Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Annual Draft Review – Season 4

As a prologue, I wish to comment on quality and quantity of players in the draft.

Basically, HBD generates a specified number of a certain quality of prospects. And as a general average they are divided fairly equally between College & HS areas. I don’t believe it’s possible to see the entire group of solid, good or great prospects even if you spent 20 in both areas (though you’d most likely see 90% or so).

Now, the system generates 4-6 guys that will project overall into the 90s. Another 6-8 that will project into the 80s. Then you have about a dozen that will project into the high 70s and then you have another dozen that will project to be solid MLers (low 70s). It goes down from there etc.

So essentially if you are in the bottom 4-6 picks…the best you can realistically hope for is a solid future MLer, but you never know. Of course the positions of these players and their signability are completely random. Which means you might get a year when these future superstars are at a high risk not to sign and other years….. Also years when there are a lot of pitchers that will be really good and very few really good positional guys; and of course the reverse may very well happen too. Also you have to remember that just because a guy’s potential overall rating is really good, doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a MLer! I’ve seen guys who have an overall rating over 80 (especially pitchers) who are barely ML quality and still others who’s overall isn’t over 70 (usually DH/1B/C) be an all star. So… go figure.

The draft (pick of the draft was a REAL tough choice!!)
(Have added this season: Red Herring of the Draft)

1 Washington D.C. Blue Coats (NL)
SP – Carter Leonard: This guy has the potential to be future ace of the Washington starting rotation. Great stamina, controls, splits, velocity……. Only slight down fall here is only 4 pitches and 1 is of a poor quality.But with the rest of package this ain’t really a major issue in my opinion. Rating 9.75/10

2 Jacksonville Vipers (AL) PICK OF THE DRAFT
SP – Fausto Almanza: This is the first time I think I’ve seen ‘my’ pick of the draft so high in the draft. In my view Fausto is very slightly better than Carter due to an overall better pitch quality and make up rating. His only negative point… health is a little below average and serious injuries can kill pitchers. Rating 10/10

3 Seattle Killer Whales (AL)
CF – Watty Miller: Well, it really was a close call for ‘my’ pick of the draft and Watty made a really strong case for that honour too!!! If his arm was stronger…. Looks like Seattle will groom him for CF (good idea arm not strong enough for infield). This guys potential hitting ratings are... well... scary!!! I really glad he’s in the AL, because I think Seattle has a impact player of the future here. Rating 9.75/10

4 Austin City Limits (NL)
SP – Vladimir Bibby: Vlad should become a solid #2-3 starter in the Austin rotation if they can get his ratings to their potentials. While none of his pitches project into the 80s or 90s (which may keep him from the #1 role); still he’ll be a good ML pitcher with solid control and splits etc. Rating: 8.5/10

5 Buffalo Blue Cheese (AL)
SP – George Hurst: Here is very solid future addition to the Buffalo starting rotation. Maybe the stopper (Ace), but I see him in the #2 spot for sure. This youngster should have all the tools for the spot, good control, decent split, respectable pitch quality… The only minor thing health a little low but... not a big problem. Rating 8.0/10

6 New Orleans Voodoo (NL)
SP – Santiago Perez: Another one of the fine crop of future starters this draft offered. Even though Perez’s overall rating may be better than Hurst’s. I’d say they are fairly even. The overall rating of pitchers is still some what slanted toward stamina (not as much as it was when HBD first came out). Still a solid pick and should be a good addition to the Voodoo rotation when the time comes. Rating 8.0/10

7 Colorado Spring Chickens (AL)
SP – Hector Manto: Hector is a flame throwing SP and possible K leader once he gets to the majors. Not only his potential velocity high but so is his control (unusual combination to say the least). His splits are decent but not great and he’s only got 3 pitches… Still Hector should make an impact when he’s ready for The Big League. Rating 8.5/10

8 Philadelphia Phantoms (NL)
2B/3B – Brian Sweeney: The 2nd positional taken in the draft. Brian should be a solid A/S calibre MLer. He’ll hit for a decent average and will have decent power #s too. While listed as a SS, his glove and range will not be up to ML standards for that position (especially with fielding update done recently). Still he’ll make a solid 2B or 3B. Rating 8.0/10

9 Little Rock Raiders (AL)
RP – Harry Valdes: While the potential to have real good stamina and control some day, Harry doesn’t have the splits or the pitch quality for a ML starter and his health rating is questionable. So even if Little Rock can keep him from serious injury... best I feel they can hope for is bullpen material with Mr. Valdes. Not quite what you want with the 9th overall pick. Rating: 5.5/10

