Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:50 pm
 

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/17/2009

Welcome back to The Bandwagon .  Before I reveal the second team on my early/pre-season bandwagon, let’s first look at those teams already on it:

Florida State 1-0

As always, let me know what you think of my bandwagon picks thus far and be sure to include your own bandwagon picks at the bottom of the page; I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Now are you ready for my next bandwagon team? 

Connecticut 3-0

There is a strange vibe surrounding the Big East this year.  It seems that the usual leaders of the conference have taken a step back -- I mean you Connectut, Pittsburgh and Louisville -- while Villanova and West Virginia have both taken a big step forward.  At least the experts seem to think so.  I'll admit 'Nova and West Virginia do deserve some buzz, but I think the experts are making a mistake by overlooking some of the conferences top programs, such as Connecticut.  When I made my selections, I was under the impression that UCONN was ranked lower than thirteenth – thus making them a bolder pick.  I still feel they belong here though.   It could be argued that Connecticut lost more following last season than any other team (North Carolina and Pittsburgh may be the only competing teams).  However, Jerome Dyson returns, he’s scored better than nineteen ppg through the team’s first three games while also leading the team in assists.  Kemba Walker is lightening-quick and will provide adequate scoring, while reserving his ability to explode in some games.  Stanley Robinson is a tall 6-9 with great athleticism, everybody is expecting him to burst out this season and thus far he has.  Helping out this threesome – and 6-9 senior forward Gavin Edwards – are three freshmen ranked better than seventy-fifth by rivals.com .  Amongst the newcomers is Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 center, who’s presence will be felt immediately on defense and on the boards – he leads the team in rebounds through three games averaging just more than ten a game.  Joining him is 6-7 forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and off-guard Darius Smith, who is of the Kemba Walker mold.  Suffice to say, the Huskies have a good mix of young and old on this year’s team.  I understand they lost a lot; it is tough to imagine this team is better – especially after that game against Hofstra, right? – but give this team time and they’ll scare any team in the top ten.  Looking at the schedule, Connecticut should cruise through their first five.  On December ninth they’ll play Kentucky, at home, giving this team its first true test.  If the younger players can learn to contribute offensively by then, I say they take that game to remain undefeated heading into Big East play at Cincinnati on December thirtieth. 




Posted on: November 16, 2009 2:54 am
 

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" (11/16/09)

"The Bandwagon" is simple: throughout the season [college hoops] I will periodically name teams whose bandwagons I am officially jumping on (or off).  These are teams I think of in high esteem, teams I think are on the rise, or are at least an interesting sleeper team.  To start the college basketball season off right, I have choosen ten teams whose bandwagons am either starting or jumping on -- they will be released throughout the early part of the week.  I will monitor the performance of these teams, and continuously reevaluate whose bandwagon I'm on -- and in some cases driving, right?  To start the season off right, I am on the bandwagon of at least one team in each of the six BCS conferences.  My pre/early season thoughts on each of these bandwagon teams will accompany their selection.  Feel free (and please do) let me know what you think of my selections and post whose bandwagon you are on as well. 

Florida State (ACC)

Many experts say its a down year for the ACC this season, they instead favor the top heavy Big 10 and Big 12, but the ACC is incredibly deep this season.  In part because of the Seminoles.  Florida State returns a pair of guys in the frontcourt: the 7-1 Solomon Alabi, a highly skilled big man and Chris Singleton, a 6-9 sophmore, who I have yet to get a good read on.  The front court will have to be a strength this season after Florida St. lost top guard Toney Douglas.  They do return three guards, however, including 6-4 junior Derwin Kitchen who will at least share ball-handling responsibilities, he is a good rebounder - averageing 4.6 rpg in 08/09 - and will look to up his shooting this season as well.  The other two holdovers are: Luke Luocks, a 6-5 sophmore point guard and Deividas Dulkys a 6-5 shooting guard who makes his mark behind the arc (not intentionally looking to rhyme).  Joining them in the backcourt is one of my favorite freshman in all of college basketball this season -- and perhaps the biggest reason for the Seminoles' inclusion on this list -- Michael Snaer.  Snaer is a 6-5 shooting guard with explosive scoring ability and athletism.  He can get it done by getting to the basket or from outside.  He will be this team's leading scorer.  I absolutely love this team's size.  I realize "it's all about the guard-play", but oversized players at three positions [with Alabi, Kitchen and Snaer at the 5, 1 and 2] should cause a lot of teams some problems.  I question, however, this team's depth and possibly more importantly, their ball-handler -- I prefer both Snaer and Kitchen off the ball.  Florida State has a fair non-conference schedule.  They'll play four early road games, including @ fellow bandwagon team, Florida and @ Ohio State.  At worst this team goes 5-2 before going to Georgia Tech on December 20th to kick off their ACC season, but I think they can easily handle an unexperienced Florida team this easy in the season.  Ohio State will be the real test, the Buckeyes are experienced and skilled, and perhaps most importantly at home.  However, if they can take that road game, or maybe even play tough and stay in it till the end, I think they will have turned some heads going into conference play.  This team is not better without Toney Douglas -- they're better with Michael Snaer

So, what do you think of my first bandwagon


Posted on: August 1, 2009 4:41 pm
 

Schedule - Kind of

What happened to those player grades, eh? 

Well, I got wrapped up in several other things and I am headed out of town on Monday.  However, I will get back to those, eventually.  I have really gotten back into prospect mode - what with the trade deadline and all.  You say, Victor Martinez to the Sox.  I say, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price to the Indians.  Next pressing thing on my schedule is minor league reports for July, which may be a three or four parter depending on how I break it down.  I will also cover the short season leagues thus far. 
Posted on: July 19, 2009 2:56 pm
 

Astros Players Performance Grades, Midseason 2009

Stats, via Mlb.com , are as of July, 15th 2009.  All grades were assigned prior to the All-Star game. 

Catchers:

Ivan Rodriguez - C


At the start of the season, I think I could have predicted a line like this from Pudge - .245/.278/.397.  Perhaps the batting average and on-base percentages are a tad low, but he's still providing better offensively production (sadly) than the Astros have been used to in recent years.  Pudge has also belted seven homeruns along with scoring twenty-six runs and thirty RBIs.  Rodriguez has also been Pudge behind the plate, and that always helps. 

Humberto Quintero - D-

Only seventy-seven at-bats for Quintero, but he hasn't made the most of them, he's hitting .247/.266/.312 this season.  One thing I have learned about 'Q' is that he will not be an everday player, something we wondered about prior to the season. 

J.R. Towles did not qualify, having less than 50 at-bats. 

Infielders:

Miguel Tejada - A

Tejada has been amazing, maybe the defensive is in decline, but I haven't seen anything this year that makes me think his defense is detrimental to the team.  Tejada leads the team in batting average at .329.  He also hit a slugging % of .473 with seven homeruns and thirty-seven extra-base-hits.  Tejada struck out only twenty-six times the first half but, also only walked ten times, leading to a mediocre .357 OBP.  Miggy was tied for second on the team with forty-nine RBIs and third on the team in runs scored with forty-eight. 

