Draft tidbits

Wrapping up RAB's April
Any day now, Robbie

Purdue RHP Josh Lindblom, photo via Baseball America\'s front page earlier this week

Purdue RHP Josh Lindblom and his snot. Photo taken from Baseball America’s front page sometime last week.

It’s been a while since we talked draft, so here’s some bullet point style draft goodness:

  • MLB tweaked some of the draft rules a bit, so now failure to sign a second-round pick results in a compensation pick after the second round the following year. Previously the comp picks were awarded one spot after the original selection was made. The Braves and Red Sox saw their comp picks for the unsigned Josh Fields and Hunter Morris, respectively, drop 18 spots thanks to the rule change (haha). Fifth year seniors can no longer sign as free agents before the draft as part of the rule changes.

  • Florida State catcher Buster Posey is shooting up draft boards thanks to his .470-.573-.848-1.421 line with 33 XBH and a 12-38 K/BB ratio in 44 games. He’s joined Pedro Alvarez, Tim Beckham, Aaron Crow and Brian Matusz amongst the super elite of the draft class, and Tampa is giving him a ton of consideration for first overall. The problem I see is that Posey projects more as an above-average regular than a superstar, and it’s not a given that he can stay behind the plate in pro ball. Not exactly the typical 1st overall pick profile.
  • One kid gaining some helium as the draft approaches is CF Matt Marquis from Immaculata High in Somerville. He’s a manchild, checking in at a rock solid 6’2″, 215 lbs, and he sports a 2.115 OPS as of April 28th. A star at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy, you can watch him launch some bombs at The Trop here. He’s not quite first round material yet, but he’s working himself into the top 2 or 3 rounds.
  • Colby Shreve, a RHP at the Community College of Southern Nevada, came down with what was initially diagnosed as a ligament tear in his elbow, but that was downgraded to a strain folloing a second opinion. The top JuCo prospect heading into the year by BA, Shreve avoids TJ surgery and will go with a rest and rehab program that will take about two months. Teams will still be weary because of the injury and strong commitment to Arkansas, but he can be bought out. Look for him to drop.
  • Sonny Gray, the top high school prospect in Tennessee, will miss the rest of the year after severely spraining his ankle running out a ground ball. A first round talent on the mound, Gray owns one the best breaking balls in the draft, and will start to slide as his latest ailment only reinforces questions about his durability.
  • While on the subject of injured pitchers, Winthrop RHP Alex Wilson missed the 2008 season after having TJ surgery. BA pegged him as the 11th best college sophomore at this time last year. Teams are going to back away because of the injury, and Wilson is probably best served returning to school for his senior year so he can build up his stock, but why wouldn’t you take a flier on him in say, the 15th round?
  • The University of Georgia sports two surefire first round picks in SS Gordon Beckham (no relation to Tim) and the aforementioned Josh Fields (no relation to the ChiSox player). Beckham is the frontrunner for the Dick Howser Trophy (baseball’s Heisman) because of a .427-.538-.883 line and a Division I leading 20 homers. He makes perfect sense for the Twins at 14, but he might not last that long. Fields returned to school for his senior year to boost his draft stock, and he’s done that with an exclamation point: 22.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 11 BB, 42 K and 12 saves. He’s only working one inning stints, and that’s certainly a drawback. I can totally see the Mets popping him at 18, then sticking him in their bullpen by August.
  • RAB fave Keith Law notes that hulking prep 1B Eric Hosmer and advisor Scott Boras are floating $7M bonus demands. Law also mentions that Pedro Alvarez has an $8.6M asking price. I can see the Pirates snatching Alvarez at #2 overall in an attempt to rid themselves of the “cheap” label that’s haunted them, but Hosmer has a chance of dropping out of the first round all together. A 3-4 combo of Hosmer-Montero would be some scary shit for A-ball pitchers.
  • Here’s some middle round guys to keep in the back of your mind (in no particular order): Louisville 3B Chris Dominguez (draft-eligible sophomore, .374-.434-.670 with 14 homers in 44 games), Purdue RHP Josh Lindblom (31.2 IP, 25 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 9 BB, 36 K, and he’s got a HUGE arm), Cal RHP Matt Gorgen (31 IP, 26 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 13 BB, 35 K, he’s a David Robertson-type reliever), UC Irvine RHP Scott Gorgen (Matt’s identical twin, 74 IP, 43 H, 21 R, 17 ER, 2 BB, 82 K, tough as nails), and New Orleans SS Johnny Giavotella (.401-.510-.711 with 25 XBH and a 10-37 K/BB).
  • You may have heard that the top 200 draft prospects will now be subject to steroid testing prior to the draft. I know steroids are bad, and yes more testing is a good thing, but I think MLB overstepped it’s boundaries here. These players are amateurs and in no way are affiliated with major league baseball until they sign a professional contract, why should they be subject to testing under MLB’s rules? And why just the top 200 prospects? Why should Andrew Brackman be tested while Adam Olbrychowski isn’t? I dunno, it’s a step in the right direction, but you’re invading a kid’s privacy when he’s not bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Maybe he’s just a kid who succumbed to peer pressure. Teenagers make a lot of mistakes.