10 Syracuse Simpletons (AL)
SS – Louie Wunsch: There are sometimes a player’s overall rating seems to really confuses me. Now don’t get me wrong, this guy should develop some real good ratings for hitting (but not great), defensively he should be real solid except his range just slightly under ML standards. But his durability and health are both marginal. Still he’ll be a solid MLer if he can stay healthy; and he’ll be a platoon type. Rating 7.0/10

11 Anaheim Chiles (AL)
COF – Bob Stewart: While Bob will be a marginal ML Second Baseman (might be better in the OF). Either way, his is a bat Anaheim will definitely want in the line-up. Bob should develop 50+ HR type power and hit for an OK average (.270s). If Mr. Stewart can get up to these potentials… you’re talking a solid RBI guy who can be an asset in either LF or RF. Rating: 8.0/10

12 Atlanta Bandits (NL)
SP – Stone Curtis: In this pick Atlanta gets what should become a rock solid (pun intended) future starter. Mr. Curtis could very well challenge for the #1 role in the rotation when he’s ready. Solid control, great splits, decent pitch quality… The only real knock on this guy is his durability (so okay a 5 man rotation), not a big deal. Rating 8.5/10

13 Salt Lake City Shakers (NL)
3B – Vern Monroe: This must the highest I’ve seen a 3B go in our league. The Shakers have him playing SS at the Rookie Level; he’ll never be that at the ML level. While his defensive skills for playing 3B at the top level will be decent. It’s his bat!!! Vern will hit for decent power and a .300+ average, a guy to have somewhere in the top half of the order! Rating: 9.0/10

14 Boston Bambinos (AL)
SP – B.C. Santiago: While B.C.’s potential splits are marginal for the ML level, his control and pitch quality should more than make up for this. If Boston can get this guy to his potential, they will have a sold #2 guy for their rotation (it will have to be a 5 man though – durability). Boston has started him off in Hi-A, this might be a problem cause B.C. is a little bit of a long term project; time will of course tell. Rating: 8.5/10

15 Vancouver Golden Otters (NL)
SP – Glen Bush: If Vancouver can get this pick to his projected ratings; Glen should make a fine addition to their pitching staff. While maybe not a projected Ace, still should make for an effective valuable part of the rotation. The only knock on this prospect his health is slightly low, otherwise a solid pick for this position in the draft. Rating: 7.5/10

16 Cheyenne Nation (NL)
SS – Gustavo Contreras: I had this guy ranked in my top 3 and I’m very surprised he fell to 16th!! Though he is a long-term project, but if Cheyenne can get this prospect even close to his projections…A solid defensive SS (though a little short of Gold Glove ‘maybe') and he’ll be one of (if not the best) leadoff guys in the league. Gustavo should be the perennial SB leader in the league and be among the top in batting average as well.
Rating: 9.5/10

17 New York new york (AL)
CF – J.C. Donnelly: J.C. is almost a carbon copy of the pick above. He’s a long-term project who should be a solid defensive CF and a great lead-off hitter. Though he will not hit for the average Gustavo will (batting eye and splits will hurt BA). Still when ready, J.C. should be a great addition to the New York lineup. Rating: 8.0/10

18 Nashville Sounds (AL)
COF Cleatus Barkett: This makes the 3rd speedster picked in a row and also a long-term project. Cleatus will not quite have the glove teams want in the CF position, though he’ll have great range. While Cleatus will have the speed like the previous picks, his bat will come up short in comparison, especially his versus RH. His batting average will not quite be up to lead off standards IMO this lowers his overall value. Rating: 6.5/10

19 Salem Sacrifices (NL)
SS – Danny Wilson: Here is a long-term project that if Salem can get to his projections, he’ll make a decent MLer. His offensive stats should be slightly above average. His defensive ratings should make him a solid ML SS. BUT is durability makes him a platoon type player, maybe even bench material. This hurts what is otherwise a really good pick: Rating 7.0/10

20 Toronto Toros (NL)
COF – Fernando Ibanez: While designated at 2B when drafted, Fernando will not arm any where near the arm for that position at the ML level. Toronto is starting him off as a LF, good idea! While maybe his arm will not be that good, he’ll put up some real good numbers at the plate. If Fernando can reach his projected offensive ratings, he’ll make a great #3 or #5 guy in the batting order. Rating: 8.0/10

21 Trenton Traffic (NL)
SP – Sammy Garrido: While this pick should develop into a good ML pitcher. My question is what kind? While his splits and control say possible starter, but his stamina and overall pitch quality say long relief. Time will tell I guess; it will depend on whether or not Trenton can get this guy to his projected levels. Rating: 7.5/10

