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2009 MLB Draft Live Blog

5:45 PM

How ’bout them Pirates? Tony Sanchez at 4 is flat out insanity, sorry. I get that they are hoping to use some of their player development acquisition cash on the international scene, but it seems like a gigantic risk banking on being able to sign the guys they want on the free market like that. What if Miguel Sano backs out of their agreement and they somehow swing and miss on the other top international prospects? Risky, risky, risky.

I mentioned seeing Dustin Ackley more than any other player in the draft in one of the recent mocks, but Tony Sanchez and I go back almost as far. I probably saw Sanchez play about 30 games at BC and nothing about his game ever screamed front-line ML catcher to me. We’ll see.

I can’t be the only one stunned to see Matt Hobgood’s name connected with Baltimore at 5. I never would have guessed he would be the top prep arm off the bard in a billion years. Bizarre pick.

6:00 PM

Christmas in June. They are really holding the draft in Studio 42? What a hideous set. Jim Callis = Bob Saget. I formed that opinion based on a picture I saw long ago, so even when I see him on video like tonight and realize the comp is a stretch, I can’t get the Saget image out of my head.

6:15 PM

Strasburg to Washington, check. Uninformed speculation and analysis from everybody but Jim Callis, check. Obligatory “I’m 1 for 1” joke re: my mock, check. Here comes Ackley…

6:20 PM

The Case for Dustin Ackley by Dave Cameron is an interesting, though somewhat uneven read. I disagree with Cameron a lot, especially when it comes to prospects and the draft, but his argument is mostly logical. When I saw the headline and the author I was 100% ready for a “Look at me! I’m controversial! Plllllease, look at me!” style of article, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s worth a look, I think.

6:35 PM

I still can’t figure out the Tony Sanchez/Matt Hobgood picks. I maintain that Sanchez is a great backup/decent second division starter and Hobgood strikes me as a guy who may profile best in short bursts out of the bullpen as his body puts on even more weight. It’s no surprise to see the Pirates avoiding top talent in favor of a signable guy, but I’m disappointed in Baltimore. I love what they are building there, but this move doesn’t do it for me.

6:45 PM

LOVE Mike Minor – good enough velocity, plus change, either the curve or the slider will be a plus pitch down the line (I think), great command, very good athlete, smooth delivery, repeatable mechanics, pitched at an outstanding program. This pick will get panned by everybody, but they are wrong – Minor is an absolute keeper. I had him at 18 on my big board, so maybe I’m full of it by saying he was a great pick at 7…but, factoring in signability, it’s a very good, very safe pick.

6:50 PM

Harold Reynolds isn’t surprised that Mike Leake was picked as a pitcher. That’s the kind of analysis only a former big leaguer can provide.

6:55 PM

Jacob Turner really was born to be a David Chadd pick, wasn’t he?

7:00 PM

Let’s see how we’re doing an hour in and ten picks down.

HIT – Strasburg, Ackley, Tate

MISS – The rest

I stink at this.

7:05 PM

Great, gutsy pick by Colorado. Wow. It’s shocking that he fell that far and even more surprising that a team like the Rockies are taking the chance on potentially paying his price tag. Is Matzek the most talented pitcher in franchise history?

I love that they check in with Callis once every 20 minutes or so. Why make the poor guy make the hike to Jersey if you aren’t going to give him actual face time?

7:10 PM

Strasburg – 1
Ackley – 2
Tate – 13
Sanchez – 54
Hobgood – 50
Wheeler – 15
Minor – 18
Leake – 4
Turner – 9
Storen – 51
Matzek – 3
Crow – 11
Green – 8
Purke – 14

Top ten players left on my personal big board: Scheppers, White, Borchering, Miller, Gibson, E. Williams, Skaggs, Dyson, James, Gould

7:20 PM

With the fifteenth pick of the first round, the Cleveland Indians select…

I’m shadow drafting as the Indians this year because a) they pick right smack dab in the middle of each round, and b) I believe the city of Cleveland needs a brilliant mind like me to give them hope.

I’m staying true to my board and rolling the dice on Tanner Scheppers.

