Shadowing the Mock Draft

Ever try to pitch the ninth inning with bile in your throat?
Stadium setup stymieing autograph hounds

Every year over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels recruits his dedicated readers to serve as scouting directors for each of the 30 MLB clubs, and he hosts a mock draft the weekend before the actual draft. Two years ago I acted as the Yanks’ scouting director, taking Andrew Brackman in the first round just like Damon Oppenheimer & Co. did a few days later. I’m not normally one to toot my own horn, but I want to point out that my fourth rounder, Rick Hague (presently at Rice), is looking like a late first/early second rounder for the 2010 Draft. So yeah, I rock.

I didn’t take part in the mock draft last year because of the time commitment, instead opting to review the draft after the fact and making my picks then. I somehow ended up taking high school pitchers from Kentucky with my first three picks, not exactly conventional. But that’s besides the point, the important thing is that doing the mock draft that way was much easier for me, albeit not as fun.

I’m not sure why, but the mock draft only ran three rounds this year (it’s been five rounds in the past), so the Yanks only got to make two picks. The Yanks’ scouting director didn’t show up, so Sickels picked for them. Here are my picks vs. his.

Round 1, Pick 29
Actual Pick: Matt Hobgood, RHP, California HS
Mike’s Pick: Hobgood

All of the guys that we’ve heard may fall because of signability – Matt Purke, Donavan Tate, Tanner Scheppers – were off the board, but Hobgood was still too good to pass up. I also considered guys like Slade Heathcott and Reymond Fuentes, but Hobgood is a legit first rounder with a premium power arm and big, durable frame. You can see his scouting video here. Not much to add, love the pick.

The Yanks don’t have a sandwich round selection, but you can see the picks here.

Round 2, Pick 76
Actual Pick: Jake Barrett, RHP, Arizona HS
Mike’s Pick: Brooks Raley, LHP, Texas A&M

The guy I really wanted to take, California prep outfielder Jake Marisnick, went to the Phillies one pick before the Yanks, a great pick for them. Raley is a nice consolation prize though, a draft eligible sophomore with quite a bit of projection remaining in his 6′-3″, 185 lb frame. A two way star, he’s better on the mound than in the outfield thanks to his high-80’s fastball and low-80’s curve that he commands exceptionally well. His changeup is a work in progress. Given his athleticism and wiry frame, it’s easy to envision him filling out and adding another four of five miles an hour to his heat, which combined with his command would take him from a very good to an elite southpaw prospect.

Barrett would have made a fine pick as well – big righty with a heavy fastball and a tight curve that he can drop for strikes – but I just prefer Raley’s arm from the left side. You can see Raley’s scouting video here, and Barrett’s here.

The Yanks don’t have a third round pick because of the AJ Burnett signing, but you can see the picks here.

So yeah, having just two picks is kinda lame, but it’s still fun to put yourself in the Yanks’ shoes.

Ever try to pitch the ninth inning with bile in your throat?
Stadium setup stymieing autograph hounds
  • the artist formerly known as (sic)

    In regards to Hobgood, I have a few comments.

    (1) that fastball he threw about 20-21 sec into the video was nasty. 94 mph, but it moved, so was it a 2 seamer? if so…damn.

    (2) not wild about the kid’s frame – he looks…ahh..fat. not to say hefty pitchers can’t be successful, but you’d prefer someone in peak shape, no?

    (3) mechanically he is not too bad at all. great arm action, good, easy delivery. he locks his front leg as he is following through, much like joba. im not wild about that maneuver at all, because it increases the load on the knees over time. maddux and co. never did it. i also think his follow-thru is very abbreviated, which could lead to shoulder trouble as his career progresses. but given the mechanics of other top-round talents (like gibson), these are somewhat minor and fixable concerns.

    all of that to say, what are the odds he falls?

    • Chris

      He’s not fat, just festively plump.

      • Thomas

        He’s not fat, just festively plump.


    • A.D.