Lance Berkman - A-

Due to a horrid April many believe Berkman has had a poor first half, however, he leads the team in homeruns, OBP, SLG%, walks, and RBIs (anymore I'm missing?  probably) with eighteen, a .403 OBP, a .526 SLG%, sixty-six and fifty-five respectively.  Berkman's average was only .271, but who cares with an OBP over .400, right?  He's also silently stolen six bases in eight tries and was second on the team with fort-nine runs scored. 

Jeff Keppinger - B-

Keppinger, the right-handed platoon at third base, has really grown on me.  When first acquired, I didn't feel Keppinger would provide anything more than Drew Sutton (who was sent to Cincinnati in the deal).  However, through the first half, Keppinger has been holding up his side of the plate.  Batting .273 with a .353 OBP and .416 SLG%, in one hundred and sixty-one at-bats (thirty-eight less at-bats than Blum).  Keppinger is also one of two Astros batters with a BB/K ratio over one (Berkman being the other), he has walked nineteen times and struck out sixteen times.  Also, in less at-hats, Keppinger has driven in one more run than Blum. 

Question of the day:  Would you prefer the power upgrade of Chris Johnson taking over the right side of the platoon, or keep Keppinger's on-base skills? 


Geoff Blum - C+

Blum has hit .281 with a .350 OBP and .362 SLG%.  He struck out twenty-seven times and walked nineteen times, scoring twenty-seven runs.  All-in-all nothing stands out about Blum, but he has been servicable and the two of them (Blum and Keppinger) manning third hasn't kept the Astros from competing. 

Kazuo Matsui - D

Matsui 1. couldn't stay healthy 2. Was not the most effective second basemen, even when he returned.  Matsui hit .252 with a .313 OBP and .338 SLG%.  He struck out forty-three times and walked only nineteen times.  He has stolen nine bases and has provided some timely hits, so I won't give him an F, but a D is more than deserved, unfortunately. 

Edwin Maysonet - B

I don't know why the front office doesn't seem to like Maysonet.  He fields well and provided some good offensive production during his stint in the majors.  In fifty-four at-bats he hit .315 with a .356 OBP and .407 SLG%.  Personally, I would like to see Maysonet be brought back up with a chance to stick, but with Matsui making five million for the next two years that, it isn't likely to happen. 

Matt Kata didn't qualify.

Due up:  The remaining 'Player Performance Grades' as well as a look into the Elias Rankings, the off-season and 2010.  I'm looking forward to reading your answers to the 'question of the day'. 



Posted on: July 13, 2009 9:49 am
Edited on: July 19, 2009 3:04 pm
 

Astros Minor League Players of the Month: June

I have had this post sitting on my desktop for awhile and I am finally publishing it.  This marks my first post in exactly a month and I apologize for that.  I have some interesting topics coming up, however, and I hope to get on here more consistently.  The Astros are .500, so let's celebrate the first half of the season. 

A quick note about yesterday's Futures Game, which I watched in it's entirety despite a four hour rain-delay.  The Astros' Chia Jen-Lo recorded the win, pitching one inning and striking out one, with the bases loaded and two outs.  He was throwing in the low 90s with a good slider in the mid 70s.  Jason Castro also looked impressive.  He belted a hanging curve off a lefty to deep right field, scoring a three-run homer.  He also threw out Luis Durango at third on an attempted steal.  Durango had a good jump and the pitcher, Dan Duffy, was slow getting the ball to the plate but, Castro threw a strike down the third base line to nab Durango just in time.  His arm is definitely a plus tool despite throwing out only three of fourteen would-be basestealers. 

I have a couple of topics planned.  I am going to grade individual (major league) players on their performance thus far.  I also plan to take a trip across state to see Houston's New York-Penn League team, Tri City ValleyCats.  They are probably the minor league affiliate of Houston's I know the least about (their players that is), but they are far and away the closest in proximity (I can see them at three locations in the next month, including their home ballpark outside of Albany, within a two and a half hour drive).  So, I plan on having some form of scouting reports on some of their top prospects.  I may also review my top 15 Astros prospects at some point, but we'll see how things go. 

Without further ado, here are the Astros' top Minor Leaguers for the month of June.

Round Rock Express
AAA
Pitcher of the Month : Bud Norris RHP
Norris reclaims the monthly honor, having won it in April, but narrowly losing out to Bazardo in May.  That's not to say Bazardo made it easy.  He pitched 28 innings over four starts (7innings/start), posting a 3.21 ERA with a 1-0 record.  He struck out 15, while walking only 5 batters, and also gave up 29 hits.  For Bazardo it was another solid, but not dominant month.  Norris also pitched 28 innings over four starts (obviously still 7 innings/start).  He did it with a 0.96 ERA and 1-1 record though.  He gave up only 18 hits, but did walk 12, and stuck out 26 batters.  A couple things to note about Norris' month are that his strikeout rate did drop, for the first month this year his k/9 was under 9, but his ground out to air out ratio was much higher, and he gave up only one HR last month.  I continue to be inpressed by this duo, and very much look forward to seeing them in Houston soon.  Maybe one, or both, of them will become important parts to the Astros' second half. 
Batter of the Month: Chris Johnson 3B
Round Rock position players continue to underwhelm me, especially this month, when Brian Bogusevic , Mark Saccomanno , J.R. Towles and Tommy Manzella all had weak performances.  I was left with two options for the award.  Johnson, my number seven Astros prospect last offseason, or, John Gall a first basemen, with a season.255 AVG, who was born in the '70s.  Statistically they had very similar months, but Johnson had more extra base hits, and that was enough for me.  Johnson hit .280, with a poor .301 OBP, and .460 SLG%.  He hit 2 HRs, along with a total of 11 XBHs (extra base hits), and 28 hits total.  Now for the bad stuff, Johnson struck out 23 times, in 100 ABs, and walked only 3 times.  Wait a moment, let it sink in...  He walked only 3 times.  He played in 26 games last month, and walked... 3 times.  His K:BB ratio was 7.7 to 1.  That is absolutely terrible.  I love Johnson.  I think he provides a lot of offensive potential, along with solid defense from the hot corner, but he cannot, and will not become a ML contributor until he learns to take a walk, and raises his OBP. 

Corpus Christi Hooks
AA
Pitcher of the Month: Polin Trinidad LHP
No contest.  Trinidad was the lone bright spot on a terrible Hooks pitching staff.  Trinidad pitched 37 and a third innings over five starts (>7 innings/start), accumulating a 3-2 record.  His ERA for the month was a spectacular 0.72, allowing only three earned runs all month.  He struck out 21 batters, walked four, and gave up 27 hits - a WHIP of .83 over 5 starts!  In July we'll see if Trinidad can give Bazardo and Norris a run for the AAA monthly crown, as he has been called up to Round Rock once the AA All-Star game is over. 
Batter of the Month: Wladamir Sutil SS
This was a very close four-horse race between Sutil , Drew Meyer 2B, Jason Castro C and perennial contender, but never winner, Colin DeLome.  Meyer was the runner up, he hit for a good average, on-base percentage, and provided enough power, I just liked what Sutil had to offer a little bit more.  Castro was a hitting machine upon getting called up, however, he began to slow down a little as the month ended, and he has yet to hit for power in AA, only two of his seventeen hits went for extra bases.  On top of that, Castro only walked twice in 16 games, but he also only struck out six times.  DeLome once again showed off some power, collecting nine extra base hits, including four homeruns, he also stole three bases.  However, per usual, he also struck out a lot, 27 times in 98 ABs (28 games).  DeLome still had one of the higher OPS' this month, though, his was .821, lifting his season OPS to .811.  Sutil is typically the leadoff hitter, and was a Texas League All-Star.  Usually I overlook Sutil, but this month I want to give him his due.  In 109 ABs, he hit .312 with a .390 OBP.  He hit no homeruns but, eight of his thirty-four hits were doubles.  He scored sixteen runs, and stole four bases.  Finally he stuck out only nine times (remember 109 ABs, 29 games) and walked 11 times, hooray for a prospect with a K:BB ratio less than one!