7:21 PM

But I won’t knock the real Indians taking Alex White at 15. Sensational pick. White came into the year as the frontrunner to go number two overall to Seattle, so you know he’s naturally gifted. I buy the talk coming out of Carolina that suggested his struggles on the mound this year were due largely to nagging injuries. Get him healthy and watch him take off – White has the upside of a really good big league number two starting pitcher.

7:30 PM

I’m starting to fall into the trap of praising every single pick just like the boobs on TV. I’ll just say that Bobby Borchering was number 7 on my big board so I think he is an outstanding pick for the D’Backs at 16 – he has the best bat of any prep player and I think he’ll stick as a big league third baseman at least until his free agent years (six years service time).

Time to make some guesses on the next five picks

1.18 Florida – Chad James
1.19 St. Louis – Rex Brothers
1.20 Toronto – Shelby Miller
1.21 Houston – Everett Williams
1.22 Minnesota – Tyler Skaggs

7:40 PM

1 for 1 with those 5! Very interesting comment from Joe Hamrahi of Baseball Prospectus that I thought was worth sharing. He said lefthanded starter Mike Minor had a WHIP of 1.80 against lefthanded batters this season. If you remember, I LOVE Minor…but that’s not good to hear.

8:00 PM

It’s good to see that my total lack of mock draft skills is not limited to full first round mocks – my insta-next 5 pick mock was awful, too. 1 out of 5…I’m hitting like your leading NL All-Star shortstop vote-getter, Jimmy Rollins.

There’s no way that Scheppers falls to 75, right?

Besides those two, the next 8 on my big board: E. Williams, Skaggs, Dyson, Gould, Mitchell, Myers, Bailey, Colvin, Younginer

I love the way the Twins draft. They are another one of those teams (like the Marlins) that really could give a darn what anybody else thinks but their own scouts and, in a case like this, doctors. Even if Gibson needs surgery and is out a whole year from this point forward, he’s a great gamble at this point in the round. If only the Phillies had signed him out of high school when they had the chance…

The White Sox are on the clock. Fun fact about your author – at a game in North Carolina one time a very nice scout once let me try on his White Sox 2005 World Series Champion ring, by far the closest I’ll ever get to a World Series ring in my lifetime.

Mitchell to the White Sox, now there’s a perfect fit between player and team if I ever saw one. Jared Mitchell – absolute stone cold mortal lock to play in the big leagues. Fantastic athlete, crazy speed, he’ll develop into a plus or near-plus defender in centerfield…at worst he’s a high-level big league backup. At best, he’s a superstar – his power, speed, and newfound plate discipline (with a few too many K’s sprinkled in) give him as much upside as any position player in the draft.

8:15 PM

In an alternate universe, I’d be really excited to watch the Phillies grab Everett Williams or Tyler Skaggs or Wil Myers with the 27th pick in the 2009 Draft. Of course, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of watching Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back homers against Johan Santana two minutes ago. Ibanez has 20 homeruns so far this year, by the way.

8:20 PM

As of fan of college baseball and a guy who loves getting excited about future drafts, it would be a whole lot of fun to see Tyler Matzek pitch (and hit) at the up and coming Oregon Ducks baseball program. I’m not sold it won’t happen…

I wonder if the Red Sox just stole Reymond Fuentes from the Yankees…

8:40 PM

I know they say live television is way more difficult than the average viewer can comprehend, but come on…Harold Reynolds hasn’t looked at the correct camera one time all evening. LeVon Washington over Everett Williams makes me sad for Tampa Bay. Somebody sell me on Washington because I don’t get why he’s a first rounder.

First round is over and done with. I need a minute to figure out everything that’s happened in the past 2 and half plus hours…thanks for the fifteen minute break, Bud!

9:10 PM

I was totally wrong about Steven Baron to the Mariners. I’m scared to live in a world where a future backup catcher is the top prep backstop taken in the draft. I do love Seattle’s emphasis on defense so far.

Colorado’s draft so far —> Matzek, T. Wheeler, Brothers

Hard to find too much to dislike with those first three picks. I’d be worried about Matzek’s bonus demands and I’m personally not a huge Wheeler fan, but those are relatively small complaints in the grand scheme of things. Super draft for the Rockies on paper.