      With point 2, you can get him on a workout program, a guy can always shed weight, can’t always throw 94 with movement.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Overweight and undrafted out of West Hills High in suburban San Diego, and initially unwanted by the Aztecs coach — the aforementioned Gwynn — Strasburg was the pet project of pitching coach Rusty Filter and strength coach Dave Ohton. Filter called Strasburg “a good athlete in a bad body,” and Ohton set out to reshape him. As a freshman, Strasburg dropped 30 pounds and gained 10 mph, and in the process, he developed a mental toughness that causes scouts to grade his makeup as off the charts.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          Wait. Wait. I thought developing strength and muscle as a teenager ages is a sure sign of steroid use.

          /Selena Roberts’d

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Did you see that spread in The San Diegan where Strasburg is kissing himself in the mirror? What a pathetic display of narcissism from an obvious juicer scumbag.

  • V

    I don’t think the mock drafters paid as much attention to signability as they should have.

    Turner to the Giants? Greene to the Tigers? Scheppers to the Tigers? Tate to the A’s??? Purke to the Diamondbacks????

    Yeah, I think these are all going to be wrong.

    • CB

      They’ve done the same thing in the past. The people selecting either didn’t take signability into account at all or were wildly optimistic regarding who their favorite team would pick/ how much money they’d spend.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Turner to the Giants? Greene to the Tigers? Scheppers to the Tigers Rockies? Tate to the A’s??? Purke to the Diamondbacks????


      Yeah, those were a little farfetched. I could see Greene to the Tigers and Tate to the A’s, though, I think those are doable; they’re position players and i think both those clubs would spend the extra dough for them.

      Purke to the Diamondbacks is lunacy, though.

  • V

    Btw, I’ve heard that Turner’s falling due to bonus demands. No way he makes it to #29, though that’d be awesome.

    If the Yankees could somehow, somehow, end up with two out of Turner/Purke/Gibson/Scheppers, that’d be an amazing first two rounds.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Kentrail Davis at #55 to the Giants?

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      fonetic alfabet ftw :)

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I took Strasburg and Harper in my mock draft. It was only me and my 94 year old grandmother who participated, but nonetheless, I thought I did well.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’m still hoping we just take Strasburg at #29 and then outbid the Nationals. 7 years, 100M.

      They’ll never see it coming.

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m still dreaming of Donavan Tate at some point.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I think the most realistic point where we could get Donovan Tate is probably 2018.

    • kSturnz

      It would be pretty sweet to have a Stantonesque prospect coming up, indeed

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Nationals will select Tate Donovan with their #10 pick.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        (golf clap)

        Maybe we can take Keith David at #29 and David Keith at #76.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          I have always thought that those two should do a Buddy/cop movie together. It could be called “Black and White”.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I’d pay $11.50 for that.

            Keith David and David Keith >>> Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke >>> Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte >>> Bill Cosby and Robert Culp >>> Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson >>> Lawrence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin >>> Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins >>> Marlon Wayans and Adam Sandler >>> Shaq and Steve Nash

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              The twist would be that Keith David’s character would ne named “Det. Marc White” and David Keith’s character would be named “Det. Lance Black”.
              They both fall in love with Halle Berry’s character, “Valerie Grey”.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I like it. Give me Joe Pesci and John Salley to be their nutty sidekicks, and James Marsden in a thick, German accent as the neo-cyberterrorist villain and let’s greenlight this son of a bitch already.

                If you can shoehorn in Lauren London as Det. White’s attractive daughter who flirts with Det. Black throughout the movie and ends up getting kidnapped and then rescued, all the better.

                • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                  Someone get Ben’s father on the line now!!!

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I saw a couple mock drafts we’ll be getting this Andrew Oliver guy. Apparently he has a 98 MPH fastball, but does anyone have a detailed scouting report on him?

    • A.D.

      He has an 80 winning lawsuits against the NCAA tool.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        He’s got no projectability in it, though. It’s not gonna become any better, what you see is what you get.

        • A.D.

          But he’s already the greatest ever.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Andy Oliver >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MaAndy Oliver >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Maurice Claretturice Clarett

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Bah, stupid double paste. Epic fail.

