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Signing Thread Updated

Finally got around to updating the signings thread, check it out via the link at the top if so inclined. Because I feel bad about the general lameness of this post (hey, I updated something! = lame), here’s a comment that serves as a quick teaser to some of the 2010 stuff on the way. We’re talking 2010 prep arms here:

Cole and Taillon are 1-2, no doubt, but Whitson, Allie, and Covey are all getting potential first round buzz. I personally loved what I saw on video of Cam Bedrosian. Another big personal favorite of mine is Jesus Valdez, super projectable and already armed with a fastball with sick late life.

I’m also the guy that was telling anybody that would listen (my mom) that Mike Burgess would go higher than Jason Heyward at around this point in the process, so my track record of early projections hasn’t been so great. Hey, I try…

Ha, I actually found my original quote re: Burgess vs Heyward. The internet is a magical place…

As for the question at hand, I personally like Burgess best at this point. The combination of raw power, explosive (though inconsistent) swing mechanics, 94 mph arm strength, playable speed (6.9 60), and baserunning instincts well beyond his years make for a heck of a total package. Heyward and Vitters are both excellent prospects in their own right and any argument supporting either would definitely have merit.

Speaking of Vitters, I’ve really been impressed with him and the group of high school third basemen in general this season. My favorite of that group and minor sleeper come draft day is Victor Sanchez from California. I don’t think I’ll be able to go see any of the top HS third basemen this year in person, but I’d be very interested to see how they stack up against last year’s consensus top high school infielder, Billy Rowell (a player who I was lucky enough to see in person multiple times).

I feel like that quote encapsulates so much of what I’m all about when it comes to the draft. Poor projections (Burgess over Heyward), being too quick to look too far into the future (talking about Sanchez, a prime 2010 draft, back in 2007), and bragging about getting to see a player in person (yes, because seeing Rowell a bunch in high school makes me an expert!). I hope I’ve grown a bit since then, but…I doubt I have. Eh, personal growth is so overrated.

Shadow Drafting – 2007, 2008, and 2009

A quick look back at some of my own brief forays into shadow drafting for the Philadelphia Phillies. This is almost surely one of those pieces that interests me way more than it could ever interest anybody else, but I think it has some value in that it give some sort of idea of which style of player I’ve liked over the past few years. I’d say grabbing guys like Main, Griffith, Melville, and Seaton all within the first two rounds the past two years would qualify as a bit of a draft trend, as would the selections of Jackson, Hood, and Westmoreland. Who knew I was so in love with prep righthanded pitching and super toolsy high school position players? I wouldn’t have said I feel all that strongly about either type of player, but it’s all right there in black and white. Interesting.

2007

1.19 – RHSP Michael Main (LHSP Joe Savery)
1S.37 – SS Justin Jackson (C Travis D’Arnaud)
2.83 – RHSP Nevin Griffith (3B Travis Mattair)

2008

(Republished from another archived Gmail – yes, this is what I email people about…sad, but true)

I tried my hand at the shadowing the Phillies draft this year in real-time. This was what I would have done and not necessarily what I would have guessed the Phillies would do. You can look at it two ways – where the guys wound up getting picked today (semi-useful, but not really) or what will become of these guys years down the road (the better way, but who’s got the patience?). I freaking love Seaton and thought the Phillies would be all over him – they trust their area scouts in Texas above pretty much any other region. I think I like Hood more than Collier personally, but it’s really close. Putnam dropped because of injury or something, Melville due to signability. Westmoreland has a Rocco Baldelli comp (maybe only since both are from Rhode Island), Martinez was a first rounder two months ago who stunk up the joint his senior year and will now most likely go to Miami for college ball, and St. Clair was a teammate of Savery’s at Rice who I’ve been a gigantic fan of for three years now. Amazingly enough, the Phillies and I were of the same mind when it came to picking Hamilton and Shreve…weird stuff, but I like the picks, especially the selection of Shreve, a first round caliber talent who could be the steal of the entire draft (I don’t say that lightly).

