric Hosmer (1B) American Heritage HS (Florida) (pictured left). We did not determine Hosmer to be a likely target for Baltimore, so he was not included in our preview. He may have the best power potential of any draftee, but it was believed that his stiff signing bonus demands (his advisor, Scott Boras, indicated Hosmer would be seeking $7mio) would drop him at least out of the top 5. Now, Kansas City looks like they will be pairing him with last year's 1:2 selection, Mike Moustakas (SS) Chatsworth High School (Calif.). Both would project to arrive with the big club around 2013.

1:25pm We expect Tampa to go with Griffin HS standout shortstop Tim Beckham. Our best guess is Brian Matusz will be the best available when we pick, but no one predicted Wieters falling to us last year. There are still some fingers crossed that someone throws a curve and we get one of Pedro Alvarez or Tim Beckham.


Crawdaddy said...

Stotle, if Matusz signs somewhat early do you think he gets limited to 30IP or so? He has already tossed 105IP. Or do you think he will be shut down and let to pitch in Hawaii or the AFL?

Stotle said...

My best guess would be that he pitches in the NY-Penn League for Aberdeen and then does a short stint in the AFL. He wasn't overworked at San Diego this year and BAL should be eager to get him started.

Crawdaddy said...

Looks like you got Mercer and Melville.

Crawdaddy said...

I did my own as any overbearing GM would:

1. Matusz
2. Dennis Raben, RF, Miami
3. Niko Vasquez, SS, Durango HS, NV
4. Scott Gorgen, RHP, UC Irvine
5. Adrian Nieto, C, American Heritage HS, FL

FrostKing said...

That one's pretty good crawdaddy.

1. Justin Smoak
2. Tim Melville (worth the risk, I think. Plus, it's not my money.)
3. Roger Kieschnick
4. Alex Meyer
5. Daniel Webb
6. Alex Buccholz


Crawdaddy said...

I am with Stotle on that one about taking Matusz over Smoak. The quality that Matusz projects to is just more valuable than what Smoak becomes. If you have two guys rated about the same . . . the pitcher always wins out for me. I like your second and third round selections. I teetered with Melville a lot, but I kind of wonder if he'll sign. I just do not know enough about the last three. This is really just Stotle's world that I am visiting. My slant is more on analyzing pro performance.

Crawdaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.