Aaron Miller was a good prospect coming into the draft, but his stock is way up in my eyes now. If Logan White likes you enough to take you in the supplemental first, you’re alright in my book. Very high upside pick, I’m a fan.

Arizona has now snagged both Borchering and Matt Davidson. Toronto has picked two first round caliber arms, Jenkins and James Paxton. Colorado may now have some competition for best draft so far.

9:25 PM

BIG BOARD UPDATE (Top 20 Available Players) —> E. Williams, Dyson, Gould, Myers, Bailey, Colvin, Younginer, Hale, Stassi, Poythress, Sampson, Gennett, Dwyer, Malm, Renfroe, Dominguez, Fields, Nick, Barrett, Von Rosenberg

9:40 PM

Shadow Draft Update —> I previously took Tanner Scheppers with the 15th overall pick – bit of an overdraft looking back, but I believe in Scheppers actually reaching his immense potential. Now, I’ll pull the trigger on Wil Myers.

Better draft so far – Scheppers and Myers (me) or White and Kipnis (real life Indians)? I like what I’ve done (obviously), but, man, I might have to say I like what the real Indians have done a smidge better. If nothing else, it’s a ton safer.

10:15 PM

The Phillies drafted a player that I considered to be the tenth best draft-eligible high school first baseman with the 75th overall pick in the draft. Let that sink in for a minute. 10th best at his position. High school only. 10th best. Not counting college guys, just high school. 10th best. Here’s what I wrote about Dugan a few weeks back:

Kelly Dugan (California) – my personal dilemma with Dugan is fairly simple…the main reason I have him higher than most is also the thing that scares me from putting him any higher; watch Dugan swing a bat and you can see he has the innate ability to wait, wait, wait…and then snap his wrists through the zone; spin that another way and you can say he lacks appropriate pull power for a first baseman due to a slow bat; a professional conditioning program and a tweak or two to his swing setup could give him that split second of bat speed missing to make him a doubles machine reminiscent of a young Casey Kotchman; I’d take the big money and go forth towards reaching my ultimate dream 99 times out of 100, but if I had a scholarship to play baseball in Malibu for Pepperdine like Dugan has…well, I’d have to think long and hard about that one – we’ll see what he does in a few weeks

I would have taken Wil Myers, by the way.

10:26 PM

Indians Shadow Draft Pick —> RHSP Brody Colvin

10:47 PM

Kelly Dugan and Kyrell Hudson. Unreal. I’m not trying to be a typical Negadelphian here, but…really, what else can you say? Maybe I’m still sore from a tight loss to the Mets tonight, but after the excitement of last year’s draft class, this is a monumental first day letdown. Fortunately, there are still 47 rounds to go. Thank you for indulging me as I’ve gone into full-on homer mode as the night has progressed. Back to regularly scheduled programming as soon I shower away my disappointment…

(Yes, I realize I’m a lousy ingrate who should still be happy as all heck to have a great team in a great park with a great big shiny trophy to stake claim to for at least one more year. I guess that’s what makes tonight so jarring for me – things have gone really well in Philadelphia of late and I was really beginning to believe that the ownership/front office group was one worthy of our trust on draft day. I won’t go as far as to say they aren’t worthy (I can overreact with the best of them, but I’ll do my best to show a little restraint for now), but I will say that, phenomenal 2008 draft class or not, the current regime has done a spotty job at best with high round picks over the past few years. Consider this more a fan venting aimlessly than somebody actually looking to further the conversation with intelligent discourse…for now. Like I said, I need to take a quick break to let this year’s first day soak in)

12:16 AM

Tomorrow night, preliminary draft report cards and quick scouting reports on some of the big names that are falling. I won’t be around until late afternoon, but I think the draft will go on without me so I’ll be jumping right in and catching up on all the coverage after I finish up that pesky day job. It’ll be another casual day tomorrow made up largely of shadow draft updates, quick commentary on interesting picks, whining about the Phillies, mostly halfbaked off the cuff reactions, and, of course, meandering tangents. Sound like a plan?

Hmm…I guess when I say tomorrow night, I actually mean tonight. Time flies on draft day…



  1. baseballguy says:

    Anyone want to turn this off simply because Bud is simply painful to listen to?

    • rfozga says:

      Every time I see his face I get so angry…memories of Game 5.1 boil up inside me and I want to throw something across the room. Sadly, I have to admit I did enjoy the crack about Minor having a fan group – it wasn’t funny per se, but at least it was a rare human comment from the guy, you know? On the whole, this coverage has been awful. Every prospect is great! Awesome pick! Best draft ever!

      Good to see you watching/following, you going to be around a bit?

  2. baseballguy says:

    Thats a lot of simply’s for such a short sentence.

  3. baseballguy says:

    I honestly was just about to say that? Is there a bad pick in the whole draft? Everyone being a good pick only tells me you don’t know what your talking about and you are not willing to put yourself out there saying that someone is bad. I really was about to say that exact thing. Whatever, at least there is coverage, guess we gotta take baby steps. Oh I have locked myself in my office for a while to watch it and do a bit of work while doing so. And I know what your talking about with the Minor fan group comment and it is something that should have been funny but since he doesn’t know how to talk or deliever a joke, well it wasn’t funny. But yup I am around watching and following your updates. I’ll rely on you to let me know when someone makes a terrible pick.

    Inside source: (Timmy Johnson is going to be picked again next, consensus among the commentators – best pick of the draft) Sorry Timmy your still my hero

    • rfozga says:

      Last I checked Tim was playing shortstop for the Camden Riversharks. Maybe I can get an exclusive interview for the site…

      I think it stinks having the draft on a network owned by the league in which the players drafted will be playing in…if you can follow that twisted sentence. MLB needs to protect their most valuable assets (the players), so it’s absolutely in their best interest to pump up each and every draft pick beyond what they are really worth. I miss the days of the draft conference call, but it’s still a good thing to see the draft growing and gaining more of a mainstream audience like this. It’s like your favorite underground band blowing up overnight – it makes it feel less special when the secret is out, but you can’t help but be happy for the guys in the band for finally living their dream. Or something like that…

      Santana v Happ on MLB.TV, you watching?

  4. baseballguy says:

    wow they just cut tony gwynn off mid-sentence… thats just wrong. Chad james… nailed it

  5. baseballguy says:

    oh and as far as happ santana on MLB.TV, I only wish. too poor to get it this year. just following on game tracker. Maybe with the new job once I start getting paid I can make a few purchaces.

  6. baseballguy says:

    How about Raul? I mean honestly, just outta this world so far. Couldn’t have asked for anything more to this point? Well I guess I didn’t really ask for anything so he far exceeded my expectations.

  7. baseballcousin says:

    any word on michael heller??

    • rfozga says:

      The team I keep hearing over and over again is the Pirates. I’m not sure how the pick of Brooks Pounders (he’ll cost a pretty penny to sign) will impact that going forward, but that’s the only scoop I have re: Heller. If I had any pull with the Phillies I’d love to see him as their guy at pick 75…

      • baseballcousin says:

        ooo very interesting…keep me posted on him..he’s my baby cousin 😀

      • rfozga says:

        Wow, very cool. This must be a heck of a moment for the family. Congratulations! I’ll do my best to see if I can find anything out for you.

      • baseballcousin says:

        yep it is…but havent been able to talk to them today since they need to keep the phone line open just in case of anything and I live in miami and he’s in bradenton

        I appreciate any info you can get..thanks!!

      • rfozga says:

        Unfortunately I’ll be late to the party when tomorrow’s continuation of the draft picks back up – apparently I can’t quit my day job just yet. I actually have a decent contact from an old job of mine that I’ll give a call right after work – I’m basically a no-nothing know-it-all, but this guy has worked on the administrative side for a couple different big league teams and is pretty well connected in a pinch. Hopefully he’ll have something worthwhile I can send your way.

        Of course, the real hope (and truthfully what I expect to see) is Michael will be drafted by the time I get back mid-afternoon. If not I’ll be sure to report back on anything I can figure out. Again, best of luck to you, Michael, and the whole family.

