Where do we go from here? I’ve got some ideas for the next few days that I think will be worth a read including, but not limited to:
- Another “Live” Blog Covering Day 3
- 2009 MLB Draft Grades (including best/worst pick, closest to bigs, best tools, and anything else I can think of)
- Best Pick by Round (1-50)
- 2010 Mock Draft (never too early)
- A Full Night’s Sleep!
It’s not actually live, but it’s live to me as I’ve just now gotten home to check in all of the picks so far. I’m going to pretend like it’s live for the sake of my shadow drafting (wouldn’t want to be tempted to skip ahead and see who falls where so I could adjust my picks) and, well, because I’m a dork and I’ve been looking forward to this all day/week/month/year.
James Jones to Seattle with the second pick of the second day is a darn good one. Drafting him as a hitter rather than a pitcher, well, that part I question. Back in February I had Jones listed as the top collegiate lefthanded starter and 12th best college player overall. Whoops. That was a mistake, clearly, as he tumbled down draft boards with a seemingly endless string of ineffective starts all spring long, but his raw talent (mid-90s fastball) and plus athleticism haven’t disappeared. This isn’t a great comparison, but Jones reminds me a college version of 2008 Phillies draft pick Anthony Gose. Interesting that both two-way players were drafted as outfielders and not pitchers.
Mark Fleury in the fourth round? Good for him. Here’s the quick report on him from March:
- Above-average power, strong throwing arm, and a solid defensive reputation make Fleury an easy top ten collegiate catching prospect; plenty of experience catching hard throwing future professionals a nice perk; finally given a shot at catching full-time for UNC, Fleury is in prime position to vault up draft boards in the coming months
I didn’t think he’d rise quite this high and it may be an overdraft by two rounds or so, but he has enough ability to be a part-time catcher at the big league level.
Colorado’s already fantastic draft gets even better with the addition of one of the best old guys in this year’s draft, Kent Matthes. The Rockies get themselves a four year college player who is has better tools than most senior signs. Another perk: Matthes is a sure-fire sign as a college senior, so there’s one less contract negotiation headache (and potentially a few saved bucks) to deal with when it gets down to signing Matzek.
My big board is getting pounded all of a sudden – Matthes, Dwyer, Stassi, Doyle all go off the board in a row. I’ve got one minute to figure out who I want for the Indians shadow pick. Hold on…
5:06 PM (SHADOW DRAFT PICK)
RHSP Sam Dyson – that’s my pick for Cleveland at 4.125. First round caliber arm, third round quality performances (at times), but my love of velocity wins out in the end.
Some team/player fits just feel right. Scott Bittle to the Yankees? Nope, doesn’t work. Bittle to the Cardinals? Now we’re talking. The Ole Miss bullpen ace/sometime starter with the devastating cutter didn’t sign with New York last year, but will join the Cardinals organization in the coming days/weeks.
How can you not love a player from a nearby school getting picked by the local team? The Twins pick of Golden Gophers star middle infielder Derek McCallum is the perfect fit in a lot of ways – the obvious geographic connection, the gigantic organizational need for the Twins, and a style of player that ought to thrive playing within the constraints of Minnesota’s small ball approach. I’m a little mad I didn’t grab McCallum with my last shadow draft pick, I’m hurting for middle infielders right about now.
Very surprised to see Warren go this high. Even more surprised to see him going to the Yankees. I’m going to opening night in the NYPL this year (Staten Island v Brooklyn), so maybe I’ll get a chance to see Adam Warren make his first professional start. Quick scouting report from mid-March:
Pitchability is his calling card but Warren features a playable fastball as well; better K numbers every year indicate the incremental improvements in his stuff that could make him more than just a good senior sign; conservatively a safe bet to go in the top ten rounds, but could sneak closer to the sixth or seventh with a good senior season
Tampa seems like they have this whole draft thing figured out sometimes, don’t they? I know, I know – the only reason they got good was because they were so bad for so long and stocked up on really high picks. It’s a great story…too bad it isn’t true. Using your high first rounders on impact guys certainly helps speed up the rebuilding process, but picks like this one (Luke Bailey in the fourth) separate the great drafting teams from the good.
Not sure if that’s a fully developed point or not, but it’s getting harder and harder to say “great gamble of a pick – this player who fell for (fill in the blank reason) has the stuff to be a big league starter if he puts it all together” in creative ways. It’s also hard to pan picks because at this point we’re getting close to personal preference territory. I may not like a guy, but in the later rounds it’s easier to see the other side of a team’s drafting argument.
I had Miami’s Jason Hagerty as a 10+ Round sleeper (meaning he’d go round 10 or later), but the Padres snap him up here in the fifth. Even though I had him as a later round sleeper, I can’t fault the Padres for identifying their guy and taking him when they knew they could get him. Hagerty will be an excellent backup catcher for a big league team some day. He’s my kind of backup catcher, too – big power, good patience, low average, switch-hitting, and versatile (to some extent) on defense.
Austin Wood throwing 439 pitches without being properly stretched out to do so in that one game was not good for his arm. I hope even those most dismissive of protective pitch counts can at least agree on that. However, I can’t help but wonder how amazingly good that game was for his draft stock. I may not be giving big league front offices enough credit here, but after he threw those 439 pitches (just an estimate, by the way – I lost track after 425) the name Austin Wood became one of the most talked about in the entire draft practically overnight. Could a big league front office really be that easily swayed? I can easily envision a handful of teams moving Wood up a couple pegs on their draft board after that relief appearance. Here’s what I said about him a few weeks back:
- 2009: Austin Wood (SR) – LHRP
A rubber-armed closer capable of pitching multi-inning games (Ed. Note: Ha!), Wood has a tremendous work ethic and plenty of big game experience. He doesn’t throw particularly hard and he doesn’t have have a shutdown breaking ball, but he throws from a modified sidearm slot that lefthanded batters have a very tough time dealing with. It’s easy to typecast Wood as a LOOGY and nothing more going forward, but his success as both a multi-inning closer and starting pitcher during his career at Texas should afford him the opportunity to at least get a chance in middle relief as a pro. He’s another mid-round candidate that will be drafted more for organizational depth than anything, but he has a shot at a big league career if drafted by the right team.
Shadow draft pick for the Indians is prep 1B Jeff Malm at pick 155. I’m at the point where I have a list of guys I want, but the ones I think will fall are the ones I don’t think I could realistically take if they do…if that makes sense. The longer a player falls down the board, the greater the likelihood that he decides to forgo the pros and try his hand at college. I think Malm is signable in the fifth, so I’ll take the plunge.
If you had Ryan Jackson to the Cardinals in a pre-season first round mock draft, raise your hand. Come on, I know somebody out there must have had the Cards grabbing the slick fielding Miami product that early. They took him at pick 159 just now (well, not just now…hours ago, but again this isn’t a “live” live blog, remember?), a spot in the draft that more properly aligns with his talent level. For the record, I’m not a fan of Jackson’s game in the least. I’m darn near positive he’ll never hit enough to start, and his much hyped defense has been far too frequently hot and cold for my liking. To me he’s a poor hitting, inconsistent fielding shortstop. I know I’m in the minority re: Jackson’s D, but that’s what I’ve seen and heard from people I trust. We’ll see.
Again, players and teams sometimes just align too perfectly. All 5-9, 180 of Ryan Schimpf was born to be a Blue Jay. I can’t quite explain why, but it works for me.
I’ve been lax on my Phillies shadow draft updates because they are very closely aligning with my Indians picks. Here’s what I have so far with the Phils:
2.75 – C Wil Myers
3.106 – RHSP Brody Colvin
4.137 RHSP Sam Dyson
5.167 1B Jeff Malm
Is D’Vontrey Richardson signable at this point? If so, very appealing pick by Milwaukee. When do the other two football players (Jake Locker and Riley Cooper) go off the board?
Pittsburgh, I take it all back. Well, not all of it…but most of it. The Pirates front office has done a masterful job of waiting on some seriously talented prep arms who have fallen right into their laps. Brooks Pounders was one of my favorite Day One picks when you factor in talent/pick selected; Zack Von Rosenberg falls into the same category here in the fifth. A deal has already been worked out with Sanchez, so now it’s time for the Pirates to go warp speed ahead with their negotiations with these two.
At one point way back, one could have made the argument that Matt Graham should have been in the running to go to the Giants with the sixth overall pick. Baseball is a funny game, but the draft is funniest of all – the Giants gladly grab the ultra-talented righthanded pitcher with the 177th overall selection.
Oh no, Daniel Fields is off the board. Now I just have to hope the last high round middle infielder I want falls to me in a few picks…
6:15 PM (Shadow Draft Update)
At pick 6.185, I’m taking SS Scooter Gennett. He’s one of “my guys,” even though his stock has taken a beating over the past few weeks. I think he’ll be a starter in the big leagues (probably at second, maybe at third) and a good one at that.
Interesting that the Hurricanes have had their top two catchers taken in back-to-back rounds here in the 5th and 6th.
The Pirates do it again at the top of the seventh round. Trent Stevenson is a fantastic value at this point. If they sign Pounders, Von Rosenberg, and Stevenson, that would be one incredible influx of young pitching talent.