Lancaster JetHawks High
A
Pitcher of the Month: Fernando Abad LHP
Just about every pitcher in Lancaster is a whose-who of bad performers.  It was so bad that I had to dig into the Lancaster bullpen, to grab a pitcher with only one save this season and shower him with this award.  Don't get me wrong, Abad had a good month.  In seven appearances, and seventeen innings, he posted a 1.06 ERA, struck out twelve, walking only three batters, and giving up only eight hits. 
Batter of the Month: T.J. Steele OF
I may consider dropping the high A pitching award and in its place, honor two Lancaster batters, because there are more than those deserving of being recognized.  Before I continue, I suppose I am obligated to tell you, the California League is an extreme hitters League.  That's why the Lancaster pitchers' numbers are terrible and their hitters' numbers can be extraordinary.  Still, big numbers are more fun to talk about.  Steele is one of my favorite prospects in the system, and he is finally healthy enough to win a monthly award.  He leads a stellar group of six contenders.  In 104 ABs, Steele hit .394, with a .439 OBP and .692 SLG%.  He hit four homeruns and added thirteen other extra base hits, including six triples.  He also knocked in twenty-six RBIs and scored another twenty-eight himself.  However, like most Astros prospects, Steele had trouble with his plate discipline.  Striking out twenty-three times, while walking seven times.  Steele stole five bases in ten attempts.  Other numbers of note on the offensive end of Lancaster: Gabriel Suarez hit .328 over 67 ABs with a .392 OBP.  Brandon Barnes was called up from Lexington and hit .327 over 49 ABs, and added 7 XBHs.  Jack Shuck hit .296, and struck out only 8 times over 98 ABs, he walked 7 more times than he struck out, 15.  Jon Gaston hit .311, he did not however match his May homerun number, the unbelievable 9 he hit last month, but he did hit 4, with a SLG% of .566.  Koby Clemens took over for Jason Castro as the starting catcher, making the most of the opportunity, he hit .329 with an OPS of .955.

Lexington Legends Low A
Pitcher of the Month: Jordan Lyles RHP
Before I talk about the two guys who battled for this award, I'll touch on several of the young Lexington pitchers I've been highlighting since April.  Robert Bono and Henry Villar both had their typical, also very good, months.  In five starts Bono had an ERA of 2.43, but only struck out six.  Henry Villar made eight appearances out of the bullpen, pitching thirteen and two thirds innings, with a 3.29 ERA and striking out eighteen.  Both Kyle Greenwalt and Brad Dydalewicz took a small step back, but on the season, both are still performing very well, and both of their first starts in July were very good.  That brings us to our winner, Jordan Lyles and runner-up, Ross Seaton.  Seaton started five games, pitching thirty-two and a third innings, with a 1-3 record and 2.51 ERA.  He finally started to show an ability to strikout batters, he struckout twenty-three of them last month, while walking ten and giving up twenty-eight hits.  Lyles has continued to be one of the very best pitchers in the South Atlantic League , I am amazed he, and Seaton as well, have not been called up yet (although if the plan is to wait till the end of the year, then move them both up to AA next season.  I am ok with it.  Why send your top two pitching prospects to a hitters league, the California League, if you can avoid it, right?).  Lyles made five starts in June, pitching twenty-eight and a third innings, with a 2-2 record and 3.18 ERA.  He struck out forty-three batters, while allowing only six walks, and giving up only twenty-two hits.  From the scouting reports I've seen Lyles has his fastball sitting in the 90s, with a developing and improved curveball and change, along with very good command.  All signs are pointing to good things from Lyles moving forward.  I would assume Lyles and others from this crop would have made the jump to high A, except for the fact that the front office doesn't want to throw them into the launching pad of Lancaster, which is probably a wise move.  Hopefully they can skip a level and start next season in AA. 
Batter of the Month: Brian Pellegrini OF
There's no one else in Lexington even challenging him at this point.  Ebert Rosario had a bad month, Brandon Barnes was called up, and although April's winner, Albert Cartwright returned from injury, he has not performed well either.  Pellegrini hit .437 over 87 ABs, with a .495 OBP and .816 SLG%, that's an OPS of an astonishing 1.311.  Need I say more?  He hit nine homeruns.  Is that enough for you?  Good, because the rest is less than stellar, although he "only" struck out 18 times, he only walked 9 times. Pellegrini is 24, and playing in low A, so he should be expected to dominate, as he has been.  I would say call him up, but the Lancaster outfield is crowded, as is the Corpus Christi outfield, and Pellegrini did not fare so well when he started the season off in Lancaster, anyways. 

Posted on: June 13, 2009 2:56 pm
 

My Current All-Star Ballot

AL Starters:
C - Joe Mauer Min
How could it be anyone else?
1B - Justin Morneau Min
Best numbers among AL first basemen, eat is Teixeira.  This is despite rare appearances on ESPN. 
2B - Robinson Cano NYY
Best numbers among AL second basemen, better than Kinsler, better than Pedroia. 
3B - Evan Longoria TB
'Nough said. 
SS - Jason Bartlett TB
Better numbers than Jeter despite less at-bats.
OF - Jason Bay Bos
He is far and away the best outfielder in the AL this year. 
OF - Carl Crawford TB
There are probably five or more guys worthy of the final two outfield spots.  I like Crawford because of his average and speed.
OF - Adam Jones Bal
Jones is already overshadowed by the rest of the league, being an Oriole.  But, he is also overshadowed by the popular Nick Markakis and rookie Matt Wieters.  This is my subtle nod to Jones' performance this season, and further proof the Orioles made a killing in the Bedard trade. 

NL Starters:
C - Brian McCann Atl
This is such a pathetic group, but someone does have to start, right?  I think Brian McCann is the most talented, so I closed my eyes and penciled in his bubble. 
1B - Albert Pujols StL
Year in and year out this position is so close, and so many of the players are deserving.  I want to make note of the great performances from Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder, but Pujols is clearly at the top. 
2B - Chase Utley Phi
One of those rare occurrances where numbers = popularity. 
3B - Ryan Zimmerman Was
David Wright's numbers are slightly better, but if Zimmerman played for a better team his would blow away the competitions.  Plus you have to give Zimmerman for signing an extension with the worst team in baseball.  Could Zimmerman, Strasburg and Bryce Harper make Washington competitive?  Even I have my doubts. 
SS - Miguel Tejada Hou
The numbers are very close between Tejada and Han Ram, but if Tejada is the All-Star starter, his trade value may go up, right?
OF - Raul Ibanez Phi
There is no better hitter in baseball this year. 
OF - Carlos Lee Hou
He has All-Star starter's numbers. 
OF - Hunter Pence Hou
His numbers are probably 5th best among outfielders, but he's the best right fielder in baseball, and his perpetual joy on the baseball field would be awesome to see in the All-Star game. 


Posted on: June 8, 2009 9:16 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2009 3:44 pm
 

MLB Mock Draft 2009

Hello, welcome to my 2009 MLB Mock Draft.  This is where I will try to predict every pick for the first several rounds.  With the recent news of Kyle Gibson’s stress fracture and other stock changes, I have just completely remade my mock draft, before I even released the first version.  I had originally planned to mock all the day one picks, the first one hundred and eleven.  But, because I have had to change many picks, I am not sure I will be able to get that many done by the draft tomorrow.  I will however, mock as many picks as possible and provide sufficient information on each pick.  I will continue working on this and update it, as I finish each round.  My goal is to predict 20% of the picks I mock.  I hope those of you who read my write up enjoy, please comment, and come back tomorrow for my thoughts on the draft itself.  Later in the week, I will be reviewing the draft, so look for that as well. 

Scouting reports come from a number of sites, most prominently Baseball America, PGCrosscheckers.com, John Sickel’s site minorleagueball.com and milb.com. 

There are a couple places in the draft I want to point out now, for when I come back to grade - how many picks I got right - my mock.  Where ever a team is picking back-to-back, notably Arizona at 16 and 17 and the Angels at 24 and 25, if I guess a guy at one of those two spots and he is picked by that team at the other spot, I’m counting it.  Also, in the first round supplemental, I am counting any player I guess the correct team for.  If Nick Franklin goes to the Angels in the supp. no matter what pick, I’m counting it.  I think that’s fair, right?  Anyways, enjoy. 

I have decided I am going to post what I have on the blog, and add to it, as it gets done.

First Round

1. Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg RHP San Diego State

Strasburg is the number one pick of the 2009 MLB draft.  My official prediction for how much he signs for… $21.5 million.  Strasburg is the best prospect in the draft era, and would fit into a big league rotation immediately.  I would love for the Nationals to send him to AAA, so I can see him in Syracuse, and give you all my own scouting report of him.  He throws his fastball in the high 90s and can touch 103 mph.  He also throws a hammer breaking ball in the low-to-mid 80s and a changeup he throws in the low 80s.  I worry a little; I think its possible Strasburg blows out his arm at some point, a la the guy a lot of people compare him to, Mark Prior.  With a comp. of Mark Prior, who wouldn’t worry?   Anyways I seem to be in the minority on this. 

2. Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley OF North Carolina

If Strasburg is on the first tier of prospects by himself, I would say Ackley is on the second tier, all by himself.  He is clearly the best hitter, having “plus, plus hittability”, according to milb.com’s draft report.  He adds plus speed and range in centerfield.  Ackley has dispelled any thoughts that he wouldn’t be able to play centerfield, following Tommy John surgery last summer, which had him saddled at first.  The main question on Ackley is how much power he’ll hit for, and although I don’t think he needs too much to be an effective major league hitter, he certainly hit 20-30 homeruns.  There was some talk about the Mariners wanning on Ackley and considering Aaron Crow or Tanner Scheppers, but I don’t buy it, Ackley’s the guy.  What I think the Mariners are getting in Ackley is a future no. 3 hitter, who is going to play centerfield, hit .300+ with a .400 OBP, and be a 20-20 guy (Curtis Granderson better OBP?), not bad, eh?

3. San Diego Padres: Donavan Tate OF Cartersville HS (Georgia)

After the first two picks things get very interesting, very fast.  It seems as though the Padres have narrowed this selection to three guys: Tate, Aaron Crow and Mike Minor.  Although, if I were running this draft, I would take Tyler Matzek, who I believe is the third best prospect in the draft.  Crow would also be a good pick, but Minor is a clear overdraft.  If Ackley falls, the Padres WILL take him.  Tate has, perhaps, the highest ceiling in the draft.  However, he is also going to cost a lot of money, close to six million?  Tate has a strong commitment to North Carolina, where he would play both football and baseball – his father Lars Tate was an NFL player.  There are also questions about Tate’s hit-ability.  I like Tate at this spot for two reasons: 1. He’s the guy available with the most upside and San Diego’s system could really use some upside, particularly up the middle 2. If Tate doesn’t go number three, I don’t know where he goes, so I instead of forcing a headache upon myself, I’ve decided to take the risk, along with the Padres, and take Tate. 

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Aaron Crow RHP Fort Worth (University of Missouri)

As previously stated, I’m fairly certain about the first two picks, however, every other pick is far from certain.  Rumors have swirled around the Pirates, involving a sign-ability pick here.  Names discussed include: Tony Sanchez and Bobby Borchering.  The Pirates would like to save money because they are rumored to be the favorites to sign Dominican Miguel Angel Sano a SS, the rumored price is four million.  Apart from those rumors the Pirates are known to like college pitchers and the top arm on my board is Aaron Crow, who has little negotiating power and should sign around slot.  If Crow’s name sounds familiar, it should, he was the number nine pick in last year’s draft, and went to an independent league, along with Tanner Scheppers, after failing to sign, I had him going number ten to my Astros.  Crow throws a low-to-mid 90s sinking fastball, a plus slider and an at least average changeup, which is his biggest improvement from last year.  Personally, I like Crow and think he has front of the rotation upside, as a reliever he could pitch in the major’s later this season and could be in a rotation next. 

5. Baltimore Orioles: Tyler Matzek LHP Capistrano Valley HS (California)

As previously stated, Matzek is the third prospect on my board, and although Zach Wheeler seems to be the popular pick here of late, I still like Matzek – and I love the idea of Wheeler seven to his home state Braves.  Matzek throws his fastball up to 95 mph, but sits in the low 90s.  He throws two at least average breaking balls, a curveball he throws in the mid 70s and a slider in the mid 80s.  He also throws a changeup, but hasn’t needed it yet.  Matzek may not be a true no. one starter type, but he has good 2/3 starter upside, with much more polish than you would expect from a HS pitcher.  The Orioles usually draft the best player available (BPA) and don’t shy away from guy with perceived signability problems.  I do think the Orioles would love to add a good position player to their system, but there is no one of value here, so the Orioles will be “forced” to add to their already stellar crop of pitchers. 