22 Las Vegas Gamblers (AL) RED HERRING OF THE DRAFT
SP - Walter Ewing: Walter should be flame throwing pitcher with great control and stamina. But that’s it that can be said on the positive side. His projected splits and pitch quality aren’t ML quality. Marginal splits can be overcome if the guy has really good pitch quality but Walter will not have that. I can’t see this guy making it to the ML level; if he does… mop-up/inning eater is all he’ll be. Rating: 4.0/10

23 St. Louis Silly Nannies (AL)
RP – Mickey Stanifer: Here is the first future potential closer taken in the draft. In the previous 3 a potential closer was taken far earlier than this. This draft was thin in this area for sure. Mickey should become a solid short man from the pen but his stamina is a little low for the closer (over 20 is preferred so they can pitch a whole inning). Still, he could make it as a closer. Rating: 7.5/10

24 Charlotte Blue Devils (AL)
SP – Cookie Camacho: Looking at Cookie’s potential splits one would say marginal and they will be. BUT with the control he should have and pitch quality… he should make for an effective ML Starter. While not an Ace of the staff, a good #3 or #4 guy in the rotation. I’ve got a similar guy in another world, while doesn’t set the world on fire; he’s effective and generally gives my team a shot to win. Nothing wrong with that. Rating 8.0/10

25 Las Vegas Gamblers (AL)
SS Boomer Robinson: Okay, has to be the best name in the round. While his potential glove rating may be a little short of ML standard, the rest of his potential defensive ratings are there. This also will be able to play most of the team’s games with a great durability rating. His bat though will be average for a MLer. While his splits should be decent, the contact & batting eye rating will be marginal. Overall this is a good pick and the kind of guy you expect to get in the bottom 1/3 of the draft. Rating: 7.0/10

26 Chicago Snake Tamers (NL)
SP Dean Walker: Chicago has paid a high price for this future pitcher (2nd highest Bonus paid to a 1st rnd pick – just over 5 million). Question is: Will Chicago get their money’s worth? IMO, no. While Dean will have great control and velocity, his splits overall are marginal for a ML pitcher and the overall pitch quality potential isn’t really up to starter quality. I see this one as a future Long Relief guy from the pen and maybe a spot starter. To pay 5 mill for that…. Hmmm. Rating: 6.0/10

27 Louisville Legends (AL)
COF Donne Mirabelli: Here is another speedster on the base paths. While his potential defensive ratings definitely put him in LF or RF. He definitely has leadoff potential; his splits will be marginal for sure but his batting eye and contact ratings should more than make up for that. Donne when his time comes, should make fine addition at the top of the Louisville batting order. Rating 8.0/10

28 Norfolk Destroyers (NL)
RP Craig Shermann: My 1st round pick. This is the first time I’ve taken a relief pitcher in the first round here in HBD. For a potential closer, his potential durability and stamina are without a doubt what I’m looking for. As are the potential quality of his pitches. BUT will his splits hurt him? While good not great. But as I’ve mentioned above good pitch quality can be a real key. Overall I think Craig has future closer in him… again time will tell. Rating: 8.5/10

29 Monterrey Sultans (AL)
COF Raymond Black: Here is another one the usual late first round picks. While Raymond’s potential ratings may not be spectacular but still he’ll make a solid major leaguer. His power #s should be really good if reaches his potential (good splits and great power ratings). His contact and batting eye ratings should be decent for a power hitter. A future #5 hitter? That’d be my guess. Rating: 8.0/10

30 Houston Riverdogs (NL)
RP Jason Franco: The 3rd future potential closer taken in the first round. The future ratings of this prospect definitely say closer. A hard throwing one as well. I’d say overall between Franco and Shermann (my pick), it’s a toss up which will be the better. Franco should have the better splits and velocity but not quite the pitch quality… Rating: 8.5 /10

31 Fargo Dirtbags (NL)
SP Victor Soto: Finding a guy of this quality late in the first round is quite something. Victor should become a solid ML starting pitcher. He'll develop great control, solid splits and real good overall pitch quality. Victor Soto could very well become the ace of the Fargo staff, but I see him more as a future #2 guy in the rotation. Rating: 9.0/01

32 Milwaukee Manic Maulers (AL)
CF/2B Lorenzo Santana: While drafted as a CF, Lorenzo should be able to play 2B or CF at the major league level. Possible gold glove material at either position really. Great durability means he’ll be able to the majority of his team’s games. His offensive ratings are really good but not great; still he’ll put up decent #s if he reaches his projections. Like Victor above, Lorenzo is quite a find this late in the first round. Rating: 8.5/10

No comments: