There was a lot of talk in the league chat about how this was a shallow pool of draft prospects. While the first round is a little weaker than previous seasons, I don’t think it’s really that bad for a 1st round. Though, when I looked at the supplemental picks and compared them to last year’s supplemental picks… it definitely showed as a weaker group. That being said there are some real gems in this draft. This is one that required owners to do their homework and look at ALL things when ranking the prospects.
1 Buffalo Blue Cheese (AL) A.J. Leonard - COF (Cost 4.0 Million)
With the first overall pick Buffalo take a future COF. While A.J.’s defensive skills will be just ‘ok’ for the outfield, it’s his hitting potential the Blue Cheese want. The only weakness in his potential hitting rating is his VS RH, it’s marginal but other ratings will more than make up for that. My scouts found this one, but he only was ranked 10th. The reason Durability, his potential is below the 80 mark. That means platoon material… is that what you want with the first overall? No doubt he should put up some great #s but they will be hindered by the amount of time he’ll have to spend on the bench resting.
2 Austin City Limits (NL) Dan Benard - SP (Cost 3.9 Million)
PICK OF THE DRAFT
Taken second overall is guy I had as #1 on my board. Dan should become an Ace of a staff. The only major drawback is that his best pitch will be his #2. I’ve found that you need to pair this kind of guy with a solid pc catcher, to get the best from them. Also, his Stamina is marginal for a starter. But his overall pitch quality is excellent, his durability when ready will be great….what more is there? This is a great pick up by Austin; when ready for the ML level, he should give his team a chance to win almost everytime he takes the mound.
3 Washington DC Blue Coats (NL) Barry Rader - SP (Asking 3.8 Million)
Washington with the 3rd pick of the draft, takes what is definitely a close 2nd to Dan as the “Pick of the Draft”. The only things tipped things in against him were that his splits weren’t quite as good and his only has 3 pitches. Another than those two points, it was a dead heat. These both are going to be great pitchers if they can reach these potentials, two possible future CY Young winners here.
4 Cheyenne Nation (NL) Jim Gibson – SS (Cost 3.7 Million)
In Jim Gibson the Nation get a player who should a great MLer. Now drafted as a SS but his potential defensive ratings are slightly below what you want for that position (now with the error update done a while ago). The potential offensive ratings look really good, though Contact & Eye will be just ‘ok’; still he’ll put up the #s. The question will be, if put at the SS position in the ML, will his bat make up for his marginal defensive skills at an important position?? Time will tell of course.
5 Boise Shadow Wolfs (AL) Bruce Stairs – SP (Cost 3.7 Million)
God_Mike with his 1st pick as owner of the ‘Dark Hounds’ (WoT reference as is my user name) takes Mr. Stairs. This guy should turn out to be a real solid SP in a few seasons. While Bruce should develop great control, solid splits and solid pitch quality… his stamina is marginal for a starter. Even so, he should be able to give Boise a solid 5-6 innings and give them a chance to win on a majority of his starts. Just needs a solid bullpen behind him.
6 Toronto Toros (NL) Ossie Acker – SP (Cost 3.5 Million)
Ossie should become a solid dependable SP once he develops in the Toros’ Farm system.
As typical with most left-handed pitchers, his VS RH will be just OK. But all the rest of the ratings should be solid. Again you have a pitcher will the potential to have a great pitch that isn’t his #1 or #2??? Mr Acker was in the running for the P.O.D. … but fell short (not by much mind you).
7 Philadelphia Phantoms (NL) Pete Butler – SS (Cost 4.9 Million)
Pete is the 3rd positional player and 2nd SS taken in the draft. Pete has the potential to become a solid fielding SS at the ML level, though nothing spectacular; but his hitting will be just OK. While he should develop solid contact and a solid batting eye, his splits will be ‘marginal’ overall. He does possess real good speed, his OBP will not be up to lead-off standards. He should develop great durability; so the Phantoms will have a guy who will be able play almost all the games.
8 Jackson Vipers (AL) Steve Lofton – CF (Cost 4.7 Million)
This draft isn’t very deep in future All Stars. While Steve will become a real good ML CFer; again you have a guy who will be just OK at the plate. Again Steve has good speed but his OBP will not be lead-off stuff. Once again, you’ve got a guy who should have the durability to play practically all the Vipers’ games.
9 Syracuse Simpletons (AL) Bob Hauser – CF (Cost 3.2 Million)
Two CFs taken in a row, of the two this is the best of them. Again you got the potential for a real good fielder but Bob should develop into a much better hitter. Also, he should develop some decent pop in his bat. AND he’ll have good speed, no he will lead the league in SBs but he’ll steal the odd base. Speed is always good to have on the base paths.
10 Boston Bambinos (AL) Larry Driskill – RP (Cost 3.1 Million)
Here is the first potential future ML closer taken in this season’s draft. He looks like he’ll be a real good one. If he reaches his potential, he’ll have great control, splits and velocity. Also, his pitch quality will be good too. The only drawback with Larry, is his potential durability. It looks like it will be marginal for a closer, Boston will not be able to throw him out there in back to back game very often (if ever); especially when you consider his potential stamina. Still, that is minor thing really, for a guy with this potential
11 Anaheim Chiles (AL) Dweezil Milligan – COF (Cost 3.0 Million)
Dweezil is a solid pick for the 11th overall, I’m surprised he didn’t go sooner. His potential defensive ratings, put him as a solid COF. Now while his splits are just OK, his combined batting eye & contact ratings are better than you see from guys with his power potential. While his splits will hurt his BA, still he’ll hit his share of long balls once he gets to the majors. The only thing is, he’s a project. Still if Anaheim can get Mr. Milligan to his potential….. they’ll have a solid contributor for the batting line up.
12 Seattle Killer Whales (AL) Sammy Cairo – SP (Cost 2.9 Million)
Sammy should become a ML pitcher, my question is what kind? He’ll have great Stamina, Control, decent velocity and 4 real good pitches (but no out pitch). But his splits are going to be a low. I’ve found a pitcher can get away with low splits if his pitch quality and control are good enough. While Sammy should have the control, his pitch quality is the problem. Is a having 4 pitches in the 70+ range (none in the 90s) enough? IMO, I don’t think so; at least as a SP. I think Sammy is future long man from the pen.
13 Chicago Snake Tamers (NL) Vernon Taubensee – SP (Cost 2.9 Million)
Vernon is another one of those who’s future as a SP or RP is up in the air. Yes, he should develop great splits and stamina; to go with his OK control. His #1 should be OK, but there looks like there will be a big drop off in the quality of his other 3 pitches. So… will his splits be enough to offset this lack of depth in pitch quality? Vernon could become a bottom of the rotation starter, IF he gets paired with a catcher with a real good PC rating.
14 Salem Sacrifices (NL) Chick Price – RP (Cost 2.8 Million)
Here is the 2nd potential closer taken here in the draft. When compared to Larry Driskill (taken by Boston), his pitch quality is about the same. His Stamina and Durability are a lot better, but his splits are marginal for a closer. So will Chick be a future closer or a setup guy? Time will tell of course, but my guess would be Set up.
15 Norfolk Destroyers (NL) Benito DeRojas – SP (Cost 2.7 Million)
Well my pick in the first round, is a little bit of a project but if I can get him to his potential he should make a decent starter. He’ll not be in the #1 or #2 positions. His first 2 pitches have excellent potential, after that it’s quite a drop off. So he’ll have to get paired with a decent PC catcher. Also, his splits are marginal; again though his pitch quality should help this out. Overall considering the depth of this draft (which wasn’t great) it’s a pretty good pick up.
16 New York new york (AL) Marcus Goldman – SS (Cost 2.6 Million)
Marcus should make for a solid ML SS if New York can develop him. While not quite gold glove stuff, he’ll be a steady defensive player. His offensive potential is just really OK. All of his hitting ratings are in the basically the middle ground, this means he only hit in the .260 range at best. The thing will be his durability, this means he should be able practically all 162 games… that has value for sure
17 St. Louis Silly Nannies (AL) Vin Espinosa – SP (Cost 2.5 Million)
Vin is one of those pitchers who’s overall rating (potential) is inflated. Yea sure he should develop great stamina and real decent control for a ML pitcher. The thing is, his splits are just OK and his potential pitch quality is at best bullpen material. Now that is not to say he can’t be effective out of the pen at the ML level, just don’t expect him to anything but ordinary at best.
18 New Orleans Voodoo (NL) Joe Forrest – RP (Cost 2.4 Million)
Well here is another potential closer taken in the first round. For this draft and in this spot, I think this is a pretty good pick up here. Mr Forrest should have the great stamina & durability for a closer. Put that together with great control, good splits and good pitch quality; I’d say you have the makings of a decent ML closer on your hands.
19 Nashville Sounds (AL) Wesley Seo – RP (Cost 2.3 Million)
After looking at Joe Forrest above, I almost felt like I’d mistakenly opened up his profile again. Almost that is. Wesley falls short of previous potential closer in a few areas (stamina and control mainly). But his potential velocity is better. Overall, this should be a decent closer for Nashville in a few seasons.
20 Oklahoma City Sneaky Finger Puppet Mafia (AL) Joe Overbay – RP (Cost 2.2 Million)
Joe was the last of the first rounders to sign with his team. For the Puppet Masters was he worth the wait? I think so. This guy has the potential to be a ML Closer in a few seasons. The only negative I find with his potential ratings is VS RH. It's just OK and usually closers have great VS RH splits (most hitters are RH). Still with great control and real solid pitch quality.. I think this weakness isn't enough to keep him from the closer role. For the 20th overall pick, this is a good one.
21 Trenton Traffic (NL) Edwin Corey – SS (Cost 2.1 Million)
With their first round the Traffic take a potential future ML SS. Though, his potential defensive rating do fall a little short of ML standards but not by much. His offensive ratings are definitely a puzzle, how will he do? His potential splits look great but his contact is just good and batting eye is low. Again, how will this guy fair vs ML pitching??? Time will tell, I guess. His biggest drawback may be his durability (below that 80 mark); this means platoon time. Still with all this, Edwin may make a decent ML SS.
22 Anaheim Chiles (AL) Kyle Ramirez – CF (Cost 2.0 Million)
With the 22nd pick Anaheim goes a little ‘off the board’ with this one. Kyle definitely should have the defensive skills for a ML CFer and has the contact rating, speed & base running skill of a lead off hitter. The points against him: Batting eye which is low for the lead off position and his health is marginal (so can Anaheim keep him from serious injury?). So can Kyle become an effective CF & Lead off hitter? We’ll see,
23 Atlanta Bandits (NL) Pedro Gonzales – C (Cost 1.9 Million)
First their first pick of the draft, the Bandits take the first catcher taken in the draft. While Pedro’s potential hitting ratings are just OK; it is his defensive skills I think Atlanta really wants. Great signal calling potential and a real solid arm is what he’ll bring. I doubt he’ll be a major contributor at the dish but defensive skills could very well make up for that. Still, is a defensive catcher the type of player for a first rounder?
24 Scranton Janitors (AL) Bing Brow – P (Cost 2.4 Million)
Well here definitely one of the more interesting names of the draft. Now in spite of the interesting name, can Bing become a ML pitcher? The answer to that is MAYBE, in my opinion. He’ll have decent control, good stamina and ok splits; it’s his pitch quality that is badly lacking. To be honest, I just can’t see a pitcher with that pitch quality being effective at the ML level except as a mop up guy. Now if his split were a lot better……..
25 Las Vegas Gamblers (AL) Johnny Guerrero – SS (Cost 1.8 Million)
The Sin City squad takes a solid defensive potential SS specialist. Johnny’s potential defensive ratings are decent; except for maybe arm accuracy (you’d like a little better for the SS position). Offensively his potential split will be really good but his Contact & Batting are marginal. I feel his very marginal arm accuracy for a ML SS and these marginal Batting ratings really leave a lot of questions with this pick. I see this guy as future bench material really, not a starter at the ML level
26 Boise Shadow Wolves (AL) Mandy Wall – RP (Cost 1.6 Million)
With their 2nd pick in the first round the Dark Hounds take a future potential closer.
Mandy should develop excellent pitch for a closer, great control and good velocity. His future splits though aren’t quite what you’d want from a ML closer. Also, his durability is very low closer. This more than anything hurts his value as closer. Still when he’s on the mound he should be an effective pitcher for Boise.
27 Salt Lake City Shakers (NL) Steve Cook – P (Cost 1.5 Million)
Here is a really good late first round pick. This one should become a solid ML closer in a few seasons. Good Splits, Control, Stamina, Durability and Velocity are in the cards for the future. Though his pitch quality is just OK for a closer, still I feel he be effective.
Especially if you put a really good infield behind him.
28 San Juan Dead Bunnies (NL) Glen Latham – P (Cost 1.4 Million)
“Red Herring of the Draft”
Well this season it was also a tough battle for this title in the draft. On the positive side Glen should develop great control, stamina, velocity and have a really good health rating. BUT THAT IS IT. The rest is really AAA stuff at best, very low splits, pitch quality that isn’t there and even his durability is at best marginal. This guy isn’t potential ML material, even if stretched.
29 Fargo Dirtbags (NL) Roy Stock – P (Cost 1.3 Million)
Another decent late first round pick here. Another than his potential durability rating being a little marginal for the closer; his potential for that position is there. Good splits, control and solid pitch quality. I think Fargo was surprised to see a pitcher of this quality still available at this point in the draft.
30 Houston Riverdogs (NL) Mule Mulholland – 2B (Cost 1.3 Million)
While Mule has been drafted as a future 2b, I don’t think he’s got the potential for that position at the ML level. His arm (both strength & accuracy) are way too low for that position. So I see him more as a COF in the future. His potential offensive ratings are pretty good, decent splits, power and batting eye; his contact is a low. Still he should be decent contributor at the dish. The one major drawback here, his durability isn’t ‘everyday’ stuff.
31 Monterrey Sultans (AL) Reese Duran – P (Cost 1.2 Million)
The Sultans take for their first rounder a potential future Set Up guy at the ML level. Yes he’ll have really good splits, velocity and control; his stamina will be decent for a closer. But his overall pitch quality and very marginal durability push him from the closer role. I think he can be reasonability effective as set up guy, just with that durability his IP will be lower than most at that spot.
32 Milwaukee Manic Maulers (AL) Pascual Alonso – SS (Cost 1.5 Million)
Well from the last of the first rounders Milwaukee gets themselves are real decent pick (kudos to their scouts on this one). No, Pascual will not be a superstar at the ML level. He should however become a solid MLer in a few seasons. Good splits, great contact and great batting eye; as well solid defensive ratings (just maybe a little short for a ML SS). The only thing about Pascual I found a little strange is usually guys with low power rating have decent to really good speed. Well this guy has only slightly better speed than a catcher?? Also his durability is low, meaning platoon time.