6:20 PM (Shadow Draft Update)
My 7th round selection for the Indians is RHSP Madison Younginer. I think he’s the last player that I can realistically take this late and still get away with him signed. I’m unintentionally loading up on righthanded pitching (4 out of 7 picks are RHSPs), but you have to stay true to the board.
Brody Colvin to the Phillies! The first real life pick by the team that I can say I love, without reservations. Their is tons of talk about him being close to a done deal at LSU, but that’s nothing an overslot bonus can’t overcome. Get it done, boys.
6:25 PM (Shadow Draft Update)
The 8th round brings OF Cohl Walla to the organization. Another potentially difficult sign, but I’ll roll the dice yet again. I think I need a college guy or two to finish this thing off.
6:40 PM (Shadow Draft Update)
Looks like there is a run on college guys, so I’ll jump in and take one to call my own. The pick is Erik Castro, third baseman from San Diego State. He gets the nod over Cincinnati’s Mike Spina, but I had to think long and hard about it.
6:55 PM (Ben Theriot Update!)
Round nine features a ton of big-time college athletes flying off the board including Trevor Coleman (Missouri), Brock Holt and Ryan Berry (Rice), Evan Crawford (Indiana), Brian Pearl (Washington), Wes Musick (Houston), Preston Guilmet (Arizona), Ben Orloff (UC Irvine), Gavin Brooks (UCLA), and Kendal Volz (Baylor). Berry and Coleman were at one time considered potential late first rounders, Volz was almost a sure-fire first round pick coming into the year, and, most intriguingly, Brooks was once considered one of the very best (we’re talking top 10 easy, maybe top 5) players in the entire class.
I love seeing college guys getting their due on draft day, so I’m happy for every last one of the players listed. Of course I have to admit that the pick of Texas State catcher Ben Theriot makes me happier than just about any other selection in the draft. Congratulations go out to Ben and the entire Theriot family. I can’t wait to continue to follow Theriot’s career as a professional…expect regular updates!
Round ten finishes up with my last shadow draft selection – OF Jake Locker, aka the University of Washington’s star quarterback. If you’ve followed this site at all, you had to know he was going to be my last pick. I doubt he is signable, but his tools are so great that I’m willing to try. If not for Locker, I would have popped another personal favorite, prep C Josh Leyland. I’m not sure if I mentioned this explicitly or not, but I did have a reason for doing a pair of shadow drafts. I wanted to do one for this site specifically (the Indians one), but I wanted to maintain my streak of shadow drafting for the Phillies for my own pleasure. I didn’t plan on the two drafts being almost identical, but I didn’t have a single player drafted between the Indians and Phillies pick like I had anticipated. Final Shadow Draft results:
1.15 RHSP Tanner Scheppers
2.63 C Wil Myers
3.94 RHSP Brody Colvin
4.125 RHSP Sam Dyson
5.155 1B Jeff Malm
6.185 SS Scooter Gennett
7.215 RHSP Madison Younginer
8.245 OF Cohl Walla
9.275 3B Erik Castro
10.305 OF Jake Locker
2.75 C Wil Myers
3.106 RHSP Brody Colvin
4.137 RHSP Sam Dyson
5.167 1B Jeff Malm
6.197 SS Scooter Gennett
7.227 RHSP Madison Younginer
8.257 OF Cohl Walla
9.287 3B Erik Castro
10.317 OF Jake Locker
Time for me to catch up on on rounds 11-30. Not sure what kind of stuff I should throw up on the site in the coming days (draft report cards, naturally), so I’m open to suggestions – anything you want to see?
- RHSP Sam Dyson
- C Luke Bailey
- RHSP Brody Colvin
- RHSP Madison Younginer
- C Max Stassi
- RHSP Keyvius Sampson
- SS Scooter Gennett
- LHSP Chris Dwyer
- 1B Jeff Malm
- SS Daniel Fields
- SS David Nick
- RHSP Zack Von Rosenberg
- C Mike Ohlman
- C Tucker Barnhart
- C Josh Leyland
- 2B Derek McCallum
- OF Cohl Walla
- C Austin Maddox
- C Miles Hamblin
- OF Todd Glaesmann
- RHSP Mike Nesseth
- RHSP Andrew Doyle
- RHSP Ryan Buch
- RHSP Michael Heller
- RHSP Scott Griggs
- LHSP Brooks Raley
- RHRP Jason Stoffel
- OF Kent Matthes
- OF Angelo Songco
- OF Brian Goodwin
- RHSP Sean Black
- RHSP AJ Morris
- 1B Jonathan Singleton
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.
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.
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.
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)
(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
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.
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.