              Andy Oliver >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Maurice Clarett

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Mike, if we take and sign Hobgood and Raley, would our top pitching prospect list be:

    1.) McAllister
    2.) Brackman
    3.) Hobgood
    4.) Betances
    5.) Raley
    6.) Bleich
    7.) ManBan
    8.) Heredia

    That sound right?

    • Am I the only Kevin?

      Just talking out of my butt here … my list would be:

      1.) Brackman
      2.) McAllister
      3.) Bleich
      4.) ManBan
      5.) Betances
      6.) Hobgood
      7.) Raley
      8.) Heredia

      Give the benefit of the doubt to the guys who have shown success or potential in pro ball, with an eye toward projectability. ManBan goes way up on my list due to age and success, while Brackman displaces McAllister purely because he has the highest ceiling in the organization.

      I would consider dropping Betances a bit, but am hoping he comes back strong from the forearm strain.

  • Doug

    Callis and Manuel just had a mock over at BA. They’ve got us with Heathcott. Also, have us linked to possible big-money deal with David Renfroe in a later round

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Nick Franklin at #10. Intriguing. Manuel’s logic seems sound, though.

      I’ll go off the board here and take Florida prep shortstop Nick Franklin at 10. Why? First, when you have to do something like this—where money is a huge factor—I think you stick to some scouting truisms. Take an up-the-middle player. Take a player whose bat you can believe in. Take a good-makeup guy. Scouts in Florida say Franklin fits all those parameters and he finished very well in Sebring at the Florida high school all-star games. For me, he’s the top prep shortstop in the draft because his bat is better than Jiovanni Mier’s. So Franklin’s my guy.

    • Stryker

      saw that. at this point i’m coming back down to earth and keep telling myself these mock drafts are insane. we can speculate and theorize until the cows come home but tomorrow is when all the action goes down. only Mo knows who will fall due to signability/health concerns and who will/won’t be taken. if i we can come away with any of purke/gibson/renfroe/heathcott in the first two rounds i’d consider the draft a success.

      • Stryker


        and by “we” i mean the yankees, obviously. i know i’ve said it a lot before, but the angels and the mariners could come away with some scary good players in this draft.

      • Doug

        don’t know much about this renfroe guy as klaw doesn’t have him in his top 100. what’s the goods on him?

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      I’m liking Heathcott more and more each day.

  • Mike R. – Retire 21

    KLaw on ESPN News in 5 minutes.

    • Doug

      what did mr. law have to say?

  • Tim

    Is it unrealistic to think that the Yankees could get either Renfroe or Purke? Maybe both, no way right?

    • Mike R. – Retire 21

      Anything is possible with the MLB draft…well almost anything.

  • Tim

    Is Slade Heathcott’s real name Zach?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The fact that Google searches for both Slade Heathcott and Zachary Heathcott mention HS outfielders from Texarkana, TX would lead one to believe that yes, they’re the same person.

      • Tim

        Ha, yeah I know I can use Google. It was a stupid question.

      • A.D.

        His agent told him to use Slade, raised his draft status at least 10 picks.

        Nails >>>>>>>>> Alex

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


          Brooks Pounders is probably going to be drafted 10-15 spots higher than he deserves on his name alone.

          If Joba Chamberlain’s name was still Justin, all this “He pumps his fists too much!” would probably be a relative non-story.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            He will tell everyone he was named after Brooks Robinson, but truthfully he was named after Albert Brooks.

  • JohnC

    If we end up with Heathcott and Renfroe with our first 2 picks, I’d be pretty happy.

    • Chip

      No doubt but I’d love to get me a Gibson/Purke/Scheppers and maybe pick up Renfroe the second day as he starts falling due to wanting a huge paycheck

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Any chance the Yankees take Austin Austin from Stephen F. Austin High in Austin, Texas?

  • Bill

    joe kelly would be an outstanding pick in the second round. he might have the nastiest stufff in the draft outside of stasburg

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