1.24 Tim Melville RHP
S.34 Ross Seaton RHP
2.51 Destin Hood OF
2.71 Zach Putnam RHP
3.102 Ryan Westmoreland OF
3.110 Harold Martinez 3B
4.136 Cole St. Clair LHP
5.166 Jeremy Hamilton 1B
6.196 Colby Shreve RHP

Now, real life:

1.24 Anthony Hewitt 3B
S.34 Zach Collier OF
2.51 Anthony Gose OF
2.71 Jason Knapp RHP
3.102 Vance Worley RHP
3.110 Jonathan Pettibone RHP
4.136 Trevor May RHP
5.166 Jeremy Hamilton 1B
6.196 Colby Shreve RHP

2009

I can’t decide if I want to continue doing the Phillies (their first pick is a loooooong wait from the front of the draft) or if I want to choose a different team this year to mix things up. Ideally, the team would have picks in nearly every round at or around the mid-point of each round. This may be a gametime decision.

From the Vault: Woefully Inaccurate 2008 and 2007 MLB Mock Drafts

And now for something totally different…from deep down in my own personal archives (aka a recovered document from my Gmail account), my final mock draft of the 2008 MLB Draft. Yes, in the span of one year I’ve gone from emailing friends and family about the draft to writing about it on a near-daily basis on this little website. Is that progress? Or a sure sign of my mental deterioration? Time will tell!

If you can forgive the Phillies-centric notes, check out how wonderfully wrong I was once things got tricky after pick six in my projected first round of last year’s mock. I figure it’s only fair to give everybody out there a head’s up on my spotty track record in projecting the first round. Enjoy.

I feel pretty good about the first four, but after that all hell breaks loose. White Beckham to Cincy feels right, but beyond that the rest of my top ten could all be wrong-o. Posey is the guy who really makes the top half of the draft funky – he’s the best player to likely fall out of the top four (and in my mind either the second or third best overall anyway), but his bonus demands really make him a wildcard. I have no feel where Hunt will go, but Jim Callis (the best in the world when it comes to forecasting the first round) has him falling to the Phillies at 24. I’ve seen a lot of him on TV this season and he’d be great value at that spot. Picks 11-15 I feel good about, but they’ll of course depend on who rises and falls in the top ten. I’ll say if the board breaks the way I think it will (more or less), those projections will all be on the money. Cubs taking Melville works for me, as does my semi-surprise pick of Perry to Seattle. I have no clue what the Mets are thinking this year – probably a college reliever, catcher, or high upside high schooler combination of some sort, but getting the names to work was a pain. Cashner and Castro fit the reliever/catcher pattern, so that’s what I came up with. Finally, the 24th pick. I have no idea what names the Phillies are targeting for real – normally I can fake the fact that I’m sort of plugged into the home nine’s thinking, but this year is a mystery. When faced with a challenge like that, we work in generalities – big strapping young RHPs and toolsy athletic types, with a supposed 2008 inclination towards getting a more polished college bat who may drop. Hunt fits the first profile (big, raw RHP – even though he is a college kid, he has considerable upside), but other names to consider include high school righthanders Ethan Martin, Tim Melville, Jake Odorizzi, and Alex Meyer. They’ve also been linked to high school bats Hewitt, Zach Collier, and Casey Kelly and the possibility they go college reliever is always out there (I don’t buy the reliever talk at all, but we’ll see). The surprise pick of a college bat would most likely wind up one of the Arizona State guys (Brett Wallace or Ike Davis) or 3B Conor Gillaspie. Ultimately, my giant surprise pick has them going with one of the draft’s most controversial players: Gerrit Cole. Cole is a mess – mechanics are scary, all kinds of reported makeup problems, and he’s a client of Scott Boras. He also has the best fastball in the entire draft and, from a talent alone perspective, would be a giant steal at 24. The first two negatives (mechanics and makeup) won’t worry the Phillies as much as they will other teams (I think), but the last one (Boras) could be a deal breaker. Cole could also be snapped up by the Mets, Cubs, or Tigers right before the Phillies pick. If that’s the case, any of those other guys mentioned (most likely a high school bat, based on the board) could be the man.