6. San Francisco Giants: Tanner Scheppers RHP St. Paul (Fresno State)

Scheppers is a tough guy to slot in.  Many experts have him falling out of the top ten and in some cases out of the first round, because of fear for that same shoulder problem that made him fall last year.  However, because I am mocking through the first supplemental, I would hate to have to guess how far Scheppers is going to fall, I mean, I already have to do that for Kyle Gibson, so I’m not going to torture myself and do it for Scheppers too.  I like this fit.  Although, I haven’t seen many people agree with me, that’s ok though.  Scheppers has put together a good showing in St. Paul and should be close to major league ready.  He profiles as a top of the rotation starter, but does come with injury risk.  He throws his fastball in the mid 90s and can put “cut and sink” onto it (according to milb.com).  He also throws a power curve and changeup.  Like the Orioles, I think the Giants would love to add a bat and could be a possibility for Tate should he fall past the Padres, but without sufficient value on my board the Giants will also add to their “stellar crop of pitchers”.  Jacob Turner and Zach Wheeler are also candidates. 

7. Atlanta Braves: Zack Wheeler RHP East Paulding HS (Georgia)

I hope the Brave appreciate me dodging two bullets (the Orioles and Giants) to deliver them their prized Georgia arm.  Wheeler was the guy I liked at the beginning of the year for the Astros, but since, has had his stock rise more than just about anyone in the draft.  Wheeler has a perfect pitcher’s body at 6’4 170, and also fits Atlanta’s mold as a prep local product, as an added bonus, he’ll sign for slot!  Wheeler already throws up to 95 mph and still has plenty of projection.  He also throws an above average curveball and the makings of an average change.  The sky is the limit for Wheeler, who has one of the highest upsides among the HS pitchers in this draft, but he also has some mechanical problems. 

8. Cincinnati Reds: Alex White RHP North Carolina

This is where I had Gibson slated for awhile, dubbing him the Yonder Alonso of this draft.  However, due to the stress fracture, the Reds are unlikely to take him – although they could – and I don’t have to explain my Gibson = Alonso comparison.  White has been up and down, but I still believe he has the highest upside amongst college pitchers NNS (not named Strasburg).  I actually really like White and believe he would be a steal here.  Leake and Grant Green are also possibilities.  White throws a low 90s fastball, which gets up to 95 mph; his 2-seamer has great movement to it.  His slider is also a plus pitch, he throws a splitter as an off-speed pitch, as well as a below average curveball. 

9. Detroit Tigers: Jacob Turner RHP Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri)

Jacob Turner wants Rick Porcello money, well; why not give him to the team with a Rick Porcello void in their minors?  Turner has a large frame at 6-5 220 and is already throwing in the mid-low 90s.  He also throws a mid 70s slider.  He hasn’t really needed a changeup in high school.  Matt Purke is now being rumored

10. Washington Nationals: Chad Jenkins RHP Kennesaw State

Jenkins is a bit of an overdraft, but not too badly, since many think he could go to the Blue Jays at twenty also.  The Nationals have also been attached to Mike Trout and others with this pick.  The idea being to sign someone at or below slot since Strasburg is going to cost $21.5 million.  Jenkins throws his fastballs, two and four seamers, in the low 90s.  He adds a low 80s slider and changeup. 

11. Colorado Rockies: Mike Leake RHP Arizona State

Leake was the big mover during the college season, as he moved up probably a round.  He led division I in a couple statistical categories – so eat it Strasburg.  However, Leake profiles as a 3/4 starter, with a high floor.  He throws a high 80s/low 90s sinking fastball, he adds a high 70s/low 80s slider and plus changeup.  He command is plus, plus.  He’s short, but athletic for a pitcher.  The last four drafts, 78% of the Rockies’ top 137 picks have been college players, 50% have been college pitchers.  Mike Leake is a nice complement to Christian Friedrich (last year’s first rounder), and gives the Rockies a nice trio of advanced pitchers (throwing Jhoulys Chacin into the mix).  Plus they need all the pitching help they can get – although all three of the pitchers I listed profile towards the middle of the rotation.

12. Kansas City Royals: Wil Myers C Wesleyan Christian Academy (North Carolina)

After a couple years of paying for high priced talents: Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, etc, the Royals are looking for a bargain at a premium position (C, SS, CF), and rumors include Tony Sanchez, the top college catcher.  However, I like the higher upsided (yes, upsided, I like the way it sounds) Myers.  Myers has raw power and all the tools to become a solid defensive catcher, with a good arm.  He is also very athletic for a catcher, with above-average speed. 

13. Oakland Athletics: Grant Green SS Southern California

Before the season, Grant was expected to be one of the first three picks in the draft.  However, he has played his way down, as many now question his ability to stay at short, as well as his power.  Green does, however, have good hitting ability, and average to above-average speed.  His arm is also at least average, leaning above-average slightly.  However, (milb.com) he has some trouble ranging up the middle and his power is more line-drive power than anything else, but he could hit 15-20 homeruns.  Oakland’s MO is established college players, which makes it Green or Brothers in my book.  The A’s are also attached to Donavan Tate, should he fall, and his reported $6 million price tag, so signing Green should be no problem.  By the way, I love me some Green.  I think he’ll stick at short, and be a near .300 hitter with 15-20 homeruns… that’s enough. 

14. Texas Rangers: Shelby Miller HS Brownwood HS (Texas)

If there was a lock this late in the draft, it’d be Miller to the Rangers.  It fits there MO, he’s local, it works.  He throws in the mid 90s with a good curve in the mid 70s, but he has some command issues.  He’s plenty projectable.  Let me double check if this makes sense: Texas usually takes the BPA; money shouldn’t be a problem and they like their fire-ballers, yep, Miller does makes sense. 

15. Cleveland Indians : Mike Minor LHP Vanderbilt

  Mike Minor has been rumored all over the first round, but there is no clear consensus on who that one team is who takes him.    The Indians want Miller, but he won’t get there.  So, it will be the best college player on their board.  The question is who is the top college arm on their board?  It could be Minor, Rex Brothers, James Paxton or Eric Arnett.  I picked Minor.  Mainly because he would fall in my mock if I didn’t put him here (if he doesn’t go here, my prediction is 19 to the Cardinals.  Minor is a low ceiling/high floor starter.  He throws a low 90s fastball, along with both a slider and curveball, and a good enough changeup.  He probably has 4/5 starter upside. 

16. Arizona Diamondbacks : Rex Brothers LHP Lipscomb

17. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bobby Borchering 3B Bishop Verot HS (Florida )

Here’s the first pair of D’back picks.  They like to go high upside HSers early, followed by college floor.  Borchering has one of the best bats in the draft.  He is switch hitter with great bat speed and raw power from both sides.  Many believe he will have to eventually move to first but, I think he could stay at third.  His speed is average or a little below.  His arm is about average as well. 

Brothers is a guy I like a lot.  He throws his fastball in the mid 90s, he also throws a good slider, with a lot of movement, hasn’t thrown his changeup too much.  He’s a rare lefty that can dial his fastball up to 96/97 mph and I think his ceiling is 2/3 starter if he develops his changeup. 

18. Florida Marlins : Chad James LHP Yukon HS (Oklahoma )

Chad James is the guy I’m hoping falls to the ‘Stros at 21, but it’s unlikely he will as he is coveted by the D’backs, Marlins, Cardinals and Blue Jays.  The Marlins develop HS pitching very well, so James makes sense here.  If Borchering gets to here, I could see the Marlins taking the in-state third basemen.  James is a lefty with a low 90s fastball, he has touched 95 mph.  He also throws an above-average power curve and above-average changeup.  He has plenty of projection.  I seriously don’t know why James isn’t considered one of the elite HS arms, but one team will benefit as a result in the 16-22 range. 

19. St. Louis Cardinals : James Paxton LHP Kentucky

Word is the Cardinals are leaning left-handed pitcher, the options being: Minor, Brothers, James and Paxton.  One of them will fall, and in this scenario it’s the Boras corp. client, Paxton.  Paxton throws in the mid-to-high 90s, along with a hard slider and a change, which isn’t worth praising.  I don’t like Paxton, lack of a real changeup, command, questionable mechanics, Boras, but it seems like the Cards do, so he’s the pick.  

20. Toronto Blue Jays: Eric Arnett RHP Indiana

This was a tough one.  I’ve been hearing college arm.  The Jays would have liked Jenkins, Minor or Brothers, but none of them fell.  I also think Chad James is an option, although history would show the Jays shy away from HS arms in the early rounds, and Matt Hobgood is still an option.  Kyle Gibson, post-injury, has been rumored here and I think Mike Trout or Tim Wheeler are options here.  Trout has one of the highest upsides amongst position players and Wheeler is the next best college bat.  I went with the college arm route and took Arnett, although I am far less than confident with that pick.  Arnett is a 6’5” righty, who throws in the mid 90s, he also throws a slider in the high 70s/low 80s which can get batters out.  His changeup needs some work.  I’m not in love with this selection, but that’s mostly because I’m not in love with Arnett, who has risen this season, after an increase in velocity.  I also am not high on his secondary pitches or command, but he has to go somewhere in the first round… I guess, and he could go as high as 15. 

21. Houston Astros: Slade Heathcott LHP/OF Texas HS (Texas)

I have gone over this pick again and again.  I have changed my mind many times, and I still have no clue.  I have studied Astros drafts, particularly last year’s.  I have looked at the pool of names, over-and-over again, but still nothing looks right.  What does look right is Chad James.  He’d be perfect.  He’s the top guy on my wish list, but I really don’t think he’s going to last here, and I decided to adhere to my integrity as a blogger (ha) and have him go earlier.  I also like Rex Brothers, but he also will probably be gone.  There are other names in consideration here: Matt Hobgood would make sense as the next best HS arm, Jared Mitchell is the best athlete, I call Tim Wheeler “the Jason Castro of this draft”, and I started a recent buzz about Mike Trout.  Seriously, I participated in John Sickel’s mock draft on Saturday and took Trout with his pick, and since then, a bunch of people have started talking about Trout to the Astros.  I would love to see it, but I’m afraid Houston isn’t taking an OF from New Jersey and people just went to John’s website saw the pick, and liked… maybe I’m just being ethnocentric, I don’t know.  Anyways, the guy at thebaseballdraftreport.com said, “ a great tip though for any young mockers out there – go with as many off the wall picks as possible because, on the off chance you get lucky and nail one of them, you’ll be lauded as a prophet. Mock drafts almost work counter to basic human nature as people often forget the bad picks, but clearly remember the good ones.”  (By the way I suggest thebaseballdraftreport.com to anyone interested in the draft, lots of good insight)  I like this idea.  Houston is my favorite team, so I am going to hook them up with one of my favorite draft prospects, Slade Heathcott and actually it could happen...  Heathcott has one of the five highest upsides in the draft (among position players).  However, he has signability issues and character issues, which is why most teams are considering him for the second and third rounds.  The Yankees, among other teams are thinking about nabbing Heathcott in the first, due to the lack of solid options.  The Astros are also high on Heathcott, plus the all important, Texas factor.  So, why can’t the Astros jump on Heathcott?  One thing I can tell you about Bobby Heck and the current Astros draft philosophy is, they do not care about the consensus.  They will take whoever they believe to be the BPA, and it could be Heathcott.  Look at Jason Castro and Jordan Lyles from last draft?  Now go look at how they’re doing in their first full season… Jason Castro, by the way, for all you Astros fans, was called up to AA Corpus Christi and will be ready for Wednesday’s game.  Heathcott is a five-tool outfielder.   According to milb.com, he has “plus hitting ability”, “plus power to all fields”, above-average speed, plus arm strength and a plus defender.  I am going to try hard, to will this pick into reality. 

22. Minnesota Twins: Jiovanni Mier SS Bonita HS (California)

The MO on the Twins: HS bats, college arms.  Mier is the kind of toolsy player they like and with the first couple of tiers of college pitchers gone; he seems like an obvious choice.  Mier is the top HS shortstop amongst a deep class.  He has all the defensive tools to stay at short too.  He also has some hitting ability, with a little power to go with it. 

23. Chicago White Sox: Andrew Oliver LHP Oklahoma State

Oliver throws a mid 90s fastball along with a plus changeup, but he does not really have a breaking pitch yet.  He is also a Boras corp. client, but that shouldn’t bother the Chi Sox.  The White Sox have, however, been attached to several of the toolsy outfielders still around: Trout, Everett Williams and Reymond Fuentes. 

24. Los Angeles Angels : Tyler Skaggs LHP Santa Monica HS (California)

25. Los Angeles Angels : Mike Trout OF Milville HS (New Jersey)

Another back-to-back pick, remember if Skaggs goes 25 or Trout goes 24, I’m still counting it as a correct pick.  The Angels, like the D’backs have an abundance of early round pick, so they could do almost anything with them, but based on their philosophy and lack of talent in their system, they’ll go HS, HS, HS, early and often.  Skaggs is a California arm.  He throws a low 90s fastball, but should add more velocity as he matures; he is 6’5” 180 and offers plenty of projection, and some.  Skaggs also throws a plus curveball in the low 70s. 

Trout, like I’ve said is one of the ten best bats in the draft and I’ve heard it said that he is the most likely guy in the class to join the 30-30 club.  He’s a five-tooler with solid defensive skills and a plus arm. 

  26. Milwaukee Brewers: Garrett Gould RHP Maize HS Kansas

Gould just looks like a Brewers pick.  I get a Jake Odorizzi vibe from him, in fact.  He throws his fastball in the low 90s and can get into the mid 90s a little.  He also throws a plus curve and a decent enough changeup.  Gould also has that all important, no not “Texas factor”, projection thing.  He’s 6’4” 190 after all.

27. Seattle Mariners: Drew Storen RHP Stanford

  Storen is the top closer in the class, but I think he’ll be drafted as a starter, and the Mariners seem like a team that would do it.  He throws his fastball in the low 90s with good movement.  He also throws his curve in the low 80s and has an effective changeup.  That three pitch mix makes me think starter.  The Mariners are big on college players in the draft, by the way. 

28. Boston Red Sox: Matt Purke HS Klein HS (Texas)

Purke is easily one of the fifteen best players in the draft, but he wants so much money and there are only so many teams that are going to pay $5 million + for a prospect.  Which means someone is going to fall and the likely candidate is Purke.  So, some team at the bottom of the draft will luck out, possibly the Red Sox.  Purke throws his fastball in the low 90s, touching 95.  I’ve said that a lot, I mean, a lot of pitchers throw in the low 90s touching 95.  He throws his curve in the high 70s and has a good changeup.  He also has good command and a projectable body. 

