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Eastern League All-Star Game

On a whim — spontaneity is my middle name, after all — I decided to snag a couple tickets to tonight’s Eastern League All-Star Game (AA) in beautiful downtown Trenton, New Jersey. At least a few of our readers out there aren’t just Google-driven searches stopping by trying to hunt down the latest draft signing updates or gratuitous pictures of pretty girls; we’ve got some hardcore prospect followers who actually keep up with players once they turn pro. I do try my best at staying up with all levels of baseball’s prospectdom, honest, but sometimes trying to track all these players and all these teams and all these levels of competition leaves me disoriented and completely overwhelmed, lost in a sea of seemingly never-ending prospects. Chuck me a life preserver of knowledge and let me know if I’ve overlooked any big names to watch heading into tonight’s game; I’ll be forever grateful. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Northern Division —> Zach McAllister, Anthony Slama, Junichi Tazawa (not playing), Madison Bumgarner (not playing), Brian Jeroloman, Jesus Montero, Josh Thole (not playing), Lars Anderson, Whit Robbins

Southern Division —> Daniel Moskos, Joe Savery, Vance Worley, Hector Rondon (not playing), Alex Avila, Carlos Santana, Brian Friday, Beau Mills, Quintin Berry, Mike Taylor, Nick Weglarz

My attempt to tie this back into the overarching theme of the website — that would be the draft, if the name of the site wasn’t enough of a giveaway — centers on a couple of the college guys I remember well from my days working on the periphery of the baseball industry before I started up the site. Ah yes, those were the days. I remember seeing Jeroloman, Robbins, and Moskos play live and in color on more than a few occasions back in their carefree college years. Come to think of it, those were my carefree college years as well – no student loan payments, no rent checks, no 403(b)’s, no heightened expectations to straighten up and fly right. Those really were the days. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I wrote some nasty things about Jeroloman (couldn’t hit), some glowing things about Robbins (as pretty an amateur lefty stroke as I had seen in person, damn near almost brought a tear to my eye), and some largely apathetic things about Moskos (mechanical issues, little projection left in his arm, inconsistent stuff…but still a varied enough repertoire that I thought he could be a back of the rotation big league starting pitcher with time). It’ll be cool to see how my opinion has changed of each young fella, not to mention the fun it’ll be to check out some of the really big boppers (Montero, Anderson, Santana, Mills, Taylor, and Weglarz) scheduled to appear in the game.

So, who am I missing? Or, who on the list is someone I should pay extra special attention to? Or, should I just skip the game entirely and see what other fun, legal or otherwise, I can conjure up in Trenton on a Wednesday night?

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.