1. TB: SS Tim Beckham
2. PIT: 3B Pedro Alvarez
3. KC: 1B Eric Hosmer
4. BAL: LHSP Brian Matusz
5. SF: C Buster Posey
6. FLA: C Kyle Skipworth
7. CIN: SS Gordon Beckham
8. CWS: 1B Justin Smoak
9. WAS: RHSP Aaron Crow
10. HOU: RHSP Shooter Hunt
11. TEX: RHSP Ethan Martin
12. OAK: 1B Yonder Alonso
13. STL: LHSP Christian Friedrich
14. MIN: SS Brett Lawrie
15. LAD: OF Aaron Hicks
16. MIL: SS Casey Kelly
17. TOR: 1B Brett Wallace
18. NYM: RHRP Andrew Cashner
19. CHC: RHSP Tim Melville
20. SEA: RHRP Ryan Perry
21. DET: RHSP Jake Odorizzi
22. NYM: C Jason Castro
23. SD: OF Ike Davis
24. PHI: RHSP Gerrit Cole
25. COL: SS Anthony Hewitt
26. ARI: RHRP Josh Fields
27. MIN: 2B Jemile Weeks
28. NYY: 1B David Cooper
29. CLE: OF Zach Collier
30. BOS: 1B Allan Dykstra

UPDATE! I found my 2007 mock draft as well! This one was actually published for all to see at my old Phillies blog. The 2007 first round, according to me:

1. Tampa – LHSP David Price
2. Kansas City – 3B Josh Vitters
3. Chicago (NL) – RHSP Jarrod Parker
4. Pittsburgh – C Devin Mesoraco
5. Baltimore – LHSP Ross Detwiler
6. Washington – C Matt Wieters
7. Milwaukee – UT Mike Moustakas
8. Colorado – LHRP Dan Moskos
9. Arizona – RHSP Phillippe Aumont
10. San Francisco – LHSP Madison Bumgarner
11. Seattle – LHSP Nick Schmidt
12. Florida – CF Julio Borbon
13. Cleveland – RHSP Blake Beavan
14. Atlanta – OF Jason Heyward
15. Cincinnati – 3B Kevin Ahrens
16. Toronto – 3B Matt Dominguez
17. Texas – RHSP Rick Porcello
18. St. Louis – OF Kyle Russell
19. Philadelphia – RHSP Michael Main
20. Los Angeles – RHSP Matt Harvey
21. Toronto – C J.P. Arencibia
22. San Francisco – 1B Beau Mills
23. San Diego – 3B/OF Todd Frazier
24. Texas – RHSP Chris Withrow
25. Chicago (AL) – SS Justin Jackson
26. Oakland – 1B Matt LaPorta
27. Detroit – RHSP Andrew Brackman
28. Minnesota – OF Michael Burgess
29. San Francisco – SS Pete Kozma
30. New York (AL) – LHSP Joe Savery

Another awful mock if I do say so myself. To somewhat save face, I did say this the morning of the draft:

I have zero doubt that Wieters can stick behind the plate – he excels in all phases of the game defensively, with his rocket arm standing out as a plus plus tool. At the plate, his bat is good enough to play anywhere on the field.

I think Matt Wieters is the best player in the draft this year.

It wasn’t going out on the biggest limb (or would it be tiniest?) ever, but it was at least mildly controversial to suggest he was a better player than David Price back in June of 2007. Heck, it’s still mildly controversial. Alright, that’s it – no more mocks until the first 2010 one is unveiled, I promise.

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