Ah draft day. One of the most fun and exciting days of the baseball year. While the actual draft doesn’t start until 2pm, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of stuff going on. BA’s Jim Callis posted a mock first round this morning, and has the Yanks taking prep SS Casey Kelly, son of former big leaguer Pat. KLaw has the latest gossip, and milb.com has a predraft show online. Gotta love the draft.

Update: MLB.com is reporting that the Rays will go with HS SS Tim Beckham with the first overall pick. That probably sets up Pedro Alvarez to the Pirates at 2, Buster Posey to the Royals at 3, Brian Matusz to the O’s at 4, and Justin Smoak to the Giants at 5. After that, all hell breaks loose.

Update Part II: Law also has a projected first round up now. He still has Gerrit Cole dropping to the Yanks.

Categories : Asides, Draft
  • TurnTwo

    what do we know about Kelly?

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

      I don’t know much really. I’m not going to make an effort to learn more about him until they actually pick him. I still have my fingers crossed for Cole.

  • CB

    There a great poster over at PeteAbe’s blog who has followed the Souther California prep leagues for a long time in different capacities (including umpiring games, etc.).

    He’s got a lot of great stories about high school prospects from the area, especially Phil Hughes (who he loved – an old time area scout told him that Hughes was one of the 5 best Southern California pitching prospects he’d ever seen – one of the other 4 guys on that list was Tom Seaver).

    I asked him for his take on Garrit Cole. He’d seen him pitch once and said he was very impressed with how easy he threw and how hard he threw it. He assumed he’d be a top 15 pick after seeing him throw.

    I specifically also asked him about Cole’s attitude/ immaturity issues. He told me he knew Cole was very bright (3.8 GPA) but that he’d check around on the other issues.

    A friend of his was umpiring Cole’s game last night and has ump’d some of his other games. Here was his take on Cole:

    “As for MR. Cole, I spoke with a friend that was part of the umpire crew last night ( who also did a CIF Playoff game )…His take was that by far he was the best pitcher he’s seen in the past 3 years at the HS level…He also stated that as an umpire who also does College games, he felt he has the stuff to be a # 3 at the Collegian level right now……Also spoke with Tim Decines today at the course…Tim is still very much involved with the UCLA program as he lives in Newport Beach and actually serves as a PR guy for the program in Orange County….His take is the kid is immature, very bright, outstanding tools and believes once he’s in a college atmosphere ( away from home ) he’ll grow up and be on track….As for being picked tomorrow, if the right team and $$$$ are there, Boras will have him sign…..Positivley a solid Blue Chipper…..”

    Hopefully he’ll be there at 28.

    Here’s an article from today on Cole. Sounds like he’s heavily leaning on going pro:


    • TurnTwo

      i know my opinion really means squat compared to these scouts, but watching the video they have up for him on mlb.com, i thought Cole didnt look like he was throwing easy at all… there was like a herky-jerky thing that made me think immediately that they’d work on his windup/delivery.

      • CB

        That can be corrected. He throws across his body but that’s the kind of thing high schoolers do. That’s the kind of mechanical issue they’ll break down and fix in the minors.

        You can teach that. But you can’t teach his arm strength.

        • TurnTwo

          oh, agreed. you def can teach arm strength… just wondering why to me, that motion/delivery he has looks so jerky if others say he throws very easy.

          • CB

            He generates velocity very easily. He’s not straining, or giving max effort on every throw to get the ball into the high 90′s. He’s not hurling himself into every delivery with everything he’s got to get the ball up there.

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

              Yep. Look at Farnsworth, he has to put everything he has into each pitch to generate that kind of velocity. AJ Burnett looks like he’s playing catch and it’s 95, 96.

              • steve (different one)

                yes, but Farnsworth is awesome.

  • A.D.

    What’s the deal with the Cal 1B David Cooper, and what keeps him from being in the same grouping as some of the other 1B prospects in this draft?

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

      He’s not as good a hitter as the others. He’s got some holes in his swing, particular in the inner half, which aluminum bats help him hide. I’m terrified the Yanks will take him if all the top talents are off the board at 28.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      I’ve read it’s the lack of athleticism and contact ability.

    • CB

      I think it was Keith Law who got a question about Cooper and what separated him from the other 1b in the draft (think it was Law…) He said it was bat speed. Cooper didn’t have the same bat speed as the other guys. He particularly said that Cooper tends to guess pitches and tries to cheat against left handers.

  • daneptizl

    You think the Royals take Posey over Hosmer? That’d be nice.

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

      Well, I wrote that before I saw that Posey floated a $12M bonus demand. That could change everything.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Personally, I’m hoping Cole drops to the Yankees at #28 and they gobble him up, but I’m mildly fearful of teams ahead of them who have demonstrated the ability to go for tough signability guys (Detroit Tigers, I’m looking at you!) and teams that are supposedly willing to open their pocketbooks this year (including, but not limited to, the New York Mets).

  • Tripp

    What’s more important for the Yanks? A power hitting 1b man or a left handed pitching prospect?

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

      I’m going to say the LHP, but hopefully they aren’t drafting for need.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I read that there’s a glut of power hitting 1B prospects this year. Assuming that the big dogs (Hosmer, Alonso, Smoak, Alvarez) don’t slide to us at 28, and we don’t reach for a marginal one at 28, could we take a masher with our sandwich pick (is it #45?)

      And if so, any chance a sandwich pick 1B can contribute at the ML level by mid 2009?