  8. baseballguy says:

    So I know this is a draft website but there has been a few Phillies rumblings so I figured I would throw this one out there. How great is it when Utley steps up to the plate against the Mets Ace and the mets fans start chanting “over-rated, over-rated” and chase responds with a simple rope down the right field line for a home run. Is there any better way to get 35,000 people to shut up instantly?

    • rfozga says:

      Definitely a great moment, I just wish the night would have had a happier ending. The bench is truly awful right now and they have way too many useless players on the roster (Bako, Dobbs, Taschner) for a legitimate World Series contender.

  9. baseballguy says:

    Will Myers drafted by who else but the KC Royals. Mike Arbuckle will be missed? Dayton Moore is another GM I know you at least were very fond of back when he was with Atlanta. Thoughts on Hudson? Phils seem to be going with a bunch of high schoolers that are a long ways away from the biggs and need a lot of work. Sorry for you non-phillies fans but I am the one dominating the comments sections so you’ll have to pick up the questions for your teams or suck it up and read mine.

    • rfozga says:

      Step 1: Take a toolsy guy who can’t hit.
      Step 2: Attempt to teach him to hit.
      Step 3: ???
      Step 4: Profit!

      It literally has never worked before for the Phillies, so I have no idea why they think this is a good idea. As much as I dislike the Dugan pick (huge overdraft, totally unnecessary for a big budget club), I hate the Hudson one more. I hate to pile on because, well, it seems like no Phils fan likes this pick, but Hudson has gotten dinged for bad makeup, poor on-field instincts, and, most damning of all, a very weak hit tool. He’s really fast and has a great arm though!

      I sincerely hope neither player signs. I’d gladly take the picks back for next year and try again.

  10. baseballcousin says:

    So you got anything for me?? I’m hearing the pirates but not sure

  11. baseballcousin says:

    ok finally go to talk to them and it pirates in the 29th round yey!!! now to see if they are going to pay him what he

    • rfozga says:

      Oh yeah, sorry! The Pirates took him in the 29th round, 865th overall. Lucky guess on my part, huh?

      So what can we make of all of this? I think there is little doubt that 865th overall is well below where Michael’s true talent level should have gotten him drafted (I’m hardly an expert, but I think I have some clue…and I had him ranked 79th overall), but I’m guessing teams were scared off by his (reportedly) strong commitment to Florida.

      That’s pretty much where things stand now – he’ll negotiate with the Pirates, but if an agreement can’t be reached then he’ll have the option of playing baseball for the Gators or heading to a junior college for a year. If he goes to Florida, he won’t be eligible for the draft again until 2012. If he goes to a junior college, he can re-enter the draft as early as next year.

      No matter what he chooses (and this is something I’m sure you know way more about than I do – keep me posted!), he really can’t go wrong. Draft day is such an exciting day for so many people, I really can’t even imagine what is going through the mind of Michael (or any other drafted prospect for that matter) as he embarks on the next stage of his life. Alright, that was corny but you know what I mean.

      • rfozga says:

        That’s awesome. So I take it he wants to sign, but is willing to go to school if they don’t pay up? Would that be fair to say? I bet the Pirates go after him aggressively, but a lot of what they will do may depend on whether the high school pitchers they selected earlier in the draft agree to contracts or not.

        Oh yeah, another thing about the draft I’m not sure you’ve heard about. They actually just instituted this rule last year, so you’re in luck. According to MLB rules, favorite cousins get 10% of the players signing bonus. Any ideas what you’ll be doing with your potential windfall?

  12. baseballcousin says:

    He is kind of head strong about going to college and playing for UF, but like I said we’ll see. He knows hes worth a pretty penny and has his mind made up of how much he wants and probably isnt going to take a penny less. So I see us going through this in 2012 again..oh boy…I dont know if my heart can take all this excitement…lol..but I get to see him this weekend so I’m very excied.

    and about the 10%..I know for sure I’m his favorite!! so with the amount hes looking for 10% will get me a nice little house..yey or at least pay off the one I’m in now!! LOL!!! I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything! AHHHH too much…I cant believe how fast he grew up!! We are only 6 years apart but still I fed him, changed his diapers, etc and now he may be going to the pirates…wow!!

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