Tuesday, February 27, 2007

AL South Draft Review

Stolen from the Cooperstown blog, here is the draft review, part one of eight. Numbers provided include scouting budgets, round and selection of each pick, age, and my projection of a players' best ML season (AVG/OBP/SLG for hitters, IP/ERA/WHIP for pitchers).

AL South

Kansas City ($3m C, $4m HS)

1/26 Larry Walker (19, RP) -- Not a great first round pick, but not a terrible one either. His 81/50 combo makes him an RP who can go quite often, or a guy who could work in a 6MT. He does appear to struggle with lefties, but he has very good control. With just two effective pitches, it remains to be seen if he will top out as a very good ML setup man, or something less.

2/69 Rick Reid (18, 1B) -- Reid should become a very good major leaguer in a few years. He may not quite make it to all-star status, but he will probably get a solid ten-year career in with his solid numbers and excellent eye.

3/101 Max Plata (21, 2B) -- Plata went back to college for his senior year.

The Royals grabbed a couple other 1B/DH types in Bob Bailey, Gerald Hughes, and Don Greenwood, all of whom (save maybe Greenwood) could become serviceable MLers.

Tampa Bay ($10m C, $0m HS)

1/27 Lance Jennings (20, RP) -- Jennings looks to have all the makings of a very nice ML setup man. Excellent control, tough against righties and solid against lefties, a superb heater and an outstanding hook. The only possible question mark is his propensity to give up fly balls. Barring any unforeseen problems, Jennings should be a quality guy in the pen from about Season 6 through Season 17.
(75 /2.75/1.15)

2/70 Juan Sanchez (21, 2B) -- Sanchez is a speedy 2B with a suspect glove. He doesn't have the glove to play CF either, or the arm to play RF or 3B, so he may turn into an LF/1B type. If that is the case, his numbers don't look nearly as good. However, if he can stay at 2B, maybe for a team that doesn't give up a ton of ground balls to the right side, he could turn into a productive big leaguer.

3/102 Diego Johnson (19, 2B) -- Johnson is unsigned at this time.

The Rays made a decision to forego HS players this year, and end up with a crop of 19-22 year olds that could help them sooner rather than later. They went with several more 2Bs in later rounds, but all seem to have one flaw or another. We'll all be shocked if Tampa's ownership is still in place after say, S8, as they continue to make moves to win now, future be damned.

Texas ($4m C, $4m HS)

1/25 Denny Daniels (21, C/DH) -- Daniels doesn't look to have what it takes to be a major league catcher. Never mind that, as he will have no trouble finding a way into a big league lineup. A prototypical DH, Daniels already has great power and projects to be one of the most prodigious sluggers of all time. Not just a big swinger, Daniels has a decent eye and hits for contact very well. Durable and healthy, and already nearly ready to be in the bigs after three years in the Big Ten, this Michigan Wolverine could put up 500 HRs or more by the time he hangs them up.

2/68 Robert Mann (19, SP) -- Mann's selection was a head-scratcher among GMs. While he seems made to pitch in the bigs, he's got just one problem--he can't get guys out. He has decent stuff but hitters seem to eat him up, especially lefties. He is, however, off to a good start, allowing just one run in 9.2 innings in two starts. Rangers' scouts must've seen something they liked during his one season at Western Wisconsin Technical College.
(won't make it to ML)

3/100 Harry Whitaker (20, RP) -- Whitaker brings excellent control and speed to the table, along with a nice fastball. He gets guys out, but could have trouble in hitters' parks, as he gives up more than his share of fly balls. He will be a solid big leaguer for years, but it remains to be seen if he will be a closer or a setup guy.

4th-rounder Karim Amaro could be a serviceable ML 1B one day, but he won't hit for a ton of power, something most like in their 1B/DH types. Daniels is clearly the key to Texas' S3 draft class.

Memphis ($11m C, $10m HS)

1/14 Moose Bryant (21, 2B) -- Bryant is unsigned.

1/35 Junior Saenz (18, SS) -- There is a lot to like about Saenz. He is projected to be a solid ML SS defensively, while putting up solid numbers with the bat. He hits for contact well and has some speed. He won't be an all-star, but he will be a solid big leaguer for several years.

2/57 Brendan Nixon (18, CF) -- Nixon is also unsigned.

3/89 Pascual Carrasco (18, RF) -- Carrasco has some nice facets to his game, but others that make him flawed, possibly fatally. He has nice range and an excellent arm defensively, with a shaky glove, so he'll either be an excellent 1B or a bad 3B/RF. He has a great eye and could hit for average, but lefties own him. It's hard to imagine Carrasco in an everyday major league role except under the most perfect circumstances.

With two of their top three picks unsigned, the grade is incomplete on the Blues draft class.