  • NYFan50

    Of all the players that have a realistic shot of making it to the Yankees, who are you most hoping they will take? Cole? Is he “the guy”, or is there someone else that COULD be available still that you’d prefer (even if it’s more of a longshot)? Who would be a few of the guys that you are hoping they will pass on, if available? You’ve mentioned Cooper…anyone else?

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

      Cole and Tim Melville are the only guys with a realistic shot of falling, and I’d take Cole every time. No David Cooper, no Allen Dykstra, no Jason Castro and no on any of the college relievers (although I suppose Josh Fields wouldn’t be a terrible pick).

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

        No Ike Davis either.

  • CB

    Whether or not Cole gets to the yankees may depend on if Detroit feels pressed to draft for need.

    Domborowski has bet everything in the system and spent a ton of money on the prospect of winning this year or next. That’s a very old team that doesn’t have a lot of shelf life.

    Normally they draft best player available but given their crushing need for pitching at the major league level I wonder if they might rethink this and take the closest major league ready arm available. They desperately need help in the pen. Could they go college reliever ?

    • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

      I could see that happening. While Andrew Cashner from TCU is likely to be gone (there are rumors of him going #11 to the Rangers), Ryan Perry of Arizona or Josh Fields of Georgia could be there when the Tigers pick.

      • CB

        This is what I’m hoping. They are so desperate for even a relief arm that any of those guys – would be better than what they have.

  • Chris

    What are the logistics of the draft? How long for picks, how many rounds today, how many rounds total?

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

      For the first and sandwich rounds there’s 5 minutes between picks, but that’s just for TV purposes. The rest of the rounds are rapid fire, one pick right after the other, maybe 30 seconds in between.

      The first and sandwich will be on TV, then the teams will continue picking to 9pm today, at which point they’ll stop, regardless of what round it is. They’ll pick it back up tomorrow, 50 rounds total, but a team can drop out at any point. Once they decide to skip on a pick, they’re done, can’t go back in.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    …although it would take an absolute act of God, if Posey somehow found a way to fall all the way to 28 (not going to happen in this or any Universe, in all likelihood), I’d probably scream. And I think the Yankee draft room would probably shut down completely in shock.

    But yeah, it looks like Cole is the best bet the Yankees have for a top-fifteen talent falling to #28, and it really seems like it’s contingent on what Detroit does.

    Rumors have it Alonso might fall like a rock, though; I heard his bonus demands, like Posey’s, are rather high, and teams might not be willing to call his bluff with a relatively deep class of corner power hitters…

    • A.D.

      8M Demand is what I read for Alonso

  • Bo

    Anyone that drafts for need in the MLB draft should be fired as a GM.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      Here here.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Of course, while Dombrowski went for broke this year, he might opt for best talent available so he does not have to wait for next year to start rebuilding that barren system…

    It’s kind of incredible how the Yankees (and I suppose by extension, the Red Sox)’ draft fortunes are tied to how the Tigers (and potentially the Mets) play. All four teams have the potential willingness to disregard the signability barrier, which almost puts them in a class of their own when it comes to selecting late-round picks.

    I think the Mariners are sometimes lumped into that class, of teams willing to pay overslot to ensure they get the best talent available, no matter where they’re picking.

    Finally…rumors have it the Marlins might take Scheppers at #20. I think that’s a reach, personally; I’m not doubting Scheppers’ ceiling if he doesn’t have serious injury problems, but I cannot envision a team gambling on his health until the 2nd round at the earliest…

    Of course, maybe that’s precisely why the Marlins are willing to jump on him, since I don’t think the Marlins have a sandwitch pick?

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

      Mariners, not Marlins. The M’s should have a sandwich rounder for losing Jose Guillen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    I would not have a problem if the Yanks took Casey Kelley with the 28th pick if both Gerrit Cole and Zach Collier were off the board…and Eric Hosmer. I’m a sucker for the tools-y middle infielders and if he’s there I would definitely encourage the pick.

    Speaking of tools-y middle infielders at the time they were drafted, Yankees 2005 1st Rounder CJ Henry says he is close to returning after an outfield collision that resulted in an apparent neck injury (yikes!).


    • CB

      The other nice thing about Kelley is his pitching ability. Some teams like him more as a pitcher though Kelley wants to be a position player. I think he has first round or at least sandwich round talent as a pitcher also.

      If he fails to hit he an be converted back to the mound and you can still get a valuable player. That’s a good backup plan to have with a toolsy high schooler.

    • A.D.

      Nice to finally have some CJ Henry news….and that he’s not going to play hoops with his bro

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Yeah, my mistake. I realized after I posted that I meant the Mariners.

  • Ivan

    I would love to get a college hitter with some serious potential like an Ike Davis.

    • A.D.

      I’ve seen him several places (even one projection has him with the yanks), but projected is going more and more to the Mets with their first pick, so I doubt he falls

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    How pissed do you think the Angels are that they did not sign Brian Matusz in 2005? With Ervin Santana finally realizing his potential what a rotation that would have been with Matusz, Nick Adenhart, John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and Jordan Walden.

    • A.D.

      And Joe Saunders, tied for the AL lead in wins riding the pine

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  • AndrewYF

    I’m sad that the Yankees don’t get to have Justin Smoak. What a great name for baseball. Reminds me of a “Baseball Mogul” player I had called Ian Death. He was a monster.

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

      Just think of Sterling. “Justin Smoak’s one!”

      • AndrewYF

        I think Sterling could be more esoteric here.

        “A jokah from the smokah!”

        Or something equally nonsensical.

  • Stylez

    Cole is obviously the best pitcher left still worries me. His delivery is pretty nasty from clips that I seen with…sseemed to scream arm injury down the line..