29. New York Yankees: Matt Hobgood RHP Norco HS (California)

New York needs talent and s high school arm as good as Hobgood’s should be tough to pass up.  SS/RHP David Renfroe (this year’s Casey Kelly and Slade Heathcott have been rumored here.  Hobgood throws his fastball in the low 90s, he also throws a plus curve in the mid 70s, according to milb.com it could be the best curve among HS pitchers in the class.  He doesn’t have a changeup though, so he’ll need to work on a third pitch. 

30. Tampa Bay Rays: Max Stassi C Yuba City HS (California)

The Rays’ position of need on the farm is at catcher, and with Stassi available need happens to coincide with the BPA.  Stassi has great instincts and makeup; he also has all the defensive tools behind the plate and an average arm.  His bat should be good and he has some power. 

31. Chicago Cubs: AJ Pollock OF Notre Dame

The last four years, 85% of Cubs picks in the top 149 pick have been college players.  Pollock happens to be a personal favorite of mine, and it is tough to let him go to the Cubs, but the pick makes sense.  Pollock has a very advanced approach at the plate, and has gap power.  He is an above-average runner with great instincts.  He is a good fielder in center with an average arm. 

32. Colorado Rockies: Tim Wheeler OF Sacramento State

Kyle Gibson is rumored here but I’m not quite buying it.  Although, interesting move for the Rockies, if it happens, more on that later… again, if it happens.  Wheeler makes sense as the BPA and a college player; remember what I said about the Rockies and college players?  Wheeler makes good contact, with some power at times, and has plus speed.  He also has an average arm, but plus range in center.  That’s the first round. 

Compensation Round A

Now that we’re done with the first round, the blurbs are going to be much shorter and to the point. 

33. Seattle Mariners : Matt Davidson 3B Yucaipa HS (California )

Davidson has some of the greatest power potential in the draft, but like Borchering may have to move off first.  Personally, I think he can stay at third, though.  Seattle tends to lean college, but Davidson’s power bat may be too much to pass up and this pick would continue a stellar draft for the Mariners. 

34. Colorado Rockies : Alex Wilson RHP Texas A&M

The Rockies pick for a third time and I have them once again taking a college right hander.  Wilson, however, is not much like their first pick Mike Leake.  He has a mid 90s fastball, a sometimes plus slider he throws in the mid 80s a curveball and changeup, although the latter two aren’t nearly a useful as the first two.  Wilson pitched from the Texas A&M bullpen the second half of the season, but he still profiles as a starter with a pretty high ceiling. 

35. Arizona Diamondbacks : Brett Jackson OF California

Jackson is another personal fav.  He has a lot of raw power and some hitting ability, but strikes out a lot.  He also is an above-average runner.  He has a plus arm and is a decent fielder in center. 

36. Los Angeles Dodgers : Madison Younginer RHP Mauldin HS (South Carolina )

The Dodgers didn’t have a first round pick, so should go for a lot of upside with this pick… how about Younginer, who was a reliever in high school, but will be tried out as a starter in pro ball.  He has a mid 90s fastball and projection. 

37. Toronto Blue Jays : Jared Mitchell OF Louisiana State University

  Mitchell is one of the very best athletes in the draft, and was a possibility for the Astros in round one.  His ceiling is a Carl Crawford type outfielder with more power. 

38. Chicago White Sox : Rich Poythress 1B Georgia

  Poythress is one of the best pure hitters in the draft.  Again I opt against the toolsy OF rumors and I really don’t know why. 

39. Milwaukee Brewers : Tommy Joseph C Horizon HS (Arizona )

Joseph has enormous raw power and a chance to play behind the plate, with a plus arm.  He seems like a fit for the Brewers to me. 

40. Los Angeles Angels : Reymond Fuentes OF Puerto Rico

Fuentes is one of the toolsy outfielders the White Sox are after.  However, I think he’s a better fit for the Angels. 

41. Arizona Diamondbacks: Mychal Givens SS Plant HS (Florida)

Givens throws 97 mph off a mound, but it seems like most teams now like him as a high upside HS shortstop.  Is he a possible five-tooler?

42. Los Angeles Angels: Nick Franklin SS Lake Brantley HS (Florida)

  I really like this pick.  Franklin does just about everything well, with great makeup and the ability to stay at short long term. 

43. Cincinnati Reds : Marc Krauss 3B/OF Ohio

I don’t know that much about Krauss, he is one of the college ranks’ best power hitters , that’s about it.  I just love the prospect of the Ohio to Ohio connection here. 

44. Texas Rangers : Everett Williams OF McCallum HS (Texas )

Williams is another toolsy outfielder, with good power potential and speed.  The Astros were at one time considering him in the first, but have since soured on him a little. 

45. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jason Kipnis OF Arizona State

Arizona will take guys from Arizona State, they would love Leake, and Kipnis will sign for slot, an essential for teams with so many early picks.  Kipnis has about average tools across the board. 

46. Minnesota Twins : Sam Dyson RHP South Carolina

Dyson is a draft-eligible sophomore (Drew Storen is too actually), which means he has added leverage and could potentially be tougher to sign as a result.  He has a mid 90s fastball and mid 80s slider. 

47. Milwaukee Brewers: Kentrail Davis OF Tennessee

Davis is also a draft-eligible sophomore, he was supposed to be a first rounder at the start of the season, but was only ok.  Many believe he would benefit greatly from a junior season.  Davis could have a good power/speed combo, but some think he won’t be able to play center in the future, hurting his value. 

48. Los Angeles Angels: Kyle Gibson RHP Missouri

Here’s where I have Gibson.  It’s really just a stab in the dark.  Many think Gibson will still find his way in the first round, but I don’t really want to see a team waste a pick.  The Angels have money, multiple picks and are in need of great value.  When healthy, Gibson throws a low 90s/high 80s fastball with one of the best sliders in the draft and above-average changeup with above-average command. 

49. Pittsburgh Pirates : Tony Sanchez C Boston College

Tony Sanchez is the top college catcher, and is unlikely to fall this far, but he could.  If he does, it would work out greatly for the Pirates, who were considering him for the first round.  Sanchez has some hit ability, some power, average speed, a decent arm and good skills behind the plate.  He’s a prospect you shrug your shoulders at, because, other than his ability to stay behind the plate, no tool really stands out, which is probably why he’s slipped in my mock.  But, those tools in a catcher are very useful.  The Pirates like to take college players, they could use a catcher in their system (who couldn’t) and Sanchez would be the BPA here.  That’s the first sandwich round.