The draft goes down on a Thursday this year, June 5th to be exact, and will again be televised by ESPN. I suspect we’ll see the usual cast of characters: Ravech, Gammons and Phillips, with guest spots by Law and one of the BA guys. If ESPN wants to draw some attention to the broadcast, they should get Erin Andrews involved. Just look at how well she handles that microphone.

Wrapping up RAB's April
Any day now, Robbie
  • Ed

    These players are amateurs and in no way are affiliated with major league baseball until they sign a professional contract, why should they be subject to testing under MLB’s rules?

    Plenty of large companies require a drug test before they’ll take you on as an employee. I’ve even seen them test college interns, so it’s not exactly unprecedented.

    And I’d argue that entering the draft affiliates you with MLB. I’m assuming you have to sign some paperwork to register for eligibility. If you do, then I don’t see an issue.

    If teams can just draft anyone, registered or not, then yeah, it’s not right.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That’s the problem, there is no process where players declare themselves for the draft. Teams can literally draft any kid that meets the draft criteria, he doesn’t even have to play baseball.

      • Ed

        Really? What I’ve read about the draft has talked about the team executives having to look up the players in the draft computers to get their ID numbers to make the selection. How does that work then?

        And if you’re drafting a John Smith, how do you indicate the correct one?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          The MLB Scouting Bureau assigns a “draft ID” to about 1,500 players – guys that the Bureau has scouted and has in their database. During the draft teams will reference the number when selecting a guy: “the Yankees select draft ID CA18234, Cole, Gerritt, pitcher” and that’s how most picks are made.

          Guys not in MLBSB’s database are picked in the later rounds generally, and the teams just have to be more descriptive, “the Yankees select Smith, Christopher Gregory, left-handed pitcher, Back Country Prep, Yuba, California” or so.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Every other day I sense more and more Yankees fans are having quite some difficulty containing their excitement for the potential 1st Round drop of Eric Hosmer. And in-between those days we are cursing the Detroit Tigers loud and proud because 1. They stole Rick Porcello from us (assholes went to the WS the prior season, how were they able to pick before us, fuck you Selig and your regular season only draft positioning) and 2. The sons of bitches might do the same with aforementioned Hosmer. Honestly, if they take Hosmer I will begin to seriously question which team I hate more as a Yankees fan, the Boston Red Sox or the Detroit Tigers.

    I don’t see how Tampa Bay can pass up Tim Beckham, I agree with the Saber Scouting guys that he’s the type of player they usually covet with top picks. Great athlete, all the tools (then again, who the hell doesn’t covet these type of players?) and just oozing potential in every which way. Also, isn’t the Golden Spikes award the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy?

    Matt Marquis is a very interesting name but I read he has a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt which I’m sure will the scare some teams out of the pool in the early couple of rounds. Also heard he profiles as a RF with his great arm strength. They say he has good speed as well so I don’t know why they would envision him as a corner OF already, with his bat potential in CF he could be real valuable.

    Where do you see Jamie Mallard possibly being drafted? I know it’s foolish to draft for two potentials early in the draft when they consist of just bat and power, but when the power is plus-plus, it’s hard for anyone to ignore.

    • Joey

      I know it’s fucked up what the Tigers do, but seriously? Hate them more than the red sox? Have your priorities straight man! But seriously, Hosmer would look great in pinstripes

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      isn’t the Golden Spikes award the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy?

      Whoops, my bad, you’re correct. Dick Howser Trophy is Player of the Year, Golden Spikes is Most Outstanding Player. What’s the difference? I dunno.

      Where do you see Jamie Mallard possibly being drafted?

      Sorry, I have no idea who that is. After seeing what Jesus Montero can do, I’m all for taking guys with 80 power.

      • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.
        • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Holy schnikees. That’s as bad a body as you’ll ever see on a high school kid, and he’s only going to get bigger. He better be able to mash – like really mash, not like Eric Duncan mash – to get picked near the top 5 rounds with that physique.

  • http://breakingballs.riveraveblues.com Tommy

    I can see the Pirates snatching Alvarez at #2 overall in an attempt to rid themselves of the “cheap” label that’s haunted them

    I heard the Pirates were set on sticking to slot this year, but maybe they were just putting that out there as a ploy.

  • Mike R.

    Draft coverage! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!

    What do you think of Casey Kelley? I read that the bat is coming around and the kid is a plus defensive SS. I’d love to have a kid like that in the system as insurance in case Angelini doesn’t pan out.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I like Angelini better, but there’s no such thing as too many up-the-middle prospects. Don’t worry about “having insurance in case Angelini doesn’t pan out,” just accumulate as much talent as possible and hope they all work out.

      • McLovin

        What about Harold Martinez

  • Adam

    anyone else notice the snot flying out of Lindblom’s nose in that picture?

    • Joey H

      i did i wasnt sure why it took so long for anyone else to comment about it

      • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        I mentioned it in the caption.

        • Adam

          jeez man. i read that caption like 4 times to make sure i wasn’t going to comment on something that had already been covered. i guess i should have read it a 5th time. sorry dude.

          • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            No need to be sorry. I was just sayin’

          • steve (different one)

            ‘snot a problem

  • Mike R.

    Hey Mike:

    I have a bunch of questions.

    1- Do you have a link to a scouting report on Matt Marquis?

    2- You are Brian Cashman. Gerrit Cole and Eric Hosmer are both on the board. Who do you take?

    3- Do you take Lonnie Chisenhall if he is available in round three?

    Finally and a bit unrelated to the draft.

    4- Are you still opposed to seeking a trade with the Brewers for LaPorta?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      1) I do not, but I will get you one when I come across it.

      2) I’m biased and I take Cole. Love my high school arms, especially high ceiling ones. I’d have no qualms about Hosmer though, can’t complain either way. However, there is a better chance Hosmer will still be around in the sandwich round than there is Cole, so they could end up with both.

      3) Depends really, but he’d be a great pick in that round.

      4) Well, it would probably cost IPK at the least. I’d certainly explore it.

      • Tyler

        What, Cole over Hosmer?? I know cole has upside but hosmer could be taken in the top 10 if it wasn’t for the depth at 1st base this year, and the $$.

    • Joey

      Why the interest in LaPorta? Seems the Yankees have enough outfielders in the majors and minors.

      • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

        Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu have at the most 2-3 seasons left on this roster. Melky Cabrera although with a hot start still has not cemented his place on this roster in the long term. Brett Gardner does not project to be a Major League regular by most, if not all, (including me), Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata are still a couple years away from being big league regulars and they are still prospects. Abraham Almonte is in Low-A ball and Kevin DeLeon hasn’t played in the United States as of yet.

        Also, you can never have enough of any prospect in the organization IMO, never.

        • Joey

          I would rather worry about pitching than outfielders. Seems like their is always outfielders on the market or trade table. Never any good young pitching. I’d worry about pitching long before the outfield. Perosnally I would like to see Gardner as an everyday player for the Yankees. No real good reason why I just like his style. Maybe in left or center with Abreau in right and Melky in the other spot. But hey, I want Shelley Duncan as the everyday first baseman and I was hoping a few years ago that Bubba Crosby would get a real chance in center.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    How has no one made an Aqualung comment yet?!?

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  • http://www.rightfieldporch.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    If I had a chance to get Hosmer at #27 and have to pay him close to the rumored $7 million, I’d do it. Don’t think he’ll last that long, somebody Tigers will snag him before us, I’m sure. Don’t wait until the comp rounds!

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