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With the 39th Overall Pick…

This should hardly come as a surprise, but lately I’ve been having difficulty coming up with original ideas to write about. To remedy that, I sat myself in a dark room, put on some Enya, closed my eyes, and tried to focus on the most pressing draft concern whacking around inside my skull. Nineteen hours later, it hit me. One of my favorite things to do, something I do with baseball, basketball, and football each year, is create a really quick, informal big board that ranks every amateur draft prospect up until my favorite team first goes on the clock. The lists are somewhat team specific — for example, an Eagles version for the 2011 NFL Draft might have a defensive back or two higher than they’d be on a more general big board — but they work to give an overarching idea of how I value particular players in any given draft. Last year, as a fan of the Sixers, it was pretty simple ranking the 2010 NBA Draft’s top two prospects. This year, thanks to the regular season success of the Phillies and their signing of free agent starter Cliff Lee, my personal MLB Draft prospect list needs to be 39 players deep.

Despite sometimes trying to fake my way through, I really don’t consider myself an authority on the draft in any way. Some have asked if this site is a means to an end for me, and, if so, what exactly would I like that end to be. It may sound disingenuous, but I literally have no aspirations for this site beyond what it currently is. Sure, I want to write more, write better, and continue to tinker with how the material is presented, but, beyond all that, this is more than enough for me. Also doesn’t hurt that nothing bigger or better is on the horizon. For me, covering the draft is a fun way to blow off steam. My hope is this recent rediscovery (novel idea: write what I find fun and interesting, not what I think I should be writing) will help with my nasty case of blogger’s block. A list like this would typically be deemed unworthy of the site and instead sent to one of my similarly obsessed baseball friends, but now I’m thinking what the heck…

***

JR RHP Alex Meyer from the University of Kentucky got me thinking over the weekend. His 2011 numbers are outstanding (only quibble would be his higher than you’d like BB total) and the scouting reports have been largely unchanged going on three years now (plus fastball, inconsistent breaking ball that flashes plus, huge command issues). Many of the buzz words that describe him could also describe any number of hard throwing potential bullpen conversion candidates like John Stilson, Anthony Meo, Carson Smith, Kyle McMyne, Jack Armstrong, Carter Capps, Ian Gardeck, Jeff Ames, Burch Smith, Austin Wood, and Dixon Anderson: pro body, strong performance, 1.5 plus pitches, considerable upside, sometimes unclear where the ball is going. Sorting where Meyer stands amongst those players is something that will come in due time, but, for the time being, far simpler question: if Alex Meyer were available at pick 39, the first pick of my favorite team, would I be excited to see said favorite team, the Phillies, announce his name? My first impression is, yes, he’d be an interesting risk to take at pick 39 with the an upside that rivals that of many of his supplemental round contemporaries. My second impression is, no, pick 39 is too early to roll the dice on a pitcher more likely to wind up in the bullpen than in the rotation. Both thoughts might be too simplistic in their analysis, but you get the idea. Judging players in a vacuum is interesting, but unrealistic; the whole point of holding a draft is to compare and contrast players within the context of their peers, right? To do that, we must rank ’em up. I’d take any one of these guys with the 39th overall pick, thank you very much…

Super Early Top 39

RHP Sonny Gray

RHP Taylor Jungmann

RHP Gerrit Cole

RHP Trevor Bauer

LHP Jed Bradley

LHP Danny Hultzen

LHP Matt Purke

RHP Matt Barnes

LHP Tyler Anderson

LHP Andrew Chafin

RHP Archie Bradley

RHP Taylor Guerrieri

RHP Kyle Smith

RHP Dylan Bundy

RHP Michael Kelly

RHP Dillon Howard

LHP Daniel Norris

LHP Henry Owens

LHP Jake Cave

C Andrew Susac

C/1B CJ Cron

2B Levi Michael

2B Kolten Wong

3B Anthony Rendon

OF George Springer

OF Jackie Bradley

OF Brian Goodwin

OF Mikie Mahtook

C Blake Swihart

C Austin Hedges

SS Francisco Lindor

SS Phil Evans

3B Chris McFarland

3B Javier Baez

OF/3B/1B Travis Harrison

OF Bubba Starling

OF Josh Tobias

OF Brandon Nimmo

OF Josh Bell

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