26 More Picks I'm banking on...

51. Seattle Mariners: Kyle Heckathorn RHP Kennesaw State
52. and 83. San Diego Padres: Ryan Jackson SS Miami and Jeff Kobernus 2B California
I'm not distinquishing which I like in the second and which I like in the third, so if either go at either, I'm counting it.  Kobernus reminds me of Matt Antonelli, while Jackson is Adam Everett, great defense, possibly little to no offense. 
54. Baltimore Orioles: Stephen Perez SS Gulliver Prep (Florida)
55. San Francisco Giants: Brody Colvin RHP HS Louisiana
56. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jake Marisneck OF HS California
59. Colorado Rockies: Blake Smith OF California
61. Chicago White Sox: Billy Hamilton OF/SS HS Mississippi
Here's where I'll finally take that toolsy outfielder. 
62. Texas Rangers: Zach Van Rosenberg RHP HS Louisiana
64. Arizona Diamondbacks: Kent Mathes OF Alabama
Mathes should be a hot commodity seeing how he has no leverage, being a senior and all, a team with multiple picks, the D'backs, could use the financial relief they'd get by taking him.  Plus he's got the talent to be a high pick. 
66. Florida Marlins: Dane Williams RHP HS Florida
67. St. Louis Cardinals: Randal Grichuk OF HS Texas
68. Toronto Blue Jays: Brooks Raley LHP/OF Texas A&M
69. Houston Astros: David Renfroe SS HS Mississippi
Remember Derek Dietrich!!!
72. New York Mets: Brian Goodwin OF HS North Carolina
73. Milwaukee Brewers: David Holmberg RHP HS Florida
75. Philadelphia Phillies: Todd Glaesman OF HS Texas
76. New York Yankees: Steve Matz RHP HS New York
78. Tampa Bay Rays: LeVon Washington OF HS Florida
85. Baltimore Orioles: Chris Owings SS HS South Carolina
96. Los Angeles Dodgers: Bryan Berglund RHP HS California
98. St. Louis Cardinals: Robbie Shields SS/2B Florida Southern
99. Toronto Blue Jays: Bryan Morgado LHP Tennessee
107. Boston Red Sox: Mike Belfiore RHP Boston College
111. Houston Astros: Jonathan Walsh C HS Texas
At some point. Los Angeles Angels: Trayce Thompson OF HS California

Those 26 picks bring up to a grand total of 75, enjoy the draft.
Posted on: June 6, 2009 11:57 pm
 

Astros Mock Draft

Hello all, I just participated in a mock draft on John Sickel’s blog, http://www.minorleagueball.com/ .  For the whole mock draft I strongly suggest you go to his site and view the whole thing.  He will be giving his input of each team’s draft there soon. 

The way his mock works, is, he assigns each organization a “scouting director”, that person was responsible for their team’s picks.  I took the role of Bobby Heck as the scouting director of the Houston Astros .  I had four picks to work with: 21, 69, 100 and 111 – we drafted the entire first day, the first three rounds and corresponding supplemental round.  Here is my input on each of my picks. 

I went into the “draft” looking to capitalize on last year’s stellar draft.  I wanted to come away with some upside arms and possibly some help up the middle, particularly at shortstop. 

21. Mike Trout OF Millville HS (New Jersey)

The top two guys on my draft board (with a realistic shot of getting to me) were Rex Brothers LHP Lipscomb and Chad James LHP Yukon HS (Oklahoma).  Brothers throws up to 97 as a lefty, while James throws in the low 90s with advanced secondary pitches for a HSer.  On the board at the time, I considered: Trout, Everett Williams, Eric Arnett, Garrett Gould, Matt Hobgood , Jiovanni Mier and Tim Wheeler , with Trout, Williams and Wheeler – all outfielders – as finalists.  This is where I stepped out of Bobby Heck’s shoes a bit.  I wanted to play this mock as if I were the Astros on Tuesday, what would they really do.  I have studied their draft philosophy a bit and feel like I have a good idea of what they would do.  However, if given the options of Trout, Williams and Wheeler, Trout may be third on their list.  Williams is an Austin native, and the best HS position player from Texas.  Obviously, he is high on their list.  He also happens to be one of the ten best athletes (according to PGcrosscheckers) in the draft, with one of the very best speed, power combos in the draft.  Tim Wheeler is an advanced bat with tools from Sacramento State.  He kind of fits the mold of a Jason Castro type hitter, and he would not be considered an overdraft – not that I think Castro was… I love me some Castro, I think we all know that by know.  Wheeler is possibly a five-tool outfielder, probably lacking too much power, with a good chance to move through the system pretty swiftly, Castro pace.  Hmm… I’m really starting to like that comp. Tim Wheeler = Jason Castro in centerfield.  Anyways, Trout has, potentially, one of the very best bats in the draft.  It’s my opinion that he’s the best five-tooler in the draft, with, possibly above-average power, plenty of speed and base-stealing ability, and he’ll be a good fielder in center with a strong arm.  I was very surprised Trout was still around and would be thrilled if Houston took him on Tuesday, but I would be surprised to see it.  Although Trout it signable, and a good athlete – the Astros loves athletes.  He’s from New Jersey and I don’t know how many times they’ve seen him and if they’d pick him over a local kid they may feel is his equal.  That’s my thought at least, when was the last time Houston picked someone picked someone from the Northeast? 

69. Colton Cain LHP/1B Waxahachie HS (Texas)

Here’s how my draft board went for this pick: David Renfroe, Slade Heathcott, Brody Colvin, Randal Grichuk, Jeff Malm and Colton Cain.  The first five were taken, leaving me with Cain.  Cain will be a tough sign for whoever takes him, but I think Houston would give it a shot – Ross Seaton, right?  Seaton is better, by the way.  I would lean towards Cain as a pitcher at this point.  Milb.com ’s draft report for him, says he throws a heavy sinking fastball up to 94, with an inconsistent breaking ball and a changeup, that he has a feel for.  Cain is a bit of a project because of his lack of solid secondary pitches, but he could be a very good starter if they develop. 

100. Kendal Volz RHP Baylor

In an interview with a Houston Chronicle write, Bobby Heck said he really liked the amount of pitching in the Big 12.  Some Big 12 pitchers he may be talking about are: AJ Morris, Kansas State, Andrew Doyle, Oklahoma, Andrew Oliver, Oklahoma State, Mike Neeseth, Nebraska and Kendal Volz, Baylor.  At the start of the season, Volz was considered a first rounder, but inconsistency and some questions about Volz’ ability to stay a starter have caused his stock to draft.  David Nick and Bryan Beglund, along with a plethora of Big 12 pitchers were on my draft list, but I feel like Volz is a solid pick.  Milb.com’s scouting report says the following about him, fastball between 88 and 92, but touches 97, low 80s slider, with tight rotation, low 80s changeup.  “N ot only did he show three good pitches, he threw them for strikes and with a purpose. Showed more maturity with his gameplan and looked more like a starting pitcher than he has previously.”  If this Volz shows up for Houston, they have a steal in the third round.  Even if Volz is a reliever, he profiles in the late innings and could be their closer of the future. 

111. Jake Cowan RHP San Jacinto JC (Texas)

Cowan is a steal, as far as I’m concerned.  He throws a mid 90s fastball, as well as two good secondary pitches, making his repertoire one of the better mixes in the draft.  Being a JUCO (junior college) player, Cowan is underrated going into the draft.  He has a good amount of upside as a starter and should be relatively easy to sign.  I did not consider anyone else for this pick. 

My personal mock draft, mocking the first three rounds, is coming along as well.  However, it will likely not be on the blog until late Monday. 

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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